Daniel Bobker

Daniel Bobker

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Dream House Review


Grim
There's an intriguing idea here, but this thriller feels like it has been compromised in the test-screening phase, resulting in a badly muddled plot. And even a lot of talent in front of and behind the camera can't rescue it.

Will (Craig) has just quit his job as a Manhattan editor to spend more time with his wife (Weisz) and young daughters (Geare and Geare) in their suburban home. But something isn't right. A suspicious man (Koteas) is lurking in the night, while the ex-husband (Csokas) of the neighbour (Watts) across the street oozes pure rage. Then Will starts to realise that nothing is what it seems to be. And he'll need to face reality if he hopes to sort things out.

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Blood And Chocolate Review


Grim
During the first chunk of the werewolf thriller Blood and Chocolate, I was intrigued with the notion that I was watching a more realistic, grounded version of Underworld. By the time the characters whipped out guns during the final stretch, I realized I was actually watching the low-budget version of Underworld, and, frankly, I'd rather be watching Underworld:Underworld: Evolution or Blade: Trinity or Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning. This is the type of movie that looks like it was set and filmed in Romania to save money, and then filmed on cheap sets anyway, to save even more money.

The movie is stealthy the way it begins by camouflaging those budgetary weaknesses. Like Underworld, it's about a supernatural society living beneath the surface of our own, governed by its own ancient rules (unlike the Underworld series, they can only afford werewolves, not vampires). Rather than wasting time with endless special-effects transformation scenes, the werepeople here just sort of leap and blur, hitting the ground as actual wolves -- not the steroidal, rubbery-looking CGI creatures of recent years. This is appropriate for a more human, character-driven horror fantasy, and Blood and Chocolate aspires to explore the line between animal and beast.

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The Skeleton Key Review


Weak
Set in and around Louisiana's swampy back waters, The Skeleton Key dabbles profusely in Hoodoo, American folk magic that's different - and supposedly less harmful - than the religion-based Voodoo. Tell that to Ben Devereaux (John Hurt), a bed-ridden and muted stroke victim who believes his immobility and speech impediments are attributed to a curse placed on his dwindling spirit.

Ben's doting wife, Violet (Gena Rowlands), begrudgingly hires hospice worker Caroline (Kate Hudson) to assist her with her husband's medical needs. The registered nurse, burned out by the poor quality of care in New Orleans' choice hospitals, is eager to assist a patient on her own terms. The longer Caroline stays in the Devereaux's dilapidated mansion, though, the more convinced she becomes that the Hoodoo that we do is no good.

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