The Moth Diaries #Netflix365

The Moth Diaries is a film set at an all girls school.  One girl had just lost her father to suicide and long for the companionship of her friends and especially her roommate who she may have had a secret crush for.  At school the girl feels comfortable and safe.  A new girl is introduced and the dynamic of her friendship changes with her roommate.  The girl begins to have eerie feelings about the new girl who is slightly creepy.  She begins to think she is a vampire.  Accidents begin to happen and her band of friends are being separated either by being made to leave school or death.  Are her thoughts just teenage jealousy, or is there something more supernatural involved?

The movie can be tedious at times.  I am not a huge watcher of Grey’s Anatomy but there is a large similarity due to the main character having a resemblance to Grey (on the TV show) and the narrative dialogue that is on both programs.  This movie could have been better.  It is slow, there are times when there could have been faster cuts and edits.  The ending tried to bring everything together but was kind of anticlimactic.  This is not a horrible movie, just could have been better.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

 

 

The Hole #Netflix365

The Hole is a psychological thriller.  Set in England 4 teenagers go camping in a bunker.  One average girl (Thora Birch) wants to be noticed by the American boy (Desmond Harrington).  The rich popular girl (Kiera Knightly) and another rich kid round out the foursome.  The bunker, a hole, is locked and the teens are stuck without communication for almost two weeks.  The movie begins with Birch walking alone after being stuck in the whole.  The police and a psychologist work with Birch to retrace the steps in what happened and why they were in the hole.

I was not expecting much from the film, because I had never heard of it and it is was made eleven years ago.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It is a taut thriller with a few twist.  There is good acting by all.  The dialogue is works well.  There are a few predictable parts but overall a solid movie.  The movie is not dependent on special effects and relies on the talents of the cast and direction.  A solid film.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

The Snowtown Murders #Netflix365

Based on true events in southern Australia, The Snowtown Murders, begins with a focus on a family of three boys and their single mother.  The mother begins seeing a man from across the street, the area is a poor neighborhood.  The mother is at a doctor’s appointment and the man is watching the kids.  The kids are taken advantage of by the man, who takes pictures and molest the boys.  When the mother finds out she becomes very upset but does not know what to do.  The woman’s mother enlist the help of local “watchmen” who come to the family’s aid.  The men move into the house for “protection”.  What happens next is that one of the men, John Bunting, under the guise of protection, kills the man across the street.  John Bunting and his crew do not leave.  He takes the oldest boy and tries to “toughen” him up.  It is subtle at times and painfully obvious in others that Bunting is making the boy part of his team.  Bunting sets up shop in the home, the mother is in the hospital with cancer, he is free to do what he wants.  Bunting is a killer, his main focus was on people he considered pedophiles.  He was convicted of killing 11 people.  The crew, the mother and the older son were also convicted of helping and concealing the murders.

There are times in this movie were you get a sick feeling in your stomach as to how this could happen and how it could continue to happen for so long.  No matter what you think of the victims, the murders were brutal and torturous.  The film reminded me of the movie An American Crime.  In that movie a woman kept a girl in her basement and tortured her over a period of time.  The woman encouraged her kids to also torture her.  I got the same sick feeling watching that film.  Neither The Snowtown Murders, or An American Crime had a happy ending.  The movies showed how people can be cruel, and others do nothing to stop them.  They become engrossed in their own self survival they cling on to the strongest person and do what they are told regardless of fact that they know what they are doing is wrong.  Both films should be watched but keep in mind they are not “feel good” flicks.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

Durham County #Netflix365

Durham County is a crime drama (kind of) set in Canada.  A family moves to Durham County for a new start.  The husband, a homicide detective, lost his partner in a shooting.  The wife is recovering from breast cancer.  The older daughter, seems fairly normal but is upset over having to move  and starting a new school, has a fascination with death and wants to follow in her fathers footsteps.  The younger daughter, fairly not normal, wearing some kind of anime doll head mask, and see’s dead people?

