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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wrecker 2015


Quick Overview:
Director: Micheal Bafaro
Writers: Micheal Bafaro, Evan Taylor
Main Stars: Anna Hutchison as Emily
Andrea Whitburn as Leslie

Listed as a remake of Stephen King's Duel
Also known as Juggernaut.
Overview: Best friends Emily and Lesley go go on a road trip in the desert and take a short cut and become a target of a relentless and psychotic trucker.

We are the ones you won't care about.

So we open with what seems to be a long married couple, your average slightly overweight, white, and blandly dressed. The couple's car is broken, overheated best we can tell and the out of the way desert area they are in has no Cell service of course.

You see the couple talk about the issue and how the gas station attendant says this stretch of road is called Devils Pass...Sigh...this is going to be a long one. Then suddenly we cut to a sports car and two college aged ladies, I think?

We get scene after scene of them driving...have you seen the opening of Manos: Hands of Fate or a Bert I Gordon movie, this just keeps going, we see the girls a few times and then a sudden young hitchhiker who Emily, the driver, won't stop to pick him up but Leslie wants too so they don't. Leslie takes a call from a friend or sex buddy and gets confused after the phone call cuts off and can't remember which way down a fork in the road they are supposed to go and they choose Devils Pass...of course.

Heading down the pass, they catch up to a old trucker/wrecker that is hauling the couple's car from earlier but no sign of the couple and since the women are in a sports car they soon choose to head around the trucker, only taking some time as it is a road that has one lane, to pass you get in the other lane.  They pass, no issues and you see from inside the truckers cab that he has a pentagram and an upside down cross because WHY WOULDN'T HE! He seems so evil so far!!!
About half the movie is just this...

Just as the car hits E, They find a gas station, PERFECT TIMING!  They pull in and no long after so does the trucker. We learn that Emily is having some boyfriend cheating issues and not much else, they fuel up and the attendant tells them they are a quart low on oil but they choose to wait to top it off as they are ready to get back on the road and do so. We never see what the trucker does but he does leave the cab and we see his boots only.

While traveling along and in a sort of road daze, the trucker catches up with them and scares them by honking and speeding past them then not long after slows down and signs for them to pass, when they finally do they are pissed and Leslie throws a beer bottle at the truck and flicks him off before they race off, but the truck keeps catching up which is one of the major issues with this movie, the girls are in a mustang and he is a wrecker towing a car.

He gets ahead of them again, this time the road is two lanes but the trucker won't let them around, so they take a small dirt road that allows them to pass the trucker but barely and while racing to stay ahead of him they almost hit several kids playing soccer near a few homes and that freaks them out so they head to a diner to calm down.

The cell phones don't work, the phone is broken, no soap in the restroom and the first fork is missing a point and another is broken. The see the Truck outside meaning someone else in the diner is the man or woman I guess tracking them.  Emily looks around at the boots and narrows it down to two, one of them leaves in a different car so the woman confront the one left and it is the one semi tense moment in the whole thing but all three people are asked to leave. 

The guy they accused heads out and to the TRUCK but goes into a pickup that is hidden by the wrecker, then we see the TRUCK start up so we never do meet the man and the girls race after him, finally getting in their car and heading off down the road...this keeps going back and forth. Then the girls find the car from the couple just hanging out in the middle of the road, a good guy comes along and helps them move it but the TRUCK returns and helps push the car out of the way tricking the good guy.

I will be your villain this evening

The women race off leaving the good guy to his fate at the hands of The TRUCK, he doesn't understand and starts to head back to his pick up truck. The mustang gets a flat and while the women try to fix it the TRUCK roars by but doesn't stop. Then when he is gone they keep working on the tire but see The TRUCK turns around and waits at the top of the hill. The women run into the field but Emily trips and hits her head on a rock, when she comes too she finds Leslie gone and her tired changed.

The TRUCK toys with her some more as she wants her friend back, then a weird dream thing, then a cop pulls her over and she tries to tell him what happens but all he wants is her to calm down and show her papers. Just as she finds them, The TRUCK takes care of the cop, towing away his car but again leaving Emily alone. She finds another gas station right when E happens again and uses the gun she took from the cop to get gas and use the phone.

