Tag Archives: 2012 movies

Movie Review: Sinister

Image result for sinister movie poster free use2012’s Sinister was written and directed by Doctor Strange foreman Scott Derrickson, who has spent his career on a carousel of horror. Clearly more of a talent here than in the coliseum of superhero novella, Sinister is one of the more notable films of the genre in the last decade.

Sinister was sponsored by Blumhouse, a company that is both a beacon and blot on the brand. Blumhouse has demonstrated that the need to throw millions at a movie in order for it to succeed does not exist. A film can succeed on its merits alone, an important statement. Great ideas should not be skipped over because a major studio has no interest in producing them. It is of great value that art not be controlled by the business moguls, but by the artists themselves. In a way, Blumhouse gave that power back to them, while also giving studios a lesson in theatrical enterprise. The less your story costs, the easier it is to make a profit.

The downfall to this noble approach is some expulsion of honest theater and the arrival of swindlers seeking to make a quick pay day. One of the more attractive qualities to art, at least to me, is its honesty and the pedigree to which it and its practitioners hold themselves. It’s purposefully free, restricted only by the artist’s hand. Blumhouse has unintentionally spoiled the soil.

And look, film making has never been perfect. There have always been hacks trying to discover how to cheat the system or novices that throw scripts together to get a project over with, but I find the horror scene has been overflowing with them, which is a shame, because horror used to be so good. I think it can be, but if there was a staple that needed a renaissance, it would have to be horror (with comedy not too far behind).

What made horror so great back in the day was character. Yes, there were great slasher flicks back then as well, but even character drove those. Halloween is nothing without Michael just as Friday the 13th is nothing without Jason. Character is what drives a story, no matter the mode. I’m talking about movies like The Shining and The Silence of the Lambs, movies with characters so dynamic and so twisted it made your blood flow like a river.

Sinister isn’t a classic, but it does rely heavily on lead Ellison Oswald, played by Ethan Hawke. A true crime writer with an attraction to the grotesque, Ellison moves into the house where a family was murdered with the hopes of discovering what happened to the girl who vanished from the family.

In addition to being a film about mass murders and the vile routes one will go to end a life, it’s also about the seductiveness of ambition. Ellison finds a rack of 8mm tapes, all showcasing a family execution, but driven by his desire of fame and fortune, decides not to report it to the police. Ellison once had great success with Kentucky Blood, his best work, but has been unable to find that grandeur since and he’s thrust himself into obsession chasing it. The story is as much about the paranormal and ghastly crime scene details as it is about the psychological torture that Ellison is putting himself through trying to capture this nagging feeling of resolve. It clouds his judgment and very quickly, he realizes he has screwed up. There’s a scene later in the film where Oswald is watching interviews he did following the release of his big hit, a questionnaire where he talks about how the justice of the victims is far more important than his individual accolades. It’s at this point that he realizes he’s changed, and yet still, he doesn’t turn back. This character dilemma produces a reason for Oswald to push forward in circumstances where nearly everyone else would do the opposite. The scenes where you’re asking, “Why doesn’t he leave?” or “Why would you open the door?” aren’t here. This is a genuine person whose job and life purpose has become going forward.

As seen above, Derrickson does not allow his characters to be the mortar of the story, an important distinction. Characters, in my eyes, should never be the filler. They should be the fountainhead, the first thing that comes up in word association. If you’ve ever watched a slasher flick, you know that is not always the case. Blase characters are easy to remove and almost effortless to write. A true penman possesses the equanimity to pore over his work for days on end, fine tuning his art with the compulsiveness of an addict and commitment of a soldier. With writer C. Robert Cargill molding a capacious lead and hypnotizing creation, Derrickson is free to devote his time to tone and lighting. The film features plenty of shadow work and red-tinted shots to add an unsettling atmosphere to the main cogs of the piece, only drawing you in more.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Ip Man 2Ip ManKong: Skull IslandThe InvitationHush)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Doctor StrangeJohnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide SquadBatman Forever)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Great WallRobin HoodUnderworldThe Do-OverX-Men: Apocalypse)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Power RangersUnderworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Most Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the Apes)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Sinister: 85.

Sinister‘s best allegory is a black hole. It is enormously dark but increasingly enticing and soon, it’s pulling you in and it’s too late to escape. Like the abyss, Sinister is complex and inquisitive, the equilibrium of curiosity and patience. It’s one of my favorite horror films of late.

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Movie Review: The Avengers

Joss Whedon’s comic book marvel flashed before our eyes in 2012 and few were disappointed. It was the first superhero bonanza to show up in theaters. It became the third-highest-grossing film of all-time. It became a legend.

