35 praised films that completely disappointed me+ 10 derided films that I Enjoy!

    35 praised films that completely disappointed me


TRIANGLE- 1st 15 mins is intriguing, once they hit the ship, tedious does not begin to describe it. A 30 minute twilight zone episode stretched to feature length

Taken (2008/I)- Overrated. See instead MAN ON FIRE (known as FLAMES OF VENGEANCE in the Portuguese poster shown) or DIE HARD LIVE FREE or 16 BLOCKS.

Man on Fire / Out of Time
Man on Fire (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition) (See all Crime Movies & TV)

TAKING OF PELHAM 123 2009- See the original instead

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (See all Suspense Movies & TV)

HOSTAGE- fantastic opening credit sequence but goes down hill from there

There Will Be Blood (2007)- despised it. See instead GIANT or NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

HURT LOCKER- overrated and ultimately empty. See instead GREEN ZONE.

Rogue- Insipid, boring and idiotic crocodile film.

Primevil- Crocodile movie. Mediocre

From Within (2008)- Intriguing beginning that unfortunately paints itself into a haphazard and unsatisfying conclusion. Suicide, religious fundamentalism, witchcraft, and mysterious deaths, intriguing build up that chokes on the ending. See instead THE CHILDREN

Children (See all Mystery Movies & TV)

The Abandoned (2006)- looks great, but ultimately pointless and empty. See instead SAUNA


Sauna

PREDATORS- Weak script, weak performances, Adrian Brody is miscast and offers a poor performance. See instead PREDATOR, PREDATOR II, or ENEMY MINE

DOG SOLDIERS- moronic characters, poor writing, uninteresting direction, see instead DESCENT

THE MIST- just overblown acting, and an ending that was drained of any impact. stick to the audio book, it’s far, FAR better. See instead IT.

Stephen King’s It (See all Mystery Movies & TV)

REC 2- Awful sequel, that gets wrong everything that worked about the original. See instead REC or ROMANSANTA

Drag Me to Hell (2009)- I found it okay, to a little less than okay. Beginning was very good but It lost me somewhere in the middle and never got me back. The whole seance/possession thing I found completely idiotic. See instead EVIL DEAD 1, EVIL DEAD 2

DARKNESS and NAMELESS- not horrible, quite intense and effective in places, but undermined by too much cliches, stupid character actions and poor endings. In general just poor writing

DAY NIGHT DAY NIGHT- This is a very compelling film through most of its run time, but just completely collapses at the end. “Let me show you my abs”? Really??? WTF? That’s your ending?! Made me mad and ruined an otherwise strong film.

KING OF THE HILL (Spanish)- Beautiful looking film, not bad, just not satisfying, and questionable plot contrivances, but not a bad film. But put here because not as great as it has been touted.

RUINS- Tedious

CREEP- brain-dead mutated Subway killer flick

SIN CITY- misogynistic, reductive tripe. Absolute garbage.

NATURAL BORN KILLERS- One of my most disliked films. Right up there with SIN CITY.

SHOOT EM UP- It just bored me

MR. BROOKS- Way underwhelming, bordering on mediocre “serial killer with a twist” flick. See instead the fantastic, but vitually unknown Jeff Goldblum flick, MISTER FROST.

Mr. Frost [VHS]

DISTURBIA- A poor man’s REAR WINDOW, not horrible, just not good.

THE DEVIL’S REJECTS- Stylish and well made, just morally offensive and bankrupt. Zombie’s viewpoint is to sympathize and root for the serial killers rather than the victims or law enforcement. He even does this with HALLOWEEN… not something I buy into,,, ever

BATMAN BEGINS- Interesting beginning, tedious middle, stupid ending. See instead BATMAN (1989) or THE DARK KNIGHT(Only Nolan movie I like)

MACHINIST- Brad Anderson directs intriguing films, that tend to either spin wheels to a telegraphed conclusion (SOUNDS LIKE), or tread water to an empty forgettable conclusion(SESSION 9 and MACHINIST)

BUG- It tries for Cronenberg body horror, but marries that to just an annoying and tedious storyline

Dead Silence (2007)- average to bad, see instead MAGIC or DOLLS

INCEPTION- Don’t get me started, I’ve discussed Nolan and the emperor’s clothes enough

MEMENTO

PRESTIGE

PUNISHER- Thomas Jane version— ugggh, see instead PUNISHER the Lundgren version, reviled by many it’s actually an impressive flick

**********

    10 derided films that I enjoy!

SKELETON KEY- hugely underrated New Orleans Gothic tinged horror film

The Skeleton Key (Widescreen Edition) (See all Mystery Movies & TV)

THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL- absolutely adore this movie. One of my favorites.

The House of the Devil [Blu-ray] (See all Horror Movies)

WAR OF THE WORLDS (Remake)- Yeah it’s a fad to bash Tom Cruise. But fads aside he’s a fantastic actor, and this is a strong flick.

HANCOCK- Horrible name for a movie, horrible posters, box art, horrible marketing. But under all this damaging comedy labeling, is actually quite a compelling and strong film, with a great third act. Rename this THE INSURANCE POLICY (OF THE GODS), use some serious marketing and posters, and you could re-release this to DVD and continue to clean up on this film (it made in theaters over 300 million domestically).

