REVIEW: The Three Musketeers 3D

"Not bad for a fourth re-telling."

Europe is on the brink of war with the Duke of Buckingham and Cardinal Richelieu both using a beautiful assassin  in a double crossing plot to overthrow a young and naive King Louis XIII.  Luckily for the King, an aspiring musketeer named D'Artagnan unites with three renown outlaw musketeers to put an end to this treachery.

All for one and one for all, the well known slogan of the musketeers, and why is it so well known you might ask?  Well, it's easy to remember when the story of the three musketeers is made into a new film at least once a decade.  Now don't get me wrong, I loved the three major incarnations that came before this one; THE THREE MUSKETEERS with Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen and Oliver Platt, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK with Leo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons and John Malcovich and the terribly underrated THE MUSKETEER with Justin Chambers, Mena Suvari and Tim Roth (which I consequently re-watched a couple weeks ago still loving every second of it).  Of course despite all this musketeer love, I still couldn't help but ask myself "is a new one really necessary?"  Well of course it's not necessary, but I still had a blast watching it.

The storyline is interesting here and though there are many changes to the lore that have become a questionable topic of discussion, I personally enjoyed the ride.  If video games like FINAL FANTASY, which take place in the old sword and sorcery days, can devise a means of creating airships then why would it be so hard to believe that Da Vinci had one mind?  Personally I'm of a mind to go with the flow on this one.  And speaking of FINAL FANTASY, I bring it up simply because of the exchange that takes place between the two rival ships mid air, is reminiscent of a similar scene in FINAL FANTASY 2.  A sly wink in the game's direction?  I'm not sure, but I was wearing a sly grin nonetheless. 

The characters went through quite a change as well, but again, if you're going to retell a story then by all means explore new options that may or may not stretch the realm of reason.  Look at Robin Hood, how many times have we seen or heard that story?  But if you tweak it a bit each time, changing the flavour just a bit, you end up with a winning recipe.  Milady De Winter a sexy assassin?  Sweet!  Athos, Porthos and Aramis each have a deadly field of specialty like pretending to be captured by the enemy?  Loved it!  Turning Buckingham into an actual character for a change, albeit an slick, evil one at that?  Yes please!  I can even get behind Percy Jackson as D'Artagnan (he was much better than Chris O'Donnell at the very least).  I much rather preferred the character of Planchet in THE MUSKETEER rather than the bumbling fool they had here simply for comic relief, but hey, you can't win 'em all.

THE THREE MUSKETEERS was a wondrous surprise and guilty pleasure as far as selling the same old story goes.  I don't think the 3D was at all necessary, but then again, it never really is.  There's a lot of hate going around for this film on the account of Paul W.S Anderson, but to the haters I have this to say, "GET OVER IT PEOPLE!"  So the RESIDENT EVIL flicks aren't everything the fan boys wanted them to be, who cares?  So the guy puts Milla in nearly all of his movies now, she's his wife (and just happens to look very hot in a corset) and we could do far worse than Milla on the screen (I personally love Milla so I don't get the hate on that front).  Mr. Anderson did a fine job, the story was solid, the scenery and architecture were flawless and that final sword battle between D'Artagnan and Rochefort was pretty epic.  Also, the flying machines looked amazing, Orlando Bloom stole the show as Buckingham and the more personable approach to the King and Queen was also as welcome as it was fun.  There are many needless remakes going around these days but this is not one of them.  I could gripe about the PG rating (sigh) as I could've went for a more serious atmosphere, but beyond that it was still very engaging and above all else, fun.  

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REVIEW: The Thing

"At least we got one solid Horror film this Halloween."

Palaeontologist Kate Lloyd is propositioned to join an expedition team heading out to a remote Norwegian base camp in Antarctica where some scientists have discovered an alien ship underneath the ice, but that's not all.  Something else is frozen in the ice, an alien specimen that's not nearly as dormant and much more dangerous than they assumed.   

Over the past few months there's been ample speculation as to whether or not this THE THING was indeed a standalone prequel to John Carpenter's THE THING or if it was just another glamorized remake that nobody wanted to see.  I can honestly say that this THING is a prequel, but I can also see why there's been so much fuss because the situation (and end result) very much mimic the original.  Personally I loved Carpenter's film, as a matter a fact I'm going to sit down with it tonight to enjoy the full effect both films are trying to produce.  The first one is the better to be sure, for a lot of reasons, mainly for me because of Kurt Russell and of course because when John Carpenter's on his game, he's really on his game and delivers accordingly.  His films are all or nothing for me, and THE THING was definitely one of his better works.  I will say this, the prequel has its moments but it'll be your love and interest in the original that fuels your enjoyment here.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is no Kurt Russell but she holds her own as the palaeontologist who knows what's what.  I loved her as Ramona Flowers in SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD and even though they tried to make her look a bit "plain Jane", she still came across as hot to me.  Now speaking of Kurt Russell, they really tried to make Joel Edgerton's character look and feel like Russell's which works and doesn't.  I like him and I'm glad he's getting so much attention lately as his smaller roles in KING ARTHUR and SMOKIN ACES impressed me.  I just wish he'd been around more in the film, he didn't say much and wasn't there enough to really count, not to mention his character has nowhere near the charisma Russell's did.

Most of the other human talent were cannon fodder, which neither bothered me nor came as much of a surprise.  For the most part, if you've seen the original, you pretty much know most of them (if any) won't be making it out of there alive.  What gets me here though is that I know these guys are scientists and I know finding an alien spacecraft as well as an alien life form is a big deal, but why not call it in when things start to awry?  They probably don't want the government to come in a cease everything and I get that, but you can still be smart about it to ensure you get not only the credit and find...but actually live to tell about it.  And I don't know about any of you, but if I cut an alien out of the ice that looked like this one does and was as big and ugly as this one is, I sure wouldn't be prodding it for a tissue sample or keeping it inside so the ice could melt.  Talk about a room full of stupid smart people.

THE THING establishes itself rather nicely as a prequel despite the familiar recipe.  The tension and darkness are present in the atmosphere but never seem to reach that special brooding pitch the first one had (that said, it's different when you know what's coming so I guess we can't nitpick).  The creature itself looked similar enough to the original with a tweak here and there, and why not, we've got thirty years of special effects on the first one so there's nothing wrong with flexing a little muscle.  Again, credit is due here simply because there are some terrifying moments of fear and wide eyed terror, an impressive feat considering how much of the cat was already out of the bag.  The ending pays homage to the original which I also feel helps distinguish the two, not to mention adds a familiar bit of fun.  It's also worth mentioning that although the alien spacecraft didn't blow my mind, the particle puzzle thing was pretty cool.  We're rather short on Horror this Halloween so I'd totally recommend you see this instead of say PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, at least you'll get a couple good scares and some real action.      

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REVIEW: Real Steel

"A surprisingly fun flick."

Former contender Charlie Kenton is down on his luck fighting in the robot boxing league, the world's top sport after replacing human boxing.  Add to that, his eleven year old son is dropped on him at the last minute which changes everything.  After a crushing defeat, the father son duo discover a sparring-bot in a junkyard which may be the key to Charlie's comeback, not only in the ring but also as a father.

From a story standpoint, REAL STEEL looked a bit dull to me.  I loved ROCKY, all of them in fact, save for the fifth one which was brutal on just about every level.  Sadly though, we live in a day and age where boxing films are tapped out.  A few years back Channing Tatum came out with FIGHTING, and though I enjoyed the relationship between him and Terrence Howard the movie was pretty much a dud and rightfully so considering Tatum clearly can't fight.  Then we get THE FIGHTER, a complete ROCKY clone and this year we got an upgraded clone with the flashier WARRIOR.  Like REAL STEAL, you know exactly how this story will run, shot for shot as well as the conclusion after seeing the trailer, something I'm not fond of when I got to the movies, but with that in mind something strange happened...I had fun.

Like most underdog stories, REAL STEEL has miles of heart, sandwiched in between a cool cast with loads of chemistry and talent.  First we have Hugh Jackman, who I personally think is the man.  Most people know him as the badass X-man Wolverine but Jackman was able to surprise most of us when he branched off from that series and held him own in stuff like SWORDFISH (a guilty pleasure if ever there was one), THE PRESTIGE and the underrated THE FOUNTAIN.  Jackman is more than just the adamantium laced Logan, and it's his charisma as one of Hollywood's coolest leading men that drives this simplistic story.  Another thing I like about Jackman is that you can tell the man's got a soft spot for kids as here, like in SWORDFISH, the subplot revolves around him fighting for a child's affection, but in a good way that doesn't come off as cheesy or Disney-ish.

The hardware in this film looks phenomenal, and let's be honest here, what guy wouldn't go crazy over gigantic robots squaring off toe to toe in the ring?  I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it, but the adrenaline was definitely there.  Jackman's appearance on RAW was a joke, but I can see why the WWE were into it.  Not only do these robots combine wrestling and grappling with boxing, the actual champion, Zeus, a metallic godlike specimen to behold, does a homage to the great Hulk Hogan with one of his signature stances, something that made me smile.  The relationship between Jackman  and Dakota Goyo (the kid who played young Thor) was touching and the fact that they let the kid dance it up with Atom the robot as their intro to the ring was fun to watch.  The deadbeat dad story's been done nearly as much as the underdog fighter but neither one felt tired here and that's got to count for something.

REAL STEEL put up big numbers when I was expecting a first round knockout.  And I know I've used the word "fun" in this review three times now, but that's what sells this film, it's a ton of fun.  Using real boxers to help coordinate the fighting styles was a nice touch, and the whole futuristic concept of replacing people with machines isn't so farfetched if you think about it.  I remember how cool I thought that robot body guard in JUDEGE DREDD was, and honestly, this flick's robots look like they were designed with just that in mind.  The whole using joysticks to control them felt a touch weak, but Jackman's shadowboxing techniques made up for it.  Also, it was cool to see Evangeline Lilly yet again, but Kevin Durand's character felt like he didn't belong, despite the fact that he no doubt got the gig because he's starred in both LOST and X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE with both Jackman and Lilly.  If you're looking for a great way to end your Thanksgiving weekend though, this is well worth checking out in theatres.

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REVIEW: Dream House

"It had potential..."

Will Atenton finally decides to leave the big city world of publishing to settle down with his family in a picture perfect sleepy neighbourhood  home.  But Will soon discovers that this house is home to a collection of brutal murders with killer still at large and a mystery only he can solve. 

Sigh.  I love supernatural thrillers, mainly because like Fantasy, there's so much you can do with the premise that it's almost impossible to go wrong if you take the time to create a story with intrigue and depth, two things this film could've easily displayed but instead fail to produce.  In a depressing day and age when lazy egos push unforgivable nonsense like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, I can't say I'm surprised by the lack of originality shown in DREAM HOUSE, but that doesn't mean I'm not bothered by it.  I'm not saying that every thriller, supernatural or otherwise, needs to be the next SIXTH SENSE, but as James Wan's deliciously evil INSIDIOUS showed us, it can indeed still be done.  Such victories are few and far between however, and DREAM HOUSE is a fine example of what not to do.

The story is far too simplistic and by the numbers for starters, with a plotline whose dots even the most novice of movie goers will connect all too quickly.  Of course, it's not terribly difficult to do so when the bulk of the mystery is lifted by the trailers.  There aren't many different things happening in this film aside from Daniel Craig's character's quest for knowledge when it comes to who murdered his family.  The trailer shows you they're dead.  It shows you that he's seeing them anyway.  It shows you he was in a mental institution and that everyone suspects he did it, and it shows you that he hooks up with his hot neighbour (Naomi Watts) to "figure out the mystery".  These things essentially ARE the film, all that's left to the imagination is the ending, which was a poorly conceived dose of drivel that will have you shaking your head and wondering why you didn't just light ten bucks on fire rather than spend it on this film.  Harsh yes, but unfortunately true.

Clearly the studios were hoping that Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts would be enough to sell the package.  If only.  Craig's done well for himself, reinvigorating the stuffy Bond series that had been leaning on its last leg for quite some time before CASINO ROYALE parted the sea.  Truth be told he was the one thing this flick had going for it in my eyes.  Weisz didn't amuse me past the first MUMMY film and Watts, though I loved her in FUNNY GAMES, isn't much of a favourite of mine either.  But even the best cast can only work with what they're given and how can we expect much from the director of GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN' and the writer of EDDIE...or any film starring Whoopi Goldberg for that matter.

DREAM HOUSE is prime example of how and why Hollywood is in trouble, not only because of its lack of creativity, taste, tact and shame but because for all these fine (and painfully obvious points) they still managed to collect A-list actors to play out this pitiful drama.  Okay, I'll admit that when I watched SHUTTER ISLAND for the first time I had the ending figured out ten minutes into the film, but I still had fun with it.  I know I can't always be surprised like I was when I watched THE UNINVITED (a stellar supernatural thriller), but I, like all of you, deserve to see effort at the very least.  Make me believe you actually tried to put something together of worth for the sake of my entertainment, rather than churn a few more bucks out of the collective.  This film is a letdown and utter disappointment.

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BLU-RAY REVIEW: African Cats

"Absolutely captivating."

This nature documentary focuses upon two very different feline mothers as they travel two very different and dangerous paths in the wild while trying to raise and teach their cubs about hunting and survival.

I don't watch TV the way most people do, that is, the cable coming from the wall isn't even plugged into the back of my television.  Because I'm always on the go or working, I download episodes of whatever show I'm interested in and watch them when I get the chance.  One thing I do miss about surfing the channels are documentaries.  There are a good many autobiographies out there as well as a great many nature documentaries like this one (MARCH OF THE PENGUINS being the last one I watched on TV).  I've always had a love for the wild cat family; lions, panthers, cheetahs and what have you, so I knew I'd love AFRICAN CATS.  This is truly one the best nature films I've ever watched.

Samuel L. Jackson narrates this wondrous tale of two mothers raising their young in the majestic, yet brutally harsh wilds of Kenya.  On the one side we have an aging lioness trying to protect her cub by integrating it into the pride, and on the other hand we have a lone cheetah facing the many dangers of the wild as she tries to raise five young.  Both stories are engaging, especially considering most of these animals are named for the sake of good storytelling.  I don't know who exactly named them, but it was a clever avenue that helps generate a much greater sense of affection and danger.  The film itself is dazzling, easily one of the most beautiful Blu-ray experiences I've seen to date.  I have no idea how directors Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey were trusted enough by these magnificent animals to get so close (considering how many cubs were roaming around at all times) but they did an outstanding job capturing the unfolding laws of nature as well as the balance and camaraderie between these cats, their enemies and their prey.

AFRICAN CATS is a heartfelt, stunning look into the amazing world these feline wonders of nature live and prosper within.  It's easy to go about our mundane lives and forget that such beauty still exists in our world.  I loved the closeness of lion pride and wished the cheetahs lived the same way, you can't help but feel bad for any animal who goes solo out there.  Their ways of living may seem straightforward and simple, but don't be fooled, there's a hierarchy and strict code of teachings that make their fascinating world go around.  Seeing this film also made me give pause and consider Disney's THE LION KING with an even greater enthusiasm and respect, as they did a phenomenal job of re-creating the unrelenting and ever-changing world in which these beautiful animals flourish.

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BLU-RAY REVIEW: Pulp Fiction

"Still a shining gem."

Quentin Tarantino's mainstream opus about crime, drama, revenge, redemption, man-rape and a quest for the perfect Royal with Cheese leads a unique band of characters down string of seemingly unrelated paths that end up connecting in the most interesting of ways.

One of the greatest things about Blu-ray is that because it's still a relatively new format, many of our favourite titles have  yet to be converted.  This in turn lets us reviewers have a little extra fun when we get iconic gems like PULP FICTION in our bundles.  I will admit that the first time I sat down with this film was in the beginning hours of a party where my friends and I were already pretty loaded.  For this reason I couldn't give this film the proper focus it deserved and as a result I grew bored with it fairly quickly and we turned it off.  When I revisited it for a second time however, I had blast and it became one of my all time favourite flicks which I've revisited countless times since.

Much like George Lucas and his humble STAR WARS beginnings, Quentin Tarantino was an up and comer with something to prove here.  As much as it pains me to say it, at this point in his career most people had no idea who he was and hadn't even heard of the masterpiece known as RESERVOIR DOGS.  Sure, it (and he) had a small cult following but it was hardly enough to make him a household name.  PULP FICTION changed all that, and not just for Tarantino but for many of the stars he aligned himself with for the project.  It's rare to see one film reinvent so many stars all at once, but PULP FICTION did just that for Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel, Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames and Christopher Walken to name a few.  And the ironic thing about this all star cast is that usually less is more, and with a bloated cast comes smaller more insignificant roles that are usually lost and forgotten.  Not here.  This film's backbone is it's long list of intricate, devious and unforgettable characters with memorable line after memorable line (Sammy's biblical intro, the restaurant robbery, everything that comes out of The Wolf's mouth, take your pick, this flick's overflowing with them) and a cool-ass story that connects all the dots in a smart and very fun way.

