Wednesday, October 09, 2013

What I Watched In September

I'm going to keep it short this month to concentrate on the ongoing Halloween theme.

Last month found me making three trips to the movie theater and all three were good. ELYSIUM was very good if less impressive than the director's previous science fiction effort DISTRICT 9. I very much enjoyed the entire ride and I'm pleased to note that I'm becoming a huge fan of Matt Damon. I've always liked him but with this and his brilliant work in BEHIND THE CANDELABRA he has shown himself to be in the front rank of film actors today. The only thing I felt hurt ELYSIUM was the obvious dubbing on Jodie Foster to remove her affected French accent. I understand the way she sounded bothered test audiences but the dubbing took me out of scenes at times.

RIDDICK is the third film in this very entertaining series that started with PITCH BLACK back in 2000 and continued with the underrated and simply amazing CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK in 2004. This new film is the weakest of the three with its scaled down story but it still a very effective piece of harsh SF action. I could watch Vin Diesel play this character forever as long as writer/director David Twohy is along to create this great dark vision.

PRISONERS is a very effective and well acted tale of child abduction. The film follows the cop trying to solve this crime and the families as they suffer while waiting to learn of the fate of their daughters. The film smartly takes its time so that the horror of the families take root and twist into criminal acts in an attempt to find their children. The dogged, realistic way the police investigation is presented is excellent showing the hard work and dead ends that make resolutions in these kinds of cases so difficult. Jake Gyllenhaal is exceptional as the detective here and should be given some recognition at Oscar time. 

THE AWFUL DOCTOR ORLOFF (1962)- 8 (rewatch)
THE THING THAT COULDN'T DIE (1958)- 3 (pretty bad but still fun in the right mood)
THE 27TH DAY (1957)- 7 (rewatch)
ELYSIUM (2013)- 8
SINBAD OF THE SEVEN SEAS (1989)- 2 (oh, my)
JACK OF DIAMONDS (1967)- 5 (mediocre cat burglar tale)
THE X FROM OUTER SPACE (1967)- 4 (cheesy, silly Japanese monster fun)
THE ARENA (1974) - 6 (Pam Grier as a Roman gladiator!)
THE NIGHT WALKER (1964)- 5 (lesser William Castle)
DARK SHADOWS (2012)- 3 (humor destroys this effort)
THE BABY (1972)- 7 (odd thriller)
AMERICAN MARY (2012)- 7 (interesting descent into madness)
DEMON WITCH CHILD (1975)- 6 (Spanish Exorcist rip off)
RIDDICK (2013)- 7 (the least of the three)
THE BAY (2012)- 7 (well done found footage horror tale)
THE EXORCIST (1973)- 10 (rewatch)
AUTOPSY (2008)- 2 (terrible hospital horror)
HANGING FOR DJANGO (1969)- 6 (spaghetti western)
THE FROZEN DEAD (1967)- 6 (better in color!) (rewatch)
HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE (1973)- 7 (rewatch)
PRISONERS (2013)- 8 (strong, realistic crime tale)
LORDS OF SALEM (2013)- 3 (Rob Zombie fails again) 

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