Sunday, September 25, 2016

Farewell September, welcome October

September ends this week and we move into October, one of my favourite months. It is not as cold as winter but the change in temperature is nice as out come jumpers from the back of the wardrobe and the heating comes back on. Windows need to be closed at night and the leaves on the trees start to turn orange.
At the end of October there are the half term school holidays and the clocks go back on the 30th, bringing lighter mornings (for a short time) and dark afternoons. Then Halloween at the very end of the month, a time of year I enjoy with all the related dressing up and theme events.


We Are What We Are

I watched this film this week. It concerns a family (a dad, 2 daughters and young son) who start the film with the death of their mother. The family seem to be very religious and sort of backwards in an Amish style way. Living in modern society but not having many of the modern day trappings of technology. However they do own, and the father drives, a car. Apparently, according to Wikipedia it is a remake of a Mexican film. I wonder what the original was like? The story revolves around a family tradition of doing what it must to survive, born out of a flood many years ago. The flood story seems to have been written up in a bound diary/journal that is regarded with bible-like respect. We gather the mother was previously the cook and the father the hunter. The game in this case being the unfortunate humans who every year have to be slaughtered so that the family can keep the tradition alive. The question why is not, to my recollection, really addressed. We just have to believe it.
There is an elderly doctor in the film, whose own daughter mysteriously disappeared years ago. He has been doing a lot of research and has a dossier of other deaths in counties outside of the nearby area and sees a pattern. Unfortunately the local police think he is just grieving and not letting go and seeing patterns that aren't there. His suspicions are further aroused by finding a bone in a local creek that runs by the home of the family. He believes it is a human bone and as he studies it further suspects it has been scraped with an instrument of some kind.
The doctor does further research. The family behaviour is erratic when the son has a fever and they have to bury their mother. The doctor notices a hand tremor in the father and does further research into something called Kuru, which is a disease afflicting a tribe in Papua New Guinea who had it because they were cannibals.
It doesn't end well for the father but I won't give any more away. It is a fairly slow paced film but one that is well made and builds well to its climax, which is pretty good. It's certainly not a bad film. The acting is pretty good and so is the story. Worth watching again in the future at some point.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Inside

I watched the film Inside this week, it's an Irish horror film. It is one of those found footage films, told posthumously from the perspective of the camera person. A man goes in to a pawn shop and tries to sell something but the manager only wants to give him so much, so they negotiate some money and a camcorder. The film follows the man who watches the footage on the camera he has just acquired.
A group of girls are celebrating a birthday and inexplicably they decide the place to go is a disused office building down some side streets of a city. They break in and start having a party. Unfortunately the party is violently interrupted by some men, I think they might be homeless men. It's not clear why the men are in the building but they start to attack the girls in the party but are interrupted. From then on the film follows the survivors as they try to escape and evade whatever it was that attacked the attackers.
Not a bad film, it manages to the action going without ever feeling over long or too slow. The acting is pretty good from what seem to be a group of unknown actors. The story is quite unsettling and stays with you for a while.


Crawl

I watched a film called Crawl this week. It is set somewhere in Australia but it could be anywhere, the location isn't that relevant to the story. An unpleasant bar owner hires a Croatian killer to kill an old man who runs a garage and auto shop. It isn't very clearly established why killing him was necessary but the important thing is that the Croatian plays a big role in this film. He is played by an older actor and does a good job of portraying someone to whom killing is a business rather than a personal thing.
The film is slow paced and I would say was a thriller rather than a horror film. There is nothing supernatural in this story. The tension is kept wound up tightly, there is surprisingly little music in the film, what there is seems quite sparse. I don't know if this is a deliberate thing or not. Not sure it works entirely, having watched The Entity recently I know that sound/music can play a massive part.
At the end things get a bit bloody but its not a gore-fest.
Overall, this wasn't a bad film, I'd have to be in the right mood to want to watch it again though. There are some things that happen and you think the story will come back to but it doesn't. So, it is slightly frustrating that some of the characters aren't developed as much as you want.


 

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Entity

Last night I watched the film The Entity, starring Barbara Hershey. She plays the single mother of three children who just one evening finds herself attacked in her own bedroom by an unseen force. The film steers a course between the terror of her attacks and the ineffectual hypotheses of the psychiatrist to the hope of the paranormal psychology team. It's a very clever film I think, I like the relationship she has with her best friend and the relationship she has with the man in her life is also well played, particularly towards the end of the film. I have watched bits of it in the past but this time watched the whole film and was very impressed. It's not easy to watch in parts, her attacks aren't very pleasant and the sound design is excellent and really helps add to the chilling atmosphere.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Shallows

Last night I went to see a film called The Shallows. It is set somewhere beautiful and tropical where the surfing is fine and the beaches are golden. A woman is dropped off on her own because her friend has a hangover and she goes surfing. She joins couple of guys already enjoying the surf. The guys leave and she stays out a little bit longer.
She strays into the water where a whale has got stuck on some coral and has been attacked. Then she is also attacked. She barely survives but fortunately she is training to be a doctor and manages to swim to safety and is able to treat her bitten leg.
It's an Australian survival horror film and I thought it was quite a successful one. Blake Lively gives a strong performance as the woman who fights to stay alive. This is the sort of film that wouldn't have been made a few years ago. It has a strong female main character who is intelligent and brave and strong. She is also beautiful and feminine.
The plot is fairly predictable but it is fun to see how she problem solves and fights to survive.



