Monday, November 7, 2011

Rated D - Paranormal Activity 3

Nothing says appropriate like reviewing a scary movie a week after Halloween!

Welcome back to Rated D!

On Halloween, Erika and I kicked off our festivities by checking out Paranormal Activity 3. SPOILER ALERT: A wedding videographer tries to document a camera shy ghost who is tormenting his girlfriend and her two daughters in 1988.

Ah, scary movies. Some are all about the psychopaths, some are all about slash. Then there are the ghosts. There are so many options when it comes to this genre since it taps into a very basic fear that all of us can share: you can't see it, but you know it's there. The Paranormal Activity series has received some flack for being silly or uneventful, but I have to admit I have enjoyed the past two movies. The first one was a simple premise: Girl thinks her house is haunted, Boyfriend tries to capture it on film, mayhem ensues. The second one added a little more to the story: Girl's sister's family is being tormented, Husband documents it, turns out there's a little more to why they're being haunted and provides some more info about the first movie. In this third installment, we travel back to the VHS days of 1988 to learn more about the ghost and the history behind the family. The series draws most of its scares from strategically placed bangs and crashes as well as long, eerie silences that definitely make you hold your breath. This is all enhanced by the Blair Witch-like first person experience that the viewer gets. Not only does it thrust you into the action with the family, it allows for plenty of sudden camera turns and heightens that "It's right behind you! Turn around!" feeling. PA 3 doesn't take itself too seriously, but still tries to remain spooky. It's fun, but definitely lacks the chill factor of the first two. Still though, the acting is where it needs to be, the special effects are still pretty cool and there is a fantastic "Bloody Mary" scene that stops your heart a couple of times.

To Tie It Back to Health and Fitness...
Speaking of stopping your heart, heart health is one of the most important aspects of our lives. Heart Disease is a still a very real threat and a dangerous one at that. Make sure you take care of yours with diets high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Watch out for unhealthy fats and cholesteral and definitely try to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet.

"Toby's here." - Jessica Tyler Brown as Kristi

Review - I give it 3 VHS tapes out of 5

Technically Speaking...
It seemed to me that they were a bit too ambitious with there special effects. Most of the time they are pretty simple and fun, but there are a couple of times in this one where there's a tad too much digital business going on that instantly pulls you out of the movie. You still sit there and think "that's pretty cool" but you are no longer experiencing the situation with the characters which in my opinion is where a movie like this lives and dies. Lastly, the marketing campaign for this movie was fantastic. Little girl jumps off a balcony and runs back upstairs unharmed, mother floats and convulses in the air, little girl throws water at the ghost which splashes off in mid-air. The things is, none of that was in the movie... It definitely put me and others in the seats but some times movies like that do a disservice because instead of enjoying it, you just keep waiting for that moment to arrive, but alas, it doesn't.

A LIST OF FIVES... This Weeks List... Mockumentaries (documentary style works of fiction)
Not necessarilly the best of the bunch, but fit the category.
1. This is... Spinal Tap - It's hard not to put all of Christopher Guests movies up here, but it's impossible to not include this one. Documents the hilarious trials and tribulations of an aging hair metal band.
2. Borat: Cultural Learnings of American for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan - If you're looking for misogyny, racism, and a naked chase scene through a crowded hotel, look no further. Follows a foreigners epic journey to find and marry Pamela Anderson.
3. Drop Dead Gorgeous - Oh, Amber Atkins. Great characters, great accents, and great dark humor. Follows beauty pageant contestants in a small town.
4. Waiting for Guffman - From the Spinal Tap team, this hysterical movie has a special place in my heart and the hearts of anyone who has ever done any sort of theater. Follows a dillusional actor's attempt to get his small town bicentennial tribute play to Broadway.
5. Series 7: Contenders - A very well done, dark comedy that satirizes the future of "reality" gameshows. Follows the seventh season of a gameshow in which 6 strangers are given guns and must hunt each other in order to win and survive.

Still Haven't Seen It Yet?
Captain America: The First Avenger - Fun, action packed origin story of the comic book hero. There have been tons of super-hero movies over the past 10 years, but by learning from the mistakes of others, films like this one are really succeeding. Easy for anyone to enjoy regardless of your knowledge of or interest in comic books. Also, catch it before The Avengers comes out next summer.

Next Time on Rated D:
50/50 - Seth Rogen tries to prove to Joseph Gordon Levitt that laughter is the best medicine even for cancer.

Gorilla Man

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