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Recent reviews

All reviews - Movies (34) - TV Shows (3)

Morgan (2016) review

Posted : 6 days, 2 hours ago on 15 August 2018 05:10 (A review of Morgan (2016))

I didn't go in expecting much of "Morgan" as its core plot has been used and reused in countless other films but I must admit that I came out the other end thoroughly satisfied with the results. Make no mistake, the film is very much a case of the aforementioned refurbished concept (it even cribs from other sources openly i.e. Blade Runner, Frankenstein, etc.) but it approaches its subject matter in a well thought out and paced manner that allows you to invest in the characters emotionally before carting you off into familiar territory.

Morgan is a genetic wonder, a hybrid of human and synthetic, under assessment after a violent outburst that questions her viability as an investment. The exact nature of the reason for creation is kept from the viewer (though somewhat easily decipherable if you're familiar with films of its type) and we are only allowed to view her through the eyes of her creators and her assessor. It is this that makes Morgan engaging as the rift between the two is palpably tense. Her creators have grown to love their creation and the assessor is there to destroy it.

"Morgan" shows restraint where other films of it's nature usually devolve into blatant action. While some story beats prove predictable I grew enchanted with it's reversal of the Frankenstein framework. Where Frankenstein poses questions of the moral and ethical implications of creating life and the ravages on the soul that ensue for abandoning the responsibility of that life, Morgan turns the dilemma on its head. Here the creators love their creation, befriend it, and enable it. "Morgan" thus ultimately asks where do we draw the line between responsibility and emotion? When is it justifiable and logical to end life? And how much do our emotions cloud our assessment of someone's true nature?

These profound quandaries set "Morgan" apart from its peers in this subgenre as much as do the well crafted characters and relationships in the film while never losing its edge as a "science gone mad" thriller. While not necessarily surprising at any point, it is shockingly satisfying. Sometimes familiarity doesn't breed contempt.


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Ghost in the Shell review

Posted : 2 weeks, 3 days ago on 4 August 2018 06:39 (A review of Ghost in the Shell)

So glad they did the anime/manga justice and didn't just turn this into a mindless effects and action movie (though there is plenty of both). The philosophical quandaries remain and the stunning aesthetics serve to recreate the world around the Major. I loved the more in depth elaboration into the characters and events.

It was a downright pleasure seeing scenes so familiar to me come to literal life before me, and I actually greatly enjoyed the changes made. I just wish they would of marketed it the right way so it could have found it's audience. Even then, it would be a small one on account of the ludicrous and unfounded "white-washing" controversy. But, hey, I'm just glad I got to see this movie happen at all.


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Gerald's Game (2017) review

Posted : 2 weeks, 3 days ago on 4 August 2018 06:34 (A review of Gerald's Game (2017))

Another fantastic recent King adaptation. We're officially on a roll here. Top notch work from Mike Flanagan adapting such a complex concept to the screen in a manner that was both fiercely loyal and just the right amount of innovative. Very happy with this.


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Kingsman: The Golden Circle review

Posted : 2 weeks, 3 days ago on 4 August 2018 06:33 (A review of Kingsman: The Golden Circle)

Tragically horrendous followup to one of the best send ups of the spy genre in the last few years. Loaded with dumbed down humor, dull dialogue that lacks all the wit and charm of the first, an abominably bad villain, horrible pacing, and a bevy of excess plot lines that were ultimately pointless and terribly dull. This is not even to mentioned the wasted opportunities of indulging in the new characters by focusing on extraneous plot points and silly "side quests".

The actors do the best with what they have but it is not enough to save the film from falling into dire repetition or, worse, complete irrelevance. To top it all off the film is overly long given what it offers up. Failure defined. Shame.


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Jigsaw review

Posted : 2 weeks, 3 days ago on 4 August 2018 06:29 (A review of Jigsaw)

A grossly mediocre and uninspired entry into the series, maybe on par with part seven only with far less impact in the now traditional revelation sequence and none of the visual acumen of it or it's predecessors. Even the score reeks of tired retread. That being said, it's not offensively bad and definitely not as horrid as part five. Ultimately, a forgettable, sub-par continuation that could have been done without.


