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Posts tagged “Film

#24 – Seven

Reasons Why – Se7en? The gritty reality of it all. This could happen. Kevin Spacey rocked in this film, but so did Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, heck throw in Gwyneth Paltrow even though I’m not so crazy about her. Having a horror movie based on the 7 deadly sins. Why didn’t someone think of it before this movie? It doesn’t matter, the  movie spooked and had one of those shocker endings that films like The Sixth Sense became known for. I’ve always seen this as a companion type movie for Silence Of The Lambs. They both have the same genuine feel. As great as Spacey was here, he wasn’t Hopkins, but that’s not saying much because he was great in his own right.

Does it hold up? – Yes. I’d say it’s less dated than Silence Of The Lambs, but I can’t put my finger on what the precise reason for that is. I mean they were only 4 years apart, but it feels like a bit more than that.

Stars – Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey

Director – David Fincher

Studio – New Line Cinema

Similar Films – The Silence Of The Lambs

Followed By – No sequel

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#26 – Poltergeist/Poltergeist 2

Reason Why – It’s a tie? Because both movies scare really well. Poltergeist II: The Other Side has the creepy reverend going for it and he scared me more than anything in the first movie, though the first is a classic and scares in many ways, Part II just hit home and seemed much more real to me. There’s also the alleged curse but real life deaths connected with these films. Dominique Dunn getting murdered by a jealous ex-boyfriend still creeps me out. Julian Beck who played the creepy Kane (2nd picture) died of stomach cancer, which he knew he had before accepting the part. Will Sampson, the medicine man died of kidney failure and malnutrition problems. Lastly, cute little Heather O’Rourke died of what was thought to be influenza but ended up being ruled as septic shock due to toxins in her bloodstream. All this real-life death related to these two creepy movies about death just adds to the whole viewing experiences. It’s both sad and scary. Does it hold up – Pretty much. The first is creepy from what you don’t see for much of the film as well as the clown and toys in the kids bedroom and the 2nd because Kane just creeped me the heck out!

Stars –

Poltergeist – Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O’Rourke, Dominique Dunn, Oliver Robins, Zelda Rubenstein

Poltergeist II: The Other Side – Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O’Rourke, Oliver Robins, Zelda Rubenstein, Julian Beck, Will Sampson

Director – Poltergeist – Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg (uncredited)

Poltergeist II: The Other Side – Brian Gibson

Studio – Poltergeist – MGM/United Artists

Poltergeist II: The Other Side – MGM

Similar Films – The Exorcist, The Haunting, Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project

Followed By – Poltergeist III


#27 – The Blair Witch Project

 

Click the picture to read my review of The Blair Witch Project @ Movie-Vault.com!

 

Reason Why – For those who missed out the first time around The Blair Witch Project was a phenomenon. Taking the internet by storm was the is-it-real story of three amateur student filmmakers who investigate the legend of the Blair witch. After interviewing some of the townspeople about the legend the take off into the woods to investigate further. There they find that the woods can be creepy themselves with mysterious happenings, sticks and rocks piling up into haunting formations. The three soon find themselves hopelessly lost and even using a compass the woods seems intent on not allowing them escape.

Does it hold up – Yes and no. Yes, it can still scare given the right moment in viewing it, but it is not the movie it was back when it was new. Time has hurt the film somewhat.

Stars – Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael Williams

Director – Daniel Myrick, Edward Sanchez

Studio – Lionsgate Films

Similar Films – The Woods, Children Of The Corn, Paranormal Activity, Wrong Turn

Followed By – Blair Witch 2: Book Of Shadows

Runner Up – Children Of The Corn


My Interview With Facebook Fairytales Author Emily Liebert!

 

Click the picture to read the full interview @ Movie-Vault.com

JH = Joseph Huber

EL = Emily Liebert

Here is a sampling of the interview –

JH – I know this is one of those standard questions but I have to ask, what inspired you to write a book about Facebook? For those who haven’t read Facebook Fairytales, can you tell the fans how you went about gathering some of the 25 different real-life tales of people and how Facebook changed their lives?