I have only watched the first two episodes of the first season.  This was first aired on Canadian TV, The Movie Network (HBOCanada).  The first episode is as good as most TV programs that are currently on the air.  The show starts off with a man having a picnic with to, obvious underage, girls.  The picnic takes a terrible turn when the man pulls out some flexible handcuffs, long story short, the girls are bludgeoned with a big rock.  This is all happening with someone watching from the woods.  Because it is set in Canada, it is different than a typical USA cop drama.  Durham County does have a Twin Peaks vibe to it.  It is not a bad thing, I enjoy my TV when there is something a little off beat to it.  This gives the show more appeal than just a straight out cop procedural.  The story is not a formula of : crime, interview suspects, arrest, next show same thing.

When the new family moves in, the detective and the neighbor already know each other and have a past.  The detective also has a past with the older daughters new teacher.  Is the detective the “good guy” he appears to be?  What happens when the teacher and the person who may have killed the detectives partner are either killed or assaulted on the same night?  I will be watching to find out.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension #Netflix365

Most people would be happy being a neurosurgeon, or a rock star, or a particle physicist.  Buckaroo Banzai is the total package.  He knows everything and can do anything.  Your in a space ship dropping quickly to your impending death, what do you do?  If your Buckaroo Banzai, you jump start the ship and fly it around like you have owned it for years.  Your jamming with your boys on stage, you play guitar better than anyone who has picked up the instrument, you switch to a trumpet and nail the notes perfect, everyone loves you, except for one, what do you do?  You stop the show and have a psychiatric session with the one person not enjoying them self.  You give great wisdom: “No matter where you go, there you are.” and then sit at the piano and play the perfect song.  If BB and the Dos Equis man are in the same room, the Dos Equis man asks for Buckaroos autograph.

Buckaroo Banzai follows one of the adventures had by him and his Hong Kong Cavaliers.  BB and his father create a device that allows him to travel through solid mass, where the 8th dimension lies.  The government want the device for the military, John Lithgow wants the device because he helped create it and went crazy/possessed by an 8th dimension being (Lord John Whorfin), aliens want it because that’s what aliens do apparently, they want stuff, and will destroy the Earth if it falls into the wrong hands.

The story is great and comes with some laughs.  The effects are lacking, but the idea of a BB character makes up for it.  He is the original worlds most interesting man.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

Starship Troopers #Netflix365

Starship Troopers, set in the future, alien bugs attack Earth starting an interstellar war.  The movie is a sci-fi flick that incorporates other genres as well.  The use of comedy and satire in the form of propaganda films in the style of the movie news that was played to update people about WWII, is a great device connecting different scenes in the film.  Starship Troopers is a fun film and stands up to time.  The overacting fits well with the theme.  Women are portrayed as being able to do anything men can do, including being a hero or piloting a starship or sharing the same showers.  The special effects are overt the top, with many splats and guttings.

I am not sure if I would consider this a cult film, but does have some of the campy acting and action that those type of films have.  The production value of Starship Troopers, to me, is what raises this movie above cult classics.  There are some good performances by Michael Ironsides and Neil Patrick Harris.  Ironsides plays the teacher/drill sergeant that teaches the young recruits history and how to kill bugs.  While most of his classmates are recruited for infantry, NPH is recruited for intelligence due to his ESP ability.  If you have seen Starship Troopers, watch it again, it holds up to multiple viewings.  If you have not seen the movie check it out you will not be disappointed.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

Elevator #Netflix365

Elevator, a movie set in an elevator.  A group of people pile into an elevator to go to a penthouse party.  A granddaughter to the guy that the building the elevator is in plays with the buttons and the elevator breaks down.  There is bickering, racism between a Muslim and a Jewish man.  There is a man and his fiance and his pregnant girlfriend.  A large man with ketchup on his face, and an old woman taking pills and swigs from a flask.  One of the people on the elevator has a bomb.  This movie was not bad but it was cliche at some points and tried to jamb every story into one elevator all playing out at the same time.  “My son died in the war”; “My husband killed himself because of you”; “Your a Muslim you know about bombs”; “I have to pee”; “I think she is dead”; “We are stuck on an elevator”.  The kid keeps playing with the buttons.

