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The Devil's Rejects (2005)
The Devil's Rejects (2005)
2005 | Horror
Still largely prefer the viscera of gross circus-esque horror movie eye candy of 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 1000 𝘊𝘰𝘳𝘱𝘴𝘦𝘴, but this one somehow might be more repulsive and disturbing. I'm astounded this movie even works at all, revisiting such ostentatious caricatures by way of Americana on-the-run crime movie should never have worked - but not only did it manage to be one of the best crime thrillers of the 21st century, but it also set the template for how more sequels oughta look into telling their story, by completely flipping the script and going with an entirely different genre while still maintaining the root of what makes the characters so great. Loaded with moody desolate (both physically and morally) cinematography, a deliciously over-the-top William Forsythe villain, pounds upon pounds of stomach-churning brutality, and a rich late-70s tone that takes over anything from the aesthetic to the soundtrack. Zombie has created some of the hall-of-fame best horror movie characters ever put to screen through Baby, Otis, and Captain Spaulding - not only gleefully cruel, unique, and uproariously riveting but also able to see the fault of their own detrimental wickedness yet still choosing not to change even if they could. Their own self-destructiveness isn't even allowed to take full hold because of the American system they're forced to act within, also the "Free Bird" ending is as amazing as everyone says.
  
The Hollow (2016)
The Hollow (2016)
2016 |
7
7.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Often all it takes for me to put a flick on is to see a name of an Actor that I have loved in other movies, this can often make me more forgiving and open to watch the next flick that comes along. When I received The Hollow for the intentions of reviewing. I was smacked in the face by two such names, William Sadler (Shawshank, Die Hard 2) and William Forsythe (Things to Do in Denver When Your Dead, The Rock). Neither actor is setting the world on fire as of late but as a movie fan you know your about to get some solid performances. I was not wrong.


The Hollow is yet another Small Town backwoods crime drama genre in a long line of VOD releases. The difference being that The Hollow has a certain amount of Backwoods charm to it that usually tends to fall flat upon replication, This is in no small part due to the performances driving the Flick. Writer, Director and Star Miles Doleac plays corrupt as balls Deputy Sheriff Ray Everett. In a town that seems to have been forgotten by the outside world Ray is able to function as a truly horrendous unlikable character, But fear not because just about everyone in this down is a bonafide Asshole. The movie kicks into gear fairly quickly when we witness a triple murder down by Make-Out Creek (Thats what they call places like that right). One of the victims being an under-age girl we witnessed barely 10 minutes ago giving Officer Ray some pretty bad head (Like a said he is a proper shit bag)… The FBI comes swarming into town when it is revealed one of the other victims is the daughter of a US Congressman. The game of small town cover up vs government stooges begins.


I’m not going to dive to deep into this flick because it is your standard by the numbers Crime/Drama. I said towards the start of this write-up that sometimes all it takes is a couple of names that you recognize as regular Jobbers who tend to put in solid performances and that is certainly one of the things this movie has going for it. Forsythe, Sadler and Jeff Fahey all being shining lights for me. Not to be out shone in his own movie though Doleac manages to portray a truly horrendous shit bag with no redeeming quality’s at all pretty expertly and that is where your Movie can live or die. Take nothing away from the supporting cast either they were all great just that most characters were fairly one dimensional.

Personally I feel like The Hollow is a good enough movie with some solid performances that you would be kept entertained. The script is not exactly Tarantino levels, while it does at times feel like thats what Doleac was going for, but as I said at the start when you sit down to this movie, you know what your getting.

Its a solid Recommend from 365HQ in a sea of by the numbers Crime/Dramas The Hollow has some pretty great performances and for the directors second Feature Film its a solid effort.
  
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KyleQ (228 KP) rated Halloween (2007) in Movies

Jul 20, 2020  
Halloween (2007)
Halloween (2007)
2007 | Horror
Intense and excessive
Before watching this I had become a fan of both House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, so I did appreciate Rob Zombie as a filmmaker. But it still seemed like a strange idea to have him direct the remake of Halloween.

