February 2019

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The Darkest Minds [2018]

Rotten Tomatoes = 17 / 74
Personal = 6.1

A disease either kills or mutates children with various powers. 4 of these children escape the government built concentration camps and try to find sanctuary. This film is stringently targeted towards a teen and young adult audience with far more melodrama and personal relationship stuff and not so much on the children's abilities or thrills. This film is going to be liked by most and it is a good film. It's just not my cup of tea and I felt the ending was rather sad and downbeat considering what they had to go through.

Believer [2018]

Rotten Tomatoes = 77 / 60
Personal = 7.0

An obsessed task force commander forces a survivor of an explosion to help him find a Mr. Lee, a faceless and illusive drug lord. Excellent story involving some very interesting characters. Not so much an action thriller as it is a drama with some good action sequences, shootouts, and choreographed fights. The ending is about as ambiguous as it gets and, taken in context with the rest of the film, you'll either love it or hate it. I'm still sitting on the fence, myself, but it's a very good film.

Backtrace [2018]

Rotten Tomatoes = 13 / 44
Personal = 4.5

Of the 3 men who robbed a bank and hid the money, two are killed and suffered a shot to the head that left him with no memory. This movie is just bland. The opening shootout was exciting but that was the highlight of the film. The rest is just people going through the motions of a weak script and lifeless directing. The climax was just everyone running around shooting guns with few stunts and no choreography or pizzazz. Sylvester's role was limited to walking around and looking busy until he had to shoot someone.

Hellgate [2011]

aka Shadows

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 13
Personal = 5.0

After losing his wife and son in an auto accident, a man wakes up after 5 weeks in a coma, from said accident, and finds that he can now see dead people and malicious demons / dwarves / nasty little red things. The beginning caught my interest, prompting me to see where this goes, and the pacing was good, increasingly nightmarish scenarios leading to a climax. However, that climax was mediocre at best and rather silly rendering the whole film rather ho hum. Heavy reliance on the demon dwarves and little else got old.

Mile 22 [2018]

Rotten Tomatoes = 23 / 45
Personal = 8.3

A local policeman, who defects to the US Embassy, holds the secret to where stashes of Cesium-129 are hidden but will only reveal them if they get him out of the country. Holy cow, what an adrenaline rush! Reminiscent of The Raid and BuyBust [2018], once things get going, it's a non-stop roller coaster ride of action that is superbly choreographed and intensely realistic at the same time. Although his character got a bit much sometimes, Mark Wahlberg is excellent as the nearly psychotic group leader who thrives in chaos.

Bedeviled [2016]

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 21
Personal = 6.7

After a friends mysterious death, 5 students download a phone app that opens a door for a malicious being. This film is just plain fun! It never really provides the exposition to clearly describe what's happening and the tricks they try at the end to resolve the problem went over my head ...not to mention a couple of serious plot holes. But the characters were real and intelligent, they behaved exactly like you'd expect them to, and the highlight of the film, Mr. Bedeviled, was nothing short of supreme entertainment. Guilty favorite.

The Messengers [2007]

Rotten Tomatoes = 12 / 44
Personal = 5.9

As far as I can tell, this movie has nothing to do with messengers. A family buys a new home (haunted, of course) in the country to farm sunflowers. I find it amazing in the movie world how ghosts tend to haunt just one or two victims and everyone else thinks the victim is crazy. So, I had to sit through that as well as a pretty basic haunt film. Some well done scare tactics with long, rather dull, scenes in between. Not a bad film ...it just doesn't give us anything beyond what we'd expect or any real surprises.

Polar [2019]

Rotten Tomatoes = 22 / -
Personal = 6.3

An agency's best hit man is retiring in two weeks so the head of the agency's put out a contract on him so he doesn't have to pay his $8mil pension. There were things I loved and there were things I hated. The main character, the hit squad that's after him, the action sequences, were all colorful and exciting. I enjoyed the black humor, as well. However, I hated Mr. Blut, the main antagonist and I simply didn't want to watch him. Also, the subplot with the neighbor girl was well done but it felt like it belonged in a different movie.

Counterfeiters [2017]

Rotten Tomatoes = 60 / 100
Personal = 4.0

A young man decides to counterfeit money to pay for his mother's medical bills. Perhaps a noble intent but both him, and those he surrounds himself with, are all unlikable nincompoops. Most of the film is presented in semi-real time over the course of an evening which means we must sit through every word of every conversation, go everywhere he goes, scene after scene of non-stop banality until we finally get down to the big finale by which time I was so unemphatic and frustrated, I simply didn't care.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly [1966]

aka Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo

Rotten Tomatoes = 97 / 97
Personal = 9.8

Amidst the US Civil War, an assassin, a bounty hunter, and a bandit are on a collision course to obtain a box of gold. Simply the best Western ever made. The only one that comes close is another Sergio Leone classic, Once Upon a Time in the West. The characters are fully formed and a delight to watch, the story is a complex and a grand adventure, the dialogue is humorous and quotable, and the direction and cinematography are unparalleled. If you haven't seen this film, you've missed a huge piece of film history.

I Remember You [2017]

aka Eg man pig

Rotten Tomatoes = 100 / 59
Personal = 6.1

3 people travel to a remote location to renovate a house that has not been lived in for 60 years. Also, a man deals with his missing son. The acting was great, nice, haunting atmosphere, and the story held my interest despite the slow pacing that was making me antsy. The missing child story was great but I had some real problems with the other. When we discover their relationship, the idea they went willingly into isolation together is ludicrous. I'd be able to forgive that if the payoff was worth it but the whole thing just fell flat.

Mortal Engines [2018]

aka Eg man pig

Rotten Tomatoes = 27 / 59
Personal = 7.6

Well into a post-apocalyptic future, cities literally roam the countryside swallowing up smaller communities with the story focusing on a megalomaniac bent on recreating the power that destroyed civilization in the first place and a girl who may hold the key to stopping him. The superbly created CGI is the star of the show by creating a future world that is realistic and awe-inspiring despite the ludicrous idea behind it. The characters were well defined, likable, colorful and fun to watch, the action is top notch. No negatives here.

Planned Reviews Coming Soon

12 Rounds 2: Reloaded [2013]
12 Rounds 3: Lockdown [2015]
24 Hours to Live [2017]
American Animals [2018]
American Renegades [2017]
Attack of the Giant Leeches [1959]
Blood Simple [1984]
Bone Tomahawk [2015]
Cam [2018]
Final Score [2018]
Ghost House [2017]
Gozu [2003]
Hide in the Light [2018]
Honeymoon [2014]
Hunter Killer [2018]
Replicas [2018]
The Rift [2016]
Rorschach [2015]
The School [2018]
Searching [2018]
The Sweeney [2012]
Unstoppable [2018]
Venom [2018]

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