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Overdrive (2017)

Overdrive (2017)

Finally a car movie with really old cars! I don't think I've seen any this old since Gone In 60 Seconds. The old one. And maybe even then they weren't this old...

They do make for an awkwardly slow-driving chase in the final segment of the movie, but who cares when they're so awesome to look at?! And the driving overall is as much an art form as the cars themselves. Some of those golden oldies to come in harms way too - they're not just there as decoration, even if I'm not sure they really are as old as they look, or how much of the carnage is special effects and props and how much not...

The whole movie is beautiful - from the action, to the cars, to the women standing on the sidelines - who almost seem like they're there only for their appearance sometimes. They don't have much to contribute plot-wise but... it wouldn't be quite the same without them either. I'm glad they don't mind the stereotype. At least not noticeably.

Overall it's a somewhat shallow, but thoroughly entertaining and good-looking action movie about two brothers who boost cars. There's two girls, and two rival gang leaders with a wide assortment of vehicles in their garages too. That's the main cast, pretty much.

The intrigue's alright though. It feels a bit like a mixture between Ocean's 11 and Redline - another smooth car movie coincidentally ten years old this year. It had the same superficial tone to it but faster cars and a female protagonist - who come to think of it looks a bit like the sidekick in this one. Maybe even better. She could sing, too.

A lot of it - save for the cars, gender switch and added action - does feel vaguely familiar. Both movies had their ups and downs, but in many ways this feels like a more polished, more intensified; more incentivized version of the former. Not sure it's really worth a full four but... it all just looked and felt so good! If you like cars you'll probably like this.

It's a blast from start to finish, with an intro composed of smooth and soft car bodies that curve, caress and lure you in easy. And the following scene with the truck was pretty savage too. Redline meets Fast & Furious? Sort of. Whichever inspirations they had they used them right.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Cell (2000)

The Cell (2000)

This one's a dance of death - a musical of the macabre. It starts out serene, with dunes of desert sand playing in the wind... but soon takes a trip to the psychotic, sexual, and dangerously deranged.

It moves from the mind of kid in a coma to the mind of a psycho - that might help the FBI find a missing woman locked within a cube of glass soon to be filled with water. A cube of glass he put her in, with a mind full of cubes the protagonist risks falling into herself.

J-Lo plays Katherine - the main character - a psychologist extraordinaire, and Vince Vaughn the cop with commitment. They start out at different places in the movie, but are soon brought together in the common cause of finding this woman and saving her life - and as Katherine gets all the more entangled in the mind of the madman: maybe saving him too.

The scenes are bizarre, both dark and sunny. They're artsy - like Suspira. They look like I miss those days! Of when movies really were a form of art. Horror. Thriller. Fantasy. Morbid, maniacal, sensual, sinister, mystery and mind games... to the point you don't really know what's real or not.

And even when it's over can you really know for certain? The ending was... less open to interpretation than I expected it to be, though. I'm still not sure. Uncertainty has a certain appeal. She drives off in a blue car.

Overall this was a thoroughly well-made movie. Uncomfortable and tense, but beautiful in its own way. Different. It's like the regular serial killer thriller with a twist; both sci-fi and horror mixed in.

It might be Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn's strongest performances as well! I wasn't expecting so much from them, but they go beyond. It's a not-overly-known but very well selected cast overall, for a not-overly-known but exceptional movie. This is going in my favorites.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Don't Breathe (2016)

Don't Breathe (2016)

Scary movies are coming back in style lately! Here's another one. Another good one, that is.

The movie tells the tale of a trio of kids who decide to rob a blind man living in an abandoned part of the city, though little do they know the blind man is not really alone, but lives there with some dark secrets...

It wasn't as scary as I expected. Not many jump scares. Not that big an element of less visible horror - but it definitely had an always perceptible tension. A presence. A threat. The blind man makes a good villain, though the ambiguity of what's really right and wrong - and who's deserving of what happens to them - makes the movie feel pretty unique.

