BEST and Worst Shows and Movies on Amazon Prime for 3rd Week of Nov 2014

BEST and Worst Shows and Movies on Amazon Prime for 3rd Week of Nov 2014

 

prayerforavengefulgod

 

WORTH A WATCH

FIND ME- Nothing original here, and while it tends to telegraph its scares it is as least done semi-competently which is better than most horror films these days
TREACHERY-oddly compelling
THE LAST LIGHT – kept me interested
NEVERLAKE
SHAKMA
THE HUNTER
SAINTS AND SOLDIERS
DEADLY IMPACT
HAUNTING OF CELL BLOCK 11
YOU’RE NEXT
PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE
RESOLUTION
ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE
ANGRY RED PLANET
CREEP VAN
THE VISITANT

 

NOT WORTH YOUR TIME

THE CORRUPTED (2013)- goes nowhere
INSANE (2014) – This one had moments, but let down by an over-reliance on gore and stupid clichéd writing
WAKE THE WITCH (2014) – Awful
VAMPIRE LAND
ANTHOLOGY OF TERROR
ZOMBINATOR
THE 13TH UNIT
FALSE FACE
DNA
LA SOGA
CASH
THE SILENCER
MARIANNE
A FIELD IN ENGLAND
NO ONE WILL KNOW
5 SOULS
GILA
BLOODLINE
SPRING BREAKERS
THE IRON ROSE
ATROCIOUS
CROSSROAD
DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT
FEAR LIVES HERE
FEEDING
FIELDS OF THE DEAD
HEATSEEKER
GHOST OF GOODNIGHT LANE
THE KILLING OF JACOB MARR
RUMPELSTILSKIN
TIMECRIMES
TWO ORPHAN VAMPIRES

 

VERY GOOD

HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP
AN AMERICAN GHOST STORY – This one had some solid scares. Quite like it actually. About a man so obsessed to have an experience, he gets one
VINO VERITAS – 2 couples spend holiday night with a drink, that may compel them to tell the truth. Surprisingly very good, and well acted drama.
HEADSHOT
STORIES WE TELL
PAIN & GAIN
MUD
LISTEN
HANSEL & GRETEL
ALL THINGS FALL APART
APARTMENT 143
DEATH OF A GHOST HUNTER

 

GREAT

THE ARROYO
THE VETERAN
BOY WONDER
VENDETTA
PRAYER FOR A VENGEFUL GOD
DEFIANCE
FOXES (SHORT FILM)
PETER AND THE WOLF (SHORT FILM/ANIMATION)
ANOTHER ZERO IN THE SYSTEM

SINBAD TV Series

THE GOOD WIFE TV Series

GRIMM TV Series

 

Come back next time for more hits and misses!

Movie of the Day : THE ARROYO (2014)

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THE ARROYO (2014)- It took a couple attempts for me to make it through this one, I’m glad I did. While the beginning may not quite grab you (both the title and the description of it is a bit ambiguous if you come across it like I did on Amazon Prime), I would urge you to stick with it. Writer, Producer, and first time Director Jeremy Boreing has created a film that starts humbly and builds into something that is not only worthy of your time… but will demand it.

The Western is an oft eulogized genre, yet for all these premature burials, yet does it rise. The West and the western is as much a state of mind as a locale, and it lives deep and long in Boreing’s THE ARROYO.

If you are a fan of television’s LONGMIRE or film’s NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MAN you’ll find yourself in welcome company with the ARROYO’s Jim Weatherford, played with a laconic grace by Kenny Maines; but make no mistake Boreing’s THE ARROYO is very much its own animal, exploring darker questions of the lawlessness at our borders and perhaps the culpability of the American political process, and the measure of courage.

A riveting watch, and strongly recommended. This is one I want to purchase the Blu-Ray for, with director’s commentary. And that’s the compliment of a great film, that despite getting to see it for free (courtesy of Amazon Prime) you are still inspired to own it on Blu-Ray!

Give it a watch, you may feel the same.

Favorite PODCASTS of 2014 Pt 1 of 2

Favorite Podcasts of 2014

B-MOVIE CAST -The B-Movie Cast is a website podcast and forum devoted all things B-movie and cult move related.

Been listening to this one for years, and in 2014 it continued to be what it has always been… one of the best. Spend two hours getting entertained and informed by likeable people who are kind enough to share their love for the medium with all of us. Always a must listen.

11 OCLOCK COMICS – It’s hard to say, definitively, why this show stands out as so much better than most comicbook themed podcasts, but if I had to pick a few reasons it would be the depth of knowledge and content and viewpoints they bring to covering this oft castigated medium.