PULP FICTION is a landmark in movie history for a variety of reasons and a film that most people adore again, for many different reasons.  There are so many great lines, great scenes and great surprises that no two people tend to have the same favourite bit.  How many films can say the same?  I don't know about you, but I sure can't name many.  Tarantino's films as a whole have been hit or miss and his career (like most I guess) has had its fair share of ups and downs.  There are those who would compare him to Kevin Smith, saying his earlier works are genius but he's since gotten a little too lazy and less hungry.  I agree and disagree because there's more than one way to view this and it's far from simply a choice of black and white.  I'm a Tarantino fan, have been since RESERVOIR DOGS and I'm looking forward to Django Unchained.  That said, I loathed INGLORIOUS BASTARDS so I'm not opposed to calling it how I see it when it comes to his prowess as a filmmaker.  Love him or hate him though, one thing I'm sure we can all agree upon is that PULP FICTION is a masterpiece that has and will continue to stand the test of time.

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BLU-RAY REVIEW: Scarface

"I love Tony Montana!"

Tony Montana and Manny Ribera are two Cuban immigrants who end up in Miami at a time when the drug market was a booming.  Tony quickly moves up the ranks working for a high end drug cartel and before long lets money, power and greed start to take over.

Al Pacino has been around for quite awhile now, and of all the iconic roles he's given us over the years, Tony Montana is certainly one you don't forget.  Pacino may be hit or miss lately, but when I really started appreciating movies, it was the early nineties and Pacino was rocking the silver screen with SCENT OF A WOMAN, HEAT, THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE and CARLITO'S WAY.  People sometimes criticise as well joke about Pacino always yelling three quarters of his dialogue (not unlike Samuel L. Jackson) but for me that's always been part of his character's allure.  Tony Montana is no different, but his story of greed, narcissism and power is truly something to behold on Blu-ray and certainly stands the test of time.

The only downfall to films of this nature are that we all know things will end badly for Tony, which of course they do, but no character goes out in a better blaze of glory!  Pacino delivers over the top lines that might sound cheesy if voiced by someone else, but that's not the case here.  I believe everything Tony Montana says, and so does everyone else in the room.  There are brooding moments of insight here, particularly the final time Tony's having dinner at the restaurant.  He begins to understand that there's not much left to the world when you've got everything, and that in having everything you can still have nothing at all.  It's easy to look past these small tidbits as we wait for the next big line, gunfight or battle, but they're there and it's moments like these (along with Tony's harsh but strangely just moral code) that help ground this film in reality.

SCARFACE is still a hell of a lot of fun all these years later, and though it's not my favourite Pacino role, seeing him bust out that gun at the end, roll his face down in a mountain of coke and scream out "say goodnight to the bad guy" in a drunken rage are all still very much epic pieces of cinema.  CARLITO'S WAY was a fantastic reunion between Pacino and director Brian De Palma, still one of my all time favourite Pacino roles and all around solid gangster flicks, but this film paved the way for that one and countless others as there's not a single person out there who can't say they've seen SCARFACE's legacy live on in pop culture at least once.  This flick may not be as slick looking and up to date as HEAT or DONNIE BRASCO but make no mistake, Tony Montana is pure gold meng, and he's here to stay.  

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TRAILER: Hostel 3

Hmmm, it's always been considered a red flag when a known series of films suddenly ends up going straight to DVD...especially in the Horror game. HOSTEL was good, clean fun on the sharpest of levels. The second one was alright but clearly trying to up the ante in all the wrong ways. Vegas feels like a cliche these days with all the HANGOVER business but who knows, this might surprise us...though I doubt it considering Eli Roth isn't on board. And seeing as how this is HIS series, that's probably not a good sign either.

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GAME TRAILER: Batman Arkham City

Well the time has arrived and here's the launch trailer for the much anticipated ARKHAM CITY. There's been a lot of buzz surrounding all the baddies this time around, in a crammed MK2 sort of way, but seeing as how the lowest rating I've seen for the game thus far is 9/10, I can't help but think some of these people are nitpicking just a tad. I'll find out tonight myself, and if you're not playing it now, well, you should be.


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TRAILER: Piranha 3DD

I enjoyed the fun, nudity, gore and mayhem of the first film on a purely campy level but that's not to say it's a bad thing. This will be a guilty pleasure to be sure, and all I can say is, I hope the the Hoff gets eaten by piranhas, that in itself is worth the admission price.