It's creatively filmed, with style and relevance - focus on details that matter - and it did have a few twists along the way. Doesn't always follow protocol.

It also reminded me a bit of Sleep Tight: A Spanish thriller/horror movie with a few common elements, even if the bad guy there really is the bad guy - no ambiguity about it.

I'm impressed with how much they managed with so limited settings too. From the outside the house didn't look like much, but when they're trapped inside it: doors locked, windows boarded, a rabid dog running through the hallway: it's a maze. It's a mansion. It's intense. The setting and sense of isolation occasionally remind me of Resident Evil too.

It doesn't hesitate to get uncomfortable, doesn't always go how you expect it to, and in the end... well, just give it a watch. You'll see.

And avoid the trailer if you can. It has one major spoiler.

Overall this was a great movie. Creative, creepy, and as with a few other recent titles it feels like it's a part of a whole new movement of modern horror. With titles like Get Out, Light's Out and The Purge they're really bringing the genre back to life again - moving away from a wave of gore and shock-horror to movies that really focus on the scares. It's all here.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Musicalish #248

A variety of styles, but all good vibes! Enjoy.

(more…)

Bhaag Johnny (2015)

Bhaag Johnny (2015)

Johnny's the charmer of charmers! He has a good job, all the women he wants, and is living the life - until one day he walks into the office and his boss has found out he's swindling the company. She gives him a choice: Either take a three day trip to Pattaya Resort or go to jail for 10 years. 10 years is a long time so... he takes the vacation.

It soon gets a bit more complicated when he realizes the vacation wasn't as unconditional as he thought. Faced with one impossible decision a Jinn appears and offers him a choice: for the next 72 hours he can live two lives, and see the results of his actions depending on which path he chooses. There's just one catch: If he dies in either one of these two alternative timelines he dies in both of them. And so we follow both Johnnies, and the drastically different timelines they traverse.

It feels a bit cliche how good the one goes, and how bad the other, but at the same time it's a both creatively mystical and exciting story, with a little dance and romance mixed in - and intrigue. It's well-filmed and easy to follow, with some classy Bollywood fighting and explosive (unfortunately not very realistic) CGI. It's not the deepest take on the two-life tale, but it's a good one, and the suspense is there all the way. Kunal Khemu is good as both main roles, and Zoa Morani and Mandana Karimi not bad as the girls.

I'm really not disappointed with anything in this movie, but quality-wise... it's difficult to still give it all too high a score.

Also: alternative cover. It was hard to pick between the two, as they show so different sides of the movie in each. Just like the movie itself.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Category 6: Day Of Destruction (2004)

Category 6: Day Of Destruction (2004)

Three tornadoes converge to wreak havoc on Chicago, disrupting the power grid and creating the worst super-storm in history: a category 6 twister.

Here's a fictional TV movie detailing a bunch of people's different fates as they both try to outrun the storm - as well as the one before it, and try to make the world aware of the natural disasters that await, and try to save their families, and try a whole lot of other things (no drugs, though).

In the split-up cast there's the diligent storm rider, the reporter, the cameraman, the daughter who gets shot and her boyfriend who shoots her, the son, the pilot, the man in charge, the new co-worker, the good guys, the bad guys, the woman with influence, the pregnant woman, the wild cards... and probably a few more. Basically it's like a soap opera.

With that I mean it's a mess - even if the different character fates are pretty exciting to follow, and the special effects are even more of a mess, but the editing and plot progression... it's just like a TV show. They manage to make everything as exciting as they possibly can, and so in the end:
it was pretty good after all.

At least you can't say any of the actors are bad. Most of them feel like seasoned season actors - at home with whatever roles they get, it's just the blockbuster-level movie quality that's missing. I can't overstate how crappy the effects were - and there's so much dialog and intrigue going on you almost tire. This is why I don't usually watch regular shows.

Apparently there's a sequel to this one too: Category 7: End of Days (2005). If you liked this, or if you have time to spare on a mediocre but probably captivating natural catastrophe movie... that might be worth a watch too.

 rated 2/5: decent

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