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Cult of Chucky (2017) review

Posted : 2 weeks, 3 days ago on 4 August 2018 06:28 (A review of Cult of Chucky (2017))

Continuing the refreshing and incredibly effective turn the series took in Curse of Chucky, Cult is another example of a sequel that surpasses it's originating film while still striving to tie loose ends and address all former plots in a fun and innovative fashion. Fiona Dourif as Nica has proven to be a blessing to the series and a newly minted horror icon in her own right. Doing her daddy proud.

If, however, you prefer your Chucky to be the relentless slasher of old then stick to the first three. The series has gone places that have garnered it new fans but also repelled some of the original admirers. I, for one, find more substance in these latter entries than I ever did before.


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Thor: Ragnarok review

Posted : 2 weeks, 3 days ago on 4 August 2018 06:26 (A review of Thor: Ragnarok)

Kind of a mixed bag. Feels like two different kinds of movies got pasted together at times. This one is going to be divisive based on it wholeheartedly embracing humor alone. I dug it though, despite some serious issues. The characters really did it for me here. Goldblum was delightful as The Grandmaster, Karl Urban is always a blast to see in anything, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie was awesome, and, the big winner for me, was Blanchett as Hela.

I loved that they went whole hog to capture he inane nature of comics, the Jack Kirby visuals, fantastic action, and the fan service nods from Surtur to Fenris to mentioning Throg were all nice touches. That being said, it is a fairly uneven, sometimes sloppy, affair that made me wish we got a more serious venture at times if only to see Blanchett really go at it. A more prolonged flashback to her days with Odin would of been appreciated as well.

The real problem i could NOT ignore was Ruffalo's portrayal of the Hulk which was absolutely terrible. The script is more to blame but it's an undeniably bad depiction in the sense that despite the two years he's been missing you feel no logical reason to any of his behavior. He thoroughly annoyed me in this. Another problem: Metal looking like plastic.
Overall though, a fun outing though markedly flawed.


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Excision review

Posted : 2 weeks, 3 days ago on 4 August 2018 06:24 (A review of Excision)

Imagine, if you will, "Carrie" by way of Lucky McKee's "May" and run through a Lynchian grinder and you get "Excision". Though not for everyone, it hits the right spot for those inclined to like the more outre.

The film centers on Pauline, a morbid, socially awkward misfit living in a perpetual suburban nightmare. Her home, school, and social endeavors are all disastrous in light of her disregard for social constructs. Her direct, almost clinical, bluntness comes across as both darkly comedic and unsettling which serves well for us to understand her as well as those reacting to her. Oddly, she is prone to flights of fancy that border on delusion where her aspirations to be a surgeon almost serve as the key to normalcy and acceptance she craves despite her constant rebellion against all that surrounds her.

It is her self-perceived confidence and brilliance that allows her to come to terms with a god she'd rather not believe in and find the answer to the problems that plague her life. Sounds like a happy ending, right? If only it were! All these elements boil up to a morose finale of almost worthy of the Grand Guignol.

Packed with a great cast, razor sharp dark humor, an acerbically satiric script, and crisp direction this movie was quiet the surprise. Highly recommended for those with a taste for the unique.


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Pet Sematary Two review

Posted : 2 weeks, 3 days ago on 4 August 2018 06:23 (A review of Pet Sematary Two)

I avoided this movie forever for a variety of reasons and that's a real shame. I now believe this sequel was very unfairly maligned by critics and audiences alike. Pet Sematary Two got more of what made the book great right than the horribly truncated (and terribly acted) original despite not being a direct adaptation of anything in King's oeuvre. To discuss this movie I must first briefly talk about its predecessor.

