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Flash Movie Review: Slender Man

WHILE LOOKING AT OLD PHOTOGRAPHS I could not stop asking myself what was I thinking to wear such a thing. I understand part of the fashion industry’s mission is to constantly update clothing trends, so consumers will buy clothes for every season of every year. If all we wore was a pair of blue jeans and a plain cotton shirt, the clothing manufacturers would not last long. As far as I am concerned there is no reason to ever wear pleated pants; this is just my opinion. The clothing choices I saw in my old photos could be classified more as a fad. I do not mean to disrespect any culture or group of people, but there really was no reason I needed to wear puka shells/beads around my neck. There was a time where wearing puka beads was considered cool; I have no idea why but as I saw other people wearing them, I decided I needed them. Another fad I went through was Nehru and surfer shirts. I cannot remember when these items were a fad but all of us wore them. In fact, it was extra cool to wear a Nehru collared shirt with puka beads around the neck. Please do not judge me but at one point I even made my own puka bead necklaces.      IN WRITING THIS REVIEW TODAY I looked up other fads from the past and came up with a variety of items. There was the Slap Bracelet, Garbage Pail Kids, Push Pops and Jelly shoes. Most fads, such as the ones listed, were innocuous; they are what I consider a singular fad because you do not need anyone to participate along with you. However, there are some fads that have a darker side. What may start out as a fad could turn into a cult. I have to wonder if the flash mob videos that were posted online was the spark that lead individuals to start posting more and more daring or unusual events. Do you remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? It was a novel idea created for a good cause; but, do you think it could be the first step in people trying more difficult and dangerous challenges to gain notoriety? The subject of today’s film started as a fad that I saw in the news led two Wisconsin 12-year old girls to lure their friend into the woods to stab her multiple times, just to impress this fictional character who stars in this horror, mystery film.      WHILE A GROUP OF FRIENDS START to check out the internet stories about the Slender Man, one of them goes missing. Starring Joey King (White House Down, The Conjuring) as Wren, Julia Goldani Telles (The Affair-TV, Bunheads-TV) as Hallie, Jaz Sinclair (Paper Towns, When the Bough Breaks) as Chloe, Annalise Basso (Captain Fantastic, Oculus) as Katie and newcomer Alex Fitzalan as Tom; I cannot think of one positive thing to say about this incredibly, poorly thought out movie. The acting was basic; add in the dull script and it was close to painful to sit and watch this mess. I thought the special effects were a total joke. Taking a telephoto camera lens and moving it quickly back and forth from near to far did not produce anything close to scariness for the scene; if anything, it simply made me dizzy. I was not familiar with the Slender Man; but if one should be fearful of him, this picture did not place him in the proper light. There was nothing scary or suspenseful in the story. If this character of the Slender Man was supposed to be sinister, then the writers completely missed the point. My deepest wish is for this fad to go away; I never want to see a sequel or hear about him again.

 

