Day: December 3, 2007

"Sense" and Sensability: Review for "The Sixth Sense"

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M. Night Shamylon’s suspense/thriller The Sixth Sense is the story of a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who sees dead people. It is Dr. Malcolm Crowe’s (Bruce Willis) job to help him. Dr. Crowe is a child therapist who has been honored by the mayor the previous year. But the previous fall, before he treats young Cole, a past patient comes to visit him. Vincent’s diagnosis had been mood disorder caused by divorce between his parents. But he is scared, and the Doctor doesn’t know why. So Vincent comes back to get his revenge and shoots him, then committing suicide. Cole, the young boy, is scared and the most horrible ghosts are terrifying him. But all they need is help. Cole is hated by everypne at school; they call him “freak”. No one knows his secret. Cole, from the advice of Dr. Crowe, decides to help the ghosts and eventually outgrows his fear. Sadly, Dr. Crowe and his wife aren’t talking. The ending: I can’t tell. But this is the smartest ghost story in a long time. The acting is phenomenal. There are twists everywhere you look. Though the ending will take you by surprise, you can find all the clues if you look carefully. The story was written fantastically by Night and executed well. And it has a happy ending! Grade: A- Stars: 7.5/10 Stars: 4/5

Purr-fectly "Horror"-fying: Review for "Masters of Horror: The Black Cat"

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The Black Cat is one of the episodes in the Showtime series Masters of Horror. It appears in season 2. The film is beautifully crafted by Stuart Gordon, director of the classic Re-Animator. The film does not feature any gratuatisque scenes, like most of the other episodes in the series. It does feature blood, but with good reason to the storyline: Virginia Poe is suffering from TB. The film is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s tale of self destruction. It is about a man who is mentally tormented by this black cat, and in result, does unspeakable acts. The film plays out fantastically, pretending that Poe, very poor and depressed because of his wife’s disease, is slowly descending into madness. The accounts in the film are either something that happened in Poe’s life or taken directly from the short story. The thing I liked about it is that the film didn’t feature unneeded amount of blood or nudity, that all the elements were important to the story and not just thrown it for fun. Gordon did a great job with Re-Animator, so it was interesting to see a splatter director take on a piece of classic Gothic literature, much like he did in the first season of Masters with H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreams of the Witch House, which (no pun intended) was almost as well done as this one. The picture is almost black and white for the time setting except for scenes in which you see blood or anything truly colorful. This is the best one of the series. Poe is the Master of Gothic Horror, while Gordon remains the Master of Cinematic Horror. Grade: A- Stars: 4.5/5 Stars 8.5/10

"Live" and Let "Die Hard": Review for "Live Free or Die Hard"

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Having not seen the previous Die Hard films will make this review different. I will not be comparing the John Mclanes now and then. This film was very well made. It is about Thomas Gabriel sinking the government system via his computer. One of the compelling features of this film is that it tackles terrorism. But not just any terrorism, virtual terrorism. It is compelling because people these days are so hooked to technology, like their televisions, cell phones, and computer; and to have that used against you for fear is one of those things that could really happen. In one scene, the terrorist airs a video to every television in the country. It has pictures of the nation’s capital and a voice singing “America the Beautiful”. The voice is the quavery voice which is reminiscent to Michael Crawford’s voice in The Phantom of the Opera. And the end of the song, the capital blows up, which leads to the nations fear of Apocalypse via terrorism. the film revolves John McClane (played brilliantly by Bruce Willis) trying to capture a computer hacker (Justin Long) in for questioning. The government computer have been hacked and they want to know who and why. The film then goes into the father-must0rescue-daughter hostage cliche. But the film is quite good. Grade: B+ Stars: 3.5/5 Stars: 6/10

Phone "Ring": Review for "The Ring" and "The Ring Two"

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Sure, they may not be the greatest in horror, but they are the road less traveled these days. It’s more Gothic horror than slasher. The film started a trend of Japanese remakes. The Ring was based on Ringu, The Grudge later released was based on Ju-On:The Grudge, and Dark Water based on the Japanese film of the same name. The Ring is about a killer video tape. The tape is filled with horrible images and after the tape is finished, your phone rings and a mysterious voice says “You will die in seven days.”. The girl in the video tape is Samara, the child done wrong by her adoptive parents. She was dumped into a well. The film gets around to a teenage girl who, after seven days, is killed in a gruesome way by Samara. New mom Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts in both films) is a reporter in Seattle. She decides to investigate the film’s mysterious path. When finally solving part of the mysterious tape’s existence, she copies the tape. Which leads us to The Ring Two. Rachel’s son, Aiden (David Dorfman) is possessed by Samara, which makes Rachel track down Samara’s past, before being adopted. The Ring Two was directed by Hideo Makato, who directed the original Ringu and Ringu 2. Both films have their flaws, but I personally favored The Ring. It was smarter and better written. Well played out, too. Overall: Grade: B Stars: 3.5/5 The Ring Grade: B Stars: 4/5 The Ring Two Grade: B- Stars: 3/5 The Cursed Video Grade: A Stars: 4.5/5

Bond Is Back In Action!: Review for the Ultimate James Bond Collection

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Sure, they’re trying to get your money, but for Bond fans of all sorts, the new box sets are completely worth it. In four volumes, the set contains 20 of the 21 Bond films. Volumes 1 & 2 were released November 7 as a tie in with Casino Royale. For Christmas, Volumes 3 & 4 were released in mid December. Each volume contains some of the best (and worst) of the Bond series. The menus, though somewhat repetitive and a little risque, are amazing. Each of the films are restored by the people who restored the Star Wars Trilogy. The picture is as clear as a beach in Dr. No, crisp and “sharp” in Goldfinger, as well as the others. The special features are amazing, featuring brand new, never before seen features and recycled features from the 2002-2003 release. One of the only reasons I got this collection is because of the artillery of new special features and the recycled old features. Each is enhanced with the best possible sound and picture quality ever before on DVD (documentary on process can be found in Volume 4, Dr. NoDisc 2). Each with 5.1 DTS Surround Sound. This is the greatest assembly of the Bond films ever released on DVD. The set also contains documentaries , screen tests, and photo galleries. Each film even features audio commentaries. The Roger Moore films have all new commentaries from none other than Roger Moore himself.  Overall: Grade: A Stars: 9.5 Films: Grade: B+ Stars: 7.5 Special Features: Grade: A+ Stars: 10 Picture and Sound Quality: Grade: A+++ Stars:15