Admittedly, upon revisiting the original Pet Sematary after so many years and without my nostalgia and childhood glasses on....it wasn't a good adaptation in the least. It's major issue is that its leads are HORRIBLE actors (a downside that is thankfully countered by the magnificent Fred Gwynne as Jud Crandall) but it also suffers from the mystifying exclusion of elements that were of great importance in the novel. Upon further research, I found out that the studio made the director cut out large and significant portions of the film...and it shows.

As a result, he movie glosses over what made the book most unsettling by abbreviating the nature of loss and removing the idea of the passage of time while simultaneously neutering the Wendigo entity to a relatively weak (almost non-existent) threat or presence. While there are moments where the discomfort of death are felt (Gage's death, Zelda inserts) a lot of the baggage and emotional turmoil that ensues is completely thrown out the window in favor of getting to the third act. The most unsettling, psychologically horrifying aspects of the novel are never addressed appropriately. The forced cuts are even glaringly visible. A good example is when the Creed couple disagrees ever so briefly at the beginning only to be awkwardly cut away and avoided (this scene is pivotal to character development in the book).

Then came Part Two. What i immediately noticed was that it portrayed the influence and desires of the malicious entity exceptionally. We finally get a sound feeling for the Wendigo's range of influence, it's maddening driving force, and it's trickery. Also incredibly satisfying, the move integrated elements of King that are almost revered tropes by now i.e. a small town with a big secret, distinct storylines following different characters that sometimes feel like they just revel in character building before converging, the growing influence of evil over the characters, differing points of view between children and adults, etc. And while, it doesn't linger on the more lamentable aspects of death like the book it does touch upon the varying effects it has on several people and, more interestingly, on what thought the possibility of resurrection might spur.

Directed by the same person that brought us the first one, part two made me desperately hope that one day they will release the full uncut version of the first that would surely do much to reintegrate the pivotal elements of the novel that it so woefully skipped over or left on the cutting room floor.

In the meantime, Pet Sematary Two is a VERY worthy sequel to the events of the book; following the rules of it's universe, using the confines of it's settings, revisiting themes while not retreading plot structure to a fault as most sequels tend to do, and so on. It not only does justice to what was previously established and expounds on it but does so by taking storytelling and structure risks that were a bit unheard of at the time for a mainstream studio picture.

I'd also like to think that despite King removing his name from the ads to this movie (probably because he disliked how much of his script was left out of the first version) that he later took inspiration for Collie Entragian in Desperation from Clancy Brown's awesome portrayal of Gus.


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Insidious: The Last Key review

Posted : 2 weeks, 3 days ago on 4 August 2018 06:15 (A review of Insidious: The Last Key)

Wan and company have really nailed down the formula for quality sequels, spinoffs, and prequels. After a good, albeit slightly inferior to it's predecessors third chapter, this fourth installment did wonders for Elise's character (as well as her cohorts), introduced a worthy threat (one of the major problems with Chapter Three was that the entity didn't feel as potent as the one's in part 1 or 2), set up the possibility of installments that don't have to reach into the past but can move forward from part two, and brought everything full circle in a satisfying fashion.

All in all, I don't believe the first two installments can ever be touched this one came very close. Whats most wonderful about it is that this feels like it could be watched in the proper chronological order and not lose it's appeal which is something i found lacking in the third one which depended too much on what you already knew. I'm on board if they decide to continue past Elise's passing with her niece and the fellas but if they don't this was an admirable and fulfilling finish.


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"Sweet god! Such delicious thiccness."


4 days, 21 hours ago
The Gilman posted a review of Morgan (2016)

“I didn't go in expecting much of "Morgan" as its core plot has been used and reused in countless other films but I must admit that I came out the other end thoroughly satisfied with the results. Make no mistake, the film is very much a case of the aforementioned refurbished concept (it even cribs fr” read more

6 days, 2 hours ago
Morgan                                  (2016)
 Morgan (2016) 6/10
6 days, 2 hours ago
1 week, 1 day ago
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Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow

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The Great Southern Trendkill

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Reinventing the Steel

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Conan The Barbarian: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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2 weeks ago
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The Gilman posted 8 images [View All]

