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About me

I am an unrepentant cinephile. Never too haughty to indulge in the sleaziest but always pleased to partake of legitimate art, I give everything a fair shot and strive to remove personal preference from the viewing experience. Though I indulge in all genres, I tend to gravitate most toward the horror, cult, drama, and musical genres.


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Recent reviews

All reviews - Movies (113) - TV Shows (4)

Son of the Mask review

Posted : 2 months, 1 week ago on 28 September 2023 07:44 (A review of Son of the Mask)

Soulless, unfunny, ugly dog shit that is emblematic of studios thinking they know what it takes to make a good movie. The results are worse than you can imagine. That is all.

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The Devil Conspiracy review

Posted : 6 months, 1 week ago on 25 May 2023 11:53 (A review of The Devil Conspiracy)

Plot: A plan to give Lucifer a human vessel and free him from his prison begins with the theft of the Shroud of Turin and, soon enough, involves, cults, demons, angels, and possession.

A transparent mixture of influences that range from The Prophecy and The Da Vinci Code to The Omen and The Exorcist, this movie comes out to gate with an open challenge to viewers to defy the idea that fringe beliefs (in religion in science and religion) might be dumb but they sure aren't boring. And boring it is not. For a solid half of its running time the movie moves with urgent momentum before faltering a bit once the less grandiose second half kicks in. Thing get more silly than previously here but, still, fun is reliably around every corner if you leave your brain at the door. Some surprisingly high production values, decent direction, a good score, and some fun world-building round it out. Is it perfect? Not even close. Is it a fun kitbash of multitude wild ideas? Absolutely.

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Meet the Spartans review

Posted : 6 months, 3 weeks ago on 10 May 2023 10:53 (A review of Meet the Spartans)

There is something fascinating about watching this wretched, soulless, and utterly uncreative hodge-podge of rancid references and vapid vignettes that are stitched together into an incoherent turgid tapestry that can only be described as "un-humor". That garbage like this got a theatrical release is shameful. That anyone gave these fools money to realize (however shambolically) it is truly unforgivable. The spoof was never a subtle art but Seltzer and Friedberg robbed it of it's charm and replaced an semblance of ridiculous joy and raucous but charming nonsense with loud, obnoxious, and groan-inducing shite.

This dreck can't even be enjoyed in the company of people who revel in "so good, it's bad" style entertainment. HOWEVER, if you feel like unloading a solid lifetime's worth of rage in the span of barely over an hour...well, this might do. Cinephiles and casuals alike will be left agog at the sheer lack of talent on display. Nary a genuine laugh can be wrenched out of this absolute turd. Maybe some maniacal chortles as you lose your mind at the sheer audacity to call this a movie. Abomination is a much more suitable nomenclature.

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Good Intentions, Bad Results

Posted : 10 months, 1 week ago on 27 January 2023 05:55 (A review of Tombstone-Rashomon)

Plot: The events of the Gunfight at the OK Corral come together via the accounts of survivors and those close to the people involved. 

From Alex Cox, the unique voice behind Repo Man (1984) and Sid and Nancy (1986) comes Tombstone-Rashomon. What the title suggests is exactly what it sets out to be: The story of Tombstone, Arizona's most famous gun battle by way of the structure of Kurosawa's Rashomon. That alone should be a titillating enough reason to watch as the premise has a lot of potential. However, before you dive head first into the fray, let me warn you that the result lays all that promise to waste, courtesy of an array of problems

Primary among these issues, is the unnecessary use of a sci-fi element to justify the interview format (a format, by the way, that largely results in exposition heavy babble to fill in any viewer that may not be all to familiar with events leading up to the battle). Before the ball gets rolling, the viewers are informed that they are privy to all that happens courtesy of an intrepid group of time-travelling journalists who intended to capture the legendary battle but, unfortunately, showed up a day late. So, they resort to interviewing the survivors and, thus, we are shown the story piecemeal and via differing accounts, until all is unraveled.

One wonders why even introduce such a strict "studio interview" trapping if it then requires time travel to make sense of it. This particular approach, by the way, introduces an even bigger issue. Since the story is being told by personal accounts, the many scenes that show the events prior to the time-traveler's arrival shouldn't exist in their final product (that is to say, the movie you are watching). Setting this entirely in the past and having someone from that time period piece together the tales would of sufficed instead of this illusion-breaking plot device they cooked up. In case you're wondering, there is nothing quirky, clever, engaging, or, ultimately, useful about having journalists from the future in the mix. It is, quite literally, used as a blunt instrument to hammer a point home and, thus, a bogus bump in the road of good storytelling.

