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I've been going through and watching all the John Carpenter films that I have not seen yet. Some of his films like Big Trouble in Little China, Escape from New York and of course, the OG Halloween, I've been watching for decades many times over. I've always loved Carpenter's work but there were always films of his I had not seen. I aim to change that.

A few weeks ago I watched Assault on Precinct 13 for the first time. Fabulous film. I especially loved the little girl getting blown away by thugs. That apparently was quite the controversy at the time.

Anyways, tonight I watched The Ward for the first time, Carpenter's last to date directed film.



The plot and it's twist is one that has been done before but Carpenter didn't write this one like so many of his classics. There was nothing wrong at all with his directing though. It was still that Carpenter style of cinematography his fans know and love. While not his best work, it's still a perfectly competent film and worth the watch for any Carpenter film buff. I think I would have liked it more had he composed the music for it too but maybe that is just the Carpenter mark in me. He has created so many iconic themes over the years. Most of his best films were the ones he directed, wrote and composed.

As far as feature films go that he directed, there's not many left on the list before I have seen all his films. Dark Star. The Fog. Prince of Darkness. In the Mouth of Madness. Vampires. So I've got 5 films left that he directed that I have not seen yet. Probably going to watch The Fog tonight so the list will be down to 4.
 

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Yesterday, I watched Fast and Furious, the 4th Fast and the Furious movie. (SideRant: How does the 4th movie go to just the first title but with the "The"s removed?)

So in my marathon of F&F films, I thought the first one was okay, but its been a slog ever since. 2 and 3 barely qualify as sequels and felt like dry stories with plenty of shots of nice cars goin g fast to cover up for the fact that the stories were dull. That said, with familiar faces from the first film all reunited for this one (Walker, Diesel, Rodriguez, Brewster), I thought maybe this one would be a little better.

Eh, it really wasn't.

It does initially help that they actually followed up on events from the first film and tried to have something resembling a continuing story, but Diesel and Walker both look bored, tired, and worn out in this film, and are just going through the motions. The story itself is also dry, and the car stunts in this film are the least inspired in the series to date. I mean, say what you will about Tokyo Drift. At least the car stuff looked cool. We also get a young Gal Gadot here and boy oh boy, I can see why some fans were skeptical about her playing Wonder Woman. She sounds wooden and fighting her accent the whole time she's on screen, and none of the charm and charisma she brought to the role of Wonder Woman is here.

Fast and Furious feels like the last gasp of a dying franchise, and had I been watching these films as they were released, I would have never expected a film to follow this one. However, next on my list is Fast 5 and I've been told that is when I would start loving these films, so here's hoping.

4/10
 

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Pure genius insanity. A golden form of visual entertainment coupling with Horror & Hollyweird provisions, a perfect combo in my world. It doesn't sacrifice a thing in the wake of it's approach either, especially from how the original Child's Play was set. Focusing on Chucky is purely logical; as who wouldn't want to start seeing more emphasis on the serial killer who's practice of voodoo & the occult got him trapped in a kid's doll? He and Tiffany are so expertly fleshed out to boot, it's a bountiful experience to watch them toil in existential agony of being living dolls & still trying to figure out what it is about murdering they love so much. I should have watched this a day ago to finish off Pride month considering this is also one of the most progressive films regarding Trans rights, too. Like, really, it is. Horror and its inclusion wins again. Got to love how I wanted Ronny Yu to return + direct more Horror films in his career, then Mancini gets behind this and by no means does it lose any of its appeal. Cinematography was very interesting in that lovely 2000's Horror way, even if it wasn't as stylishly baroque/route 66 crime spree/Goth infused as Bride of Chucky's look happened to be. It's a specific duality I can accept all the way, that's for sure.
 

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Super Moderator Going Backwards With WF
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I especially loved the little girl getting blown away by thugs.
:jones

That apparently was quite the controversy at the time.
It's still shocking even now. Last time I watched the film, I'd forgot about that bit and when it happened it stopped me in my tracks.
 

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:jones



It's still shocking even now. Last time I watched the film, I'd forgot about that bit and when it happened it stopped me in my tracks.
I'd already heard about it happening before I had seen the film, so I was kinda expecting it. That sort of thing does not bother me anyways. Actually, I like seeing stuff like that, stuff that other people find controversial. The more controversial the better. I especially enjoy films and TV shows that piss off Christians. If there is a movie that has a Christian petition trying to get it banned, sign me up.
 

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Captain America: Civil War. Such a good movie, never gets old.
 

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Fuck this manipulative shit.

...:kurtcry3
 

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Sometimes the mood for oft-forgotten, studio Horror feels like the right kind of thing to check out, and this fits the bill for that all the way. There's a big part of me that wonders when werewolf lore turned into stuff like this; every pack is basically a Sons of Anarchy-lite biker gang in sun-soaked rural locales and all of their strife occurs from within. That and being werewolves, they always LOVE to be packing. Even everyone in this town from Sheriffs to postal workers to hardware store employees to Grandma's is strapped with a gun to prepare for the sort of hard to differentiate baddies looking to kill the token "special 13 year old boy" who's powers will make or break everything these hybrids can live for. The latter being the most ho-hum aspect about this, but I suppose it is what it is. I just wanted to watch some werewolves have a slight action-fest and that's what this was. The wonky edits were more fun than it let on, as did dubious character motivations/decisions - the mandatory attractive youthful nurse to be flirted yes, just because. Also because if the aggressive, yet seductive villain werewolf lady is meant to steal her outfit, it MUST fit the same body type/proportions. Don't you know that??? Ending battle felt straight out of T2. Even right down to the male child savior. Huh. Worst element: clearly tell this was shot with an R-rating, but was cut to be PG-13. Best element: This film was directed by the same guy who directed Jason X. I consider this a vast improvement, so that's where the film really succeeds.
 

