Friday, January 24, 2014

Dark Tide (2012)

Number Rolled: 66
Movie Name/Year: Dark Tide (2012)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 113 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: John Stockwell
Writer: Ronnie Christensen, Amy Sorlie
Actors: Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Sizwe Msutu, Mark Elderkin, Thoko Ntshinga, Ralph Brown, Luke Tyler

Kate is, what her husband considers, a “Shark Whisperer.” While making a documentary involving swimming with sharks outside of a cage, there is a shark attack and Kate can’t bring herself to go back into the water. When an opportunity arises to make enough money to save her business, she’s faced with the decision of whether or not to interact with sharks again.

When I first saw this and added it to my list, I was convinced it would be either jaws-like or another creature feature about angry sharks. It turned out to be closer to reality. “Dark Tide” didn’t portray sharks as hungry, violent, monsters. In fact, the movie showed that sharks are just like any other wild life and that, if you’re careful, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem with them. It was refreshing to see that kind of take on the predators from a Hollywood stance. Unfortunately, that was the only good thing about the film.

I wasn’t fond of the actors, or the script, or anything, really. I mean, I have to respect the writers for trying to take a sports movie “you can do it” recipe and attaching it to another genre, but it was a big risk that didn’t pay off at all. “Dark Tide” wound up feeling tired and incredibly boring.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.5/5
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 0%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 15%

Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Movie Trailer:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Vile (2011)

Number Rolled: 5
Movie Name/Year: Vile (2011)
Genre: Horror
Length: 87 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Taylor Sheridan
Writer: Eric Jay Beck, Rob Kowsaluk
Actors: Eric Jay Beck, April Matson, Akeem Smith, Greg Cipes, Maya Hazen, Elisha Skorman, Heidi Mueller, Rob Kirkland, McKenzie Westmore, Ian Bohen, Stephanie Barboza, Maria Olsen

Four friends decide to head home from a camping trip a little later than expected. They think nothing of stopping at a little run down gas station, but maybe they should have. Like in every movie of this kind, that hick-run gas station is their first step on a road that lands them in a room with strangers who want to hurt them.

From the very first credits to the ending, “Vile” is nothing but complete torture porn. I will admit that I enjoy some good bloody horror movies after a bad day. They take the edge off how angry or upset the rest of the world got me. However, I don’t think that it should be all about the torture with very little story to back it up. A good movie is made by the story. Bad effects, acting, and even a mediocre script can be forgiven if the plot completely absorbs the audience. “Vile” was as messed up as “Saw” where gore was concerned, but there was difference in that it was almost completely pointless.

There were parts of the script that were amusing. Every once in a while the film got a chuckle or a cringe out of me and I didn’t absolutely hate the actors (or the ending). However, when it was all over, it left me feeling like I had wasted my time.

In the future, if I ever have the desire to watch “Vile,” I’ll just watch one of the “Saw” series instead.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.2/5
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 36%

Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

P.S. For the director and both writers, this was their first full length film.

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Extracted (2012)

Number Rolled: 38
Movie Name/Year: Extracted (2012)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Nir Paniry
Writer: Nir Paniry, Gabriel Cowan, John Suits
Actors: Sasha Roiz, Jenny Mollen, Dominic Bogart, Richard Riehle, Nick Jameson, Rodney Eastman, Frank Ashmore, Brad Culver, Ty Simpkins, Sara Tomko, Augie Duke, Mattie Grace Campos

Tom is a scientist working on something big. That thing he is working on is a machine that allows someone to take a trip into another person’s memories. After he’s strong-armed to use the machine, before it’s ready, for something it’s not meant for, he winds up stuck in the mind of a killer.

This is the most confusing review I’ve had to write so far. Netflix believed I would absolutely love this movie, and it was right. The longer I contemplate exactly what I just saw, the more I get out of it and the more I enjoy it. I’m certain it would get even better upon a second viewing. However, for my overall score, I find it hard to ignore that I was really bored throughout the first 75% of this movie. To put it short, this was the most amazing boring thriller I’ve ever seen.

I’ll tell you a secret. I have trouble with beginnings. I write dark fantasy and the problem I always find with writing is the first chapter. I look at a blank page and I know that if I don’t make those first few lines as interesting as possible, people aren’t going to read more than that. There’s a reason the abbreviation “TL:DR” is a thing. I look at a blank page and I get intimidated. It’s for that reason that I tend to over-think the start of a book and wind up having to rewrite it twenty times before it makes any kind of sense while remaining interesting. My theory is that the writers of this movie had the same issue. The beginning feels forced and it’s very difficult to make the rest flow correctly when that’s the case.

With that in mind, the ending of this movie was insane. In fact, it’s the ending that makes me remember the movie fondly. Not because of twists or anything like that, simply because everything finally fell into place. The writing caught up with itself and the direction took a believable turn.

When it comes right down to it, this was Nir Paniry’s first full length film and I think he made less mistakes than some of the big names out there did their first time. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.3/5
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 44%

Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. TL:DR means Too Long: Didn’t Read

Movie Trailer: