Iron Contracted Insidious Sky Chapter 2 – Director’s Cut

Contracted, Insidious Chapter 2, and Iron Sky – Director’s Cut are currently available on instant Netflix

Contracted

 

Contracted (2013) – Not rated

After a one-night-stand, a young woman becomes alarmingly ill — but what she thinks is a sexually transmitted disease turns out to be far worse.”

Okay umm so Netflix is using ‘one night stand’ as a euphemism for date rape. This is a low-budget chiller with a unique way of looking at a premise. There is very little violence and when it comes, it actually struck me as Pythonesque. There are some lapses in logic but luckily they are attributed to characters who have reason to have their logic impaired.

Contracted is an interesting, low-key story told from a good viewpoint.

Insidious 2

 

Insidious Chapter 2 (2013) – Rated PG-13

While the Lambert family struggles to overcome their son’s recent battle with evil spirits, father Josh must confront his own horrifying childhood.

Well the whole Chapter thing implies that there are going to be a string of these. I was not a big fan of Insidious. I though it was okay and well-shot but rather derivative.

I really enjoyed Insidious 2 which makes me want to go back and rewatch the original. Insidious 2 begins, as many sequels do, by showing us something we didn’t know about the past of one of our characters. Insidious 2 deftly weaves a main storyline with a series of flashbacks fleshing out a story of possession.

The first half of the film features all kinds of mysterious happenings (as opposed to the Paranormal series which seems to use the first half to sell more snacks and permit bathroom breaks). The second half picks up a lot of speed as we switch back and forth between locales. Almost none of the scares were of the cheap variety and there is a fair amount of atmosphere.

The family is very sympathetic. The researchers are nerdy but not overly annoying. The threat is gradually revealed in a very interesting manner. I suppose the only thing disappointing was the third act, which fell in line with the film’s PG-13 sensibilities.

Iron Sky

Iron Sky – Director’s Cut (2013) – Not rated

Okay I am a sucker for movies where Nazis are the bad guy. I love Dead Snow, The Boys from Brazil, Outpost, even the super-cheezy Shock Waves. On the other hand I’m not completely blind – Blood Creek was a ridiculous mess in spite of the sublime Michael Fassbender and Outpost: Black Sun clearly didn’t understand what made Outpost so much fun.

Iron Sky treads the middle ground. It is quite ludicrous (in a good way) but also tasteless (not in a good way). It is funny enough to be amusing (Nazi base on the far side of the moon) but many of the jokes fall flat (a faux President Palin) and some dip into the offensive (albinoing an African-American astronaut). I found Iron Sky to be worth a watch but only just.

Now Netflix advertises the director’s cut of Iron Sky as an exclusive. It is 18 minutes longer so there is substantially more goofiness on display.

Passengers – Do Not Get on That Plane week

This is Do Not Get on That Plane week. Passengers is currently available on instant Netflix.

PASS: Passengers (2008) – Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some scary elements and sensuality.

“When therapist Claire Summers (Anne Hathaway) starts working with the surviving passengers of a plane crash, she discovers that their individual accounts of the tragedy differ significantly from the airlines official version. As Claire digs deeper for the truth, beyond the airlines sanitized statements, the survivors suddenly begin to vanish, leaving her swimming in a dark abyss of intrigue and conspiracy.”

“The truth heals. Who said that?” – “I dont know, some dead white guy”

There is no getting around it. Anne Hathaway is really likable. She seems more at home with something in the comedy genre however. this is not a good role for her.

She is aided by an able if non-flashy cast. Patrick (Watchmen) Wilson is a central part of her enigma. Andre (The Mist) Braugher is her boss. Diane (Law & Order) Wiest plays a really creepy neighbor. David (St. Elsewhere) Morse has a small part as Arkin.

The central premise of the movie, survivors of a plane crash start disappearing, could be made into a good horror movie. The problem is that movie is Final Destination. If you want a science fiction version then you have Millenium.

The central problem with the movie is actually Anne Hathaway and her character, Claire. Her portrayal of a grief/crisis counselor/psychologist is about as believable as Denise Richards as nuclear scientist Dr. Christmas Jones in The World is Not Enough (my personal yardstick for credibility).

Claire is completely irresponsible and unprofessional – so much so that one character even feels the need to comment on it. For a counselor, she never ever listens to her patients. Her professional conduct would make House blush. I am not sure whether or not Anne Hathaway has the acting chops to pull this part off as it is written so badly.

I like reveal movies – movies where you find out something at the end that changes your whole perception of the story. A really good reveal movie stands by itself without the reveal. The Sixth Sense is a very good movie until the end when it becomes a great movie.

The other thing a really good reveal movie does is to not give away that there is going to be a reveal. To use The Sixth Sense again as an example – unless you have been told ahead of time, you do not know there is going to be a game changer ending (my apologies to the three people out there who have not seen or read anything about The Sixth Sense).

This movie does not make any sense and the mystery is kept very vague – these are two hallmarks of a bad reveal movie. They telegraph all throughout the film that there will be a reveal which is why I do not feel bad calling it one.

I kept hoping that the reveal would make this worthwhile. Instead you will either end up scratching your head at the leaps in logic or you will be irritated because it simply rips off the ending to another film.

Either way it is not worth your time. Give this one a pass.

People Watch: Look for William B. Davis aka Cigarette Smoking Man from X-Files as Jack.