Sadly The TRUCK shows up to destroy the phone booth and puts her on the run again, then SHOCK, the oil issue from earlier crops up and her engine starts to overheat and after some poor editing and cutting we get a show down between The TRUCK and the Mustang, which she is able to race all over at high speeds with NO OIL and no issues past the first one. Somehow she wins chicken and The Truck ends up with the whole front end hanging off a cliff and while Emily is ranting at him she hears a phone and finally finds Leslie in the trunk...

I have a Denim jacket and a gun, now I am a badass.

They have the final showdown, which I won't ruin but you can guess and she wins to drive off, again with no oil or overheat issues...

The CODA is a woman, who looks ALOT like Leslie pulls into a junk yard or something similar and gets out of her car and while looking for someone she passes the red car from the first couple, the falsely accused dude from diner's truck, and the good guy's truck before we see the grill of THE TRUCK...shock...??? eh


Final Thoughts: You know what the biggest issue with this was, same as  Duel, it is boring. Not bad enough to be fun or entertaining but nothing new to keep you watching. It is a cross between Joyride and The Hitcher but WORSE then either. You don't really care about anyone who dies nor the two main people which really hurts a horror or thriller, The Hitcher works as you feel like the guys are real and the one being terrorized feels like an every man. The person  you feel the worst for is the Good guy who tries to help them and they leave to die.

The two people you should be caring about you don't.  Emily and Leslie are almost 2D, they try to add some crap about a cheating boyfriend with Emily but it is not really worth anything and in the end you just don't care, The Trucker never does anything that bad, mostly just fucking around and towards the end does some things like killing the cop but overall you get to feeling of why or true terror, mostly just annoying and childish. 

Now the important things in Horror: Blood, Deaths, and Boobs:  There are mostly implied deaths, which is supposed to build the tension but since your not sure if anyone is dead until the end scene it doesn't really pay off, like the guys the girls confront in the diner, why was he killed and when? What happened to all the bodies? No one misses these people? So with most deaths happening off screen the blood is minimal and as for boobs... Leslie flashes the hitchhiker from the start of film but otherwise nothing.     

Monday, July 18, 2016

Messiah of Evil (1973)


The tagline is WAY wrong

Quick Overview:

Directors: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz(Uncredited)
Writers:  Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz
Marianna Hill as Arletta
Michael Greer as Thom
 Royal Dano as Joseph Long
Elisha Cook Jr as Charlie

Plot: A young woman goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult.

I see your future and I am afraid.

Let me start by saying many will enjoy this movie, it has it's upsides to be fair but I just couldn't get into this movie, the pacing and acting is not great and while the backgrounds and feel is creepy and keeps you off kilter and never quite sure what is going on and how to feel it doesn't balance in my opinion with the slow pacing and the kind of lame killings and how things play out.

Funding even ran out and someone bought the unedited film and finished the film but never spent a lot, it opens with some guy running and out of breath suggesting that he had been running hard or a long time and he catches a break when a young girl opens a gate and lets him in. He washes off in the pool and turns to her for help when she slits his throat!

We cut to a hospital or mental asylum where a woman is telling us about a town, with a blood red moon that will mess with you, they way they messed with her, they want to make you scream! But that no one is going to hear you or save you.

AHHHH...It is a hallway...

This lady narrates the story about how she heads to this town to find her now missing father and her first stop on her trip that we see is at a gas station, that we assume is right outside town, where the attendant is shooting at things in the dark. She tells him she is heading to Point Dune and he has very strong opinions about that town, how it is piss poor and boring.

A second customer pulls up and the attendant sees to him, seeing two bodies in the bed of his truck but saying nothing and really seems barely fazed by this, she heads off towards town and later the attendant is killed by someone or something for reasons I am never sure of.  We gets lots of shots of the waves and we met some of the strange people that will play different roles and parts as the main lady looks for her dad.

There are no brains in this movie, so meat works fine
Main Lady goes to the apartment or house that the father was staying at, it has cardboard cutouts of people, stuffed dogs, and chains among other weird things. Really, all signs you should fucking turn around and leave.  She finds her fathers journal and between that and some asking around she finds she should talk to some newcomers in town who loved her fathers art. She finds the newcomers, a guy and two girls, in a hotel room listening to the town drunk ramble on about blood moons and other nonsense. The drunk says her father must die, and others won't talk about him at all. Not long after the drunk spills all these "secrets" he is found dead and things "kick up a notch".

