MOVIE REVIEW: THE RAVEN (James McTeigue, 2012)

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Whatever happened to John Cusack?

In this slow-moving and dreary movie, he played the famous author and poet Edgar Allan Poe, who in turn played a detective role similar to Sherlock Holmes. Sadly, Cusack lost all control of his emotions and gave his worst performance straight out of Nicolas Cage’s School of (Over)Acting.

The tedious story further pulled him down until viewers realized that they has been duped into seeing a pretentious thriller not too different from the Saw movies.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 31, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: FURIOUS 7 (James Wan, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Furious 7:

1. So James Wan, the director of torture porn Saw, ventured into automobile porn and actually made a senseless albeit oftentimes fun and always frenetic action movie. His camera was on a perennial adrenaline rush.

2. Iggy Azalea showed up for 10 seconds and said one line and people considered this her film debut. If Judi Dench can win an Oscar for an 8-minute performance, maybe it’s time to bring out the For Your Consideration ads.

3. Whoever said that Jason Statham was walking testosterone could not be further from the truth. Several women probably went out pregnant after the screening.

4. These were my favorite “so bad they’re bad” lines that almost triggered an epileptic seizure due to my constant eye-rolling:

“I have nothing.”
“You got me.”
“I believe in you. I believe in us. That’s all that matters.”

And that final scene where Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) went on an “I remember everything…” aria in lieu of CPR made me fart through my nose.

5. To its credit, the movie promised a lot of explosions and car chases and unbelievable stunts and it delivered all of that and more. All those flying cars were worth the price of admission.

6. That blatant Corona Extra product placement just put My Big Bossing to shame.

7. Every other scene set to a banging hip hop soundtrack felt like an MTV music video. But again, who’s complaining?

8. If I were a billionaire, I would have golden dancers in my party as well. More kitsch, more fun.

9. We all know everyone gets out of a secured prison in time for the sequel. Just ask Magneto.

10. The CGI scenes with “Paul Walker” were a bit noticeable especially when the camera focused on his face. His lanky build was also obvious in the beach scene. The ending was a fitting tribute to him, though. The series just won’t be the same without him.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published April 8, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on 10 Cloverfield Lane:

1. If it were the end of the world and I would be evacuating to the nearest shelter, one of the very first things that I would pack as well would be clean (relatively newer) underwear. I wouldn’t want strangers (and future neighbors and/or friends) judging me for having bacon undies. Speaking of, I heard that there were really bacon-scented briefs and boxers for sale in some stores. Wouldn’t this pose a problem if you were caught sniffing yourself (or worse, other people’s privates) in public? (I mean it’s bacon! Who couldn’t resist?)

2. Loved the opening credits interspersed with the car crash scene. It immediately screamed horror movie (or rather HORROR MOVIE!!). Maybe that was one of the reasons why I was a tad dissatisfied with this sequel. I was expecting a grand payoff that just didn’t happen.

3. I had flashbacks of Saw when Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, rocking a white tank top and black non-bacon panties) realized that she was chained to the wall inside a cramped space. When it was further shown that she was (deliberately?) trapped in an underground bunker, I then remembered Room and started to experience claustrophobia yet again. I would never survive living below ground or I would stay true to the phrase “six feet under”. When she had to squeeze through the tiny air ducts, I had to reach for my inhaler because my lungs just stopped functioning.

4. The first two-thirds of the movie was a great psychological thriller that played on a group’s growing paranoia. Howard (played by the excellent John Goodman) was such a shady person and acted like a psycho beneath that teddy bear figure. All of the bunker scenes were really well-staged that when one of the characters was able to escape and the movie started linking itself to the original Cloverfield, I felt cheated and wanted a refund. Such a wasted opportunity. (FYI, if you saw the trailer and one of the posters, you actually had seen the entire movie.)

5. Could anyone help identify that local commercial where they used Frankie Avalon’s Venus as the theme song? I swear it was a soap or beauty product commercial and I have lost a lot of sleep trying to think about it. Anyway, I really loved the soundtrack that included I Think We’re Alone Now and Tell Him (no, not the Barbra and Celine showdown, but Ally McBeal’s go-to song).

6. When they showed the pair of rotting pigs that died after getting exposed to the air outside, I had a terrible feeling that the twist might be similar to The Happening. Now that would really be horrific.

7. While watching Michelle stitch the wound on Howard’s forehead, I was reminded of our Home Economics high school teacher that would give a double and triple zero score if you couldn’t identify the difference between a running stitch and a backstitch. I still didn’t know what those extra zeroes meant to one’s grades, though.

8. Does perchloric acid work the same as hydrofluoric acid (frequently used by Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad) in terms of body disposal? I’m asking for a friend.

9. I was so upset that Cannibal Airlines wasn’t real. It sounded like a really fun horror flick. Probably wouldn’t have been as disappointing, too.

Rating: ★★★☆☆