Archive for lucas till

‘The Disappointments Room’: Don’t go in there!

Posted in drama, horror, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2017 by aliciamovie

disappointments_room

 

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: D.J. Caruso

Studio: Relativity Media

MPAA Rating: R

Review Rating: 6.5 out of 10

After enduring a tragedy, a family moves to a rural home and the mother discovers the new house harbors some very dark secrets.

Okay, so, let’s just dive right in here. We know very well from the title of the film, The Disappointments Room, that the new house has a kind of standard haunted story thing going on. Somewhere near the attic is a locked room which used to house all the disappointing people, usually children, of any given family that was lodging there until they mercifully died, right? Fine. And sure enough, just as soon as the Barrow family takes dubious residence in the place, Mom Dana (Kate Beckinsale) discovers the locked room, finds a key rather swiftly, and gets herself locked in there to be scary-haunted by the former residents of the Room. Sure.

Dana gets mysteriously let out of the Room by one of the disfigured ghosts, and can’t for the life of her understand why her husband David (Mel Raido) or her son Lucas (Duncan Joiner) didn’t notice she had been missing for however long she could’ve sworn it was. But, therein lies the rub – was Dana really gone? The movie seems to posit, hesitantly though, that most if not all of the horrid things that happen to Dana in the new house are actually all in her head, a result of the mental devastation after the family trauma that led them to relocate here in the first place.

What family trauma, you ask? We learn, in disjointed fits of course, that David and Dana had a daughter, and at some point in the recent past, she died. The general vibe is that it was somehow Dana’s fault, the result of a tragic accident of some kind, but specifics are never really given out in the entire movie, just that Dana feels incredible guilt about her daughters death. Though the reveal sequence towards the climax scene near the end of the film seems to claim that Dana actually did kill her daughter, not on purpose but still, perhaps as a result of neglectful smothering or something like it. Well, we go on.

The house is old and in need of tons of repair and Dana would like nothing more than to do it all herself, she is the daughter of an architect after all, but eventually townie Ben (Lucas Till) is brought in to help with fixing. Dana seems to be inexplicably drawn to Ben and enjoys bluntly talking with him while simultaneously ordering him about, like a worker on a construction job. Ben somehow enjoys hanging with Dana too, and takes her abrupt attitude in stride, which is better than I would do.

Stumbling along, Dana becomes convinced that the ghosts she’s released from the Disappointments Room are after her remaining son Lucas. Despite Dana having discovered what she thinks is a source of ghostly Father Judge Blackers (Gerald McRaney) powers, hidden oil paintings of him and his wife under strategically placed mirrors, and destroying them, she’s pretty sure she’s done that anyways, the ghosts are still after Lucas. Meanwhile, David’s getting very concerned about Dana, what with the anniversary of their daughters death coming up, he decides the best thing to do to make Dana feel better would be, wait for it, to attempt to ease her loneliness and despair by hosting a dinner party with some out-of-town friends at their new haunted house. As we all could’ve guessed, this goes over with Dana like a ton of damned bricks and she just loses her shit over cake and broken crockery, screaming and ranting her head off at David and their guests at the dinner table. That’s hardly the end of confrontation either, but only seems to serve as the opening catalyst for a night of violence that may or may not be all in Dana’s own head anyways.

I’m not going to spoil the ending, mainly because I couldn’t actually figure out it out entirely. The films story just doesn’t have enough of anything to be able to tell if the ghosts are the actual problem, or if it really is all in Dana’s head and she’s just a psycho bitch, or what. It doesn’t help that there simply isn’t anything likable about Dana, she wanders the entire movie as a cee-you-next-Tuesday to practically everyone; I couldn’t tell if that was on purpose or not. There was plenty opportunity for handyman Ben to create all sorts of marital tension between Dana and David by initiating some kind of affair, that never happened far as I could tell. Even the poor kid Lucas is practically a paper cutout of a kid, with little personality given to speak of other than we know he likes his new house-kitty, and his willingness to play with dollhouses seems to speak of wanting to follow in his moms architectural footsteps. It seems to me a damned shame, because Wentworth Miller, yes this guy, wrote the script for the sleeper hit Stoker and also wrote the script for The Disappointments Room, and the movie adaptation could’ve been so much more than this hot mess.