Right before she dies...

The newcomers come to stay with the daughter but there is in fighting, one of the girls in the group leaves and is killed at a supermarket, where the whole supermarket turns into killers or zombies or something...not really sure. Later this happens at a movie where the other girl is killed townfolk suddenly turning into killers, so it becomes something about the town having a secret that still affects it to this day, somehow the girl's father is a part of it, or the key to it or something.

So the town comes to life, or death? Not sure. The cops, 2 of them, at first fire into the crowd of killer dead but soon one just suddenly starts bleeding from his eye, though no one is near him? The weird guy is one of the only standing against the rising evil and so he teams up the daughter. We get some backstory about a dark stranger and he is connected to the father and the Donner party or something...I don't know, it is all kind of stupid and pointless. The Dark Stranger would return to a dissillusted world and they would rejoice and eat people or something. Somehow the woman gets out and she is the one from the asylum at the start, she has a CODA but by this time who really cares. Just avoid this slow mess of a movie.

I am the hero of this movie, sort of

My Thoughts: While I know that some people will and do consider it classic suspense movie it admits to having issues, it was dropped, picked back up by a whole other studio and country and moves slow with some major plot holes, the killing at the start doesn't fit, the girl who does it is never seen again as far as I can tell or remember.

The story and its "secret" are dumb and I say that loving movies like The Wicker Man and town or houses with secrets but not this pretenious junk. The cops not being turned but then suddenly hurt and turning later makes no sense, nor does why they allow the girl to live even if she is locked up forever but not killed or drawn into the family business. While some of the weirdness gives it a unique flavor it is just not enough to keep you focused on this yawner of a film.  

You just want it to be over but it keeps dragging on and on. There are way better psycholocal thrillers and horror films from this time that are way better and deal with some of the same themes in a clever way that this one tries to pull up but fails in an awful way. The slow boring pace even makes it hard to joke, as something HAS TO FUCKING HAPPEN for you to joke about it.      


Monday, May 23, 2016

KUNG FURY (2015)

Let me open by saying while this "movie" is only a half hour, it is one of the most bat shit crazy, weird, amazing, awesome things I have witnessed. You SHOULD NOT pass this up and it is on Netflix so it is easy to find, that is where we watched it as @Literarygrrrl and I checked it out. It was GLORIOUS!

It was put together with a Kickstarter campaign and while it feel short of the money it needed for a full length movie it made way over the first goal and they went ahead and made this. I am going to do my best to tell you about it but really this is a movie you MUST watch, just do it.

It hated Nick's game show Arcade

We are in Miami in 1985 and a cop car pulls up next to some obvious thugs with guns out and asks if they have permits for the weapons, one of them drops his skateboard and when part of it is under the police car he kicks the other end and sends the car flying then they shoot it until it explodes as the thugs walk on past an arcade and one of them shoots a guy with a boombox and the boombox flies up and lands perfectly on the shooters shoulder.

Inside the Arcade, some kids are playing an arcade game called Lazer Tag or something similar when they lose, they get pissed when across the screen the words FUCK YOU appear and the whole machine comes to life with legs and arms and starts flipping off everyone before shooting them as it crashes outside. We have people screaming, running, the machine flipping everyone off, a flaming baby carriage for some reason when the machine slows down and the insert coin screen comes on, it grabs a parking meter and breaks it open to get a coin.

A call is made to Kung Fury who is at home and told about the killer arcade machine and jumps in his sports car and heads there climbing on the roof of the car as it hits a jump and shooting at the arcade machine when the car slams into it as the tracking and picture mess up, we catch glimpses of Kung Fury hanging from a helicopter shooting at Arcade and fighting it, destroying it with the line GAME OVER!

Everyone was Kung Fuhrer Fighting, Nazi's being bastards as always.

We get his history, that he was a cop and he and his partner who was like a father to him and was named Dragon had caught a ninja master but the ninja got free and killed the partner and then Kung Fury was struck by lighting and bitten by a cobra all at the same time and had visions of Sholin Monks and a legend of the greatest Kung Fu of all time and when he awoke he was that legend and beat the ninja master by grabbing him and saying a knock knock joke of epicness.

