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Dear Flixster Community,

After seven fabulous years with you all, we are sorry to let you know that we're going to be retiring the Flixster Community site on September 30, 2014. Please note that you can still access your ratings, reviews, and quizzes on Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes using your same login. We have had so much fun building this community with you.

Thanks for all the memories,
Flixster

Philip S (sayblack)


Philip's Recent Reviews


The Quiet Ones The Quiet Ones PG-13
The Quiet Ones, the latest horror/thriller from Lionsgate Films, is one of the scariest movies that horror fans will see this year if not the single scariest. The phrase edge-of-your-seat is tossed around far too often in various film genres. However in the case of The Quiet Ones, that far too oft term is quite properly used to describe this story. It will keep viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish even with the movie coming in at just over an hour and a half. It all starts with the script. The script is one that while based on actual events, has crafted a story that successfully creates its own story. It will leave viewers questioning quite a bit right up to the story's twist ending. The script is but one part of what makes The Quiet Ones work. The acting on the part of the movie's cast makes the story even scarier. There is something about the cast's acting that will pull viewers in and at times, even send chills up viewers' spines, thus leading to the edge-of-your-seat term even more justified here. Last but hardly least worth noting that makes this movie work now in its home release is the bonus "Making of" documentary. Much like the far too oft used phrase noted already, "Making of" featurettes hardly ever live up to the expectation of being bonus material. The "Making of" featurette here only serves to deepen the overall experience and in turn makes the movie even scarier. These three factors are but the tip of the iceberg that can be noted in what makes The Quiet Ones one of 2014's scariest movies. Audiences will find plenty more for themselves when they purchase this movie for themselves. And when they do, said audiences will themselves be making quite the noise (yes, bad pun intended) about The Quiet Ones.

So much can be said of the script behind The Quiet Ones. This script isn't just another one of those run-of-the-mill, over-the-top slasher flicks or even just another ghost story. The movie's script writers have crafted in this piece a story that combines an absolutely terrifying tale of the occult with an unexpected human drama, both of which combine to make a story that will leave even the hardest of unbelievers questioning what they believe right up to the story's twist ending. And the script itself is only part of what makes the story work as surprisingly well as it does. The movie's trailers made it come across as just another found footage film. The reality of this movie is that it in fact is not just another one of those works. Audiences will note that while there is an element of the found footage genre, it isn't just another found footage flick. That element is used more as part of the story rather than as the story itself, if that makes any sense. It is used to help advance the story at various points rather than being used as the crux of the script, to hopefully make that clearer. This is all discussed at length in the bonus "Making of" featurette that has been included in the movie's new home release. The discussions on those and so many other topics add even more depth to the movie. The end result is a respect for the movie that some viewers might not have previously had should they have seen the movie while it was in theaters early this year.

The deep and deeply terrifying script crafted for The Quiet Ones is the center of the movie's terrifying success. It's just one element of what makes the movie work. Also worth taking into account is the acting on the part of the movie's cast. The Quiet Ones is a low budget film. Going back to the in-depth bonus "Making of" featurette, this is noted in that featurette. The thing is that typically, when one thinks of low budget films (such as the ones churned out by Syfy), one thinks of everything wrong with the movie industry. But in the case of The Quiet Ones both the script itself and the acting on the part of the cast made this movie a success. Actress Olivia Cooke (The Signal, Bates Motel, Ouija) steals the spotlight as the troubled young Jane Harper. Viewers can't help but watch her as the movie progresses. At no one point does she ever try to take things over the top. There is just something on which a finger can't be placed about her acting that makes it work. Perhaps as (again) noted in the bonus "Making of" featurette, it is her ability to go from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye. Her cast mates-Jared Harris (Natural Born Killers, Lincoln, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), and Erin Richards (Open Grave, Breaking In, Gotham) feed off of that energy and serve to heighten the story's tension and terror. Audiences will see that in their gradual transition from believers in science to believers in something much darker and less capable of being explained away. They expertly interpret the script and present a fear that audiences can almost feel as they watch the story unfold. It proves to be a feeling of terror that audiences will find it hard to shake even after the movie ends. That is one more sign of acting done right. So, kudos are in order for the cast of The Quiet Ones for doing their part to make this movie a terror in the best possible way.

The acting and writing that went into bringing The Quiet Ones to life are both key to the movie's success. Despite the work of the scribes charged with bringing the movie to life and that of the movie's cast, this underrated horror was largely lambasted by audiences and critics alike. Now that it is being released to DVD and Blu-ray/VUDU, audiences will see it for its true value especially thanks to the movie's bonus "Making of" featurette. Far too often, moviemakers and studios try to throw in these additions to movies in hopes that they will make their movies more accepted. The problem is that hardly often enough does that actually happen. That's not to say that it doesn't always work. The case with The Quiet Ones proves that it can and does at times make a movie more worthy of respect. Audiences get an in-depth look at the movie's script, the location shooting, acting, and so much more. There are discussions on the inspiration behind the script, why the house in question was chosen and even on the choice of Olivia Cooke as the movie's lead. Audiences will learn why this story isn't just another movie that is based on actual events. They will learn about the terror factor in the house and Cooke's ability to simply turn her emotions on and off for the cameras with ease. There is so much to note that audiences would be best served to watch this featurette for themselves. In doing so, both those that have and haven't already seen The Quiet Ones will have a new respect for a movie that is one of the year's scariest movies, hands down.

