Patient Seven

Recently released on various platforms, Terror Films presents Patient Seven, a psychodrama horror anthology taking you into the minds of insane mental patients.

Starring Micheal Ironside who plays an acclaimed psychiatrist who examines the horror stories of 6 patients of Spring Valley Mental Hospital for research in his new book. As we meet each of the patients and hear their stories, we are led into various horror shorts covering several subgenres of horror like demons, vampires, and zombies. And somehow each of these patients and their stories are all connected to the final seventh patient.

The excitement comes in meeting each patients and watching their stories. Many actors stand out, one is Dan Lench and his portrayal of a man terrified of plastic wrap. For a concept that probably sounds incredibly cheesy, Dan pulls it off fantastic. Don’t worry, there’s a legitimate reason for it.

One actor I quite enjoy is Doug Jones, mostly known for prosthetic work. His capabilities to bring creatures to life is unsurpassed. Abe Sapien, Pale Man, and now as the demon in the Visitant segment, which is both terrifying and outstanding.

The various shorts is really the glue that holds this movie together. Each short directed by different directors. Some short clearly shows their influence like Unrequited Love being heavily influenced by Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later. Though I don’t know if there’s a rule of anthology film not having 2 shorts about zombies. I did have moments where I was having trouble trying to connect the particular patients and their stories. But that’s something that easily overlooked.

It’s a decent film for those who are looking to splurge on horror films during the month of October. I don’t know if this will gain massive attention to warrant cult status but there are several noticeable appeals that will give attention to both the director and the actors in the film for their future projects. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Dan Lench. That’s my honest Noble opinion.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, and even Michael Bay are all auteurs in their own rights. Directors, that when you see “From the director of”, you know what the movie will draw its influence from. Tim Burton is a well-known name among the elites of Hollywood filmmakers, especially to millennial viewers like myself.

Having a very specific art style and literally applying it to all of his movies, particularly his animated film has made Burton stand out. None can forget his timeless classic, Nightmare Before Christmas. However, what put Burton on the map and a box office draw was the 1988 film, Beetlejuice.

Over 25 years later and 35 plus director credits, Burton comes once again with a film adaptation of the popular book series; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The kind of story that this is, is right up Burton’s alley.

The film centers on a teenager (Asa Butterfield) who discovers a clue of a mystery that spans across time, and on his quest he stumbles upon a magical place known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Along with learning about Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) and her peculiar residents and their special powers,he learns there is a grave danger and he has the peculiarities to protect and save these residents.

The film rides heavy on style and tone which is a Burton staple. However, where Miss P. falls is in substance. Maybe it’s just me but it’s not as involving as it could be. The narrative seems to stumble through at various points while keeping to the visuals and the darkly, quirky characters Burton is so adept to displaying.

Eva Green is stellar as the pipe smoking, crossbow wielding, shapeshifting (clue is in her name) protector of the children. I’ve found myself wanting to see more of her character. Sam Jackson is still Sam Jackson, delivering his charismatic villainous speeches, minus the language.

As auteurs go, I have to admit that I’m not a fan of his style. Not that it isn’t good because I believe it is, but it’s not something I like. Its like comparing Rembrandt to Da Vinci. While appreciating the value both have to offer, one may prefer one to another. There’s a few films of Burton that I did enjoy like Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd and of course Batman. I’m just not rushing to the box office to catch any of them. Unless you are a fan of Burton, I’d give it a pass and maybe catch it on redbox. Honestly.

Masterminds

I’m not quite sure all the hurdles it took to get this movie to be released to the public. It was scheduled to be released last year and got pushed to early this year and pushed again to just a week ago(as of this writing). Something about distribution and finances, not sure. However, as a fan of Zach Galifianakis, I was definitely looking forward to this.

I’m gonna start out by saying even though the reviews were terrible, I laughed through almost the whole thing. And there were times where I nearly cried because I was laughing so hard.

Galifianakis plays a stranger-than-fiction true story about David Ghannt, a normal everyday man(a bumbling idiot), who gets lured by a flirtatious crush to a robbery and somehow manages to make off with over 17 million dollars in cold hard cash. However true to the actual tale is, which I have absolutely no idea, I just know that I laughed hard.

Playing along with Zach Galifianakis, we have Owen Wilson who is no stranger to oddball comedies even though they are hit and miss. Then we have Saturday Night Live regulars and alumni in Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Jason Sudeikis. The aforementioned ladies all starred together in the summer all female-led reboot, Ghostbusters. Chemistry is key when it comes to comedic movies, and each of the cast in their respective, oddball characters play along really great especially alongside the lead, Zach Galifianakis.

Masterminds rest solely on the deadpan humor that made Napoleon Dynamite famous, and Zach delivers it gloriously along with the help of his fellow costars. But judging from reading from the reviews of professional critics, which I’m not, it takes a special kind of appreciation for this brand of humor. And not many people have this taste. On top of that, it’s the kind of humor that is worth watching with friends. So whether you are wanting to something to watch at the big screen or waiting for it to come out on Blu-ray or digital download, make sure you see it with people who love to laugh.

Image courtesy of Relativity Media.

The Magnificent Seven

Western movies will always have its place in American cinema. Though westerns may not have its prevalence like it once did with the likes of John Wayne, Steve Mcqueen, and early Clint Eastwood, there’s no denying that people still enjoy pseudo-fictional tales of the old west.

Which brings us to Magnificent Seven, which is a remake of the Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson lead film of the same title and premise. The update is really just a new cast and updated tech and action to which makes the old one a bit boring. You could probably say the same about the oscar nominated True Grit by the Coen Brothers and the John Wayne led original back in the 60s.

This time Magnificent Seven is helmed by Antoine Fuqua which stars legendary Denzel Washington who has been on previous Fuqua films(Training Day and Equalizer), and Chris Pratt, who is taking the silver screen by storm. Each cast member of the seven gives vital life to bringing a diverse and entertaining popcorn style flick for the viewers. Denzel with his trademark style of dialogue befitting for the lead member, Pratt and his charismatic charm and humor. Ethan Hawke is a great character actor who never seems to fail at bringing a little humanity into his roles. Vincent D’Onofrio is always a powerhouse, but even he surprised me with what he brought to his character. Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier round out the rest of the Mag Seven crew with their respective skill set.

The crew faces off against Bartholomew Bogue and his merciless gang that has taken over a mining town. Bogue, played by Peter Sarsgaard, is evil and played with enough gravitas to warrant a beat-down, western style. Not much development is given for our antagonists, only enough to give the audience the idea of who’s bad and who’s even badder so that we can cheer for our heroes when they roll into town.

Fuqua is pretty well-known to amp up the action as his films are always action pack. But not too over the top like Michael Bay. Fuqua makes his actors shine above the action, as to let the actors make the action happen as opposed to just having random stuff blow up. And Mag Seven is no exception when it comes to the action.

The cast is what makes this western entertaining as hell. Anyone can throw a few actors and make cowboys out of them while shooting stuff and blowing stuff up. But unless the characters are entertaining and worth giving attention to, its easy to dismiss. And it’s not even about having A-listers, as there have been quite a few western films released in the past decade that flew under the radar. Nevertheless, Magnificent Seven is worth seeing on the big screen, not magnificent but incredibly fun.

 

Image courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer and Columbia Pictures.