Transferred from Jurassic Park Police

Back at the station he is yelled at and told he must have a partner and is given Triceracops, a cop with a human body and the head of a triceratops, but quits rather then taken a partner, we cut to a man on a 1980's cell phone that is taken from him by...HITLER..who calls the police and fires his gun through the phone. Kung Fury is still in the building so he stops the killer phone and says they need to trace that call but only HACKERMAN can do that.

Lucas? Is that you?

Using 1985 computers he finds out that it was Hitler that made the call and we learn that Hitler in this world was a master of Kung Fu, the Kung Fuhrer and tries to find the secret of the future Kung Fury master using Kung Fun DNA and machines that are programmed to fight but nothing works and Hitler vanished to only appear in 1985, so Hackerman HACKS TIME and sends Kung Fury back but too far. They end up in the era of vikings I think...

A huge giant version of Thor shows up and...well I won't ruin the ending but even if you read all of this, YOU HAVE TO WATCH this to really enjoy this movie. You must see this film, trust me. It doesn't take long and it is so insane you can't help but love it.

This is what a REAL MAN'S Thor looks like

My Thoughts: This movie was just pure fun, while it may not be everyone's cup of tea, if you have a sense of humor and/or love campy stuff this is perfect. 

So many fun 80's tropes and just over the top stuff happening every moment but you still get a feel for some of the people in it, even with no real time to focus on anyone. Being just a half hour means you can watch it in less time then an episode of most of the shows you are currently binge watching on Netflix. Give it a watch I promise you will find some reason to love it, hell try it with a group of friends and drinks, something we didn't do but should.  I don't yet have a rating system but if I did I would give it the top, be that 5 or 10 of something...  


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Many Months in Movies: 31 Days of Halloween: Series Shakedown: Tremors

Many Months in Movies: 31 Days of Halloween: Series Shakedown: Tremors: SPOILERS!   The Tremors series, from giant underground worm creatures(Graboids) to Shriekers to Ass-Blasters we have seen them change and ...

31 Days of Halloween: Series Shakedown: Tremors


The Tremors series, from giant underground worm creatures(Graboids) to Shriekers to Ass-Blasters we have seen them change and evolve and how each new group of people take on both the old and the new. As of 2015 there have been 5 movies and one short lived TV series, While some people return now and then, only Burt Gummer is in all of the movies and TV show, well him or an ancestor( I will explain later).  So what had kept this going and where has it gone? Let us take a look.

Tremors(1990): The introduction of the Graboid's, as they become known, happens here in a small town called Perfection, Nevada. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward play the two main people and soon to be heroes, Valentine and Earl who do odd jobs and have big plans for the future.

We meet several other people of the town including Burt Gummer and his wife who is played by Reba McEntire who are survivalists and major gun collectors with a underground safety room.  A single mother and her young daughter, a teen who is a jerk and an asshole always playing pranks and the old man who runs the general store.

People are being eaten and others are up on poles and die of no water, what prevented them from coming down? Animals are vanishing and even whole cars as Valentine and Earl meeting a seismologist out in the desert and discovering the Graboids even running from and killing one by accident but the scientist points out there have to be at least 3 or 4 more.  They battle them from that point on...With a ending that ties into the start of the movie.

I really love Tremors, it is b movie giant monster movie but well done and better then you go in expecting. Some of the sequels are not that great but this one let you know the people of the town and even the feeling of dread as the story goes on. This is easily my favorite of the Tremors movies.

Tremors 2: Aftershocks(1996): 

It took several years for a sequel to be looked at but when they do, Burt Gummer and Earl are the returning people.  Valentine ended up marrying the seismologist he meets in the first one. In the years since the first movie, Graboids have become known and popular, stories were printed about them, the story told and even a video game was made but thanks to Earl not having a lawyer he lost out on all the money who could have made.  

But Graboids have made it to Mexico and Earl is asked to help kill them, and for each kill he will get a large sum of money, more if he can capture one and they give him help, they head down there to do what they are hired to do, the government of Mexico agreeing to give then anything they need and he mostly asks for remote controlled cars and explosives which he uses to kill a graboid or two.  But we learn that the Graboids are just stage one in the life cycle of these creatures, out of them is birthed three other creatures that uses heat to track people and is above ground now. They "talk" to each other by shrieking which gives off an awful sound and a ton of heat, so this changes the game and Earl calls in Burt Gummer but fails to tell him the things have evolved and Burt asks for all sorts of bad ass weapons but all for maximum penetration and the new animals, named Shriekers, are not the same problem.