1 ½ stars         

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Flash Movie Review: The Meg

ONE OF THE THINGS I FIND more annoying then autocorrect changing my misspelled words to something completely different is a person who never believes what you tell them. I have this one friend who for some reason must confirm pretty much any details you share with him, even the most random of things. For example, if I were to tell him about a travel survey I read that listed the world’s top travel destinations, he would have to confirm it by looking it up for himself. When I told him that the retirement age for Social Security was not 65 anymore, that it was now based on the year of one’s birth, he did not believe me and had to go research it. Here is the specific part that I find the most irritating; he feels the need to come back and tell me that I am right. I just want to ask him why he thinks I would make up such a thing. Now of course there have been times where I misunderstood what I heard or read; but not enough to warrant disbelief for every single thing I have mentioned.     THERE ARE OTHER TYPES OF PEOPLE who like to see things with their very own eyes. Mention there was a car crash and they immediately want to see it for themselves. I am good with just hearing about it; though there are times where I am being told too much detail, especially if it is gory. Oh, and there are also some individuals who will share something they experienced or witnessed but add their own personal flair to it. I have mentioned before a friend I used to have who had this great saying: a story is not worth telling if you cannot exaggerate it. This is the category I fall into the most; I am all for telling a good story but keep the essential facts intact. To me this makes the difference between a good versus mediocre storyteller. I knew someone who everyone dreaded when she would try to tell us a story. She would have to give every single detail, weighing down her story to the point where you did not care how things turned out. And what made it worse was when the story was supposed to be humorous and she would explain why it was humorous as if you were unable to understand what made the story funny. I think the writers were not sure what type of audience was coming to see this action, horror thriller.      WHEN MEMBERS OF A DEEPSEA EXPLORATION team found themselves stranded on the ocean floor, the crew’s leader felt there was only one person who could save them. He was a former, discredited diver who believed there was something lurking at the bottom of the ocean. Starring Jason Statham (Spy, The Expendables franchise) as Jonas Taylor, Bingbing Li (The Forbidden Kingdom, Transformers: Age of Extinction) as Suyin, Rainn Wilson (Permanent, The Office-TV) as Morris, Cliff Curtis (Training Day, Whale Rider) as Mac and Winston Chao (The Wedding Banquet, Road to Dawn) as Zhang; this movie felt like one of those “B’ type of pictures that would play as a matinee. Jason was fun to watch but I found the script predictable and basic. There was little suspense though some of the special effects were good. As the story progressed after its slow start it appeared as if the script was constructed with bits and pieces from other movies, washed together with a Moby Dick vibe. As far as I am concerned this was an afternoon popcorn movie; I cannot recommend paying full price for it. I understand some of you will want to see it for yourself; I do not have an issue if you do.

 

2 stars              

Flash Movie Review: The First Purge

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN my life I was more upset by what I saw in the theater than on the movie screen. The viewers who look or text on their phones while the film is playing upset me, but I simply find them rude; except for that one viewer who when asked to stop talking on her phone yelled back that she had to take the call. The people who have no consideration for those sitting around them are ignorant in my opinion. I just want to ask them to look around and notice they are not sitting at home in their living room; there are people sitting by them who paid to WATCH a movie. What I am talking about is a different kind of upset that has deeper implications. I do not want to offend anyone by what I am going to tell you; these are just my feelings I am putting down on paper, about what took place while I was waiting to watch this movie. Ironically, I was dreading seeing this latest installment because I knew there was going to be brutal violence and blood shown in multiple scenes. Instead I was appalled by several people who came in to see this movie.      GETTING TO MY SEAT A FEW minutes before the lights dimmed, I took a brief scan of the other people sitting in the movie theater. I was curious to see who wanted to see this picture; I was only there to review it. A few rows down and off to my right I noticed a man and woman sitting 2 seats apart from each other. It took me a moment for it to register but I suddenly realized there were 2 kids sitting between them. I was stunned; parents actually came with their children to see this R rated movie? What was wrong with them, I thought to myself. There was no way the parents did not know what this movie was about and what would be shown in it. Before the shock could subside in me, coming into the theater was another family with what appeared to be a 4 or 5-year-old child. Has the world suddenly gone mad? I was shocked; did the parents want to desensitize their kids to blood and violence or expose them to different ways one can kill another human? I am sorry but I found it disgusting and wondered what DCFS would have to say about it. To me this was worse than anything I was going to see in this action, horror film.      WITH THE RISE OF A THiRD political party into power, its platform included a new social experiment they believed would curtail crime. At least that is what they planned for it to show. With relative newcomer Y’Lan Noel as Dmitri, Lex Scott Davis (Superfly, Training Day-TV) as Nya, Marisa Tomei (The Big Short, Love is Strange) as Dr. Updale, Mugga (Precious, Orange is the New Black-TV) as Dolores and Joivan Wade (The Weekend, Doctor Who-TV) as Isaiah; this installment’s trailers showed what the viewer was going to get. What surprised me about the story was the message it conveyed; it mirrored the current times we presently live in. This aspect of the story was the highlight for me. Everything else about this picture was just more of the same; nothing different or new which I hope doesn’t mean I have become jaded to this franchise. I felt there was nothing scary in the predictable script except for the aspect of the story I mentioned earlier. For whatever reason, I will tell you I found it sad that Oscar winner Marisa agreed to take this role. Maybe it was my experience in the theater but it was more upsetting to see children being brought to this violent film than anything done in the movie itself.

