Promised Land: Why You Should Give a Frack

Blu-ray, DVD

 

I do not enjoy movies about environmentalism or animal rights. Hell, I can’t even watch the animal abuse commercials. Instead of making me feel good, these movies are sad and sappy with a magic ending. So unlike real life. I had no desire to see Promised Land when I read the synopsis but the trailer made me think differently. Promised Land might be a different kind of movie.

Steve Butler and Sue Thomason are natural gas sales people sent to a small rural town in economic decline. Their goal is to acquire the drilling rights of the land in order to set up a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) station for natural gas. The two encounter trouble with a local, retired teacher, as well as a cute and funny environmentalist who want to keep the area fracking free. Both Steve and Sue s learn about life and love seeing the world through new eyes.

This David and Goliath story pits a rural against the large company with their false promises of cash. The town is struggling and their eyes turn big when they are promised exaggerated amounts of money to save their children. Steve watches their struggles and lives alongside them in an effort to bring them to his side. But he starts to see the company in the same light. The lies won’t help this town and save these people. The man is being turned from the inside. This gives the movie a sense of hope knowing that home and standards are not just a thing of the past.promised-land-blu-ray-cover

The film could have been a puff piece about being green; instead it was a smart and emotional looking into becoming an adult. Blending humor with real world issues, Matt Damon and John Krasinski proved to be deft screen writers as well as actors. If anyone else had tried to do this movie, it would have become a sappy mess.  In fact, it’s my favorite of Damon’s work.  Krasinski is fabulous juggling drama and humor making sure the laughs, never losing the tone of the film. He works well with Damon. Of course, it is Hal Holbrook who steals the screen. The husband of the late Dixie Carter adds true down home feel to the Pennsylvania town.

I actually enjoyed learning more about natural gas. How knew it could be so dangerous to get? Who knew franking was a real word? I shocked at the lies spewing out of the Steve and Sue’s mouth like a car salesman. I really shouldn’t have been surprised. Natural gas is capitalism at the top of its game. It can be harmful and greedy.

If you are in the mood for a smart, funny film look no further. Krasinski and Damon surprise you with deep look into rural life and the natural gas business. This becoming an adult film shows what truly matters in life.

Watch This Not That Halloween Edition

John Carpenter Film

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The Ward

A fabulously spun psychological thriller places Amber Heard in a haunted mental ward. Tight writing and plot twists keep you guessing the entire time through out this movie. More than anything, the final moments of the movie are the scariest and will be carried around with you for days.

…Not That

Vampires

I hated this movie. It joins the ranks of B-movies every where. There was gratuitous gore, violence, cussing and nudity. It was a spectacle instead of a story. Anyone wanting  a no holds bar horror movie of flesh and rampage would do well for this, but other viewers should beware.

Stan Winston Studio Creature Fest

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Wrong Turn

A throwback to ‘70s horror films, Wrong Turn uses tension and release in tandem to scare the pants of the viewers. The Stan Winston Studio creatures are grotesque in bred humans and terrifying in their own right. Add in talented young actors (Eliza Dushku, Desmond Harrington), and it’s a horror film worth watching.

…Not That

Darkness Falls

This uninspired horror movies is neither good nor bad. It fails to draw viewers into their world. The evil tooth fairy is very frightening in look but due to the lack of excitement in the story, her psychological fear is minimal. Darkness Falls lacks the urgency, character relation, and tension needed to a good horror movie.

Clive Barker’s Book of Blood Adaptation

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Dread

One of my friends calls Dread the “best worst movie ever.” The plot is so psychologically twisting that the terror lies more in the decisions of the killer instead of his actions. I dare you to look at a steak the same way ever again. Staring Jackson Rathbone and Shaun Evans, the film looks into the idea of fear and comes to the conclusion the only way to get over your fear is to face it.

…Not That

Midnight Meat Train

I love Bradley Cooper. I love Leslie Bibb. I love Peter Jacobson. I hate this movie. One of Barker’s more odd tales about beings that devour humans, Midnight Meat Train is full of blood and gore and it down right depressing. The short story is actually better, minimal zing many of the things that make the movie so bad. Like men with hammers on a train? Like creatures from the center of the earth that need sacrifices? Watch this movie.

Classic Horror Movie Remake

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The Omen

It takes handwork to keep something true to its source material. The Omen does well giving a modern twist on several scenes while keeping the spirit and the spookiness the same. Well cast actors help as well, and only Liev Schreiber could pull off the famous Gregory Peck role. While not as good as the 1976 original, the new version gave quite a spook on 6/6/06.

…Not That

Psycho

This “shot for shot” remake is horrible. Why Gus Van Sant thought this was a worthwhile project I don’t know. Why Vince Vaughn was picked to play Norma Bates is beyond me. This version gives a modernized spin adding masturbation and graphic violence where there is no need. The original 1960 version didn’t need it, so I’m not sure why the 1998 version did.