The Best & Worst of FOUND FOOTAGE films

Got the idea for this post from the excellent HORROR ETC podcast. So without further ado the best and worst of found footage films.

ENJOYABLE
REC
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 1,3
EUROPA REPORT
FRANKENSTEIN THEORY
CHRONICLE
TROLL HUNTER
GRAVE ENCOUNTERS
APARTMENT 143

GOOD
THE BAY – Starts off well, but the third act/ending is a disappointment
LAKE MUNGO – Movie never really takes off, or lives up to the hype, but it was well done for what it was

MEDIOCRE/POOR
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2
REC 2
BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
DIARY OF THE DEAD

Favorite Films discovered on Streaming On-Demand in 2013!

Favorite Films discovered on Streaming On-Demand in 2013!

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2013′s most interesting films for me weren’t found in the theater, or backed by major studios. They were small, even intimate, Independent films found courtesy of the new distribution opportunities that venues such as Amazon Prime and Netflix have opened up.

HALO 4 FORWARD ONTO DAWN, BOY WONDER, ANOTHER ZERO IN THE SYSTEM, and HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN are films seen in 2013, that here in 2014 still stand tall as memorable and commanding viewing experiences. The last three being some of the most haunting examples of existential angst meets neo noir meets anti-hero you are likely to find. And HALO 4 FORWARD ONTO DAWN on a shoestring budget, creates a scifi epic with more heart and style than any ten STARSHIP TROOPERS.

These are films so good that having seen them for free courtesy of streaming, I had to purchase them on DVD/Blu-Ray. After viewing them you may agree. You can price them at the links below.

Boy Wonder

Another Zero in the System

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn [Blu-ray]

House of the Rising Sun

Deal of the Day!! Winegard FL5000 Digital HDTV Antenna

Okay so if 2013 was the year of Roku, Roku 3 Streaming Media Player (Click here for more) as my tech device of the year, then the Winegard FL5000 Indoor HDTV Antenna is setting up to be an early contender as my favorite tech device of 2014.

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I dislike monopolies, and I dislike multi-year contracts, all of that translates into me not being a huge fan of cable or satellite companies. And I really disliked the highway looting and theft of American analog airwaves by government and big business. This eradication of the analog airwaves a few years ago in essence made your traditional rabbit ears useless; and was a boon to paid tv options, leaving the majority of the American population to choose between suffering with subpar reception or buying into pricey paid options to enjoy their television.

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Thankfully the infrastructure and technology of local stations has caught up, finally, with the demands of digital viewing. And add to that we now have affordable digital reception devices such as the Winegard FL5000, and free television is suddenly once again a viable reality. The Winegard FL5000 I can report after a couple of weeks of using it is awesome! If you are in a typical large city the un-powered FL-5000 will do the trick fine, bringing in numerous digital channels, with great pictures and sound, and an info option that lets you see details on the program you are watching. Combine the free coverage from the Winegard with the Roku on-demand channels and there is no reason to remain a slave to over-priced cable companies and locked-in punitive satellite services.

Put simply the Winegard FL5000 is the deal of the day!Winegard Company FL-5000 FlatWave HDTV Indoor Digital Flat Antenna – Made in USA (Click here for recent discounts and savings)

Deal / Collectibles of the Day!! CABINET OF CURIOSITIES!


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Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions

Cabinets of Wonder

Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell

Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell Hardcover – October 19, 2013
by Brian May (Author) , Denis Pellerin (Author) , Paula Fleming (Author)

A devilish 1860s sensation – finally unleashed on the 21st century! In France, around 1860, from the loins of a traditional national fascination with all things diabolical, was born a new sensation – a series of visionary dioramas depicting life in a strange parallel universe called ENFER – Hell – communicated to an eager audience by means of stereoscopic cards, to be viewed in the stereoscopes which had already become popular in the 1850s. This 3-D phenomenon, which fascinated a nation for 40 years, is now yours to share. This book, the fruit of half a lifetime’s study by three impassioned authors, brings every one of the published Diableries into the 21st century for the very first time. Some of them are so rare that at the time of writing there is no known complete collection of the originals of these masterpieces. But this book enables all but two of the 182 scenes to be enjoyed just as their creators intended, in magnificent 3-D, using the high-quality patent OWL stereoscopic viewer supplied.

Product Details
Hardcover: 280 pages
Publisher: London Stereoscopic Company, The; Hardcover slipcased with 3D viewer edition (October 19, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0957424604
ISBN-13: 978-0957424609
Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 9.7 x 1.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds


I read the above description, and being a huge stereoscopic fan had to get this book. If you feel the same way, go here: Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell

FAVORITE THEATRICAL FILMS OF 2013

FAVORITE THEATRICAL FILMS OF 2013

These aren’t necessarily the best, not critical darlings like 12 YEARS A SLAVE or INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (the Academy’s critical darlings, historically I am not a fan of) but they happen to be the ones I was interested enough to plunk down hard earned money to see in the theater. GRAVITY was my favorite and most enjoyable theatrical film of the year.

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Movie of the Day : THE GREAT ST. LOUIS BANK ROBBERY

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Starring Steve McQueen, (the famous actor not the famous director) in one of his earliest roles, THE GREAT ST. LOUIS BANK ROBBERY is a docu-pic/heist film, very much in the vein of other true crime films such as KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL, that were all the rage in the late 50s. What differentiates this film from crime classics as KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL is how ugly, and unkempt and unglamorous and unromanticized and in places mundane it is. It’s not a great film by any means, following as it does petty damaged lives in search of quixotic windmills, but this very seeming plodding approach, leads to moments of surprising and unexpected veracity and brutality.

