Friday, February 28, 2014

Extinction: The G.M.O. Chronicles (2011)

Number Rolled: 81
Movie Name/Year: Extinction: The G.M.O. Chronicles (2011)
Genre: Sci-fi & Fantasy
Length: 114 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Niki Drozdowski
Writer: Ralf Betz, Niki Drozdowski
Actors: Daniel Buder, Luise Bahr, Jerry Coyle, Klaus Ebert, Christian Stock, Bina Milas, Tobias Kay, Lee Rychter, Georg Marin, Heinrich Baumgartner, Eva-Marie Becker, Boris Banischewski, Mathis Trapp, Jenny Krauser, Patrick Molleken, Charles F. Wagner IV, Mustafa Sindi

The world has come to its near end as a virus that combines the genes of plants, animals and humans is released on the population. As humans mutate, a zombie-like effect is caused and few people are able to survive. One man attempts to be one of the rare ones, hoping to find other survivors immune to the illness.

There were parts of this movie that weren’t bad. The actors were horrible and the script was a little redundant at times, but there were some interesting takes on the general “zombie” idea. Essentially, this was indeed a zombie movie, though they took the origin in a completely different direction than I’ve seen in the past. However much I wanted to enjoy that unique look on my favorite popular topic, it was difficult to see this movie as anything but lame.

True, there was some amazing creativity in the background, if not the actual plot, but I couldn’t force myself to care. I found myself relating to none of the characters. It might as well have been a dry documentary with a monotone voice over about people that are never fully explained. When you can’t connect enough to characters to care if they live or die, what’s the point of the movie?

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.9/5
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 67%

Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

P.S. Although Netflix lists the name of this movie as simply “Extinction,” it has come to my attention that its actual title is: “Extinction: The G.M.O. Chronicles”.

Movie Trailer: 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Battle Royale (2000)

Number Rolled: 55
Movie Name/Year: Battle Royale (2000)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 113 Minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Writer: Koushun Takami, Kenta Fukasaku
Actors: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Sosuke Takaoka, Takashi Tsukamoto, Yukihiro Kotani, Eri Ishikawa, Sayaka Kamiya, Aki Inoue, Takayo Mimura, Yutaka Shimada, Ren Matsuzawa, Hirohito Honda, Ryou Nitta, Sayaka Ikeda, Anna Nagata, Yukari Kanasawa, Misao Kato, Hitomi Hyuga, Yuko Miyamura, Ko Shibasaki, Masanobu Ando, Ivan Buckley

During a time of economic collapse in Japan, school students have gone rogue. There are stabbings, classes frequently cut school in unison, teenagers are rude and disrespectful. As a way of trying to regain control, the Japanese government issues the Battle Royale Law. The law states that one class should be chosen randomly to be transported to a deserted island where they will be forced to fight to the death until there is only one survivor.

Since I became obsessed with the “Hunger Games” (yes, obsessed is the right word), a lot of people have been telling me to watch “Battle Royale”. This move predated the aforementioned story by about eight years, and they seem to be analogous. At the core, the fighting to the death mixed with love stories is essentially the same. However, the actual details and flow of storyline are vastly different, making the two stories comparable – but not as similar as you would expect.

“Battle Royale” was much more gruesome than I thought it would be and many of the kills were unnecessarily over the top. That was my only issue with it, though. The actors were amazing, and the effects were alright despite some slight continuity errors. I was also fond of the look into the psychology in play – it was interesting to see the differences between fight and flight.

I enjoyed the movie immensely, and I’m looking forward to when I get to see “Battle Royale II”.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.8/5
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 89%

Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

The Random Rating: R – Strong Violence

P.S. Based on a Novel of the same name by Koushun Takami. (The manga was developed after the original novel.)

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dread (2009)

Number Rolled: 3
Movie Name/Year: Dread (2009)
Genre: Horror
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Anthony DiBlasi
Writer: Clive Barker, Anthony DiBlasi
Actors: Jackson Rathbone, Hanne Steen, Laura Donnelly, Jonathan Readwin, Shaun Evans, Vivian Gray, Carl McCrystal, Derek Lea, Siobhan Hewlett, Kieran Murphy

Two college students, Stephen and Quaid, bond over a cigarette after class. After hanging out, they decide to work together with another classmate, Cheryl; using a fear study for their joint thesis. As they interview people about their deepest fears, they begin to see each other’s own dark pasts.

This film was harrowing. Not immediately, but sometime around the middle, “Dread” truly began living up to its name. I have some theories as to why I found this film so terrifying and heart-stopping, but they’re just theories. I’ve watched torture porns of all shapes and sizes without blinking an eye. Hell, I’ve done some consulting work at a morgue. However, when this movie finally reached its climax, I found it almost difficult to watch. Not because it was bad, but because the fear it instilled in me was something I haven’t felt, while watching a movie, since I was a little girl.

A lot of horror movies rely on shock factor and gore in order to elicit emotions from viewers. “Dread” does have gore, and there’s a minor amount of shock, but for the most part you’re told exactly what’s going to happen. In this instance, it doesn’t cheapen the story. In fact, knowing what’s coming makes it even more difficult to handle.

For little known actors, I though the main characters were amazing. Shaun Evans is creepy. He’s supposed to be creepy in the film, and he pulls it off well. More than once he made me shiver a little.

“Dread” wasn’t what I expected it to be. The blurb Netflix offered really didn’t do it justice. I’m glad that I got to see it before it expires on 3/1/14.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.6/5
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 45%

Trust-the-Dice Score 3.5/5

Movie Trailer: I posted the trailer because I always do, but I recommend it not be watched first. Apparently some editors have decided that spoilers are the best way to make people see a movie.