MovieCriticND's blog

L.A. Contagion

This might just be me, but I've always assumed that the only people having fun at the average baby shower are the guest of honor and whoever is hosting said shower. The makers of L.A. Contagion take this theory one step further and present a baby shower where no one's having any fun at all, certainly not after the contagion of the title starts doing its thing.

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Some of the guys out hunting in their makeshift riot gear.

Dark Cove

A group of friends piles into a car and heads out into an isolated area for a much-anticipated chance to get away from it all. No, this isn't Consumption again; this is a movie called Dark Cove, about a camping trip on the beaches of Vancouver Island. For once a movie was filmed in Canada without Canada doubling for someplace else.

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Ian looking angry. The scenery's gorgeous if you look past the blood.

Play Violet for Me

Every night Violet and her sister Lyla (both played by Najarra Townsend) are at their usual bar, as are their admirers Foley (Matt Mercer) and Remy (John Paul Romeo). Violet is the sister who attracts all eyes; Lyla is less showy but just as attractive in her way. These facts are clear enough in the noir short Play Violet for Me, but beyond that you're left guessing based on the fascinating, tantalizing clues the movie slowly gives you.

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Foley and Violet.  Or is it Lyla?

Consumption

One crisp winter's day, four friends decide to head up to the mountains of Utah for a vacation. The family of one friend, Seth (David Lautman) has a condo there, and it's a great place to get away from it all and relax. And they all seem like they really need to relax. Sounds like a good plan, right? Don't let it fool you.

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This is Mallory. She's not having the best of days.

Sloven

Steve (Baker Chase Powell) has roommate problems. You see, Brian (Scott Aschenbrenner) is something of a slob -- a sloven, as the title says -- and Steve is tired of cleaning up after him, especially when Steve is busy trying to get ready for a Halloween party. There certainly is a lot of cleaning up to do, so I don't blame Steve for being annoyed. It seems as though Brian uses more plastic cups in a shorter time than any human being should. And Brian is so disorganized he can't even remember to bring his costume to the party.

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Steve drinks to forget how messy his apartment is.

Man Underground

Thanks to sites like YouTube, anyone with a little basic equipment can post videos to get their message out there. Also thanks to sites like YouTube, it's ridiculously easy to get lost in a sea of videos, both helpful and not, entertaining or just plain alarming. In Man Underground, Willem Koda (George Basil) has exactly this problem -- he keeps trying to let others know The Truth, but he's hardly getting any hits. I think most of us can relate to the frustration of that last part.

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Willem and Todd at Flossie's audition. They're all figuring this out as they go.

Feed the Black

I was told this would be a tough thing to review, and now I know why. Feed the Black is rather like a music video might have looked if they had been made back in the days when 'music' meant live performers and 'video' was whatever you happened to be looking at.

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Maurice wakes from a nice nap. Or possibly death.

The Laughing Mask

The city is being terrorized by a mysterious killer known only as The Laughing Mask. The death toll is rising, but the murderer leaves no clues and the police are stymied. But one man, who has lost his wife and child to this evildoer, is determined to find his own brand of justice!

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The Mask with a Jack in the Box. You don't want to know what he does with that.

Delusion

It's rough moving on after the death of a loved one... especially when you're hallucinating that deceased loved one, among other things. Frank (David Graziano) lost his wife Isabella (Carlyne Fournier) three years ago and has been struggling ever since. His nephew Tommy (Justin Thibault) has been helping him out, but Frank is still taking medication to cope. Then he mysteriously receives a letter from his wife urging him to try to live his life again and, hesitantly, Frank starts to follow that advice.

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The mysterious Mary. There's a lot of chain smoking in this movie.

Girl in Woods

Grace Walker (Juliet Reeves) hasn't had the greatest life so far. She still has nightmares about having seen her father (Lee Perkins) shoot himself in the head when she was seven, and no wonder. The medicine she's taking doesn't seem to be much help with that. Luckily, now she has her boyfriend Jim (Jeremy London) who doesn't mind that she wakes up screaming every night, and sometimes even during the day when she nods off while riding in the car.

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Grace and friends. Three's a crowd.