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Showing posts from May, 2013

Review - Lincoln

I've had Lincoln at home for about a week now.  Had to carve out a time slot to really hunker down and get into it.  Daniel Day Lewis roles can not just be viewed, they must be ingested.  His devotion to roles mesmerizes me. I expected it to be good, but the oral reviews I've heard from people were way off the mark.  What I heard was "good, but long" "boring" "it only talked about one thing" "it wasn't really about Lincoln" and "I hated it."

Let me give answers to all these comments I've put in quotations. It is long, but for a movie that is two and half hours, it felt like a speed race.  The last movie I watched was an hour and fifty minutes and felt longer. It is far from boring, with a script that is emotional and witty, with scenes that get your heart pumping. It talked about many things, the war, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, but most importantly the internal and external struggle he faced, bal…


Let me just start by saying I ****ing love leftovers.  I have so many friends who actually throw out whatever they don't that evening.  I have never and will never understand it. Forget the monetary and ethical aspects of the disgrace, but what lost opportunities.  A few pantry items or maybe one or two ingredients and you have a completely different meal.  It got me thinking to the last few weeks, where I've been buying similar items, but making them into something else.  The best part is, the dinner you had the night before can become the best breakfast and vice versa.

Last night, I made some linguine with white clam sauce.  It was a very simple sauce. I cooked some onions and garlic until translucent and then added the chopped clams.  A little parsley, red pepper flakes and topped with some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and I was good to go. I didn't use white wine, because I like the briny taste of the juice from the clams.  Now, as could be expected, I ate most o…

Kids 1978 vs Kids 2013

Gets Rubik's Cube
78 - finishes it three months later by breaking it and putting it back together
13 - finishes it in one day by googling how to do it

Seventh Birthday
78 - Baseball Glove and ball
13 - iPad with baseball game app

Game of Catch
78 - Dad every night after work
13 - High priced coach at top level facility once a week

Gets a Lollipop
78 - Says thank you
13 - Asks if they can have a different flavor

78 - Knows every president in order
13 - Knows every character's special power in Harry Potter

78 - In the middle of the street outside friend's house. Movement - without stopping
13 - In the play room which is actually neighbors entire finished basement. Movement - screaming for mom.

78 - H-E double hockey sticks and fudge
13 - Faggot and homo

TV Shows
78 - Electric Company & Sesame Street
13 - icarly & American Idol

78 - whenever mom and dad said so
13 - whenever I decide, mom and dad are asleep already

Career Aspiration

Things Businesses Do That Make No Sense

Let me preface this blog by saying this: Personally, I might be the single worst person at managing personal finances, but I have a pretty decent track record of running a business either as an owner or manager.  For whatever reason, when it's someone elses money to save, I'm fantastic.  Here are a few things that I've noticed recently, where I truly want to say, "Hey, can I have five minutes to save you time and money?"

1. Why does every self storage place leave the lights on 24/7?  Those places are huge and judging from my Con Ed bill, they are wasting thousands a month.  This also applies to businesses who operate 9-5 and leave their lights on 24/7.

2. I will never understand delis who have someone who takes your order, then someone who makes your food and then someone else who is the cashier.  Why not have two people taking orders and making sandwiches and one person ringing up?  Maple Street deli in Scarsdale/Eastchester does this masterfully. Three guys ta…

Scattered Thoughts

I was thinking about a lot of stuff today.  Parts of my life are in such disarray, I'm embarrassed by them, yet some are quick fixes, just need the time put in.  Others need money to fix and that isn't something I have a lot of now.  Some of them need perseverance and a change of lifestyle.  Some of them need me to be more aggressive.  Some of them need me to be more understanding, while others need me to take a stand.  Some make me feel like I'm an irresponsible teenager and some make me feel like a wise old man.  Some make me feel insecure and some give me great confidence.