Decide for yourself what lurks in The Disappointments Room on Netflix!

X-Men First Class

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Movies, Romance, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2011 by aliciamovie

 

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio:  Marvel, 20th Century Fox

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Review Rating: 9 Mutations

Young Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr, aided by the government and a band of mutants, take on Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club, to try and prevent a World War between the Americans and the Russians!

I am actually greatly impressed with this movie. Better, in my humble little opinion, than the third X-Men movie, not that that was terribly hard. Director Matthew Vaughn, who brought us such gems as Stardust and Kick-Ass, has given us a movie that started off as a diamond and only got better. A happy compromise between those things we know and love of the original X-Men and just have to keep, versus rich new ways of telling their stories in a very Star Trek Zero style.

We begin with a meeting of boy Charles Xavier and our blue gal pal Raven (Darkholme) inside what will become the X mansion, where Charles demonstrates his lifetime commitment to aid all mutants however he might, even at such a young age. Conversely, young Erik Lensherr is being tortured in a Nazi concentration camp, especially when a certain Schmidt observes his burgeoning powers and decides to take a direct interest. I know, Magneto is more or a less always a villain, but I simply can’t help but cheer when boy Erik crushes Nazi helmets with heads still in them! Cut to much later, Charles is now Professor X, a delightfully charming young man with a vested interest in what he now calls Mutants. Whereas Erik is now hunting down the man who was Schmidt, now calling himself Sebastian Shaw, and this is where our two Icons finally meet. Shaw and the Hellfire Club (Azazel, Riptide and Emma Frost) are on the point of settingAmerica and the Russians at eachothers throat by….some nonsense about stationing missiles in Cuba and not crossing water lines – who cares right? Accurate history is fine and all, but I want the story and the Mutants!

So, aided by a reluctant Erik and his sister Raven, Charles embarks on a quest to gather Mutants and train them as a kind of counter force against Shaw and company. The Man in Black, who never gave an actual name, is the one who offers the new recruits a place to live and train, introducing the genius Mutant Hank McCoy, and the earliest incarnation of Cerebro! And we get to watch the new recruits – Banshee, Darwin, Angel, Havok, Mystique and Beast – train their burgeoning powers in anticipation of fighting. Personally, I love the training montages and can never get enough of them in the X-Men movies. Plus finally Banshee gets a, more or less, starring role – I always thought he got a bum deal when it came to the X-Men movies. Inevitably, yes there is a cameo for Wolverine, they of course try to recruit him and of course he turns both Erik and Charles down very bluntly. We have to train, because the Hellfire Club is coming, and sure enough, while X and Erik are away, the new recruits are attacked by Shaw and a clear dividing line is drawn. Everyone who’s left has to go back to the X mansion, where training continues in the first version of the Danger Room, to stop the final battle the Hellfire Club is trying to start!

The dynamics between Erik and Charles, always a loving and strained relationship, is truly given grand screen time in this movie, and I thought that was wonderful. James McAvoy as the Prof was fantastic and Michael Fassbender as Erik was just marvelous. Didn’t much care for the makeup they gave Beast when he did finally blue and fur himself, but the actor who played him as human-ish, Nicholas Hoult, did a lovingly awkward job. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique was awesome too, although I personally thought she looked much hotter all blued up. Lucas Till of Battle: Los Angeles fame is Havok, also known as Alex Summers, his training made me laugh out loud. Jason Flemyng as Azazel was a really strange choice, but you can see echoes of Nightcrawler in his tail. And of course let us not forget Kevin Bacon, the man of degrees himself, as Sebastian Shaw! He sure doesn’t physically look like Shaw in my opinion, but he sure pulled off the attitude! X-Men First Class gets a rating of 9 Mutations, because as Mystique is fond of saying – “Mutant, and proud!”