MovieCriticND's blog

Placebo

Reviewing a two-minute movie is bound to be tricky, but let's see what I can manage. A young woman (Aileigh Karson) has gone to a plastic surgeon for a consultation. This isn't because she's not attractive -- she's a pretty, girl next door blonde with a nice smile -- but because she desperately wants to look like her favorite actress, glamorous brunette Ms. Carmichael (Maura Stephens). It's a radical change, but the surgeon (Jennifer Trudrung) takes on the challenge and sets to work.

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What our patient dreams of becoming.

Cold Moon

There often isn't a lot of breathing room between the haves and the have-nots, especially in small southern towns. In Cold Moon, for instance, everyone knows everyone in the fictional town of Babylon, Florida, where only a few miles separate a family struggling to survive from a family that has all the money in the world.

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Movie poster. Margaret was a nice girl until after she was dead.

Parallel

Early on, one of the characters in Parallel asks, "Don't you believe in fate?" It's an offhand remark -- he's trying to impress a girl -- but it also sums up the entire movie. Sometimes, everything hinges on a specific event happening at a specific time, and if you're even a few seconds too early or too late, your entire life can end up in some very strange places.

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Neil and Heather in happier times, when the world still made sense.

Long Gone

In a quiet rural area of England, people are disappearing. This is bad enough by itself, but in this case two of the missing are police officers. It can't be reassuring when the very people who are supposed to be dedicated to protecting you are slowly becoming victims themselves.

Enter intrepid reporter Chris (Drew Horsley) and his photographer Amanda (Hannah Walker). Well, actually Chris is rather a pompous jerk who greatly enjoys talking down to Amanda, but to be fair he is clearly determined to get the story and he thinks he has a fresh angle that might get results.

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Chris and Amanda begin their grim search.

The Spirit Machine

Almost a century ago, Thomas Edison (Steve North) invented something he called The Spirit Machine. Also almost a century ago, that machine was lost and it has now passed into the realm of myth and urban legend. But as it turns out, not only is the machine still around, it can actually do what Edison claimed: allow the user to talk to the dead.

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The spirit machine in action. That Edison knew his stuff.

Clarity

Clarity begins with a family party in a mansion in Las Vegas, headed by matriarch Sharon (Dina Meyer). Vegas isn't really run by the mafia anymore, but it seems that not so long ago Sharon's husband had a lot of shady dealings and his widow is still extremely wealthy. Once apparently an enforcer, Malcolm (Tony Denison) now acts as unofficial uncle and deeply intimidating guardian to Sharon and her four kids -- three biological sons and adopted daughter Maggie (Dana Melanie), now embarking on med school.

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Movie poster. We could all use a little more clarity in life.

The Basement

Somewhere in Budapest, there's a mysterious basement, though 'basement' seems too tame a word for something that spreads out for blocks and is filled with twisting hallways, dead ends, and doors that unlock only when they feel like it. The basement is private property and difficult to find, but rumors of its existence are everywhere, attracting ghost hunters and thrill seekers from all over the world.

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The seance, just before it goes horribly wrong.

Malady

When caring for a loved one in their final days, that person can easily become the entire world to their caregiver. This is exactly what happened to Holly (Roxy Bugler). who's just lost her mother after a long and painful illness. Now Holly is at loose ends, and among her mother's last words were a wish for Holly to find someone she could be happy with, the same way her parents were happy together.

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Holly is having some trouble adjusting to her future mother-in-law.

Fighting Belle

Southern beauty queen Delilah (Jessica Harthcock) has gone all out for her wedding day. The guests are assembled, the attendants are ready, and the $5,000 cake is waiting to be eaten. Granted, her mother (Carol Ann Scruggs) is slightly terrifying in her mood swings, and Charlene (Mallory Hynes) is being a typical younger sister, but Delilah is marrying Kelvin (Ryan Czerwonko), the man of her dreams, and all's right with the world.

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Delilah and Tandy get off on the wrong foot.

The Night Watchmen

It's all over the news -- the nation is mourning the death of the beloved clown Blimpo (Gary Peebles), struck down along with his entire clown troupe by a mysterious disease while on tour in Romania. I didn't think there were any beloved clowns anymore, unless Pennywise counts, but for purposes of The Night Watchmen assume that Blimpo was indeed beloved. Due to the suddenness of these deaths, the troupe's bodies have been shipped quickly back to the US for autopsy.

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Because you need that nice, dramatic cast picture.