‘As Above, So Below’ Review

 

As Above, So Below movie poster

As Above, So Below, let’s be clear, isn’t a particularly good movie, but it is a damned entertaining one.

The story, such as it is, revolves around Scarlett (Perdida Weeks), who’s searching for the clues that would lead her to the Philosopher’s Stone, which I should mention that her father was also searching for, before he hung himself.

Bad omens aside,  Scarlett is accustomed that going where saner heads refuse to tread, so she charges on and eventually makes her way to Paris, where a vital clue awaits.

As Above, So Below is also a found footage movie, despite the footage not being found by anyone (which is a little odd, when you think about it).

John Erick Dawdle also directed Devil and Quarantine, and while those are both better films, they’re not nearly as frenetic or fun.  Though what’s curious about the film is thatthere’s a campiness, a silliness to As Above, So Beyond that I am not sure is not was deliberate.

For instance, there’s a scene that I call the ‘creepy woman inside the club’ scene, that is so silly–and I mean laugh out loud silly–that I couldn’t imagine what was going through Dawdle’s mind when he filmed it.  There’s even a later scene–when Scarlett and her gang are exploring the Catacombs of Paris–that is almost as silly (you’ll know it when you see, or hear, it).

The first scene I can see as a mistake that just slipped by the director.  The second…I wasn’t sure what’s going on.  Maybe he’s channelling his inner Joel Schumacher or something (in the sense of camp because Schumacher never did anything so odd by accident).

So As Above, So Below isn’t a perfect movie (Heck, it’s barely a good movie), though it is is really, really entertaining and if you have already seen Guardians of the Galaxy–and at this point, who hasn’t.  Twice– it’s worth checking out.

And if anyone could stomach the Transformers (Any of them.  Take your pick), this’ll be walk in the park.  Or maybe a climb in the cave.

‘Underworld’ Rebooted!

The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Underworld is being rebooted.  It’s been eight years since first entry in the trilogy (and two since the last film, Underworld Awakening).

And while I don’t necessarily think that eight years is a long time between reboots, at least it’s more than between the transition from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 to Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man.  

The thing is, a reboot of Underworld is not a bad thing, especially since the original films were little more than (visually speaking) Matrix knockoffs with vaguely supernatural overtones.  

This time around I hope that filmmakers spend less time finding out ways to better arm werewolves and vampires than to have them rely on their ‘natural’ abilities and leave the weaponry to humans, who need the assist.  

I also hope that the new movies are more on the horror side, as opposed to (somewhat generic) action films.

It’s not like there’s anything wrong with action films, though we could always use more horror films featuring werewolves and vampires.

 

‘The Pyramid’ Trailer

The found footage horror movie, The Pyramid, makes a point of mentioning that it’s produced by Alexandre Aja, the director of the reboot of The Hills Have Eyes (possibly the most ‘wholesome’ horror film I have ever seen), Mirrors and High Tension, among others.  What it doesn’t tell you is that it’s directed by Grégory Lavasseur, who’s Aja’s writing partner.   

In other words, what’s being implied is that you’ll somehow find the movie terrifying because of the influence of Aja, though looking at the trailer, I am not at all certain.

And while I think it’s just a coincidence, the trailer seems quite similar to Legendary’s As Above, So Below (both apparently feature people spending time running in terror through subterranean caverns), which is probably not a good thing.

 

‘Amityville: The Awakening’ Trailer

Let’s be clear.  The likelihood is that there is no “Amityville Horror.”  Or UFO’s.  Or ghosts, for that matter.  Now, that’s not to say that I don’t fervently wish that there were more out there than us–which is, frankly more than a little depressing–but until I see some evidence myself, I am not buying it.

The universe is huge, and the amounts of planets that can theoretically support life is large as well, so while I am not saying that there are not other beings somewhere looking at the stars, I don’t believe that they are flitting about in spacecraft, possessing a particular fondness for cattle exsanguination.

And anal probing.  Let’s not forget that.

I feel similarly about ghosts.  While there are many things beyond our understanding, the idea that a departed person would hang around to haunt someone is a bit silly.  Besides, if even one out of every million violent deaths resulted in some sort of supernatural occurrence, then America would be a very, very scary place to in.

 

 

‘Leprechaun: Origins’ Trailer

Unlike this trailer, I am not sure that I would ever call the character from the Leprechaun movies ‘iconic.’  

Sure, there were there were a few films based him, but he was never in the league of Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers.

Anyway, this version looks a bit more serious (and significantly less campy) than prior entries in the series.  The producers were also wise to realize that this probably wouldn’t do well in theaters, which probably has a little to do with it being direct to video.

‘The Book Of Life’ Trailer 1 & 2

Guillermo del Toro, coming off the success of How To Train Your Dragon 2 (it’s earned over $535 million worldwide) has also produced the upcoming The Book of Life.  Judging from the trailer it looks like it could be fun but I have a few caveats:  First, it’s a cartoon that revolves around the Mexican Day of the Dead, yet there’s only one main actor–Diego Luna–who’s Spanish (Zoe Saldana doesn’t count.  She was born in New Jersey and and later, when she was 10, moved to the Dominican Republic with her family).

Looking at the credits on IMDB that’s actually not the case, but I hope they don’t end up window-dressing in a movie that’s about an aspect of their culture.

‘Exodus: Gods And Kings’ Trailer

This is why I avoid “historical” movies.  First off, however Moses and Ramses looked, they weren’t white.  This is because white people (as in:  people that look like Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton) aren’t native to that region.

Now there were conquests made by Europeans, primarily Alexander the Great, but that was significantly after Moses would had been on the scene.

For instance, Egypt geographically neighbors Nubia.  The two countries were often in conflict–which is why some hieroglyphs contain figures that are darker-pigmented than others.

There was a period though, when Nubia conquered Egypt, and the Nubian rulers adopted the mores of Egypt, ruling that country for a period of time.

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