Netflix A-Z: Zipper (2015)

Its the last movie of Round 2 of Netflix A-Z!

Our Z selection is Zipper! My husband got to choose between the few choices, most notably Zipper and Z for Zachariah and he chose this one. I think both weren’t quite so appealing  but this one maybe seemed to have more of an edge.  I don’t know is mindset behind it. Mostly I don’t even give that much thought to my Netflix A-Z! Its the point that I’m exploring movies that had intrigued me and ended up on my list and the random times its not, its just giving a chance to something new. Why not, right?

Enough rambling, let’s check this out! 🙂

Zipper (2015)

Zipper 2015

Director (and co-writer): More Stephens

Cast: Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey, Ray Winstone, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cho, Dianna Agron

A family man has it all until he risks losing everything due to his inability to fight off his obsessive temptation for other women.-IMDB

A few things to address before we begin.  IMDB’s summary is kind of part right.  We’re looking at a family man but also a man striving for some political power with a lot of potential of success, currently as a federal prosecutor. This is a political (sexual/erotic?) thriller. Now that we know what we’re meant to be seeing, let’s continue.

Its not hard to say that Zipper has one very fantastic pro and that is its cast. Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey, Richard Dreyfuss, Ray Winstone, John Cho and  Dianna Agron, even though she gets on the cover of the poster (not the one I chose here) but has a very small role: they are all decent actors and actresses and make up for the depth the characters should carry.

This is also where I start talking about cons.  First of all, don’t go and believe that this is anything like Gone Girl or that its a thriller.  Its neither of those things even if it tries to be the latter. I’m a huge fan of Gone Girl so maybe my love might skew how I feel towards that statement but without any comparison, since I never thought to compare the two, Zipper lacks a story or maybe it lacks simply a good pacing for the story it wants to tell or even feels like it might have lost direction of where it wanted to go with all this.

Zipper

Thing is, I’m not bothered by sexual content or anything like that.  The deal is with Zipper is that in the first 20 minutes (maybe shorter, I didn’t check the time), there was a lot of watching Patrick Wilson’s character Sam Ellis masturbate. Like, you know, the back of him of course because we need to have some class here.  This isn’t pornographic material especially with the cast, although we do  some naked ladies like Lena Headey and some of the escorts he encounters. It would be nice to know what the movie was trying to get.  Because the ending is even worse especially when Sam Ellis himself doesn’t know why he did all that stuff but I guess it refers back to a speech he has during the movie about finding yourself because you can never change who you are or something like that. What makes me a little more frustrated is that there are some complex characters here.  There is a hint of its existence but the story is not put together well enough to give it time to be more.

Zipper

While I’m not a fan of political thrillers, the political portion of this wasn’t actually a lot other than the fact that Sam Ellis tried really hard to live in this alternate reality as Bob Fisher who was paying all these escorts but hoping he wouldn’t be noticed.  I think that is ridiculous personally but I can accept what they were trying to do and understand it. The political portion was really dealing with people and trying to avoid people caught up.  Once the second part of the movie starts off with investigations of the escort agency he was a client of and all that bit, it picks up a decent pace but doesn’t last long enough for it to have an impact.  Its where I feel the movie could have spent more time on and chopped a bunch of the beginning away since it didn’t make me connect with his character more but rather just felt dragged out.

Zipper

Overall, Zipper was a disappointment especially with the cast that it had.  The cast did fine in their roles as limited as the story was. The standout most probably will have to go to Patrick Wilson. The story could’ve been structured a little differently with focuses more on the second half than the first’s pacing and it might have been better.

End of Round 2 of Netflix A-Z!
A little break while I construct the next round which may possibly be indie themed!
Do you have any other suggestions or recommendations on Netflix?