The Avengers had the advantage of being the first of its kind. Never was such a big project undertaken, a money-hungry dog let loose by the leash of Marvel. This money-hungry dog was given a $220 million dollar bone and enjoyed the chainless existence of a freelancer, able to investigate what it wanted, say what it wanted and to create what it wanted.

I truly believe Whedon was given the golden goose. He directed it, he co-wrote the story and created the screenplay. The only metaphor applicable to the type of luxury and novelty that Whedon enjoyed during this production is a child on Christmas. A cast list that few can compete with, one of the largest “bones” to ever be handed out to a director and a partnership of Marvel and Disney? Joss Whedon was given the life that people can only dream of and perhaps in this case, a dream very few can dream of.

I give Whedon props for delivering a Hulk-sized trophy film, a film that made huge ripples in the world of cinema and reignited the comic book world. The Avengers served as a memento for the world and it still does today.

Robert Downey, Jr. proved to be the best of the bunch as Tony Stark. His utter disregard for others, Olympus-sized ego and flippant comedy sketches are some of the biggest highlights of the film, as well as how Stark evolves as a character. Comic book fanatics can argue who the best of the Avengers is all they want, but Downey, Jr. is evidently the most-talented, although Chris Evans isn’t too far behind.

I’m still amazed that Chris Evans is the same dweeb that acted in 2005’s Fantastic Four. He had no bravado, no genuine energy and no talent but somewhere deep, perhaps in the bowels of Mordor, Evans discovered his natural ability to draw the camera to that charming face of his. While Captain America: The First Avenger was nowhere close to where it should have been in terms of production and quality, Evans held the film together and then opened his jaws for The Winter Soldier and really showed us how far he could go. While The Avengers gets nowhere as complex as The Winter Soldier in its story, its got some seriousness to it but not so serious that the lighthearted fall out of touch with it. A lot of that seriousness is provided by Evans. Keep it up, Cap. Looking forward to Civil War.

I’ve got to give a small hand of applause to Mark Ruffalo for giving us a Hulk film that doesn’t make us want to barf all over. The Incredible Hulk has proved incredible in the past couple years, incredible at turning A-listers into actors comparable to Hayden Christensen. Edward Norton is a great actor. He did not look like a great actor in The Incredible Hulk and to my knowledge, Marvel is staying away from Hulk films for the time being. It’s a shame because there’s a great actor there now in Mark Ruffalo that finally calmed the beast down and got him to stop looking stupid and saying stupid stuff. Mostly known for rom-coms, Ruffalo showed another realm in The Avengers and also in Foxcatcher, which I read good reports on. That was my one main concern regarding The Avengers, was that the Hulk was going to destroy everything. Actually, I guess he does kinda destroy everything but I mean the film, not all the baddies that had it coming. Hulk Smash!

Finally, Chris Hemsworth. I know we’re all in love with those beautiful locks of his and are bedazzled by that bod, but to this point, the guy has demonstrated little acting ability and continues to pour me vinegar when I asked for a martini. The Thor movies are the worst of the newest Marvel films by far, especially Thor: The Dark World, my crowned champion of 2013 Worst Film of the Year. The stories are toothless and present no suspense, supporting cast, or logical story line. There might have been more plot holes in Thor: The Dark World than there are craters on the moon. All this said, the guy’s not terrible, he’s just not good. He’s satisfactory, average. He fills the role and I completely understand that it’s too late to recast, but I wish Marvel would have looked elsewhere when they decided to pick the Norse god. Brad Pitt or Ben Foster both would have worked for me. Do you guys agree with me? Who do you think would have made a great Thor? Let me know in the comments.

It’s also important to mention our lead villain, Loki. Tom Hiddleston’s performance was a few pegs higher than in Thor and provided that acidic twist a film like this needed. One of the main complaints about Guardians of the Galaxy was its underwhelming villain, a problem that The Avengers never had. Samuel L. Jackson makes everything so much better as does the beautiful Scarlett Johansson.

Jeremy Renner is probably the only outlier in this cast, but only because the development of the character is not there, mainly because of a plot point. It’s a minor thing but it’s still a thing. When a movie’s this great, you have to get picky.

My only other comment is the drag in the opening scenes. It takes a while for things to get going because we have to introduce each hero, have their little hurrah moment, and move on to the next one. It’s like going on a long vacation but before you get on the road, you have to stop at five different locations and pick all these people up. It’s a bit of a hassle. A necessary one but still a hassle.