Issue the second: Bad/uneven acting makes any dialogue sound very forced. Add to that a script that is trying to sound "of the time" and you have a recipe for disaster. There are also some interesting choices in the depiction of how people speak. For example, Big Nose Kate (Doc Holliday's infamous paramour) addresses males with a female pronoun. Whether this was to demonstrate Kate's strong will or just to add some kooky facet to her character's disdain for their dismissal of her as a woman is largely unexplored (and irrelevant) as it is just a thing that happens until the movie moves on. Finer acting would of brought forth he nuances of this choice. That being said, some of the casting choices bear a fairly good resemblance to their actual historical counterparts (admittedly, a plus). Alas, the actors are largely wooden and clearly have trouble selling the overly contrived dialogue convincingly. 

Oh, but there is more! Lots of production issues abound in this number. Audio mishaps range from locations having far too much echo or, worse, displaying a lifeless soundscape. Don't even get me started on the mind-boggling ADR and sound design which, on occasion, makes a passerby louder than anything else onscreen and a roaming fly horrendously distracting. Costuming suffers far less though nothing seems to show any wear which, of course, looks unnatural. The location (the famous Old Tucson Studios) looks the most synthetic and barren of ambience it's ever looked onscreen (a problem aggravated by the off-putting cinematography and aforementioned issues with populating the scenes. Oh, and to top it all off, gunsmoke comes courtesy of CGI. Oy vey.

People well-versed in the lore around the Earps and that fateful day might get the most out of this movie (even as it plods over familiar ground) but they'll also be the most disappointed because of all the missed opportunities. Wyatt Earp was not the righteous hero legend made him out to be, the politics and culture of society back then had much to do with how things were ultimately colored. Like in all real life, there was no strict black and white but there sure was a lot of grey. Though the movie makes it its core goal to examine things in this light, it does so a little too late in the game when it comes to the sci-fi plot device. Because of this, said sci-fi element comes off as a shoehorned in attempt to remind people that the issues of then reflect in modern times. This could have easily been achieved without that heavy-handed (and truly unnecessary) approach. 

It is worthy to note that the movie makes its point undeniable in a scene that requires absolutely no ties to a sci-fi plot but because said plot exists that scene just comes off as condescending rather than effective. Yes, though the film rarely strays from its western setting the time travel element casts an ugly shadow on all that follows. 

Conceptually, the mashup of Rashomon's structure and this immortalized (and over-sensationalized) event could of made for a riveting, realistic, and refreshing retelling. The very idea of dissecting this almost mythologized moment in history from different points of views is such fertile ground for exposing the raw, dirty truth behind it. That truly BEGS to be brought to the screen. I say it begs because this movie did not fully realize it. As it stands, Tombstone-Rashomon shambles onto the screen gasping for air and tearing asunder all of its promise, leaving the viewer wondering why they threw such immersion breaking elements into the mix. Coming off silly at times, amateurish at others, the film can't be salvaged by its intentions or its rare heights. It's a damn shame, because its social commentary is timely and relevant. There was something there that never made it to the page, much less the screen. 

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A Field in England review

Posted : 11 months, 1 week ago on 29 December 2022 12:37 (A review of A Field in England)

To say that Ben Wheatley is one of the freshest voices in modern cinema is an understatement. That distinction, however, does not come without controversy. While few would deny that his pictures defy the stale formulas of filmmaking, there is something of a divisiveness regarding their content. In short, it is not uncommon to see outright aversion to his offerings, some even going as far as to call his work pointless or confusing. Well, if you were on that bandwagon then A Field in England will do little to change that train of thought. In fact, it might be his most aggressively obtuse flick yet and it will, most likely, alienate a large portion of the viewing audience.


If you happen to already enjoy Wheatley's work, love being challenged by what you watch, partake of arthouse cinema, or just want to experience something completely out of left, er, field, then perhaps this will suit you just fine. Just fine, indeed. 

The story follows a motley crew of apparent deserters during the English Civil War. Each hail from a distinct strata of society and carry their distinct motives and secrets. Thus are planted the seeds of imminent fractious discord even as they unite to find their way out of the vast field they've escaped into and toward freedom. But much will happen before they clear the stretch of land, men's constitutions will change, true faces will be revealed, and mind-bending elements will come into play as they discover that the hellish misery of existence rages on beyond the battlefield and perhaps far beyond that. 

