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Flash Movie Review: Incarnate

A feeling comes over you, familiar in an unpleasant way. Your body has overpowered your mind, making its presence known to distract you from your surroundings. There is a weight pressing on top of you that makes your body slump back but there is nowhere else to go in the space you are occupying. What started out soft around you is becoming stiff and unyielding. The images being shown are unfamiliar, but something about them triggers a memory. Thoughts from the past may be from a different place and a different time, but there is a budding familiarity that cannot be translated in your mind yet to make sense. And one of the most dominant changes has to do with time.   YOU were aware of the length of time this experience would take before you entered into the place; in the scheme of things being occupied for a couple of hours would be nothing for you. In this instance time has slowed down to a crawl as if the turn key on the alarm clock is making its last rotation before the second hand comes to a complete stop. I have experienced such an event sporadically and every time I walk into a movie theater I do my best not to pre-judge a movie I am about to see. However with today’s film review I was tipped off; so to remain totally transparent, I want to tell you prior to going to this movie, I had read the film studio did not release this picture early to the film critics. In my experiences this has never been a good thing; I have always assumed the studio knows they have a poor product and wants to try and get it out and earn some money before word spreads, sealing the fate of their dud. This is what happened to this movie, at least in my opinion.   VATICAN representative Camilia, played by Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace, Fast Food Nation), felt only one person could help in determining if a young boy named Cameron, played by David Mazouz (The Games Maker, Gotham-TV), was truly being possessed by an evil being. Scientist Dr. Seth Ember, played by Aaron Eckhart (Bleed for This, Thank You for not Smoking), was her choice because he had a unique way of entering a person’s mind. This horror thriller also starred Carice van Houten (Repo Man, Game of Thrones-TV) as Lindsay and Emjay Anthony (Bad Moms, Krampus) as Jake; the acting was nothing special though it was obvious Aaron and Carice were trying their best with the lines given to them. I thought the script was a mess with the various story lines that were not followed through in a complete way. The story was basic and one that had been done many times before, so to stand out this film needed a different angle. I was bored for most of this picture and have to tell you the few special effects were laughable with their poor quality. Honestly, this film came across like a school class’ amateur production. At the end of the film I was weighed down with tiredness, wondering how long did I suffer through this movie.

 

1 ¼ stars  

 

 

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Flash Movie Review: Norm of the North

The human race has created many beautiful things throughout the centuries. Some of them remain standing today while others over time were demolished, either for something newer or in the name of progress. What I find hideous is when the people in power decide to placate the local residents by saving the facade of a structure they are tearing down only to paste it onto the building they are constructing in the same spot. It does not matter that there is not architectural connection between the two. For me a more lasting beauty is what nature creates all around us. I have been extremely lucky to have visited some of the national parks across the United States. From a geyser to a canyon to a mountain peak, I have seen places that have not been touched by a human hand. Can you imagine if there comes a time where, let us say, an electronic billboard is erected in a national park? Or how about if a hotel or gift shop is constructed next to natural stone arches or powerful waterfalls? I for one would consider it a crime to spoil such natural, pristine beauty that is here on this planet. Not everything has to be new and fresh to be considered a natural beauty (good advice for some celebrities); I do not know when our values changed to discard old objects or look at a place and determine how it can generate money. It is this type of message that was the focus of this animated film.    WHEN real estate developer Mr. Greene, voiced by Ken Jeong (Ride Along 2, Community-TV), commits to building condos in the Arctic home of Norm, voiced by Rob Schneider (50 First Dates, The Hot Chick), the talking polar bear decides to travel to American to change Mr. Greene’s mind. I have to be blunt and right to the point here; this adventure comedy was one of the worst films I have seen in the past year. It was startling to say the least. The animation was poor, story weak, jokes both lame and inappropriate; I ask you what child needs to see a twerking polar bear? What in the world possessed Heather Graham (Boogie Nights, The Hangover franchise) as Vera and especially Bill Nighy (About Time, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel franchise) as Socrates to take part in this disaster? The movie studio behind this film, as far as I know, is not known for creating animated pictures and it showed. I am not exaggerating in the least when I tell you the children in the audience never reacted to anything on the screen while most of the parents were either focusing on their snacks or smart phones. The only reason I am including an extra 1/4 star to the rating is because the message was sound, not that young children would understand the concept here. This movie was as lame as this joke: this film left me cold.

