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Tuesday
Sep082009

Review: Live Animals

An alright low-budget horror movie.

 

    After introducing us to Wayne, we meet brother and sister, Nick and Erin. Erin is clearly depressed over a recent breakup, and caring sibling Nick encourages her to get over it by "getting under someone."

 

A raunchy party ensues, but as the teens drink and screw, dark forces spy on them through a photo lens. And when the party winds down, the teens find themselves hunted by a dart gun wielding, diabolical trapper named Edgar.

 

    After a well-paced chase and eventual capture, the surviving teens find themselves chained to stalls in a large horse-barn. Having already been made aware of the brawn, we quickly learn that the brains behind the operation is the grandfatherly Wayne, who establishes his dominance over his prisoners in a gruesome scene. Let's just say that gore fans will be pleased, and tongues everywhere will be quiver in fear.

 

    The story tightens as more and more details come out: Wayne is a player in a human slavery operation. And in one excellently paced and creepy scene, he sells one of the teens to a scary merchant named Amell. Amell inspects the captives like one would a horse or a prized steer, and the coldness of this scene will resonate more with audiences than any of the bloody events that follow.

 

        Adding an eerie prop, that of a walking stick, Amell makes the merchant an insidious classic bad guy, and like Wayne, this merchant has brought with him muscle equipped with appropriate bondage gear. Methodically, Edgar and Amell's henchman go about their duties, This scene has a chilling feel as nail after nail closes the box around the trembling child.

 

        "Live Animals" looks uniform and rich. Although much of the film takes place in low light, the details are clear and sharp. Folks familiar with limitations of digital video will find the image pleasing and film-like.



 

I’ll give this one

 3 out of 5 Stars

 


Monday
Jul272009

Review: Notorious

 

 

The movie starts out w ith the shooting being shown in the beginning and then the rest of the movie happening like a flashback.


The flashback starts out with a young Christopher Wallace rapping in the school yard, so we're shown even at a young age he was influenced by music. Early, we're also shown how protective his mother Voletta Wallace(Angela Bassett) was as all she wanted was a good life for her son.

 



About 20 minutes in, when we first see Jamal Woolard step in as Christopher a little bit older. We see him dealing with drugs in his room, having to hide plates full underneath his bed as he's still living at home with his mother. He has to hide all the flashy clothes/shoes/gear from his mother, as he's suppose to still be going to school.

 


Once confronted about missing school so much, we get a great scene from both mother and son as he admits to drug trafficking and choosing the street over school.

When we first see Biggie step up to battle in the street, it was pretty intense, as it was done exactly l
ike the real video of it.

 

Once dropping the freestyle, its clear to see this kid has talent. Shortly after the street life begins to conflict with chance of making it out he has. He is arrested for dealing right after becoming a father and getting a girl from his neighborhood pregnant.

Once in lockup, Biggie begins to write. Once being released, his friends begin to see he's gotten better as an artist and could actually make some noise in Hip-Hop.
Soon after Puffy comes is introduced and he turns B.I.G. in to the Notorious one we all know and love.

 
For the rest of the movie we see Biggie have to deal with family drama, such as not seeing his oldest daughter enough, go through relationship troubles, back and forth between Lil' Kim and Faith Evans.


We also see him have to deal with success and the highs and lows of the music industry. We are also shown many events re-enacted that were broadcast all over the media when they originally happened. It was great to see how everything came together and how he reacted to many of those situations. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how this one ends, but even when it does, it hits you like you never seen it coming.

The script was great, when making a movie about someone’s life, no matter who the person may be, it's hard to compress someone's life in to 2 hours, but they pulled it off. They writers knew what parts to include and what not too. It was great seeing key parts of his career be added such as The Tupac shooting at the studio with Biggie being blamed and then the confrontation at the Source Awards.

What really makes the ending hit you hard, is that we see Christopher Wallace change as a person near the end of his life as if he knew it was coming to end. Any fan could tell you that death was always on his mind.

One of the final scenes is of Mrs. Wallace riding in the backseat of a car coming from Christopher's funeral. And as the car is driving we see her look out the window and in the street is all of her son's fans, also mourning the loss. This is when she realizes that even though she didn't support what he was doing, others did, and they listened when he spoke.

Some actors didn't look exactly like their real life counterparts like Derek Luke as Sean 'Puffy' Combs or Anthony Mackie as Tupac Shakur. But little things like this were easy to look past as the story hooks you in immediately.

It's a shame he was only on here for 25 years, but clearly he left his mark and will never be forgotten ... not only through his music but now also through this movie.

Christopher Wallace
May 21, 1972 - March 9, 1997

5 out of 5