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‘Blair Witch’ Review

This one's worth skipping.

This one’s worth skipping.

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The premise of the sixth season of American Horror Story, subtitled My Roanoke Nightmare, has been revealed at last. I luckily wasn’t expecting all that secrecy and mystique to actually result in anything but intriguing marketing, although I must wonder if fans will be satisfied with what the crazy build-up was for. I don’t know that the Roanoke Colony disappearance was deserving of such hype.

Another question is whether or not this will be the story for the whole season. I gave American Horror Story a raving review way back when but it has steadily decreased in quality over the years, much of it having to do with its inability to carry a coherent storyline for a full season – subplots would come and go without warning or end abruptly, the story developments from one episode would be retracted or ignored by the very next, and so on. By now, it seems they’re gonna make a change to the formula of having one semi-self-contained story per season and shake things up a bit. We’ll see how that goes.

In some parts of the episode, which is “based on true events”, we see Lily Rabe and Andre Holland as the “real-life” versions of Shelby and Matt Miller. They retell their dreadful experiences at a mansion they purchased in the vicinity of Roanoke, as their memories are re-enacted by Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. (whether these two are playing themselves playing Shelby and Matt or are fictitious actors who inhabit the same universe I know not, but maybe we will learn this in a  later episode). Basically, a good 60% of the episode is composed of in-universe actors re-enacting an event that the characters involved will obviously survive, given that we see their real-life selves in the interview segments, which leaves us with little tension. It didn’t work in The Fourth Kind (unless the purpose was to make more people fall for the tagline “based on a true story” when attached to horror movies), so why would it work here?

The stuff Shelby sees in and around the mansion includes two spooky twin girls straight out of The Shining, creepy straw dolls straight out of The Blair Witch Project, deranged rednecks straight out of real life, and some kind of pig creature (I think). I guess it’s nice that sound designers for monsters are finally relying on stock “squealing hog” sound effects in a context that makes sense.

For now, I am mostly perplexed by the new season. I don’t know if they’ve given up on trying to make it seem like all the seasons are connected or if they’ve taken the anthology element to a new level by giving us multiple new stories per season (which would be just as well, given how increasingly unfocused each new season has been). For what it’s worth, the fact that they’re changing things around a bit has me interested, as does the interaction between the actors so far (particularly Sarah Paulson and Angela Bassett). I won’t give the episode itself a high rating but take that with a grain of salt and a candy apple.

2/5

‘Morgan’ Review

This one's worth skipping.

This one’s worth skipping.

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abbess

‘The Abyss’ (1989)

by James Cameron

____

Those who hail The Revenant as historically significant in what a mentally and physically grueling production it was are not wrong. But there was a time, before the most meaningful work on a movie was turning the giant green sheet behind the actors into landscapes and monsters, where such hardships were commonplace.

And never once has it reached the same extreme as in 1989 with James Cameron‘s The Abyss – which, fittingly, is also one of the earliest movies to employ advanced CGI, making it both a quintessence of practical/traditional filmmaking and a prediction of how filmmaking was going to change in the next few years. We would come to see such films as Terminator: Judgement Day, Jurassic Park, and that adaptation of Lawnmower Man that I was too dumb to understand. An exciting couple of years it certainly was. View full article »

‘Don’t Breathe’ Review

This one I recommend.

This one I recommend.

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I’ve more or less come to a decision: I am not going to pursue a career in video-making. Yes, I love making short films and yes, I do post on YouTube with decent frequency, but it’s over. Trying to make money off of it can’t possibly be a good option; not when you consider all the shit content creators have had thrown at them by now, all within the span of one year.

We survived the kerfuffle of the automated and/or fraudulent copyright strikes that only fell upon video makers who had Fair Use on their side whilst sparing those who would steal entire videos just to “react” to them, and we lived to see another day after entire YouTube channels started vanishing due to false accusations of breaking OTHER community guidelines. But now something else has happened. Something that neither robots nor butthurt film directors are responsible for. View full article »

This one's worth skipping.

This one’s worth skipping.

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This one works as punishment.

This one works as punishment.

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In this exciting new episode, we learn the truth about Wilfred, Lex finds out something shocking about his wife Lois, a female hero and a masked assassin exit the shadows, the hunt for the alien artifact continues, and Jesus “CarpenThor” Christ battles a new enemy – Kingpinferno. Basically, this film has way too much crap going on at once. I have succeeded. Pay up, DC!

Why do I keep doing this, you ask? Because y’all deserve a better superhero movie than Suicide Squad.

There are lots of animated films coming out right now. Therefore, I’m doing an Animation Week¹ here on the blog, finishing with:

This one's worth checking out.

This one’s worth checking out.

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