They also find out that these new ones can eat and self replicate after meals. They come up with a crazy plan and of course win but it is a fun follow up to the first film and has enough connections to the first to make fit but lots of new stuff to keep us going. It helps flesh out Burt who will be our connection to all the other films, he has become even crazier since his wife left him. This movie is not bad, maybe my third favorite of the series.

Tremors 3: Back to Perfection(2001): This movie brings us back to the old stomping grounds of Perfection, Nevada which has seen some changes. There are tours now to try and see Graboids led by a slick con man named Desert Jack Sawyer. The daughter of the man who ran the local store has taken over the business, Nancy and her now grown daughter Mindy are still there, though Mindy is a rebel now, and someone is buying up the land in and around Perfection but we don't know who or why.

But they have to deal with Shriekers and a even newer form, Ass Blasters, they can fire flames in a chemical reaction and use wing like things to fly and glide. They are down to one Graboid and the tour guide mostly sets off pre planted devices that make the tourists think the Graboids are around. The one left is called El Blanco and is now Federal Protected so they destroy the shriekers and the new Ass Blasters and at the end we learn the person trying to buy up the land is none other then a grown up Martain, the douche bag teenager from the first one. Still a douche and taught a lesson in more then one way. 

This movie moves things in a slightly different direction for awhile, the TV show spins off of this movie and it is weird, some nice call backs and we get to see what the town has been up to since the first one. We even learn that Earl and Grady(his helper from the second movie) opened up the Graboid theme park they talked about.

Tremors: The Tv Show(2003): So we are in Perfection again and many of the favorites returns, Burt, Nancy, even Jodi the owner of the shop. They are allowed to stay in Perfection as long as they agree not to hurt any Graboids, Shriekers, or Ass Blasters all of which are protected now, so the place is watched over by the government which upsets Burt but he deals as best he can.

To add to the issue, there turns out to be a secret lab in a nearby series of caves that has been using a new chemical called Mixmaster which can combine two things, mostly animals and create new crazy animals which sometimes attack the town or people. It was on the SYFY channel and only lasted one season, though it did have Christopher Lloyd for awhile. 

It slowly builds on the whole government secrets and protecting El Blanco, look it up on or for episodes and what happens, it doesn't affect much as the next two movies pretty much ignore it.  It was goofy but fun, if you enjoy the Tremors story and idea or just a fan of Burt and the town give it a watch but if your a casual fan or just liked the first one, skip this, it will just confuse you and make no sense.

Tremors 4: The Legend Begins(2004): This is kind of where things really went off the rails, while the TV show didn't help matters, here they decided to go back in time and make a prequel to Tremors. We visit Rejection Valley and how the first settlers there fight the Dirt Dragons aka Graboids. While Burt is not in it, the person who plays him Michael Gross plays an ancestor of Burt named Hiram Gummer. 

We are in 1889 and the people living in Rejection Valley, current site of what would become Perfection Valley, and the town and people rely on the Silver mine when a hot spring causes a Graboid egg or eggs to hatch and kill the miners. Turns out Hiram owns the mine and comes to look into the deaths but he is nothing like his descendant being cold, lofty, well dressed man of business who has not use for fire arms or fighting.

We do get Billy Drago as a gunfighter brought in to kill Graboids by Hiram. His name is Black Hand Kelly and Hiram says that he can have all the silver he can carry if he gets the mine reopened. One of the graboids is killed but there are four more, Kelly is killed and Hiram decides to leave the town to its fate but they force him to give them the silver mine as they will tell any buyers the threat but Hiram had learned a few things about guns from Kelly.

When he returns to Carson City he reads up on a telegram sent to him about how the Graboids are attacking and he heads back with weapons and the town makes its last stand which I won't ruin but after it is all said and done the town decides to keep this a secret so that people will still settle there and Hiram stays and builds his home right where Burt will one day build his. I didn't care for this one, it didn't really add anything except to say that Burt's love of guns comes from one member of his family who didn't like guns and that no matter what the first movie said, someone had faced the graboids before but somehow kept it all secret forever.

