Review: Vanilla Sky (2001)

vanilla sky poster

“The little things… there’s nothing bigger, is there?” 
– David

SYNOPSIS: A self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate finds his privileged life upended after a vehicular accident with a resentful lover. – via IMDB

vanilla sky

I know that there are people with some issues with this film, but I found it to be a rather decent one, and I enjoyed it. Despite all the awful reviews, Vanilla Sky is not the wreck that it is made out to be. By no stretch of the imagination a piece of perfection, it is entertaining nonetheless. Tom Cruise was well suited for the role, and didn’t even really get on my nerves. I am not a fan of either Diaz or Cruz, though they were the leading ladies for this. I think that is the only thing that actually got to me, but overall not enough to detract from the journey that you undertook with David Aames. Diaz pulled this role off far better than most I have seen her in, and managed to give a solid spine and feel to her character.  I liked the way the story was presented and laid out, as well as how it progressed.  There were plenty of plot twists and turns, and kept it fresh and interesting throughout. The back and forth banter between Dr McCabe and David was interesting, as well as David dealing with the tragedy he has been visited with. He did not deal so well with it, and there are plenty of times that you can identify with him, and plenty of times that you can see as a spoiled brat he took things too far. An engaging movie to check out if you have not done so before, and one to watch with an open mind seeing as it was bashed more than it deserved.

Rapid Review: Bone Tomahawk (2015)

bone tomahawk poster

“Smart men don’t get married.”
– John Brooder

SYNOPSIS: Four men set out in the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers. – via IMDB

GRADE 8.5So much yes. Yes, yes, yes. Ryan and Eric both praised and enjoyed this, and usually we see mostly eye to eye, and so I checked it out. I fell in love. What you get is a western horror. I was all for that. It sounded interesting, intriguing, and I was curious to see how they were going to pull this off. Well, flawlessly to say the least. For the majority of the movie, it plays out exactly like a western. No bells and whistles, lots of drama, the desert, men being all hardcore, the like. But just enough time was dedicated in the beginning to set up the fact that there will be room for horror, and the conclusion shifts away from the western a little and focuses on the horror aspect, and this blend is done just perfectly. The cast that carries this movie is fantastic – each member works wonders with the material they are given. You care about them, you worry about their plight, you wish to see what they will accomplish, you wonder about O’Dwyer’s wife, the missing criminal, the official who went missing and the troglodytes that were present that night. Where have they gone? Not to mention that there is humour laced into this once in a while, but it is dark and used sparingly, and in so doing it is effective. The film was shot well, and I loved that slow burn pace. It really set the film and the events up, and played out all the pieces just right. Bone Tomahawk also stays with you quite a while after it is over, so that is really good. The brutality and creepiness of this movie is wonderful, and executed just right – I know that sounds bad, but it isn’t just gratuitous, and it is nasty, so sensitive viewers, be warned. I cannot recommend this highly enough!

Rapid Review: The Thing (1982)

the thing movie poster

“I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.”
– Clark

SYNOPSIS: An American scientific expedition to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic is interrupted by a group of seemingly mad Norwegians pursuing and shooting a dog. The helicopter pursuing the dog explodes, eventually leaving no explanation for the chase. During the night, the dog mutates and attacks other dogs in the cage and members of the team that investigate. The team soon realizes that an alien life-form with the ability to take over other bodies is on the loose and they don’t know who may already have been taken over. – via IMDB

the thing sick dog

GRADE 8So I decided to check this out, never really being sure if I watched this as a kid or not (the VHS was always lying around – I watched so much old horror as a kid). Needless to say, I had not, which was great news for me. Some fresh, new, old school horror. Just my cup of tea. I used to watch so much more of this genre, but over the years much less because there isn’t anything original anymore, and the movies don’t work on atmosphere. It’s all been done before. Now, Carpenter’s The Thing was fascinating from the off. It starts really slow, and you can feel the slow burn thing. No jumping right into the middle of something crazy here, no sirree… let’s just build it all and work to it. Boy, let me tell you, when it finally caught I was like “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew” when I got my first real look at this Thing. Yuck! I loved it! Not to mention the very traditionalist score that accompanied it, and the cast that worked really well here. Kurt Russell played his part very well, and you know from the off that you are supposed to identify and support and follow him from the off. However, then there is that unknown mystery fear that comes in when it is known that these Things can replicate the appearance and demeanour of anyone. Is anyone one of these Things? How are they going to figure that out? The film’s progression was just fine too, not experiencing too much unnecessary lull anywhere throughout. The effects were pretty cool, too, not drowning in too much overdone CGI and stuff. The Thing progresses deliberately and smoothly, and the lack of character growth is unimportant due to the focus lying on the story itself, and not the people so much – though they are tasked with getting us involved with what is going on. Not a film that wants you thinking about life, it is there purely for enjoyment and entertainment, and on that front it wins hands down. Gotta say, definitely a classic for a reason, and mandatory October viewing for sure!