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I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

THE PAST...





"When you deal with the past, you're dealing with
history, you're dealing actually with the origin of a thing. When you know the
origin, you know the cause. If you don't know the origin, you don't know the
cause. And if you don't know the cause, you don't know the reason, you're just
cut off, you're left standing in mid-air.
"









So the past deals with history
or the origin of anything -- the origin of a person, the origin of a nation,
the origin of an incident. And when you know the origin, then you get a better
understanding of the causes that produce whatever originated there and its reason
for originating and its reason for being.










It's
impossible for you and me to have a balanced mind in this society without going
into the past, because in this particular society, as we function and fit into
it right now, we're such an underdog, we're trampled upon, we're looked upon as
almost nothing. 
Now if we
don't go into the past and find out how we got this way, we will think that we
were always this way. And if you think that you were always in the condition
that you're in right now, it's impossible for you to have too much confidence
in yourself, you become worthless, almost nothing.








But when you go back into the past and find our where
you once were, then you will know that you weren't always at this level, that
you once had attained a higher level, had made great achievements,
contributions to society, civilization, science and so forth. And you know that
if you once did it, you can do it again; you automatically get the incentive,
the inspiration and the energy necessary to duplicate what our forefathers
formerly did.








But by keeping us completely
cut off from our past, it is easy for the man who has power over us to make us
willing to stay at this level because we will feel that we were always at this
level, a low level. That's why I say it is so important for you and me to spend
time today learning something about the past so that we can better understand
the present, analyze it, and then do something about it."



Malcolm X on Afro-American History

REVIEW OF HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET








About The Movie:





The story revolves around divorced nurse Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) and
her teenage musician daughter Elissa (Lawrence), who are able to afford their…
well, dream house in an upscale rural town, since it borders a
seemingly-abandoned home where a girl named Carrie Anne murdered her parents
four years earlier. Sarah, however, is not pleased when she learns the property
is occupied by the family’s grown son Ryan (Max Thieriot) – a wounded
artistic soul who moved back home after his parents were killed – not to
mention that crazy Carrie Anne vanished without a trace.





Elissa eventually encounters Ryan (after running afoul
of Tyler (Nolan Gerard Funk), a high school stud who shows his true colors
when he drunkenly hits on Elissa) and the two artists are immediately taken
with one another, much to Sarah’s further chagrin. It’s not a spoiler to say
Ryan has been keeping a lid on some dark secrets, which threaten to harm Elissa
as she grows closer and closer to the mysterious boy-next-door.





What Is Good/Bad About The Movie:


HATES (as the trailers have dubbed it) shifts gears
moment-by-moment throughout the first two acts, before culminating with an
overly-repetitious third act that pours on the goofy horror/thriller cliches
like there’s no tomorrow.





Director Mark Tonderai doesn’t do the messy script any favors, as
he often seems more interested in experimenting with filmmaking techniques than
just telling the story. For example, there are a handful of sequences –
such as a brief dinner scene with Sarah and Elissa - shot with unsteady
handheld camerawork and hectic editing for no apparent reason. Similarly, there
are several beats where Tonderai employs visual trickery (slow-mo/fast-mo,
shifting lens focus, Dutch camera angles) in such a way that it calls
unnecessary attention to the style. To be fair, the prologue does
entertain as a piece of Hammer Horror.





Lawrence, is likable as Elissa, but the
character doesn’t have much of a personality. She is defined foremost through
her actions and feelings about others for the first two-thirds of the
film, before being reduced to the archetypal blonde-in-jeopardy during the last
half hour. Sarah, by comparison, has a bit more depth, and Shue does well
playing as someone who doesn’t have a clear handle on how to be a responsible
parent. 





Ryan is often characterized through dialogue - Elissa
constantly refers to him as being quiet and sweet – but Thieriot fails to
communicate much more than what’s apparent on the surface. It’s a challenging
role, for sure, as the audience must be able to understand the turmoil bubbling
beneath Ryan’s nonthreatening exterior, but it cannot be so apparent that
Elissa seems completely oblivious for failing to notice. Thieriot, sadly, is
not up for the task – though, it does not help that his backstory ultimately
proves to be a half-cooked riff on… well, let’s just say that of a
more famous movie troubled man who may or may not live alone.





There are other people who get substantial screen time in House
at the End of the Street
 – like Allie MacDonald as Elissa’s new friend
Jillian, or Sarah’s would-be love interest Weaver (Gil Bellow) – but their
characters either prove to ultimately be superfluous to the story or serve
little purpose beyond moving the plot forward. That’s especially true for the
aforementioned Tyler, who mostly ends up being a plot device disguised as a
one-note jerk (a thankless role, for sure).





House at the End of the Street marks another
overly-ambitious effort to tackle multiple genres within the same
script. The end result is a film that borrows so liberally (and strangely) from
other movies that it could have been kind of fascinating to watch, but due to
confused direction, it’s ultimately kind of bland and
forgettable. Unless you really believe getting to see
Jennifer Lawrence in a tanktop for the majority of a film is worth the price of
admission, this one’s a rental at best.




Overall Grade:


B-

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