Aside from those two things, The Avengers is all the hype. The action is state-of-the-art special effects with stunning visuals and an adrenaline booster. The characters are brought out with dashes of humor and the story is there. It’s the superhero tribute we waited for.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (The BabadookInterstellarChappieAmerican BeautyGone Girl)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (EquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands Tall)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (BlitzThe PunisherDrive HardRun All NightRage)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for The Avengers: 96

Three years removed from where it all began and not even a week after its sequel released, The Avengers remains in cinema trophy cases and on millions of bookshelves for its “first shot heard ’round the world” epic. With impressive visual effects, concrete scripting and big-name cast, The Avengers has lost no spark nor has it faded into the recesses of our minds. The Avengers is very much alive.

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Movie Review: House at the End of the Street

Guys, it’s been long. Too long. And ironically, so is this review, probably my longest yet.

I apologize for not writing much recently. I’m the soccer beat writer for the college paper and the broadcaster for both men’s and women’s soccer and with them playing two to three games a week plus classes and trying to hang out with friends, there’s been little time for reviews, sports, or life posts as of late.

I have watched some movies, just haven’t written reviews on them. Among some of the stuff I’ve watched in the last month: Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (I feel like this goes without saying), Dredd (Dreddful, haha, no really it was awful), State of Emergency (Not nearly as terrible as I thought), American Psycho (Oh my gosh, Christian Bale, why I never expected such witty dark humor from you), The Judge (An Oscar-worthy film), The Kid (Similar to The Judge in scope but Disney-ified. A good family film) and V for Vendetta (Voluminous in vivacity and viewing valued).

I don’t know how much writing I will get to for the remainder of the week because I’m on break right now with my 21st birthday arriving shortly. Expect something on Monday for sure. The floodgates of WordsofWisTIM will be opened soon 🙂

For today’s post, I have House at the End of the Street starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bates Motel‘s Max Thieriot. There will be more plot synopsis with this review than I usually do, but as always, spoilers will be contained in the spoiler’s edition.

We see two parents get their heads bashed in by their clearly deranged daughter. Daughter runs into the woods. Flash forward four years later because time transitions are necessary in every horror movie ever.

Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) and her newly divorced mother move into an enormous house in an upscale, small neighborhood.

What is the fascination with large houses on barely inhabited streets? One, if you’re going to get a huge house, get one where you have neighbors that aren’t half a mile away so if something goes wrong, like I don’t know, some crazy people trying to kill you or something, you’ll have somewhere to go, rather than running around the house screaming “help me, help me” with no one to hear you. Two, if you have two people in your family, why do you need a house that could shelter a dozen? If you’re rich, I get it, you’ve earned the right to, you want to live the American dream, yada yada yada. These two are not rich. They just got it for a cheap price because there was a double homicide at the house next door. “Hhmm,” I would’ve said to myself. “If this is such a great deal then why hasn’t anyone taken advantage of it? There’s probably a reason for that and with me just starting a new job and it being just my daughter and I, there’s really no reason for us to have such a big place anyway. I think I’ll keep looking.”

You would also think if you haven’t spent any time with your daughter that you would want to buy a small place so that your daughter can’t hide around this expanse of a building and avoid any interaction with you, but our mom, Ms. Cassidy (Elisabeth Shue) isn’t very bright.

This setup has a lot of problems but it’s a horror movie, so I guess it’s a just-go-with-it element.

After a “feed the hungry” club meeting ends up to be a reason to get wasted and she finds out how much of a prick this one kid is, she begins to walk home when she gets picked up by Ryan Jacobson (Max Thieriot), the son of the murdered parents who was with a relative at the time of the killing. Yeah, there’s some misplaced pauses during their short drive home in the rain but Elissa handles it rather well and Ryan takes note of that. Elissa begins to have a relationship with Ryan despite her mother’s insistence not to do so.

As House at the End of the Street progresses, we learn more about Elissa. Director Mark Tonderai does a fair job of showing personality rather than telling us. She’s curious, a given for characters who find themselves in this genre. She’s a little pushy, forcing herself into Ryan’s house and just giving herself a personal tour and starting conversations on topics she really has no right to discuss, but perhaps the most revealing characteristic that Elissa emboldens is her want to fix people.

As stated in her mother’s monologue to this friend, “And that’s what she does: she picks the most damaged kid around and then she makes him into a project. So I guess I’m just worried that Ryan’s part of that pattern.”

I liked this tidbit because of its separation from the character norms we see in these films. Yes, there are other films where the girl tries to save the monster from eternal damnation, but it was the way it was presented and built on that clicked with me.

Beyond that, the character writing is pretty bad. The dialogue is okay but the colors of the characters are left pretty basic. I get that Elissa is a purple and that Ryan’s a blue, but what kind of purple and blue? A violet or a lavender? A turquoise or a baby blue? I’d like more specifics and with the horror reveal coming in the 26th minute but the actual horror not arriving till the 38th minute, I wanted more. At 101 minutes, 38 is slightly more than a third of your film and still not much has happened. The only substantial progress we have is our character learning, which is minor.

