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Midnight, Texas (2017)
Supernatural misfits helping each other....
I like this show - it is a hybrid of Haven and Being Human (the British version). It is about a group of supernatural misfits with different abilities and personalities that find a unique town. The town is geographically situated in such a way that the veil between the living and the dead is very thin. The characters have heart and they are interesting, often struggling with emotions and situations that humans often find themselves in. It moves a bit slowly, but is worth watching.
The Guest Book (2017)
Not a hit in my "book"....
I am a huge fan of Wrecked, and some other TBS shows, but this one was a miss for me. I loved My Name is Earl, so I thought I would like this, plus the premise seemed like it could make for a funny show. But it is not. The characters are obnoxious, sleazy and not particularly funny. I may give it one more episode - maybe. But this show makes me want to take a shower because the characters are just so scuzzy.
I love this show....
I was not expecting much from this, as TBS has had some hits and misses, but I LOVE this show! A group of eccentric misfits (some with sordid pasts) band together for survival after a plane crash. I never watched LOST, so I can't compare the satire, but this is just a great cast of lovable and interesting characters. It is also constantly evolving with different situations, and the characters never cease to surprise us. It is very funny. I highly recommend.
Personal Shopper (2016)
Utterly haunting and memorable....
*** spoilers***** This thought-provoking ghost story sent chills down my spine. The beautiful and talented Stewart plays a tortured soul so much better than a vixen (not that you can't be both). She is a medium who has a day job as a personal shopper to a horrible, wealthy, famous woman, who can't even be bothered to reimburse her for her taxi fares. Stewart is also in the throes of grief having just lost her twin brother (who was also a medium). They had a pact that whoever passed on first would make contact with the other. There are so many ghosts in this movie, we are not sure which is her brother. There was even a point at which I wasn't sure they were real or figments of her grief-stricken mind. Viewers may find different opinions on this. But all viewers can agree that grief can be so overwhelming that we may begin to question what is real and what is not. Imagine if you are a medium how much more difficult that could be? Word of note: Do not miss any scenes. Some are brief - especially towards the end - but reveal much. The only reason I didn't rate this higher was the 15 minute scene where she is texting with either her dead brother, herself, or her boss's killer. It was drawn out and not needed. I also didn't care for the artsy-fartsy stuff in the beginning - it could have been left out. But nonetheless, I loved the movie.
The Devil's Candy (2015)
Heart-pounding, non-stop suspense.....whole cast ROCKS!
I watched this without much expectation because there was nothing on. I did not know it would suck me in like being in a black hole during a hurricane. The entire cost was awesome - Embry gives Oscar-worthy performance, and I think he has one of the most expressive faces on the Silver Screen. Vince never disappoints, and proved to be a most emotionally tortured villain. He gets glimpses that what he is doing is BAD, but he cannot overcome his demon. The daughter is incredibly likable - not an obnoxious smart-a** like the character's of so many kids in movies these days. At first, I found the wife dull, but she rocks, and gave a great performance. I disagree with some of the others that this was not gory. It was quite gory and violent, both in imagery and played out scenes. This movie flew by in no time - you won't even have time to get a snack. It brings forth the notion that people -both good and bad - can summon up strength we never knew existed within us. To what purpose do we want to use it?
This liberal was not impressed.
As a liberal, I am not offended by this show. I just don't find it particularly funny or intelligent. It is also very vulgar. Just because you let a few f-bombs fly around, does not make you funny. I enjoy Trevor Noah, Stephen C, and others. I find Samantha Bee twitchy, obnoxious, vulgar and a bit dull despite her high energy. I also find her words cruel. Others can make fun of the political day, yet without sounding mean. For some reason, this doesn't work with her. Movin' on....
Voice from the Stone (2017)
Ghosts, madness or both?
"The dead don't speak....as hard as we may wish them to."
This is an achingly beautiful and haunting story about a young governess hired to help a boy who has been traumatized since his mother's death. Her efforts continue unsuccessfully while her attachment to him grows. She feels the only way to help him is to try to experience what he is experiencing. It begins to work, much to the tortured father's displeasure. He cannot understand why everyone can hear his dead wife but him. She also converses with Lilia, an old caretaker whom she later learns has been dead the whole time. The ending is very clear as to what transpires. There is no confusion if you have been paying attention. This reminded me a great deal of Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca, in it's grief combined with classic Gothic horror elements. I really enjoyed this, and found it different than anything I have seen in quite some time. It does move slowly.
We Don't Belong Here (2017)
Makes the Bates family look conventional....
I enjoyed this movie. It is a family character study about deeply troubled and mentally ill siblings, some of whom have dealt with childhood trauma. Three of the children (adult children) appear to have precognition, though only one of them seems to be aware of it and is able to use it to alter an event. Keener gives a superb performance as the mother. This family loves each other, although they each suffer internally with their own demons. This is a slow burn, but well worth a watch. All of the characters speak softly, it was a strain for me to hear sometimes. There is no yelling and only one violent scene. It is an emotional study of a loving family who just doesn't feel it "belongs here", meaning in this world.
This was genuinely creepy....BUT.....
In the first five minutes of the film when a spirit (or demon) shows her that her parents have been killed on their way to pick her up, I knew this would be chilling. It sets the stage for Kat's vulnerability, for as we know from horror films, the demon strikes when we are emotionally frail. Her schoolmate who is rather cruel to her in the beginning, sets the stage for conflict and pent-up anger and makes you sympathetic to Kat (as if losing her parents didn't already do that for you). She slowly begins to change, and while this is happening, Joan comes onto the scene after escaping an asylum (yup, we've seen this). Her character is very complex, and I don't want to divulge. I was never bored during this - it is spine-chilling. But there is nothing particularly clever about it and the gratuitous violence in the last half hour really turned me off - I felt it had changed gears and become a campy slasher film. I gave it a 7 because it was quite scary, however, I don't like how it changed gears from being a psychological horror film to a bloody severed head count. The demon-bunny looked ridiculous. But with that being said, it was a scary movie. Unlike other viewers, I failed to see echoes of The Shining. It did however, remind me of Scandi-Noir films, with it's bleak setting, quiet, but unsettling characters and ominous tone. If you like "Let Me In" and "Keeper of Lost Secrets", you will probably enjoy this one. It did edit my review to more stars because this movie stayed with me and got under my skin - despite the demon bunny.
Trial & Error (2017)
Great mix of characters, quirky, funny show...
I have loved Lithgow since 3rd Rock From the Sun, back in the day. This is a funny show and the characters mesh very well together. I love his office staff, especially his secretary and her numerous neurosis conditions. The law office shares space with a taxidermy outfit. This show is especially funny if you are southern and familiar with certain southern traits such as our dislike of strong displays of painful emotion ("I've never seen my wife so upset!" Camera zoom on wife showing no emotion whatsoever). The show is surprisingly tender and sweet, too.