Jaws: The Revenge (Blu-ray Review)

12 – 90mins – 1987


 

THIS TIME IT’S PERISHABLE

My overriding takeaway from watching this great white four-quel in my youth was one of complete astonishment: astonishment at how poor the shark looked despite being made 12years after Spielberg’s Oscar-winning original; astonishment at the laughable number of movie magic-ruining continuity errors; astonishment that original star Lorraine Gary and megastar Michael Caine were happy to have their names attributed to such a sorry production. Even as a child I knew this was so-bad-it’s-hilarious.

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Jackie (DVD Review)

15 – 95mins – 2016


 

A MOTHER TO US ALL

“What did the bullet sound like?”

Set just one week after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson) in 1963, Pablo Larrain’s Oscar-nominated biographical drama takes the form of a private press interview between Billy Cruddup’s unnamed journalist and the grieving, newly-widowed First Lady (Natalie Portman). Throughout their on-the-record discussion, Jacqueline Kennedy flashes back to times before, during and after Lee Harvey Oswald’s fateful motorcade shooting, and the burial of her husband.

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Blair Witch (DVD Review)

15 – 86mins – 2016


 

THE ABSENCE OF CLOSURE

“Someone’s died everywhere at some point, doesn’t mean every square foot of this planet is haunted!”

Coming across a video on YouTube he believes contains footage of his sister, presumed dead twenty years earlier after going missing while investigating the legend of the Blair Witch, James Donahue (James Allen McCune) heads into Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville, hoping against hope that Heather is still alive. He his ‘assisted’ by a couple of wary locals he communicated with online, and trailed by a group of his closest friends, including one who conveniently wishes to document the missing person search.

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The Monster (Film Review)

15 – 91mins – 2016


 

BEASTLY BEHAVIOUR

“Mom tells me there is no such thing as monsters. She is wrong.”

Angling as often for heartache as it is for horror, it is not hard to see why writer/director Bryan Bertino’s supernatural indie genre flick is also categorized as a drama. There is an eponymous otherworldly beastie (which looks like a cross between an Alien Xenomorph and Gozer from Ghostbusters), but the title could just as easily be a metaphorical judgement of the diabolical parenting Zoe Kazan’s alcoholic single-mother Kathy provides for her mature-beyond-her-years daughter.

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Bleed For This (DVD Review)

15 – 112mins – 2016


 

AFTER THE LAST

In my review of survivalist horror The Shallows I commented how the man-versus-shark sub-genre is now at a severe disadvantage, having to come up with a pretty special story to not fall into the shadow of the behemoth Jaws. The same rule can be applied to boxing films where Rocky rules the roost. Perhaps this is why audiences failed to turn out to see Bleed for This is cinemas last November (it failed to recoup its $9million budget), but this Miles Teller-starring biopic is so much more than a second rate “Italian Stallion.”

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Swiss Army Man (DVD Review)

15 – 97mins – 2016


 

WEEKEND AT MANNY’S

“You’re a miracle! Or I’m just hallucinating from starvation…?”

More popularly known as the film where Harry Potter plays a corpse for ninety minutes, co-writers and directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan’s surreal indie comedy-drama is the epitome of a marmite movie. Appalled at its overt vulgarity and alienating premise, audience members walked out of its Sundance premiere last year, but beneath the farting corpse jokes, Swiss Army Man is also a haunting and experimental first-hand examination of a damaged soul and a troubled mind.

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Viral (Netflix Review)

15 – 85mins – 2016


 

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Duped into adding this to my watch list by a poster which strongly resembles the promo art for Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain TV series, my punctured hopes were somewhat re-inflated when the opening credits revealed that this lo-fi parasitic possession horror was directed by Catfish, Paranormal Activity 3 & 4 and Nerve helming duo Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost.

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