 

1 ¾ stars   

Flash Movie Review: Hereditary

IT WAS A MONTH AFTER HER death when we came together for a memorial service of her life. She chose to be cremated; so next to a poster sized photograph of herself, sat a simple carved urn filled with her ashes. I had only met her once; she was my friend’s mother. The memorial service was being performed in a chapel that barely held all of us attendees. I knew very few people so when I arrived I immediately went to sit down after paying my respects to my friend. Being a people watcher, I watched as the guests eventually walked in to take a seat. They came from all walks of life, I must say. Some stood out by the outfits they were dressed in. I cannot say they were inappropriate; let me just say I would never have associated their clothing choices with a memorial service. With that being said, the service was touching as various individuals stood up to give eulogies and share funny stories about the deceased. It was fascinating to see the different facial expressions people had on their faces; if you did not know why everyone was gathered, you couldn’t figure out if it was a sad or happy occasion.      AFTER THE SERVICE I ACCOMPANIED my friend back to her mother’s house. She wanted me to help move and store some of her mother’s items and furniture. As we drove up to the house the first thing that struck me was that it looked like it was hand made. The house was tiny and a bit rundown. It needed a paint job and the front stairs sagged in the middle, giving off an eerie sneering appearance. When we entered the house, I was immediately struck by the assortment of either items or devices that were placed in every room. In the living room was a wooden staff leaning up against the wall, that was carved entirely with elephants stacked on each other. On the wall was a framed mirror that caught my eye. The entire frame consisted of tiny human faces that were either carved into the wood or glued on top; it was an odd piece to me. I must tell you I found the whole place somewhat weird. There was a variety of different items; whether they were relics or newer I could not tell. All I know is I was glad when we finally finished and could get out of the place; though after seeing this dramatic mystery horror film, I would rather live in my friend’s mother’s house than join this family in theirs.      AFTER HER MOTHER HAD DIED estranged daughter Annie, played by Toni Collette (Please Stand By, Little Miss Sunshine), and her family started to experience odd feelings and occurrences in and outside of their home, as if Grandma never left. With newcomer Miley Shapiro as Charlie, Alex Wolfe (Patriots Day, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) as Peter, Gabriel Byrne (Miller’s Crossing, Endless Night) as Steve and Ann Dowd (Compliance, The Manchurian Candidate) as Joan; I found this suspenseful story creepy and twisted. That was a compliment because I was easily drawn into the film by Toni’s unbelievable acting, along with the rest of the cast and the non-typical script. There were some surprises in the way the story turned and I thought the filming and directing worked in synch to create this foreboding atmosphere. Some of you know I am not a big fan of horror films that have lots of blood and violence; this picture did have a couple of scenes with blood but the majority of it was more of the suspense genre, which I enjoy more. It is funny how you think you know someone then find out later something completely different about them.

 

