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Hey all, welcome to the weird and wonderful world of dijji497's blog. Please feel free to comment on my Film Reviews and other blogs and send me feedback. Im on Twitter at - twitter.com/dijji497 and if you track me I will track you to, but you have to leave comments
In 2006, Katie (Katie Featherstone) and Micah (Micah Sloat), share a house together in a small suburb located in North America. Both Katie and Micah believe the house to be haunted, and to prove this Micah sets up a HD camera on a tripod at the foot of their bed, much to Katie's displeasure. As the hauntings become more frequent, Katie reveals how she had encounters with a similar demonic force throughout her childhood, leading the young couple to believe a demonic being is following Katie. Whilst Micah captures more evidence, Katie's behaviour begins to change night by night, and this doubled by the camera's constant intrusion in their lives puts a strain on their relationship.
Paranormal Activity, the first film by rookie director Oren Peli, has been shot entirely on a hand held camera and was heavily promoted on online sites such as Facebook, before being picked up by Paramount Pictures in 2008. Since then, Paranormal Activity has gone on to gross over $140 million at the box office, a major success compared to its miniscule $15,000 budget, and has been praised as "one of the scariest movies of all time". However, it should suffice to say that Paranormal Activity is the most over blown movie of the year, and stands out as more of a giggle worthy mess then a legitimate horror movie, let alone one of the greatest.
Straight away you can tell that Paranormal Activity is yet another victim of the broken sub genre that is hand held camera work, exploiting the already contrived ideas that worked so well in other movies such as Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project. The main issue with Peli's filming technique is his obsession with placing the camera in even the most minor of scenes, such as an early morning coffee fix or a casual swim outside. The constant intergration of the camera in these pointless moments taking place in broad daylight is meant to build on the idea that this is all real and that these were real people, however detracts from the films horror atmosphere that, for the most part, plays its part fairly consistently.
Paranormal Activity suffer's from a major flaw found in many horror movies today, namely a lack of attention to the main cast, a major issue considering how the film only really has two actors. Micah, the most annoying of the two leads, is your typical brute. He constantly undermines not only Katie's advice, but also a professional psychic sent to help their situation. Peli's main flaw with his characters is the lack of development he gives to them, making it very hard for the audience to show any simpathy towards the two, and not even Featherstone's impressive performance on screen can salvage her boring character.
What will annoy audiences and horror fans alike is just how dull the majority of the film is. Peli relies to much on the cliched scare tactics used in horror films since the birth of the genre. Doors slam, sheets move, and the whole time the audience's reaction will vary between boredom to outright laughter. It begs the question as to whether or not Peli actually watched his film after production wrapped due to its lack of anything truly frightening, until the finale of the film. Simply put, the ending is scary, but its hard to take seriously as it is little more then a horror cliché from yester-year.
Pararnormal Activity tries and fails to breathe some life into the dying horror genre, and instead showcases the very meaning of 'wasted potential'. Cliched and unimaginative, there's just not enough here to keep audiences interested and scare them without the use of cliches. The only really scary thing to be taken away from Paranormal Activity is that this flawed and underdeveloped sub genre will soon take over as the main form of film making in horror films. With a sequal on the way, audiences can do little but hope that the only way from here is up. Don't believe the hype, Paranormal Activity is a real dissapointment.
Hey all. First things first- Please shout outsome movies Any Movies for me to review or give advice on. PM me or leave a comment with any moviein cinemas or on DVD.Onwards, just wanted to apologise for the shortage of blogs ive been posting. I have been swamped by homework and tests lately and havent had enough time to review anything. But I have a few reviews in the works - On the game side of things I have a review of Batman : Arkum Asylum and WET coming out. Im also gonna review Dirt 2, ODST and a comparison between Need for Speed Shift and Dirt 2 then a review of Forza 3 to mix it up and add that to the racing comparison. On the movie side of things im going to pump out some reviews of the following - I Love You Man, Angels and Demons, Observe and Report, Up, Harry Potter 6, Transformers 2, Disgrace and My Year Without Sex. So ill be very busy in the coming weeks.
But I have some great news - I recently had a Science Skills Test and scraped up a nice 35/40 (87.5%). I later had a History Skills test and somehow managed to get a 27/30 (90%). And one last bit of news - on a recent Art Assignment I garnered an A for my efforts (considering I restarting the thing the day before, but . . . ). Anyway, watch this space soon and ill be reviewing some more movies and games soon!And keep those review recomendations coming in!
