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items tagged with The Blair Witch Project

Días de los Muertos: "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" and "47 Ronin"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-01-05 20:14:04

Andrew Jacobs in Paranormal Activity: The Marked OnesPARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES

Do you recall how, in the first Paranormal Activity, Katie and Micah attempted to communicate with the malevolent spirit haunting their home through a Ouija board that, later, spontaneously burst into flames? So-o-o 2009. In the new Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – the fifth installment in this apparently unkillable scare-flick series – our teenage protagonists aren’t about to use anything as passé as a board game to connect with their unseen house guest. Not when they have access to ... Simon.


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You Say You Want a Retribution: “The Debt,” “Apollo 18,” and “Shark Night 3D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-04 14:51:31

Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain in The DebtTHE DEBT

After her moving, memorable performances in The Tree of Life, The Help, and the current John Madden thriller The Debt, I’m beginning to think that Jessica Chastain can do almost anything. As evidenced by the actress’ latest (though not last) 2011 release, however, one thing she cannot do is pass for a younger version of Helen Mirren, or at least Mirren as she appears here; beyond their ill-matching features, Chastain’s empathetic soulfulness and emotional accessibility bear little relation to the detached calm and haunted inscrutability of her more seasoned counterpart.

Having said that, if one of your few complaints about a movie lies in the casting of Jessica Chastain and/or Helen Mirren, obviously you have very little to bitch about.


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Blah, Blah, Blah ... and Surprisingly Fun - Notes on a Quadruple Feature: "You Again," "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole," "The Virginity Hit," and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-09-26 19:11:08
Billy Unger, Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, and Kristin Bell in You AgainFriday, September 24, 11:30-ish: I attend a morning screening of You Again, and pretty much know what I’m in for as soon as the Touchstone Pictures logo appears: a brightly lit, jauntily scored, aggressively manic entertainment with plenty of “heart” and no laughs whatsoever. (I half-expect a Tim Allen cameo, but instead get a Dwayne Johnson cameo, which probably should’ve been more expected.)
Read More About Blah, Blah, Blah ... And Surprisingly Fun - Notes On A Quadruple Feature: "You Again," "Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'Hoole," "The Virginity Hit," And "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"...


The Evil Dead and the Evil Dad: “Paranormal Activity” and “The Stepfather”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-18 20:48:11

Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat in Paranormal ActivityPARANORMAL ACTIVITY

It's not often that you witness an image in a horror movie (or in any movie, really) that you instinctively recognize as iconic. The last one I can think of in the scare-flick genre would probably be Heather Donahue in The Blair Witch Project, with her wool cap, her nose running, and her mouth out of camera range as she videotapes a final, tearful apology. (Seeing that shot for the first time in 1999, you knew it was one that would endure - and be parodied ad nauseam.) But we now have a new addition to the Iconic Image Hall of Fame thanks to Paranormal Activity, which, like Blair Witch, was filmed on a shoestring budget, and which features a shot, like that of Donahue, that will no doubt be instantly identifiable for generations of horror-movie fans.


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Don’t Believe the Hype on "Open Water": Also, "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-25 00:00:00

Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis in Open WaterOPEN WATER

We all know that shoestring-budgeted independent works aren’t necessarily going to have the professional sheen of Hollywood output, but after reading the rave reviews for Open Water, I feel compelled to ask: Just how much amateurishness are we expected to endure in the name of cinematic political-correctness (i.e., loving an indie solely for being an indie)? Barring an ingeniously edited sequence during a thunderstorm and a few stomach-tightening moments when sharks make surprise appearances, I didn’t find Open Water the least bit scary, let alone “Riveting!”, “Electrifying!”, and all the other superlatives currently being lavished on it (and this from someone who still gets freaked out watching The Blair Witch Project). Worse still, the movie is so badly performed and overwritten that it has the unintentional effect of coming off as totally phony, and since the film was notoriously shot with the leading actors surrounded by real sharks, realism is Open Water’s only true draw. Are we film critics now so openly hateful toward CGI-heavy Hollywood blockbusters that we’ll happily convince ourselves that tedious, flatly staged thrillers such as Open Water are actually great?


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