Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

After taking a few days off from the blog, I decided that I needed to spend some time catching up with some different movies. With that, I went on a retro type binge and watched a few movies that I had not seen in some time. The first of those is the controversial 2006 thriller The Da Vinci Code.  

Plot/ Professor Robert Langdon is in Paris on business when he's summoned to The Louvre. A dead body has been found, setting Langdon off on an adventure as he attempts to unravel an ancient code and uncover the greatest mystery of all time.

Being based on a huge best seller that just happens to be one of the most controversial books of the 2000s, there was no way that this movie could ever live up to the stir that was created when the book was released. As a movie, it is a fun, thought provoking watch that has just enough parts drama, thriller, and action film to draw every viewer in. The scripting is solid, the cast and performances are wonderful, and the cinematography and visuals pull everything together in a manner that makes everything flow together. Yes, there are some slower moments sprinkled into to the flow that were unnecessary and the long runtime, while needed, may turn some viewers off. 

Of course, one cannot talk about this as a book or movie without discussing the storyline. For many, this subject matter is taboo, and an impossible topic that has been thoroughly chastised as heresy by different religious sects of Christianity. However, from different research materials that exist on the topic, the subject matter does not seem that far outside the realm of possibilities. Could Christ have had a wife? Anthropologically, that answer is yes. Still, because of the documents sequestered inside the depths of the Vatican Vaults, we will never know for sure what the true story is unless the Pope decides to open those doors and allow all of the forbidden gospels to breathe. Honestly, if the Bible is a book of history, why is it being censored?

In the end, this movie has aged well and I actually enjoyed it more today than when I did upon its original release. If you have not seen it, it is a movie that you should check out. Just watch it with an open mind.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Last’s night’s debate was a strange, almost surreal watch. I honestly thought about entering it into the blog here at the Ringmaster’s Realm. Instead, I waited until tonight to both watch something new and make a new entry. What was my selection for the evening? I decided on the 2016 sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence.

Plot/ Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will humanity’s new space defenses be enough?

I had heard that this was bad and waited for it to hit video, and, I am glad that I did. As much as I wanted this one to be good, I have to admit that I was completely underwhelmed and even more disappointed than I thought I would be. This one totally lacks the depths, the emotional connections, and the overall quality of the original. Everything just feels flat and disconnected, missing the moving elements that pulled the classic together. Yes, some of the performances are solid and characters work well together, and the CGI streamlines the scenes in an interesting way, but those elements really do nothing to help bring this one to life or strike a chord with the viewers. In the end, if you like movies that feel more like a sleek globalist propaganda piece than emotional Sci-Fi battle, you should check this one out. However, if you are looking for a quality action-filled Sci-Fi flick, look elsewhere.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Beta Test (2016)

After last night’s debacle with Sharkenstein, I had hoped that maybe my next selection would be better. Unfortunately, in some ways it may have been worse. What was that movie? It was the 2016 Sci-Fi/action flick Beta Test.

Plot/ Champion gamer Max Troy discovers events in a new video game are being mirrored in the real world, and must join forces with the game's protagonist, Orson Creed, to unravel the conspiracy before the game's sinister plot overwhelms the city.

This has definitely been a bad week for me with movie selection. Seriously, it feels like nothing I can throw on the television (except Darling) is worth watching. This one is bad, very bad. The acting ranges from poor to bad with cardboard characters and horrid/predictable dialog, the writing is all over the place, and the production values/cinematography is laughable at best. Although the movie is below SyFy Channel bad, the storyline did at least seem to have some promise when reading the synopsis, but other than that, there is really nothing that could make it memorable in any way, shape, or form. In the end, stay away from this one, it really is not worth your time.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sharkenstein (2016)

After finishing American Crime Story: The People Vs. OJ Simpson, I decided to jump back into some low budget horror tonight before diving back into AHS: Hotel. After doing that though, I quickly realized I made a mistake with my selection: 2016s Sharkenstein.

Plot/ In the final days of World War II, a secret experiment to weaponize sharks is shut down and destroyed by the Third Reich. But now 60 years later, a bloodthirsty, mysterious creature plagues a small ocean town, one built and reanimated using parts of the greatest killers to ever inhabit in the sea - the Sharkenstein monster!

While I expected this one to be bad, a small part of me held out hope that I was wrong. Unfortunately, my instincts were right, and this one quickly landed on the list as one of the worst films I have seen in some time. Actually, I would rate it beneath the presidential debates (which could be taken as horror/comedies from a certain perspective). There is really nothing redeemable in this film. The special effects range from bad to worse, the CGI horrible (I know it is an effect, but it is THAT bad), the scripting is flat, and the overall quality is just not there. Yes, I am a fan of no-budget horror, but this has nothing that I could immerse myself into to make it worthwhile. In the end, this is one of the worst shark films that I have seen, and would even be bad for a SyFy Channel original. Stay away, it is really not worth the 73 minutes that I took to watch it. However, if you do want to see something that is a true piece of independent horror cinema, check out THIS video from Project Veritas

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Darling (2015)

I had to take a couple days away from movies after suffering through Ghostbusters. Even my wife apologized at the end for picking it up, yes, it was that bad. Over this time, I decided to watch People vs. OJ Simpson (which is tremendous). For my next review though, I decided to watch something a little different, the 2015 horror/psychological thriller Darling.

Plot/ A lonely young woman descends into madness when she becomes the caretaker of a mysterious New York mansion that has a troubled past.

Before I dive into specifics, I have to say that this film is exactly what Hollywood should be producing instead of the overdone reboots and lame attempts at horror they are coming out with. Shot in black and white, this film has both a style and substance that pulls a viewer in. While it does build slowly, the cinematography allows the tension to build and grow throughout. The minimalist cast is tremendous and the performances fall perfectly within the storyline. Even the editing and soundtrack feel wholly immersed within the overall film. In the end, I am sure that this film will fall into the love/hate category as it may be too artsy for the hardcore gore fan. However, if you are into watching something different, especially viewing it with an open mind, than you should definitely enjoy this one. Check it out!