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The Ritual (2017)
Best horror ive seen in a long while....
First up...and Im probably too late...i suggest watching this movie with as little spoilers as possible. Its a tense, suspenseful, entertaining horror movie that had me on board from the opening scene through the final shot. Stop here..go watch it!
ok...for those still reading...i'll dig deeper but avoid too much spoilers. Alot of people are connecting this with Blair Witch, which i suppose is ok from a setting standpoint, but dont fully agree with. This movie centers around a group of men who have been friends for a long time and do a fun "guys" vacation each year. The film opens with them experiencing a horrible event and then moves quickly to their vacation choice...a 3 day mountain hike in Switzerland.
From there it goes bad.
I suggest watching this film in a darkened room and just go along with the group as they experience some scary stuff. The horror is two fold as in addition to what they come up against, there is also the "man vs nature" element of them (at one point) being very lost within a wooded expanse. Another great aspect of the flick is it blends several horror genre's. i wont list them here as it would spoil 3rd act reveals but there's some doosys! Check it out!!!
Accident Man (2018)
Direct to video Jason Statham-esque John Wick rip off.....
This is a fun flick and I think a solid rental suggestion for action fans.
If you know Scott Adkins, you're already on board.
Ive read alot of comparison reviews for this movie but few have called out that it is very very very VERY much a retelling of a John Wick movie. Staying spoiler free: the movie centers around a group of unique hit men and women that hang out at a safe location and live by a set of rules. When things go south for one of the hitmens loved ones, he finds himself pitted against his hit men/women. Sound familiar? Yup. Did i mention the hitmans name is Baba Yaga? ok..im kidding about that.
So...getting past the movies "inspiration"...is it any good?
For me...mostly yes. Adkins stoic-ness, delivery and accent do come across very Jason Statham like. His fighting skills and the overall fight choreography provides some decent fight scenes. They dont measure up against the creme de la creme of action scenes (ie: The Raid) but they are solid.
The premise is great to have a rag tag band of characters and the movie delivers there...each hit person being an extreme archetype. The flick gets extra credit for its inclusion of the great Michael Jai White.
I would probably rate the movie as a B- direct-to-video flick. Theres a pretty nifty character back story within that may bump my rating up to a B. Overall its a fun, breezy, straight forward action/revenge flick. I would definitely be onboard for a sequel.
Ignore the mixed reviews - if you like the movie, check this out...
WHAS:FDoC is awesome. Its not really a series of 30m stand alone episodes, its much better digested as one looong movie which is easily watched over a couple sessions. Fortunately netflix makes this easy.
The show is a lot of fun. As with the movie, its not really easy to describe. Its part parody but often played very straight and not even necessarily for the joke. There's a lot of the show (and movie) which come across as a straight forward camp storyline. Some of the jokes miss. Some a predictable. But when you put it all together its a TON OF FUN. There's goofy stuff. There's creative bits. There's wonderful cameos. Amazing setpieces. Perfect music. And a lot of laughs. It also manages to poke fun at at least five or six movie/TV themes (camp films, courtroom drama, rock bio, military, coming of age, etc).
It should be noted that the finished product is really pretty amazing given the limitations of schedule and trying to recapture the look/tone/feel of a movie made many years ago. They do some VERY creative camera-work and editing to stretch each actors involvement to feel like everyone was there the whole time.
So...check it out..and stick with it. The first few episodes are pretty straight forward..then stuff gets wacky around ep3 and doesn't let up. Its awesome!!
Sound City (2013)
Amazing documentary for music lovers
First up: how freaking cool is Dave Grohl? Nirvana, Drummer, Foo Fighters, Guitarist, Queens of the Stone Age, Tenacious D (the devil!), music lover......and....now director!?!...make that Excellent Director.
This documentary is actually kinda/sorta two doc's in one. The first half takes a wonderful walk through a wide array of music and artists that recorded at the Sound City studios. Dave & Nirvana recorded "Nevermind" there. The storyline is woven around an amazing mixing board which Dave purchased from the now closed studio and had installed in his own. This leads to the second part which follows Dave and a diverse array of artists playing music in his studio through the mixing board.
This movie is made with a pure love, respect, and enthusiasm for music....all music..over the last 40 years. Everything works so well together: the artists, the stories, the love of analog recording, and, of course, the music. If you're like me, you'll watch this and immediately follow it by digging out old records/cds that you haven't listened to for a while. Its excellent.
Regarding distribution: the movie premiered last month at Sundance and is now available for purchase and electronic download.
Peace .n. "We are the Music Makers and We are the Dreamers of Dreams". -Willy Wonka