April 2017

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Blood Gnome [2004]



Rotten Tomatoes = - / 17
Personal = 2.5


Ridiculous, no budget movie about little creatures that rip up people who are into BDSM. Everything about this film is bad (except Melissa Pursley's performance which was the only high point). Even the little creatures were obviously puppets. There were moments that were ridiculously hilarious but not enough to recommend by a long shot.


From Beyond [1986]


   
Rotten Tomatoes = 73 / 69
Personal = 7.1


After bowling us over with his debut film Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon gave us this little gem. Bizarre and twisted, it brings the incomparable Jeffrey Coombs and Barbara Crampton back together and adds Ken Foree into the mix to present us with a psychedelic trip into another dimension. Great make up and special effects for its time. Good fun!


Red Room [1999]

aka Akai misshitsu (heya): Kindan no osama geemu

   
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 50
Personal = 0.9


This Japanese film was very badly made and quite unpleasant at the same time. Contestants in a game command each other to do vile and disgusting things to each other until only one is left. Nothing more than sex and violence in about as revolting a way as you can do it with no budget. WARNING: the trailer is as disgusting as the film.


The Haunting [1963]


   
Rotten Tomatoes = 87 / 82
Personal = 9.1


The definitive ghost story. Directing wizard Robert Wise manages to use sound, atmosphere, and the actor's performances (especially Julie Harris) without using any violence - and not even the appearance of a ghost - to scare the crap out of you. Arguably, one of the best ghost stories ever put to film. Absolute classic!


Passengers [2016]


           
Rotten Tomatoes = 30 / 63
Personal = 6.7


Huge settings and masterful sci fi special effects punctuate this simple romance of passengers aboard a starship that are woken up 90 years to soon. Entertaining but it's really just a variation of a pretty standard romance story with some action, adventure and danger thrown in. Well done, though.


I Spit on Your Grave 2 [2013]


                       
Rotten Tomatoes = 0 / 29
Personal = 7.4


The second film, after the 2010 reboot, is actually pretty good ...just very cringing to watch. It has the usual overly extended torture and rape of a girl, this time kidnapped and brought to Bulgaria, and then, thought to be dead, she exacts her revenge in phenomenally disgusting ways. Enjoy!


The Descent [2005]


           
Rotten Tomatoes = 85 / 75
Personal = 8.4


If you're claustrophobic, this movie is not for you. 6 girls go cave exploring in a cave that one of the girls knows is not the cave they're supposed to be exploring. After getting trapped, they find out they're not alone. Gripping performances, terrifying creatures and a truly uneasy atmosphere make for a very tense and violent excursion that'll make your skin crawl.


Blair Witch [2016]


               
Rotten Tomatoes = 35 / 30
Personal = 4.3


Twenty years after his sister (Heather from The Blair Witch Project) goes missing, a guy rounds up some friends and goes looking for her. With 20 years to prepare for it, you'd think they would have made a better film. Contrived and, at times, totally ridiculous, all the movie does is try to scare you into believing it's a good movie but ultimately just belittles the original. Very disappointing.


Sin City [2005]


           
Rotten Tomatoes = 78 / 78
Personal = 8.4


Extremely stylish comic book movie that is so true to it's source that it really feels like you're reading a full motion comic book. Over-the-top characters, great action, and good, zany stories. All it's missing is the occasional ARGH!, POW!, and WHAM!.



The Descent 2 [2009]


           
Rotten Tomatoes = 55 / 34
Personal = 6.7


Exactly what you would expect. A group of people go into the caves in search of the missing girls from the first movie and run into much of the same problems. Overall, not bad ...although there is one scene that is so painfully contrived that I almost turned it off.



[REC] 4: Apocalypse [2014]

aka [REC] 4: Apocalipsis

           
Rotten Tomatoes = 74 / 34
Personal = 8.6


Thank God, they made up for [REC]3: Genesis by bringing the story back to it's roots. A direct sequel of the original [REC] storyline (with only a mention of the wedding in [REC] 3), and picks up exactly where [REC]2 left off ...but without the hand-held camera format. The survivors of the original attack are quarantined on a ship. And, of course, one becomes infected. This movie is intense, violent and, with no where to go, extremely claustrophobic. A worthy sequel and excellent addition to the story.