A Field in England is ultimately a film about unworthy men facing their unworthiness in others. Presenting a panoply of themes centering around redemption, cowardice, cruelty, dominance, and fealty (among others), the picture exposes the viewer to the ugliness of mankind's ways in the roughest of fashions. However, not everything is as direct as it sounds as Wheatley constantly toys with surrealism, shades of occultism, and nightmare logic to both mystify and illuminate those who dare venture further into the film's complexities. 

The presentation is both visceral and beautiful with its black and white cinematography that stuns with its crispness at times, and disorients with a feverish haze at others. Slow motion and tableau vivant are used to great effect to underline atmosphere or the shift of power dynamics in the group, respectively. The editing is a work of art that can be admired on its own, especially as we rush into the psychoactively influenced third act. Of course, the very capable cast keeps the viewers engaged even at the film's most nebulous moments with their tug of war of rapport and friction.

This is very much a film that could fit perfectly into the horror genre despite its lack of any of the usual tropes that define it. It is a story of the horror of existence and what hell we may be forced to live in for our unworthy ways. This is not a film for everyone, it is a film for few but I guarantee those few will fall madly in love with it. As for those who don't, something about it will stay with you. Perhaps you'll remember it for never giving up its secrets to you or perhaps you'll remember it with the abject terror of someone who has made a gut-wrenching discovery about human nature, but you'll remember it. 

A Field in England is a monumental achievement in arthouse cinema, despite its very minimalist and humble approach. A viscerally bleak and thoroughly uncomfortable trudge through the most uncomely aspects of men. 

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Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror review

Posted : 11 months, 2 weeks ago on 23 December 2022 11:13 (A review of Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror)

When Burial Ground hit the screens Italy was in the midst of a horror boom that rampantly predicated itself on knocking off existing popular film trends only with an increased focus on the violence, the effects, and sexuality to win over dubious crowds. Some of those movies have gone on to garner a status on par with the movies they so liberally cribbed from (Lucio Fulci's zombie cycle, for example) but, more often than not, the bulk of them reveled in their infamy before being relegated to the depths of obscurity. Like any filth worth its name, however, something always clings on and leaves a stain. Burial Ground fits soundly in that category. 

Directed by Andrea Bianchi, a man more renown for his softcore features than horror, Burial Ground is not only blatant about being a knock-off but also a knock-off of a knock-off. That it owes a lot of its fabric to Fulci's zombie cycle is undeniable (it even ends with a double whammy that rips off The Beyond and teases a set piece from Gates of Hell). Alas, unlike Fulci, Bianchi and company are SOLELY content to revel in exploitative bunk. There is absolutely no effort put forth to inject any form of creative spark into this assembly line of Italian horror standards. Despite this, the film has found itself with a small cult following that persists to this very day. As it turns out, the movie benefits from being a wildly uneven cobbling of creative makeup/gore, weird sexual themes, bizarre music choices, clumsy shooting, and unintentionally hilarious/strange story elements. 

Make no mistake, this movie is a steamer of the highest (lowest?) order. No one will ever say this is a good movie (and rightfully so) but what they might say is that its a very fun movie. Assuming you might flirt with the occasional "so bad, it's good" type of film, that is. If so, then strap in for a movie that feels like a smorgasbord of crude exploitation shenanigans. 

The plot (what there is of it) centers around a group of friends visiting a villa where an anthropologist acquaintance of theirs is set to reveal some ancient Etruscan secrets he's stumbles across in a subterranean system on the property. Unbeknown to the group, those secrets have to do with eternal life...mainly, that of the hordes of rotting corpses that have been waiting for this very moment to rise again and, um, assert their dominance anew. Why they would have to wait for some interloper to bumble around their tombs to make use of their apparent long lives is never explained but, then again, not much is. You see, this movie simply sets up a reason for these zombies to wreak havoc. What follows is basically a drawn out body count movie only with zombies that hearken Jason Voorhees' penchant for tools and creative (and laughably idiotic) kills. 