Tremors 5: Bloodlines(2015): Been awhile but we return to the Tremors universe with the Cradle of Civilization where a man fell into a hole and is attacked by something and we see cave drawings of Graboids. Then we cut to  Burt Gummer doing a video for survivor training talking about how he has survived many things including Graboids and all of their spawn. He talks about the life cycles of them, how Graboids spawn three shriekers, the shriekers spawn Ass Blasters who lay eggs that become Graboids.

Jaime Kennedy stars as a man who videotapes and films people doing extreme things and some documentary type stuff and replaces Burt's old film guy.  They talk about how Burt was in Florida in the 1970's and went to the big gun show there, then a man approaches them about hunting Graboids that appear in the Middle East, and after some talk of money and other perks, they agree to go and kill them. Sadly two things change in that Burt in not allowed to bring in his weapons and the guy who brought them wants to captures a Graboid

So they hunt newer, deadlier versions of the three known creatures, all more dinosaur like, vicious, claws and teeth on some of them. While they try to fight the new ones with very few weapons we learn a few new things about them and a secret about Jaimie K's person that sort of ties it all together.  There are some fun parts in here and the new creatures are pretty bad ass looking, while the surprise is something you can see coming the part where Burt is in a cage is goofy and fun.

Overall I mostly enjoy this series, while it gets weak around parts 3 and 4 but the new one is really good and a throw back to the first one with some twists and new takes on the old beasts.  If your a huge fan, watch all of them, but if you just like the ideas then the first and last are more your cup of tea, they explain pretty much all you need to know.



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Many Months in Movies: 31 Days of Halloween: Rubber

Many Months in Movies: 31 Days of Halloween: Rubber: SPOILERS!   Ah, Rubber, the sort of horror movie about a killing tire, it has mind powers and can blow up things with its powers. It s...

31 Days of Halloween: Rubber


Ah, Rubber, the sort of horror movie about a killing tire, it has mind powers and can blow up things with its powers. It starts with a bottle and moves on to rabbits and other animals...but I am getting ahead of myself.

We open with a bunch of chairs in the road and a car driving down the road, swearing between the chairs but hitting them all breaking them, and when the car stops out pops a cop with a glass a water from the trunk. He makes a speech for how all great movies have an element of "No Reason".
I will be leading this whole thing

We then see a group of people who are there to watch this movie being made, the movie is about the tire, who I guess is named Robert, who is suddenly alive and killing even people after he becomes obsessed with a female driver he sees while traveling down the road. It expands and tests its powers by killing a man who hit it with his truck earlier.  The people watching have no chairs and only binoculars to watch.
Eye see what you did there

The tire makes it to the motel the girl is staying at and even "watches" her shower but she closes the door after the shower. The crowd watches and comments on her butt and chest, the tire stays in a connecting room and is found the next morning by the maid, in the shower and she throws him out. Meanwhile every morning a lawyer guy comes out to the crowd who sleeps in the dessert and wakes them up, on the second or third day they were given turkey. The only one who doesn't eat is the man in the wheelchair who is watching and in a twist the whole thing changes.

Meanwhile one kid has seen the tire move on its own, and tries to get people to listen to him but no one will. The Tire kills the maid that threw him out into the street. Seeing a pattern here? I don't want to ruin what happens from here on at but it only gets weirder and stranger...with a very weird ending.
Wrong type of Rubber lady

Treading Thoughts: Having seen the movie twice now I have new feelings about it but it is still a very weird film no matter how you look at it. Is it for everyone? Not at all, hell it is most likely not for most people but I think more people should give it a shot as it is a unique movie and idea. It has some decent twists and even though it doesn't always make sense it is a fun time.

No, this is not a zombie movie

They do a good job showing the tire "being born" and even though it is a weird tale, the motivation and ultimate goal of the tire makes sense, at least it would to a tire. The movie is also, I believe, a play on movie watchers and people who talk about or discuss movies, including bloggers such as myself and I am okay even with the digs they give as it is all in fun.  As for the No Reason rules, in a nice twist I only noticed the second time around that almost everything, even the small things, have a reason.

If you have hour and a half to watch a movie, and want something different, give this a try.