Chills and Thrills featuring Alien Raiders, Picard, Snowpiercer…

Welcome to The ScreenSlut’s Chills and Thrills, a monthly column of mini-reviews where I talk about movies and TV shows that I have found interesting, compelling, forgettable or just horrifically bad. This entry features a dystopian TV show, an immortal action movie, a black comedy and an alien invasion set in a supermarket.

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls - Alexis Bledel

I have been legit obsessed with this show. I first saw this on holiday in Ljubljana, but it had no subtitles, so I had no idea what was going on. But since then, I have always been intrigued by it. So when I saw it was on Netflix, I jumped at the chance. The humour is a bit between Veep and I’m Sorry but obviously a lot more PG than those two. It follows a mother and daughter making their way through the crazy world in the small town of Stars Hollow and beyond, dealing with crazy town folk, controlling parents and cranky proprietors.

12:01

12:01

I recently reviewed this, claiming that it was a better version of Groundhog Day with sci-fi elements to boot. As I mentioned in my review, this film left a lasting impression on me that I was thinking about weeks after my initial viewing. It follows Barry Thomas who gets stuck in a time-loop and with the help of a goof ball friend and reluctant, aloof scientist, he tries to stop an assassination and the endless Tuesdays at Utrel Labs. It also features a guest appearance by Danny Trejo (Machete) which was quite a pleasant surprise.

Alien Raiders

Alien Raiders

You can read the full review of Alien Raiders here. Another low budget sci-fi movie which unfortunately did not live up to its promise. Sadly, the trailer is more exciting than the film, which follows a bunch of rogue scientists who have tracked an alien parasite to a supermarket in a small town. It is definitely not the worst film to watch on a lazy Sunday, but there are many more sci-fi films to enjoy that have more cohesion and less predictability.

Picard

Picard - Jeri Ryan

I haven’t finished Picard as yet, but I have enjoyed it. But I don’t think it has that spark that the older Star Trek series have. Maybe it is the more rushed pacing of the newer Star Trek series. Or the bonds that we have grown to love in them, but it doesn’t have that atmosphere that I associate with Star Trek. But it is still early days, so I might be surprised yet.

Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer TV Series - Jennifer Connelly

I was a bit hesitant about watching this, as I really loved the film even though it is quite dark. Obviously the Snowpiercer series naturally has a more drawn out story but I feel it still has the same quality of the film. The basic premise is the same, however, we are following one of the tail occupants who is forced to the higher class carriages to solve a murder that was thought to be closed. Jennifer Connelly as Melanie, the head of the train and Daveed Diggs as the detective from the tail are the standout performances in a superbly acted show.

30 Days of Night (Rewatch)

30 Days of Night - Josh Hartnett

This came up in my list of films at night, so I decided to give it a fresh rewatch. I remembered liking it but not loving it back in the day and my feelings haven’t changed too much. However, maybe because we have other more tantalizing monster horror films since it came out, it just did not have that same effect. It is quite mediocre in most of its characters and the storytelling – that you would not be remiss to forget that you had seen it. Also, it has to be the most well lit night film that has ever existed, I mean there is a bit of suspension of disbelief with every film, but this took it too far.

Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrills - David Koechner

This is a very weird film I have to say. Actually I was looking for another film that has a similar theme to this one, called 13 sins which I wholeheartedly recommend. Cheap Thrills had a bit of a Saw vibe without the gory violence that is throughout. Two friends meet up in a bar, both down on their luck where they come across a wealthy couple celebrating the wife’s birthday. Throughout the night, they are put through a series of escalating dares that border on weird and gut-wrenching for the promise of money. Watch the film to see how far it goes.

The Faculty (Rewatch)

The Faculty - Jon Stewart

Another rewatch. I think this is my 3rd or 4th viewing of it, unfortunately, unlike wine, it did not get better with age. Though it has an interesting premise, if you haven’t seen it, the film is set in a school where the faculty of staff and students are being taken over by an alien species. But it just wasn’t as engaging as I remembered it. Though it has a very high profile cast, it just fell a bit flat.

Glengarry Glen Ross

Glengarry Glen Ross - Ed Harris

The best way I can describe this film is a poor man’s version of The Wolf on Wall Street. They seem to talk mostly in monologues that the writer thought was more clever than it actually was. It follows a fairly tame burglary of real estate office. Though it has the likes of Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris with a short appearance by Alec Baldwin – they are not enough to raise the bar of this film.

Fortress

Fortress - Christopher Lambert

Another low-budget sci-fi that was fairly good. It won’t ever be a classic but it is decent and engaging. Starring Christopher Lambert (Highlander), set in a futuristic dystopian world – those who break the one-child law, are sent to a high-security prison where CCTV, dream readers and other devices keep track of their every move. I have to say there are a few hairy moments with the special effects but it keeps its ground for most of it. But the ending was a bit over the top for me and maybe it should have finished earlier than it did.

Timescape

Timescape - Jeff Daniels - Steven Gilborn

This was a bit of a hard find but it was worth the trouble. Though what is it with the bizarre re-naming of American release versions of films? It was called The Grand Tour: Disaster in Time – which really does not give the film justice at all. What drew me to this film apart from its sci-fi, was that it was directed by David Twohy, and as well stars Jeff Daniels who has been in many iconic films, but mostly I remember him from Arachnophobia which is a damn classic. Anyway, this film follows a father and daughter who are opening an inn, when they get inundated with a group of strange travellers. The father becomes increasingly disturbed and curious about their motives and seeks out the truth. Not a stellar film by any means, but definitely worth a watch.

The Old Guard

The Old Guard - Charlize Theron

Now I do enjoy pretty much all of Charlize Theron‘s films that I have seen, but not going to lie – a film about immortals just has been overdone so much, it was hard to build up any enthusiasm for it. However I am glad to say, I was completely wrong on this. It provides a new and interesting take on the immortal theme, that takes a new view of focusing on the immortals rather than those who surround them. And Charlize Theron is amazing in her role as the tired, bitter immortal who just doesn’t give a damn. If you have the chance, definitely take a chance on it on Netflix. And there has been talk of a sequel which would be fantastic.

That’s all for this Chills and Thrills.

In case you missed any of last month’s posts:

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