This remake is 2 hours long, it's mostly stretched to that length due to the scenes involving 10-year-old Michael.
Daeg Faerch plays the young Mikey, and does well, he's creepy and disturbing. Rob's wife Sheri Moon Zombie of course has a role, here as Mikey's mom, she's fine here as the role fits her well. The problem is everyone else, William Forsythe plays Mike's stepdad who happens to be a disgusting excuse for a human being, as is the bully played by Daryl Sabara. The movie then shifts to events at the asylum. Malcolm Mcdowell plays Dr. Sam Loomis. Mcdowell is a good actor, and he gives a pretty good performance here. But he still pales in comparison to the great Donald Pleasence. The movie than movies to 15-years later.
Scout Taylor Compton plays Laurie Strode, she does good, but I was disappointed that she was introduced making a sex joke. Rob couldn't even let the nerdy final girl be sweet and innocent. Needless to say, others are worse.

The movie has LOTS of profanity which honestly drags down any attempts at actually making characters likable. The sex and nudity have also been ramped up.
The violence is definitely brutal, but that's Zombie's style, I felt that Michael was quite terrifying here. Tyler Mane plays Michael, and his 7-foot tall stature is so intimidating.

Overall, Rob Zombie does a good job at developing the story of Michael Myers, and at making some really intense and brutal death scenes. But he does so at the expense of having likable characters and good dialog. I still like it, but I can understand why others wouldn't.
  
The Devil's Rejects (2005)
The Devil's Rejects (2005)
2005 | Horror
Verdict: Big Improvement
Story: The Devil’s Rejects starts as the Firefly family have been dubbed ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ by the media see their house surrounded by a vengeful police force led by Sheriff Wydell (Forsythe), with a massive shootout on the ranch. Mother Firely (Easterbrook) is captured, while Otis (Moseley) and Baby (Zombie) escape turning to Captain Spaulding (Haig) for shelter.
Otis and Baby find shelter in a motel, taking a family hostage, while they wait for the showdown with the Sheriff, giving them a chance to continue their murderous way.

Thoughts on The Devil’s Rejects

Characters – Captain Spaulding still runs his house of horrors away from the house, despite being part of the house, he must go on the run to meet the other members of the Fireflies, which sees him showing a much nastier side than we have seen before. Otis is the most twisted member of the family, he will punish anybody, he doesn’t care about anybody and will show his sadistic side too often. Baby is the youngest member of the family, she has grown up in this environment, acting like it is just second nature to her, she enjoys the punishment even turning it into a game at times. Sheriff Wydell is determined to capture and kill the whole Firefly family after they killed his brother, he will break a few rules along the way to make sure it gets done.
Performances – Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon Zombie have helped develop their characters to have a much darker side to them, which shows us more about how sadistic they are meant to be through the film. William Forsythe brings us a strong police figure that clearly shows the vengeful side he is going through in the film.
Story – The story here follows the events of the first film, the Firefly family have been discovered and are now on the run from a vengeful sheriff that wants the whole family dead for what they did to his family member. Where this story improves on the original comes from seeing just how the fireflies are able to react to a threat, we get a glimpse of their sadistic side, but instead of it just them being twisted, we get to see them dealing with a relentless cop that isn’t going to let them get away with their crimes. The story is constructed better too because we don’t just have random clips like we had in the first film, which shows how the film can be put together to give us a better story.
Action/Horror – This is much more action back with shoot outs going on between the two sides, while the horror is still there when the fireflies get to step into their sadistic ways.
Settings – The film uses the settings to show how the Fireflies can go on the run from the law, we see the back country motels which they would hide out in and the connections of other shady business they would know.
Special Effects – The effects in the film show the gore being done by the family, it shows the wounds looking brutal and real through the film.