Halloween Marathon: Hard Candy (2005)

Hard Candy is one of those thriller flicks that I’ve been meaning to watch.  I was going to a few weeks ago on Netflix and then there were sound problems that never got resolved (I checked back a few times).  So, after my review on The Loved Ones (click HERE if you haven’t read it) invoked this huge comment from Gary at With a Friend Like Gary, he told me that one that is done a whole lot better is Hard Candy.  With that said, I ran out and found a copy of it over the weekend and finally popped it in my laptop the night before and finished it yesterday evening.  Lets check it out!

hard candy posterDirector: David Slade

Cast: Ellen Page, Patrick Wilson, Sandra Oh

After weeks of chat, a 14 year old teenager Hayley (Ellen Page) agrees to meet Jeff Patrick Wilson), a photographer in his 30s for coffee.  Coffee turns into a visit to Jeff’s place which spirals out of control.  Soon, Hayley is in control of the situation as tries to make Jeff admit to her suspicions of him being a pedophile and connected to the recent disappearance of a young girl with in her own way.

**I’m not sure how many people have seen this even though its been released since 2005. However, just in case, I tried to keep the synopsis as spoiler free as possible.  I don’t know how to do better than that.  However, if you do intend to see this, I suggest you just skip the reviews and watch it with a clear mind.  You’ll enjoy it even more, I promise! Plus, its a spoiler alert in case my write up actually reveals more than you want to know.**

Hard Candy

Hard Candy is one of those psychological thrillers that makes the audience finish and still be thinking and it just lingers for a while in our thoughts.  It soaks in a little and then I just went WOW! Its a controversial movie but thats also what makes it thought provoking.  I don’t do it often, but I turned on the special features and started listening to the mindset behind the writer, producer and director.  Hard Candy is engrossing and at various parts, hits a disturbing messed up level but in this quiet crazy way.

hard candy ellen page 2

There is just so much great to talk about in this movie.  The cast was perfect.  I personally love Ellen Page a lot.  I loved her as Juno and after seeing this, I’m convinced that she can do any role.  Hayley is the character that subconsciously and eventually consciously controls the situation. As much as the dialogue was very well-written, it was enhanced by the close up shots that brought out their emotions during silence.  They acted with their body language and emoted with their eyes.  The tone of the voice depending on the context and it was a lot of between the lines even as Hayley was talking to Jeff.

hard candy patrick wilson

Now, talking about Patrick Wilson as Jeff, is actually pretty impressive.  I’m sure if I saw it in 2005 when his only previous role was Phantom of the Opera as the dull and boring Raoul, this would’ve been even more impressive.  Jeff is also a really tough role to play because as much as the roles seem clear between Hayley and Jeff, there are moments where they aren’t and thats when Patrick Wilson has to do a Jeff that at times, the audience will sympathize for him but at other times, wonder if there is that possibility that he is a child predator.

hard candy ellen patrick

Aside from amazing performances, I’d have to say that I really liked the use of silence and sound. Its the little details that the director paid attention to that brings out the suspense even more.  The colors and lighting that they use also creates a good atmosphere.  There was a really good balance in everything.  However, there was one thing that bothered me a little in the beginning and that was the camera shots.  I understood eventually it was probably to enhance the feeling of chaos as to move it uncontrollably at times when there was conflict but the first time that happened, it was a bit dizzy to look at.

I can talk all day about how great the movie is but if you haven’t seen it, its really awesome! Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson are amazing as the lead characters.  The story is well-written and the dialogue draws you in.  The suspense grows as you watch every minute as you start wondering who to trust, if this is right or wrong, and at times, it hits the mentally disturbing part.  Its a thought provoking thriller and you’ll probably spend some time digesting the content as I am while I’m writing this up.  Still, Hard Candy is an amazing movie and I urge each of you to watch it if you haven’t already.

