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Thread: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

  1. #121
    vizi's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Documentary films are a valid form of art. The title says cinematic review, not movie review.

  2. #122

    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Good review, I've watched that Doc every year since it's come out. I see it on History around 9/11, start watching it, and then can't look away. Incredibly powerful. For me the most powerful moment is the firefighters. That sound clip of them radioing in from the various floors.

    (paraphrase)

    "Ok, we're on the 72nd floor, I think we can beat it if we get two hose teams going up here, hurry up..." etc. etc. It's like ... you just know that those guys didn't survive, they had no idea what they were going into.

    Then you see the footage of them grimly suiting up and marching off to meet their fate up in the south tower, it's like The Charge of the Light Brigade or something. Such bravery, God Bless 'em.




  3. #123
    Lord Rahl's Avatar Behold the Beard
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Yes, it's watching those firemen that got me the most. You wonder if in the back of their minds they knew they'd die. You see so many go toward Ground Zero and then after both towers crumble...you barely see any. Thinking about that makes me want to watch Rescue Me.

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  4. #124
    Lord Rahl's Avatar Behold the Beard
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    I saw a new movie!

    The Cabin in the Woods (2012)


    It's not often that I'll go to see a movie in the horror genre. It's a genre that seems to bring out the worst in movies. However, there aren't many appealing films out at this time so some friends and I decided to try out The Cabin in the Woods. After seeing the trailer, I thought it looked a tad interesting but couldn't come up with a good reason to go see it. I'm a fan of Joss Whedon, a writer for the movie, and that's what appealed to me mainly. To me it simply looked like your average horror movie with a twist. Well, that's pretty much it and it was definitely meant to be that way, and unabashedly. Luckily, our friends at Red Letter Media reviewed Cabin in the Woods and helped me not feel so iffy about going to see it.

    So, what is The Cabin in the Woods all about? It looks like the stereotypical horror movie about a group of teenagers going out to a...cabin in the woods and then being subjected to a variety of horrors. That is the general idea, but the movie has a twist. Spoilers ahead. Yes, the movie is totally stereotypical. It has the jock, the slutty girl, the nerd, the goof, and the goody two-shoes girl. However, unlike other horror movies of the type, The Cabin in the Woods doesn't have the usual scares for no reason. There is a reason, and that reason is there's some secret, well-funded, and technologically advanced organization of some kind that has an entire area in the mountains built as a sort of horror stage. In a way, it's a sort of The Truman Show where the unknowing group of protagonists are those who experience the purposeful horrors. Behind the scenes, some people that work for the secret organization control the horrors to some extent from a central control room.


    If you ever find yourself as one of the people in this sort of group then you're life is most likely soon to end.

    Cabin in the Woods starts out well enough. There's a short introductory scene with images of religious sacrifice that are revealed by blood dripping down the screen. What comes next is a little weird considering the movie being of the horror genre. We meet a few seemingly regular employees of some company. They chat about regular boring stuff pertaining to their lives, like putting in new cabinets, and then all of the sudden the title show up with creepy music. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS!!! It comes out of nowhere and doesn't make much sense with the boring conversation the employees were having. But that scene helped set the tone for the rest of the movie. It demonstrated that the movie didn't care about being serious.


    And look, it's "Fred" from Angel!

    It wouldn't be much to talk about the horror aspects of the movie. They're what you expect. There's a lot of gore, suspense is created with the use of tried and true camera work, and there are plenty of jumpy moments with surprise entrances of things meant to scare. It's the rest of the movie that makes The Cabin in the Woods interesting. It's the twist that makes it different. There are two points of view (until the end where they both combine). One is from the point of view of the group of friends, the victims of the horrible and horrifying spectacle they are unknowingly and unwillingly a part of. From their point of view, the movie is mostly like your generic horror movie, except that with Whedon's writing the characters are a bit more interesting than normal. On the way to the cabin they stop for gas and find an old, ugly, and foreboding man. Once the group gets to the cabin they try to have some fun. That includes taking a dip in the nearby lake, drinking beer, and playing truth or dare. One dare leads the "virgin" goodie two-shoes character to go in the cellar. They all eventually find a weird assortment of odd valuables like a diary, a weird puzzle in the shape of a ball, a ballerina jewelry box, a pendant, and some film. Little do they know those strange valuables each had the possibility of bring to them a different horror.

    The other point of view is that of the operators or technicians of the cabin horrors. They have a bunch of switches, buttons, levers, and so on to control what happens to the young and naive adults who think they're going to have a fun weekend at the cabin. At first the audience doesn't know what role the secret organization employees play in the movie or what their relationship is with the victims, but as the movie goes on their horrific intentions come to light. But even though these employees are the "bad guys", they are well-written and very likeable. There were many times where I was laughing at the antics, sometimes diabolical and violent, of the employees. They are an audience to the victims of the movie like the real life audience is and that creates a unique relationship and unique comedy. Some of the best scenes involve the organization's employees.


