Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Patreon: The New Frontier

Thank you, everyone, for your ongoing support! Click here to check out this new chapter of Muddy Cult.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Movies Watched in 2018

Starting date: January 1, 2018
Finishing date: February 18, 2018

1. The Wailing [Gok-seong] (2016, South Korea)
2. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017, USA)
3. The Room (2003, USA)
4. Flatliners (2017, USA)
5. Proud Mary (2018, USA)
6. 68 Kill (2017, USA)
7. Friend Request (2016, Germany)
8. The Basement (2017, Hungary)
9. Leap! (2016, France)
10. Asura: The City of Madness (2016, South Korea)
11. Another You (2017, USA)
12. Feed the Light [Lokalvårdaren] (2014, Sweden)
13. The Girl with All the Gifts (2016, UK)
14. Mother! (2017, USA)
15. Gender Revolution (2017, USA)
16. The Foreigner (2017, UK)
17. Kill Another Another [a.k.a Dead Rush] (2016, Canada)
18. The Mountain Between Us (2017, US)
19. Blade Runner 2049 (2017, USA)
20. Despicable Me 3 (2017, USA)
21. The Shape of Water (2017, USA)
22. Serial Killer 1 [L'affaire SK1] (2015, France)
23. Tell Me How I Die (2016, USA)
24. Bitch (2017, USA)
25. The Villainess [Ak-Nyeo] (2017, South Korea)
26. Night Catches Us (2010, USA)
27. I, Tonya (2017, USA)
28. Juice (1992, USA)
29. The Snowman (2017, USA)
30. Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017, USA)
31. Geostorm (2017, USA)
32. The Ghoul (2016, UK)
33. Happy Death Day (2017, USA)
34. Jigsaw (2017, USA)
35. Surburbicon (2017, USA)
36. Winchester (2018, USA)
37. Serpent (2017, South Africa)
38. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017, UK)
39. It (2017, USA)
40. Ingrid Goes West (2017, USA)

Monday, December 25, 2017

BlipMasta5's 2017 Musical Notables!

We're back again for another year of great music!! Now to give the honors away to some of the standout artists, albums, and songs. Check out the video below the goods! Hopefully, next year will yield even more fantastic tunes for us music lovers.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Triple Thanksgiving Movie Feature

Features: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; Addams Family Values, & Kristy
When: Tuesday, November 21 at 7:30 pm CST
Where via mikosuzahiru18

Click the banner for more information and to RSVP.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Triple Anime Halloween Feature

Features: Imawa Kuni no Alice (Alice in Borderland), Perfect Blue, & Kagewani [Kagewani: Shou, if there's time]
When: Tuesday, October 31 at 7:30 pm CST
Where via mikosuzahiru18

Click the banner for more information and to RSVP.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Review: Berlin Syndrome

Starring: Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt
Rating: R
Directed By: Cate Portland
Synopsis: While holidaying in Berlin, Australian photographer, Clare, meets Andi, a charismatic local man and there is an instant attraction between them. A night of passion ensues. But what initially appears to be the start of a romance, takes an unexpected and sinister turn when Clare wakes the following morning to discover Andi has left for work and locked her in his apartment. An easy mistake to make, of course, except Andi has no intention of letting her go again. Ever.

I was always taught to be careful when traveling alone whether you're going to a new country or simply a new city. Clare is a tourist who obviously didn't get that memo. She's a photographer wanting to take photos of architecture. She travels to Berlin from Australia and quickly lets it be known to a stranger that she is exactly that...alone. This probably isn't the best way to go about things even though he is someone she finds attractive. 

 Andi is an English teacher who seems to live a normal life. He works, visits his father and takes Clare out. Soon, it's time for Clare to leave and head to the next stop on her trip. Andi doesn't seem very happy with this. Luckily for him, she changes her mind and goes to find him. This leads to a night of passion. The next morning, she finds herself locked in his apartment with no way out. The movie starts to pick up here. Why has he kept her locked in? Is she the first woman he's kidnapped?

The screenwriter chooses not to flesh out either character too much. We know vague things about each person's past. Clare's mother is awaiting back in Australia. Andi's mother abandoned him when he was young. As time passes, Andi treats keeping Clare kidnapped as if nothing is wrong. He brings her flowers even when she tries to escape. He likes to tie her down and take strange Polaroids of her. How long can he keep her hidden? Her mother hasn't had any contact with her aside from the texts he sends with her stolen sim card.

It's certainly a situation where she is ultimately powerless. Eventually, stockholm syndrome begins to kick in. She starts cooking and cleaning for him as well as having sex with him willingly. There were plenty of questions for me that slowly got answered. How were there no neighbors? This is explained by the fact that Andi is renovating the building that he lives in. Why does no one go looking for Clare? A missing tourist probably doesn't matter in the long run.

In the end, it's the psychological damage done to Clare that makes this movie work. Teresa Palmer plays the wide-eyed victim quite well. It's possibly her best role to date. There were a few times when I wanted to shake her and scream at her to fight harder. The ending was definitely the most frustrating. I wanted some concrete evidence that she would be safe. What happened to her after the climax? We're meant to imagine it instead.

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review: Gerald's Game

Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood
Rated: NR
Directed By: Mike Flanagan
Synopsis: Gerald Burlingame and his wife Jessie attempt to rekindle the flames of their marriage with a retreat to their remote lake house. But when a dangerous sex game accidentally kills Gerald and leaves Jessie handcuffed to the bed, the latter is forced to overcome panic and hallucinations if she wants to escape. 

Adaptations of Stephen King novels have been hit or miss. There have been at least 58 of them with more in the works like the sequel to the latest IT movie, plus Hulu's Castle Rock series. For every good one, there are at least a dozen that are barely watchable. There's little wonder in whether it's the source material being hard to adapt or merely someone unable to bring the master of horror's vision to life. There are many reasons why these adaptations can go so wrong, but we won't get into those here.

Gerald's Game begins with Gerald and Jessie trying to rekindle the passion in their marriage. The attraction between them has faded. Gerald decides to handcuff Jessie to the bed and play out a rape fantasy. This goes bad very quickly with Gerald dying of a heart attack. Jessie is left trapped and trying to find a way to escape with little success. There are more horrors than just being trapped such as a stray dog searching for food, traumas from her past and a nightmarish man hiding in the shadows.

Jessie's ordeal is harrowing to watch. Will she manage to escape? She begins to hallucinate and relive pieces of her past that she'd tried to forget. Did her past put her on the path to her current situation? These are questions that do get answered in my opinion by the end of the film. There is a scene that will be talked about for quite awhile after this movie ends. It is gruesome to watch but well worth it.

There could have been many ways this could have fallen flat. Mike Flanagan has previously proven that he can craft horror in ways that others haven't. Oculus and Hush were both successful. He does very well with the material. However, it's Carla Gugino's performance that elevates the adaptation. She's fantastic as both the panic-stricken wife and the empowered survivor.

People might complain about the last ten minutes since so many were polarized by the end of the novel. I believe that the final scenes are what really tie together Jessie's journey and her road to the future. The real horrors come from the people she has encountered and the trauma she endured. There is no supernatural element here. For me, that's what makes it truly unsettling.

Rating: 5/5