EL – I joined Facebook in the summer of 2008 because a friend of mine kept pestering me about it. Every time I asked for photos of her kids she told me if I wanted to see them, they were posted on Facebook. At first, my intentions were purely voyeuristic. I read other people’s posts but never updated my own status. Then, like everyone else, I got sucked in and really started thinking about the cultural impact of social networking. And, in doing so, it occurred to me that there had to be some amazing stories evolving from these hundreds of millions of connections. So, one night, I went on Amazon.com to see if there had been any books already written along these lines. I found books on Facebook etiquette, how to use the site, and the history of its incarnation, but there was nothing on the effect that Facebook was having on our society. As far as finding the stories, I started by posting a query to my Facebook wall saying that I was looking to write this book and asking my friends to repost the query to their walls. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fitting if I could find all the stories through my own web of Facebook connections?’ I did end up getting a few via this method, but not all of them. My next steps were to reach out to Facebook’s press department and to see if Facebook would be willing to support the book. As you can imagine, they get thousands of book proposals and, of all of these requests, they’d only ever supported two books. I submitted my proposal and, to my surprise, got a call a few weeks later giving me the green light! They said they would support the book by feeding me user stories and granting an interview with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The other stories I found through my own online research. As a longtime journalist who’s had to track down many sources through the years, the beauty of this process was that all of these sources were on Facebook and were, therefore, relatively easy to find.

JH – The Social Network screenwriter reportedly said that he preferred not to be accurate “for accuracy’s sake” and that it is based on “storytelling” rather than the truth, according to Wikipedia. What is your take on writers being able to take real-life people and basically make them look bad, as the movie reportedly does to Mark Zuckerberg? As any writer, I believe in freedom of the press, but doesn’t it go too far when it attacks a person’s character?

EL – I believe in freedom of the press as well, but The Social Network is fiction. And many people don’t realize this. I think it’s wrong to make a movie that’s relatively inaccurate and let people think it’s true-to-life. I know the producers have offered disclaimers, but most ofthe world doesn’t pay attention to that. It’s unfortunate that in our society people build things up and then tear them down. It’s not something I’d involve myself in as a writer or producer, no matter the paycheck.

JH – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder of Facebook, did the foreword for your book. What are your impressions of him and how did you go about getting him to do the foreword?

EL – My impression of Mark is that he’s a brilliant, articulate, hard-working young man who’s taking the world by storm and revolutionizing the way people communicate—both professionally and personally—around the world. He was absolutely gracious and forthcoming when I spoke with him. I got him to do the foreword by simply asking the folks at Facebook. Mark is press shy—it isn’t important to him to have his name and face splashed all over the media—but he loved the concept for Facebook Fairytales, so agreed to contribute.

JH – I’m not going to ask which story was the most inspirational for you since that’s too tough to choose, but which story made you emotional the most? I’d have to go with Heaven Sent. That story was like a bunch of Lifetime movies rolled into one. I really felt for that mother. Hard to believe but a story about losing a daughter was able to be inspirational, did that surprise you?

EL – “Heaven Sent” was definitely the most emotionally charged story for me. The Elkins family is amazing. I actually traveled to Athens, Alabama, where they live—after the book published—to attend the Jessica Elkins Memorial beauty pageant. They set up media appearances and book signings for me and were the most gracious hosts. The loss of their daughter was profound and they hold her in their hearts every minute of every day, as do I. It’s hard to believe that this story could inspire, but The Elkins Family made the most of a tragic situation by helping others.

JH – The love story in Summer Love did you think the couple would make it, given all the obstacles in their way?

EL – Well, I knew the ending before I even heard the story, so yes! And I guess they have “made it” because they’re getting married on Sunday!

