FANTASIA15 REVIEW: Pos eso [Possessed] [2014]

“What he did left his teacher speechless” I didn’t know I wanted a horror parody in the style of “Celebrity Deathmatch” until about halfway through Samuel Ortí Martí‘s [Sam] pitch black skewering of the genre Pos eso [Possessed]. His and Rubén Ontiveros‘ script is littered with homage to The Day the Earth Stood Still in dialogue, The Omen in characters, The Exorcist in plot, Raiders of the Lost Ark in its cold open, and countless others—Alien, A Trip to the Moon, etc.—in visual flourishes. A fun pastiche of anything and…

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REVIEW: Sinister [2012]

“Even I’m not old enough to know what happened” I like me a good horror film generally because their filmmakers find a freedom from the genre to create imaginative aesthetics. Rarely does one end up disturbing me to the point where I inch up to the edge of my seat and literally beg for more, though. Even knowing what’s going to happen—I guessed Sinister‘s ending as soon as the first breadcrumb dropped to foreshadow the method to the madness—my interest sometimes refuses to wane simply because I need the gruesome…

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REVIEW: Independence Day [1996]

“We will not go quietly into the night” The man who proved we could only take so many disaster films and yet still made more, Roland Emmerich shouldn’t be denied the astronomical success of the one that jump-started the genre’s big budget revival in the first place. After giving us the rather smart science fiction actioner Stargate, he and writing/producing partner Dean Devlin came up with the treatment for Independence Day as a response to the constant questions about their opinions on alien life. Wanting to take a step back…

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REVIEW: Planet 51 [2009]

“Sea monkeys dancing to the Oldies” There is a new competitor on the animated picture front. The Spain-based company Ilion Studios has thrown their hat in the ring with the new film Planet 51. Unlike some of the other upstart firms that have cropped up in the past decade, Ilion’s artistry is very much on par with Dreamworks and Fox, (no one can compare to Pixar, sorry), and surprised me with how clean and polished the animation was. A studio like this needs to find success early, however, in order…

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REVIEW: The Day the Earth Stood Still [2008]

“Only on the precipice do we evolve” Ah, remakes. Why does Hollywood insist on updating/copying/being inspired by past works, especially when the original was good? The past few years have even seen re-imaginings of John Carpenter films; the guy is still alive and making movies, so why are we redoing his past work from only two decades ago? When it comes to the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, I guess one can at least comprehend the want to infuse some 21st century graphics and effects; it was…

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REVIEW: The Day the Earth Stood Still [1951]

“Klaatu Barada Nikto” When one thinks of classic films from an age long gone, The Day the Earth Stood Still is one to be included. Just the fact that the movie was made in 1951 and has some nice special effects and intellectual underlying themes, which are still relevant today, makes it something of a phenomenon. Here is a story about worldwide paranoia and a deep-seeded fear of anything not human or of Earth. It is a very important question of how we would react to beings from another world…

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