Joe’s Random Movie Review: “Red Lights” (2012)

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Red Lights, is a psychological thriller about two paranormal investigators (Murphy and Weaver), who discredit and expose the fraudulent and fake claims of the supernatural. Using scientific method, occum’s razor, and just plain common sense. Which is entirely summed up within the first ten minutes of the film where they investigate a seance. But soon, an old rival comes out of retirement. Simon Silver (De Niro), a rather popular psychic, is giving a performance in public (for the first time in years). While Buckley wants to investigate Silver immediately, Margaret says no because “He is dangerous”. Is he another fraud, or is the true much stranger than that?

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Something right off the bat that this film does right is how it portrays the supernatural. Much like the original 1976 version of The Omen, Red Lights shows anything of that nature with a plausible or at the very least a realistic explanation. It probably helps a great deal that the character of Margaret Matheson, a great performance by Weaver, is clearly of an atheistic nature and always is used to exposing the unknown in a scientific light. Buckley (Murphy), even though he is clearly the film’s protagonist, his beliefs are not as clear as the audience would assume.

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De Niro is terrific as Silver, in part, because even though he is the de facto villain of the film, his few scenes really have a unique “aura” about it. Even though the portrayal of the supernatural is realistic, the very presence of De Niro creates a debt in both the characters and the audience as to the true nature of Silver, and what the main character throughout the film have been dismissing as fake.

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At this movie’s core is the on going theme of belief. Who do you believe? is the real question that this movie presents. And with great acting, good directing, and astonishing writing, Red Lights really captures the nature and terror of the unknown in much of the same light as the Val Lewton horror films of the 1940s.

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Score 8/10

A fine example Thriller and Neo-Noir,

Directed by
Rodrigo Cortés

Cast
Cillian Murphy….Tom Buckley
Robert De Niro ……Simon Silver
Sigourney Weaver…..Margaret Matheson
Joely Richardson……..Monica Handsen
Elizabeth Olsen….Sally Owen

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Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: “JFK”

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In the film, Kevin Costner plays Jim Garrison, an attorney who investigated the John F. Kennedy assassination. The real Jim Garrison is in the film as Earl Warren, the (then) Chief Justice of the United States.

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Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: “The Shining”

Stanley Kubrick was notorious for his multiple takes. On this film in particular, he was able to use that to his advantage. The reason Jack Nicholson looks so crazed, and Shelley Duvall looks so nervous and frightened is because what you’re seeing in the movie is the 30th, 40th, and even in some cases, the 100th take.

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Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: “Harry Potter” series

One of the many unanswered questions of the series. It was already known that Severus Snape was the one who discovered James and Lily Potter dead, and got Harry out of there. But what was Snape doing there in the first place? J.K. Rowling recently revealed in an interview that after the years of rivalry between the Potters and Shape, James and Lily were ready to make peace with Snape. They invited him there because they wanted him to be a godfather to the second child that Lily was pregnant with, when Voldemort killed her and James.

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You do not talk about Fight Club

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“Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
-Tyler Durden

Inspirational Movie Quotes: Kingdom of Heaven

“None of us know our end really, or what hand will guide us there. A King may move a man, a father may claim a son. That man can also move himself. And only then does that man truly begin his own game. Remember that howsoever you are played, or by whom, your soul is in your keeping alone. Even though those who presume to play you be kings or men of power. When you stand before God, you cannot say “but I was told by others to do thus” or that “virtue was not convenient at the time.” This will not suffice.”
-King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, The Leper King

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Joe’s Random Movie Review: “Che!” (1969)

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Che is the story of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. The communist guerrilla fighter who rose to become Fidel Castro’s second in command during the Cuban Revolution, and eventually attempts to start another revolution in Bolivia. Made in 1969, the very heart of America’s Cold War with Russia, it’s easy to see why a movie like this one would be so controversial for its time.

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The film follows Che’s high points of his life for which he is well known. It’s shows his partnership with Castro and his influences that gave the Cuban Communists their eventually victory. It briefly shows the Cuba’s part in the Cuba Missile Crisis. By the films third act, it portrays his attempted Bolivian Revolution, and his inescapable fate.

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First and foremost, this film is grossly inaccurate. The filmmakers took many advantages in the storyline from Castro’s dependency on Che, to Cuba trying taking the missiles away from the Soviets, and Che’s mistreatment of Bolivia’s peasant population. This film was released two years after his death, and still during the cold war. So I’m very sure audiences of that time would’ve found it extremely difficult to see a communist protagonist without thinking it was some propaganda piece. In fact besides riots in the U.S. when it was released, there were reports that audiences in Latin America actually attacked the theaters screens with Molotov cocktails for the film’s inaccuracy.

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While the historical content is totally out of wack, and Jack Palance as Castro is highly questionable at best, one of the things this film gets right is Omar Sharif as Che. He brings a kind of arrogant charm to the role, making him a kind of likable villain. Someone you’re almost ashamed of rooting for as the violence of the film escalates. Not a lot of actors can do that, but Sharif does an excellent job.

I give this movie 4/10.
If you really want to see a good movie about Che, then watch Steven Soderbergh’s 2008 film(s)
“Che: Part One” and “Che: Part Two” with Benicio Del Toro. Much better examples of the life and career of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.