Ryan had his parents murdered and his sister was never found, yet he seems so reserved and nonchalant about it all. Where’s the pain? People treat Ryan like a freak, never disconnecting him from the malicious acts that happened at that house. Where’s the rage? Elissa’s prodding gets us somewhere but nowhere where we’d like it to be.

At the halfway point, there’s a twist that ends the supposed conflict, making you wonder what they’re going to go over for the next 46 minutes, but screenwriters David Loucka and Jonathan Mostow keep the former and latter halves of the tape together with a nice diversion from our original conflict that tidies up nicely but still leaves us with a few untied threads that bother us at the film’s conclusion.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Gone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of Extinction)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(When the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the Apes)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (The RavenDead SnowRubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (ZoolanderThe Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage Point)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (GallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the Titans)

My score for House at the End of the Street: 66.

After finishing the film late last night, I wrote the following:

“House at the End of the Street is slightly more than the average horror flick with a few unexpected twists, but the character writing and therefore acting are pretty shoddy and overall isn’t worth a viewing let alone multiple visits.”

In retrospect, the schematics for the film were pretty good. I was overly satisfied with the plot, but I have to agree with my prior self that the character writing dragged down the talent that Lawrence and Thieriot have shown in other works. Its creativity is what puts it in the 60’s, not the entertainment I got out of it because I didn’t feel filled at the end.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

SPOILER’S EDITION

This is probably the most thorough spoiler’s edition I’ve put together. Enjoy!

In a conversation with Elissa, Ryan divulges that he accidentally injured Carrie Ann on a swing set and the resulting brain damage from the incident made her extremely aggressive, leading to their parents’ murder.

The first reveal is that Ryan’s sister, Carrie Ann, is still alive. Why Ryan is still keeping her alive, I have no idea. When someone you love does an act like that, they’re not your brother or sister anymore. They stopped being that when they decided to start killing people for fun. I love my brother with all my heart, but if he went loony and killed my parents, I’d make sure he never saw the light of day again, not just for my own sanity and safety, but for those of others, and I’d ask him to do the same thing if our roles were switched.

Ryan goes to a secret basement section underneath the floorboards and brings food to feed her but she is delirious and attacks him and he has to sedate her. The next time he goes down, he brings food again and sedates her before leaving but FORGETS TO LOCK THE DOOR!!! If you’ve been taking care of her all these years, how do you forget to do that?!!! It should be like clockwork! You shouldn’t even have to think about it!

So Carrie Ann runs to Elissa’s house to kill her for who knows why but Ryan grabs her right before she gets there. Tragedy averted.

During Elissa’s next visit, which involves a make out session, Carrie Ann manages to get out again. “How’d she do it this time, Tim?” Well, Ryan puts the key to the locked door on top of the door frame, probably the second worst place to put a key that unlocks a door to a psychopath ever, with the exception being if he put the key in THE DAMN ROOM!!! Why? Because all you have to do is slam on the wall a few times for the key to fall over, you idiot! HOW HAS SHE NOT ESCAPED YOU IF SHE’S COME THIS CLOSE THIS MANY TIMES IN A WEEK??!!

Carrie Ann takes the top of a board game box, flattens it out and slides it under the door and bangs the key off the frame so it falls onto the lid and she drags the lid into the room. Pretty easy. She gets out and Dylan sees her run out the door seconds before Elissa comes out from the bathroom. He tells Elissa she has to leave right away and then runs out the door to chase Carrie Ann. This time, Carrie Ann almost gets to the side of the highway before Dylan catches her and while trying to keep her quiet when a couple making out in a pulled-over car hears them, accidentally breaks her neck.

“Thank God,” I said to myself. “Should have done that a long time ago.”

Fast forward a few scenes and Elissa drives to Ryan’s house looking for him. She finds a tampon box in the trash, making her come to the same conclusion we came to a while ago: Is Carrie Ann still alive? She investigates, finds the underground compartment and Carrie Ann jumps her right as Ryan comes in to save the day. Wait a second. Ryan broke Carrie Ann’s neck. That can’t be her. The hair color isn’t right. As we get a closeup of her face, we see the eyes aren’t right either. Carrie Ann had two bright blue eyes. One of these is hazel.

In the tussle, one of the bright blue contacts ends up on Elissa’s shirt, which makes her look through the trash again and discover an empty package of blue contact lenses and the wallet of the kidnapped girl.