It’s unsentimental nature, by the end becomes its strength, powering it, along with flashes of directorial style, to a memorable ending. So definitely worth a viewing. Grade: C+.

View it for free on your Roku device by signing up for Nowhere Archive here.

Podcast of the Day : THE DAILY SPILL

I’m listening to this podcast the Daily Spill right now, it is hilarious and informative. Listen now here!

These guys quicky jump on my list of this week’s FAVORITE PODCASTS:

THE DAILY SPILL
11′OCLOCK COMICS
B-MOVIE CAST
COMIC GEEK SPEAK
WTF
SIDEBAR
FATMAN ON BATMAN
HORROR ETC
WORD BALLOON
WNYC’s RADIOLAB

Director Spotlight : The Films of Kasi Lemmons

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With the perhaps unnecessarily color titled BLACK NATIVITY headed to theaters this November, I thought now was the perfect time to take a pictorial gander at the films of its director Kasi Lemmons; a director who unfortunately like too many directors, particularly directors of color, does not get a chance to work enough.

Her 1997 debut film EVE’S BAYOU remains a personal and perennial favorite, being equal parts coming of age story and southern gothic tinged horror and magical realism. In the nearly 20 years since that film’s debut she has managed to make 4 feature films and one short, which is good to have at least that much work from a unique and talented director, and is also a tragedy to only have had that much work from a talented and unique director.

I do think the economics of making a theatrically viable film in Hollywood has kept her from truly exploring the promise of her first film; as I would have loved to see a dozen movies from Kasi Lemmon’s in her unique and dangerous southern gothic magic realism vibe. In the directorial genes of Kasi Lemmons, you had the promise of a director with the unique output of a David Fincher or Nicolas Winding Refn.

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However the films we do get from her, even hampered by the constraints of producing more accessible and conventional movies, still are never completely… conventional. There are stylistic choices and decisions that in places, take your breath away. Particularly she has never shied away from strong Black protagonists, and Black male protagonists as heroes, leading men, rather than comedy relief or the sexless partner.

Kasi Lemmon’s cinematic viewpoint of Black Masculinity, even when that masculinity is dangerous or flawed, is never less than riveting and dignified and hopeful, and as such is a viewpoint that is virtually forbidden/extinct in Hollywood films. I doubt BLACK NATIVITY will be likewise blessed, but I will still support the film and go see it, in the hopes a respectable opening gets Lemmons back to making films, that transcend… convention.

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Eve’s Bayou

The Caveman’s Valentine

Talk to Me

ON-DEMAND Viewing Guide: The best and worst Roku

If you have a Roku Box and are looking to explore the world of ON-DEMAND viewing, the challenge is always to find quality free channels, with good content and no ads or limited and unobtrusive ads.

That is always a fluid hunt, as channel offerings vary from month to month, and in some cases week to week.

So without further ado my list of best and worst of Roku Channels this October.

If you have a Roku I do recommend supplementing free channels with at least one provider such as AMAZON PRIME or NETFLIX just because the Roku Free Channels, by themselves, you will find hard-pressed to fill your TV watching needs. However pair the free channels with AMAZON PRIME or NETFLIX and you can safely kiss your cable bill goodbye.

So what are, the free channels that are worth your time?

Well I’ll start with the disappointing, CRACKLE. When I first started using Roku this channel was great, however in a scant month their ad usage has become so excessive (you get ads before movies, you get ads if you fast forward or rewind, you get ads every 15 minutes, and you are unable to fast forward ads) and so annoying and obtrusive that it is not worth the frustration of dealing with.

So CRACKLE from a channel that was initially one of the best, has become absolutely one of the worst. (Their XBOX ads are so annoying as to be an assault) . Avoid this channel and I recommend everyone unsubscribe from it, and as their numbers drop it should spur the Sony owned CRACKLE to do the right thing and reduce the # of ads, and stop having ads any more often than once every 30 minutes, and remove the automatic ads should you fast-forward or rewind, because that’s just idiotic.

So yeah CRACKLE gets our Worst Channel mention, they should be ashamed of themselves. Okay that negative over now onto the good stuff.

Today’s channel worth your time is:

THRESHOLD+ – Has a good if not great selection of B movies, with a heavy dose of classic Horror and scifi movies. From the alien movies of the 50s to the low budget exploitation films of the 80s. The quality of the video ranges from good to mediocre, since much of this seems to be sourced from public domain or TV prints so no HD quality here. However it makes up for this in the lack of ads. Some notable films available for viewing on this channel are:

BOOGEYMAN (2005) – Not getting the IMDB derision and hate for this film as I find it stylishly and inventively directed, and better acted than most films of the genre. A film of poetical horror, which perhaps is too subtle for the blood and gore crowd. However if you are a fan of atmospheric slow burn films like the recent WOMAN IN BLACK, you may find this film a worthwhile watch.

And thanks to THRESHOLD+ you can view it for free and decide for yourself.

And other notable films available on THRESHOLD+ are:

MESSIAH OF EVIL
I MONSTER
SCARECROWS (1988)
THE BELL OF HELL (1973)
ASYLUM
THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF
SHE
4D MAN
X: THE UNKNOWN

More recommended on-demand channels next installment!