In the year 2017, humans live in near isolation, rarely leaving the safety and comfort of their own homes. This is all due to a breakthrough in modern technology - robotic human bodies controlled remotely by the controller and known as 'Surrogates', designed as faster, more agile and attractive versions of the users. These Surrogates allow humans to not feel pain no matter what actions take place, and are built under the mundane slogan 'Its Life . . . But Better'. Because of this, crime has dropped down to a record breaking 1% of the original number, but not everyone agrees. These rebels have gone so far as to barricade themselves of from the rest of the world. The film opens with the murder of two people, one the son of the disgraced creater of the first Surrogates, killed via their Surrogates - something unknown in the world of Surrogacy and using as new weapon. FBI Agents Tom Greer (Bruce Willis) and Agent Peters (Radha Mitchell) must work together to destroy this weapon before the killer wipes Surrogacy from the face of the earth.
Based on the largely unknown comic book series, Surrogates is definately an intriguing film with its deeper question - Will mankind keep it humanity as technology rises?. However despite some intersting ideas, the film comes off as shallow and lazy with a plot littered with cliches and miss-matched acting. It tries to have the social commentary of District 9 with the action of Transformers, but ends up a forgettable mess that offers no justification of its existence. With such an interesting plot device and strong potential Director John Mostow really deserves to be applauded for what a mess he made of the whole thing and the way he watered down the level of repectable film-making that other action/sci-fi directors are known for to the point where the whole film is unbearable. Then again, what did I expect from the Director of the satanically bad Terminator 3 : Rise of the Machines being given $80 Million to make this load of utter garbage.
The plot, as mentioned above, is incredibally basic. The cliches visible throughout the film really stand out, by far the most annoying of which being Bruce Willis's character of Tom Greer. He is, essentially, an agingman on the force who doesnt quite approve the use of said new technology and who's marriage has slowly broken down from his grieving of his dead son. Greer is more or less Will Smiths character from I,Robot without the quality or interest. The plot is so predictable that within twenty minutes I had already guessed the 'Giant Plot Twist' at the end of the film. Bruce Willis is little more then decent in his role, although he hasnt built his performance any more then the 2005 film Hostage. Radha Mitchell is very bizarre in her performance as Agent Peters, as she veers wildly between acting like a complete robot to a regular human whilst still plugged into her Surrogate. This is especially odd since Mitchell's last performances were fairly solid compared to her role in Surrogates and shows Mostow's inability to direct a simple cast.
This issue faces the rest of the supporting cast, as Mostow obviously didnt put enough direction into his actors performance. This issue really ditracts from the rest of the film and the entertainment that you may- or probably wont be - having whilst watching. This is even more noticeable in a very peculiar club scene at the beginning of the film, where all the Surrogates dance like complete robots. This makes the rest of the film incredibally laughable. Another thing that really shows the poor direction and use of stereotypesin the film is the portrayal of the rebels against the use of Surrogates as Religious Shotgun Wielding Hicks and Hippies. This is highlighted by the fact that these rebels are lead by 'The Prophet' (Ving Rhames). It was a completely unnecessary and offensive in many ways to the religious community who may be against this technology, as if Surrogates were actually designed a lot more then 1% of all people would have condoned the usage of Surrogates in everyday life.
The special effects in Surrogates are incredibally mediocre at times. The action scenes in Surrogates could have been a lot better and its really dispicable considering that the film has an $80 Million budget and comparing it to the mastery made from District 9's insignificent $30 Million budget. The action scenes look incredibally fake for the most part, especially a scene at the start of the film when a car flips over and slams into a nightclub wall. Also, the use of the illegal weapon being used to kill the people hooked up to their Surrogates looks completely animated and fake. Its a bright blue flash of light that ruins the rest of the action in the film. The Surrogates design looks okay, but the use of a splashing green liquid spurting from their wounds when they are injured was an incredibally odd addition to the Surrogates design. Its strange considering that Terminator 3's robotic design was a lot more dynamic then that of Surrogates and could have been handled much better if Mostow had not tryed this new tack of Robotic Film Design.
Surrogates could have been a great sci-fi action film. However, the film ends up being a lazy mess of poorly designed and mediocre action scenes, terrible acting that doesnt seem to know what form it should take on and a cliched and boring plot. The characters are really boring and dull and adds to the overall poor quality of the film. Honestly, if a stronger Director had been chosen to adapt this comic book from its former source material the film could have gone down as one of the best film of 2009, and also one of the most thought provocing films in our generation in the sci-fi genre such as District 9 or Moon. This could have been done better if Mostow had put some actual effort into his lazy script and actually taken advantage of the potential he had with the films deeper question. The studios use of providing an $80 Million budget for the film was simply disgusting and the films grose of $52 Million makes the effort all the more laughable to look at. Theres definately no reason to watch Surrogates, and only the least critical and impressed-by-any-flashes-of-action type of person will find it to be a serviceable action movie for the winter/spring season.
Overall : 2/5 Stars.
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