The last two weeks has been odd for me.  Emotions all over the place.  I've had a lot of fun, but had a lot of stress.  That stress caused me to make minor bad decisions, but it also caused me to lose some inhibitions.  People would be shocked at how shy and reserved I am normally.  Part of me really wants out of here and part of me knows it's not a reality.  This time of year, it always happ…

Super Quickie Review - Vampyr

Vampyr is a 1932 horror film by director Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc) that tells the story of a wandering traveller who comes upon an desolate house.  Here and at a neighboring castle, he meets up with an odd assortment of people, some who appear to be real and some imagined or maybe even something else.  The movie is painfully boring, but that is not to say it isn't impressive.  The way the film was shot, with some trick photography and grainy appearance, adds a dimension to the film that was not standard in 1932.  It would be hard for me to recommend this to anyone who isn't completely infatuated with film and how it has evolved.  If you're looking for a better story, watch Nosferatu, which to this day, despite being made over 90 years ago, resonates very loudly and in my opinion, is the benchmark for all vampire films.

A Perfect Life

A secluded cabin overlooking a lake. Sitting on a porch with my best friends or some special, our feet up, sipping coffee as raindrops danced on the leaves.  Not a care in the world.  I don't think I'd need much more than that out of life.


If you toast......... Bread it gets better, but bread is still good Bagels they get better, but they're still pretty damn good Challah it's amazing, but it's buttery good anyway English Muffins they are great, but they taste like the Devil's asshole if you don't

An Uncomfortable Future

Tomorrow is the last day of my after school program.  While I'm not certain, I believe I've been at the same school for 13 of the last 14 years.  There was a year hiatus where they went in another direction, but then asked me back, sans my old employer.  This year has been a rough year for me mentally.  I've been out of work full time for longer than I'd like to admit and the other part time stuff has been very temporary.  Some of it, not even technically work.  I also dealt with the death of my grandmother and some other personal stuff which really put me in a bad spot mentally.  Everyone knows what death, heartbreak and money issue are like, so sympathy is not what I'm looking for by any means.
Every year, especially those since that year I wasn't brought back, I worry.  In many ways, this job has held me back from  pursuing other things, but it brings me something no job has brought me since 2000 and that is sheer joy.  I've worked with kids in many scho…

Free Writing - Take 24

I must try and get some sleep, so this will be a short one.  The air conditioner is humming, hopefully it will drown out my annoying neighbors and their yells and screams.  Their dog with his or her incessant barking.  Dexter Season 7 with one episode to go.  I feel so completely childish, but I'm enamored, almost smitten by the lovely Yvonne Strahovski.  Completely not my "type" as if there is one.  There is something just enchanting about her.  Is it her looks or the fact she's a killer?  I'll never know. Today I felt fear for the first time.  Not true fear, like a life or death feeling, but more a feeling of helplessness.  My overactive brain was working and I thought I had walked in to a ruse to start a fight.  Oddly enough the one time I go for a walk and bring my wallet and I feel like some kids might have been arguing to instigate a reaction.  I ignored them and they walked by.  Years ago, I would have told them to keep  it down.  Maturity or fear?  Chines…

How The Wire Ruined TV For Me.

Last year while I was enduring, with great joy I might add, all five seasons of The Wire within about an eight week period, it dawned on me that there would be repercussions.  Many cable and basic have had shows that have been good, but they all, almost without fail, lose their way.  Even shows like the Sopranos, which started off so well, fizzled out into something that became unwatchable.

Last year, a friend mentioned I should watch Dexter and I have to say, it's brilliant, but you can see them stretching the same old cliches and trying desperately to come up with new ideas.  The show, peaked in it's fourth season, thanks in large part to the brilliance of John Lithgow.  Then a strange thing happened, it stayed really good.  Season six, imported another nice villain in the form of Edward James Olmos, who had a side-kick, sort of, played by Colin Hanks.  At the end of the last season, we had the biggest cliffhanger and the initial three episodes became tedious.  Enter one be…

My Shortest Movie Review Ever - Life of Pi

Possibly the most shocking reaction I've ever had when expecting a movie to be great.  The world has gone to hell in a hand basket when this CGI generated concoction is getting nominated.  Quite possibly the most pretentious movie I've ever seen, with symbolism that makes Chronicles of Narnia seem subtle (BTW, I liked Narnia).  It's as if Ang Lee thinks we're mentally incapable of understanding anything about religion, faith and myth without it being spelled out for us.  I can't remember being this disappointed by a film that does nothing but insult the intelligence of anyone with half a brain.

The Biggest News Stories Nobody Is Talking About

The rise in suicide rates among active military members.  This is related to the ridiculous number of soldiers returning home with post traumatic stress disorder and not receiving the medical and mental health care they need and deserve.  We're so worried about mental health as an excuse for gun deaths, but we don't care about it for the men and women who have seen more killing and done more than anyone in our country.