After abducting Elissa as well, Ryan confesses that Carrie Ann died that day on the swing set, which leads to Elissa’s follow-up question: “Then who killed your parents?” which he ignores, saying he can’t have her and Carrie Ann, but that Elissa could be Carrie Ann, so he drags the kidnapped girl somewhere.

Other stuff happens but I need to wrap this up. Ryan tells Elissa that Carrie Ann’s death was his fault, which is why he was punished, but that “he stopped them,” leading us to believe he killed them but there are still a lot of loose ends. Other stuff happens, people die, blah blah blah and the final scene answers the rest of our loose ends…somewhat.

On an old videotape, we’re shown the mother bringing a birthday cake, asking Carrie Ann to make a wish. Ryan, dressed up as Carrie Ann, says, “My name’s not Carrie Ann. It’s Ryan.” leading to an abrupt slapping and a counter of “Yes it is. Your name’s Carrie Ann.”

Yet I still have questions. If Ryan told the police he was at a relative’s house, wouldn’t they look into that? Weren’t they curious how he got from “up-state” to wherever they are now? He says his relative had a stroke when he was 18, which conveniently would have been about the same time that the murders occurred, leaving really no one to attest to his whereabouts. However, the girl we see at the beginning was no older than 13, leaving a five-year gap. A few too many holes here.

All summed up, an easy message can be gathered here. One, don’t do drugs if you’re parents. The whole reason Ryan was watching Carrie Ann in the first place was because the parents were too busy doing cocaine. Two, if you’re parents and you do drugs, don’t force your living child to pretend to be your dead one. Favoritism is the first step to creating a psychopath.

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Movie Review: The Raven

I hate John Cusack. He’s such a lifeless, insipid and monotonous actor. Serendipity? A romanticism of a story that not only wouldn’t happen, but makes love way more difficult than it needs to be. Just ask the girl out on a date! Geez! The Contract was so bad and so, just no. I don’t even want to talk about it. No care was given for that whole production by anyone. Finally, while I haven’t watched all of 2012, I’ve watched enough to know it’s terrible and while Cusack isn’t the thing that started the fire, he didn’t help anything either. I’m doing my absolute best to avoid his films at all costs.

I almost saw The Raven in theaters and then I thought better of it. “Why waste money on a John Cusack film? Why, in the name of your own sanity, would you do that?” So I didn’t go and I didn’t regret it.

I played football yesterday and did not have fun at all, so being pissed, I had three options to burn off steam: 1) Walk to the gym and shoot hoops and I didn’t feel like that 2) Shoot things…in video games, mostly Call of Duty. My friend’s X-Box was unavailable. Which left me with 3) Watch a movie.

I don’t like watching bad movies, but at the same time, I find a certain level of satisfaction in railing on a film on my blog for you fine compatriots and creating new catchphrases and divulging my wrath onto a film’s flimsy shoulders. I wasn’t looking for a grotesque film or a film that only angered me more, just something to pass the time and deflate my bubble. The Raven was one of the first Netflix films that popped up.

Edgar Allan Poe was an odd man who very few understand even today. Has anyone watched The Following with Kevin Bacon? I did for a while and the show started to get really dark, almost too dark, which ironically, is what I think happened whenever someone got to know Edgar Allan Poe on more than a superficial level. His writings were maniacal, borderline psychotic, making you wonder if the man was capable of committing the crimes he described. At the same time, there was a certain fluidity to his work that few have been able to match. His mastery of the macabre, or quality of having a grim or ghastly atmosphere, was incredible and not appropriately respected at the time. He struggled through life but everyone knows the name Edgar Allan Poe.

Following this film and prior to this review, I read through the Wikipedia biography of Poe just for giggles because the film got me interested in the famous persona.

John Cusack, I hate you so much. The fact that you’ve gotten to Hollywood and probably make more in a year than I’ll make in an entire life disgusts me. You’re a terrible excuse for an artist. With all that said, good job.

Cusack exudes quick-witted, joshing language in the earlier segments and gives us a brighter aspect to the Poe we know. Probably not historically accurate, but not far-fetched. I could see a struggling writer performing these parlor tricks. There are some impressionable love lines between Poe and his one-and-only Emily Hamilton, played by the lovely Alice Eve from Star Trek: Into Darkness. Alas, we won’t be with the two lovebirds for long. A murderer starts killing people in the same manner as some of Poe’s writings, so Poe, with the aid of detective Fields (Luke Evans), must track down the killer and put a stop to it once and for all.

Kind of corny, huh? Sounds like a mix of The Following and Castle. Cusack and Evans take their work seriously and don’t give up on it, which is both admirable and partially effective. I’m still watching but some of this dialogue can’t get out of the gate. It clutters and clanks around the starting gate while the genre’s more effective counterparts gallop ahead.

