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All Good Shows Must Come To An End...
...And this one sullied not only its own name, but also Trent Reznor's. For years, I've raved about this series to anyone that would listen, and had proudly turned a few people onto it in the process. I am now ashamed. I'd feared Brooker and his writers had jumped the shark after "Metalhead," but I wasn't about to give up. Alas, in her true borderline/histrionic/narcissist personality disordered fashion, Miley Cyrus set the whole franchise up in flames, so now, none of us have much choice in the matter. The acting was flat, premise laughably melodramatic, and the dialogue played out as though a young child and actual Hannah Montana fanatic wrote the script. It's perfectly okay for Brooker to decide his series has run its course and bring it to a close, but why he chose to go out in such a cataclysmic failure is something I'll never understand. If you've thoroughly enjoyed even a single episode at any point, please don't put yourself through the agony of watching this one. You deserve better.
Bird Box (2018)
Well, at least I wasn't bored
I'm a fan of intense and dark psychological thrillers that leave loose ends untied, and events open for interpretation. While that works brilliantly for David Lynch and Darren Aronofsky, this one didn't quite pull it off. The writers did an excellent job of creating a plot, only for it to never quite unfold. This was like watching a Halloween campfire story, one that someone with a very creative mind made up on the spot, come to life. It held my interest and drew me in, but to what end? What I know for certain is that there is no answer to that question. The viewer's choices are to find a way to draw some semblance of an ill equipped conclusion, take it at face value and don't try to assign meaning where it doesn't exist, or turn off the movie. I went with the first option, and as such, will need to watch it again. The fact that I actually have the desire to do so is why I gave it six stars.
Emotionally Charged, and Visually Stunning
After having read some of the user reviews here, I did my best to stop getting my hopes up, which turned out to be completely unnecessary. Entertaining to the core, this movie has sharp graphics, some clever plot twists, and is action packed. There were a few moments here and there when it moved a bit slowly, and the dialogue was lacking, but those elements were few and far between. This one was absolutely worth the money to experience in IMAX 3D.
Psychological thriller where the audience is the antagonist at times
I would not recommend this movie as a general movie to watch, as I do with Black Swan. That doesn't mean that it's a bad movie: I mean that, to say that it's not for everyone is an immense understatement. There is symbolism that isn't immediately apparent, but most of it is. There is also a lot of action and dialogue with which to distract you. It does all tie together, but not before inflicting visual and audio trauma. I think that, to get the message across, the extent to which it is disturbing is appropriate. It will appeal to your visceral senses more so than it does rationality, and if your preferred genre is anything other than dark and twisted with elements of insanity, I'd say skip this one.
The Neon Demon (2016)
Beauty is skin deep, but vanity is violent
This is one I would only recommend to the most twisted of minds. My tastes tend to lean toward dark, psychological thrillers, sardonic humor, and ending left open to interpretation. The Neon Demon definitely has the latter, which is what draws me to it. As for any other elements, those need to be assigned by the viewer, and will vary based on individual preferences. I have developed a range of theories from Jessie being a demon, to the other girls being demons to the industry itself being demonic, then circled back around to, there is no meaning to be assigned. Here are some absolute takeaways: it's lonely at the top, jealousy can destroy a person, vanity is indeed the devil's favorite sin (a reference from another movie,) you never know what someone is hiding, and you can trust no one in an industry based solely upon everything that is superficial. Refn goes about getting these messages across in a wild variety of aesthetically pleasing, situationally unpleasant, unexpectedly gory and shocking manners.
Veronika Decides to Die (2009)
I was not expecting much, and I was blown away. I completely understand Veronika's outlook, her reasoning, and the logic behind her emotional state. Listening to her narration at the beginning of the movie is like hearing my spoken thoughts. As the movie progresses, it wanes a bit, but never completely falls off the radar. Then, the twist is revealed, and it's brilliant.
Please hear this: if you've ever been successful, single and struggled with severe depression, this is a must see. You will find Veronika's (Gellar) character to be incredibly relatable, and by the end, you'll gain perspective in ways you never have before.
A Mother's Nightmare (2012)
Caught me by surprise
I first saw this as a Lifetime Movie Network premiere, so naturally, I was expecting a cheesy, guilty pleasure. Much to my surprise, it has a very well developed plot, and is relatable in the way it depicts how easily influenced and entranced high schoolers can become with infatuation. After renting it from Amazon Prime, I found myself more drawn to the characters than anything, gaining an understanding of all perspectives of their complicated emotional states. From the very first scene, there are subtle nuances that come into play as part of character development as the story is crafted. Somewhat based on actual events from writer Shelley Gillen's son, I would recommend this for a Friday night stay in flick.
Jennifer's Body (2009)
The director, Diablo Cody, never meant for this to be categorized as a "horror" film, which is precisely what happened. This movie is a fine example of a dark comedy. The dialogue is very quotable, and, if you have a twisted sense of humor and enjoy sarcasm (as I do), you will enjoy this movie. The "scary" scenes aren't scary; there is a lot of over the top gore. Essentially, this movie mocks teen horror flicks. It plays off of the emo trend to create ironic humor, and the laughs come in when you least expect them. It also has a surprisingly respectable soundtrack. If you've yet to see this, I recommend it as a rental for a night in. You will be entertained. Please realize that this is a comic gem full of snark and wit, and don't expect to be frightened. Sit back and enjoy it for what it is; entertainment.