I’d also like to send out a huge thanks to Gary for giving me the final push to see Hard Candy! Head on over to check out his blog.  I put the link on the top with his name 🙂

Insidious (2010)

I am crazy! I admit it…I don’t know why I do this to myself.  I’m mega chickenshit and somehow I felt like Tuesday night was a great idea to put on Insidious.  Just to check our James Wan‘s skills.  The movie started and the DVD menu went on, eerie music going on, opening credits start…and I start regretting already.

insidious posterDirector: James Wan

Cast: Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Barbara Hershey

*IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS MOVIE, YOU MAY WANT TO SKIP THE SYNOPSIS, as much as I tried to keep it spoiler free, it might still ruin the full experience*

Renai (Rose Byrne) and Josh(Patrick Wilson) Lambert are settling into their new house with their 3 children.  When their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls into a coma, they search to figure out what is causing it.  As this starts to strain Renai and Josh’s marriage, Josh starts dreaming up weird images.  At the same time, Renai starts experiencing eerie unexplicable events at home which leads her to believe that her house is haunted.  It is then she urges Josh to move out of their home in hopes that escape this.  However, at the new home, these events still occur and its then Josh’s mother  Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) advise them to seek the help of Elise (Lin Shaye) and her team Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson). It is here they learn about The Further.

insidious dreams

I almost didn’t want to write a synopsis for this one because there is no way that you can talk about this and not feel like I ruined something.

This leads to me saying that this is a super awesome horror.  It scared the $&!% out of me but I am not alone.  This makes me feel good to say because basing this on my scare level is inaccurate, seeing as I’m scared of most horror movies.  On this note, you really want to check out The Horror Online and their awesome post on the “How Scary Is It?” Scale.  Just click on it and you’ll get to that post! This one (and The Horror Online agrees) is definitely a Stage 5.  I did not cry…I screamed at the top of my lungs.  Decibel levels flew off the charts! I’m still sleeping with my lights close and watching comedies.  Oh, and I don’t walk around my house with the lights off…and the boyfriend has after dark water duty for moi, because I refuse to go down into the dark…I’m sure you get the idea…

 

insidious group

 

This horror flick is hardcore.  This would’ve been good for the theatres though. The copy I got made me have to watch subtitles because I did not hear those effects that makes it a bit eerie until last minute.  Although eventually I learned that I had to turn it off because every time something happens, we get an alert with an “eerie sounscape” in the background.  Even though it was hinted eventually, it always provided some form of surprise.  Freaked me out every single time.  As much as my boyfriend laughed at it, by the end of the movie, those discordant violin sounds were MEGA CREEPY! Background music or lack of at times was really effective to make this horror factor increase! It made for a good compliments to some pretty crazy awesome jump scares, along with some built up moments!

insidious dalton

On top of that, everyone in this flick was convincing.  Maybe it had to do with the incredibly awesome storyline.  Patrick Wilson was fantastic and Rose Byrne was definitely no Helen (from Bridesmaids).  She went all out to prove to us that she can do horror genre equally well.  She lead a good part of the movie and was the focus for a lot of solo scenes.  She convinced me that there was evil at every corner of that house.  Plus, as little as screen time as the kids had, the little boys were both very convincing!  Elise and her team was pretty interesting.  They had an amazing vibe on screen to amplify the scare factor. Loved the character of Elise! She had to be all over the place with her reactions.  The same applies for her assistants! The cast was just outstanding!

insidious elise specs

 

James Wan is awesome in these spirits and evil horror genre.  I have seen nothing else from this guy.  However, I do have a little issue with his camera work.  However, if he does apply that to Fast 7, I think it might be alright ;).  I just can’t see this guy jumping into the action flick area though.  On another note, I’m excited to see Insidious Chapter 2 because it is what I need to wrap up this scary piece of entertainment.  At least I hope it will…its just how I am with horror flicks.

This is a definite YES! Horror fans should see this! Its awesomely scary with a mix of jump scares, eerie music and lots of creepy scenes! The music compliments it and the acting is pretty decent.  There was a lot hidden in the scenes if you look hard enough which makes it very intelligent.  I may be cursing myself and saying that I won’t see another horror for a while.  Whats sleep, right? Especially if its lost over a great movie 😉 This is most positively one of the scariest movie I have seen!

I’m usually the slow pokes at horror movies, so tell me, have you seen this?  Did you like it? Was there something you didn’t like it? Is it something you want to see? Anxious to see the sequel (which I think is coming out later this year)?