And while no strangers to being opinionated, they do so typically with wit and respect and charm. And no doubt another strength of this show is the life experience the hosts bring to the show.

These aren’t teens or twenty somethings podcasting from their parents basement (not that there is anything wrong with that) but these are grown men with wives, and jobs, and responsibilities, who grew up on this hobby, so their perspectives on this hobby are more informed than someone new or just discovering these four-color marvels.

And being informed adults their interests when tangents appear, can effortlessly go into technologies, into film, into ideologies, into music, into humor, into the process of art. And all that only tells you what they do so well. The ‘why’ I, and perhaps you, should be listening is simpler, they have chemistry together and that makes them fun to listen to.

It sounds like a simple thing, but a decade of listening to podcasts and it is an exceedingly rare thing… people you want to hear talk. I’ve tried, it has to easily be, hundreds of podcasts, there’s a reason only a couple handfuls are on this list.

SIDEBAR - This is hands down the best artist podcast out there, featuring informative and INTELLIGENT interviews with some of the most heralded illustrators, painters, and creators. I stress intelligent, because even paid tv interviewers, especially paid tv interviewers, are incapable of questions of any thought or substance.

With the Sidebar gang you get passionate lovers of art who have obviously done their homework, and you can hear it in the voices of the creators, how impressed they are to be interviewed by people who actually know their work, and the process.

An excellent show for interviews, as well as for freewheeling discussions on the best of comics, movies, books, music and more. And these guys have that great chemistry that all those who made my best of list possess. A great show.

HORROR ETC – And speaking of people who are fun to listen to. I like horror movies, less the new stuff and more the universal monsters and hammer horror, but this show looks at it all. With the simple caveat, it should be good. They’ve helped me avoid the dreck, and find a few gems. And are just always fun to listen to. Another show we’re the hosts have an easy chemistry. Always highly recommended.

WTF with Marc Maron – I’m not a comedy fan, most comedy shows fall way flat. Maron’s self titled cable show MARON is a fun and addictive exception. And his podcast is even more impressive. Like any interview show, not all the guests you’ll have an interest in, but there is enough here to pick and choose. And even the guests you think to bypass, I would say listen to a few minutes and you might be surprised.

His interviews with Jimmie Walker, Bob Hope, Andre Royo, and the late Robin Williams are not just great podcasts, but essential insights into craft, and history and art.

GILBERT GOTTFRIED’S AMAZING COLOSSAL PODCAST - I’ve never been a fan of Gilbert Gottfried as a comedian or personality, and I’m still not, but this podcast filled with interviews with classic actors is an, at times, brilliant discourse on classic cinema and television, and the ups and downs and process. His Danny Aiello show is easily one of the best listens of the year.

Come back next time for the 2nd half of the best Podcasts of 2014!

Currently Watching: CANOPY (2013) Directed by Aaron Wilson

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CANOPY – The first feature film by writer/director Aaron Wilson, the first thing that strikes you about CANOPY is the absolute patience of it. It takes its time, it sets its stage. The jungle, it tells you from the first frame, is the movie. Which can be risky in this age of deficit attention and 500 channels.

Especially considering it could be argued, and not unjustly, that Aaron Wilson, whose previous experience is with short films; with CANOPY has just created a short film and padded it out to feature length. However what others may call padding, doesn’t feel like padding in this film, it feels… fulfilling, meditative, in moments… even sublime.

canopy-mv-2

If you are in the mood to be sucked in, willing to give the movie your undivided attention, you might find it, like I am finding it, absolutely spellbinding. It’s filmed with the deft assured hand of a master.

I almost didn’t watch this movie based solely on the awful poster (shown below) and nondescript title. But thankfully the film is better than its poor marketing.

canopy

Currently available for streaming/VOD on Netflix.

INSANE (2010) – Amazon Prime Streaming VOD Movie Review

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INSANE- A 2010 film by directors Anders Jacobsson & Tomas Sandquist, INSANE makes the most of its single location setting, wringing for the most part passioned performances from its nubile young actresses and quirky actors and marrying that to some effective and creepy camera work and one of the more demented boogie men since Hitchcock’s Norman Bates.

However I have no interest in seeing women butchered, I’m not a slasher fan, I’m a mystery/thriller fan… so around the 2nd butchered girl, I’m losing interest in this film. I want to fast forward to the comeuppance of the villain. But thankfully the pattern breaks slightly with the third girl which keeps me watching to the end.

