The Others (2001)
Directed By Alejandro Amenábar
I love a good ghost story. The Others is a good ghost story. It has all of the elements that creep you out and is presented competently. This film is character driven, you need the right performances from your cast in order that we the audience wish to follow them and I must say it is cast perfectly, Nicole Kidman does a superb job, as do the two young children. I watched the Canadian blu-ray which presents the film competently enough, but is 1080i. The DTS Master Audio track is very impressive with some amazing openness in such a big creepy house! These kind of movies really rely on ambient sound and make perfect use of the surround sound where required!
The Ring (2002)
Directed By Gore Verbinski
Having just been voted the scariest film of the decade by Entertainment Weekly Magazine, I decided to sit down and re-watch both The Ring and The Ring Two. Those of you famaliar with my tastes will know that I am a sucker for Asian cinema, not so much for the remakes. However, credit where credit is due. The Ring is possibly the best adaptation of a J-Horror movie by the Hollywood system. I wouldn't say it is the scariest film of the decade (That title should have gone to Neil Marshall's The Descent), but it does have its moments. A good cast, some good scares (and some awesome subliminal rings). If only the other J-Horror films had been given this kind of competent treatment.
The Ring Two (2005)
Directed By Hideo Nakata
Of course, as with any Hollywood picture that makes money, a sequel was inevitable. (Not to mention that The Ring 3D is now gearing up for production... I kid you not) The interesting thing here, is that the Japanese director of the original Ring (Ringu) is at the helm. We follow on from the events of the previous film, only this time Samara doesn't seem to need the "scary video-tape" in order to terrorize Rachel and Aidan. I think this is where the film fails. What made the first film scary was the ability to relate to Rachel and her need to live, and the idea that anyone watching the video was also subject to the curse. Whilst this is evident in the opening moments of The Ring Two, with two teenagers watching the video, things get way more personal for Rachel and Aidan, when it becomes apparent that Samara wants to take Aidan's place. The film is full of contradictions and seems very disjointed at times, much of its plot is implied, and whilst it is by no means the worst sequel, they could have done so much with this idea by building off of what Hideo has done with the Japanese series. In Japan, there a 4 "official" Ringu movies and a TV series!
Directed By Christopher Nolan
I actually saw this a little while ago, I enjoyed it, but it has issues. It is certainly better than Nolan's Batman reboots! And is possibly one of the best studio films this year. (Maybe only second to Scott Pilgrim)
Repo! A Genetic Opera (2008)
Directed By Darren Lynn Bousman
My blu-ray for Repo arrived early last week. This is only my second time viewing the film and I can honestly say I liked it more this time around. I still don't think the songs are very "catchy", but I was able to take more in than on my first viewing. The film is an audio and visual assault, one very suited to the high definition format and the blu-ray release from Lionsgate does not disappoint!
Assassination of a High School President (2008)
Directed By Brett Simon
Better than I expected, the disc was a blind buy as it was cheap and looked interesting. Whilst I think the pacing could have been slightly improved, it is well cast with Mischa Barton returning from her O.C skank days to do some real acting. This is an otherwise solid entry into the intelligent high school feature and at least worth a rental.
From Russia With Love (1963) - Repost
Directed By Terence Young
Another fine Blu-ray release for Mr. Bond. This time we see Bond trying to get his hands on a Russian decoder, with the help of a Russian defector who is supposedly in love with him (having seen his photo of course). Another fine acting job from Connery as Bond.