March 2017

Black Ops(aka Deadwater) [2008]

IMDb = 4.0
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 7
Personal = 3.4

I found this movie to be mildly interesting but they lost me in the last 15 minutes. Could someone explain to me what the hell happened? I just don't get it.

Ju-on: Black Ghost (aka Girl in Black) [2009]

IMDb = 5.5
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 26
Personal = 5.5

One of many follow-ups to the Ju-On series, this one follows a cursed patient in a hospital and all the usual hauntings that surround her. Not one of the better follow-ups.

White Ghost (aka Old Lady in White) [2009]

IMDb = 6.1
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 39
Personal = 6.1

A companion film to Ju-on: Black Ghost, this one was pretty good. The cursed old lady is quite nightmarish and I had a feeling of dark dread throughout the film. Best of the sequels after Ju-On 2, imo.

Metal: Headbanger's Journey [2005]

IMDb = 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes = 90 / 91
Personal = 9.3

Excellent documentary detailing the history and culture of metal music – how's it's impacted society and changed the world. Quite a lot of attention is also devoted to explaining and defining the various metal sub-genres, as well. Entertaining, informative and very well put together.

Ju-on: The Beginning of the End [2014]

IMDb = 5.2
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 13
Personal = 4.3

In this 7th installment to the Ju-On franchise, there really isn't anything new. This one centers around Toshio's teacher and gets somewhat convoluted. I can tell they're trying to add something different but....

The Man from Earth [2007]

IMDb = 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 85
Personal = 9.3

Boy, was I surprised. I heard this movie was pretty much all talk so I didn't expect too much from it. As it turns out, this film is fascinating. It's about a guy who decides to tell his colleagues that he's been alive since the dawn of man and the discussions it generates are philosophically, intellectually and spiritually quite intriguing and thought provoking. Excellent!

Ju-on: The Final Curse [2015]

IMDb = 4.4
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 0
Personal = 5.3

The sister of the teacher in Ju-on: The Beginning of the End is now involved and she thinks she can finally put an end to the whole affair. Relying more on jump scares than the atmospheric creepiness of the early films, this does have a few good ones. Still, it could have been a whole lot better.

Psycho III [1986]

IMDb = 5.3
Rotten Tomatoes = 58 / 29
Personal = 5.6

There really isn't anything new here. Even Norman is getting a bit stale. Anthony Perkins tried his hand at directing this one and he did a pretty good job but it really needed a better story.

Sadako vs. Kayako [2016]

IMDb = 5.2
Rotten Tomatoes = 53 / 35
Personal = 5.1

What would you expect from a film exploiting the success of Ringu and Ju-On by bringing the two cursed characters together to duke it out? Exactly this!! Mildly entertaining.

Hellraiser V: Inferno [2000]

IMDb = 5.6
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 35
Personal = 6.6

Not a bad entry in the series ...although a little confusing at the end. Some good scares and interesting twists. Not necessarily worthy of being a Hellraiser film but not bad.

The Last Stand [2013]

IMDb = 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes = 60 / 53
Personal = 7.2

Maybe it's just because I like Arnold Schwarzenegger but I found this film to be just plain fun. Lots of action, a few good jokes, sociopathic villains, good shoot outs and more. What's not to like?

V/H/S Viral [2014]

IMDb = 4.2
Rotten Tomatoes = 39 / 14
Personal = 5.1

After making 2 terrific VHS films ...what happened? There isn't a single story in this one that measures up to any story in V/H/S or V/H/S/2. Makes me sad. This could shut down a franchise that was truly original and one that I was really looking forward to what would happen next.

I Spit on Your Grave (aka Day of the Woman) [1978]

IMDb = 5.7
Rotten Tomatoes = 55 / 40
Personal = 5.6

A rather vile and disgusting exploitative revenge movie which focuses on a woman being attacked and raped for about 45 minutes and then it follows her revenge. The film is not nearly as imaginative as the 2010 version. Watch that one instead.

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre [1967]

IMDb = 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes = 100 / 68
Personal = 9.4

Roger Corman at his best with this bio-pic about the title event. One of the most historically accurate films I've ever seen, complete with narrative to fill in the names and dates of all the events and participants. If you haven't seen this Capone era masterpiece, you've really missed something.

Hard Boiled [1992]

IMDb = 7.9
Rotten Tomatoes = 94 / 92
Personal = 8.7

Jack Woo's last Hong Kong film before coming to the states, he went balls out on the non-stop action. Highlights include some of the most incredible stunts I've seen, an electric performance by Chow Yun-Fat, and, holy crap! What a body count!!

