It was a couple of months or so ago where I read a news article about a set of twins, two sisters. They were in their late 80s, living on opposite sides of the country. They each were married with grown children. Based on what I read about them they seemed to have led an “ordinary” life; in other words there was nothing extreme that befell either of them. Now the reason why I was even reading about them was due to their death, which was the headline of their story. One of the sisters had died of a heart attack and within less than an hour later the other sister died of the same thing. There wasn’t time to even tell the living sister about her twin’s death. Some people who read this article would say how sad it was that the sisters could not say goodbye to the other, while others might say each of the women did not have to experience the sadness of losing their sister. I think both trains of thought are valid. The first set of twins I met was in high school. Actually the school had several sets which fascinated me even more. The reason being some sets were identical both in personality and physicality, but others looked the same but totally different in temperament; I am talking the perfect examples for what was a good and a bad conscious. But what really intrigued me was the special silent bond the siblings shared with each other. Without uttering a word a set of twins could still communicate with each other on, what I interpreted it to be, a psychic level; similar to what was taking place with the twins in this horror film. SARA, played by Natalie Dormer (Rush, Game of Thrones-TV), felt it deeply; her twin sister Jess was in trouble somewhere in the Aokigahara Forest at the foot of Mt. Fuji in Japan. Even the forest’s nickname, “Suicide Forest,” would not stop Sara from finding her sister. The cast which included Taylor Kinney (The Other Woman, Chicago Fire-TV) as Aiden and Eoin Macken (Centurion, Merlin-TV) as Rob did a good job of acting. I enjoyed the outdoor scenes which lent themselves to an almost mythical atmospheric platform for the characters to play with as the story progressed. The horror was more psychological based than gruesome terror. Too bad the script was poorly written because there was nothing scary or suspenseful in this movie. I kept waiting for something to happen besides the sudden sound or strange appearance in a scene but no luck. There were more groans in the theater than in this film. The idea for the story was sound. The cast was capable, the setting was fine; but nothing was done to utilize them to their best advantage. What scared me was a scene that looked like it could be a prelude to a sequel; I certainly hope I am wrong.
1 1/2 stars
There are two kinds of lies, the good ones and the bad ones. Before you tell me there are no good lies, let me explain. A good lie is telling your friend you need them, just to get them out of their house long enough for their spouse to decorate it for a surprise birthday party. Or a friend asks you if they already told you about their business meeting and you tell them no because you know how proud they were of their recent success; so, it was worth hearing again to see how excited they got by telling their story. To me these are acceptable lies or what some people say are “white” lies. They are not meant to hurt or deceive someone for personal gain. Now the bad lies can be hurtful and drastically alter a person’s life. Your boyfriend or girlfriend telling you how much they love you while they sleep around with other people; I consider this a bad lie. Meeting a date for the 1st time who showed up 20 years older and 30 pounds heavier than they claimed would not only be a bad lie, but an ignorant one. Why would anyone do that and what did they think they would gain? How about you be the judge as you watch this romantic comedy. Cameron Diaz (The Counselor, Bad Teacher) played high powered lawyer Carly Whitten, who felt she finally found the right one when she met successful businessman Mark King, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Mama, Game of Thrones-TV). Everything was going well until Carly showed up at Mark’s house to surprise him and was greeted by Mark’s wife Kate, played by Leslie Mann (This is 40, Knocked UP). That was not going to be the only surprise the two women would encounter when they decided to join forces against Mark and his cheating ways. I was stunned at how quickly this film went from bad to worse. Sitting in front of me were at least a dozen 10 to 12 year old girls with a few mothers. Though the movie was rated PG-13, I thought the mature subject matter was inappropriate for these girls. The only reason I could think of these mothers taking these girls to see this film was to show them what not to be when they grew up. The script with its humor was predictable and infantile. An example would be the scene that involved a powerful amount of laxatives being consumed. Do I need to say anything further to you about this crappy film? I am not lying when I say the trailer was the only thing I liked about this movie.
1 1/2 stars
An image of my sister-in-law’s deceased cat came to mind while I was thinking about this movie I had just seen. If you had met TC in the house; he was an affectionate, sweet cat. But if you saw him outside; he was a cold, stealthy killer. The reason TC came to mind was due to watching Jessica Chastain (Lawless, Take Shelter) as CIA operative Maya in this tense dramatic movie. She was a slight wisp of a woman in a male dominated arena, whose single focused determination revealed her underlying strength. I found her performance to be one of her best. Since the September 2001 attacks, Maya’s only job was to find Osama Bin Laden. Her single-mindedness would push her to the gray areas of government policy. Whether this movie’s facts were true or not, it was the job of the director to take the story and make it believable to the viewer. In the case of this riveting movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Point Break) created a compelling experience. If you have read my explanation of my rating system; you know for me to award 4 stars to a movie, I have to be swept into the movie and leave my world’s reality behind. As I sat in my seat watching the movie; the sounds of crunching popcorn, the clinking of jostled ice cubes in cups of soda and the rustling of winter coats being squeezed into the back of the theater seats all turned into a hushed silence. My peripheral vision latched onto the edges of the movie screen and stretched them all the way beyond me. I had entered into Maya’s world. Because of the experience I just described, I awarded this movie 4 stars. The directing was brilliant; attaining rock solid performances from the actors. Too many to mention, I wanted to at least acknowledge a few of the competent actors such as Jason Clarke as Dan, Joel Edgerton as squadron team leader Patrick and Kyle Chandler as Joseph Bradley. Everything you have heard about this movie is true; it easily could be the frontrunner for this year’s Oscar awards. Brief scenes with blood.