Oculus (2013)

OculusOculus is a suspense/horror movie from writer/director Mike Flanagan.  It jumps back and forth telling the horrific story of the Russell family, both in present day, and 12 years ago.  Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) has finally been released from a mental hospital following past events.  His sister Kaylie (Amy Pond Karen Gillan) is convinced a haunted antique mirror was the source of their family’s troubles, and is determined to prove it.  Reluctantly, Tim helps her in her plan, expecting what she really needs is help letting go of the past.

I think my expectations were a tad too high for this one.  I remember being moderately intrigued by the trailers, but never getting a chance to see it in theatres.  Moderate levels of praise kept my expectations tempered in the interim.  After learning Flanagan has been given a chance to write and direct Stephen King’s completely unfilmable Gerald’s Game, and that some people thought he was a good choice–largely because of this movie–it moved to the top of my To-See list.

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The Raid 2 (2014)

The Raid 2The Raid 2 is writer/director Gareth Evans followup to his well received 2011 kung-fu killing spree, The Raid:  Redemption.  Iko Uwais returns to the role of Rama, who is sent to prison, undercover, in order to infiltrate a triad of mafia families and bring them down.  Once again, the action scenes in The Raid 2 are fantastic, and everything else is just filler.  The trouble this time around is that at 2 1/2 hours running time there’s just too damn much of that filler. Continue reading

Charles Soule and Alberto Alburquerque’s “Letter 44” (Vol. 1)

Letter 44Nothing goes as expected on the inaugural morning of the 44th President of the United States, Stephen Blades’, first term. He expected difficulties… partisan politics, economic recovery, two wars overseas, and the need to manage transparency and accountability against safety and secrecy. But nothing would have prepared him for the truth of the situation.

He enters the oval office and is greeted with a letter marked 44. Inside it, outgoing President Carroll admits that the economic instability, fear and war mongering of the last near decade have served one purpose… to hide an Alien construction being built in an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter from the public, and prepare secret advances in military technology in case their reason for being there isn’t friendly.

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