Now, for anybody in the modern audience rolling their eyes at the idea of watching zombies in this age of zombie overkill: fear not! These are supernatural zombies (their life beyond death apparently the result of some ancient magick) and, moreover, they are actually quite visually unique. Makeup effects come courtesy of the legendary Giannetto De Rossi who made some of the most visually striking and memorable shambling dead. He, notably, did the stunning effects in Fulci's zombie cycle; so, no coincidence that they hired him for this. While a lot of the rough edges of a cheap production show here, the zombies still look pretty damn strange, if not downright inhuman. Of course, where zombies walk, so must humans fall prey to their insatiable bloodlust and De Rossi and his crew make sure that those endeavors please any gorehound. 

The music dabbles in moments of atmosphere but also confoundingly leans in on what I can only call "smooth jazz" at times. It is odd, to say the least but it's not as odd as the janky camerawork which feels like someone strapped a camera onto the least graceful person on earth and figured that would foment some sense of urgency or terror. It effectively doesn't. Oh, and have I mentioned the dubbing? Yes, there is an Italian language track but the TRUE Burial Ground experience demands the aurally overwhelming English dub to really highlight the piss poor (and, at times, batshit insane) dialogue. Trust me, it's a hoot. 

Should you ever stumble across a Burial Ground fan and mention any of these observations you'll probably be immediately redirected to the much more pressing topic of someone called Peter Bark. That, you see, is the number one reason to see this cinematic dung. Peter Bark was a very strange looking full-grown man that, in this movie, plays a child. Alright, not too bad but what if I told you that child has an alarmingly possessive relationship with his mother? And what if right after that I reminded you that this movie was directed by a softcore pornographer? And, of course, we must not forget that this is all in a ultra-violent zombie movie. Yeah, the less said the better and by that I mean, it's better to watch it for some real "wtf" moments. 

Obviously, this movie is not for everyone and, even among purveyors of the weird or extreme, it fits into a smaller niche. Is it it bad? Very. Is it oddly watchable? Very. Watch with a friend with a love for shitty movies for ultimate enjoyment. 

Realistically, this movie deserves like a 1 or 2 out of 10 and that is solely to laud the work of the effects crew. However, more must be awarded for providing for the denizens of bad movie lovers out there. 

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The Building Is High But The Movie Aims Low

Posted : 11 months, 3 weeks ago on 18 December 2022 09:25 (A review of Skyscraper)

What do you get when you mix The Towering Inferno with Die Hard and then use the vague framework of Jurassic Park to deliver that chimera to an audience? Well, in an ideal world you'd get an awesome movie, however, we do not live in that reality. We currently reside in a timeline where Skyscraper exists. That is really the long and short of trying to explain this movie: it merely exists. It does not realize any of its goals, it does not innovate, it does not use infuse old concepts with renewed vigor...it just exists. And, because it fails miserably to assert itself in any relevant way, it also fades into the recesses of one's mind where it might occasionally stir a distant memory of one having partaken of its less-than-stellar existence. 

The story follows Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson), former Marine and FBI hostage team leader who, after a botched rescue that robs him of one of his legs, enters the world of private security. Asked to greenlight the readiness of the security system of a high tech skyscraper in China, he soon finds himself in the midst of a terroristic plot that not only endangers that very building but also his family as the tower is slowly consumed by fire.  

Credit where credit is due, the actors are capable for the requirements of an actioneer (yes, even Johnson), the effects well rendered, and the core characters aren't just thrown into the fray as soon as possible for the sake of thrills. HOWEVER, the antagonists prove anemic and unimpactful and, worse, the feeling of "been there, done that" never leaves your mind. To add insult to injury, every film this one evokes memory of has done it exponentially better. 

However, the thinly-veiled inspiration does not necessarily mean its aspiring to be as good as the movies it cribs from. If you happen to be looking for a brief distraction that promises no more than digestible (if forgettable) action then this might suit you. Or...maybe not. There is, you see, a distinct issue with this picture: it lacks any form of suspense or sense of danger for its lead. So much so, that eventually his "struggles" become utterly empty and, at times, laughable. 

This is not the worst movie ever but it is devoid of any heft, of any tension, of any memorable moment. It is filler with a shiny gloss that fails to obscure the absolute void of creativity. 

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Everything Everywhere All at Once review

Posted : 1 year, 3 months ago on 19 August 2022 10:11 (A review of Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Overwhelmed by the soul-numbing realities of existence and underwhelmed by how her life turned out, a seemingly inconspicuous Asian-American woman soon finds herself at the epicenter of a multiversal cataclysm. Begrudgingly ripped from a life she has largely checked out of and forced to acclimate to a non-stop barrage of mind-breaking revelations,  she is faced with a task so important that it can not only redefine her but also all that exists. 