Netflix has a picture of Elevator, the picture does not match anything near what the movie is.  The movie is a thriller set in an elevator, the Netflix picture shows a woman, who I do not remember even seeing in the movie, being dragged back into the elevator by a disembodied hand, the picture would have you think of serial killer or supernatural film but there is nothing like that in the film.  I think I want to see the one in the picture to, it looks like an interesting elevator film.  (elevator count: 14)

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

The Fall of the House of Usher (1960) #Netflix365

The Fall of the House of Usher is based off of the works of Edgar Allen Poe.  The 1960 movie begins with a suitor coming to claim his love.  The butler denies his entrance into the home of the Usher family.  The woman’s older brother, played by Vincent Price, has an affliction of having increased senses.  He explains his family curse: any member of the family that has more than one child is doomed.  Price explains the eerie family history.  The sister is sick, the elder Usher states it is the curse.  He takes his sister and entombs her alive.  The suitor does his best to talk sense into Usher.  Due to his extreme senses Usher states he can hear his sister scrapping her fingernails against the coffin from his room.  He states he can hear her screams: “Rodderick!”

One of the best lines by Price: “Oh, you have not left yet?  No, well die with the rest of us then.”  There is not way to compare this movie with a modern horror film in that the special effects are not very “special”, but they worked with what they had.  Roger Corman does an excellent job directing the Poe adaptation.  The use of low light, flashes of lightning and music bring a sense of eeriness and horror that does rival any movie made today.  Is the curse real?  Will the house take them to hell?  Is there a happy ending?  Find out and watch The Fall of the House of Usher (1960)

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

30 for 30: Silly Little Game #Netflix365

I would like to start off saying that the 30 for 30 series from ESPN is amazing.  The movies each document a specific article of sports history.  Silly Little Game, tells the story of Rotisserie Baseball.  A group of friends obsessed with baseball stats created a game that allowed each competitor to create a team drafted from the MLB entire roster.  The members already obsessed with players and stats became more engrossed into the game.

Members of the original league, seeing that Rotisserie Baseball was catching on, wrote books and attempted to gain control of a game that was their creation but was being adapted by others.  What happened was the term “fantasy” replaced Rotisserie and the rest is history.  The story is told by the original league members, in between are vignette reenactments of the story being told.  The “fantasy” vignettes are humorous, the story is told well.

With the impending NFL start, millions of people (myself included) are preparing for drafting the best “fantasy” team ever.  From the Rotisserie beginnings to the current “fantasy” incarnations, almost every sport has been adapted using a similar format that the Rotisserie pioneers created.  Good luck.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak

Seeking Justice #Netflix365

Seeking Justice is a movie starring Nicholas Cage, January Jones and Guy Pierce.  Set in post Katrina New Orleans, Jones is savagely attacked.  A man, Pierce, approaches Cage and states he can find the man who attacked his wife and take him out.  The price? Cage owes him a favor to be named at a later date.  Time passes, the attacker long since 6 feet under, Pierce calls upon Cage to pay up.  He is asked to kill a pedophile.

Cage reluctantly accepts but tries to back out.  The pedophile is killed by accident but Cage is picked up for the murder.  It turns out the pedophile is not what Cage was told he was.  The result is a secret society of vigilante justice seekers.  The underground network could be anyone, anywhere at any time.  This is where the movie becomes kind of disjointed.  The twist are at first kind of predictable but then are forced into the story.

Over all the action thriller is a decent movie, not any of the actors best but is good.  Cage has been in some clunkers as of late, but in Seeking Justice, there is enough amount of Nick Cage that his fans will enjoy but not too much Nick Cage that will turn off his haters.

What are you watching?

#SeanSpeak