3 stars

Flash Movie Review: Bad Samaritan

IT SEEMS THE WORD SAMARITAN dates all the way back to biblical times; I just knew the word meant kind or helpful. When a shopper asks for my help to reach for a product on a high shelf because they could not, I do not think I am a good Samaritan. I see it more as just being helpful. It is doubtful anyone would say, “Oh, look at the good Samaritan helping that shopper.” I would expect them to say I was sweet or nice. For me a good Samaritan is someone who helps an elderly person cross the street (I know, how stereotypical). I also think a person who rescues an animal from a crisis, such as a cat in a tree or a horse tangled in a wire fence, is a good Samaritan. Just the past week the news reported on a woman who was viciously attacked by 2 dogs, where they had her down on the ground ripping off clothing and skin. A man who was walking nearby heard then saw her, so he quickly ran over. I do not know the details on how but the man was able to get the dogs off her and essentially saved her life according to the doctors in the hospital who have been treating her. This guy was more than a good Samaritan, he was a hero.      IN THE PLACE WHERE I LIVE there is a law that requires drivers to yield to pedestrians when they step into the crosswalk. There is a spot near my house where a bike/walking trail crosses the middle of a busy street. A yield sign with a picture of a walking pedestrian is posted on both sides of the street and they each light up with yellow flashing lights when a pedestrian presses a button. Most drivers will come to a dead stop but I am amazed whenever a see a driver ignore the sign and drive right past the walker who is trying to cross the street. Technically they should get a ticket but rarely have I seen a police officer close enough to have witnessed the illegal act. What adds insult to injury is when these rude drivers refuse to stop even when it is raining or snowing outside. So, let us say one of the drivers does an act of kindness somewhere else; should they be considered a good Samaritan? I do not think one can define that person as one; it is only the helpful and kind act they perform that gets them to be thought of as a good Samaritan for that moment. The example I offer you of this can be found in this dramatic thriller.      BREAKING INTO A HOUSE TO rob it Sean Falco, played by Robert Sheehan (The Messenger, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), discovered more than jewelry. He found a woman beaten and tied up in a padded room. This horror film also starred Kerry Condon (Human Affairs, Better Call Saul-TV) as Katie, David Tennant (Doctor Who-TV, Jessica Jones-TV) as Cale Erendreich, Carlito Olivero (We the Party, East Los High-TV) as Derek Sandoval and Jacqueline Byers (Ordinary Days, Full Out) as Riley Seabrook. The idea for this story was truly creepy and it played out so at the beginning. I thought David did a serious job convincing me his character was crazy. His intensity played off well to Robert’s conflicted character. Unfortunately, the script fell apart as the story started to unfold. I felt the scenes lost steam as we went from one to another, never delving too much time in them to develop the characters further. The title to this picture made for brilliant marketing, but I did not realize the movie had to be bad also.

 

1 ¾ stars        

Flash Movie Review: Truth or Dare

THERE MAY BE A BOXED GAME that is similar but I have not seen one. I remember the first time I played Truth or Dare; it was during 7thor 8thgrade if I am not mistaken. A group of us were hanging out in the park near the school on a Saturday afternoon. There was a ride that was like a merry-go-round without the wooden horses, just a circle of individual handrails or banisters; to make it go you would have to spin it yourself. I do not remember who suggested the game, but I was not the only one who had never heard of it. The directions were rather simple; either accept to tell the truth, no matter what is asked of you, or take the dare and do whatever the person tells you to do. It is funny, I remember accepting the truth questions mostly because I did not want to hang upside down on the jungle gym for 2 minutes or be spun on the merry-go-round as fast as everyone could spin it; which I had already witnessed from the players before my turn. The idea of telling the truth was no big deal for me; I did not have any deep dark secrets to reveal.      FROM THAT VERY FIRST TIME I had no idea that the Truth or Dare game was a rite of passage for adolescents. No really, it along with the game Spin the Bottle were some of the first games that lent themselves to having a sexual overtone depending on the players. I remember how the game changed once all of us were in high school. At one point it became a triumph to the initiator of the game when they could include someone unfamiliar to the rules. I think it was to embarrass the innocent students for laughs. Someone unsuspecting could find themselves in a predicament if they were suddenly asked to kiss someone or perform some stupid stunt in front of everyone. Imagine the possibilities; I do not think one could ever run out of dare stunts. In writing this review I tried seeking out information about the history of this game, but there was nothing concrete I could find. One web page stated 53% of boys versus 42% of girls take the dare; in turn, injuries have increased which may be partially due to social media. If you want to see how dangerous playing the game could be then you might want to watch this horror thriller.      WHILE ON VACATION A GROUP of friends begin a game of Truth or Dare, where breaking the rules have a serious consequence. Starring Lucy Hale (Scream 4, Pretty Little Liars-TV) as Olivia Barron, Tyler Posey (Maid in Manhattan, Teen Wolf-TV) as Lucas Moreno, Violett Beane (The Flash-TV, The Leftovers-TV) as Markie Cameron, Sophia Ali (Grey’s Anatomy-TV, Everybody Wants Some!) as Penelope Amari and Nolan Gerard Funk (Roddick, Awkward-TV) as Tyson Curran; this story took no time in sinking down to an utter mess. I thought the acting was paltry and the script was basic and generic. There was little in the sense of horror except for the lethal dare results. Like any game I do not approve of changing the rules halfway into playing the game and this story was not following the rules. At one point while I was sitting through this picture I thought maybe it was a generational thing that I was bored; however, the full theater of teenagers groaning told me they were not getting into the story either. The groans were loudest at the end of the film. All I can say about this movie is that it would be a tough dare for a game player to do, if the dare was being forced to sit through this picture while staying awake.