In a cinematic landscape where the formerly teflon Marvel Cinematic Universe clumsily attempts to set up the concept of a multiverse over an increasingly vast number of movies and shows, "Everythign Everywhere All At Once" (EEAAO) not only manages the task in just over two hours but also accomplishes giving viewers a breathtakingly unique experience and an extremely gratifying resolution.  While the base elements of a superhero yarn reside within the structure of EEAAO (after all, we have a protagonist who wields great power being plucked from obscurity to thwart a world conquering villain that is intrinsically tied to them), this is no disposable comic book fodder. Please, do not misunderstand. No, it is so much more than those meager building blocks. In fact, a cursory look at the film's promotional trailers will put that assumption to rest and...well, it might also raise some questions. So what IS it? It is quite literally "everything, everywhere, all at once" and yet it juggles its multitude facets with awe-inspiring ease.

You will find a film that is a family drama, an absurdist comedy, an existential philosophy, a cosmic horror, a martial arts film, a sci-fi picture, a heartfelt tearjerker, an art film, and so, so, so, so much more. All this made possible by its premise and yet so structurally sound that it feels like all these things existed solely to make the film a reality. Moreover, you'll be impressed at how cohesively complete story elements inherent to a multiverse are communicated and how much they enhance the experience rather than drag it down with inconsistencies (a curse that the MCU is currently facing). 

I won't spoil the splendor of watching this film unfold before your eyes but believe me when I say that many a gobsmacking and surprising moment await you. There is almost a gleeful mischievousness to how the filmmaker's stimulate the senses; the mind; the utter love of film inherent in cinephiles! All is done with great reverence and yet never once does it feel stodgy, in fact, all these familiar worlds and ideas are given a much needed breathe of fresh air. Multiverse is a word that has been bandied around quite a bit in the last handful of years...but these people made that word have heft with a small budget. A truly impressive feat. 

And the cast...oh my, what a wonderful assortment of familiar faces and formidable new ones! Michelle Yeoh, as our lead, keeps her well-intentioned but emotionally detached character (Evelyn) well within the lines of likability despite the dubious place her choices have put her in.  The supporting cast are an absolute delight. From the cantankerous and rigid IRS auditor played by a chameleonic Jamie Lee Curtis to Evelyn's meek and supportive (to a fault) husband played by Ke Huy Quan (oh, how we missed thee) and all the way to relative newcomer Stephanie Hsu as Evelyn's daughter, whose light has been dimmed in the shadow of her mother's own personal burdens. 

Though it is vibrantly fast-moving, eye-poppingly creative, and strikingly unique, EEAAO truly is most triumphant for its ability to ground itself around themes of hope versus nihilistic hopelessness in the face of monstrously insurmountable chaos (personal or otherwise) and how both of these can spread and either enrich or drag down the lives of those around us. The manner in which this film unravels to craft a gorgeous and heartwarming resolution from the gleefully outrageous insanity it bombards you with throughout is a marvelous thing. Incredibly fulfilling. 

"Everything Everywhere All At Once" is a must see, through and through. 10/10

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Colossal review

Posted : 1 year, 6 months ago on 31 May 2022 09:38 (A review of Colossal)

Plot: A helpless drunk returns home to make sense of her destructive life but, as it turns out, an entire nation a world away may be the one who will face her demons.

Admittedly, "Colossal",  a movie with its feet firmly planted in several genres, is something of a difficult concept to market and, for that reason, one can forgive how it was somewhat misleadingly promoted. Of course, the downside to that misstep mean that the film was, ironically enough, a colossal failure. One which was exacerbated by its extremely limited theatrical run. Truly a shame, as Nacho Vigalondo's (Timecrimes) eclectic blend of dramedy, kaiju movie, dark psychodrama, and fantasy make for quite the fulfilling watch.

Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is a woman whose dependency on alcohol has kept her from fully coming into her own, leaving her feeling empty and overly dependent on her significant other. That is, until her security blanket is swept out from under her. Returning to her childhood home, she aims to make some sense of her life. Enter, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), an old school friend who lends a helping hand by giving her work...at his bar. It's not long before Gloria is back in her old habits again but this time the destructive effects of her alcoholism have much broader effects. How broad? Well, let's just say Seoul, Korea may be a the mercy of a creature bonded to Gloria's actions. Jarred by this revelation Gloria begins to undergo a period of increasing self-realization which uncovers a lot of uncomfortable truths about herself and, surprisingly, someone very close to her.  