After the Boston bombing, I started reading a ton of  "terrorist plot foiled" articles and found something deeply concerning. Most of these plots, weren't terrorists at all, but the FBI fabricating evidence or stories to make regular cases seem uber-important.  Shouldn't this concern us greatly and be reported?

Probably one of the biggest science stories a few years back was the connection of Autism to vaccinations. The story took hold when John McCain, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey started doing a tour stating this as fact. Somehow this odd tr…

Quickie Review - A Snake of June

Let's get the basics out of the way first. The movie is only 77 minutes long, features some of the most beautifully shot and erotic scenes ever, it rains during the entire film and the entire film is about sexual awakening.  P.S. There is a shitload of symbolism in this film, so if actually digesting a film isn't your cup of tea, skip it.

Shinya Tsukamoto, who is a huge name in Japan, directs and co-stars in this film about a sexually repressed, successful mental health counselor named Rinko, played by the mesmerizing Asuko Kurosawa.  Her husband, played by Yuji Kotari is a OCD obsessed man who ignores her completely.  The film begins with Rinko helping a caller who wants to die.  We soon find out the caller is a stalker and has taken revealing photographs of Rinko masturbating.  What happens over the next hour starts off as feeling torturous, but ends up being a sexual awakening unlike any other you've seen on film.  The movie is in no way pornographic and in my opinion i…

I Might Be Losing My Mind

I know what you're all thinking...what do you mean might?  I've realized I have some really odd habits that are growing out of some of my not so odd habits.  The other night I was on the Internet looking for something to do with food and the next thing I know I'd written out a seven course dinner menu that I would serve if I had a restaurant (or a really nice kitchen).  I had to stop myself when I actually spent more than five minutes wrestling over the inclusion of a cheese and charcuterie plate and worried that it would be superfluous because of my beef carpaccio with shaved parmesan course.

A few months back, while looking up sabermetric baseball stats, I invented a new stat.  If you don't know what sabermetrics is, be thankful and don't invest any time into it.  It's like taking all the awful things most people hate about math and combining them with baseball statistics.  It's confusing as hell and I absolutely love it.

I saw a movie that disturbed me (…

Quickie Review - The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson is a filmmaking genius. I consider Hard Eight and Magnolia to be two of the finest movies ever made (they are in my top 20).  I also consider There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights and Punch Drunk Love to be amazing, with incredible performances.  So going into this viewing, my hopes were incredibly high.  His magic, with a cast of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams had me very excited.  So I was horribly disappointed at the well over two hours of convoluted mess that I just witnessed.

I think Anderson truly tried too hard to give us another epic to rival There Will Be Blood and somewhere along the way forgot to edit the movie.  It never feels like there is any continuity and there is an awful lack of screen chemistry, which is shocking with this cast.  The one bright spot is Amy Adams as the master's wife.  She is shockingly awful, but I mean awful in her persona, not her acting.  There are only three or four scenes in which she has much of a p…

Another Mother's Day

Whoever said "time heals all wounds," never had a mother.  I can honestly say, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think, miss and wish to speak with my mother. A few months ago, my grandmother passed and now all the matriarchal figures in my family are gone.  Life will go on, but never to be the same.

In the past year or two a few friends have joined this painful club.  I can only offer an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.  For those who are new to this pain, all I can say is, NO it doesn't get any easier.  It's just something you accept and go on living with.  The other day, I needed someone to talk to and immediately thought of my mother.  She was the only person I could talk about anything with.  I kept nothing from her. It's unfair to hold anyone up to that standard, but I long for the day to meet someone I feel that way about.  Not sure there ever will be.

Today is a silly holiday, but it doesn't make it any less meaningful.  I'…

Bipolar Music Disorder

Sometimes when I'm listening to Pandora, I'm amazed at how my music taste is all over the map.  The funny thing is that Pandora chooses it for me.  This morning my mind is running all over the place and for the las hour or so I have been picking out songs on Youtube.  I just went back and checked my playlist and here's what I found. No idea why these songs needed to be played, but I'm glad they were.

