Archive for November, 2010

Afterlife 2009, **1/2, R

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

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Starring: Christina Ricci, Justin Long, Liam Neeson

 

By Meredith A. Iager

 

Christina Ricci and Justin Long star in this lifeless and frustrated, cold movie about unfinished business and turmoil that could happen to us when we pass on. 

 

School teacher, Anna Taylor (Cristina Ricci, “Pumpkin,” “Casper”) is caught between life and death, after fight with her boyfriend Paul Coleman (Justin Long, “Accepted,” “Jeepers Creepers”). 

 

She storms out of the restaurant and immediately gets into a fatal car accident, and ends up in the basement of a funeral parlor, here mortician, Eliot Deacon (Liam Neeson, “Taken,” “Batman Begins”) begins to explain to her she has died, and he is fixing her up to look beautiful for her funeral.  He tries to calm her of her worries, and explain that she is moving on to another life.

 

Distraught by the events, her boyfriend Paul is told by one of Anna’s students, a young boy named Jack (Chandler Canterbury, “Knowing,” “Repo Men”), that he saw Ms. Taylor walking around upstairs in the funeral parlor.  Paul soon believes that possibly Mr. Deacon (Liam Neeson) is really keeping her alive in the funeral home. 

 

This film is very emotional, and very uneasy.  It is horrifying to believe that once we pass on, we could be in severe distress, and not move toward what many believe is the “light.”

 

I think this film isn’t for everyone.  I think you have to have some what of a grip on life and death, and it would be very emotional for many people to view this.  The film does have a nice twist; however, it does have similarities to films like “Ghost,” and “White Noise.”

 

I liked this film because Christina Ricci is one of my favorite actresses and she really does an excellent job of getting into her roles.  Over the past 3 years, I have watched more Liam Neeson films, and really have noticed his wide range of roles.  This film portrays him as an actor of substance and you cant tell which way his character of Mr. Deacon is going in this film.  It’s a movie you have to watch with close intent on understanding what’s going to happen next.

 

Only watch this film if paranormal and after death experience, don’t upset you — because this film will leave you, uneasy.

 

Charlie St. Cloud, 2010, ****1/2, PG-13

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

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Starring: Zac Efron, Charlie Tahan, Kim Basinger, Amanda Crew, Ray Liotta

 

By Meredith A. Iager

 

I knew this would be one of my favorite dramas when I saw the trailer and I don’t have that happen often.  This is one of the more powerful movies in the past 3 years, and is truly outstanding, yet a tear-jerker.  Everyone should see this movie.  It connects life, death, what you’re passionate about, and how to move on from unexpected tragedy, and seeing things for what they are.

 

Off the coast of Maine, in a small boating town, life’s about taking the second chances God gives you, and going with your gut, in this drama-slice-of-life film.  Charlie St. Cloud (Zac Efron, “High School Musical”) is an avid wind-surfing champion along with his brother.  Tragically, soon after they win the race, Charlie and his brother Sam (Charlie Tahan, “Nights in Rodanthe”) get in a horrific car accident, and Sam dies, and Charlie flat lines, but is brought back to the living by EMT Florio Ferrente (Ray Liotta).

 

Before Sam passes on, Charlie promised him he would train with him 1 hour a day baseball lessons.  Sams’ passion in life was collecting baseball cards, and learning how to be a pro. And he continues his promise even when his brother is in limbo between earth and seeing the light and passing on.

 

As Charlie begins to play baseball with Sam, he starts to take a liking to an old classmate Tess (Amanda Crew, “She’s The Man”).  He starts to forget about Sam, and Sam slowly disappears.  But there are larger complications to the story that will make you baffled, but wanting to understand more of the story.  Just get it and watch the new Blu-Ray!

 

We defiantly get a flavor of more things to come from actor Zac Efron, and I’m more excited to see new projects from him in the future, now that his “High School Musical” teeny-bopper smash hits have subsided.   I also must note Charlie Tahan (Sam) and Amanda Crew (Tess) are also excellent in this film, and really make it special. 

 

Put this DVD on your holiday check list.  This is a keeper and one to watch at least once a year, to keep you in check of what you need to do in life.  Never forget your passions, never forget your dreams, and no matter what, after tragedy, life will move on, greater than it did before.

 

The Haunting of Sorority Row, TV-14, 2007, **

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

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Starring: Leighton Meester, Kailin See and Lisa Marie Caruk

 

By: Meredith A. Iager

 

Being a part of a sorority is much more than meets the eye in this ridiculously cliché horror movie.  Sorority life is very sinister, and some people only wanted to “fit in.” 

 

New pledger Samantha Willows (Leighton Meester CW’s “Gossip Girl,” “Date Night”) wants to become apart of a new experience.  She’s a freshman, away from home, and at college for the first time.  Sam is also still with her geeky-cute-trustworthy, and (very much into the paranormal) high school boyfriend Oliver (Adrian Petriw), but feels as though she needs to experience sorority life. 

 

Soon enough random spooky events begin to occur in the house, (temperature drops every early AM, strange dreams about her new roommate, Jane (Kailin See) etc).  This still doesn’t frighten Sam, however, she consults her boyfriend who is a believer in ghosts and what-have-you.  She begins to suspect something terrible might have occurred in the house. 

 

Everything turns very south when previous years of sorority sisters have tragic deaths and all the new pledges in the house start to wonder, “What the hell is going on?” Apparently, a year before something happened while one of the new “sisters” was pledging, and the 4 main gatekeeper sisters of the house decide to keep everything sworn to secrecy.

 

This is of course a goofy horror movie for teens, but I had to watch it, Lifetime movies are always somehow enticing, and interesting.  The acting is crappy, more like a sit-com with some spooky effects.