Nude nuns with big guns

I watched this film last weekend as well and I was expecting that I'd have to turn it off after a few mins. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the film. It is a ridiculous film, don't mistake me but have you never heard the expression "so bad its good"?
There are a number of incomprehensible things about the film, why are the nuns nude? They seem to exist solely for the purpose of packing drugs into suitcases for the priests who are in league with Hells Angel gangsters. The Hells Angels henchmen include a big black guy that rapes to order an old nun who has taken a vow of silence so that she gives up her vow to reveal what she saw. In another scene a family pull up at the same gas station that they're at and he rapes the wife while the husband is humiliated and the daughter is in the back going to get raped next. All couched in a questionable comic-ish way.
There are plenty of boobs in the film and some nun on nun lesbian action but not quite as many big guns as I was expecting. It is a revenge film I guess and has a Wild West theme to it. Pure fantasy and a strange one at that. It's not a film that leaves you wanting more however once you start watching it sort of drags you in and keeps you there waiting for the next ridiculous scene.
Apparently there were two companies claiming copyright for the film who were suing a large number of bit torrent users for illegally downloading it prior to its release.
Would I recommend this film? Er not really sure, it's probably just down to personal taste, it will be repugnant to probably half the population at least!




Deadtime

I watched this film last weekend but didn't have time then to blog about it, hence this blog post. Erm, the British horror film Deadtime is bad. No other way to say it. It is a film about a has-been rock band about to fold when given a last reprieve in the chance of an opportunity to lock themselves away in a disused old building/music studio and make a video. I was a little confused whether they were recording music or making a music video or both.
Terry Christian and Leslie Grantham make brief appearances at the start of film. Happily they aren't on screen for long. The script quality was very poor. The cast performances were nothing to shout home about either. The aging front man of the band attempts to look hip and cool and dangerous and fails to pull it off miserably. It is embarrassing to watch.
The slasher-film action is sub-standard too. There are something like 11 murders and you just couldn't care less about any of the victims and even their manner of death is quite tame. The effects are all pretty lame.
I would not recommend this film to anyone.


Saturday, September 03, 2016

The Hike

I watched the film The Hike this week. It is from 2011 and I have to say it is tripe. It starts badly and gets worse as time goes on. The cast don't really connect with the story, so you get the feeling they don't mean anything they are saying. This is a big problem with the film because the story sort of depends on you being tricked into not knowing who the bad guys are. This twist falls really flat when it should really make the film. It's very unfortunate. I wanted to like the film but it just did not deliver on the crucial fronts. The actresses are all gorgeous but that doesn't rescue the film and it's hard to tell whether they can really act or not.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Truth or Dare

I saw the film Truth or Dare yesterday evening. It is a film concerning a group of college friends who know how to have a good time and are at a party. A socially awkward young man who isn't in the clique but who fancies one of the girls chooses her as the person he'd like to sleep with in a game of truth or dare. Unfortunately her boyfriend doesn't see the funny side and takes it badly and the party gets intense when he challenges and then punches the young stiff. The story skips forward a year the friends are travelling independently to a party after their first year of university. It transpires that it is the birthday of the chap who was punched. It is set on his family estate somewhere in the wilds of the country, the guests are directed on foot to an old lodge building a walk away. It turns out that the friends find the lodge but it is only occupied by the brother of the awkward young man. He turns out to be a strong, fit soldier who has done several tours of some war zone. The man whose birthday party it is doesn't show because his flight has been delayed, that's what the guests are told anyway. I won't spoil it but the story is a good one. The film is pretty enjoyable, I thought the acting was good and the script was interesting and had a good twist.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Star Trek Beyond

I went with my son to see this film at the cinema last week and enjoyed it. It's perhaps not an epic film like the previous one was (Into Darkness) but it is still an entertaining movie to watch. It recalls the mood of the original TV series quite well, carrying on the tradition from the first two films. This film is directed by Justin Lin, JJ Abrams was filming Star Wars so wasn't available. I don't think Justin Lin is as exciting a director as Abrams.


Physical activity

I wanted to write a blog post about my recent experience with exercise. I have been a home worker for a long time now and I religiously work long hours at my desk, sitting down. As I've gotten older I have started to notice how stiff I have been getting. I have put weight on around my middle too.
To help remedy this, I could consider a gym membership but I don't think I would keep it up and those memberships can be expensive plus you have to wait for machines to become free and then try to look as if you know what you're doing even when you don't. No, a gym is not for me, much too public and would make me feel inferior compared to the other men lifting large weights and looking all sweaty. I just cannot see myself driving to the gym in the cold, dark winter months.
I purchased a second hand Pilates book from a charity shop and got a few exercise out of it. I also purchased an exercise mat from Argos for £15.99 and I'm very happy with it. I unroll it by my side of the bed, so you don't need much room for one.

I bought a resistance band and a wobble board from Tiger, less than a tenner for both. You can do so much with a resistance band, they are awesome things and very cheap (£3 I think). At first I wasn't sure about it but after a few workouts I am impressed. The colour is pink, which is slightly off-putting but it does the job. The other thing I purchased from Tiger (a great shop) was a wobble board (plastic, £5). You stand on the board and tilt it just using your feet or you can try and balance it in the centre without the edges touching the floor.

Lastly, I have purchased 2 kettlebells (£4.99 and £15.99) and this is all I intend to spend for a while on exercise. The other option I have is to go to the local park, which is great because they have machines to practice on. You also get the benefit of being in the open air. It is very public but the people in the park are friendly and keep themselves to themselves.

I wonder how long the equipment in the park will last with vandals. I think it is brilliant to have this equipment out for the public to use though. My local park has six areas where there are different sorts of machines. Absolutely great!