American Mary review: A good idea executed poorly

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Note: No spoilers are in this review.

A recent horror film that has been given a lot praise over the past few months is American Mary, the film was directed and wrote both by Jen and Sylvia Soska (also known as the Soska Sisters) who also done the film Dead Hooker in a Trunk back in 2009 which received very mixed reviews. But does this effort succeed, or fall flat?

American Mary follows the story of surgery student Mary Mason, a student that has a lot of potential in actually becoming a surgeon. Mary switches up turkeys in her apartment in her spare time, practicing as much as she can to be even better than she is. After needing money and not having enough, she decides to go to a strip club to audition for a job. But the job she ends up with at the end of the night, isn’t the one she thought she would have. Mary ends up as a black-market surgeon, to switch up victims of the mob that run the strip club. Quickly after her first job at the club, Mary is contacted by Beatress (Tristan Risk) who wants Mary to perform body modification on her, to fulfill her dream of becoming a living doll true. Mary ends up going down a path of twisted revenge and black market jobs.

From the start it’s very clear that the Soska Sisters have thought up an original and interesting plot, with a likeable character like Mary Mason played by Katharine Isabelle who has brilliant character progression. She turns from a nice student who is trying her best to a revenge driven monster by the end. Isabelle puts in a stunning performance as Mary, I don’t think anyone else could of played the role better.

But it’s not all good for American Mary, when the movie starts to get really good and interesting, there always seems to be some scenes that stop its ‘flow’. Many of these scenes involve Billy Barker, the owner/boss of the strip club that Mary works for. In the movie it’s clear that Billy likes Mary, but the way the film depicts these emotions is extremely¬†bad. The scenes involve Mary as a stripper and dancing around on stage half-naked, pouring blood on herself, etc. It wouldn’t bother me if these scenes didn’t drag on for what seemed forever. They go on too long, and these type of scenes reappear later on in the film too in different ways. Billy’s emotions could of been portrayed differently and more effectively than just have Mary on-stage half-naked dancing. It also seemed like a cheap move to please male viewers too, considering they drag on too long and rarely serve a purpose at all. Yes, it could be said that since it is Billy’s imagination it’s what he wants and that is Mary, but I still think it could of been done differently or just left out all together.

Another problem that surfaces in American Mary is that as the films goes on, you kind of lose target of who you are suppose to be cheering for, near the end of the film there is no one to be rooting for, to be hoping makes it out all okay. As I said previously Mary does change over time, but that also has a bad side. She changes into a person that you can’t like, her actions are brutal and you can’t find any emotions in her at all.

A reoccurring theme I see in American Mary when I look back at it now is, the film begins really well and then gets progressively worse as it goes on. One problem I found with the ending is that there is a plot-hole sort of, though I will not go into any detail because this is a non-spoiler review, I just have to note that there is an instance where you ask yourself, “Why didn’t x character just do a certain thing?” and it’s a problem, I’ve talked to others who have seen the film and they too told me that they asked themselves the same question.

American Mary is a film with a very original and creative storyline, but riddled with bad ideas and silly decisions. Is the film bad? No, not in the slightest. If you find the movie interesting then you should see it, because there is good aspects. But is the film great? No it’s not either, certain parts of the movie drag out with a plot-hole at the end too take away how great the film could of been.

Rating: 6/10

Django Unchained Movie Review

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Django Unchained Review

Quentin Tarantino hasn’t made a movie now since 2009 when Inglourious Basterds was released. The movie was a hit, though it did get some tough criticism. Since back in 2009 people have eagerly awaited another Tarantino classic, but was Django Unchained worth the long wait?

Django Unchained deals with a tough subject for many people, the film takes place in 1858 in southern America during the slavery period. Django Unchained’s plot is quite simple, it involves Django (Jamie Foxx) who is a slave. He and his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) were split up when they became slaves, after Django is freed by a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), he sets himself the mission of recusing his wife. Though like I stated, the story is pretty simple, it takes you the viewer a wild ride across many different places in America, and most of all, it doesn’t get boring.

If you have seen previous Tarantino movies you know that you are in for a big treat, from the amazing soundtrack that mixes Johnny Cash and rap together, from the magnificent main theme song for the movie, you really get a bunch of different songs and they all fit the movie perfect. Though the movie could be classed as an action movie it does simply more than just action. It blends in brilliantly written comedic parts that had me in tears from laughter. Tarantino knows how to mix both genres of film, he knows when to show over the top action scenes that have you engrossed and asking for more. Then it has the light hearted comedy moments, which all actors do well in.¬† The movies length could be considered one of its low points, coming in at around two hours and 30 minutes, but because of how fantastic the movie is, you never really notice the time fly by. As the film progresses on you only get more drawn into it, there’s not one part of the film that feels as if it is been streched out or even boring.

All the performances in Django Unchained are amazing, the lead role is played by Jamie Foxx, though some of Foxx’s latest films haven’t been good, he really steps up as Django and fits the role. You can see his character progressing as the movie goes on, at the start he is quiet man filled with anger, by the end he is a brave bounty hunter trying to recuse his wife. Other important roles which are played by Christoph Waltz who plays Dr. King Schultz, Django’s savior. Unlike his role in Inglourious Basterds he plays a good guy, which means you can be cheering for him. Apart from Django, he is the star of the show and really delivers with his role. Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t play the role you would normally see him in, in Django Unchained he plays as the villian. He plays Calvin Candie, a slave owner who lives in Mississippi. Though it is a different type of role for DiCaprio, he really fits the his role. Other stars like Samual Jackson, Kerry Washington and Walton Goggins all do excellent in their roles too.

All in all Django Unchained is a brilliant return for Tarantino, everything about the movie is top notch. I’d rank this movie even better than some other classics Tarantino did, such as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. The movie is that amazing.¬†If you are one who doesn’t go very cinema very often and waits for DVD releases, or gets the movies elsewhere, I would highly recommend seeing Django Unchained in cinema.

Rating: 9.5/10

If you haven’t seen the trailer for Django Unchained, here’s a link to the trailer for the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUdM9vrCbow