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Exit Speed (2008)
Hidden gem despite name and box art
Let me start off by saying that it blew away all my expectations. The trailer looked good so I picked it up expecting yet another low budget, straight-to-DVD action flick with small appearances by a couple of semi-recognizable stars (Fred Ward, Tremors; Lea Thompson, Back to the Future). Big mistake; this movie was so much more.
This was not your standard action movie. The characters start out as one dimensional cardboard cut-outs that all find themselves on the same bus to El Paso (ex-GI chick with mysterious past, angry coach, horny teen, artsy chick, foreign guy, worried mom... you get the idea). But when the action picks up and situations start to arise, each character shows a second or third dimension. Seriously, even people who die early on become more than just cardboard cut-outs. Props to the screenwriter and director for creating such great characters.
Another great thing about this movie is its strong female characters. There are no damsels in distress who need to be saved here. Every woman, in her own way, is an absolute bad*ss. I'll even go as far as to say that there is a character in this movie who ranks among Ripley and Sarah Connor in the most bad*ss woman in cinema category.
If I have to nag about something, though, it's the pacing. There are a couple of long stretches in this movie where little to no action happens, but I guess that's where character development fills in nicely.
I'll end by saying I recommend this movie to anyone who loves a good action and that this movie deserves a much higher rating than its current 5.0/10.
En la Cama (2005)
An amazing look at hardships and relationships.
Lemme get this out of the way. I bought this movie because the actress on the cover (Blanca Lewin) was very good looking and wearing little clothing. I expected nothing more than an 85-minute skin flick with little to no story. Boy was I wrong.
Sure there is plenty of nudity in the movie, but it was much more than that. Unlike most bimbos who populate movies like this, Daniela was a real human being. She was flawed but beautiful, mature but childish in a way. Over the course of the night she spends with a stranger, she slowly reveals herself through conversations ranging from 80's cartoons and movies to relationships and personal experiences. By the end of the movie, I was surprised that I cared for her more than any other character I've seen in any movie save for one. Blanca Lewin gives an amazing and unforgettable performance in a movie that takes a serious look at relationships and society in general. I highly recommend it.
Pâfekuto burû (1997)
This. Is. In. Tense.
*exhales* I just finished this film and it blew my mind.
I bought this movie on the strength of the directing of Paprika and I had no idea what this movie was about. I can come up with only one word: Intense.
The basic plot of Perfect Blue is the main character, Mima, is a successful pop singer who chooses to leave her group and become an actress. But soon after discovering a website that tracks her every move in detail followed by landing a role in a violent television drama, strange things begin to happen all around her. She becomes paranoid and hallucinates about an alternate self who is still a pop singer. Soon reality and dreams merge all leading to a very thrilling finale.
I cannot describe this movie in my words but it is the best movie I've seen in a good long time. I very much recommend it to all who can handle scenes of explicit violence and disturbing images.
10/10. A fantastic psychological drama.
As a side note, the upbeat opening song is a real contrast to the movie itself. I catch myself humming it and I can't help but laugh.
The Night Flier (1997)
Better than expected... Almost good
First and foremost, if you read the short story by the master of terror and expect the movie will be as good or better, prepare to be disappointed. The Night Flier short story was brilliant and set near unreachable expectations for a movie without a serious budget. But on that note, this movie didn't turn out too bad.
This movie is enjoyable if you don't give it high expectations and are looking for a creepy thriller. It won't scare you (unless you are easily spooked), but it may send a quiver down your spine.
It's hard to write a competent script based on a short story because you have to add a lot of fluff to fill a feature length film. Often times there's some romance just for the sake of romance or the characters have a past with each other that they did not have in the story. But in this movie, the fluff wasn't too bad. It's mostly the competition between the reporters over the story and a few creepy scenes involving the Night Flier. (I personally enjoyed the scene with the dog on the trailer... spooky) The ending left much to be desired, falling well short of the story's ending, but it must have been difficult to wrap-up the rather open-ended Night Flier. They certainly made it creepy though, and I did enjoy the final descent into madness that Dees' character in the short story narrowly avoided.
To wrap-up, if you are looking for a great movie to kick back and watch, rent Pulp Fiction or Titanic. But if you want to watch a decent to good Stephen King adaptation (worse than Green Mile, but muuuuuch better than Maximum Overdrive), or just want to be creeped out by a vampire movie, I recommend it.