There’s too fine a line between dialogue and plot points. The Raven is rudimentary. Driven by its need to solve the murders, the script never grips the characters and immerses itself in them. We’re talking about Edgar Allan Poe, one of the greatest literary minds in history, yet his character is largely ignored. Had it not been for the endless name dropping and physical likeness, it wouldn’t be hard to forget Poe and imagine our protagonist to be a struggling poet who has found success in writing works of gothic violence. The need for Edgar Allan Poe in this story doesn’t exist. In fact, retaining Poe is probably The Raven‘s greatest hindrance.

As I voiced wrote above, our knowledge of Poe is limited. That is not an excuse to pen a poor fictionalized account of how Poe met his end. If you’re going to fictionalize/create a story, create the character. Screenwriters Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare (not making that up) did the product a disservice by aiming their sights below this form’s potential. This wasn’t going to be a best actor opportunity by any means, but give us a story that Poe himself would have approved of. Make it dark, gory and suspenseful. Read The Tell-Tale Heart for inspiration. Sculpt the horror, paranoia and bewilderment that Poe used as the bedrock for his pedestals. Produce a work that only Stephen King could match.

Perhaps the writers did not have the talent to accomplish such a feat. Director James McTeigue’s inability to acknowledge the failings convince me that The Raven was purely an economic venture. When money is your primary purpose, I lose respect for you. Greed is such a barren ideal and contemptible value. There’s more to life than currency. Something tells me that Poe understood that. Most great minds do.

I almost would have preferred if The Raven wouldn’t have been about a series of murders and would have instead turned its gaze on the love of Poe and Hamilton. I wished to see how they made their love work despite her father’s hatred of Poe and the dire financial circumstances Poe found himself in. The Raven needed a subplot of some kind desperately. Its stern gaze ahead made it totally oblivious to the story angles around it. Ahead was corroded copper, but to the side there was bronze that they missed out on because of their overconfidence.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Gone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of Extinction)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(When the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the Apes)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Dead SnowRubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe Transporter)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (GallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the Titans)

My score for The Raven: 65.

The Raven may feature my favorite John Cusack role, but an ill-used duo of Luke Evans and Brendan Gleeson plus an over-polished story and a lack of propulsion in the film’s final third drop this into the mid 60’s. Still hate you, Cusack.

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Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods

Horror films don’t fly with me.

There are a few reasons for that. I highlighted some of them during my overview of You’re Next. For those who haven’t gotten to read that, one of the main problems I have with horror films is that they are so predictable. They never seek to amaze me. No, really, I was being serious. They really don’t.

In terms of what to take away from horror films, I don’t think there is such a thing. Keep in mind, I’m not a fan of the genre so this is just my opinion as is all of this. There are some great examples of how the genre can succeed. Two of my personal favorites are Silence of the Lambs and The Shining. They are so creepy and spine-tingling but they still find time to create enticing characters. It’s not a film that illuminates aspects of life like corruption or never trust your friends or something like that. These are two films that are just very well-written and scare the living crap out of you. I just saw The Shining for the first time this summer and oh my gosh, I will never be able to look at Jack Nicholson again without thinking of that movie.

In my opinion, that’s what the genre is so good at. It leaves a particular type of impression, usually an impression no other genre can facilitate. No matter how ruthless you make a character in an action film or drama, it can’t muster the same effect as a horror story can.

With that said, some people take the genre into realms the original creators of the genre never meant for it to go. I watched half of one of the Saw movies once, unwillingly I might add. It was one of the scariest things I ever watched, but it was so screwed up. There was no impression to be made from that film. The only thing it succeeded in doing was making me curl up in the fetal position. There were no characters, just hollow people waiting to be chopped up, burned alive or tortured in nearly every way imaginable. There was no point to it all. It was just unbridled chaos. It was not fun.

You might have noticed I named two older films as my favorites of the genre. There’s a reason for that. Back in 1980 and 1991, when The Shining and Silence of the Lambs were released, respectively, writers and directors still understood the entertainment that was to be had from horror films. It was not to cause panic attacks, crippling helplessness, or display satanic, sadistic and heinous story lines. Directors involved in the genre today seem to think that painting the most gruesome, sickening images they can think of will get them in the good graces of the genre’s most loyal fans. The remainder seem to think a few jump scares and pretty faces will do the trick.

