Bren’s writing and movies blog

Because I have an opinion about creativity and know how to use it

Archive for January, 2018

Spectral review

Posted by brenatevi on January 23, 2018

I watched Spectral on Netflix, and was surprised to have actually enjoyed it. I went in thinking that it was going to be a real bad movie, based off an article that dissed the science in the movie.

To understand how much I liked the movie, you need to understand how I often watch movies: I often don’t really watch them. I often just listen to them in the background, as kind of a soundtrack to my life, doing other things like reading or playing games. If I really enjoy a movie, I will dedicate my full attention to it.

So I set out to treat this movie like all of the other “okay” or decent movie, and found myself engrossed to the point that I stopped the movie because I couldn’t stop the other thing I was doing to pay full attention to it. Couldn’t really find time over the past couple months, but finally I sat down and dedicated myself to it. I didn’t read or play video, I just watched the movie. Jackie can tell you how different that is for me.

So why did I enjoy the movie? I think in some ways it’s very simple: it had an intriguing idea, and articulated it extremely well. They developed rules for the bad guys, stuck with them, and hinted at other rules from the very beginning. This last point is important, because to me there is nothing worse than changing behaviors mid-movie, out of nowhere. In Spectral, the behaviors were always there, and it wasn’t until the super-nerd realized it that I realized they had that lovely little fact at the very beginning. It was a nice touch.

Sure there were a couple scenes that made me go “Yeah, there is no way they could do that, with what they have, in the time they had,” but at that point I was invested, and was forgiving. The movie stretched my suspension of disbelief without breaking it. And even that stretch set up a beautifully done payout that made me go, “OK, that was worth it.”

Something that didn’t hurt is that there were some solid performances all around. They got some decent actors for this movie, and they all made me care about their characters. Sometimes it was hard to see who was getting killed off underneath the grim and body armor, but I cared every time one of them died. Well most of the time. This movie is filled with red shirts, but even their deaths made their marks as they lined up against a seemingly invincible enemy.

Lastly, I want to give props to the art design. They really nailed the stereotypical urban hell-filled warzone. I don’t know if that’s what a city that is in the throes of civil war is really like, but they sold it well. They also did a good job on making the bad guys truly creepy, and the end was just the capper on a creepy premise.

If you are still reading at this point, I don’t expect anyone else to enjoy the movie like I did, but it isn’t a bad movie, and if you have a netflix streaming account, you’re pretty much getting it for free. Worst case, you watch this movie and say “Christ, Jeremy is full of shit.”

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Haunted Hauler

Posted by brenatevi on January 20, 2018

This is the down and dirty rough draft of the haunted U-haul movie idea. I mean, I am typing this exactly how I wrote it in my notebook.

Man & ex-wife argue because she got a court order to stop him from taking their kids to California. He kills her, possibly by accident, then takes her to woodshed and dismembers her.  Instead of just burying her, he stores the parts of that could identify her in coolers, and puts them in the moving van. He intends to bury the body parts in different parts of the country to make it more difficult to determine what happened. The ghost attacks people based off the body part that is buried near them.

An FBI agent starts investigating when the body was discovered in a state park near the murderer’s house (couldn’t just leave the leftovers at the house they moved out of.) The murderer doesn’t stray far from the motels and hotels, which gave the FBI a break when a stray dog found a body part (possibly a foot.)

Note: the ghost actually haunts the u-haul, but can’t leave unless the door is open, and can’t kill her killer. In fact, she doesn’t actually kill anyone. She just forcefully suggests people harm themselves, like cutting off their own hand.

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