    Yeah, this happens. It's alright if you get aroused.

    This is where my review gets even more spoiler heavy but I get more into the story. Religious sacrifice is hinted throughout Cabin in the Woods and late into the movie it is clearly revealed that the young victims are killed off as sacrifices to ancient gods. If those ancient gods aren't given sacrifices as they want them, then it's the end of the world. These gods want a whore (not literally), an athlete, a scholar, a fool, and a virgin. That's where the archetypes (the victims) come in. It's also learned that there are other organizations like the one in the US that are trying to sacrifice victims of their own to appease the gods. If the organizations fail then the world will end. One hilarious addition to the movie is when they show the Japanese's attempt to satisfy the gods. They have the all too well known Japanese "dead wet girl" terrorizing a class of young Japanese school girls. The American horror technicians comment on how the Japanese try to do everything perfect. I'm guessing it's difficult to kill victims correctly, because you just can't kill people regularly for ancient gods, because all of the other sacrificial organizations in the world fail at doing so. One scene shows the Japanese school girls somehow putting the evil spirit into a happy frog. One of the American technicians, played by Richard Jenkins, leans to the TV showing the laughing and cheering Japanese schoolgirls and yells to each one, " you! you! you! And you!" It was probably the best moment of the movie. Another hilarious scene involved the whore getting frisky outside with the jock/athlete. He tells her to take her shirt off, revealing her breasts. The scene then cuts to the secret organization's control room with a crowd of men watching intently, obviously wanting to see her take her top off. The whore is about to take off her top but then she says something like, "I'm cold," and doesn't take it off. That causes all of the men in the control room to groan, some yelling stuff like, "Ah, come on!" It's this back and forth between the victims' POV to the operators' POV that makes for some good moments.


    "Angry molesting tree." Yeah, you read that correctly. Nice nod to Evil Dead 2.

    It's only later on when the POVs come together that the movie starts to lose its charm. I don't expect such a movie to be too believable, but any movie can go too far to lose its touch. Again, more spoilers. Eventually, two of the remaining victims figure out about the facility below the cabin, as well as the organization controlling everything. They find all of the horrors (zombies, werewolves, giant spiders, evil clowns, etc.) housed in the facility and let them lose on those who were trying to kill them (the employees of the organization). It's entertaining and funny watching people die from the various horrors (does that sound sadistic?) but I felt the movie was going a bit too far. It was trading gore and special effects for witty dialog and comedy. Still, it was interesting seeing the cluster of horrors killing everyone. I'll just say this: merman. The CGI was hit or miss but I didn't mind it too much since it's obvious the budget wasn't significant and the practical SFX, like prosthetics, were very well done. Another let down was the very end of the movie. So much of The Cabin in the Woods is good because of its cleverness, but the very end has none of that. I kept waiting for the cool and unexpected event to happen at the end but it never did. As what I wanted to happen failed to happen, my mind kept coming up with its own ideas of what could happen, and my brother's brain was doing the same (he saw the movie with me). After, we talked about what ideas we had and we wondered why nothing interesting was included in the movie. Did they run out of good ideas? I doubt it. If my brother and I can come up with decent ideas on the fly while watching, why couldn't the writers come up with something as good or better?


    Looking at a girl who's checking herself in a one way mirror = good idea.

    The Cabin in the Woods is a refreshing take on the horror genre we all know. Where most horror movies stick to the uninteresting basics, The Cabin in the Woods makes fun of those stereotypical basics and then adds an interesting twist. That twist creates a unique feel and plenty of good laughs. It's not perfect. The end of the film gets a bit too much, too weird, and then very end lacks the imagination and cleverness the rest of the movie has, but overall it's a movie that is worth the ticket price, and that's something rare these days.

    3.5/5
    Last edited by Lord Rahl; April 22, 2012 at 05:57 AM.

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  5. #125
    pchalk's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    ever seen Cube or Das Experiment? this sort of reminds me a little of these movies, where there is some sort of organization behind the horror.

  6. #126
    Lord Rahl's Avatar Behold the Beard
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    I think I saw Cube way back in the day. Cabin in the Woods is certainly like that but it plays on the stereotypical horror movie for comedic effect.

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  7. #127
    pchalk's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    yea comedy is certainly in neither of the films i mentioned. ill have to check it out. i havnt been to the movies in over a year. at some pt i need to end my cave dwelling exile

  8. #128
    Lord Rahl's Avatar Behold the Beard
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Sorry I haven't posted a review in awhile. Life has been really busy as of late and I've barely had time to be active on TWC. However, I have been working on a Prometheus review. No doubt it will be considerably longer than I originally planned it to be.

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  9. #129
    pchalk's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    o that movie is out? i wanted to see it . might be a while. i just moved to germany. here everything is dubbed. i dont mind it but i still prefer the original audio

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