Should horror films scare us? Yes. Should we be forever scarred from them for the rest of our lives? Definitely not. A healthy medium is required here. As with most films, the genre needs to rely on characters. What made The Shining so great? A Stephen King adaptation, Stanley Kubrick directing, and an award-worthy performance from Jack Nicholson. What made Silence of the Lambs so great? It won the Big Five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. Do you know Anthony Hopkins had less than 20 minutes of screen time as Hannibal Lecter? Yet he was so on point, so involved in his role, and so suspiciously evil  that everyone was scared of Hopkins for a while. I’m sure everyone was afraid to be in a room alone with that guy.

I’m not sure I can name a horror movie made in the last five years that I’ve seen that I cared for. Open Grave was lethal. Don’t subject yourself to it or you might dig your own grave. You’re Next was stupid but not intolerable. On the other hand, that’s not saying much. I don’t think I’ve seen any others unless you count last year’s World War Z, which was great by the way. I know based off the trailers and the reviews I read from the WordPress blogging community that not only are the horror movies of today not worth seeing, they’re detrimental to life expectancy.

So when I come upon a treat like The Cabin in the Woods, I know I’ve got to give it the high praise it deserves. Many moons ago, I read reviews from the blogging community and read about the bewildering phenomenon that it was. Apparently it was a ground-breaking story and a big hit for the genre. I also read that it wasn’t overly scary and that it made fun of horror films.

Based off those few tidbits, you can count me in.

So I watched it on Netflix last night and I was really confused at the beginning. I actually re-watched the first eight minutes to make sure I didn’t accidentally skip something. I never go back to the beginning when I start a film for the first time. Never.

That’s what The Cabin in the Woods is. It’s one of those rare exceptions to all the rules. It finds its way to dark humor that is effective rather than corny. It’s got some head-scratching scenes that shock you as the film proceeds because it all starts to make sense.

Because it’s one of those films, I can’t discuss a lot of the things that I would usually discuss in a review. It’s best to go in blind when you watch this. Trust me, you don’t want to know anything about this film when you watch it.

It’s not the acting or special effects that make this film so great. It’s what I discussed earlier that does: the characters and story. Joss Whedon produced it and wrote the script with director Drew Goddard, and Whedon’s ability to change things up and keep it fresh is especially notable here. This does not feel like another wasted canvas used for a shoddy, good-for-nothing story, trick-or-treat scare tactics and under-cooked characters. It carries originality and surprise twists. Dare I say, I care about these characters. Do you know how many times I’ve uttered the phrase, “I care about these characters” when discussing a horror movie? Probably twice.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Guardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack ReacherGodzilla)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(When the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the Apes)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (RubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe TransporterSpeed)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendable 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (GallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the Titans)

My score for The Cabin in the Woods: 86.

Sadly, I can’t go into more depth because this film will never be better than the first time you watch it, but The Cabin in the Woods is a revolutionary product not just for film-making, but for the genre. Even if you’re not a fan of horror movies, I think you’ll find Whedon’s influence here worth the watch by itself.

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Movie Review: Gallowwalkers

Any respect I may have had for Wesley Snipes has been incinerated.

Gallowwalkers claims to be a horror western about Snipes killing people and then killing them again after they come back alive. The word “zombie” is used in the plot synopsis but this film does not have zombies in it at any point. Director and writer Andrew Goth can’t decide what he wants people to look like when they come back. Some have disfigured bodies, some don’t and some have normal brain function like before and others don’t. The conditions and requirements for things to return to life are never clearly cut and neither is this movie despite how many times you’ll see people getting their faces cut off.

Probably the other problem with this film is that it took forever for it to be completed. Due to Snipes failure to pay taxes, the film didn’t release on DVD until nearly eight years since the film first began filming. Eight years! Give up, people!

The script of Gallowwalkers is already so cursed and blase that nothing can liven it up. If Snipes would just pay Uncle Sam what he’s due when he collects his paychecks, maybe this film would have been a little better. By a little better, I mean there’s a freshly-made Big Mac in the middle of the dumpster if you’re really hungry. Hopefully, you’d figure out eating that would be unsanitary but apparently the makers of this film would be okay with that because that’s basically what Gallowwalkers is.

It’s no wonder Netflix got a hold of this for its subscribers. Gallowwalkers is probably fighting for whatever spare change it can get.

The acting is terrible and the pacing as ponderous as an aged mammoth. I don’t know what’s going on for the first ten minutes. Convenience is a common occurrence in this story and it’s so absurd and unwarranted that there’s little point in riding the tracks Goth sets out for us.

The gun-riddling is ironically like a duel: it lasts for ten seconds and ends with an anti-climatic sputter. Dialogue becomes an overblown commodity throughout the film as events that could lead to action are glossed over with incessant rambling. For claiming to be a horror western, this film doesn’t frighten nor does it exude the western wit and tension that you would expect from something of the genre.

