Spying on Evil! Closed Circuit Extreme review!

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Daniele and Claudia suspect their missing friend Francesca is dead and was at the hands of a predator named David De Santis. Daniele, being an expert at audio and video electronics, and Claudia set up spy equipment inside De Santis’s home while at work. But when the two try to retrieve the recordings, trouble finds them just as it found Francesca and there is nowhere to hide in the same abode.
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First off, I don’t believe that Giorgio Amato film deservers a low rating on IMDB.com. Sure, there are a few flaws with the film that can’t go ignored, but no one can deny the realism of the story. An average man living an average life trapping unsuspecting young women in his average home for his own sexual and disgusting kicks of rape and murder. Sounds like something we hear about every year. For example, the Cleveland man who locked and chained up three young women for years and did ungodly things to them.
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“Closed Circuit Extreme” is shot as court evidence which is all find and dandy, but if the “video evidence” is suppose to give the film a realistic, creepy feel then why put in character profile pop-ups in during a freeze frame of each character? There couldn’t be more invented ways to explain who these people were and why they’re there? I Like the idea that the cameras were motioned activated. This eliminates the inactivity and any dull moments in a life of a serial killer. Who wants to see a guy sit on his couch and scratch his ass for five hours?
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Some of the character decisions were poor to give the film less credibility to the characters (such as Claudia’s decision to stay in the house after being discovered), but doesn’t necessarily take away from the story because suspense has been achieved in a film like this. Veteran Italian actor Stefano Fregni gives a chilling performance as serial killer De Santis. Lonely, child-like, over weight describes most of how we experience serial killers, but De Santis is smart and that makes for a dangerous character. No doubt was revealed by Fergni that he can put us into the life of a disturbed individual.
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Lastly, the Rome set film is majority all in English. Was Amato’s film targeting American audiences? Perhaps. I find that the film’s release is very timely with the coinciding information that has revealed the identity of England’s Jack the Ripper. That could be a good selling point for the film, maybe? To get back on topic – I rather have a film set in Rome and speak the native language or else the film loses some authenticity.

“Closed Circuit Extreme” lives up to it’s moniker of being extreme. If you’re not keen on kidnapping, rape, and gruesome axe wielding murder of young beautiful women, then this is certainly not your movie. If all that stuff is your kind of thing, then you’re a sick son of a bitch and this will suit you well!

Reading Evil! Starship Troopers book review!

starshiptroopersbookLike Paul Verhoeven’s intergalactic warfare movie Starship Troopers where mankind battles an arachnid army known as “Bugs?” Did you know that Starship Troopers is based off a novel of the same title and was published in the late 1950s? Well if you did not know, now you do! Written by a former naval lieutenant Robert Heinlein Starship Troopers bares little action similarities to the novel’s more recent movie counterpart.

Juan Rico decides to join the service against his parents’ wishes and embarks from a private in boot camp to non-commissioned office to finally commissioned officer. Rico’s backdrop is war; an intergalactic war with a nasty enemy known as the “Bugs,” an arachnid species that can calculate and that can strategize with the help of a brain caste pulling all the strings.

Johnny Rico getting slapped...on the ass.

Johnny Rico getting slapped…on the ass.

If you’ve seen the movie, the plot pretty much describes the movie, right? Most of the Heinlein’s novel follow’s Juan “Johnnie” Rico’s career through the trials and tribulations of Service, from boot camp to being a lieutenant, in becoming a citizen, but the action and bloody mess that was experiences on the big screen was not translated from the book as most of the Mobile Infantries whom were killed in action were described as “buying the farm.” You can’t blame Heinlein as this book was written in 1959 mentally constructed as a totally different mind set than from our generation. The words on page are seriously outdated and can be technical for the most of the novel due to Heinlein’s military background.

The novel touches more upon the power suits which make an appearance in Starship Troopers: Marauder (“Marauder” is a name of one of the many power suits). These suits give Rico and the other M.I.s a superhuman ability and give them an even playing ground with the Bugs. I rather prefer no power suits as like in Verhoeven’s film that make the bugs seem like an unstoppable force. The novel does delve a bit more into the Bug society and hierarchy as well as how the Bugs reproduce endlessly. Much of James Cameron Aliens was inspired of Heinlein’s novel in the aspects of “Bugs” and their being a Queen to produce the “warrior Bugs.”

Brain Bug and Carmen

Brain Bug and Carmen

Heinlein touches mainly on civic duty and the social norms of a military lifestyle through the confines of war. We live through Juan Rico much like we live through Johnny Rico in the movie, but don’t expect to read much about Johnny Rico’s companions. Ace, Carl, Carmen, Dizzy Flores, Sargent Zim are a few characters that you might remember from the film that are in the book, but Ace, Carl, Carmen and Dizzy are brief mentions that probably span no more than a page and half out of 260 plus pages. Zim is all through bootcamp and near the end of the novel. Instead, Juan Rico encounter various people and ranks that stem from privates to cadets to sergeants to generals.

Starship Troopers can be an interesting read for anybody with a military frame of mind or a curiosity for it. But don’t expect the chaos of battle scenes or the gore of the arachnid M.I. slaughter. Robert Heinlein’s novel will not be everyone, but a good read none-the-less.