REVIEW: Pitch Black [2000]

“Looks clear” People weren’t kidding when they used Chronicles of Riddick‘s expanded budget to blame for its box office demise. I always knew its predecessor was made with much tighter purse strings, but the level of ingenuity necessary to make it still look good surpassed any expectations I might have had. Not only does co-writer (with Jim and Ken Wheat) and director David Twohy play with color tints, vision filters, and an abundance of darkness to hide some of his CGI creatures’ fabrication, he ensures the plot and characters are…

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REVIEW: Big Sur [2013]

“The circle’s closed in on the old heroes of the night” I’ve never read a novel by Jack Kerouac—the only Beat Generation tome I have leafed through is William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch—but I imagine the experience is similar to that of watching director Michael Polish’s adaption of the author’s 1962 work, Big Sur. About eighty-five percent driven by voiceover narration assumedly being read directly out of the book to be heard above a sprawling Explosions in the Sky-lite score from The National and gorgeously composed images of the On…

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REVIEW: The Crazies [2010]

“You had time for me” It is true folks, I willingly went to go see a horror movie remake. While I enjoy my fair share of the gore genre, mostly with works full of atmosphere, mood, and storylines with a mix of the surreal and the absurd, do I necessarily care about the subgenre dealing with political musings hidden beneath the zombification of America? No, no I don’t. So what drew me to The Crazies, a revamp of its namesake’s 70s release created by the king of political-horror George Romero…

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REVIEW: Surrogates [2009]

“Honey, I don’t know what you are” The first thing that came to my mind while watching Surrogates is how rushed it felt using technology that wasn’t quite ready to pull off what it was the filmmakers desired. Whereas James Cameron waited years to hone his computer systems to achieve the realism Avatar needed to succeed, the Hollywood machine appeared to say “screw it, we have to finish this thing now”. I don’t want to fault director Jonathan Mostow as he most certainly was just a hired hand here, but…

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REVIEW: Silent Hill [2006]

“Sinners deserve to lose their spawn” Silent Hill is a study in atmosphere and mood. While some may say it is style over substance, I’d have to agree a bit, but correct the statement to style with substance. Christophe Gans, the visionary director behind a great foreign film Brotherhood of the Wolf, has crafted a film that is visually astonishing while mind-bendingly layered. Credit writer Roger Avary, whom I have yet to be disappointed with anything I’ve seen containing his involvement, for adapting, not the story exactly, but the emotion…

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