Hereafter

George and Melanie stumble through the worst first date in history.

For the first few minutes, you’ll think you walked into a disaster flick by mistake, but hang in there. Marie Lelay (C├ęcile De France, Around the World in 80 Days) is a high-powered TV reporter on vacation in an island paradise with her boyfriend/producer Didier (Thierry Neuvic) when a tsunami hits. Tsunamis, as I learned in my Geophysics class, are caused by earthquakes in or near the sea bed, or underwater volcanic activity, and shouldn’t be called tidal waves because they have nothing to do with tides.
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Red

Helen Mirren and one of her impeccable selection of really big guns.

Red isn’t a reference to the color, though of course there’s a lot of blood. Nor is it a nickname — there are no redheads in sight. It’s actually an acronym, though if you haven’t read the graphic novel, I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what it stands for. And yes, this was based on a graphic novel of the same name, by writer Warren Ellis and artist Cully Hamner. I think a couple of people in the audience were a little startled to see the DC logo in the opening credits, actually.
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My Soul to Take

The cast at the annual ritual banishing.

You know the drill. Years ago, a creepy serial killer terrorized a small town, promised to get all the people who betrayed him — though in this case, he means his other personalities — then disappeared, etc. He also killed his pregnant wife and killed or wounded probably half the Riverton police force. Also, seven babies were born, some prematurely, on the day that Creepy Serial Killer was killed. At least the day he was supposedly killed, since as usual, his body was never found and he was presumed to have gone into the river. I don’t know why people make such silly assumptions.
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Let Me In

Abby longing to come in; Owen sulking dangerously

Like I’ve said before, there are two kinds of post-apocalypse movies: first, there’s the kind like Zombieland, which are relatively tidy. People might complain about missing their creature comforts, but you never see the struggle for food, or the fact that cleanliness is suddenly next to impossible. That sort of thing is saved for movies like The Book of Eli, where a prepackaged finger wipe from Kentucky Fried Chicken is like gold.
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Devil

It's about five people stuck in an elevator. You expected explosions?

There’s one point in this film where the five people trapped in that ill-fated elevator all look around at each other for something to write with, and no one has anything. I always have a pencil and paper handy myself — I never know when I might have to rush off to the theatre for an emergency review. Or something. So if they’d just had me there, things might have turned out better. Well, except now I’ll never get on an elevator again as long as I live, so the fact that I would almost certainly have a pencil wouldn’t help anyone.

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Resident Evil: Afterlife

The three biggest guns in the flick, walking headfirst into a trap.

There’s probably a fascinating story behind the fact that the very first zombie unleashed upon the earth in this series looks like she should be out clubbing instead of tearing out people’s throats with her teeth; but I don’t know what it is. Yes, what I said on Twitter was true — I’ve never seen any of the Resident Evil movies or played any of the games, though I’m not sure the games thing really matters at this point.
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The Tourist and Other Myths

Now, I while back, I read a novel called The Tourist, by Olen Steinhauer. What I had was known as an advance reader’s copy (it’s all right, I’m a professional), and it featured as a selling point the fact that the book had been optioned for a movie to star George Clooney. I cringed. The problem was that I liked the book; but I don’t like George Clooney. He also struck me as being all wrong for the lead role, and as I read, I would sometimes sigh to myself over how it would soon be ruined on the big screen.

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