Amii Stewart - Knock On Wood
David Bowie - Knock On Wood
Kate Bush - Running Up That hill
Placebo - Running Up That Hill
The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary
Echo and the Bunnymen - Lips Like Sugar
No Doubt (w/Pink) - Just a Girl
The Clash - Lost In The Supermarket
Geto Boys (Scarface) - G Code
Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time
Spoonie G - Love Rap
Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Devo - Mongoloid
Belle & Sebastian - Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying
Sick of it All - Step Down
Enigma - Sadness

And that's what I'm listening to now

Free Writing - Take 23

The walk to the bank at 10PM started off well, until I happened to see someone walking in the same direction.  We kind of started walking next to each other and within seven minutes he was gone.  I cursed his foot speed and determination.  His spry steps and his youthful acts; tapping his hand on things to make a drum out of them as he strutted.  I reached the halfway point and my hip began to ache. Reaching the bank, I entered and began to sweat.  By the time I was halfway home, my shirts was soaked through on the back and starting on the front.  I made my way up the hill and to my door.  I was soaked. Cold water trickled down my throat, relaxation set in. I was happy I walked, but the pain I will feel today will be tremendous.  It's how it goes. I'd love to be young again and walk without pain.  To be that drumming young man, with the bounce in his step.  I was that guy many moons ago.

Super Quickie Review - Stake Land

I think the whole zombie and vampire craze needs to end.  Stake Land proved this to me, because it took both concepts and combined them.  The zombies in the film are vampires.  We don't know why, but there was some apocalyptic occurrence and this is just the way it works.  The movie is basically The Walking Dead wrapped up in about 100 minutes.
The movie is absolutely ridiculous and has more plot holes than any horror movie I've ever seen.  So many of the characters actions are completely inplausible.  Here's the oddest thing about the movie.  The two stars are absolute nobodies, but the movie somehow cast Kelly McGillis, Danielle Harris (of Halloween 4 & 5 fame) and Sean Nelson.  It should also be noted that Danielle Harris is all grown up now and instead of doing the usual, sexy girl in a horror movie, they make her a single mom-to-be.  This movie is a complete dud, despite getting pretty rave reviews.

Studying in High School vs Studying In College - My View

I should probably mention that I was a huge underachiever in school, which should be shocking to absolutely nobody.  The reason? I simply did not care about the things I didn't need to know and most of what was taught in high school, I had already learned in my previous school.  That being said, the way I studied and did work was vastly different and the results were vastly different.

Homework in high school always felt like a silly concept.  If elementary school is designed to teach us how to learn and middle school is designed for us to improve upon those skills, shouldn't we already know how to do this by high school?  Why would doing fifty math problems make us better at that skill than say, five?  I always felt high school was more busy work, but being that I worked after school, sometimes until midnight, the idea of coming home to two hours of homework seemed detrimental at best, so I rarely did it.  I remember in one class I had an 89 average but failed to do all twenty…

Quickie Review - Marebito

While the film is dubbed a Japanese horror film, I found this to be much more of a cerebral ride than one of fright.  The film was directed by Takashi Shimuzu of The Grudge fame, so it does have a horror appeal, but it's really a man's journey into psychosis.  It's important to realize that the film is a complete homage to the writer Richard Shaver's A Warning to Future Man.  Shaver was a man who believed there were a ancient subterranean creatures called Deros who spied on us using a special device.  He also believe they had been left there by their parents and had devolved from their more human like state.

In the film, we see a camera man, played by Shinya Tsukamoto who has filmed a man committing suicide (by jamming a knife into his eye) and he becomes consumed with understanding the fear that this man felt.  This takes him into the Tokyo underground where he finds a world that is unknown to those who walk above.  He comes across a girl who is naked and bound and tr…

The Hardest Part Of Being 42

Today I was working with my kids and I took them outside to the playground.  Now some might not seeing this as being a tough job, but when you're by yourself and you are responsible for the safety of eleven five-year-olds it's a little stressful.  Keeping two eyes on that many little ones is not as simple as one may think.  While the kids were playing there were other kids in the park and a few mom's and one nanny.  The nanny was a very attractive young woman who seemed genuinely interested in the child she was in charge of.  Much more than the three mothers whose kids were beating the hell out of each other nearby. So here's the first part of my misery of being my age.  I have no concept of age anymore and it inhibits my ability to speak to anyone.  Now, I'm not about to start hitting on nannies while I have kids under my watch, but my point is, if I had run into this woman another time, I'd be clueless.  She could have been anywhere from 19-30.  And there lie…


