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Saturday, May 30, 2015


A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive.

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Kennedi Clements

Directed: Gil Kenan

Written by: David Lindsay-Abaire, and Steven Spielberg (story)

  As a horror fan, it continues to be a struggle to find a movie that truly scares me. At a much younger age, the original "Poltergeist" did plenty to scare me. While the remake didn't scare me, it was good to see it scare others in the theater. It apparently did for them what the original did for me, but was this "Poltergeist" remake a good movie?
  Knowing the story already, it's hard to find anything surprising. The family moves in, paranormal stuff starts happening to Madison (Kennedi Clements), all hell breaks loose when she disappears, the family brings in people to help, and then they try to rescue Madison. What is surprising is the continued need to inject some light comedy into the movie. Whether it's a comment from the dad, or something fun that happens to one of the kids, it really takes away any chance of sustaining any kind of tension.
  The story seems to move kind of fast, which is all right, but it didn't really let the audience get a connection with all of the family members. It feels like the audience gets to know the parents some, their son Griffin (Kyle Catlett) maybe a little more, but not so much with Madison. The problem here is that when the ghosts take Madison, the audience isn't going to be on the edge of their seats for her safe return. The only real reason they are going to want her back is because she's a cute little girl, and maybe they feel bad for the family.
  So what did some of the people in the theater find scary? Well, there's a tense scene where one of the ghost hunters is trying to set up equipment in a room, and gets his hand stuck in the wall. Too bad for him the ghosts are on the other side of the wall. The scene is ok, but probably ends with more hardcore horror fans wanting a bloodier ending. The best scene is probably when Griffin is flying a drone where all of the ghosts are. The audience gets to see them crawling all over themselves, and it looks pretty awesome. However, again it doesn't produce much in the way of scares.
  Overall, the best way to describe this "Poltergeist" remake is that it's a much much lighter version of the original. The story is pretty much the same. The family structure is the same. The ghosts try to do the same thing to Madison. The big difference is that the scares aren't scary enough, and they add too many comedic moments. However, I'm happy it did scare some people, but it's just not going to scare hardcore horror fans. The movie itself is ok, so I give this it 2 pools of blood.


(Note: I wrote this review trying not to get into many direct comparisons with the original because I'm sure there are plenty of those kind of reviews out there. You don't need to me to go compare each thing in the movie to the original, and complain about how it's not the same.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult

Directed by: George Miller

Written by: George Miller, and Brendan McCarthy

  What an action packed adventure! "Mad Max: Fury Road" has everything an audience could want in a high-speed chase across an apocalyptic desert. Lets start with the vehicles. Furisoa (Charlize Theron) drives one mean War Rig. It looks like one of those typical trucks that carry oil, but it's fixed up to be a well defended, fast moving machine. It's a great choice because it has plenty of room for the characters to run up and down, fight on top of, and climb underneath.
  And what does it have to defend itself against? How about dune buggies covered in spikes? They almost look like porcupines on wheels. Of course there's a monster truck doing what monster trucks do. And then there's a biker gang speeding all around, and launching their motorcycles through the sky. Oh, and no one will forget the Doof Wagon carrying the guitarist with a flaming guitar. Where do they come up with these crazy things?
  Speaking of crazy things, the whole set up in the city before the chase begins is weird. There are all kinds of strange people including the leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). He has woman connected to machines giving their breast milk, an army of guys who are as white as milk, and a hulked up right hand man. However, not everyone is ugly. Joe has several good-looking wives locked up for himself until Furisoa decides to do something about it.
  Then there's Mad Max (Tom Hardy). These crazy people capture him, and soon after chain him to the front of a car when the chase begins. The only reason he survives that chaotic scene is because he's the main character. Actually, it's kind of surprising that the story seems to be based more on Furisoa's actions than Max's. The audience also gets to know a lot more about her than Max. However, it's still a great story, and there seems to be plenty more to be told in another movie.
  But that's getting way ahead of ourselves. Lets talk about that ending chase through the desert. It's like all of the previous chase scenes times two! Cars are crashing, and people are dying left and right! It has Max jumping from car to car fending of bad guys. Hell, he's even grabbed and swung through the air by these guys on poles that are swinging back and forth over the cars. And then there's the moment the audience waited for the entire time… a close encounter with the guitarist!
  As for the acting, Charlize does an excellent job in her role as a strong rebellious woman. Whether it's her or a stunt double, her character is involved in plenty of action, and they are terrific. Tom doesn't seem to have many lines, but also handles the action scenes well. Nicholas Hoult, who fans might remember from "Warm Bodies", is almost unrecognizable in his strong supporting role as Nux.
  “Mad Max: Fury Road” is an action packed movie from start to finish. Just as the action dies down, another exciting scene is just about to start. It has all kinds of bizarre people driving vehicles hell bent on taking out their enemies. The story, and acting top it all off. It looks like this is just the beginning of an awesome trilogy, so I give it 4 pools of blood!

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