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TRAILER: A Very Harold And Kumar Christmas

Finally, a Christmas movie I can get excited about. My girl's always going about Christmas movies and this season I'll be all for it. I'll admit that the second installment wasn't the blast I'd hoped for but hopefully they've learned from their mistakes and we're ready roll with round three. I can't wait to find out.

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TRAILER: American Reunion

The first AMERICAN PIE flick came out at just the right time in my life to make me the intended target audience. I love these films...well that is, until they went straight to DVD and lost most of their mojo. That said, we have the bulk of the cast (no Nadia, sigh) back for more and here's hoping they make it work. Either way, I'll be there to pledge my support.

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TRAILER: Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows

I love the first Sherlock film and am thoroughly convinced now that Robert Downey Jr. must have made a deal with the devil to get this big of a second shot in Hollywood. Be that as it may, I hope his deal gets him a few more years above ground because everything he touches lately turns to cinematic gold.

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TRAILER: The Avengers

Some thought this day would never come (I personally had my reservations), but here it is and the first real trailer looks great. I'm still a little sore over the loss of Ed Norton as Banner but I can't complain with a big name roster like this. Still holding my breath for Thanos though.

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TRAILER: Man On A Ledge

I like Sam Worthington, and other than TERMINATOR SALVATION and AVATAR I haven't seen him do much of note. This looks decent though, aside from the fact that he's doing the whole PHONE BOOTH thing on a ledge. Not sure I buy Elizabeth Banks as a hostage negotiator either, but all in all this looks interesting.

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REVIEW: Dream House

"If only the film was half as cool as this poster."

Will Atenton finally decides to leave the big city world of publishing to settle down with his family in a picture perfect sleepy neighbourhood  home.  But Will soon discovers that this house is home to a collection of brutal murders with killer still at large and a mystery only he can solve.  

Sigh.  I love supernatural thrillers, mainly because like Fantasy, there's so much you can do with the premise that it's almost impossible to go wrong if you take the time to create a story with intrigue and depth, two things this film could've easily displayed but instead fail to produce.  In a depressing day and age when lazy egos push unforgivable nonsense like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, I can't say I'm surprised by the lack of originality shown in DREAM HOUSE, but that doesn't mean I'm not bothered by it.  I'm not saying that every thriller, supernatural or otherwise, needs to be the next SIXTH SENSE, but as James Wan's deliciously evil INSIDIOUS showed us, it can indeed still be done.  Such victories are few and far between however, and DREAM HOUSE is a fine example of what not to do.

The story is far too simplistic and by the numbers for starters, with a plotline whose dots even the most novice of movie goers will connect all too quickly.  Of course, it's not terribly difficult to do so when the bulk of the mystery is lifted by the trailers.  There aren't many different things happening in this film aside from Daniel Craig's character's quest for knowledge when it comes to who murdered his family.  The trailer shows you they're dead.  It shows you that he's seeing them anyway.  It shows you he was in a mental institution and that everyone suspects he did it, and it shows you that he hooks up with his hot neighbour (Naomi Watts) to "figure out the mystery".  These things essentially ARE the film, all that's left to the imagination is the ending, which was a poorly conceived dose of drivel that will have you shaking your head and wondering why you didn't just light ten bucks on fire rather than spend it on this film.  Harsh yes, but unfortunately true.

Clearly the studios were hoping that Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts would be enough to sell the package.  If only.  Craig's done well for himself, reinvigorating the stuffy Bond series that had been leaning on its last leg for quite some time before CASINO ROYALE parted the sea.  Truth be told he was the one thing this flick had going for it in my eyes.  Weisz didn't amuse me past the first MUMMY film and Watts, though I loved her in FUNNY GAMES, isn't much of a favourite of mine either.  But even the best cast can only work with what they're given and how can we expect much from the director of GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN' and the writer of EDDIE...or any film starring Whoopi Goldberg for that matter.

DREAM HOUSE is prime example of how and why Hollywood is in trouble, not only because of its lack of creativity, taste, tact and shame but because for all these fine (and painfully obvious points) they still managed to collect A-list actors to play out this pitiful drama.  Okay, I'll admit that when I watched SHUTTER ISLAND for the first time I had the ending figured out ten minutes into the film, but I still had fun with it.  I know I can't always be surprised like I was when I watched THE UNINVITED (a stellar supernatural thriller), but I, like all of you, deserve to see effort at the very least.  Make me believe you actually tried to put something together of worth for the sake of my entertainment, rather than churn a few more bucks out of the collective.  This film is a letdown and utter disappointment.

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