Scene of the Movie – The escape.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – It still doesn’t give us any likeable figures in the fight.
Final Thoughts – This is an improvement on the first film, it does give us a more rounded figures in the Firefly family and shows us just how capable they are when pushed against the wall.

Overall: Sick Improvement.
  
Cold Pursuit (2019)
Cold Pursuit (2019)
2019 | Action, Drama, Thriller
Doesn't Quite Succeed In What It Was Attempting To Do
Liam Neeson has stated that COLD PURSUIT is going to be his last action film. And, if that is the case, he certainly picked an interesting one to go out on.

Based on the Norwegian film KRAFTIDIOTEN and Directed by the same person (Hans Peter Moland), COLD PURSUIT follows snowplow driver Nels Coxman (Neeson) who's son dies of a drug overdose. It's not long before Coxman uses his "certain set of skills" to settle the score.

And that is how this movie was marketed (taking advantage of Neeson's past 10 years of action hero status) and that is too bad for those who are going into this film expecting a "standard Neeson kick butt revenge action flick) are going to be disappointed, for Cold Pursuit has parts of that, but it also has an element to it that is going to take some getting used to - it's "Norwegian sense of humor".

To say this film is a "Dark Comedy" does not do it justice, for the comedy in this film (and there IS comedy) is so rooted in the violence and action of the proceedings that, at first, the audience does not know how to react to it. By the end, it is clear that this is a comedy - and I wished that it would have worn it's comedic elements just a little more on it's sleeve. But then, I guess, I would be missing the point of what makes up the "Norwegian sense of humor" - oddity and subtlety. And this film IS odd from the setting (a remote ski resort village outside of Denver) to the warring drug gangs (city thugs vs. Native Americans) to the lazy Sherriff and laid back townspeople to Coxman's hippy, drug addled wife (Laura Dern). It is an odd assortment of people and circumstances, but not quite as add as...say...Twin Peaks.

And that's what hurts it. It IS a subtle film with subtle humor and subtle quirks, but (at times) is TOO subtle for an American audience that is used to being hit over the head with themes and quirks and violence.

One who is NOT subtle in this film is Neeson as Coxman. He brings the rugged, dependable man of action that one has come to expect during his action-hero phase. Also not subtle (not by a long-shot) is Tom Bateman as the main bad guy, Viking (they all have nicknames) who telegraphs that he is a bad guy by being over-the-top, doing everything but kicking a puppy and twirling his mustache.

Domenick Lombardozzi as Mustang (one of Vikings' henchmen) and Tom Jackson as White Bull (leader of the Native American clan) find the right line between subtlety and over-acting and ground this film (for the most part). The rest of the cast (including John Doman and Emmy Rossum as the town Sheriffs) flit through this film, uneventfully and uninterestingly, neither adding nor detracting from the events. Only William Forsythe, as Neeson's shady brother and Elizabeth Thais (as his wife Anne) manage to rise above things in the limited amount of screen time they are given. And, finally, Laura Dern is wasted in an underwritten - and under-performed - role of Neeson's wife.

I can hear Director Moland screaming to his cast "Less, less...give me less...no more...More...MORE!!!" and the result is an uneven film that is underplayed too much in some ways and overplayed WAY too much in others. And this is too bad, for he had an interesting concept going, he just didn't execute it (at least not with this group of performers) very well. I'll be interested in seeing the original Norwegian film, KRAFTIDIOTEN, to see if it worked there.

Letter Grade: B- (for I applaud what it was trying to do)

6 stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
  
Cold Pursuit (2019)
Cold Pursuit (2019)
2019 | Action, Drama, Thriller
Entertaining Neeson revenge-porn offering (0 more)
Bonkers and nonsensical at times plotting. (0 more)
Comments on revenge are best kept on the screen.
I'd completely forgotten the furore about Liam Neeson's comments back last February during the press-tour preceding the film's release. In discussing the destructive feelings of revenge experienced by his character, Nels Coxman, Neeson revealed something he did 40 years ago: after the rape of a friend by "a black man", Neeson went out on the streets to find another "black man" and do them harm. (As a fellow Ballymena-born man, David Moody (from the "Mark and Dave" blog) has an interesting theory about this... that it was not a "rascist" statement in the true sense, but something else entirely. See here -
).