Unfortunately it is a distasteful ending, to a distasteful movie. The movie is better directed and performed than most slashers, unfortunately it succumbs to the slasher rule of super-powered killer, and moronic brain dead victims. This movie goes so far as to try to make the bad guy ‘relate-able’ by given him the worn back-story, ‘I was traumatized as a child’. As if that is ever an excuse for being a detestable adult yourself.

I despise these movies where the slasher is made the hero, some franchise character; which is why I was never a fan of the Halloween or Friday the 13th Films, The first Halloween is great, but they should have stopped there.

Another failing of INSANE is its over reliance on gore. I think the filmmaker is very effective at creating a creepy atmosphere, and effective stalk and chase scenes, but I feel this all goes out the window when he needs to play to the bloodhounds by giving us ever more egregious examples of the destroyed human form.

As someone who thinks the human form is beautiful and a work of art and a fragile achievement, I don’t relate to seeing people destroyed or dead rather than alive. That’s not the draw of a roller coaster, mangled bodies and twisted piles of steel after a crash; the draw of a roller-coaster is the chase, and the momentum, and the perilous high of the unknown and slightly out of control. And that’s the same draw of a good thriller/horror movie.

People remember the shower scene in PSYCHO because it’s a beautifully photographed, masterfully directed moment of madness, redeemed from mundaneness by surreal, stylistic direction. We watch films to see the work of filmmakers, and throwing blood and guts at the screen does not a filmmaker make.

There is nothing in INSANE, while definitely inspired by PSYCHO, that will be remembered as vividly or hauntingly as PSYCHO.

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However INSANE has moments of style and perspective that try to elevate it from the usual brain-dead slasher flick but these moments get aborted with the distasteful gore scenes. And the ending is more of this copycat ode to murderers as supermen killers that get away with it.

That concept, ‘villains winning’, never appealed to me. Never will. I know life is filled with examples of villains winning, however art should be better than that. I was raised to believe in Justice, and at the very least Crime and Punishment.

I was raised to believe in Heroes, people who are there to rescue maidens from dragons, which why for me Michael Mann’s MANHUNTER is a far superior movie to Demme’s SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, and why I have nothing but distaste for the HANNIBAL tv show.

I think the things we glorify as a society are the things we become. I’ve always believed in glorifying heroes, however in our DEXTER, SHIELD, HANNIBAL, BATES MOTEL, VIKINGS generation we get the opposite of that. And don’t get me started on VIKINGS(they went around murdering, torturing, raping, and stealing, largely from unarmed villages and settlements, yet now we have a show that darts completely around this to portray Vikings as sensitive, women’s lib supporting, misunderstood mariners. Mendacity. The effing Vikings made the Nazis look benign, yet we have a TV show glorifying and whitewashing them).

INSANE is part of that cinema geared to the morality of monsters, and that is its greatest weakness. INSANE has moments of true creativity, but by the end it is in strict formula territory.

By the end of INSANE I wasn’t better for watching it, and if the thing you spend over an hour of your life watching doesn’t in someway elate or enrich you, than what the hell is the point.

Summation [and possible spoilers]: A good cast and some effective camera work, let down by a derivative script and moronic ending. Less concern with making a super powered franchise character and more concern with making a good film would have served this movie well. Yeah when we get the upper-hand over a murdering maniac is the time to worry about our relationship. Really? It is brain dead lapses like this that ultimately makes this a waste rather than a winner. Grade: D.

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Where are they Now: As of this writing the directors have not done another movie. Of the cast, David Lenneman (Fred in the Swedish series REAL HUMANS), Alida Morberg, and Lars Bethke have had sporadic bit parts since, with most of the cast doing nothing since.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING : The 2013/2014 Series DARK NET

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DARK NET is a Canadian produced series spearheaded by Director/Producer Vincenzo Natali that is about urban myths in the Internet/technological age and it may just be the most inventive and impressive 30 minute speculative show since the original TWILIGHT ZONE over 54 years ago.

In many ways DARK NET does for today’s audience what that show did for its 1960s audience, namely push the boundaries of our assumptions, our conventions and our fears. It is a show about obsessions, and the places sad and tragic, such dark and lonely roads take us.

And what is so masterful about this show is its structure, unwilling to just give us one story this series weaves multiple stories of obsession and unhealthy curiosity into 30 minutes, producing one of the most effective anthologies to date. Wonderfully directed, shot, and impressively performed, three episodes into watching this series courtesy of Netflix and I’m completely sold and enamored of it.

This is a series that screams out for and deserves a beautiful Blu-Ray presentation so it can be enjoyed in the best quality possible complete with Director’s commentary and special features. Grade: A must See!