Living on Netflix: VHS 2

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Can’t really escape it can I?  The first one was a flawed mess, but had some potential that a sequel could easily improve upon.  Not only that, but there’s a third movie coming out soon which makes this review quite relevant.  So then, do they improve on the mistakes made in the last one, or are they just going to make the same mistakes that every other horror sequel makes by making it bigger but losing the spark of originality that made the previous one noteworthy?  There’s only one way to find out and that’s to keep on reading!!

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Living on Netflix: VHS

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If I’m gonna spend the month of October reviewing horror movies, at some point I’ve got to talk about anthologies.  Horror is by far the most prolific genre when it comes to combining short films into a movie with classic examples like Creepshow, Three Extremes, and Trick ‘r’ Treat.  I imagine that the reason why horror is the preferred genre is that it’s probably the easiest one to still work effectively in a shorter time frame.  The fear of death or harm is easily conveyed, and an audience doesn’t need as much backstory to root for characters to survive as they would for say, a tragic romance or a story about revenge.  V/H/S has been on my radar for a while now and has generally been well received for the creative way it was able to combine several tropes of the horror genre (found footage, anthologies, etc) with a format that many fans believe was the best way to experience these kinds of films.  So does this movie actually succeed in being a throwback to a period in horror that’s fondly remembered, or is it a mishmash of poorly done short films held together by a shaky premise?  Only one way to find out, and that’s to keep on reading!!

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Living on Netflix: The Cabin in the Woods

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The horror genre of films is interesting because of how aware its fans are of the problems inherit in it, while still celebrating those flaws in ways that many people find incomprehensible.  I’m a pretty big horror fan myself, but I understand the frustration that some people have with the overreliance on tropes and that tend to appear in some of the weakest examples of the genre.  However, this dichotomy between the quality of the tropes and the love of them that fans have has led to some great examples of genre spoofing and exploration that’s been hard to match in other film genres.  Movies like Scream and You’re Next have been able to walk that line between honoring what came before while also subverting and improving in ways that a lot of horror films fail to do.  The Cabin in the Woods (written by Joss Whedon and directed by Drew Goddard) is the current reigning champ of these kind of self-aware horror films, and yet or some reason I haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet.  Well what better way to fill that gap in my viewing history than to watch it for my MONTH OF HORROR MOVIE REIVEWS!?  Can the movie possibly be as good as the hype has promised it is, or is it another overrated horror flick that’s inexplicably beloved by fans of the genre?  Only one way to find out and that’s to keep on reading!!

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Living on Netflix: Silent Hill Revelation

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Video games have always had a hard time making the jump to movies; yet one genre that’s had some decent success with its adaptations is horror.  The Resident Evil movies are reliably fun zombie flicks, and the original Silent Hill was pretty well received at the time.  So we now get a sequel several years after the original came out that no one was really expecting or even asking for.  Will it follow the trend and be another decently made horror film based off a world-renowned video game series?  No.  No it’s not.  Keep reading if you really want to find out why.

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Living on Netflix: Red State

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Kevin Smith is a director that I’ve defend as damn good if not always excellent.  Movies like Clerks and Dogma are still original and entertaining, while Clerks 2 is a straight up classic in my book.  That said I’ve kinda stepped back in recent years and avoided stuff like Cop Out and Red State which seemed to indicate a change in the once great film maker.  Well it’s time to fix that!  In celebration of the release of his latest film Tusk, I’m gonna take a look at his last movie Red State.  It seems appropriate considering that  both appear to be quite similar in tone and even has the same actor playing the bad guy in both films.  Is this movie gonna be an auteur director proving himself outside of his comfort zone, or yet another step in his continued slide into irrelevance?  Only one way to find out, and that’s to keep on reading!!

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Living on Netflix: Filth

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You know, I don’t think people give James McAvoy enough credit.  Sure he’s gotten a lot of critical success through the X-Men movies, but take a look through his filmography and you’ll see some serious acting chops.  By far his most extreme character to date is the unhinged Edinburgh detective Bruce Robertson in this adaptation of the 1998 novel of the same name.  Does Filth showcase McAvoy’s true acting prowess as well as the depths he’s willing to go, or is it a huge misstep for an actor in the prime of his career trying to prove himself by taking on the role of an unlikable prick?  There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to keep reading!

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Living on Netflix: Red Dawn (2012)

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I’ve been seeing this one coming since I started writing these.  It’s always been one of those I didn’t want to sit through because not only did it look really stupid, but I’ve never seen the original so my analysis would be somewhat incomplete.  All that though, was just excuses for me to avoid it and I’m not about to let this (alleged) piece of crap occupy my mind any longer.  I’m gonna sit down, grit my teeth, and get this over with.  You wanna know how much I’m dreading this remake?  Netflix thinks I’ll give the movie ONE star.  ONE.  STAR.  Pray to Cthulhu for me.  This might get ugly.

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Living on Netflix: Man of Tai Chi

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Keanu Reeves has been called one of the worst actors of all time, but I always felt that was hyperbolic crap.  Sure, he’s not all that versatile, but he’s one of those actors who when given the right role can knock it out of the park.  In the late 80s, it was Ted Theodore Logan in the wonderful Bill and Ted movies, and then later he became an icon for a generation of kids whose first R rated film was The Matrix.  I’ve always had a soft spot for the guy, and was sad that he more or less disappeared after The Day the Earth Stood Still (one of those movies he was NOT suited for).  Last year however, he came back in a big way by directing and starring in this martial arts film that he made over in China.  Is this the triumphant return of one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors, or is it a desperate attempt to reclaim his popularity after a noticeable slump?  If you want to know the answer, then keep on reading!!

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Living on Netflix: Space Pirate Captain Harlock

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Turns out that Guardians of the Galaxy wasn’t the only seventies era sci-fi epic to get rebooted.  In fact, this one beat it to the punch by about a year!  For those of you unaware (like me before writing this review), Space Pirate Captain Harlock is a reboot of a seventies manga and anime about a moody pirate captain and his eclectic crew flying around in space.  What sets this reboot apart from its original incarnations is a massive budget, as well as an ultra-realistic art style that contrasts with the more stylized look of the original.  Does this reboot capture the glory of its forbearers for a new generation of viewers, or is it yet another unnecessary remake that misses the point of what made the original so great?  Well, I probably won’t be able to answer that question because I don’t know much about the source material, but keep on reading anyway!

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Living on Netflix: You’re Next

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This movie premiered a few years ago, but it didn’t get a wide release until 2013.  With a cast composing of horror movie mainstays like Barbara Crampton, and several horror directors such as Joe Swanberg and Ti West, this movie was almost destined to be a cult hit before anyone had even seen it.  The hype for this movie in the horror film circles was insane, and I think a lot of it had to do with the time between the initial premiere and the time it took for it to reach the film festival circuit.  It gave the movie some time to build up a legend about itself considering that very few people had a chance to see it.  So now that any shmuck can watch it on Netflix, we have a chance to see it for what it is away from the massive amount of hype that this movie had built up on it’s strange journey from obscurity to your streaming device of choice.  Does the movie succeed on its own merits, or is this another example of something becoming inexplicably popular for a brief moment in time?  There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to keep on reading!

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