The comments undoubtedly impacted the movie at the box office. Which is a shame. Because in his catalogue of bonkers and violent revenge-porn flicks, this is one of Neeson's more entertaining ones.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. And where colder to serve it than in the ski-resort of Kehoe where Nels Coxman is the local snowplow operative and "man of the year" for his services to the community. But the tracks are about to fall off his orderly life. For his son Kyle (Micheál Richardson) winds up dead through a drugs overdose and his strained marriage with wife Grace (Laura Dern) disintegrates. (One of the most cutting and best-written "Bye" notes ever seen in the movies).

With revenge in mind, Coxman pursues the Denver-based drugs lord Trevor Calcote (Tom Bateman) who dished out the drugs to his son. But he inadvertently manages to stay just below the parapet as he sets in train a gang war between Calcote and a Kehoe-based native-American drugs gang led by White Bull (Tom Jackson). The snow turned progressively pinker as the body count rises.

Calcote (aka "Viking") is painted as a colourful family man, with an annoyingly bright son Ryan (Nicholas Holmes) that he controls with a rod of iron. Viking is estranged from wife Aya (Julia Jones), who seems completely unafraid of him and happily embarrasses him in front of his men. This relationship never really works. Since given all the terrible and irrational things Viking does to people, whether they obstruct him or help him in equal measure, putting a quiet bullet into Aya's head seems to be to least he could do!

Where there is fun to be had is in the "Stockholm syndrome" linkage between young Ryan and Coxman. When his father insists on controlling his diet, feeding him the same insipidly healthy meals morning, noon and night, the alternative of being kidnapped and fed burgers seems eminently more preferable!

The film is at times really difficult to follow. There are lots of inexplicable leaps of logic and really inexplicably bonkers scenes that you can only patch together later. It's as if the filmmakers randomly filmed 5 hours of footage and then tried to edit it all into a cohesive plot!

As one example of this, the relationship between Coxman and "Wingman" (William Forsythe) was poorly introduced such that I was left baffled by a later plot twist.

In another scene, Neeson smashes the head of enforcer "Santa" (Michael Adamthwaite) into his steering wheel, but in the next scene collapses with him utterly exhausted in the snow. There was clearly a significant fight here that was cut out of the finished cut. But as a result the final cut makes no sense at all!

Of course, the local law enforcement team are average at best. Average because although young and keen-as-mustard detective Kim Dash (Emmy Rossum) is hot on the trail of the truth, her partner Gip (John Doman) is f*ckin' useless... wanting to do nothing but drink coffee and eat donuts in true Simpsons style.

Normally with these sort of films, it's difficult to keep track of the body count. No such problem here. Every death is celebrated with a tombstone graphic so it's easy to keep count! Needless to say, there are a lot of tombstones registered.

Directed by Norwegian Hans Petter Moland, it's all good violent cartoonish fun, that keeps its tongue firmly in its cheek for most of the running time. The snowy setting, the partly native-American cast and the presence of Julia Jones brings to mind the truly excellent Jeremy Renner / Elizabeth Olsen movie "Wind River". But there the similarities (and quality levels) definitely stop. It's not a clever movie; it's borderline bonkers for most of its running time (never more so than with a totally bizarre "joke" final shot); but it is entertaining. As a 'park brain at door' action comedy it just about makes the grade.

(For the full graphical review, please check out One Mann's Movies here - https://bob-the-movie-man.com/2020/03/15/one-manns-movies-dvd-review-cold-pursuit-2019/. Thanks.)