RSS feed for Erix
  • The Nightmare

    The Nightmare 2015

    ★★ Watched 03 Oct, 2015

    The topic is thought provoking and potentially fascinating... I'm sure director Rodney Ascher also feels that way. But the documentary he made is only moderately interesting and, ultimately, rather frustrating.

    Sleep paralysis is a real disorder. Most people have experienced it at least once. Others more than that. And others experience it as a chronic condition. A documentary about that disorder, its cultural/emotional impact and, finally, the scientific reasoning for it could be interesting.

    This movie, though, gets only part…

  • Sicario

    Sicario 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 29 Sep, 2015

    Denis Villenueve picks up where he left off with Prisoners, basically, once again observing the theme of the ends justifying the means - this time, more clearly at a political level.

    The best films are those that can transcend their material... At its very basic, this is pretty standard potboiler stuff. It is because the filmmakers have dressed some classic thriller tropes in sociopolitical clothing, and because the proceedings are executed at such a high level of craft, that you…

  • The Boost

    The Boost 1988

    Watched 27 Sep, 2015

    There's a wonderfully shot, intense and dramatic scene at the end of this picture, which evidences that James Woods - whatever you may think of the man's insane political tweets - is a fantastic actor.

    He's also fearless. Because it takes balls to throw yourself into something like this, which is essentially a 95-minute anti-drug PSA released into theaters... I think on paper it looked like a challenger. Here's Woods, fresh of Salvador and a couple of minor B grade…

  • The Visit

    The Visit 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 17 Sep, 2015

    It's nice to see M. Night Shyamalan in his wheelhouse. Because one thing that might have escaped people, given his varied forays into other territories of entertainment, is that he is a true craftsman of the modern thriller.

    And so... Here we have his best movie since The Village.

    For some, it may be longer than that. But rankings are irrelevant, ultimately, and what matters is that - with The Visit - he has created a very effective piece of…

  • A Most Violent Year

    A Most Violent Year 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Sep, 2015

    Perhaps not quite the violent crime epic its provocative title would have you believe, this nonetheless has the intensity of a thriller. And it's also an interesting, layered film - observing the politics and ethics of a business, while also examining the fallacy of and ultimate moral compromises that are necessary to achieve the American dream.

    I don't know that this is a true story, but it certainly feels like one. There is an authenticity to this New York of…

  • Mad As Hell

    Mad As Hell 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Sep, 2015

    I like how this low-budget, independently produced biopic documentary almost plays like a fist-pumping, anti-establishment dramatic feature film. I suppose, in some ways it has the quality of a standard "talking heads" number, but it also has the authenticity of cinema verite...when the HD cameras take us inside the hallways and offices of studios, as people talk about what they're doing; and inside cars as people drive and talk about their life.

    Also: the story of Cenk Uygur... How he…

  • Ministry of Vengeance

    Ministry of Vengeance 1989

    Watched 11 Sep, 2015

    I certainly won't deny that a movie called Ministry of Vengeance, in which a man of the cloth becomes a vigilante after his wife and daughter are senselessly butchered in a terrorist attack, sounds promising. And it's very possible that, when this thing hit in 1989, people were also enticed by the promise of seeing that lovable rascal Bo Duke make the shift to gritty action hero of the silver screen. Or, well, the video store in any case.


  • Into the Sun

    Into the Sun 1992

    ★★ Watched 11 Sep, 2015

    Although this movie is crap, there is some good in it. That is to say, a genuinely fun movie can probably be made out of this material. Point of fact, you might say one was... It was called The Hard Way and it starred James Woods and Michael J. Fox.

    Now then, admittedly, the only real similarity is the essential premise of a hardened veteran something or other (in this case, a fighter pilot) teaching a spoiled movie star the…

  • Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

    Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 04 Sep, 2015

    This is an immensely intriguing documentary. So much so, that it's a little frustrating when you realize they've barely scratched the surface.

    And I think that's because it's based on what is clearly a very heavily researched book, with many nuggets of juicy information the filmmakers had to dilute into a mere two hours. And so, maybe for the purposes of a feature, they should have focused on one thing - rather than try to cram all of it in…

  • Harry Brown

    Harry Brown 2009

    ★★★ Watched 04 Sep, 2015

    And so there are two basic elements at play here, I suppose... The first being that this is a Death Wish-type movie starring Michael Caine and then there's the fact the film tries to play that concept off as if this were a prestige picture - a hard hitting thriller with something profound to say about social breakdown in England.

    I don't know to what extent any of this rings true. I've never been to England. So, far as I'm…

  • Siren

    Siren 2010

    ★★ Watched 03 Sep, 2015

    Artsy-fartsy horseshit, in all honesty. But it's at the very least some very arresting nonsense...

    Mainly because it was shot entirely on location in Tunisia - and that's a very pretty place. Lots of crystalline blue water, white sands and vibrant green and yellow tropical vegetation.

    And then there are the beautiful people.

    One of them is the very striking Anna Skellern. And there are also a couple of Aussie dudes... One of them is kinda lanky but hunky and…

  • The Gift

    The Gift 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 02 Sep, 2015

    The best films subvert our expectations, take us by surprise... And that's what Joel Edgerton and company have accomplished with this exceptionally compelling directorial debut.

    Sold as a fairly standard stalker/"so-and-so from Hell" thriller of the 90s, it is much more than that. It's a careful film that reveals itself in layers and - rather than go for the easy shocks and genre-appropriate payoffs - it digs deeper...exploring the psychology of its characters. More than anything else, it's a disturbing…