 

1 1/4 stars

 

 

 

Flash Movie Review: The Green Inferno

There are certain obligations that require us to be there. The working lunch business meeting would be one such function, though I strongly dislike this one. I do not want to sit at a table across from someone who talks with their mouth full; besides, I prefer my lunch (my biggest meal of the day) to be a relaxed and enjoyable time. How often do you hear people say their business lunch meeting was enjoyable? Another obligation, though I really would not say obligation, is accompanying someone to the doctor’s office to hear the results of their medical test. No one wants to hear “bad” news, but if a loved one asks you, you need to be there to support and comfort them no matter what the doctor says to them. Now that I think about it, even if someone were to ask me to join them for some type of function because they do not want to go alone, I would more than likely go with them. I remember going to a friend’s company holiday party where I did not know a soul except for them. Eating and drinking late into the evening is not my version of fun, along with the majority of the conversation revolving around the company’s business; I was bored most of the evening, but I went because a friend asked me. Now when it is about going to the movies, there are some I know are not going to be great works of art; but I feel I have to see them if for nothing else to warn you. If it was just for me I would not spend a cent on some of the things I have sat through since starting this review site. This horror film would be an example.    STUDENT activists travel to the Amazon forest to protest a company’s construction site. It would have helped them if they had studied up on the area beforehand. This film festival nominated adventure movie was brutal to sit through and watch. Horror without suspense is not horror to me; it is just gross disgusting acts of violence and this picture excelled at it. Starring Lorenza Izzo (Knock Knock, Aftershock) as Justine, Ariel Levy (Best Worst Friends, Aftershock) as Alejandro and Aaron Burns (Grindhouse, Planet Terror) as Jonah; I thought the acting was dull. Granted the script did not help anyone because some of the lines and scenes were ridiculous. I did not find anything that was exciting or compelling; it seemed as if the writers used one particular act to be the cornerstone of the story. I understood it but to see this act over and over did not produce anything valuable to me; it simply bored me. There were two things that happened that I liked about the film and one of them was found in the credits. Let me tell you this was a tough obligation to fulfill. Intense scenes with blood and violence.

 

1 1/4 stars

 

 

 

Flash Movie Review: Jinn

You see the two of them walking towards you hand in hand. They look almost identical except one looks fresh, the other one looks worn. Now I am not talking about a couple who have been together for years and are dressing the same. I am referring to a parent and their child. How many times have we seen children growing into similar features shared with their parents. These outside traits come about through a combination of the parents’ genes. I know my lost hair is because of my mother’s father; the trait of baldness gets carried down through one’s mother. My fascination gets stimulated more by the internal similarities between parents and their offspring. When a child’s taste in foods mimics a mother or father, I can assume one of the adults influenced them. But what about a son or daughter who grows up and goes into the same profession as their parent? I was introduced to a man who was able to trace his family’s history all the way back to the times of the Spanish Inquisition; we are talking about the late 1400s. He explained each generation in his family produced at least 2 scholars who kept detailed records. They even passed down several sentimental items to the younger family members, continuing it from generation to generation. A similar family history was the basis for this fantasy thriller. Dominic Rains (The Taqwacores, Flight 93-TV movie) and Serinda Swan (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief), Recoil) played husband and wife Shawn and Jasmine. The quiet idyllic life they were living suddenly began experiencing unexplained events that were soon taking on an ominous undertone. Looking for answers Shawn found two men willing to help him, Father Westhoff and Gabriel, played by William Atherton (Die Hard franchise, Ghostbusters) and Ray Park (G.I. Joe franchise, X-Men). What they had to say was hard to understand. The trailer for this film had a mythical spookiness that intrigued me. It only took me a short while to realize this movie was going to be real bad. Wait let me change the end of that last sentence to say pathetically awful. I will start with the production values; they were horrendous with hokey special effects. If you were to watch a special effects filled film from the 1950s you probably would have the same reaction I had watching the cheap stunts in this movie. The poorly written script was made even worse by the sophomoric acting. This may be harsh to say but if the studio is considering a sequel I hope the family in this picture stops procreating.