The Quiet Ones will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, August 19th on DVD and Blu-ray/VUDU combo pack. It can be ordered direct from the Lionsgate online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/search_results.asp?Search=The%20Quiet%20Ones. More information on this and other releases from Lionsgate is available online at http://www.facebook.com/linosgate, http://www.lionsgate.com, and http://twitter.com/lionsgatemovies. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and "Like" it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil's Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.
The Midnight Game The Midnight Game R
Anchor Bay Entertainment's new horror flick The Midnight Game is a surprisingly entertaining work for an indie horror flick. The central point of the movie's success is its script. One watch of this fright-filled story shows that it's not just another teen slasher flick. For that matter, there's barely any blood shed throughout. It will however leave audiences guessing right up to the end. Another reason that horror fans will appreciate The Midnight Game is the acting on the part of the movie's cast. The cast knows that this movie is an indie flick. And while the cast doesn't necessarily ham it up per se, each cast member's acting does come across as lightly poking fun at the whole teen horror sub-genre of the horror realm. Last but not least of all worth mentioning about The Midnight Game is the fact that while it obviously lifts from certain other horror flicks, it doesn't go so far as to blatantly rip off said movies unlike far too many movies out there regardless of their genre. These three factors each play their own role in the overall success of The Midnight Game. Together, they make this indie horror romp one that any fan of the genre will want to watch at least once now that the movie is officially available in stores and online.

The central point of The Midnight Game's success lies in the movie's script. At first glance, one might think that this movie is going to be just another run-of-the-mill gore fest loaded with lots of references to people taking part in satanic rituals. The reality of the movie is that it is anything but. Sure, it is essentially another teen horror flick. But at least it isn't just another one of the standard gore-filled slasher/evil spirit flicks that are all too common nowadays from the world of horror. Yes, there is some blood shed at points in the movie. And there is one very brief moment of nudity. But both elements have been kept to a minimum. For that reason alone, the movie's writing staff is deserving of a certain amount of credit. There's no denying that there is at least some predictability at certain points in the story. But the writing staff makes up for that by throwing in a rather interesting twist ending, which will not be revealed here for the sake of those that haven't yet seen this frightfully fun teen horror flick. It is a twist though, that will leave audiences wondering and talking. And that it will have that lasting effect is a fitting final testament to the talents of those behind the movie's script.

The talents of those responsible for crafting the script behind The Midnight Game are definitely worth noting in the overall enjoyment of the movie in whole. The work of those charged with crafting the story's script goes a long way toward making the movie work. The same can be said of the acting on the part of the movie's cast. The cast-Renee Olstead (The Secret Life of the American Teenager, 13 Going on 30, Still Standing), Shelby Young (The Social Network, Days of Our Lives, Everybody Hates Chris), Guy Wilson (Little Black Book, Days of Our Lives, The Open Door), Valentina de Angelis (As The World Turns, Gossip Girl, Bereavement), and Spencer Daniels (Star Trek, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, This Is 40)-doesn't necessarily ham it up. But it's obvious that the cast members had fun with their roles throughout the movie's filming. They did take their roles with a certain level of seriousness. But they didn't take them so seriously that they went over the top. Their acting could be argued to have even been a little bit of a spoof of the teens in every teen-centric horror flick ever released to a point. That's really what made this aspect work so well. They were just that spot on in their depictions of the stereotypes used in all the other teen horror romps already out there. Audiences will know in watching the cast at work that they are watching a movie. Yet thanks to that acting, audiences will still want to watch what happens to each "teen" next, even going so far as to laugh at their characters at some points. Again, herein lies one more reason that any horror aficionado will want to see this movie if only once. There is still more worth mentioning even after considering both this aspect of the movie and its script.

The script and acting that went into The Midnight Game are both key to the movie's overall enjoyment and success. Anyone that is familiar with the world of horror will note in watching though, that this movie bears quite the similarity to a number of other horror flicks out there. Those flicks include the likes of: Fear Dot Com, The Ring, Shadow People and others of that ilk. Audiences that give The Midnight Game will see the comparison rather early on and even in the story's final minutes. The catch is that while the similarity is there, The Midnight Game doesn't go so far as to directly rip off those works. Despite being loosely related to said movies, it still maintains its own identity against them, thus helping to maintain at least a certain sense of originality. That is the final touch to this movie that makes it one of this year's more surprising entertaining indie flicks. It's a movie that any horror aficionado should watch at least once whether this Halloween or any other time of the year.