I truly need a sign.  A sign of things getting better.  Every day, I'm amazed at how little things keep me going when everyone, it seems, tries to slow down our evolution.  Half the world and most my friends, spew rhetoric instilled in them by some creepy mentor or sound piece that makes me question their sanity.  I'm constantly hearing people bad mouthing their neighbors parenting skills, when theirs are so severely lacking that I worry about their kids.  Today I saw a little kid almost get hit by a car while riding a scooter.  The mother was oblivious, but what bothered me most was that the car, who had to have seen the little girl from the way it slowed down, never actually stopped.  Today I had a child tell me he didn't care if he was in trouble, because his mom "wouldn't make him in trouble at home."  What can I say to that?  I can threaten to have the child removed from the class, but who am I hurting?  The only reflection that will be made is that I ca…

My Top Ten Most Played Jukebox Songs

Anyone who has had the great pleasure of spending an evening drinking with me, know that around 1am, my taste in music becomes eclectic.  I'm assuming eclectic means super awesome, but I don't know.  Now, when the place is packed I'll throw on the run of the mill Waylon Jennings or some Mumford and Sons to appeal to the masses, but when the midnight hour has struck, it's all about dance party.  So here is my (estimated) Jukebox Soundtrack over the past couple of years.

MMMBop - Hanson...and people think I just play this to drive others crazy, but I truly like this song.

Wannabee - Spice Girls...I will argue til the day I die that they are Britain's greatest contribution to the world.

Bring Your Whole Crew - DMX...this is a beautiful song when a place is packed with women and children.

Rio - Duran Duran...always good when you want to dance like a total white guy who thinks he has soul.

If I Could Turn Back Time - Cher...when I'm feeling like a diva.

Highwayman -…


Am I the only person who drinks coffee to calm down?  When I wake up in the morning, my mind is racing a mile a minute.  I can't focus, I'm thinking about a million things, trying to remember my dreams and trying to figure out what day it is. That first sip has such a calming affect.  Maybe it's my self diagnosed ADD, but coffee has always been something different for me.  Believe me, I know I'm addicted to caffeine, because if I go three or four days without it, I wake up with the shakes, similar to a few days of heavy drinking.

I grew up being allowed to have a little in my milk and I've loved it ever since.  Now, I'm not trying to sound like the guys in Pulp Fiction, but my parents definitely were into that gourmet shit.  I remember when I got older and realized that not everyone drank good coffee.  It was a revelation that shocked me.  Why would anyone drink shit coffee, when there are so many aromatic beauties out there?  Now my parents used to by their c…

That Time

It was 5am and I walked up to the post box and dropped my movie into the slot. I'm the least OCD person in the world, but this is a vice. I always walk up, even in a blizzard and drop my movie off right after watching.  I do not know why.  I pass magazines on the floor and dirty clothes, but this I feel needs my attention. I walk slowly looking at the moon, which was there two hours earlier the other night.  I stop and look at the dark sky with the slightly lighter bottom. The sun is rising on a new day and yet, I've not closed the book on this one.  Sleep, escaped me once again, but this time a nap is to blame.

The day will begin with doors slamming, horns honking and the sounds of the neighbors baby wailing, followed by the dog.  Maybe my super and his bellowing Albanian accent will decide to have one of his conversations right outside my door.  It's that time when I worry about the day being ruined, by myself.  A day with nothing but promise, but one that ends with smal…

Quickie Review - Silver Linings Playbook

It's not often that one gets to view back-tp-back five star movies on consecutive nights, but I did just this over the past two evenings.  Silver Linings Playbook is one of the most beautiful movies about one of the least discussed topics; Mental Illness.  David O. Russell's script, adapted from Michael Quick's novel, is incredibly touching, but with just enough humor to allow us to breathe.  The film tackles this complex issue with passion and levity, but most importantly, love. There is not one character who doesn't encapsulate love and this is why the movie works so perfectly.

