Here are a few other films that I have seen and rated. For some of the films I will write a brief sentence or so on what I thought.
Reviewer: Pat Brennan
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Director: Tobe Hooper
Writers: Tobe Hooper, Kim Henkel
Cast: Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul. A Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow
Director: Levan Gabriadze
Writer: Nelson Greaves
Cast: Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm, Will Peltz, Renee Olstead, Jacob Wysocki, Heather Sossaman, Courtney Halverson
- On paper this sounds like a dumb concept. An entire film taking place on a computer screen can be hard to accomplish. It is hard to keep the audience engaged for that long. But in the end, Unfriended is able to keep you entertained just enough, all while using technology that is very relevant to our lives today. For me the plot was what ultimately separated this film from being a game changer in the horror genre, to just an average horror film. It is the classic story of revenge that is be hard to relate to because all of the characters because are perceived as terrible people (even the girl who is seeking revenge from the dead). Even though the plot is pretty ridiculous, the idea of a horror film taking place all on a computer screen doesn't seem too far fetched now.
The Visit (2015)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Kathryn Hahn, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie
- For me, this is M. Night's comeback film. He is able to go back to his old roots in generating a thriller that keeps the audience questioning if what they are seeing is real. He brings back his classic idea of the twist at the end, which for me is his specialty. He is able to take the idea of found footage horror and blend it together within a family dynamic, which can make it more relatable to the audience. Although I still feel that his dialogue can be a little weak at times, he is able to get away from the big budgeted studio projects and get back to what made him a household name.
The Last Airbender (2010)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis, Seychelle Gabriel
- I don't even have to explain this one.
What makes this documentary so shocking is how the police and journalists turned the story in the direction that they wanted it to go. The police were able to force the narratives that they wanted and charge whoever they suspected, without actually taking the precautionary steps. A major suspect who may have actually committed the crime, Rudy Guede, was simply brushed to the side. He was convicted of being an accomplice in the murders and sentenced for his crimes, but ultimately was never really talked about. For the journalists who covered the case, it didn't fit the narrative. “Foxy Knoxy” was the narrative and they just wanted that story. Pretty disturbing when you sit back and think about it. For the police and journalists, Amanda was the story no matter what facts or evidence were presented.
The police made it seem as though this type of murder could never happen in a small town in Italy. It could only happen in America. They were more worried about defending the honor of Italy, rather than defending the law. The main detective who is interviewed is very much set on the fact that Amanda and Raffaele did it. He bases his entire detective beliefs on being a version of Sherlock Holmes, investigating crimes as he would in novels. The wrong people were put on this case and whole thing was just mishandled from the very get go.
What I think that this documentary does well is that it doesn't pick a side. It just states the facts and lays them out for you to decide what ultimately happened that fateful night. It perfectly shows that the media doesn't give a damn about anyone or anything; just the story. They will do anything to get a juicy story. It doesn't matter what happened or didn't happen. The lives effected will never be the same and they will never be able to escape this.
Bottom Line: Is she guilty or innocent? Perhaps we may never know, but I think by the end of this documentary your own conclusion will leave you satisfied.
What Burton is able to do to contrast the two different time periods works really well. When Jacob is in 2016, there is a very cold and blueish tint in the frame, which resembles Jacob perfectly. In his own time period, he has always felt out of place and that he didn't belong. He has always been seeking an adventure for as long as he can remember and until he finds one he will never be truly feel like himself. By having his world feel and look very cold, the audience is able to see why he seems out of place. When we switch over to the older time period (when we get to Miss Peregrine’s home) the image becomes a lot warmer and brighter. For me this was a great way to show that even though this is a completely new world for Jacob, he feels as though this is where he belongs.
For me, the problem lied within the last act. It did not seem to fit what we had been watching throughout the film up to that point. I don't want too spoil what happens but one thing I did want to mention is how Jacob eventually becomes the leader of the children, which seemed very out of place because he didn't know them for too long. The children seemed to look to him for the answers and to be the leader. Up to that point Jacob is still trying to figure out who he is. It just seemed too fast of a transition to me and too forced for Jacob’s character. I guess I just wanted to see more scenes between Jacob and the rest of the children to get his sense of connection with them and make the switch more relevant. With a run time of just over two hours it can be tough to keep the audience engaged for that long; especially with long dialogue scenes. However, I do feel those types of scenes are necessary to have in the middle of the film in order to establish a stronger connection between the characters.
One other problem I had was that some of the acting and dialogue was just subpar. I didn't really fell that Asa Butterfield was the right choice for this role. He certainly looks the part of the outcast in this story, but I just wasn't buying him as the character. That isn't to say that I did not like any of the acting. Eva Green is fantastic as always and Ella Purnell really stood out for me as well. I guess I was just expecting more from Butterfield. And you are probably thinking, “well this is a fantasy film so how real can the dialogue really be?” True, but when some of the dialogue is overall very basic, it can be hard to see how this is different than anything we have seen before. Some of it felt forced in order to move the story forward. I did enjoy some parts though (especially the scene where Miss Peregrine reverses time back) which made the film entertaining at parts, but some of the scenes were just let down by the dialogue.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was just an overall disappointing film for me. With a great premise, great actors and being in the hands of Burton I was expecting this to be another classic experience from him. The film delves into the classic “coming of age” story, but seems to fall apart by the third act.
Bottom Line: Die hard fans of Tim Burton’s work will probably enjoy this fairly well. But if you are looking for another classic film of his, this one just isn't there.