The Midnight Game is available now on DVD in stores and online. It can be ordered directly online via the official Anchor Bay Entertainment website at http://www.anchorbayent.com/detail.aspx?ProjectId=8e063eb4-72ab-e311-b062-d4ae527c3b65. More information on this and other titles available from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available online at http://www.anchorbayent.com, http://www.facebook.com/AnchorBay, and http://twitter.com/Anchor_Bay. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and "Like" it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil's Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Philip's Favorite Movies


12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men) 12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men) PG
This is possibly one of the best movies of all time in any genre. With the exception of the first five minutes of the film, the entire thing took place in a jury room. There are likely books written on the different aspects of it. One could say that perhaps ithe heat of the room and the weather outside caused the conflict. Perhps it was the differences of the 12 jurors. Pehaps it was something else. But the conflict flt entirely real. What's more is that none of the men gave doubt a chance until one man stood up and cast doubt on the case. That was one of the any storylines that go on in that little jury room. The wonderfully interwoven storylines, combined with the odd absence of a soundtrack make the movie so fully enjoyable. The lack of that soundtrack with the exception of the beginning and the end disprove the need for muisc throughout a movie to make it good. Not only that, but all the cast and crew had to work with was that single jury room. Yet the movie was so enjoyable. That is proof that so many modern movies far too often go over the top with special effects and soundtracks. One could go on and on about this movie. But the fact of the matter is that it is not only the original legal drama, but one of the best movies of all time, next to Citizen Kane.
The Wizard of Oz The Wizard of Oz PG
So much has been said and written about The Wizard of Oz since its debut way back on August 25, 1939. It's one of the longest running movies on tv every holiday season. And it's one of the most discussed movies both among moviegoers, and students of the theater and film arts. The discussions range from topics such as choreography, music, and cinematography, to the infamous conspiracy theory about the alleged death of one of the munchkins, among others. Yes, it's largely different from the book from which it was adapted. But that aside, it's still one of the most outstanding movies that's ever been created. It's been over seventy years since The Wizard of Oz originally debuted. That it still generates so much discussion on so many topics proves how much of a landmark movie it is. One of the main discussion topics that it still creates to this day is the alleged death of one of the munchkins. So to start off, that myth needs to be debunked, for those who still believe it. The myth in question is that one of the munchkins committed suicide in one scene. That never happened. Here's the reality of that old myth: There was a large bird walking around in the scene that introduces the Tin Man. It looked like a pelican, or some such. Later in that scene, as he, Dorothy, and the Scarecrow are readying to get back to their journey again, that same bird (or a second one), is seen in the far background moving around. What looks like a munchkin comitting suicide is actually just the bird in question flying around far off in the background. So what is possibly one of the greatest mysteries in film history has now been solved, much to the distate of probably thousands of audiences. But there's the answer. Speaking of the bird being far off in the scenery, the scenery is another reason for the success of The Wizard of Oz. The scenery/set art, and costumes create a lot of discussion among theater students at college campuses nationwide. The people behind the scenes obviously paid a lot of attention to the detail of both. For a movie of that time to so smoothly mix actual physical scenery with painted backdrops took a lot of skill. Not to mention, making them so colorful to match what heads of the movie wanted. The costumes had to have taken as much time as the sets (if not more) to create because of the amount of detail for each character's outfit. The sets and costumes were only one part of what made The Wizard of Oz as great as it is. The music and choreography add their own enjoyment to the movie. It is a musical, after all. So, these two are just as important as, if not more than, the costumes and sets. Probably the most time intensive scene for choreography was the initial scene when Dorothy first landed in Munchkinland. Considering the size of the cast in that scene, one can only imagine how much time and effort went into choreographing the dancing, and making sure everyone sang together. The movie is loaded with lots of other scenes that had to have required immense planning. But this was easily the biggest one of them all. The music, choreography and sets used in The Wizard of Oz are some of the most impressive of any musical to date. But they aren't the only factors that have made this movie as timeless as it is. It's created discussions on each of the aforementioned topics. But there are other topics that have been born from the story. The most well known discussion topic is that of industrialism versus agriculturalism. In the discussion, the Scarecrow supposedly represents agriculturalism. And the Tin man is supposed to represent industrialism. Some people argue that the Tin Man not having a heart is the basis for that. The Scarecrow's kind personality, but lack of a brain is argued to represent how farmers were seen by the industrial leaders at the time. And the Wizard himself is argued by some to represent the political figureheads that the ordinary people would talk about, but rarely ever get close enough to, in order to talk to them. Whether or not any of these arguments hold water, the fact that they still happen so many decades later shows just how much staying power The Wizard of Oz has. It's been over seventy years since The Wizard of Oz debuted. Since that time, few films have managed the success that it's managed. It serves as a beacon for theater students thanks to its music and choreography. The discussion topics generated from its story are more than enough for any film studies course, or for discussion among any group of film afficianados. And most of all, it's one of the greatest family friendly films of all time. It may not be the greatest movie of all time. Though it definitely is among that list. But it goes without saying that it is the single greatest summer movie of all time.

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