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Flash Movie Review: Unfriended

No matter what its size may be which was determined by a personal preference, it remains a portal to either a wondrous, magical world or a nasty living hell. For some gazing into their screen allows them to discover new places that trigger a curiosity that spurs them on to become explorers for several hours. They depend on their senses of sight and sound to develop a virtual world where they can be anything they want to be. Maybe a warrior or horticulturist, it doesn’t matter since each facade can quickly slip off to reveal a new identity directly below. There are others who experience a sense of dread when they have to interact with this sometimes taskmaster. Maybe for 8 or more hours they receive no vitamin D benefits from the emitting light, only a strain on their eyes. Granted a majority may experience this at their job which makes them compile reams of electronic data; the rows and rows of a spreadsheet seem like an advancing army assaulting their senses, working to drill a hole into their brain until it goes completely numb. My path travels down a serpentine road where I enter both dichotomous worlds, determined by a separate factor for each one: desire or requirement. What happens though when the two worlds come together?    ONE night a group of friends are chatting with each other online when someone enters their conversation, using the account of their friend who had committed suicide a year ago. Who would do such an evil thing? This award winning horror film had its seeds for a story planted in a good place. The topics that sprouted up were bullying, peer pressure, relationship issues and teen angst. If these subjects were given proper care, then this movie would have presented them in a novel way. However, the execution of it was so horrible I could not wait to get out of the theater. The entire movie was watching the images of the friends such as Jacob Wysocki (Pitch Perfect, Terri) as Ken Smith, Shelly Henning (Ouija, Days of Our Lives-TV) as Blaire Lily and Will Peltz (In Time, The Collection) as Adam Sewell, on their computer screens. With the bleeps, burps and bad connections that happen online, I was irritated through most of the picture as they were reproduced here. The last thing I wanted to do was sit and stare at a computer screen for 1 hour 23 minutes and not be entertained. There was very little to keep my interest since the acting was nothing major, the horror scenes were not scary and the venue never changed. The underlying topic was the only thing that kept me curious. I am guessing you can tell which world I entered that day when I sat down in my seat at the theater. There were a few scenes with blood in them.

 

1 1/2 stars

Flash Movie Review: Disconnect

I feel like I am walking around with a jukebox in my pocket thanks to the internet. Finding a nearby movie theater’s showtimes, while driving home after class, is an easy task for my smartphone. Even being able to notify a friend exactly where I am stuck in traffic has been a benefit due to the internet. I think about that person who seeks out like minded people with similar interests or the individual who wants to try a new recipe for a dinner party; all benefiting from the internet. Since I believe we are born with both good and evil inside of us, unfortunately there is a darkness attached to the internet by people who have chosen to follow their evil side. The stories in this film were a real statement for the times we live in today. It was uncomfortable watching portions of this movie that had three separate story lines in it. A common thread going through each story had to do with people searching for an emotional connection in their lives. Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Arrested Development-TV) was corporate lawyer Rich Boyd, a workaholic who was detached from his children and wife Lydia, played by Hope Davis (Real Steel, The Weather Man). Alexander Skarsgard (Melancholia, True Blood-TV) and Paula Patton (Deja Vu, Precious) played married couple Derek and Cindy Hull, still reeling from the death of their young baby. Andrea Riseborough (Made in Dagenham, W.E.) was news correspondent Nina, who saw the potential for a news story when she found Kyle, played by Max Thieriot (Jumper, Chole), in an internet chat room. The ensemble cast worked well together in this dramatic movie as their characters were exposed to cyber-bullying, identity theft and exploitation to name a few. As the stories unfolded, I definitely felt the creepiness coming out of them. After the climatic intersection of stories took place, I was let down by the film’s ending. I know one aspect of the internet has allowed people to take a courageous step in making connections. Sadly it pertains to both good and bad people. One brief scene with blood.

 

3 1/4 stars

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