May 2017

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine [2009]

Rotten Tomatoes = 37 / 58
Personal = 6.8

Updated Feb 11, 2020

Does a good job detailing Logan's life from the time he was a child in 1845 to after getting loaded with adamantium. The movie tends to get lost in its own action near the end but we get introduced to the concept of Deadpool and how the wolverine loses his memory. Overall, good, exciting fun.

Mine Games [2012]

aka The Evil Within

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 28
Personal = 7.0

Updated Oct 17, 2019
I apparently liked this far more than most, probably because I enjoy movies with parallel time lines overlapping each other. Is there really a time loop going on? ...or is Michael hallucinating the whole thing because he went off his meds? Did the ambiguous ending mean the cycle is broken? You'll have to decide for yourself. Not even close to being as good as Triangle but better than Timecrimes, imo, and it's fun to try and spot all the clues on a second viewing.

1-Ichi [2003]

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 40
Personal = 6.3

Updated Dec 26, 2019

The prequel to the excessively brutal and controversial Ichi the Killer is quite tame in comparison. Somewhat campy and very low budget, there's something appealing to the rise of Ichi, a wimp who becomes a killer as it sexually excites him. I'm not quire sure what that appeal is but I enjoyed it.

X-Men 4: First Class [2011]

Rotten Tomatoes = 86 / 87
Personal = 8.3

Updated Oct 17, 2019

Now that Bryan Singer is involved again, things are looking up. A very thorough and entertaining story detailing much of the history and the establishment of the X-men, and eventually the split between the X-men and the Brotherhood. Full, complex, and very well structured story and, of course, phenomenal eye candy. This is one to see.

The Wolverine [2013]

Rotten Tomatoes = 71 / 69
Personal = 6.3

Updated Feb 11, 2020
The story is really simple and not particularly interesting ...Logan is losing his powers to heal and must get them back. It deals far too much with Wolverine's personal issues and the action sequences - of which there were fewer in this one - although entertaining, felt as if they were being forced on you. It's good ...just not my favorite X-Men movie.

X-Men 5: Days of Future Past [2014]

Rotten Tomatoes = 90 / 91
Personal = 8.6

Updated Feb 11, 2020

Bryan Singer is back at the helm as director and co-writer and it shows. The X-Men of a desolate, war-torn future send Wolverine back into the past to stop the war before it begins. Considering the storyline's complexities, this could have been a absolute mess but Singer pulled it off brilliantly. Great performances and the spec fx are jaw dropping. Cheers ...(clink).

Re-Kill [2015]

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 29
Personal = 5.7

Updated Nov 6, 2019

Presented as a Cops style reality show (complete with commercials and stories of survival), a camera crew follows around R-Division 8, a military group of re-animate (zombie) killers. With the low ratings it got, I wasn't expecting much but I found it to be a low budget gem. Militarily realistic, well made, exciting, lots of zombie action, and a load of mindless fun. Good, escapist, popcorn movie.

Deadpool [2016]

Rotten Tomatoes = 84 / 90
Personal = 3.0

Updated Feb 11, 2020
Unnecessarily profane and extremely obnoxious, this film featured totally unlikable characters - including two so-called X-Men - and the few action scenes it did have, which weren't bad, wasn't nearly enough to counteract the writer's incessant need to include various iterations of 'sh*t' and 'f*ck' in practically every line of the film ...the red band trailer I've provided will give you an idea how obnoxious this film is. It would've been fun if it wasn't so needlessly vulgar. I really disliked this movie.

The Witch [2015]

aka The VVitch (A New-England Folktale)

Rotten Tomatoes = 90 / 58
Personal = 8.0

Updated Feb 11, 2020
A random pick turned out to be quite a surprise. In 1630's New England, a family has been exiled from a town due to religious differences. They try to make it in the wild next to a forest wherein lives a witch. The photography, settings, acting, dialogue, are all utterly authentic. The story, which may be slow for some, clearly depicts how a family is just as vulnerable to destruction by their own superstitions and religious beliefs as well as by a real witch. Superbly haunting!

Deadtime Stories: Volume 1 [2009]

aka Deadtime Stories

Rotten Tomatoes = - / -
Personal = 6.1

Updated Feb 11, 2020

George A. Romero presents 3 horror stories that weren't too shabby. The first story was amusingly gory and goofy with most of the action not making much sense. The second story was creepy and predictable but well played. The third story, directed by make up extraordinaire, Tom Savini, was the gem of the set. Dark, atmospheric and a twisted ending you won't see coming. Good late night B-movie viewing.

