Rob Watches Movies

Reviews of every film I watch. The Good, The Bad and The Mothman Prophecies.

Tag: 2009

Album of the Week: White Lies – To Lose My Life…

Released 19th January 2009

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12 Days of Christmas Films Day 5: A Christmas Carol

‘Marley was dead to begin with…’

mv5bmjaxmzq5nduymv5bml5banbnxkftztcwmzc5ndq5mg-_v1_sx1777_cr001777750_al_ Continue reading

Short Film Sunday: The New Tenants

Title: The New Tenants

Director: Joachim Back

Released: 2009

Length: 20 minutes

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Short Film Sunday: Miracle Fish

Title: Miracle Fish

Director: Luke Doolan

Released: 2009

Length: 17 minutes

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Friday the 13th (remake) – 6.5/10

25 years and 8 films after Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Jason Vorhees returns for one last swansong…

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Jason employing his trademark look.

When the Friday the 13th remake hit in 2009 it was always likely to be criticised by long time fans especially as largely hated director Michael Bay was on production duties. What people are loath to admit however is that the original Friday the 13th is no masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, indeed it was widely dismissed as a Halloween rehash on release back in 1980.

It is easy to groan at the cringe inducing antics of the teenage cast and to tut at the gratuitous sex scenes and the violence but these are staples of the franchise. Again if you go back to the original movies and follow the series you will not find much more artistic merit than what is on show in Marcus Nispel’s remake.

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Friday the 13th was a nasty but iconic horror film and Jason Vorhees became a legend of the genre as his mythology became more fleshed out as the series went on. This 2009 remake has some plain bad moments but it is also respectful towards the series as a whole and introduces some positive things such as the utterly brilliant opening 25 minutes.

Michael Bay aside it would be churlish to suggest that this latest entry in franchise is anything other than a success.

Moon – 8.5/10

Lunar loneliness and a shit load of Sam Rockwell’s…

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Moon was the directorial bow of David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones and it has to go down as one of the best debut’s of the last 20 years.

Moon’s ace up the sleeve is that the ‘twist’ is revealed within the first half hour. Rather than this resulting in an anti climactic ending, this revelation actually gives the viewer more time for the full horror of the situation to sink in with leads to an immersive and unforgettable viewing experience.

Other than GERTY, a robot voiced by Kevin Spacey, Sam Rockwell’s Sam Bell is pretty much the only on screen character. It takes a great actor to carry an entire film, especially one with such emotional resonance, but Rockwell’s performance is astonishing and it is surprising the Academy never showed an interest.

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GERTY is the yin to Hal 9000’s yang.

The famous ‘I want to go home’ scene combines breathtaking visuals with a heartbreaking turn from Rockwell and is one of the most memorable and chilling scenes of recent years. It is one of many haunting moments within Moon that culminate in a film that will stay with you for weeks after viewing.

Moon is an underrated classic that fully deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Interstellar. Sam Rockwell’s inspirational performance makes Moon a film for everybody, not just sci-fi fans.

Cropsey 6/10 and Killer Legends 7.5/10

Director Joshua Zeman explores the dark side of the urban legends in a pair of chilling documentaries.

Cropsey

Cropsey is the sad and intriguing story of five missing children in the Staten Island area of New York City. The local folklore states that disused tunnels beneath an abandoned mental hospital housed a child murderer and various other unspeakable horrors. Upon examination Zeman and co director Barbara Brancaccio discover this is more than just a fable. Without wanting to spoil anything Cropsey is an interesting and dark film that also includes some truly disturbing footage of an expose on mental hospital Willowbrook from 1972.

Cropsey was Zeman’s first feature and he doesn’t seem to have enough material to cover the 84 minute running time so a lot of the footage is repeated. This story could have been covered in a 45 minute TV show rather than a feature film but it is still a decent watch.

Five years later Zeman returns with another spine chilling film Killer Legends. Taking apart four of the most well known urban myths (hook handed psychopath at Lovers Lane, poisoned Halloween candy, the babysitter receives a call from inside the house and the killer clown) and turning the ‘myths’ on their head to expose the terrible truth behind each of them.

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Zeman has clearly learnt a lot in the five years between films as Killer Legends is much better put together, much more interesting and is genuinely one of the most creepy documentaries I have ever seen.

Most people will be familiar with notorious serial killer John W. Gacy so that is the only segment that falls a bit flat but the rest of the film had me on the edge of my seat with it’s part crime part horror angle. Zeman and researcher Rachel Mills decide to put themselves in front of the camera which is something that has grated on me with people like Michael Moore and Nick Broomfield but Zeman and Mills let the stories tell themselves without trying to become the centre of attention.

For anyone interested in the dark and the macabre I would recommend both but if you are just looking for an interesting and well directed documentary Killer Legends will not disappoint.

Capitalism A Love Story – 7/10

Michael Moore lays bare the truth about economic crisis in America.
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Capitalism: A Love Story is probably Moore’s best made and most restrained documentary yet. The problem is whilst some of the shock tactics employed in previous works, especially Bowling for Columbine, left a bad taste in the mouth, they did make for entertaining cinema. At over two hours long Capitalism… is pretty slow going in places. The other problem is that because of the explosion of conspiracy theories/truth movements on the internet people already know a lot of what is shown in this movie.
Whilst Fahrenheit 9/11 was genuinely shocking at the time, nothing about this documentary really shocked me. If you are new to the subject of capitalism/the banking crisis etc however and you are looking for a good starting point, look no further.

The House of the Devil – 6/10

Inevitably attractive teenager answers an ad to become a babysitter with disastrous consequences…

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The House of the Devil is a decent 70’s throwback horror about satanic cults from director Ti West (responsible for a segment in both V/H/S and The ABCs of Death). West shows impressive restraint to let the tension build for a good hour before the mayhem starts. At only 95 minutes long this was a considerable risk but it just about pays off.

Pretty frightening in places and with a couple of nice shocking moments, I enjoyed this film and would watch it again.

Dogtooth – 7/10

Pretty damn weird…

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Greek film nominated for best foreign film at the 2007 Oscars. A man keeps his three teenage children completely cut off from the outside world in the family home. Any outside influence is neutered by the father.
Dogtooth makes for a strange and uncomfortable viewing experience and is not something I would rush to watch again but it is one that will stick with me. Well acted across the board, you completely believe the children know nothing of the world outside their house. Dogtooth was one of the films IMDB recommended to me after watching Eraserhead so that gives you an idea of what a strange film this is.

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