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Crunching the Numbers The Ocho (4th Quarter Reviews)

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    Since we're splitting up the year into quarters, I will be going old school and reviewing every film in order of release. Some films may only get a couple sentences, others may get a couple paragraphs, depending on how noteworthy they are.

    Edited by Numbers of House Stark
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    Can i request a second review for 1944 ?

     

    It said he's going to review all films in order of release. So he'll get to 1944 eventually

     

    In the meantime, I get to go first. Oh Joy.

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    It said he's going to review all films in order of release. So he'll get to 1944 eventually

     

    In the meantime, I get to go first. Oh Joy.

     

    actually I think you might be second with blood brothers first [hopefully]

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    January 5-7

     

    Blood Brothers

     

    A by-the-numbers drama that painstakingly follows the plot of the novel as two kids wind through childhood, teen, and young adult years, always connected by friendship and their unknown twin bond. The use of a narrator, even God Freeman, is totally unnecessary and bogs the plodding film down even more. The film also has issues with sudden and severe bouts of melodrama.

     

     

     

    The Good, The Bad, and The Dead

     

    Strangely for Raimi, the film actually plays things very serious and tries to craft a Western tale of bounty hunting and revenge...with zombies tossed in. The occasional instances of Raimi dark humor therefore feel out of place. It's a film that tries to have it both ways and while it is well crafted, edited, etc, it's burdened down by its indecision about what kind of film it wants to be: The Walking Dead Western, or a prequel to Campbell's CAYOM flick Texans Hate Zombies. The film doesn't choose, which leads to what would be a tense Mexican standoff suddenly interrupted by a poop gag. That scene is a fair summation of the film's major flaw.

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    The Good, The Bad, and The Dead

     

    Strangely for Raimi, the film actually plays things very serious and tries to craft a Western tale of bounty hunting and revenge...with zombies tossed in. The occasional instances of Raimi dark humor therefore feel out of place. It's a film that tries to have it both ways and while it is well crafted, edited, etc, it's burdened down by its indecision about what kind of film it wants to be: The Walking Dead Western, or a prequel to Campbell's CAYOM flick Texans Hate Zombies. The film doesn't choose, which leads to what would be a tense Mexican standoff suddenly interrupted by a poop gag. That scene is a fair summation of the film's major flaw.

    Fair enough, I suppose. The film itself is supposed to lean much more to the comedic side but through small moments/jokes, something that's difficult to represent/show in a plot summary.

     

    Also, it was supposed to be a pissing joke, not a poop one. Should've made that more clear.

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    Descriptions can be a best friend for distinguishing between serious and humorous. For example in the Campbell zombie flick Texans Hate Zombies I made (also made by Sam Raimi), one scene near the end is described as "They blast so many zombies to shreds that they essentially do an interior paint job with blood and bone and gore splattering the walls." That description gives the impression it's supposed to be classic Raimi over-the-top gore that ends up being funny in its overdone nature.

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    Descriptions can be a best friend for distinguishing between serious and humorous. For example in the Campbell zombie flick Texans Hate Zombies I made (also made by Sam Raimi), one scene near the end is described as "They blast so many zombies to shreds that they essentially do an interior paint job with blood and bone and gore splattering the walls." That description gives the impression it's supposed to be classic Raimi over-the-top gore that ends up being funny in its overdone nature.

    I struggle doing partially indepth descriptions of fight scenes. I always end up doing a beat by beat description of each action in the scene (something that wouldn't really work here unless I wanted to give novel length descriptions) or just simply saying 'they fight and this happens'. I just can't hit that middle ground.

     

    Also, I've finally remembered exactly what I was planning with that toilet joke. The idea was that Octavius and the Gunslinger held their Mexican standoff for so long that one of them ended up needing a piss, in a parody of the sort of overlong standoffs you see in films like TGTBATU. Next time, I need to make something like that clearer. And probably funnier.

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    Bloodbath Unite

     

    It's bloody. And there are people with poison teeth apparently.

     

     

     

    Hard to Find

     

    It just crosses the line between whimsical and creepy. If this had been a kid's story of a child finding wonder and adventure in his city of toys, there could have been something great. Instead...yeah, just kinda creepy here.

     

     

    Unbalanced V

     

    The last of the Unbalanced films focuses on a single story this around, that of a Russian sleep experiment. It is a very intriguing premise and there is plenty of horror and chills, but the film fails in giving us a reason to care. We're just watching cold-hearted sociopaths inflict a terror upon ciphers of characters. The film could have been so much better if it had been reworked to focus on the five inhabitants and their slow descent into madness as each day went by, getting to know each of them. What we get instead is far too clinical.

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    January 19-21

     

     

    1944 Part I: Resistance

     

    I was hoping for more from a 3-hour epic about the French Resistance. Instead we get an awkward love story between Bejo and a majorly miscast Josh Hutcherson for half the movie and a thinly plotted guerrilla storyline in the second half, with a sudden twist and cliffhanger for not much reason. This film either needed to be trimmed down in its running time by a lot, or it needed lots of revamping to better fill out its contents.

     

     

    Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

     

    It's solid action entertainment somewhat undone by a weak story and characters.

     

     

    Chessmen

     

    It's fun and fairly inventive. Solid family fun.

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    I don't grade films when I'm not participating in a Festival. But it's certainly worse than a C. January 26-28 Ice Station 2: Area 7

     

    The film has almost as many stakes-changing plot turns in 2 hours as an entire season of 24. And in that short a time, it's not a compliment, especially when the main premise of the film is totally forgotten about halfway through. So I guess the "pro-black" North has all been nuked because the President sure forgot about the nuclear football.

     

    Slenderman: The Beginning

     

    Thoroughly "meh"

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    February 2-4Curling Men

     

    It's 100 minutes of Apatow and his buddies kinda just dicking around with sports, booze, and superficial friendship issues. Amusing, but nothing more.

    Silent Invasion 3: The Attack

    The franchise is starting to bore me now, especially since the first 50 minutes is just domestic frivolities with some nudity/full frontal tossed in for the young guys in the theater.

    We are the Champions 2: Rise of the Crusaders

     

    I like football, the football action is executed well, the rest is really just background noise.

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    February 9-11A Love to Die For

    The premise is ludicrous but for the first two-thirds the film makes well enough of it with some sharp banter and some screwball antics. But then the final act just goes haywire with unnecessary, unbelievable twists and adds in an infusion of trite romantic clichés after eschewing them for an hour and a half.

    Demon: The SummoningGeneric horror film for the most part with some nicely handled thrills and a fairly well-executed twist ending. Nothing special, but good for a night of entertainment with your "appropriately diverse" group of people.Farmville Yeah this could have been a odd yet intriguing screwball sort of comedy, but the film just goes straight and boring.

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    February 16-19

    Hush Hush Little Baby

     

    2 year olds will love this but everyone else will hate it

     

    Indeed 

    Darkseed

     

    Some parts are vintage Cronenberg, but the rest is overly goofy and uncompelling. The sudden twist is uninspired.

    Spinach Artichoke Dip

     

    I like spinach dip. I like spinach dip more than this movie which goes total bonkers without earning the right to do so.

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    February 16-19

    Hush Hush Little Baby

     

     

    Indeed

     

    Darkseed

     

    Some parts are vintage Cronenberg, but the rest is overly goofy and uncompelling. The sudden twist is uninspired.

    Spinach Artichoke Dip

     

    I like spinach dip. I like spinach dip more than this movie which goes total bonkers without earning the right to do so.

    It looks like Numbers is

     

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