Two Minute Movie Review: Lavender (2017)

Lavender (2016)

Last night, while stream surfing, I (unfortunately) came across a movie called Lavender. Here’s my two-minute review.

Title: Lavender
Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly
Stars: Abbie CornishDermot Mulroney

Genre: Horror (sort of)

Why I watched it:
Same as before. I like horror and science fiction, and there haven’t been many good new releases lately.  This was not one of them.

Interesting fact:
One of Cassidy’s Webkinz was named Redneval. That’s lavender backwards.

Review:
It stared out with a good, creepy vibe.  There was a farm, some nice cinematography.  Then I lost the plot and focused on trying to stay awake.  During the movie, I figured it was a The Girl on a Train thing.  I don’t even know if it was or not.  It was on my TV screen until the end, and I don’t know (or care) how it ended.  There was a flat tire and some jacks.  Somebody said something about cows.  Unless you have insomnia, you can skip this one.

Something I liked about it:
It’s set on a farm.  I love good rural literature.

Something I didn’t like about it::
It was boring.  Really boring.

Rating: ★

Wally’s take:
He slept through the whole thing.

More:
Wikipedia
Rotten Tomatoes

Two Minute Movie Review: Passengers (2016)

I watched Passengers last night. Here’s my quick review.

Title: Passengers
Director: Morten Tyldum
Genre: Sci-Fi

Why I watched it:
Slim pickings as far as new iTunes movies go lately, and I like science fiction. And Jennifer Lawrence.

Interesting fact:
There are references to The Shining throughout.  Similar vibe at the beginning.

Review:
Watchable. Not great.  Very little science.  Lots of fiction.

Something I liked about it:
Arthur, the bartender.  Loss of gravity in the swimming pool.

Something I didn’t like about it:
Lots of absurdly soft science, especially near the end.

Rating: ★★

Wally’s take:
He was unimpressed.  He’s only a dog, but even he knew some of that stuff would never, ever happen.

More:
Wikipedia
Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Review: Beasts of No Nation

Beasts_of_No_Nation_poster

I watched Beasts of No Nation yesterday and today, on the treadmill. Here’s my quick review.

Title: Beasts of No Nation
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Genre: Drama

Why I Watched It:
Netflix, which released this as its first original feature-length film, recommended it to me.

Interesting Fact:
Cary Fukunaga was the director of the first season of True Detective.

Review:
This is an excellent movie, action-packed, with great characters, and an important political message that does not get in the way of a great experience. Highly recommended.

Best Thing About It:
Abraham Attah as Agu. Oh, and Stringer Bell.

Worst Thing About It:
This is a fictional story, but this sort of thing happens for too often to far too many children.

Rating: ★★★★

More:
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Review: Ex_Machina

Ex-machina-uk-poster

This morning, while on the treadmill, I watched Ex_Machina. Here’s my quick review.

Title: Ex Machina
Director: Alex Garland
Genre: Sci-Fi

Why I Watched It:
It’s science fiction.  I love science fiction.

Interesting Fact:
It has similar plot elements to the (original) Star Trek Episode “Requiem for Methuselah.”

Review:
I wasn’t sure about this movie based on the reviews I read, but this is an excellent movie. I loved everything about it.  It’s great, topical science fiction, with a great story and some fine acting.

Best Thing About It:
Lots, but I’ll pick the actress that played Kyoto.

Worst Thing About It:
I can’t think of anything bad about it.

Rating: ★★★★★

More:
IMDB
Rotten Tomatos

Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

madmaxfuryroad

I recently watched Mad Max: Fury Road on the treadmill.  Here’s my quick review.

Title: Mad Max: Fury Road
Director: George Miller
Genre: Sci-Fi

Why I Watched It:
I love post-apocalyptic science fiction, and the original Mad Max was pretty good.

Interesting Fact:
The filmmakers paid a lot of attention to the tools and weapons used by the actors.  With one giant exception, I thought the repurposing was nicely done.

Review:
I had really high hopes after reading some great reviews (it’s 98% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, for crying out loud), but this is the rare movie that has over-the-top action scenes and is still sort of boring.  For much of it, I felt like I was watching someone play a video game.  The last 30 minutes are better.

Best Thing About It:
Little bits of realism (art, repurposing whatever’s at hand) mixed in with the madness.

Worst Thing About It:
The guitar and guitarist standing on front of that car.

Rating: ★★

More:
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Review: Insidious Chapter 3

insidious3

Delaney and I went to the movies last night, after I picked her up from Longhorns Swim Camp.

Title: Insidious Chapter 3

Director: Leigh Whannell

Genre: Horror

Interesting Fact: The power went out in the movie theater during the scary séance near the end. It was pretty creepy.

Review: Horror is my favorite genre, so I’m reasonably easy to please. This is a good and workmanlike horror film. Nothing more, but nothing less

Best Part: The window scene. I just about jumped out of my skin.

My Rating: ★★★

Delaney’s Take: “Freaky.”

More:
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

Lunar Eclipse & B-Movie Goodness

It was way too cloudy last night for us to see much of the lunar eclipse.  We could catch only glimpses once in a while as the heavy clouds passed overhead.

Fortunately, William Castleman, a professor at the University of Florida and photographer, put together an amazing time lapse video so we can see what we missed.

When I see or read about lunar eclipses, I am reminded of one of my favorite B-horror movies, Messiah of Evil.

It’s a creepy film about a blood red moon, vampire-zombies and, sort of, the Donner Party.  It was made by the same people who later made Howard the Duck and who wrote the screenplay for American Graffiti.  That, friends, is range.

I bought a VHS of Messiah of Evil on eBay back in the day, but I never got it converted to digital format.  That’s not a problem, as the film can be seen, in its entirety, on YouTube.