Thursday, July 7, 2016

Amnesiac (2015)

Number Rolled: 71
Movie Name/Year: Amnesiac (2015)
Tagline: What he can’t remember is killing him.
Genre: Thriller
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production Companies: At Entertainment, Recidive SAS, XLrator Media
Producer: Jarod Becker, Charles Arthur Berg, Kate Bosworth, Eric Brenner, Lee Broda, Aleks de Carvalho, Erik Fleming, Grant Guthrie, Phillip Stewart Halpern, Sydney Holland, Lucas Jarach, Michael Kay, Corey Large, Mike Le, Alan Pao, Jacob Pechenik, Gary Preisler, Jason Price, Jeff Rice
Director: Michael Polish
Writer: Amy Kolquist, Mike Le
Actors: Kate Bosworth, Wes Bentley, Olivia Rose Keegan, Shashawnee Hall, Richard Riehle, Patrick Bauchau, Mia Barron, Adam Moryto

Blurb from Netflix: A comatose man awakens with no memory of who he is, and comes to believe that the woman caring for him is not his wife, as she claims.

Selina’s Point of View:
This movie was so boring that I had to watch it a second time because I fell asleep.

Somewhere near the start of this blog, I learned to find a way to stay awake during boring, or bad, movies so I wouldn’t have to re-watch them later. Not a single technique worked during this one. I started snoring up a storm at around the halfway mark.

Not only was the content incredibly predictable, but the script was obnoxiously bad and the entire movie was whispered. I think maybe six lines were said out loud.

Kate Bosworth (The Art of More, 90 Minutes in Heaven, Still Alice) was the only good part of the film. She played her character well and I truly bought what she was selling. She was about as creepy as it gets. None of the other actors really did anything for me, not even Wes Bentley (American Horror Story, The Hunger Games, The Four Feathers) whom I usually enjoy. I’m not sure it’s the fault of the actor’s, though. I think the characters were just complete tropes with no real background or depth.

‘Psychological thriller’ is one of my favorite genres. I love the mind-fuck, sit on the edge of your seat, heart in your throat kind of movie. I see how this film was trying to be a part of that genre… but it was just a sad, pale imitation.

Cat’s Point of View:
This was one movie that I didn’t have any preconceived expectations about.  Though, I generally find that I enjoy most of Wes Bentley’s (Jonah Hex, Gone, Insterstellar) work.

This film felt really slow, yet I think that fits in with the concept of the main character as an amnesiac. There are flashes here and there that don’t quite put the story together. In fact, nothing in the film really explains thoroughly what is going on.

Kate Bosworth (Straw Dogs, Heist, Before I Wake) was extremely unsettling and eerie in this role. The character speaks so softly and is composed with such precision – yet there is also this random aspect to her.

I found myself feeling a real sense of dread in a few places, and in others I just wanted to push for answers because it felt like things were so drawn out.

I didn’t like the portrayal of the detective by Shashawnee Hall (Evan Almighty, Not Safe For Work, Friend Request). I think it was a mix of both the delivery and the scripted dialogue.  The way the character was utilized at the end of the movie also really bugged me. Was this the writer or director’s attempt for a payoff after so much buildup of questions throughout the movie? It felt like it rushed the closure – as if they realized they were out of time and drew the method out of a hat.

I oddly enjoyed this film, in spite of its flaws. I don’t think I’d watch it again, though.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 21%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 12%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

P.S. This movie once went under the title: Unconscious.

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Gallowwalkers (2012)

Number Rolled: 63
Movie Name/Year: Gallowwalkers (2012)
Tagline: Live by the gun. Die by the gun. Come back for more.
Genre: Western Horror
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Boundless Pictures, Jack Bowyer Productions
Producer: Alex Avant, Jack Bowyer, Brandon Burrows, Roger Alan Grad, David Higginson, Guy Nockels, Courtney Lauren Penn, Ken Ross, David Schiff
Director: Andrew Goth
Writer: Andrew Goth, Joanne Reay
Actors: Wesley Snipes, Kevin Howarth, Riley Smith, Tanit Phoenix Copley, Simona Roman, Steven Elder, Jay Grant, Hector Hugo, David De Beer, Alyssa Pridham, Dallas Page, Derek Griffiths, Alex Avant, Jenny Gago, Tommy Van der Nest, Arthur Berezin, Jack Bowyer, Frederick Haraseb, Shani Maritz, Vicky Moller-Forbes, Sean Naude, Villo Vilonel

Blurb from Netflix: A mysterious gunman inherits a curse that ensures each of his victims will come back to life as a member of the undead in this zombie western.

Selina’s Point of View:
I had a lot of fun this week telling people what movie I was going to be watching. The look on people’s faces when I told them I was going to be watching a western zombie film starring Wesley Snipes (Chi-Raq, The Player, Brooklyn’s Finest), was priceless. My husband and my best friend both stuttered when I described it. There were many giggles.

Of course, there’s a minor issue.

I hate westerns. I hate the pacing. I hate the tropes. I HATE westerns.

I don’t even really like the settings of westerns unless it’s something like Blazing Saddles (1974), which is more of a comedy than anything else, or Django Unchained (2012), which is more of an action film than anything else.

Gallowwalkers is supposed to be a horror/western. It was more western than horror and had all the tropes I despise. It had the worst of recipes. I didn’t even like the kind of zombies they used, and we all know I love zombie flicks so much that I tend to even like the bad ones.

I spent the majority of the movie more interested in where I recognized Riley Smith (Bleed, Nashville, True Blood) from than the actual story.

There was a certain brutality to Gallowwalkers, however, that reminded me of the Machete (2010) series. So if you like that kind of B-movie violence and you enjoy westerns, this film might amuse you.

It was definitely not for me.

Cat’s Point of View:
When this movie first came to my attention on Netflix, I was intrigued. I generally like westerns. I generally like zombie movies. I like Wesley Snipes (The Contractor, 7 Second, Blade), usually. A zombie-western featuring Snipes as the lead? Sign me up!

One word: Ugh.

I wanted to like this. I really did. It fell far short of the kickass expectations I had, unfortunately.
Frankly, I was bored out of my mind watching it.

The concept of the curse that applies to the main character is somewhat interesting. Fans of gore will see a good amount. It wasn’t gratuitous – for which I am immensely grateful. It just felt disjointed and like it couldn’t decide whether to be a western-horror or a bleak art film.

Too many fancy slow motion shots, and even a few random camera pans that made no sense whatsoever, were a couple of the issues I had. The pace of this movie is also super slow. This doesn’t have nearly the level of “action” that one would expect from a Snipes project.

I was tickled, though, when I found Dallas Page (Vengeance, What Now, The Bet) in the credits as Skullbucket. Wrestling fans from the 90’s and early 2000’s might be more familiar with the monikers of “Diamond” Dallas Page or DDP. He’s no stranger to the horror genre. He even had a role in The Devil's Rejects (2005). Unfortunately, due to character makeup, he’s not really recognizable in the movie.

I’ll leave you with a bit of trivia. The narration voice-overs throughout the movie sound like Wesley Snipes, but aren’t actually him. The production had to find a sound-alike artist to record those parts, due to the fact that it was during the time period that Snipes was going through the beginnings of his legal woes stemming from tax evasion. He was filming this movie when he was indicted.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 11%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 1/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Movie Trailer: