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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Coma (1978)



After a night with the space family Robinson, I decided to venture back a few decades for my next selection. That movie was the 1978 sci-fi thriller Coma.


Plot/ When a young female doctor notices an unnatural amount of coma's occurring in her hospital she uncovers a horrible conspiracy.


This is one of those movies that stick with you long after you watch it. Filmed in the late 1970s, this one stands tall even after all of these years. The cinematography and direction are amazing creating a dark, heavy, and suspenseful atmosphere, the performances are solid, the scripting based on the source material works, and the storyline may be even more relevant today than it was in the decade that it was released in. Yes, there are some flaws that can be picked up under close inspection of the film and some of the early pacings seems a bit slow, but those are but minor flaws in this sci-fi classic. In the end, if you are in the mood for a solid sci-fi suspense thriller, give this one a shot. This is an outstanding selection for a rainy summers night. That is unless you are poised for a doctors visit in the near future.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Lost in Space (1998)



After a mixture of serial killers and creature features, I decided to venture into something with more of a sci-fi edge. After some thought, I decided on the 1998 reboot, Lost in Space.


Plot/ The Robinson family was going into space to fight for a chance for humanity. Now they are fighting to live long enough to find a way home.


I remember when this one came out and like many fans of the original series; I found it a bit disappointing. After re-watching this earlier in the week, I think my first impression was way off. While this is not a perfect film, it does have more positives than flaws and the storyline is closer in tone and depth to some of the initial episodes of the series than it is given credit for. The effects were solid, the cast was fun and their performances were decent, and the cinematography was spot on and created an entertaining feel. Unfortunately, the scripting felt forced and the dialog was choppy with too much focus put on trying to be clever and there were more than a few clich├ęd moments. In the end, this was an entertaining science fiction adventure suitable for the entire family, and a movie that is better than it has been given credit for. If you have a chance, give it a shot, you could do much worse.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Zodiac (2007)



As this week wore on, I decided to spend some time revisiting some movies that I have seen many times but failed to review. The first one on the list was the 2007 thriller Zodiac.


Plot/ In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.


This is a film that I thought I had already reviewed. However, I realized that although this is one of my favorite films on the Zodiac Killer, I had never actually written it up. With that being said, I just had to watch it again and do what should have been done some time ago. This is a tremendous film that actually takes a surprising approach to telling the true story of one of the most famous unsolved cases in history. The storyline is thought out and compelling, the cinematography and direction create a dark and heavy atmosphere, and the outstanding cast all do an outstanding job at embracing their characters and pulling through with solid performances. Yes, the movie may run a bit long, and most of the murders take place early on, but those are only small hiccups that don’t bring the movie down. In the end, if you are fascinated by the Zodiac Killer this is a must see. If you aren’t, you too should watch this one, it offers a detailed look at this mystery.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kong: Skull Island (2017)



After watching Awakening the Zodiac, it was time to change genres. Having felt such a connection to Caesar, I decided to grab another flick with some Simian heritage. That movie was the 2017 blockbuster Kong: Skull Island.  


Plot/ A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.


I am sure that this is going to be a polarizing film split between the love or hate communities. Personally, I loved this one and think that this is one of the better blockbuster creature features to come out in some time. I will admit that there were a ton of plot holes and the characters were not only flat, but their decision making was unfathomable, but I was able to look past those elements. All of the creatures were amazing, with this representation of Kong being one of my favorites. The fight scenes were fierce and at times gory, and the performances were solid. Overall, this was exactly as advertised a blockbuster creature feature that brought one of the all-time greats back from the dead. In the end, the film will likely disappoint some hardcore Kong fans. Yes, it has some flaws, but if you are in the mood for a mindless creature feature with some tremendous fight scenes this one is for you.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Awakening the Zodiac (2017)



After spending last night reviewing the latest entry from the Planet of the Apes series, I decided to get back to something more realistic for my next review. That movie is the 2017 thriller Awakening the Zodiac.


Plot/ The story follows a down-on-their-luck couple that discovers a serial killer's film reels. They decide to take the law into their own hands, risking everything for the chance at a $100,000 reward. It isn't long until they find themselves in the killer's lethal cross-hairs.


I love movies about serial killers, especially ones with a historic and mysterious appeal. With that being said, Awakening The Zodiac was much better than I imagined when I saw the synopsis at Family Video. More of a thriller than a true horror movie, this one comes complete with some originality and a dark/heavy atmosphere that helps bring everything together. Overall, the storyline, the performances, the cinematography, and the scripting work extremely well together and create something better than one would expect. Yes, there are some head-scratching moments and there are a few moments where the editing feels like it removed a bit too much of a scene (probably due to budget or time issues), but those flaws are minor in the grand scheme. In the end, this is one of the better thrillers to come out in some time and one that has an authentic feel. Give it a shot; it is worth watching.