Archive for March, 2010

The Fourth Kind – Where no one should boldly go, ever

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

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Heard of Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Of course you have. The title of Spielberg’s alien classic refers to a system of classification developed in 1972 by J. Allen Hynek. The idea was explored in his book The UFO Experience: A Scientific Enquiry. According to Mr. Hynek, once a person is within about 150 yards of a strange object or inexplicable light source, he or she qualifies for his system of classification.

Should you merely see a peculiar flying object, or some strange lights, then it is a close encounter of the first kind. The second kind would involve physical impressions left in the landscape or on the body of a viewer (perhaps a dent on a car, or a burn on someone’s arm). Hynek’s system ends with the third kind; an actual sighting of an entity or entities on board a UFO.

The Fourth Kind is not a sequel to Spielberg’s alien blockbuster, nor is it supported by J. Allen Hynek’s original list of ‘close encounters’. A close encounter of the fourth kind is generally defined by today’s ufologists as abduction, and so the premise of this film revolves around ‘actual archive footage’ of people talking about and experiencing such an encounter.

The movie begins with ‘real’ footage of Fourth Kind director Olatunde Osunsanmi interviewing gaunt psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler as she retells her terrifying story.

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Harry Brown: Michael Caine brings the pain

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

hb33Harry Brown is a cracking British thriller which pits the legendary Sir Michael Caine against a gang of drug dealers on a south-east London estate.

Caine plays the titular Brown, an ex-Royal Marine who is spending his twilight years making regular visits to his dying wife’s hospital bed and playing chess in the pub with his only friend Leonard.

Leonard reveals his constant harassment by local youths, and he is starting to show signs of cracking. A local underpass serves as a gathering point for the dealers. It also acts as a shortcut to the hospital but Harry refuses to take it, fearing for his life.

In one moving scene, after having taken the long way round to the hospital, Harry finds that his wife has already been removed from her bed; succumbing to her illness before he arrived.

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Triangle – all aboard the fail boat

Friday, March 5th, 2010

triangle2Triangle is a psychological horror brought to our screens by Christopher Smith. Smith has not been particularly diverse with his cinematic offerings; he was behind budget horror Brit-flick Creep, and the gruesome Danny Dyer vehicle Severance. We enjoyed Creep, and found Severance good for a one-off watch and so were hoping for at least the same the third time round.

Triangle tells the tale of Jess (Melissa George), a single mother who reluctantly joins her friend Greg for a leisurely day of sailing, or at least that was the plan.

Greg’s friends clearly think Jess is a little peculiar; she shows up looking like she’s been dragged backwards through a bush and then slapped with a fish. Whilst her co-sailors are upbeat and ready to enjoy some fun in the sun, but Jess seems unable to get into the party mood.

An unfortunate encounter with a freak electrical storm dashes their boat to pieces. Conveniently the Aeolus, a passing ocean liner, happens to be in the vicinity, allowing the crew to clamber aboard to safety. Save for a mysterious bag-headed figure spotted on the deck before the group boarded, the ship appears to be completely deserted.

Things take another turn for the weird when Jess discovers her lost keys on one of the ship’s floors and starts experiencing some rather strong feelings of deja vu…

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The Hurt Locker – “war is a drug”

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

hurtlockerAny film that receives a 10 minute standing ovation after its premiere has probably got something a bit special.

The Hurt Locker was greeted with this extraordinary response when it was screened, for the very first time, at the Venice Film Festival. Producers were hoping to find a US distributor; they got a lot more than that, with The Hurt Locker vying for no less than nine of those little gold statues that personify supreme achievement (and more often than not trigger a spike in sales).

The Hurt Locker tells the story of three soldiers in Iraq who are part of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, the guys who handle IEDs – improvised explosive devices.

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Pandorum – Don’t Fear The End Of The World, Fear What Happens Next

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Pandorum can best be described as the box-office bomb that is actually a satisfyingpandorum_ost4 sci-fi horror treat. If you have been fortunate enough to catch the remake of 3:10 To Yuma, you may recall Russell Crowe’s right-hand man, played by the excellent Ben Foster. Foster continues his good form in Pandorum, a freaky horror combining The Descent and Event Horizon to immensely satisfying effect.

Foster plays the astronaut Bower, accompanied by the ever-reliable Dennis Quaid as Payton. The two confused space-dwellers wake up from a long sleep aboard the ship Elysium with no knowledge of their mission, and no recollection of any prior events. There are no signs of any crew, and power to the vessel appears to be lost. The ship itself offers nothing but a mysterious, sporadic, hellish rumble; a sound akin to some kind of otherworldly monster in great distress.

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