X-Men 6: Apocalypse [2016]

Rotten Tomatoes = 47 / 65
Personal = 8.4

Updated Feb 11, 2020

Another excellent entry in the X-Men universe. Whereas X-Men: First Class brought a few of the first X-Men together, this one brings in a lot of characters that we know and love and pits them against probably the most ancient and dangerous mutant ever: Apocalypse. Once again, Bryan Singer tells a complex story masterfully and the spec fx never cease to amaze.

Unnatural [2015]

aka Maneater

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 11
Personal = 3.4

Updated 8/2/19

Typical, low budget monster movie which, in this case, is a genetically mutated bear who stalks and kills folks at a lodge in Alaska, one by one. Apparently, it was as frustrated with the bad acting, bad dialogue, and about 45 minutes of padding, as I was ...and you rarely ever get a clear view of anything. Go pick a different monster movie. Chance are, it'll be better.

Logan [2017]

Rotten Tomatoes = 93 / 90
Personal = 8.8

Updated Feb 11, 2020

What a great swan song for the old and ailing Wolverine. Far more a drama than an action picture (although it is loaded with some awesome action) the relationships between Charles (Professor X), Laura (Logan's genetic daughter) and the reluctant Logan (who would rather everyone just left him alone), is complex, heartfelt and, at times, heartbreaking. Truly excellent entertainment!

Night of the Living Dead [1968]


Rotten Tomatoes = 97 / 88
Personal = 8.8

Updated MLK Day, 2020
Although extremely tame by today's standard, this movie shocked and mortified audiences creating and popularizing both the zombie and gore horror genres at the same time. The mix of amateur actors and low budget but masterful photography gives the film a level of realism that many of today's films can't capture. It certainly has withstood the test of time.

Sanatorium [2013]

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 26
Personal = 5.9

Updated 6/19/19

Basically, a Grave Encounters clone with a pinch of Blair Witch mythos about a paranormal research group investigating an old, deserted sanatorium. Found footage format which is just like watching an episode of Ghost Hunters, except the ghosts bite back in a big way. Well made with some good scares and a lot of 'out-of-the-corner-of-your-eye' stuff but nothing really new to add to the genre.

Dawn of the Dead [1978]

Rotten Tomatoes = 93 / 90
Personal = 9.1

Updated Dec 7, 2019

Whereas Night of the Living Dead made the zombie genre popular, this movie became the standard for the quintessential zombie film that everyone else tries to aspire to ...with very few successes. Four survivors of the zombie apocalypse take over an indoor shopping mall and make it their own. Is this paradise or have they built their own prison? Personal, intelligent, and oh, so gory. Don't bother with the Zack Snyder remake the original!

Critters [1986]

Rotten Tomatoes = 56 / 45
Personal = 6.2

Updated Dec 26, 2019

I'm surprised I've never heard of this film until recently. Basically, a Gremlins from outer space, the movie is about a farm that is terrorized by small porcupine creatures with a whole lot of teeth. Then the intergalactic bounty hunters show up. Let the party begin! This film was really quite a fun, tongue-in-cheek, comedy thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Day of the Dead [1985]

Rotten Tomatoes = 83 / 75
Personal = 7.7

Updated Feb 11, 2020
Moving from a shopping mall to an underground research facility, this entry in the Living Dead series is more about the destructiveness of humans against each other and the zombies just clean up the wreckage. And then there's Bub. Plenty of gory zombie action we've come to know and love included.

Grave Encounters 2 [2012]

Rotten Tomatoes = 22 / 27
Personal = 7.0

Updated Feb 8, 2020
A film student obsesses to find out if the original Grave Encounters was real or fake. Once he's convinced it's real, he grabs some friends and heads off to the old asylum. Whereas the first film used subtlety and suspense to keep you unnerved until the chaos begins, this one hits you early, hard, and repeatedly throughout ...which makes one sort of immune to the scares after awhile. However, despite it's faults, and it's somewhat weird ending, it's still quite a startling thrill ride.

Land of the Dead [2005]

Rotten Tomatoes = 74 / 51
Personal = 8.3

Updated Nov 21, 2019
The world may be overrun with zombies but the class war between the elite and the unfortunate is worse than ever ...and the zombies are getting smarter. Romero continues to deliver in this non-stop action, zombie thrill ride with the usual amazing and disturbing make-up fx. Dennis Hopper's performance is manically twisted.

Punisher: War Zone [2008]

Rotten Tomatoes = 29 / 42
Personal = 7.6

Updated Dec 26, 2019
Some films don't succeed for a reason. In this case, for the life of me, I don't know what that reason could possibly be. Well made, violent, high-action, comic book movie with a rather good story and enjoyable, albeit not very deep, characters. Kudos to Ray Stevenson (Punisher), Dominic West (Jigsaw) and, especially, Doug Hutchinson (Looney Bin Jim) for great, twisted performances. Can't ask more from a film made purely for violent, escapist entertainment ...emphasis on violent.

