May 2017

X-Men Origins: Wolverine [2009]

IMDb = 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes = 38 / 58
Personal = 6.8

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 are introduced to the concept of Deadpool and how the wolverine loses his memory. Overall, good, escapist fun ...just don't expect too much more than that.

Mine Games (aka The Evil Within) [2012]

IMDb = 5.3
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 26
Personal = 7.0

I enjoy movies with parallel time lines overlapping each other. Is there really a time loop going on here? ...or is Michael hallucinating the whole thing because he went off his meds? Did the ambiguous ending mean the cycle is broken? Not as good as “Triangle” but better than “Time Crimes” and it's fun to try and spot all the clues on a second viewing.

1-Ichi [2003]

IMDb = 5.4
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 41
Personal = 6.3

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 sure what that appeal is but I quite enjoyed it.

X-Men: First Class [2011]

IMDb = 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes = 86 / 87
Personal = 8.3

Now that Bryan Singer is involved again, things are looking up. A very thorough and entertaining story detailing much of the history and 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]

IMDb = 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes = 69 / 69
Personal = 6.3

The story is really simple and not particularly interesting. 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. Not bad but not my favorite X-Men movie.

X-Men: Days of Future Past [2014]

IMDb = 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes = 91 / 91
Personal = 8.6

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 change the future. 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]

IMDb = 5.0
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 23
Personal = 5.7

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 nice little low budget gem. Militarily realistic, well made, exciting, lots of zombie action, and a lot of fun.

Deadpool [2016]

IMDb = 8.0

Rotten Tomatoes = 84 / 90
Personal = 3.0

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 “shit” and “fuck” in practically every line of the movie. It would've been fun if it wasn't so vulgar. I really disliked this film.

The VVitch (A New-England Folktale) [2015]

IMDb = 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes = 91 / 56
Personal = 8.0

Quite a surprise for a random pick. In 1630's New England, a family has been exiled and attempts to live off the land to a forest wherein lives a witch. The photography, settings, acting, dialogue, are all very authentic. The story depicts the slowly building tension of how a family may be destroyed by their own superstitions and religious beliefs as well as by a real witch. Fascinating.

Deadtime Stories: Volume 1 [2009]

IMDb = 4.1
Rotten Tomatoes = - / -
Personal = 6.1

George A. Romero presents 3 very low budget horror stories that weren't too shabby. The first story was amusingly gory and goofy while not making much sense. The second story was creepy and predictable but quirky. The third story, directed by make up extraordinaire, Tom Savini, was the gem of the set. Dark, atmospheric and a great twist ending. Good late night B-movie.

X-Men: Apocalypse [2016]

IMDb = 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes = 48 / 67
Personal = 8.4

Another excellent entry in the X-Men universe. Whereas “First Contact” 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: Apolcalypse. Once again, Bryan Singer tells a complex story masterfully and the spec fx never cease to amaze.

Unnatural (aka Man Eater) [2015]

IMDb = 4.0
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 8
Personal = 3.4

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, the bear 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. Chances are, it'll be better.

Logan [2017]

IMDb = 8.4
Rotten Tomatoes = 92 / 92
Personal = 8.8

What a great swan song for the old and ailing Wolverine. Taking place in 2029, this is far more a drama than an action picture - although it is loaded with some awesome action. The relationships between Charles, Laura (Wolverine's genetic daughter) and the reluctant Logan (who would rather everyone just left him alone), is complex, heartfelt and, at times, heartbreaking. Excellent film!

Night of the Living Dead [1968]

IMDb = 7.9
Rotten Tomatoes = 96 / 87
Personal = 8.8

Although extremely tame by today's standards, this movie shocked and mortified audiences and created 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 reality that many films can't capture, even today. It certainly has withstood the test of time.

Sanatorium [2013]

IMDb = 5.0
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 28
Personal = 5.9

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 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 stuff “out-of-the-corner-of-your-eye” but nothing really new to add to the genre.

Dawn of the Dead [1978]

IMDb = 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes = 92 / 90
Personal = 9.1

Whereas “Night of..” introduced us to the zombie genre, this movie became the standard for the quintessential zombie film that everyone else tries to aspire to ...and very few have. Four survivors of the zombie apocalypse take over a indoor shopping mall and make it their own. Is this paradise or have they built their own prison? Personal, intelligent, and oh, so gory.

Critters [1986]

IMDb = 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes = 53 / 45
Personal = 6.2

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. It's not a great movie but it is quite a fun, tongue-in-cheek, thriller that's worth a watch.

Day of the Dead [1985]

IMDb = 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes = 82 / 75
Personal = 7.7

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 are left to clean up the wreckage. Plenty of gory zombie action we've come to know and love included.

Grave Encounters 2 [2012]

IMDb = 5.2
Rotten Tomatoes = 14 / 27
Personal = 6.0

A documentary maker grabs some friends and goes to find out if the original Grave Encounters was real or fake. It ain't fake. Whereas the first film used subtly and suspense to keep you unnerved until the chaos begins, this one hits you early and repeatedly throughout ...which makes one somewhat immune to the scares after awhile. Despite it's faults - and its twisted ending - I liked it.

Reviews Coming Soon

Land of the Dead [2005]
Punisher: War Zone [2008]
Diary of the Dead [2007]
Contagion [2011]
Survival of the Dead [2009]
Stash House [2012]
The Lincoln Lawyer [2011]
Oblivion [2013]
Devil's Pass [2013]
The Librarian: Quest for the Spear [2004]
Snowpiercer [2013]
The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines [2006]

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