Another folly might be that it tries to combine horror and western and centers on making a new genre instead of a new film. Goth is so set on instilling fear that any want to engage yourself in Gallowwalkers is eliminated within the first half hour if not sooner. There’s no hook, no appeal to our attention. It felt like this production team was more focused on a statement in film-making than a statement in the entertainment industry. If only they would have seen the quality of their work. Maybe then they would have seen the egregious product before them. On the other hand, they had eight years to review this and yet they still didn’t see anything rusted, or corroded or anything.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Guardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack ReacherGodzilla)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(Red Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the ApesTransporter 2Battle: Los Angeles)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (RubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe TransporterSpeed)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendable 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Tucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the TitansA Haunted House 2)

My score for Gallowwalkers: 13.

I know this review isn’t very good. I’m sorry, but I don’t have anything else to say here. Very rarely do I find myself lost for words. Guess that’s a testament to the mess this is.

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Movie Review: The Grey

When I was younger, about 16, before I started WordsofWisTIM and started paying closer attention to movies, I had a few movies that I hated with the strongest passion. Among the select few that were bitter enough to make the short list, The Grey was one of them.

Liam Neeson is one of my favorite actors and so when my family and I sat down to watch this one night, despite how boring the back cover read, I had hope albeit cautious it was. If the back cover doesn’t look good, it’s probably not good. They say don’t judge a book by its cover. They never said anything about movies.

I watched it today (dare I say willingly?) and it wasn’t as bad as I remember it being. It was still awful, just not suckage-label awful.

A survival tale is going to be slow so try to keep that in mind when you watch it. That doesn’t mean you should excuse it. It’s still a huge problem. It’s like your corpse is being dragged in the snow by those terrible CGI-killer wolves in this movie. It’s slow and it’s painful.

The acting is pretty bad. Dermot Mulroney and Frank Grillo somehow got dragged into this and neither does anything worth their time. This is a movie that, at least acting-wise, could have went straight to DVD. Even Liam Neeson, who you can tell is trying, isn’t filling our appetites. The character displays aren’t even worthy of being called cardboard cutouts. They’re more like damp tissues: easily ripped apart and tossed to the curb. Why? Because they’re of little importance.

The Grey prioritizes its meaning over its characters and so when it’s not stamping its audience with the survival badge, it’s pretty mundane. There are a few snippets where something worthwhile is said but those tidbits are never related to the story being told. It’s always about the deeper meaning. For example, there’s some faith conversation and some talk where the characters tell jokes to try to separate themselves from the dire events unfolding. It would be meaningful if the writing was done at even a mediocre level. That’s the thing with a movie like this. Screenwriting plays a more substantial role than usual because there’s nothing to distract us like visual effects or humor. It’s all dark and cold like our setting and if you only put one foot into the darkness, it doesn’t work. You have to embrace it and accentuate the anchor points and the depths you want to reach and roots you want to explore. Dark stuff is hard to write about if you’re only half-involved, which I found interesting considering the film is entitled The Grey. To make grey, you mix white and black and by having half of their script in the white and half in the dark, this film is pretty grey, uncertain of which of the two roads to choose. To be fair, it’s more like 85% white and 15% black because trust me, if half of this film was excavating the stems of survival stories, I would have enjoyed this a heck of a lot more.

Alas, it doesn’t. No empathy is warranted and no characters are connected with. Liam Neeson is constantly with some girl but not until the very, very end does it tell you anything and when I mean anything, I mean like your buddy goes out on a date for the first time in a year and he comes back and you’re really excited to hear what he has to say and after he beats around the bush for two hours, he finally says, “Well, I took her to dinner,” before falling asleep. Pretty big letdown, right? You’d be pretty peeved, maybe even wake him up and force him to finish the story. Sadly, you can’t do that with The Grey because it’s a movie, not a person, nor can you see yourself carrying on a conversation with any of these people anyway. They’re all pawns in a bigger scheme, which is not what a movie is supposed to be. The characters should be your bishops and queen and king. That’s how stories are formed. Otherwise, it’s a dissertation on the darker segments of the human mind more than it is a story. Ugh, I just don’t want to talk about this anymore.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Guardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack ReacherGodzilla)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(Red Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the ApesTransporter 2Battle: Los Angeles)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (RubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe TransporterSpeed)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendable 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Planet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice, The Contract)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (X-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Tucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the TitansA Haunted House 2)

My score for The Grey: 25.

The Grey may have gotten a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I wouldn’t trust that score if I were you. On the other hand, if we’re rating movies based off of how close they are to rotten tomatoes, then that’s probably a good score for it. Easily my least favorite Liam Neeson film.

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