 

1 ½ stars    

Flash Movie Review: A Quiet Place

DESPITE WHAT HAS BECOME A torturous route, the thrill is still there whenever I fly through the clouds. From the time I was little, lying out in an open field near the airport, watching airplanes take flight; I have always been fascinated with the idea of flying. I can remember getting off an airplane and have relatives standing right at the gate for me. There was never a problem to carry baked goods from home on the plane to bring to distant family members. In fact the whole experience of traveling by air was easy compared to now. I know I bring it on to myself but traveling today causes me to be anxious and tense. There are more opportunities for something to delay or cancel my trip. Now granted I know all of the rules regarding flying are for the public’s safety; but for those who remember an earlier time, things are drastically different. At least that is my opinion.      FROM THE MOMENT I ARRIVE at the airport, my body tenses up. If I have driven to the airport I am concerned the long term parking lot will be full; it happened to me once, but that was enough. Then when I am inside at one of the kiosks to retrieve my boarding pass, there is a sense of dread that comes over me that the flight is overbooked and I will not get a seat. Here again it happened to me before. Once I pass these obstacles the next one to come is where I am the tensest. Going through the security line always upsets me. It takes one simple thing to trigger either the metal detectors or X-ray machines and I try to avoid that happening like the plague. I never wear a belt or watch when I go through the security line. Ever since I was pulled out of line because my knapsack triggered an explosive sensor due to a candle I received as a gift, I have eliminated everything possible that could slow down my way to the departure gate. Having just returned from a relaxing vacation this week, as soon as I arrived at the airport for my return flight I went into my defense mode of nervous tension. Little did I know that tension would never leave when I got back home because I went directly to the theater to see this dramatic horror thriller.     THE SLIGHTEST SOUND WOULD BRING death to their family, so husband and wife Lee and Evelyn Abbott, played by John Krasinski (13 Hours, The Hollars) and Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train, The Adjustment Bureau), did everything they could to keep their kids quiet; however, how does one train a young child not to make a sound? Directed and co-written by John Krasinski, this film also starred Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck) as Regan and Noah Jupe (Wonder, Suburbicon) as Marcus. Right from the start this story grabbed me; it was fresh and different. I thought I would have an issue with so little dialog; but it quickly disappeared due to the admirable effort of John’s directing and the deeply felt acting from Emily, who in real life are married to each other. This was a new type of horror film that kept me in a state of nervous tension; some of the scenes were so beautifully orchestrated. My only complaint had to do with the baby scenes and the way the story turned out towards the end; they were not believable to me. Outside of that this picture really was a thriller, so be prepared if you go see it.

