March 2017

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Black Ops(aka Deadwater) [2008]

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


An elite military group goes out to find a black-ops interrogation ship that has gone radio silent. What they find isn't really what they expect. I found this movie to be mildly interesting but they lost me in the last 15 minutes. I just don't get it and - considering my interest in the film - don't care, either.



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 movies, this one follows a cursed patient in a hospital and all the usual hauntings that surround her. Exactly what you'd expect with no new ground broken.




Ju-On: 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 (see above), 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: A 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. Very well put together making it both a treat for headbangers and an informative glimpse into the metal sub-culture for those who are not.



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

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


In yet another installment to the Ju-On franchise, there really isn't anything new. This one centers around Toshio's teacher and gets somewhat convoluted and incomprehensible. I can tell they're really trying to bring something fresh to the party 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 basically 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. 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, we've all become far to used to all this by now.



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. I don't feel that it fully embraces the Hellraiser mythos but it's still a pretty good film




The Last Stand [2013]

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


There's a manhunt going on for a high profile drug lord who is expected to pass through a small little town just north of the Mexican border and the sheriff is not about to let that happen. 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 = 4.1


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 on her brutal acts of revenge. The film is not nearly as imaginative as the 2010 reboot. 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 a narrator 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 this non-stop action, crime, thriller involving 2 cops stuck right in the middle of a major drug war. 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


Riddick is hired to help in the war vs. the Necromancer. He's not interested but he gets dragged into it anyway. Exceptionally good sci fi with Riddick at his best. Good characters, good story, awesome special effects, and a lot of Riddick's history (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 forgot to include any of the Creepshow wit and charm in this one.




Pitch Black [2000]

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


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



Ringu 2 [1999]

IMDb = 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes = 0 / 51
Personal = 4.1


I found this sequel to Ringu to be slightly more active than the first film but far more confusing ...I lost the plot somewhere along the way. It just didn't seem to flow very 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 the 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 third Riddick film 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 as the not-so-defenseless blind man.



The Hamiltons [2006]

IMDb = 5.2
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 38
Personal = 4.0


A real ho-hum vampire movie about a family that has a rare condition that forces them to drink blood and has to move around a lot because they keep killing women for their blood. Not even the twist ending could save this film.




Skinwalker Ranch [2013]

IMDb = 5.1
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 27
Personal = 4.9


Found footage style film about a bunch of ghost investigators investigating a ranch which seems to be a hot spot for UFO 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 best 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 move 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. Very well made film.



The Lathe of Heaven [1980]

IMDb = 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 72
Personal = 9.2


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 = 6.7


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 just stupid and makes absolutely no sense.



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