Whenever I hear people talk about great horror movies it always seems like The Thing is one of the few that everyone seems to like, and not find many faults with it (feel free to tell me why I am wrong in the comments). Thinking back, one of the reasons I enjoy it is that the tension that builds throughout. You are always on the edge of your seat and wondering what is going to happen next. To my surprise, Emelie started out this way; I was expecting something very average and predictable looking at it on face value, and it turned my expectations upside down at the open. Unfortunately, by the second half it fell right back in line with expectations and returned to a very average film.
The film Exposed may be a new reference point for independent directors and producers in how to take care when selling your film. When the director sues to have his name taken off the credits, that may tell you something. What was supposed to be a movie “that focused on child abuse, violence towards women, mass incarceration, and police violence” ends up being a generic cop movie that slogs through most of the film. If you are a fan of Keanu Reeves or in love with Ana De Armas then this film might still be worth checking out. I would avoid most reviews and learning too much about the movie and just go in blind for the first time as most pieces written about it give basically everything away in the plot.
Many of us movie buffs are aware of the gigantic film that was The Martian, which blew through 2015 snagging up big box office returns and many notable awards. That movie followed Matt Damon’s character as he was stranded on Mars, trying to survive until another crew could be sent to save him. Now, imagine if instead of trying to just survive a race against time, there was something the crew uncovered on the Red Planet as well. Don’t get me wrong, these are very different and distinct films, although there are some interesting similarities in the production and set design. I think I certainly appreciate what The Last Days on Mars is able to do with just a fraction of the budget that The Martian had, especially now that I am seeing it for the second time. For reference, Matt Damon alone earned 2 and a half times the budget of this film.
I can only imagine the difficulty film makers must endure when trying to confine what their vision is with their budgetary restrictions. Action movies especially have certain expectations with stunts, explosions, various weaponry, and destruction. There are very few directors in the smaller independent market that can extract a bigger studio feel with minimal budget to work with. Two of the best in that realm are directors Isaac Florentine and Keoni Waxman. It’s always a treat to see what they can pull off with their limited funding. Some of you might know Isaac Floretine, the director of Close Range, from his other work with the Ninja or Undisputed series. Your enjoyment of this movie will be determined by your expectations and if you take it on face value or not.
Have you ever wondered what big name Hollywood actors do in their down-time? If the tabloid magazines at the checkout register are any indication, celebrities are just like you and I. Obviously, they are so cool they would never have nerdy pastimes like Dungeons and Dragons and if they did they certainly wouldn’t admit it, would they? I guess Vin Diesel isn’t your average celebrity; he has enough clout that he can actually turn his D&D character into a big budget Hollywood film. This is how The Last Witch Hunter was born.
Take a breath, now take another. The oxygen for the second breath was provided to you by the plankton in the ocean. Now what if I told you that there has been a 40% drop in that production in the last 50 years and that if it continues to decline at that rate, in 100 years 50% of all species on this planet could be gone? This is what Racing Extinction wants to make viewers aware of. Species are becoming extinct at a rate of 1000 times faster than normal, and it is time we paid attention.
Back before the days of the Syfy channel there wasn’t a dedicated spot for all the low budget films of the 80’s and early 90’s. I remember on Saturday mornings being particularly enthralled with some of the lesser known titles of the day on regular cable. Blockbusters were reserved for Prime-time or HBO. Weaponized brought me right back to those early mornings even though it takes place in the very near future with the way it was shot and acted; which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.