Halloween Marathon: Lake Placid (1999)

The first non main feature to hit the Halloween Marathon this year is of one of my favorite horror sub genres: Creature Features! I love them to bits and I’m pretty forgiving of them.   I’ve never seen Lake Placid although I’d heard about it before.  I’ve watched spiders and sharks and even octopuses but never giant crocodiles so this seems like it can be lots of fun.

Enough talking! Let’s go!

Lake Placid (1999)

lake placid

Director: Steve Miner

Cast: Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, Betty White, David Lewis

A group attempts to destroy a giant, 30-foot-long man-eating crocodile, which terrorizes Black Lake, Maine.-IMDB

Its starting to feel like Maine is the center of a lot of horror movies or even places close to it.  Maybe its because Carrie was also based in somewhere in Maine that I say that.  It just feels that way.  Lake Placid is not really Lake Placid but rather they actually mention that where this went down, they wanted to call it Lake Placid but the name was somewhere else so its called Black Lake now. Lake Placid is a fun movie to watch just like most creature features are, unless they are just being way stupid or boring. The cast is fun and the dialogue is acceptable.  There are some silly moments but it does also create some genuinely tense moments and equally some comedic parts.  I’m not too harsh on it because I enjoyed the characters but it could also be because I’ve grown to be forgiving and expect characters to make stupid decisions and rather predictable deaths.  Is it a horrible creature feature? Not by a long shot.

lake placid

Remember last year, I did the whole Friday the 13th series for Halloween.  Part 2 is one of my faves in that series and guess who the director is- the same guy as this one. I guess thats why I like the style of it.  There are some jump scares, some tense moments and in the Black Lake, its rather mysterious in some shots.  They try to make you think there’s something when there isn’t and the twist is pretty funny about the reason of why the 30 foot crocodile chooses to stay there.  And that ending was hilarious and so obvious that they wanted to bank on the possibility of having a sequel, which I’ve learned has 3 sequels? I’m not sure but at a quick glance at IMDB, its there.

lake placid

One of the props does go out to the crocodile scenes being incredibly believable.  I mean, okay, eye to eye with the crocodile, maybe you won’t be so calm and there was a scene like that.  And that crocodile was pretty smart. And I had to do a little research to see if they actually used a real crocodile. Sounds stupid because it was in fact designed (which was expected) but it was fairly real.  Even the reactions and the movements.  While we never caught the crocodile close up until the end for longer moments, and the underwater scene seemed like those rehashed and repeated scenes as it went through the dark water, it still worked fairly well.

lake placid

As for the cast and their characters, this was incredibly well for what it is.  I wonder about its budget.  Brendan Gleeson is a great actor along with a personal favorite of mine being Bill Pullman, especially in the 90s, he was in a lot of random movies. I don’t think I’ve seen Bridget Fonda anywhere before but she’s good. Alongside that, the best parts that led to some comedic moments was the bickering between Brendan Gleeson’s character versus the “crocodile specialist” of the group played by Oliver Platt.  The different views and beliefs about crocodiles and the desire for Bridget Fonda’s character to break out on this “adventure” while having some underwater expeditions and whatnot made this decent.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with Lake Placid and I think that for a creature feature, its really not too bad.  There are the expected bad or clunky dialogue and there are stupid decisions to be made.  Even so, the crocodile was done well and the sequences built to a point that I had a few thrills at the end despite the stupid decision they all had.  Then that final ending scene right before the credits was pretty hilarious even if it forced a possibility for a sequel. Its definitely worth more than the 30 something % that Rotten Tomatoes gave it.

Have you seen Lake Placid? What did you think of it?

TMI Podcast: David and Kim’s Random Chat about 28 Days Later (2002)

Welcome to this week’s Random Chat over at That Moment In with David! We’re talking about the popular zombie apocalypse movie 28 Days Later directed by Danny Boyle.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Also, on a side note! For some of the fellow video gamers and readers, That Moment In will be starting to branch out into the video game and book reviews/moments, etc and is calling out to whoever is interested in contributing.  If you are interested, head over  to contact David HERE!  You will find more info at that link.

Happy Saturday!! 🙂

In Bruges (2008)

Earlier this month when I announced the beginning of this recommendations month, Mikey at Screenkicker suggested to see In Bruges.  Shortly after, Juck/Ddog at Gamerscene  second him. With two fellow bloggers dropping the same recommendation, it seemed inevitable that I had to check this out some time.  Luckily for me, Netflix added this movie a few days ago (YAY!). Here we are with my take on In Bruges.