The movie elegantly transitions from black comedic fantasy to something much darker at this point. What was formerly one woman's struggle with herself becomes a confrontation between her and someone whose insecurities have mutated into impotent rage. Worse, their personal battle will be the spectacle of a kaiju battle heard round the world. 

"Colossal" never once falters to juggle the multitude of elements and tones it openly courts. That Hathaway and Sudeikis as leads turn in wonderfully nuanced performances only elevates the writer-director's achievements. The film's larger-than-life elements are judiciously utilized for maximum effect. One might think that an appreciative audience would clamor for more kaiju but the film's human narrative is the meat of the story and, unlike a Godzilla flick, actually carries its weight (and then some). For those wondering, "Colossal" was a low-budget endeavor but  the effects work is beautifully rendered and the creature design is greatly endearing. 

"Colossal" adroitly tackles a lot of themes: dependency, lack of self worth, control, repressed anger, corrupting power, growth, etc. Ultimately, however, "Colossal" is a unique and charmingly gratifying look at alcoholism down to its wryly cynical final shot that reminds you that the battle never ends. 

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Firestarter review

Posted : 1 year, 6 months ago on 19 May 2022 10:31 (A review of Firestarter)

Plot: A gifted child and her father are on the run from the a government agency responsible for her destructive abilities. In the crosshairs of a mercenary and former test subject of the agency, the duo hurtles toward an inevitable confrontation with those that altered their lives. 

This film is not the first go-round for the Stephen King story about a pyrokinetic kid with a shockingly vast power range. The 80's brought us a less-than-stellar rendition starring Drew Barrymore that has gone to perplexing semi-cultishness despite its glaring faults. The novel itself is easily the most forgettable of King's surprisingly strong catalogue in his first decade as a novelist. In short, there was ample room to improve on the product but, alas, 2022's "Firestarter" proves a forgettable (and sometimes downright ludicrous feeling) endeavor.

For those wondering, the movie deviates heavily from the source material. Constant readers hoping for loyalty will be severely disappointed. But what of those seeking a film that stands on its own merit?  Bad news, you'll be disappointed, too. As a King fan, I must admit that a very large part of me hoped this version would take the opportunity to elevate the material. I welcomed change with open arms. With an up and coming director at the helm, it looked promising but with a script from Scott Teems, who gave us one of the most laughably bad follow-ups in recent horror history (Halloween Kills), I should of known better. "Firestarter" proves as silly, nonsensical, and incredulous as his previous work. 

Despite a solid cast, none of the dramatic aspects ever carry weight and the film floats from scene to scene with nary an impact, leaving you feeling empty even as the plot rolls on at a pace that lets nothing breathe. Dialogue does the subject matter very little service, often coming off as silly or downright lazy. Worse of all, the film never manages to achieve suspension of disbelief which renders some of the more fantastical elements fruitless, if not downright eye-rollingly silly feeling. I also can't quite pin what it is but the film feels like it exists in a world that is nothing like ours despite all outward appearances.

Aesthetically, the film looks murky, drab, and, well, ugly. Couple this with an utter lack of tension or atmosphere and you have a less than enviable formula for even the most basic visual stimuli. I will give them credit for at the very least not going over the top with the fire effects work for cheap thrills, though their actual impact mostly suffers from the listlessness of the movie. And languid this one is, for sure. It wallows in its own mediocrity for the bulk of the runtime before attempting to pull off a "darker, twist ending" that feels utterly unwarranted given the poor character work/motivations throughout. The less astute in the audience might even scratch their head in wonderment at the way things pan out and, honestly, I don't blame them! The writing is so poor that, though you intellectually comprehend what they intended, you feel somewhat slighted at how undeserved it is. The sad part is that you can see how these elements could have all been vastly improved, even refreshing, by merely fleshing out the characters. Villain John Rainbird (played by Michael Greyeyes) is robbed of screen time and presence so egregiously that his character and his motivations feel tacked on and, thus, the ending comes off in all the wrong ways. And that is not even to speak of The Shop, the gov't agency that is laying chase to the girl and her father. They just come off as complete morons. 

"Firestarter" feels both like you spent ages in your seat and like it finished way too quickly for its own good. Shallow characters, bad writing, unappealing direction, and a waste of a good cast make for a brew best avoided. It could have been worse but maybe the more glaring sin is being aggressively mediocre. 2.5/10

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