Click the picture to read the full interview @ Movie-Vault.com


The Legend Of Bruce Lee DVD Review

The Legend Of Bruce Lee is a movie made up of parts of a 50-part TV series based on the life of the legendary martial-artist, movie actor and pioneer in fighting that led to the eventual popularity of mixed-martial-arts used most notably by UFC. It’s been more years that Bruce Lee has been gone , 37 in all(1973) than he had been alive which was a meager 32. The man is still as relevant today as he was back in the early 70’s. This film produced by his daughter Shannon Lee and endorsed by the Lee family is uneven in its acting, but main star Danny Chan shines like nobody else who played Lee in many movies about his life or rip-off movies trying, but failing miserably, to be another new Bruce Lee film. Chan does a good job of playing Lee, but at times he makes you forget he is NOT Bruce Lee.

The acting is the weak part here and the cohesion of the storyline seems a bit jumbled and misplaced most likely due to some shoddy editing. Still, aside from Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, this is the closest anybody has come to a true biography of Bruce Lee on film. The movie might try to turn a blind eye to some of Lee’s real-life failings such as rumored affairs and drug usage that even Dragon touched upon and this film fails as far as Linda Lee‘s character is portrayed as a subservient American wife to her “masterful” Chinese man. I get that the film is trying to empower the Chinese and I fully support that, except that here it comes off as goofy and offensive to American women.

You can read my full review of The Legend Of Bruce Lee by clicking the picture and going over to Movie-Vault.com


Red Riding Trilogy DVD Review

Red Riding Trilogy is a unique 3-Disc DVD set based (somewhat loosely) on true crimes. Each movie is titled after a year and time-period in which the certain crimes took place and also filmed vastly different from one another using the filming technique made popular of the time period. Starting off with 1974 there is a young investigative reporter out to prove himself until he sees that there is a series of child murders that nobody seems to care about from the cops to his superiors, he is determined to solve the murders and see that the culprit is brought to justice. 1974 is filmed in 16 mm and directed by Julian Jarrold. 1980 directed by James Marsh and filmed in 35 mm is about a highly respected Police Investigator brought in to try and solve the murders that the local authorities have been unable to solve on their own involving the Yorkshire Ripper. A past love affair threatens to derail his case and dangers within law enforcement threaten his life. In 1983 director Anand Tucker filming in digital video wraps up the trilogy as the disappearance of a little girl brings back the 1974 cases. A small-time lawyer takes on the case to try to uncover the truth and discovers shocking secrets that unites all three series of crimes. A very satisfying trilogy filmed for British TV, The Red Riding Trilogy will spook, mystify, and astound you. Very well done and surprisingly entertaining this is a set that you should at least rent if not buy!


$5 A Day Blu-ray Review

$5 A Day is a fascinating movie about a father (Christopher Walken) who constantly lies and boasts that he can live off of $5 a day. He tells his disbelieving son that he is dying of cancer and needs to go to Mexico to get special treatment there, but he needs a driver to take him there. $5 A Day is a rare movie about father-son bonding with some comedy and drama thrown in for good measure. This would make a nice rental or a cheap buy. One of Christopher Walken’s best performances in a while.

As usual click the picture to read my review @ Movie-Vault.com!


One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest Ultimate Edition Blu-ray Review!

One of the best Blu-ray releases of the year, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest Ultimate Edition Blu-ray celebrates the 35th Anniversary of the great movie (also as old as I am, wish JAWS had gotten a 35th anniversary BD release) this edition comes packed with just about everything except the Oregon State Hospital. You get Hardcover mini-book, Actual playing cards with the characters on each card, mini replica posters, mini replica movie actor promos, a pre-production booklet, a mini-patient file folder and a full length commentary that includes producer Michael Douglas as well as an all-new interview with him and Theatrical trailer etc. This is truly the ultimate edition release, if you need more than this you might be loonier than some of the patients at the hospital. A great movie and a great release!

Click the picture to read my review of this @ Movie-Vault.com!