 

3 ½ stars     

Flash Movie Review: Unsane

MAGIC ACTS AND PRODUCT DEMONSTRATERS used to be the only things that amazed me when I was small. I would always become mesmerized by magicians performing things my eyes and brain could not believe. Making animals appear or disappear, cutting assistants in half or shooting flames out of extended hands; all of it was a total fantasy for me. As for those product demonstrators, I still can recall standing at the head of a small crowd of people gathered around a table as a man was talking about an amazing product that would prevent eyeglasses from steaming up. He would extend his hand out and slightly up just above his head while holding a pair of glasses and spray the lenses with this mysterious stuff. Next he would hold the glasses over what looked like a vaporizer that was spewing out steam. Miraculously the lenses never fogged up. It was pure magic to me. Anytime I was at a store and heard one of these demonstrators talking, I would make a beeline to them and wiggle my way to the head of the crowd of shoppers to watch the next magical feat being performed.     MY AMAZEMENT OF THINGS HAS expanded as much as I have aged. Every day it seems I hear or see something that stops me in disbelief. I cannot recall a time where so many things happening around the world literally stun me. Gratefully not everything is of a horrific nature; there are some acts that are life changers and I mean that in a good way. Just imagine what it must have been like when the first microwave oven came into existence or when we had the first moon landing. I am sure it had to be a “heady” experience for many people. Sadly it seems to me currently the scale is tipping to the negative side more and more. An example that just came to mind is company advertisements that, for whatever reason, wind up having a racist or derogatory message. I believe it was the past week there was an alcohol commercial that looked as if it was making a prejudicial statement about races. Seeing an act of violence like commercial or religious buildings being blown up with innocent people inside just makes me stare at the news, trying to comprehend how such a thing could even be thought up; it simply boggles my mind. Many times I say to myself, “Did that just happen?” This same question crossed the mind of the main character in this horror thriller.     FINDING HERSELF COMMITTED TO A mental institution Sawyer Valentini, played by Claire Foy (Breathe, The Crown-TV), could not tell at times if she was facing her biggest fear. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Magic Mike, Erin Brockovich), this movie also starred Jay Pharoah (Ride Along, Get a Job) as Nate Hoffman, Joshua Leonard (If I Stay, The Blair Witch Project) as David Strine, Amy Irving (Carrie, Traffic) as Angela Valentini and Juno Temple (Wonder Wheel, Killer Joe) as Violet. This viewing was somewhat unusual for me. The movie was filmed with the use of an IPhone which made some of the camera shots interesting. I thought Claire was convincing and it was good to see Amy Irving. My issue with this picture has to do with the script. There were several intense scenes within the story, but then all of a sudden everything would go flat. I found myself losing interest because during the film it felt like scenes were being repeated. It was not until close to the end where I got back into the story, though I did not like the way the movie ended. I was amazed this picture was done on an IPhone; too bad it wasn’t better.

 

2 stars

Flash Movie Review: The Strangers: Prey at Night

I WONDER HOW MANY TIMES in a week the average person has to do something they do not want to do. As I was thinking about today’s review I was wondering what things most of us would not want to take part in. The first one I thought of (no disrespect to the profession) was going to the dentist. I do not recall ever hearing someone say they were excited to go to their dentist. Something else I thought of was funerals; though I did know someone from a previous job who would say she was going to a funeral to make sure the person was dead. Just a guess, but they sounded like they had anger issues. There were so many possibilities I came up with this morning that I dwelled on the amount of time we must waste dreading our participation with a particular activity. I think about the annoying things I have to do, dividing them into 2 categories: required activities and activities of choice. There are some people who dislike doing laundry, yet at some point our clothes need to be cleaned. You would have a choice here, either do the wash yourself or pay someone to do it for you.     WHEN I WAS YOUNGER I thought I had all the time in the world, but now I realize time is a precious commodity. I want to eliminate the negativity associated with some of the things I do on a weekly basis. My friends keep asking me why I remain seated at a theater watching a movie I totally dislike. They say I should just walk out; but I cannot do such a thing. If I am going to review a film I need to see it from the beginning to the end. And as you know, no matter how bad a picture may be, I never take out my phone and look at emails or texts while seated. Sure many others in the theater do it, but I stay focused on the job at hand. Now I realize I have a choice because it is not like I was hired and given a salary to review movies; I do it because I love to do it. So yes there are times I wish I was doing something else instead of sitting at the show; but I try to remain positive knowing if I can save someone from spending their time and money at a torturous film then I have done my job. With that being said, I leave it up to you on whether today’s review is a warning or invitation for you.     ON THE WAY TO TAKING their daughter Kinsey, played by Bailee Madison (Brothers, Just Go with It); to boarding school Cindy and Mike, played by Christina Hendricks (Ginger & Rosa, Mad Men-TV) and Martin Henderson (Everest, Flyboys), make a stop at what looks like a deserted trailer park, where Cindy’s aunt and uncle live. The park was not necessarily deserted. With Lewis Pullman (Battle of the Sexes, Aftermath) as Luke and Emma Bellomy (Before the Dark-TV) as Dollface, this 2nd installment in the horror film franchise held very little interest for me. One thing that disturbs me is a script that does not take the time to think things out. All I will say is if you are confronted by someone who wants to kill you and you happen to knock them unconscious, why wouldn’t you take their gun away from them? There was nothing I enjoyed about this film. The story was weak to begin with and I truly felt the writers put no effort into the script. I would have more sympathy for livestock being killed than the individuals in this poorly done picture.

