Pacific Rim: Uprising

100 Movies before we move: #34

Emmy says:
I’m glad this didn’t take itself too seriously as I doubt it could stand up to the first. Having said that the style employed allowed for taking a back seat and enjoying the spectacle, no matter how predictable parts were. 7/10.

Jeff says:
Big dumb rock-em sock-em film. Expect that and you’ll have a good time. The problem with movies like this, Transformers, and superhero movies … is you need the spectacle (meaning buildings toppling) but too many people ‘at risk’ and you’re going to seem heartless. Batman vs. Superman ended up in an abandoned port area; Transformers just destroyed cities; Next Gen had the fight be ‘robots’ (so it wasn’t ‘life’ at risk). Here, “everyone” evacuated to underground bunkers so it was ‘fine’ to destroy Toyko. I happen to disagree – Tokyo doesn’t deserve the number of monsters trashing it in films. Still, this movie is not the stylish del Toro film the first one was. It followed the path of Aliens: bigger, sillier, with an obnoxious kid at the centre of it all. I’m not sure I buy a 15 year old building her own Jaeger without being noticed, sorry. It was fun though. 7/10.

IMDb

Winchester

100 movies before we move: #33

Emmy says:
The Beauty of this movie is in the sets and costumes. The story didn’t take me where the trailer had me expecting, still it was enjoyable and satisfying. Jump scares galore, though used against the protagonist and not the viewer, definitely gave me a new perspective of them. 7/10.

Jeff says:
I’m not sure what I expected this movie to be, but it wasn’t this. This is not a bad thing – the movie was rather well done. It reminds me a lot of Crimson Peak, but that could just the be the similarity of ‘haunted house period drama’. Sets and costumes were fantastic, the cast was excellent (lots of Australians, weirdly, but it was a co-production with Screen Australia). I could have done with less jump scares – it got to the point of being boring – but there were some excellent moments too. The story worked, but the movie dragged a little. 7/10.

IMDb

The Hallow

100 Movies before we move: #32

Emmy says:
I really don’t like being bashed over the head repeatedly that I’m watching a horror film. This movie spent more time and effort on the creep, the shadows and the noises than on the plot. Practical effects were good, and beautiful scenery. 5/10.

Jeff says:
I’m sorry to say this, but I was bored watching this film. The scenery was good but the main characters were making dumb decisions (my pet horror movie peeve), and the movie was too self-aware that it was trying to be “creepy”. An interesting enough idea, but not given enough time, space or plot to work effectively. 4/10.

IMDb

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

100 Movies before we move: #27

Emmy says:
Visually appealing with costuming and sets creating the perfect setting for the work of Dr Seuss. Great uplifting moral message delivered at the end. Unfortunately, I think I’m just too ‘woke’ to enjoy this: the bullying, discrimination and rampant consumerism is extremely uncomfortable to watch. 6/10.

Jeff says:
This was an odd one. No, we’re not giving in to early-Christmas-itis. This was a recommendation (and loaned DVD) and we wanted to make sure we returned it promptly. I’ve not seen this movie since it came out, and it’s clear that it’s still ‘The Mask’ style Jim Carrey. With a short children’s rhyming book as inspiration, there was a LOT added to fill out the running time … and intentionally or not, watching in 2018, there’s a very subversive thread in here: the Whovians are actually not especially nice. I don’t remember condescension, bullying and sexism being part of the story. Max (the dog) is probably the best part of this film. 6/10.

IMDb

Halloween: Resurrection

100 Movies before we move: #25

Emmy says:
Creative camera use with a different approach to the story made this a fun ride with a bit of cheese. 7/10.

Jeff says:
An interesting new take on the series, closer to other horror films of the day rather than the franchise it’s meant to belong to. The reality TV angle both cheapened the story but provided some creative story telling. It seems clear that the the series should have ended with Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Continuity B didn’t last long. It will be interesting to see how Continuity C shakes things up. 7/10.

IMDb

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

100 Movies before we move: #24

Emmy says:
The tension and anticipation created by this film is palpable with outstanding performances and creative directing leading the audience through a horrific experience. This is substantially enhanced by the theme being woven into scenes and at one point having a bass line come in to heighten the dread. Horrible beautiful. 10/10.

Jeff says:
Until this weekend, this was the first and only Halloween movie I had seen. I saw it when it first came out. Of course, I knew the backstory … I just hadn’t witnessed it first hand on screen. Now, having seen the movies before it, it has so much more impact that it even did at the time. This is a tense, visceral film that – while on-screen gorier than usual – continues the pattern and style of the original while turning it up to 11. Easter eggs galore that just make it a delight in places as well. This one still hits hard, and (so far) is still my favourite (just edging out the original). Two films left to see if that stays true (we’re not including the Rob Zombie remakes). Continuity B started strong. 10/10.