Die Hard [1988]


   
Rotten Tomatoes = 92 / 94
Personal = 9.3


What's there left to say about this one. Of the 5 movies in the franchise, this one is still the best. Meticulously plotted so that every scene has a purpose, it's full of some of the greatest action - and most quotable lines - ever put on film. Still a classic after all these years! And, yes... it is a Christmas movie.


The Devil's Advocate [1997]


       
Rotten Tomatoes = 65 / 80
Personal = 7.8


Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, and Charlize Theron all give stellar performances in this creepy film about how much a lawyer is willing to give up to win. His roots? His wife? His soul? Watch it and find out.



X-Men [2000]


       
Rotten Tomatoes = 81 / 83
Personal = 7.9


The initial entry into the X-Men universe, expertly directed by Bryan Singer, does a wonderful job of fully developing it's characters without sacrificing any of the cool action. Details the story of Magneto's attempt to turn all of NYC into mutants. An adventure that is extremely pleasing and fun to watch.


Haunter [2013]


       
Rotten Tomatoes = 53 / 42
Personal = 5.6


A somewhat ho-hum ghost movie about a girl, who is dead, trying to prevent a serial killer, who is now also dead, from killing anyone else. The film was ok and the time warp aspect of the film kept my interest but ultimately, it was largely flat, uneventful and predictable.



The Body Snatcher [1945]


   
Rotten Tomatoes = 81 / 75
Personal = 7.8


Val Lewton (Producer) and Robert Wise (Director) at their best in this dark, atmospheric tale of a man who provides bodies to the local doctor for education. Great performances by Henry Daniell and Bela Legosi and, in a performance that rivals Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, Boris Karloff as the evil cabman John Gray. For those of you that think Boris was only good for playing a monster, you have to see this one ...a monster of a completely different kind.

Wolf Creek 2 [2013]


       
Rotten Tomatoes = 48 / 39
Personal = 7.0


Not as intensely savage as Wolf Creek but still quite brutal. Josh Jarratt's performance as, Mick Taylor, one of the most savage, cold-blooded, psychopaths to ever grace the screen, just makes your skin crawl. Rule No.1: Never stop for anyone in the outback.



X-Men 2 [2003]

aka X2

           
Rotten Tomatoes = 85 / 85
Personal = 8.6


Bryan Singer (Director) puts the extra $30 million to good use in this second entry in the X-Men franchise. Absolutely awesome special effects and action. They also managed to juggle several sub-plots seamlessly heading towards a single point in time. Perfect construction of a complex film.


Contact [1997]


       
Rotten Tomatoes = 62 / 78
Personal = 7.6


We receive an extraterrestrial radio signal from space. But that takes a back seat to the scientific, religious, political, and personal chaos it creates right here on earth. Extremely philosophical with a lot of food for thought, this is quite a fun ride. We miss you, Carl.



X-Men 3: The Last Stand [2006]


           
Rotten Tomatoes = 58 / 61
Personal = 6.9


This is the one that many wish would go away. The action and spec fx are certainly there but the story is not nearly as complex as the previous movies with very few sub plots on top of creating some substantial time line holes. Also, with so many X-Men either dying or losing their powers, it's kind of a downer, as well. Pretty good movie, and a lot of fun, but it's best to view it as a stand-alone aberration within the X-Men universe.

The Devil Inside [2012]


               
Rotten Tomatoes = 6 / 22
Personal = 5.2


Pseudo-Documentary on exorcism where a girl tries to find out if her mother - who slaughtered 3 people during an exorcism 2 decades earlier - is really possessed by demons or just insane. It had it's moments, and the performance by Suzan Crowley as the possessed mother is disturbingly believable, but there's really nothing much new here.


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