Diary of the Dead [2007]

Rotten Tomatoes = 62 / 41
Personal = 7.5

Updated Jan 5, 2020
Unlike the big budget, action, gore fest of Land of the Dead, this one if far more personal and features an amateur film maker who begins documenting the zombie apocalypse as it starts (with hand held cameras) while him and a group of college students, and a teacher, travel around trying to find family, sanctuary, and meaning. Although this is quite different than his other zombie movies, and the first using a "found footage" format, Romero continues to deliver a top notch zombie film.

Contagion [2011]

Rotten Tomatoes = 84 / 63
Personal = 7.5

Updated Feb 11, 2020

Details the outbreak of a new virus and how it becomes a worldwide epidemic. The film just lays out the events as they occur with no action to speak of, little suspense, nothing overly dramatic, and yet the cold clinical style of it makes it more terrifying than a lot of horror movies I've seen. Excellent performances by everyone.

Survival of the Dead [2009]

Rotten Tomatoes = 30 / 19
Personal = 6.9

Updated Dec 29, 2019
Romero's last "Dead" film once again involves completely different settings and scenarios and totally unique characters. This one takes place on an island inhabited by two rival clans ...think Hatfield and McCoy. Throw in some renegade national guardsmen and a few zombies and you have a party. Certainly weakest of the entries in the series but if you just take it for what it is, it's still good Romero zombie fun. We miss you, George.

Stash House [2012]

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 21
Personal = 6.5

Updated Halloween, 2019

A man surprises his wife with a new house ...built like a fortress. They soon discover the place is full of drugs and a couple of mercenaries have come to collect a package. Although there were scenes that were a bit contrived, silly, and/or slowly paced, overall, the film was a highly exciting, what-happens-next, thriller. Don't take it too seriously and enjoy the ride.

The Lincoln Lawyer [2011]

Rotten Tomatoes = 84 / 82
Personal = 9.3

Updated Jan 23, 2020
I've seen few films that are not only just like the novel, but John Romano (screenplay) manages to capture the multitude of events in the book and masterly present them all in a comprehensible fashion without rushing it. Movie or book, take your pick. They're both a tense, complex, and insidious legal thriller you're not likely to forget. Matthew McConaughey "IS" the Lincoln Lawyer, heart and soul.

Oblivion [2013]

Rotten Tomatoes = 52 / 61
Personal = 8.6

Updated Feb 11, 2020
The year is 2077. After an alien war, the moon has been destroyed and earth is in shambles. The human population has migrated to Titan and all that's left is a couple, Jack and Victoria, left behind to protect the hydro rigs that are sucking up all the ocean's water. This is a cool movie with lots of great techie space craft action, a complex story, fully developed characters, awe inspiring visuals and quite a few surprises. If you like sci fi, don't miss this one.

Devil's Pass [2013]

aka The Dyatlov Pass Incident

Rotten Tomatoes = 52 / 29
Personal = 7.5

Updated 8/3/19

This "found footage" film features 5 students going to the Ural Mountains to film a documentary in an attempt to find out what happened to 9 hikers in 1959. The first half of the film was basically The Blair Witch Project in the Urals with a bunch of basically irritating people. However, they find a door in the mountains. From that point on this movie was a roller coaster ride with events you couldn't possibly see coming. Bravo! Included in Doc's Profoundly Twisted List

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear [2004]

Rotten Tomatoes = 60 / 57
Personal = 6.5

Updated Feb 11, 2020
TNT produced 3 Librarian TV movies before launching the series, which ran for 4 seasons. This first entry features a professional student - recruited to become the new "Librarian" - who's first assignment is to retrieve the Spear of Destiny and save the world. Characters are quite likable (Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin were great) and it was adventurous, entertaining, and often humorous. Good family viewing.

Snowpiercer [2013]

Rotten Tomatoes = 95 / 72
Personal = 9.3

Updated Oct 17, 2019
Mankind has turned the earth into a giant snowball and the last of humanity is stuck in a train that never stops ...and the poverty stricken people in the back decide it's time to move to the front. Stunning, violent action, surreal characters, intriguing social dynamics, and a philosophy about man's place in the order of things (revealed at the end) that is intrinsically disturbing yet wholly necessary. Fantastic film!!

The Librarian 2: Return to King Solomon's Mines [2006]

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 49
Personal = 6.1

Updated Feb 11, 2020

Second in the TNT series of movies before The Librarians TV show. This one seemed to lack something but it's hard to say what. It just seemed sloppier than the first and felt like there was a lot of roaming around with not much to do but talk about each other. This exposition came into play later but is was still somewhat laborious. Overall, it was fun ...just not as lively.

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