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Posts Tagged ‘Horror Films’:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

If you’re looking to compare 1968’s “Planet of the Apes” with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” don’t even bother.  The former from 43 years ago is a crowning achievement of the Science Fiction genre.  Astronauts from Earth crash land on a planet ruled by apes.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is set in present day San Francisco.  Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist who’s desperately scrambling to discover a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease through genetic therapy.   The experimental drugs are used on chimp apes & gorillas.

People will remember this movie for Ceasar (Andy Serkis).  The motion capture performance by Serkis adds a dimension of reality never before seen in a film.  This chimp shows every emotion from sorrow, happiness, fear & of course rage. Extremely well done special effects by WETA.

The tone of this film is dark & grows darker with each act.  There’s a spotlight on animal cruelty which automatically puts you on the sides of the apes.  The abuse is simply captivity.  These beasts should be in the wild & not locked up in rusty cages.  As the movie progresses, the friction between humans & apes escalates.

As you see in the movie’s trailer, the apes escape, revolt & run rampant through the streets of San Francisco.  The movie is thought-provoking & well made. It is worth seeing.  But for me personally, I prefer the Charlton Heston version.

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To heighten drama, medical advances are catapulted forward at lightning speed.  Crucial steps are missed & experimental drugs fall prey to corporate greed.

2:13 DVD Review

LAPD criminal profiler, Russell Spivey (Mark Thompson) has the toughest job imaginable.  All too often, his duty takes him to humanties’ darkest places.  Spivey’s uncanny talent:  Assessing physical evidence from brutal murder crime scenes & creating viable theories as to why the perpetrator commits to such evil.

In terms of tone, “2:13” reminds me of  “Se7en,” “Anamorph” & “Manhunter.”  The chase for the killer(s) is on & it’s a very clever ride. This isn’t your typical, throw-together, low budget horror flick.  2:13 has many layers, textures & nuances. Many of which are so subtle, you’ll need a second viewing.

Technically, the sound design is excruciatingly detailed.  Whether it’s a menacing, pulsating & accelerating bass line or the simple familiar sound of pencil writing on a notepad.  It’s there & sound adds yet another layer.  In the end, the villain in the piece isn’t a Body Snatcher, an alien, a Terminator or even a Great White Shark. It’s the most feared villain of all, is the one who walks right by us in a crowd.

If you’re looking for a suspense thriller peppered with horror, terror & darkness, look no further than 2:13. It’s a well made film.  The solid cast includes Kevin Pollack, Teri Polo, Dwight Yoakam & Mark Pellegrino.  2:13 arrives on DVD Tuesday June 28th.  For more insights, photos & webisodes check out the official website at http://www.213themovie.com/ SPOILER ALERT ON A FEW WEBISODES!

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SCREAM 4 Film Freak Movie Review

In my opinion, slasher films are generational.  I dove in with John Carpenter’s original “Halloween” in the early 80’s when I was a teenager. It resonated. 15 years ago, slasher films were so abundant, Scream entered the fray.  It broke down the fourth wall & exposed the rules of slasher films.  It completely captured that generation.

Instead of re-booting this famed horror series, all the original survivors return.  This time, Woodboro’s worst nightmare, Ghostface puts the speed dial on MURDER by marring the tell-all book release of his favorite victim, Sidney Prescott. (Neve Campbell)  The books’ title: “Out of Darkness: A True Story of Survival.”  The newest player in this story is technology.  The characters rely heavily on flashy cell phones, high speed internet connections & real time webcasting.  Plus, there’s tons of blogging & vlogging.

No spoilers here.  I will say, there were things I didn’t like in the film.  Law enforcement officers, David Arquette & Marley Shelton looked so out of place in sheriff uniforms.  There are actors who take their job very seriously in the form of preparation.  They go to police precincts, they do ride-a-longs with cops. Here, I get the feeling Arquette & Shelton were sent to the wardrobe truck, donned a couple of uniforms & simply walked on set.  As officers of the law, they fumble around with zero believability.  Hey, I’m over thinking this.  It’s a Scream movie.

Oh yeah, there’s some really bad acting on the killer’s part.  Wanna know who it is?  Not a chance.  I think the original Scream fans will enjoy seeing their favorite characters terrorized yet again.  As for the rest of us, it was just OK.

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Email me: Leo@filmfreak.com
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Scream 4 Official Movie Prop Auction Saturday April 16th, 2011

Scream Fans!  Don’t miss Hollywood Live Auctions Official “Scream 4” Movie Prop Auction.  I will be hosting & it’s a blast!  Saturday April 16th, 2011. The auction starts at 11am PST & goes all day into the night! Bloody machetes, bloody hospital gowns, screen used cell phones, screen word hero wardrobe.  It’s all there!!   You do have to pre-register at www.hollywoodliveauctions.com or call (888) 761-PROP.  Be there or Beware!


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Insidious Film Freak Movie Review

As a four year old kid, there was this song that always freaked me out.  At that time, the artist, Tiny Tim was, at the very least, a musical oddity.  He resembled, an impossible to fathom, a more sinister version of Rock n’ Roll icon, Alice Cooper. Tiny Tim turned up the creepiness strumming his ukulele to administer his  signature song, “Tip Toe Through the Tulips.”  It takes me right back to a feeling of being helpless & scared. This guy was my childhood Freddy Krueger.  It gave me nightmares.  Kudos to James Wan for recognizing the strangest slice of  pop culture music & infusing it into his latest film, “Insidious.”  The is the scariest PG-13 movie since, “The Ring.”

Finally, a horror film cast with good actors.  Everyone at the top of their game, Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne & Lin Shaye, who’s always on point.   “Insidious” tells a story of possession.  A young family confronts trauma as their son lies in a coma.  The “Insidious” video clip here will shed light.

Over the last decade or so, horror movies by & large have remained flat. “Insidious” was done with sheer cleverness.  The musical score taunts & elevates to the point of distress.  The sound design terrorizes.  The plot keeps driving forward.  It’s all right there, everything you want in a scary movie.  As for me, from now on, I’m gonna be suspicious of anybody who goes out of their way to NOT have their picture taken.

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Email me: Leo@filmfreak.com
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“Saw” Creators James Wan & Leigh Whannell

“Saw” fans!  Rally around this! Here is a FREE 5-part interview with “Saw” creators JAMES WAN & LEIGH WHANNELL. I stand behind this interview!!  If you find a better, more insightful or energetic interview, anywhere, let me know. These guys are amazing.  They go all the way back and relive the creation of the first “Saw.”



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