2 weeks, 2 days ago
The Gilman posted a review of Ghost in the Shell

“So glad they did the anime/manga justice and didn't just turn this into a mindless effects and action movie (though there is plenty of both). The philosophical quandaries remain and the stunning aesthetics serve to recreate the world around the Major. I loved the more in depth elaboration into the c” read more

2 weeks, 3 days ago
The Gilman posted a review of Gerald's Game (2017)

“Another fantastic recent King adaptation. We're officially on a roll here. Top notch work from Mike Flanagan adapting such a complex concept to the screen in a manner that was both fiercely loyal and just the right amount of innovative. Very happy with this.” read more

2 weeks, 3 days ago

“Tragically horrendous followup to one of the best send ups of the spy genre in the last few years. Loaded with dumbed down humor, dull dialogue that lacks all the wit and charm of the first, an abominably bad villain, horrible pacing, and a bevy of excess plot lines that were ultimately pointless an” read more

2 weeks, 3 days ago
The Gilman posted a review of Jigsaw

“A grossly mediocre and uninspired entry into the series, maybe on par with part seven only with far less impact in the now traditional revelation sequence and none of the visual acumen of it or it's predecessors. Even the score reeks of tired retread. That being said, it's not offensively bad and de” read more

2 weeks, 3 days ago

“Continuing the refreshing and incredibly effective turn the series took in Curse of Chucky, Cult is another example of a sequel that surpasses it's originating film while still striving to tie loose ends and address all former plots in a fun and innovative fashion. Fiona Dourif as Nica has proven to” read more

2 weeks, 3 days ago
The Gilman posted a review of Thor: Ragnarok

“Kind of a mixed bag. Feels like two different kinds of movies got pasted together at times. This one is going to be divisive based on it wholeheartedly embracing humor alone. I dug it though, despite some serious issues. The characters really did it for me here. Goldblum was delightful as The Grandm” read more

2 weeks, 3 days ago
The Gilman posted a review of Excision

“Imagine, if you will, "Carrie" by way of Lucky McKee's "May" and run through a Lynchian grinder and you get "Excision". Though not for everyone, it hits the right spot for those inclined to like the more outre.

The film centers on Pauline, a morbid, socially awkward misfit living in a per” read more

2 weeks, 3 days ago
The Gilman posted a review of Pet Sematary Two

“I avoided this movie forever for a variety of reasons and that's a real shame. I now believe this sequel was very unfairly maligned by critics and audiences alike. Pet Sematary Two got more of what made the book great right than the horribly truncated (and terribly acted) original despite not being ” read more

2 weeks, 3 days ago

“Wan and company have really nailed down the formula for quality sequels, spinoffs, and prequels. After a good, albeit slightly inferior to it's predecessors third chapter, this fourth installment did wonders for Elise's character (as well as her cohorts), introduced a worthy threat (one of the major” read more

2 weeks, 3 days ago
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2 weeks, 3 days ago
The Gilman posted a review of The Boy

“Nothing about this movie attracted me when I first saw ads for it but, boy, am I glad i watched it on a pure lark. I expected a generic offering but got so much more. In fact, what "The Boy" does best is play with your expectations and then pull the rug out from under you.

The first act bu” read more

2 weeks, 3 days ago
The Gilman added 2 items to their collection
Dunkirk

have watched

9/10

Tusk

7/10


2 weeks, 3 days ago

“Not only is The Exorcist III the only true sequel to The Exorcist but it might just be one of the greatest sequels to a horror movie ever made. It still shocks me how underappreciated it is though i understand that a lot of people probably avoided after the terrible The Exorcist II: The Heretic whic” read more

3 weeks, 1 day ago

“THE ABSOLUTE WORST. The Hellraiser film franchise is one that suffered from a severe downturn in quality early on and yet continues to be expanded by studio greed and easy returns exploiting fan's love of the property. The first two films are considered classics of the genre by most fans of horror a” read more

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