Viewed – 10 August 2012 Television
Documentaries exploring the dangers of the internet are becoming quite the little sub-genre, what with the acclaimed Catfish last year, and now this, eye-opening true story. It tells the tragic tale of Brian, a man lured into a web of lies by a woman calling herself Jessie, the tallhotblonde of the title, who over several months, forms a relationship with two men who both work at the same place, eventually causing jealousy and hatred that finally leads to murder.
Directed by Barbara Shroeder, this features candid interviews and disturbing transcripts of online conversations, that certainly drew this viewer in and kept him glued. As someone who uses the internet, the lure of the freedom the web bestows can be very appealing, but can also be a breeding ground for dishonesty, which in this case turned very bad indeed. Like Catfish, I found it hard to sympathize with the main protagonists, whose own stupidity and naivety was the cause of much of the trouble. And although it lacks that film’s gritty, handheld camera style that meant you felt a part of every moment, this still remained shocking in places … even if it had little new to say.
If you don’t already have a bit of knowledge of such dangers, like chatrooms, people pretending to be who they are not, this could paint the ‘net in a rather bad light – but like I have always said, with a bit of common sense, the web can still be safe – just stay away from tallhotblondes, I suppose.
Verdict: 2.5 /5
Viewed – 02 March 2012 Television
This is one of the few films made by famed Italian horror director Dario Argento (Suspiria, Opera) that I had previously never seen. Forming the unofficial middle of his acclaimed ‘animal trilogy’ that also features The Bird With The Crystal Plumage and Four Flies On Grey Velvet, I naturally jumped at the chance to watch this 1971 effort when it turned up late night on TV recently.
A blind man (Karl Malden) and his young niece become involved in the mystery surrounding a break in at a reasearch facility and team up with a reporter (James Franciscus) when witnesses to the crime start turning up dead. For an Argento movie this is firmly in the murder-mystery thriller category rather than the gory horrors he is known for, and is a smart, engrossing watch with plenty of the director’s trade mark imaginative camera work and experimental editing techniques. The score by seasoned veteran Ennio Morricone is haunting and effective, and for an Argento movie the acting is surprisingly better than expected, even if the odd bizarre character and wooden extra rears its head. I found the story a little slow and difficult to follow however and the murders lack some of the director’s flair, even if a stand out elevator shaft fall still impressed.
As a fan, I would say this was a weaker entry in the director’s often illustrious cannon, but retains enough of his style and expertise to make it enjoyable none the less.
Verdict: 3 /5
Viewed – 20 January 2012 Television
I have no problem with remakes, if that is they bring something new to the franchise / classic movie or at least show they are trying. Good examples of recent worthwhile horror remakes include The Thing, Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Revisiting one of the longest running horror movie series in memory however, is a different matter entirely. Normally any horror fan has seen one of the Friday The 13th movies somewhere along the line, and everyone will have a favourite (mine is Part 4), so you would thing with such a wealth of material to take from, the makers of this would be able to come up with something new, fresh and relevant. Did they buggery!
This treads the same old ground as many stalk and slash horrors over the years … sex mad teens, an isolated location, and a masked psychopath, picking them off one by one. A ten or so minute opening pretty much wraps up the storyline to the first two movies, glossing over the most interesting aspect of the franchise (the killer’s mother) in a few seconds, and then its on to the pretty but personality-free cast as one man returns to camp crystal lake in search of his sister, who went missing months previous. Now this could have been an interesting angle, but is overshadowed by the usual jock douche bags, bare breasted bimbos and dope-heads … all of which this viewer had no problem whatsoever seeing murdered. Sadly killer nut job Jason Voorhees has lost much of his presence over the years, and now just ‘appears’ and kills without any particular imagination. The murders are instantly forgettable, and what tension there could have been is lost in the fact the movie is almost pitch black dark most of the time, meaning its difficult to see exactly whats going on. The epileptic camera work only makes this issue worse.
So it’s a real shame that a bit more thought or imagination couldn’t have been applied here … as at one time, Friday The 13th was good stuff, even if for me it was always the poor man’s Halloween. What we have here is a badly made, imagination-free insult of a horror movie that nobody really needs to see – especially the fans.
Verdict: 1 /5
Well Christmas day is here again. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my visitors / subscribers / followers for their continued interest and your comments / feedback make everything so worth while.
This year I got a very interesting range of prezzies, starting with the Season 1-3 Box Set of acclaimed TV drama MAD MEN. Secondly I got the Lee Evans autobiography which I hope to read at some stage. Then there’s the official Ola Jordan calendar, signed by the famed Strictly Come Dancing star. Also we have Peter Kay‘s Tour That Doesn’t Tour stand-up DVD, and also got a very nice statue of a woman with not a great deal of clothing on – but very classy. Lady Ga Ga‘s Latest CD Born This Way, and also a small companion book exploring the Swedish horror Let The Right One In. Oh and who can forget Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes on Blu-ray? I also got several surprises, smellies and other bits and bobs.
Thankyou to everyone who got me prezzies and I really hope you all like what I got you.
Merry Christmas. Ho Ho Ho.
I’ll give the final word to the character’s from comedy TV show Bo-Selecta …. propper crimbo!!!
I just finished watching the final episode of what was one of my favourite TV shows, namely NBC’s much maligned HEROES. Now I have written on here before about my severe disappointment with the news that it had been cancelled, and that we will not be getting a fifth season. So now having watched the last episode, I admit to feeling quite sad to see it go.