 

1 1/4 stars

Flash Movie Review: The Last Days on Mars

On Saturday afternoons there was a television program that exposed me to some strange creatures. I remember watching a being that had the limbs of a human but was totally covered in scales like a fish, living in a dark lagoon. Tomatoes which never frightened me before were now wreaking havoc on innocent citizens with their massive weight. When I was little you would always find me in front of our television set on Saturdays watching this program, where each week the uniformed host would introduce a new movie. As I got older I started to figure out that the space aliens attacking Earth had aluminum foil wrapped around their heads and the colossal woman was not fifty feet tall; there was a split screen which explained my confusion on why there was never any interaction between her and anyone else. All of these movies served some level of entertainment. Looking back at those times I can easily say some of the films are now considered campy. With today’s movie review, this science fiction horror thriller took itself too seriously to be considered campy. A small group of space explorers on the planet Mars was completing their duties as they prepared for their return trip back to Earth. Their plans were disrupted when an evil force started to attack them and try to pick them off one at a time. Liev Schreiber (Salt, Defiance) as Commander Vincent Campbell did his best to battle the unknown force; however, I was completely perplexed why he even agreed to do this film. I felt the story was an amalgamation of several other movies, finding nothing new or exciting. The character Kim Aldrich, played by Olivia Williams (An Education, The Sixth Sense), was a Ripley wannabe from the Alien franchise as far as I could tell. The special effects were substandard to the point of almost being laughable. I have been sitting here racking my brain out to find something redeeming to say about this awful film and all I can come up with is the fact it did not have anything offensive in a hateful way. Do yourself a favor and go rent one of those campy movies from the 1950’s or 60’s, taking a pass on this film that was horrific for the wrong reasons. There were scenes of violence and blood.

 

1 1/4 stars

Flash Movie Review: Grown Ups 2

Someone, please hand me a breath mint because I still have a bad taste in my mouth from this wretched film. Usually a sequel will show some kind of growth for its characters, but not this one. Coincidently, I recently attended my high school reunion. Visiting with former classmates was real special. We shared memories and laughed at some of the crazy things we did while attending school. The thing that separated us from the characters in this movie is we grew up. The closest I found to a story line in this celluloid catastrophe was Lenny Feder, played by Adam Sandler (The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore), moved his family back to his hometown, where he grew up with his old friends Eric, Kurt and Marcus; played by Kevin James (Here Comes the Boom, Paul Blart: Mall Cop), Chris Rock (Head of State, Down to Earth) and David Spade (The Benchwarmers, Tommy Boy). The lack of a story made for a dull series of infantile jokes and gags; some that had no relevance to what the characters were doing. In fact, I found some of the jokes offensive. With Adam being credited as one of the writers, all I can tell you is the writing was lazy. It seemed as if the characters were thrown into the story just to give Adam’s friends a job. What I did not understand is why someone like Steve Buscemi (Rampart, Boardwalk Empire-TV) would agree to do a cameo as Wiley. I thought he was successful and making decent money. As for some of the other actors in cameo appearances, it was obvious they needed a paycheck. There was nothing I found redeeming about this film. I did not find anything funny about people with flatulence or indigestion. There are two reasons why I gave an extra 1/4 star to my rating of this so called comedy. The first has to do with the cast. Without naming names, this film is doing taxpayers a favor because it included several actors who would otherwise be collecting unemployment benefits. The second reason is for the complete shock I had that Rob Schneider (The Hot Chick, Deuce Bigalow franchise) was not part of the cast.