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Elephant (1989)
A near 40 minute short film that is subjected to tracking shots of men in different scenarios stalkingly walk towards other people and shoot them with their guns. There's very little dialogue, but what was creepy and disturbing is how excessively long the camera would focus on the corpse as the center of the frame after being killed. 5/10
 

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From Begotten, to Shadow of the Vampire, to this. A bummer conclusion to what could have been a heck of a grim apocalyptic trilogy for Merhige's feature length film career. His eye for interesting visuals manages to stick around, but this crime thriller is timely as it is generic; sort of the same as all post-Se7en cinema would follow, without the interest/appeal to let it actual soar. A random addition to the Hellraiser franchise would do it much better.
 

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Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
It still remains a mystery on how Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) looks like that and is considered to be Peter Parker's aunt. An entertaining watch on the big screen, with some nice visual effects and chreographed action sequences with the way Spiderman uses his paraphernalia. Gylenhaal does well as the villain, given the material he has, although the characters development and motivations didn't feel fully fleshed out and once you've figured him out, he doesn't seem all that, but it does make you question the extent of the technology, taking into account the previous antics before the reveal and how it all works. There are a lot of attempts at humour, with the use of timing, dialogue and slapstick, most of them made me laugh, but they were also cheesy and cringy for lack of a better word. There are 2 post credit scenes. 7/10
 

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Homefront which is a 2013 movie with Jason Statham and James Franco. I wasn't really expecting much other than a traditional Statham movie and that's pretty much what I got. I was expecting more from Franco playing a villain but he didn't really shine at all or do anything memorable so that was a disappointment. It was a fine way to spend 1 hour and 40 minutes, but not something I'd watch again.
 

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There is no duty we so much underrate as... being
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So I saw Annabelle Comes Home.

The good: the first 20-30 minutes or so have this endearing 2010s-tinged Roger Corman aesthetic with inexplicably Skippy Peanut Butter-level-thick fog, largely well-blocked and well-timed jump-scares (this whole Conjuring "expanded cinematic universe" uses jump-scares like Tiny Tim uses his crutch, but if you're going to reach for that, at least do it well) and the tripartite of youths populating the center of this particular story are all reasonably likable.

And... That's pretty much it. There is one fairly long sequence of silence set in a series of rooms that is well-executed by first-time director Gary Dauberman around the film's two-thirds point, and a color wheel prop used to charmingly cheesy effect, so throw those on the "good" side of the scale, too, just to be kind.

The rest is just so terribly pedestrian, a feeling exacerbated by the film's general reliance on myriad familiar tropes of horror this universe has utilized again and again. The film has this largely low level of energy it can never overcome, and a shoehorned romantic subplot that is more horrifying than any elements of horror. It is a little cute that the film attempts to bring to light other "cases" of Lorraine and Ed Warren, but it chiefly seems as though it is yet another probable cynical ploy to have some other spin-off or another.

It's mostly more forgettable than downright awful, though, so it's a marked improvement over The Nun, a stunningly horrid, lifeless affair and one of the decade's worst.
 

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I checked out the 2019 remake of Pet Sematary and it was a fine adaptation of the book. There wasn't any real standout performance and things moved along pretty quickly. I did like how they changed the story up a bit and switched the roles of the kids. It was fine for what it was but it's not something I'd watch again.
 

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Serenity (2019)
For fans of Matthew McConaughey's rad body, you're in for a treat as you get to see plenty of his chiselled ass and his body rub against Diane Lane and Anne Hathaway. I genuinely laughed at a scene where Matthew was swimming naked in the ocean in a dream sequence, there was no need for that. It all goes downhill, once they reveal what's truly happened and it is ridiculously absurd. 4/10
 

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There's a specific Werner Herzog/Terrence Malick/Harmony Korine universe that all manages to intersect with each other, and I can't get enough of that idea. The hilarious haze of the latest intrepid traveler, this time with actual financial backing, opposed to the usual sense of squalor often found. There's that too, he does have to be a bum, but there's also boats, yachts, mansions, walk in closets, 500 million dollars in C-A-S-H, and fantastic female fashion worn by anyone and everyone; especially Moondog. Complete ecstasy and excess, to flee without consequence, an evasion of minimal effort and big gain. People just floating about all over. One episodic point to the next in this adventure called life. Blurred in the haze, the nihilism rings true. This is how the world should always be. As a fellow alien stuck on this planet, this is all I understand.
 

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There's a specific Werner Herzog/Terrence Malick/Harmony Korine universe that all manages to intersect with each other, and I can't get enough of that idea. The hilarious haze of the latest intrepid traveler, this time with actual financial backing, opposed to the usual sense of squalor often found. There's that too, he does have to be a bum, but there's also boats, yachts, mansions, walk in closets, 500 million dollars in C-A-S-H, and fantastic female fashion worn by anyone and everyone; especially Moondog. Complete ecstasy and excess, to flee without consequence, an evasion of minimal effort and big gain. People just floating about all over. One episodic point to the next in this adventure called life. Blurred in the haze, the nihilism rings true. This is how the world should always be. As a fellow alien stuck on this planet, this is all I understand.

Well I know what I'm watching this weekend. Been trying to get a hold of this for ages. Sure as hell didn't play in any cinemas over here that I know of.
 

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Fighting With My Family - never been a huge Paige fan, but I felt this was a great insight into the wrasslin' business and her journey. Obviously they missed her NXT reign (which took some things away), but it was enjoyable.
 
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