Movie Review: We Need to Talk about Kevin

IMDB, We Need to Talk about KevinThriller, 112 Minutes, 2011: “We Need to Talk about Kevin” on IMDB

Kids suck, amirite or amirite? I mean you’re perfectly happy living your life, spending your disposable income and sleeping through the night. You want to go out; you go out! You want to beat “Final Fantasy VII” in a sitting; you do it! Then, out of nowhere, BAM! Then, nine-months later it all goes to hell. The crying, diaper changing and total lack of privacy. And don’t get me started on the enduring antisocial behavior, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior!

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Movie Review: Dark Country

IMDB, Dark CountryThriller, 88 Minutes, 2009: “Dark Country” on IMDB

Thomas Jane [IMDB] stars in and directs this dark, psychological thriller. Dick (Jane) and Gina (Lauren German [IMDB]) met, fell in love and got married all in the same day. But that’s the kind of thing that happens in Las Vegas. They’re driving Gina’s old Ford through the desert at night – it’s the only way to beat the heat – so that they can start their new life together. Things go from bad to worse when they run down an accident victim and have to deal with a quickly unraveling set of circumstances.

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Geek Double Feature: “Rise of the Fellowship” and “Knights of Badassdom”

Dungeons and Dragons RedboxI’m old enough to remember the rise of tabletop role-playing brought by “Dungeons and Dragons”. The popularity of the game (and the personal infighting of the authors) led to many versions of the game, multiple incompatible editions and dozens of imitators. Public confusion about the game led to accusations of demon worship and dumbass TV movies. Despite all this, my friends and I poured our imaginations (and meager allowances) into it.

In retrospect, that the game was so broken may have been a large part of the allure. Sure, it was complex – that kept away the people that we preferred not to deal with in the first place – but it was also versatile. We’d argue about the rules, toss those we didn’t like and make up our own. At every level of the experience the game offered awkward kids power. Imaginary power, to be sure, but power nonetheless. We created the world, we controlled it and we decided how it worked.

These two movies represent separate, but similar, evolutions of my childhood obsession. The first celebrates the transition from the tabletop to online multiplayer. The second to the more physical experience of live action role-playing (LARPing). Both embody such a deep-seated respect for the things I used to hold dear that I couldn’t help having a ton of fun with them.

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Movie Review: Would You Rather

IMDB, Would You RatherHorror, 93 Minutes, 2012: “Would You Rather” on IMDB

A group of people, all of whom are down on their luck, are invited to dinner at a posh mansion by a mysterious benefactor who promises that can solve all of their financial problems. When they arrive they’re given some time to mingle and get to know one another before the true purpose of the evening is revealed: a sadistic, fatal game of “Would you Rather” for the amusement of their wealthy host. The winner is set for life, the rest lose their lives.

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Movie Review: Slasher House

IMDB, Slasher HouseHorror, 85 Minutes, 2012: “Slasher House” on IMDB

[Wife and kids are away visiting for the holidays. I’m staying home with movies and am back to the blood bucketing.]

This is pretty good ultra-low-budget horror. It’s a pretty damn bad anything else, but with a budget less than most used cars you do have to set expectations accordingly.  There is often an undeniable charm to be found when literally every penny counts.

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Movie Review: Hatchet

IMDB, HatchetHorror, 93 Minutes, 2006: “Hatchet” on IMDB

[Wife and kids are away visiting for the holidays. I’m staying home with movies. Just call me “Scrooge”. The silly one, with Bill Murray. ]

A group of people head out on a shady nighttime “Ghost Tour” of the New Orleans swamps. They hear the story of Victor Crowley , a deformed swamp person accidentally killed by a hatchet to the face  years earlier. Their inexperienced tour guide runs the boat aground, sinking it, near Crowley’s abandoned cabin and discover that he’s only mostly dead. In fact, he’s running around dismembering people.

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Movie Review: The Devil in Me

IMDB, Devil SeedHorror, 108 Minutes, 2012: “The Devil in Me” on IMDB

[Wife and kids are away visiting for the holidays. I’m staying home with movies. Just call me “Scrooge”.]

Yet another movie with multiple title disorder. “The Devil in Me” on IMBD and “Devil Seed” on Netflix.  This is usually does not bode well for the experience.

The story is a weird mash-up of “Rosemary’s Baby” [IMDB] and “The Exorcist” [IMDB]. Alex has just returned from her grandmother’s funeral. Her roommates have moved into a new apartment while she was gone. They go out to party and drunkenly patronize a fortune-teller where Alex has a seizure that she promptly forgets about the next morning.

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