The Chronicles of Riddick [2004]

IMDb = 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes = 29 / 65
Personal = 8.1

Exceptionally good sci fi with Vin Diesel at his best. Good characters, good story, awesome special effects, and a lot of Riddick's history if you watch the extended version.

Creepshow 2 [1987]

IMDb = 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes = 33 / 40
Personal = 4.0

What a sad follow up to a classic comic horror film. The only story in this one worth watching is "The Hitch-hiker" and even that is not as good as any of the stories in the first film. They exchanged all the wit and charm of the original Creepshow for mediocre, dull stories that anyone could have written.

Pitch Black [2000]

IMDb = 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes = 57 / 77
Personal = 7.4

Riddick's first film takes place on a planet that is in perpetual daylight with multiple suns  ...except once every 22 years when an eclipse occurs. That's when the creatures come out and all hell breaks loose. A worthy introduction for our anti-hero with more adventures to follow.

Ringu 2 [1999]

IMDb = 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes = 0 / 51
Personal = 5.6

I found this sequel to Ringu to be slightly more active than the first film but far more confusing. For me, it just didn't flow well ...despite a couple creepy scenes.

Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words [2016]

IMDb = 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes = 90 / 71
Personal = 8.3

A candid view of one of 20th century's finest composers. Multiple interviews talking about comedy, home life, politics and, of course, his extensive library of music.

Riddick [2013]

IMDb = 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes = 58 / 56
Personal = 7.1

The last Riddick film (so far) is basically just a different version of the first film, Pitch Black, with a different set of characters. In that film, the monsters came out when it got dark. In this one, they come out when it rains. The rest is just the interplay between characters. But, that was good enough for me. It's fun.

Don't Breathe [2016]

IMDb = 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes = 87 / 79
Personal = 9.0

Three young people break into an old, blind man's house to steal $300k. They didn't count on how resourceful this man can be or that getting out is going to be far harder than getting in. ...and how about that secret in the basement. A full throttle, roller coaster ride of a thriller with Stephan Lang putting in a stellar performance.

The Hamiltons [2006]

IMDb = 5.2
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 38
Personal = 4.5

A real ho-hum vampire movie about a family that has to move around a lot because they keep killing women for their blood. Not even the surprise of revealing the hidden monster in the basement could save this film.

Skinwalker Ranch [2013]

IMDb = 5.1
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 27
Personal = 5.4

Found footage style film about a bunch of ghost investigators investigating a ranch which seems to be a hot spot for UFOs and other unexplained phenomena. They were asked to come out by the ranch owner who's son simply vanished during a birthday party. Beyond a few spine tingling moments, there's nothing here we haven't seen before.

The Usual Suspects [1995]

IMDb = 8.6
Rotten Tomatoes = 88 / 96
Personal = 9.1

One of the best caper movies ever made with one of the most profound twists ever. Everything about this movie – the story, the acting (especially the phenomenal performance by Kevin Spacey), the dialogue – works!! If you haven't seen it, you're missing a good one.

Assassin's Creed [2016]

IMDb = 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes = 17 / 48
Personal = 7.5

Yes, there are action movies that are very little more than action movies. This is one of them. But, even an action movie can be fun to watch and I found this one tremendously exciting. Exceptionally good escapist entertainment.

Lone Survivor [2013]

IMDb = 7.5
Rotten Tomatoes = 75 / 87
Personal = 8.1

Excellent real-life biopic of Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan. The strong personal and emotional interaction between friends and comrades is punctuated by gripping and realistic scenes of warfare as the group struggles to survive. A historically accurate and very well made film.

The Lathe of Heaven [1980]

IMDb = 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 72
Personal = 8.7

The first made-for-TV film by PBS is probably still the best film they ever produced ...and on practically no budget. Bruce Davidson gives an incredible performance as a man who dreams and everything changes, and how a dream specialist tries to manipulate him with dire consequences. Fantastic dialogue and a mind twisting storyline makes up for the nearly laughable special effects. Don't be misled by the 2002 remake ...which was just awful. Watch this one and watch it now!

Traitor [2008]

IMDb = 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes = 64 / 64
Personal = 7.7

Great movie except...**SPOILER ALERT** Why would a super intelligent guy who's managed to get deep under cover with one of the world's more dangerous terrorist cells suddenly decide to go see his sister when he knows she's being watched? That's just stupid and has absolutely no place in this film.

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