TITANIC

PUNISHER- Dolph Lundgren version, and I really like it. Ninjas, brooding anti-heroes, nice action scenes and Louis Gossett Jr, what’s not to like. Big fan.

The Punisher (See all Art House Action Movies)

FF- I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it, it was nice goofy fun, and enjoyed it a lot more than the dire SIN CITY or BATMAN BEGINS

JUDGE DREDD- everyone agrees the comedy relief, courtesy of so-called comedian Rob Schneider was a horrendously bad idea, but there are some fantastic iconic scenes in this film, the best is Max Von Sydow’s walk into the Cursed Earth. Movie is worth it for that scene alone.

Judge Dredd (See all Crime Movies & TV)

TRANSFORMERS 2- Not great, but definitely good and visually stunning.

PISTOL WHIPPED- I liked this Seagal straight to DVD flick the first time I saw it, but every single time I’ve seen it since, I like it more. Plus a fantastic opening credit sequence, and a solid ending. A lot of fun. “You cremated now MFer!”

Pistol Whipped (See all Mystery & Suspense Thrillers)

Top 15 Spookiest non-English language Horror films

In no particular order. Feel free to leave your own recommendations, suggestions.

Sauna (Finnish)
Sauna

Quien Puede Matar A Un Nino/Who Can Kill A Child?
Who Can Kill a Child?

Residencia

Romasanta
Werewolf Hunter

Pan’s Labyrinth (Spain)

Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) – 2008

The Eye (Gin Gwai)(Hong Kong/Singapore) – 2002

Pulse (Kairo) – 2001

Ringu – 1998

Rec – 2007

Suspiria

Memories of Murder (Korea)- More a thriller, but one of such nail-biting suspense it bleeds into the Horror category the way SEVEN would

Diabolique (France)- if you can see this film without being spoiled, or knowing anything about it, it’s an incredibly powerful film, and earns its place on any list.

M (1931-German)- Everything you know about horror film, from the brilliant to the bloody, about tension, about atmosphere, about darkness that walks at day, is sourced from this film. Even if a horror/suspense filmmaker hasn’t seen this film, they’ve been influenced by a film or filmmaker, that was influenced by this film.

Brotherhood of the Wolf (French- A drama/thriller but it bleeds enough into horror to be considered. In-fact it’s more disturbing than most straight up horror movies)

Brotherhood of the Wolf (3 Disc Collectors Edition)

HOLLYWOOD EXPOSE: REC, foreign films, Remakes, John Woo, RED CLIFF, Movie DVD review


I’m always amazed how people get to this site.

It is so cool, some of the people who have links to my site. Mr. Walter Koenig being the latest one. Thanks all, for the links. They are deeply appreciated.

Okay onto the post:

This post is some rambling notes for myself, so bear with it:
rec1
I just saw REC the Spanish Horror thriller, I’m pimping a review to a paying site, so I won’t say much here except to say, I hated CLOVERFIELD and BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, all these found footage films; and REC avoids the weaknesses and pitfalls of all previous attempts at such a conceit, and manages to imbue it with real strength.

The film is fantastic. And damn Hollywood for remaking it rather than just giving it a US release. People aren’t morons, at least most people; this subtitled movie would have done great in the theaters.

But the suits in Hollywood are all greed and no taste. So we get watered down Americanized versions of great foreign movies. Typically inferior garbage, that only weakens the strength of the original film.

I have not seen QUARANTINE. After being stupid enough to see the garbage that was THE STRANGERS rather than the French original, I’ve learned my lesson.

I avoid Hollywood remakes, at least until I see the original first.

So REC was worth the wait. Fantastic film. Unfortunately for those wanting to see popular foreign films, Hollywood doesn’t make it easy, because they want you to see their crappy US remake, and buy that version on DVD.

So as of this writing, there are no region 1 DVDs available of great foreign films like REC.

Thankfully as long as you have a region free DVD player, which you really should have, and access to a foreign DVD seller, you’re good. Because the rest of the world isn’t as crippled and locked down as the studios have the American market. In the rest of the world, they release foreign films theatrically, and release foreign DVDs. Imagine that.

And that’s exactly what I did. I bought a region 3 DVD of REC, and it rocks.
rec_posterreview
But realistically you shouldn’t be at the mercy of the studios regarding seeing foreign films and tv shows.

It’s all greed.

They take a popular foreign series, delay the release of any region 1 DVDs so instead they can feed you their crappy US remake, and their crappy DVD. THEN they release the original series on region 1 DVD! So it’s double dipping! They generate ad revenue on the broadcast of their remake. then they generate revenue on their remake’s DVDs. then they generate revenue on DVD sales of the original!!! It’s a ripoff!

So I say screw em. Get yourself a multi-region Dvd, and then you’re not at the mercy of region 1 release schedules.