Bradley Cooper's role as the struggling Pat, is such a change of pace from what I am used to from this actor.  His brilliance from start to finish is undeniable and in any other year, he'd have swept up every award for best actor.  His co-star, who I will unabashedly admit (despite her age) that I'm in love with, is Jennifer Lawrence, who may now lay claim to being one of the star…

The Economics of the Morning Commute

I recently commented on Facebook about the ironic comments people make about not having money for summer vacations, while they sip a $3 Starbuck's coffee each day.  I was personally attacked as being a have not, desiring the fruits of the "haves" labor.  I unfriended the degenerate who staked these claims, not because his comments were rude, insensitive or wrong, but because it dawned on me that when someone knows me so little and doesn't care to know me, how can I consider them a friend?  The entire coffee on the run idea got me thinking.  Why do we do it?

For years I did the coffee and egg sandwich special at the local deli.  Usually a special that cost me a mere $3.50, but times have changed and the last time I succumbed to this nonsense it was $5.00.  I then started thinking about my morning.  I had to be somewhere at 9am and normally would have left at 8:40 to arrive on time. I wanted the breakfast and time to eat it, so I left at 8:30.  A good 12 minutes went b…

Free Writing - Take 22

Another 5am. No coyotes to be found. I looked.  Imagine if I joked and came upon one?  I've told the story before and I tried to feed one.  I get silly at time.  I'm not ready to jump out of a perfectly good airplane or bungee jump, but I'll try and give my leftovers to a wold animal.  Maybe I'm not as smart as I think.  I'm so tired of the same old same old. I want a change, but the change I want isn't logical.  I want to hide out in the woods for six months.  I want to wake at dawn and drink coffee while watching the birds play.  I want to sit and write and hope for something special to come out my fingertips.  I want to dangle my feet in a lake and sip a cool drink, while feeling the sun on my face and imagine some siren swimming up and keeping me company.  I want to nap outside, waking to catch the amber hues of the dying sun, while food sizzles on the grill.  I want to drink wine and watch movies, every classic I've been meaning to see.  I want to spen…

Quickie Review - Django Unchained

Let's start off with this statement.  Django Unchained is a masterpiece.  I would argue that it is his greatest accomplishment in film making and knowing what the movie cost, it's impossible to compare to his earlier, low-budget gems.  The movie is nearly flawless in so many ways, it's mind-boggling.  First there is the cinematography which is amazing. Each scene is so perfectly set, but never to the point of distraction.  Then there is the soundtrack.  A mix of classical, blues and modern rap.  There are the costumes, that in some cases play a role themselves.  Finally, there is the acting, which is impeccable.  I'll rush through this one and say Jamie Foxx played his greatest role, DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson were grandly despicable. Kerry Washington was absolutely enchanting (albeit a little more could have been asked of her role).  Every character actor who comes across the screen is so perfectly cast it adds to the flavor of the film immensely. Then there is Ch…

Few Thoughts About Possible Upcoming Changes

I've somewhat decided that the silly facade that Facebook alludes to is not necessary anymore.  585 friends it says.  Yet, every couple of days someone hides behind the cloak of anonymity and the shield of their screen and spouts direct and personal insults at me because they aren't intelligent enough to put their thoughts into concise thoughts.  The latest duo, a pair of brothers, who I once was fairly close with.  Twenty years changes people, but these two are actually quite similar to their 1980's personas.  Ignorant bigots with a sense of entitlement, because they've basically been spoon fed everything their entire lives.  These are the kinds of people that are a cancer to my world.  People who add no social, intellectual or cultural stimulation to my life, but thrive on their own negativity and mask their insecurities with comments about my life.  A life they know nothing about other than what they might read on a status.  Friends like this, on social media and in…

Quickie Review - Insidious

Insidious is not your typical modern day horror film.  There is almost no gore, no sexual situations and no bad language.  It has been dubbed one of the scariest movies of all-time by some, but I would debate that highly.  What it is, is a good movie for about an hour and twenty minutes.  The problem is that the movie is over an hour and forty minutes.

The movie is a traditional haunted house story, with a slight twist, it's not the house that is haunted.  Where the movie succeeds greatly is in building the tension, as the supernatural world and the natural world collide.  It does this almost as well as any movie I've seen.  The writers and director, James Wan of Saw fame, were obviously highly influenced with early 80's films Poltergeist and The Entity, starring Barbary Hershey who plays a major role in this film. Some might say it's a complete rip-off of The Entity, but we'll go with homage.  Psst!  The Entity is a far superior movie and is far more disturbing.