IMDb

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

100 Movies before we move: #23

Emmy says:
This film has left me struggling with the plot. I’m glad I got an explanation of sorts for how Michael has more lives than a cat, but “Boots” (the nickname we have for the man in the shadows) feels like he has been foisted into the story. Loved the performances of Rudd and Hagan, and the evolution of practical effects used. I have been left conflicted. 7/10.

Jeff says:
Wow. This one is hard to review. It turns out we were watching the Producers Cut. For those who don’t know what that means, this was a version that was only available on bootleg VHS for many years before being officially released on Blu Ray in 2015. In this version at least, there were many tie-ins to the earlier films that I appreciated. There was also a commitment to the Halloween aesthetic of out-of-shot gore (apparently the theatrical cut was replete with on-screen gore and flash jump cuts, which I would have hated). While the story was engaging enough, and the acting was almost universally good, the script (and apparently production) did not treat anyone nicely – and so ends ‘Continuity A’ in this series. 7/10.

IMDb

Halloween 5

100 Movies before we move: #22

Emmy says:
Another wonderful performance from Danielle Harris, I definitely enjoy watching this young Scream Queen. Loved the work by the costuming department. The story fell a bit flat for me. 7/10.

Jeff says:
This followed 4 the same way 2 followed 1, and again it worked well. Not set over one night, though, the action is suspenseful (or tries to be). On one hand we see what looks like an over-reaction by the police to follow the vaguest hint from a little girl … but it’s Loomis, who has turned into a crusader, that they believe: because he hasn’t been wrong. Fair enough, and still so different to most other horror films. Overall, though, this movie suffers from middle movie syndrome – there has to be set up for the next film (hello boots) while having to follow what was done in the previous film. A tough act that i’m not sure came off exactly as intended. 7/10.

IMDb

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

100 Movies before we move: #21

Emmy says:
Gripping story with great tension and timing. Wonderful performance by Danielle Harris. Terrible work by the foley artist really lets down this film. 8/10.

Jeff says:
The return of Michael Myers brings a return to form. While not involving John Carpenter at all, this film adequately uses the playbook he created with the first film. Tense set pieces, realistic decisions in the moment … what this franchise does well: that Myers isn’t dead is the only thing that we need to suspend disbelief for, the rest makes perfect sense. Great acting from the newcomers to the series, and Donald Pleasence continues to be the rock this series is founded on. 8/10.

IMDb

Halloween III: Season of the Witch

100 Movies before we move: #20

Emmy says:
Solid acting and practical effects. It’s a shame they were wasted on this plot. 7/10.

Jeff says:
Remember when the Halloween series was going to be an anthology? No? Neither does anyone else. The idea was dropped when this movie flopped in cinemas. An interesting story idea, with a not-terrible cast … but the writing lacked John Carpenter’s creative genius and the whole film suffered as a result. Not the worst horror movie ever, but not great. Still Ryan Hollinger and Good Bad Flicks both have nice things to say about this movie, so each to their own. 7/10.

IMDb

Halloween II (1981)

100 Movies before we move: #19

Emmy says:
The steady cam POVs continue in spectacular fashion and build tension brilliantly. The implacable pace with which Myers continues is a terror itself. Wonderful direction and acting. 8/10.

Jeff says:
A worthy followup to the original, but there were just a few things that bugged me. I get atmospheric lighting, but hospital corridors would never be that dark would they? Also, one of the most controversial ret-conns of horror, which I’ll say no more about. Loomis continues to be excellent, and the competency of the police was evident … shame the same couldn’t be said for (some) the nursing staff. 7/10.

IMDb

Halloween (1978)

100 Movies before we move: #18

Emmy says:
Good use of steadicam for long POV shots. Good use of ‘peek-a-boo’ is he there/isn’t he shots to build tension and suspense. Excellent use of just-off-screen killing to allow imaginations to do more than special effects could. 8/10.

Jeff says:
The movie that essentially created the slasher genre, the final girl trope, Jamie Lee Curtis’ career, and became the benchmark for so much of ‘modern’ horror. This movie is definitely all of those things. By today’s standards it’s fairly tame, but the music still works; the tension is palpable; and Curtis’ Laurie is a worthy final girl who tries to do everything right – and is rewarded for it by surviving (although she could have turned more lights on). This is the sort of horror film I like – they don’t need to be bloody to be good. 8/10.

IMDb

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