And the funny thing about that is, even when they release foreign tv shows on region 1 dvd, often the DVD is edited and cut differently then the original series. An example of this being JEKYLL BBC series. The show as broadcast in the states was cut, and the region 1 DVD is also cut. So if you want to see this series as it was released you have to purchase the Pal DVD.
jekyll
And if you think the current DVD scenario is problematic, Bluray/HDDVD will further cripple your options, and put you further at the mercy of the studios. Which is why I’m in no rush to migrate away from the DVD. Hell there are enough DVD movies and tv shows I haven’t seen, that if they stopped making DVDs tomorrow, I would have enough used inventory floating around out there, to last me the rest of my life.

So screw you Hollywood studios! Screw you FOX!

So do your homework people, and don’t be deprived of seeing the films every other country gets to see. Take John Woo’s latest film RED CLIFF.

There’s no reason that film shouldn’t have gotten a US Theatrical release. But the greedy studios again, they want to be able to double, triple, and quadruple dip. So you’re going to have to wait to see the crappy Americanized remake or edited version of RED CLIFF, a year after the original has made the rounds. Then they are going to sell you the crappy American DVDs of RED CLIFF. And only after they’ve raked in all this money on feeding you two years of crap, are they finally going to release the original “director’s cut” Region1 DVD of John Woo’s RED CLIFF.
redcliff
So you can wait two years for the Studios to feed you piecemeal John Woo’s vision. Or you know what, you can decide you want to have the same rights to see this film as someone in Thailand or London, and buy the DVD today. It makes me insane, how for such a supposedly free country, we are increasingly at the mercy of greedy fuckers.

And I understand profit.

I have no problem with profit. I have a problem when profit becomes a juggernaut of greed. A beast that eats away at the consumer, rather than just filling the needs of the consumer. And it’s even worse if the country producing the film, is not a western puppet.

One of the best films I saw last year was the Cuban bio-pic EL BENNY. I raved about it in my review last year. This is a film that should be seen by everyone. Especially Americans. Because it shows the world as something beyond the sound-bites of our nightly propaganda.
el-benny
Unfortunately that’s the very reason many foreign films don’t get US releases, and don’t get DVD distribution. Which means some of the vital filmmakers of our age, Diop Mambety, Sembene Oursmane, their best films do not make it onto our shores. Are seen once, in a film festival, and then relegated to molding away in someone’s closet.

The move to all digital cinemas, will further marginalize such filmmakers. It’s all part and parcel of the same beast. It’s really, to a fine level, policing the content of what each region is exposed to. This even goes to the concept of having alternate endings and versions of films, a fad that i wholeheartedly despise.

It pisses in the face of cinema.

Why is CITIZEN KANE a classic? Or why is the THIRD MAN a classic? Or High Noon or JAWS or BRAVEHEART or DO THE RIGHT THING or BLOOD SIMPLE? Because these films offer a singular vision. A shared and shareable vision. An iconic and unwavering vision.

The fantastic ending of DOUBLE INDEMNITY comes to mind (and yes I know DI had an epilogue that was excised from the final version of this film. But the point is we did have a final version, and it is that one, singular version we saw, and those hard decisions that define a classic film).

dindemnity

And because of this, if you are 9 or if you are 90, and you have seen a great movie, you’ve largely seen the same movie. And you can share the memories, the conversation or the wow factor of that movie. It makes you part of a singular conversation. You gasp at the same moments at the end, you wow to the same scenes. It is a cultural connectivity that is very important, and unites the viewers, even if you didn’t see that film in the same theater, or in the same time, or in the same country, it is still the same film, its beats are the same, and you have that in common. That frame of reference.

In a world increasingly spinning itself apart, this shared cinematic conversation is a tiny way to keep ourselves together.

Cinema then, as that shared endless place in time where all our rosebuds are lost, and all our rosebuds are found.

As opposed to today with the move toward multiple endings. Which in the short term may seem an easy way for studios to triple dip as far as revenues, but in the long term it robs that film of its singular vision, its cultural connectivity. In the long term… it hurts film.

Because suddenly two people can have seen the same movie, but each remembers different endings. And the film rather than being a unique statement, that is memorable for the very fact it has the balls to lock itself in stone, and lock you, the viewers together, instead suddenly is something ephemeral, and transitory, and… forgettable.

The very act of having multiple endings, negates the ability of a film to be a classic. Period.

It negates the very ability of it to be a film, as far as I’m concerned.

It’s the act of a lazy filmmaker.

Multiple endings are great for “choose your own adventure” books and video games, but cinema has always been the domain of men and women, directors, who have something lasting to say to the world. Multiple endings negates the lasting voice of cinema.

DO you sense I really fing hate Hollywood suits?

And the only reason is because I love Hollywood. I grew up on cinema. I love Cinema enough to defend it perpetually and criticize, perpetually, the small minded, fing trolls, who temporarily, find themselves in positions they are not worthy of, interfering with the course of a medium, that was here long before them, and will be here long after they and their works have turned to dust.

Okay, that ends my rant. I’m jumped all over the place, but in summation…

Screw Hollywood. Get an ALL-REGION Dvd player. Screw Bluray. Support International sellers, and international filmmakers and generally screw Hollywood.

Oh and pick up REC, great movie.