Now, lets give some spotlight to the awesome Mikey at Screenkicker who always makes me laugh when he leaves me a comment and who will be hosting his Olympics blogathon soon (which I participated in). You should definitely head over, follow him and prepare to check that out while checking out his other reviews as well.

Juck/Ddog at Gamerscene is an extremely versatile blogger who reviews music, movies, video games.  Aside from that, he has some pretty fun segments that he does once in a while.  Plus, he has an unique rating system called The Meat Scale.  You will have to head over to learn more about that 🙂

Now that we’re all ready.  Lets check out In Bruges!

in bruges posterDirector: Martin McDonagh

Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clemence Poesy, Jordan Prentice

New hitman Ray (Colin Farrell) and experienced hitman Ken (Brendan Gleeson) have just completed a job and due to certain missteps, they are sent by their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) to Bruges to hide out.  In Bruges, Ray ponders his life and deals with the guilt while Ken develops an appreciation for the deep artistic touch surrounding him.  However, when Harry asks him to kill Ray because of Ray’s mistake, he is torn between what to do, forcing Harry to also go to Bruges to settle the situation.

I’m not exactly sure where to categorize In Bruges but I’m saying its in the dark comedy area.  I like dark a lot and I like English comedy and I believe this is pretty much in that area.  I like the cast here, especially Ralph Fiennes and Colin Farrell.  Pretty much what I’m saying is that I liked In Bruges.  Did I love it? Not really, probably not as much as Mikey and Juck does.  I’m not a person that particularly enjoys a lot of vulgar language and this one says “Fuck” a lot.  I mean, A LOT! For the most part, I didn’t mind it so much.  It was really the first 30 minutes felt like I had watched the movie for an hour.  Then it picks up and it feels a lot better.

in bruges brendan gleeson

One of my favorite elements of In Bruges is the music.  It has THE best movie sountrack ever.  The background music really gives it a good mood and atmosphere.  The scenery was fantastic.  I’m not exactly sure what Bruges looks like but hey, if it looks like that, count me in.  Its going on my bucket list. I’m not the expert at this real scene or not thing but fellow blog Tvor Travels does her segment on that once in a while, maybe she can set some light on that 😉 The architecture is amazing in this place, just totally captivating to watch.

in bruges collin farrel

We can’t get past this movie without mentioning the cast because it was done so well and one of the reasons that I enjoyed it.  The dialogue and the characters themselves made In Bruges really fun and entertaining to watch.  They were a bit complex as they learned a bit about themselves.  I haven’t actually enjoyed a role of Colin Farrell except back when I saw him in The Phonebooth.  It probably has to do with not really seeing much from him also.  I fell asleep partially (due to fatigue) during Seven Psychopaths so I can’t comment on that.  And then he did a bunch of other stuff like Pride & Glory (which was only okay), and Alexander (too long and I stopped watching it).  Either way, I really liked him and his character Ray.  I felt like he was a bit awkward in the beginning but he pulled all this really hilarious dialogue, you know, sarcastic and witty (and he wasn’t the only one). His characters gets pretty intriguing, I’d say.

in bruges ralph fiennes gif

The next actor I really like is Ralph Fiennes.  Does it sound weird that I like him? When my dad was still around, Ralph Fiennes was one of his favorite actors so I watched a lot of stuff with him. Honestly, its refreshing to see him NOT as Voldemort, no? Ralph Fiennes is a phenomenal actor and the moment he entered In Bruges, I was totally pulled into it even more than before.  It brought out that intense moments as well since essentially he is the boss and he wants Ray dead, plus he puts on the pressure.  There’s just something about Ralph Fiennes that makes his characters always slightly unpredictable. I just love him! 🙂  Moving on, we can’t go through this movie without talking about Brendan Gleeson.  He is the connection between Ralph Fienne’s Harry and Colin Farrell’s Ray. He is closer to both of them and he transforms in this town more than any of them. He brings some sentiments and desperation to the story also.  There’s something more about him and the change he undergoes while in Bruges.

Its a bit funny.  I think as I analyzed this movie in my mind while I wrote this, I ended up realizing that this was a pretty brilliant movie.  Dark comedy pack with some thrills, vulgar language, even bloodshed.  It had great cast that portrayed intriguing characters. Despite it being a tad slow in the first bit, it picks up rather quickly and as things get a bit out of control as we approach the end, it also makes this movie pretty awesome! 🙂

A huge thanks for my first double recommendation from Juck and Mikey! They are both awesome bloggers! Remember to visit and follow their blogs! 🙂

Have you seen In Bruges? What are your thoughts on Colin Farrell? What about Ralph Fiennes?