Archive for January 3, 2014

Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones (2014)

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Rated R

for pervasive language, some violence, graphic nudity and some drug use

In the summer of 2012, in Oxnard California, a young man begins his first summer as a high school graduate. The night of his graduation party his creepy neighbor is mysteriously murdered. Jesse, the new graduate, and his older best friend, Hector, decide to investigate the apartment where the murder occurred. The morning after their investigation Jessie awakens to find a curious bite mark on his arm. From that point forward he finds that he has several new “gifts” that he and Hector exploit and document on their video camera. It isn’t long before Jesse discovers that his gifts are not gifts at all, but something far more dangerous.

This installment in the Paranormal Activity franchise of movies is not really a sequel, or even prequel, to the rest of the movies. The story that is told is that of a different family and set of circumstances from the rest of the films in this franchise. Even though it is not a true sequel, or prequel, it can’t really stand on its own either. The story that takes place is clearly related to and connected to the other films in the Paranormal Activity chain.

The movie is filmed in the same “lost footage” style of movies as the other PA movies but is also different in several other key areas. The writers were not afraid to embrace comedy in this movie. The lives of 18 year olds with no jobs and even less direction in life can lead to many interactions that we will find funny. This is very true of the characters of Jesse and Hector. The two often find themselves in situations where their awkwardness or immaturity plays out in some funny ways. Jesse trying to hook up with Penelope is a good scene depicting how ill prepared these guys are for life and how funny this movie can be.

Once the story turns the corner into the realm of demons and witches, the funny moments stop, IMMEDIATELY. When it becomes clear that Jesse’s gifts are not something he really wants, the scares start to pile up and the imagery grows darker. In one scene it becomes very clear that all is not well with Jesse when he is seen playing a very twisted game with his pet Chihuahua, “Chavo”. Another scene that provides a good scare occurs when Grandma tries to cleanse Jesse of whatever “spirits” have him. That scene also uses some good special effects to draw you in for the payoff scare.

Although I enjoyed this movie immensely, there were a few things that really got to me with the story-telling. The camera battery is obviously the secret to perpetual energy and should probably be investigated by the government for uses in other areas. Other issues revolve around the half-assed way the police investigated the murder of the creepy neighbor. When Jesse and Hector are in the apartment walking around being typical teenagers, there is pertinent evidence all over the place. The Oxnard Police Homicide Division has obviously never seen an episode of CSI or Law and Order.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this movie and am now even more excited to see the next installment of the franchise that is due out in October. If you like a good scare and like a cool story, then Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is one you should check out.

By the way… If you have this game in your house…. Simon-Game_lYou won’t after watching this movie….

Helpful Viewing:

Paranormal Activity, Paranormal Activity 2, Paranormal Activity 3, Paranormal Activity 4, Paranormal Activity 5 (October 24, 2014)

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Top-Shelf-2013_Raleigh

Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts – Memorial Auditorium

Raleigh, NC

January 31, 2014

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Bruce Bruce

Bruce Bruce is a name synonymous with keeping audiences rolling with laughter thanks to his captivating improv skills and larger than life comedic style. Bruce’s steady style of comedy has been showcased across the country, and he has been entertaining audiences young and old, and of all backgrounds, for years. His wit, spontaneity and dazzling personality set him apart from other standup comedians. Although Bruce is known for his adult comedy, he prides himself on not using vulgarity to win a laugh, and is no stranger is winning over new audiences with every appearance he makes. From his role as host for two seasons of BET’s “Comic View” to his many appearances on tv and film, Bruce is clearly a comedian that has found his mark in the business.

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Arnez J

Rapidly becoming one of the most talked about comedians, Arnez J’s charisma and physical agility are unforgettable. With the physicality of Jim Carrey, his brand of comedy has dubbed him “the black Jerry Lewis.”

On his own at age 14, Arnez lied about his age to get a job at a gas station to work his way through school. Arnez wanted to be a professional baseball player. A Philadelphia Phillies Farm League pursued him, but that fell through. It was later while working as a flight attendant that Arnez discovered his comedic talent. He realized that he had the ability to keep the passengers and crew laughing and upon encouragement from friends, he made his first attempt at stand-up comedy. After that first night on stage, he knew what he wanted to do. He left his job with the airlines and made the decision to devote all of his time to a career in comedy.

In keeping with his plan, Arnez keeps up a dizzying pace performing for sold out crowds in clubs, colleges and concert halls across the country. And most recently, he has accomplished something no other comic yet has done. Arnez has been asked by The Artist Formerly Known as Prince to perform as his opening act.

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Gary Owen

Gary Owen has been entertaining America for over a decade with his side-splitting comedy. Having performed in all of the major comedy rooms across America, including The Laugh Factory Hollywood, The Comedy Store, all of the Improvs, numerous Funny Bones and Punchlines, and Caroline’s in New York, Owen is one of America’s most loved comedians.”

Owen started doing stand-up in San Diego, and had a huge African American fan base. He went onto win the “Funniest Black Comedian in San Diego” contest. That led to his first big gig at the Comedy Store in Hollywood.

Then in July of 1997 he auditioned for BET’s Comicview. Two appearances on the multi-cultural comedy showcase won him his own one-hour “Grandstand” show. At the end of the season he was selected from the year’s four “Grandstanders” to be the host. Not only is Owen the only white man to have ever hosted Comicview, but he is the only white on-air personality the network has ever had.

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Dominique

What is there to know about Dominique? Well, if you’re interested in high-powered comedy, there is everything to know. From clubs across the country to Comedy Central’s hit “Chapelle’s Show” she’s showing America what a comedienne is.

She began honing her skills unprofessionally as a civil servant on the nightshift as a postal worker at the now infamous Brentwood Postal facility in her native Washington D.C. “I knew something like that was gonna happen. I used to see all kinds of stuff that terrorist could use come through that post office. But that was back in the good ole’ Timothy McVeigh days”, she quips about the nation’s anthrax scare. Boredom with the job and fear of going postal gave way to open mic nights at local clubs at the behest of friends and co-workers. She immediately gained a reputation for telling it like it is; raw and uncut and unknowingly garnered a loyal following. Washington’s uppity audiences gravitated toward her mixture of politics, street culture and current events. Her strong presence and a bravado rarely seen in female comics quickly gained the attention of the producers of HBO’s “Russell Simmons’s Def Comedy Jam”, the show that changed comedy forever. She went from shuffling mail to working with the likes of Chris Rock in no time. “I didn’t do anything special. I just talked about what I knew and the next thing you know I’m on T.V. I quit that job and took about 20 books of stamps. I figured they owed me.” She never looked back.

Tickets: HERE