Friday, August 7, 2015

Worth Mentioning - This Is Just Entertainment

We watch several movies a week. Every Friday, we'll talk a little about some of the movies we watched that we felt were Worth Mentioning.

A modern fairytale, an old man in action, and Cody tries to catch up with Jay.

SIREN (2013)

Although a very down-to-earth film set in modern day America, writer/director Jesse Peyronel's Siren is essentially a fairytale at its core.

Vinessa Shaw stars as Leigh, a woman who lives in seclusion, her house hidden behind a large gate, her forested property spotted with security cameras. This is because Leigh naturally emits a pheromone that causes any man who comes within sniffing distance of her to become intensely infatuated with her. They don't see her as Vinessa Shaw, they see her as their dream girl.

I'm not quite sure why Peyronel chose to have men perceive Leigh as a completely different person, because Shaw isn't exactly a Morlock.

When a drifter called Guy (Robert Kazinsky) wanders onto her property, Leigh is amazed to find that her pheromone seems to have no effect on him. This causes her to become instantly, although nervously, drawn to him, and she invites him to stick around her place and do some handyman work, even though he seems to be on the run from something.

I thought Siren would be a horror movie, but while it does have thriller elements with the mystery of Guy's background; some creeps lurking around town who want to harvest Leigh's pheromone, perhaps to weaponize it; a family man who becomes obsessed with Leigh to a potentially dangerous degree; and his angry wife who thinks Leigh is a witch, but it's actually more of slow-paced character study drama.

The film wasn't what I expected it to be, but it drew me into its world, and I thoroughly enjoyed the 93 minutes I spent watching it. It kept me interested and it kept me off-balance.


Elderly ass-kickers are something of a trend in cinema these days, and Sir Michael Caine got in on the action with this crime thriller from producer Matthew Vaughn and first-time feature director Daniel Barber.

At its core, Harry Brown sounds a lot like Death Wish 3 - when his buddy is murdered by the gang that has taken over the neighborhood around his apartment complex, a former Marine falls back on his badass instincts to avenge his friend and wipe out the gang. But while Charles Bronson went full-on urban Rambo in that Death Wish installment, here Caine doesn't do anything that a seventy-five year old widower with emphysema shouldn't be capable of. Sure, he dishes out violent vengeance with blades and guns, but he also ends up in the hospital from exertion at one point. Harry Brown is a low-key, down-to-earth film.

The movie can get rather rough and nasty at times, but it is very well made; a satisfying vigilante tale and one of the best of the recent elderly hero offerings.


Almost four years ago, my pal Jay Burleson recommended The Bleeding House, about a strange family who opens their doors to a white suit-wearing Southern gentleman named Nick only to find out he's a murderer, a man who believes he's on a righteous mission of bloodshed. It took me a while, but I finally got around to watching the movie for myself, and I enjoyed it, too.

As Nick begins tying down and tormenting the family members, the movie could have lost me, as modern movies where killers take this approach rather than quickly dispatching their victims often aren't for me. However, writer/director Philip Gelatt kept my attention by weaving in a very intriguing mystery: the mystery of the family's past and their oddball daughter who only responds to the nickname "Blackbird". A girl Nick quickly took a deep interest in. It was quite interesting to see how it all plays out.

The material is also bolstered by some great performances from the cast, with Patrick Breen making Nick a captivating and memorable character. The movie's worth watching at least once just to see Breen at work.

No comments:

Post a Comment