 

1 ½ stars

Flash Movie Review: Winchester

THERE IS NOTHING TO BE said when a friend has made up their mind unless they asked for your opinion. Realistically though how many of your friends would listen and act on your advice anyway? You may see the perils your friend could face by their decision and try as you might they feel the decision they are making is the right one. So be it. All you really can do is be there to support them if things do not go as they had envisioned. A friend of mine told me about their plan to consolidate all of their bills into one loan, using one of those check advances that accompany their monthly charge card statement. I did not think it was a good idea because I witnessed how they handled their finances and had seen them do this very same thing before. Because they asked me what I thought about their plan I had to tell them and bring up the fact the last time they took a cash advance they kept using their charge cards, incurring debt with finance charges. They claimed that it would not be the case this time but I knew better.     MY DILEMMA TAKES PLACE when a friend asks me how they look. I do not have a problem telling them they have food stuck between their teeth or their hair got windblown; however, if they want my opinion about what they are wearing how can I critique their outfit if they are the one who purchased it for themselves in the first place. If I think the clothing looks good on them I will let them know my feelings. But if the item of clothing does nothing for them or worse is unflattering, I do not want to just come out with saying it is ugly or unflattering. I prefer to say, “It doesn’t matter what I think, it is what you think.” You see what it comes down to is if an individual can get some type of pleasure from wearing a particular item of clothing, it should not matter what other people think about it. I have no reason to burst their bubble or make them uncomfortable with their fashion decision. This is why I had a tough go in writing today’s film review. I was sad to see one of my favorite actors in this picture, based on true events.     SARAH WINCHESTER, PLAYED BY Helen Mirren (The Queen, Eye in the Sky), upon the death of her husband was left with controlling interest in her late husband’s arms company. The board of directors felt they found a way to eliminate her and stop the spending on the continuous remodeling of her residence. It was up to Dr. Eric Price, played by Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, Everest), to make a determination. This biographical, fantasy horror film also starred Sarah Snook (The Dressmaker, Steve Jobs) as Sarah’s niece, Eamon Farren (Red Dog, Chained) as Ben Block and Finn Scicluna-O’Prey (The Secret River-TV, Rosehaven-TV) as Henry. I was distraught watching Helen in this poorly done film. Though I enjoyed her performance, the script was so generic and there was no reason for it. The story was fascinating; it was something I wish the writers would have delved into more. Instead we got this horror film with the only trick to scare the audience being the use of the jump scare, something suddenly appearing in the frame. The music did not help either since it telegraphed the upcoming action. Oh and I did not want to forget Jason’s character mumbling through the movie and always jumping back in fear. I cannot comprehend Helen being a part of this mess and wonder why no one told her to rethink her choice of films, unless she was repaying someone a favor.

 

1 ½ stars

 

 

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