 

1 1/4 stars

Flash Movie Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

My introduction to the brothers Grimm was through animated movies. I can remember being perched atop folded coats on my theater seat, so I would have a clear view of the movie screen. Cinderella dressed in her magical ball gown or the poisoned apple that induced eternal slumber for Sleeping Beauty were characters that amazed me, when I saw them up on the big screen. At a time before movie characters were marketed into every conceivable consumer product, I stored a variety of Grimm fairy tale characters in my imagination. Let me first say I am not a purist when it comes to keeping a story true to its original form. If the story can still be entertaining, I am fine with it. Unfortunately this abomination lacked the entertainment factor, besides a variety of other things. The movie updated the story of Hansel and Gretel by turning the brother and sister into adult witch hunters. Sure I get it, nearly cooked in an oven by an evil witch as kids; I could buy into their chosen profession. What I found out of character was having the two talking in a contemporary style, dropping the “F” word freely. It was foolish to have fairy tale characters from olden days swearing like thugs. Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Bourne Legacy) was Hansel and we were led to believe he was a diabetic. He wore a special wristwatch that rang every 2 hours, reminding him to take an injection that would keep him alive. It was so ridiculous I knew the concept was only there to be used later in the boring story. Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans) was the sharpshooter Gretel. The two were hired by a town to find a witch that was stealing children. What Hansel and Gretel found was a diabolical plot by the powerful witch Muriel, played by Famke Janssen (X-Men franchise, Goldeneye). In a nutshell the acting was miserable, the special effects were bland, the story was putrid and I resented the movie studio for tarnishing a classic tale.

 

1 1/4 stars 

Flash Movie Review: The Collection

The first clue on whether a film will be good or not is when the movie studio does not release it for critics to review. It is not because the editing department was trying to clear up a fuzzy looking scene or the sound department wanted to dub in a better sounding scream; the studio wants to make a quick buck before film reviewers bury the picture. Since I do not want to disappoint any of my followers, let me say I took a bullet for you by seeing this atrocious film. Not being my favorite genre and not realizing it was a sequel, I at least expected to be scared. On the contrary, I found nothing surprising or suspenseful in this movie. You may be asking yourself how I would know if I do not usually attend screenings of horror movies. The answer would be I at least can experience suspense and tension on a physcial level and this bloody film did not provide it. What it did offer was enough blood to shut down the American Red Cross for a month and enough dead bodies to keep a tristate region of universities stocked with cadavers for several semesters. Emma Fitzpatrick (The Social Network, In Time) played Elena, a daddy’s girl who sneaked out of the house one night. You know what that meant; she had to be the victim for going against the wishes of her father, played by Christopher McDonald (Requiem for a Dream, Happy Gilmore). Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) reprised his role of Arkin, the only individual who knew where the killer set up shop. Surprisingly I liked the elaborate contraptions created to capture and kill innocent victims; they would make Rube Goldberg proud. Rounding out the cast was the muscle guy, the woman of ethnic background, the character of unknown allegiance and several easily disposable actors. In conclusion I will just say this movie was so bad, I did not get upset with the guy next to me who kept texting throughout the film.

 

1 1/4 stars

Flash Movie Review: High School

I thought I had seen everything one could at a movie theater. From the first time where we were being told “don’t go into the water,” to a father in the audience tossing his infant baby in the air during the movie; there was very little left to surprise me. Walking into the showing of this so called comedy, I was stunned to see the theater totally empty. This did not bode well as I was the only one who sat and watched what was to become an abysmal film. Matt Bush (Piranha 3DD, Halloween II) played valedictorian Matt Bush who schemed to get the whole student body stoned before a drug test was to be administered. He wanted to invalidate the results, since he had just gotten stoned for the very first time and did not want to jeopardize his school ranking and face expulsion. I found the story dopey, void of anything humorous. A bigger shock to me than being the only one in the theater was seeing Adrien Brody (The Pianist, Midnight in Paris) and Michael Chiklis ( The Shield-TV, Fantastic Four franchise) in this crappy film. Either they are being blackmailed for some career ruining dastardly deed or their managers wanted to get out with an early retirement. I think a petition should be started to revoke Adrien’s Oscar, shame on him. Not that I am promoting drinking or drugs, but maybe that was the target audience the producers were going after. I nominate this stink bomb of a movie for worst movie of the year at the Razzie awards.

 

1 1/4 stars

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