June 2017

Inferno [2016]

IMDb = 6.2
Rotten Tomatoes = 19 / 37
Personal = 6.5


Dan Brown book, Ron Howard directing, Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon in the third film in the franchise. You can't go wrong. However, you may not go as right as the previous movies. This film is basically a "race against time" story with very little puzzle solving and much more bad guy interference. Lacks the complex, character driven, mythological perplexities of the previous efforts. It is fun and exciting, though.


Autopsy [2008]

IMDb = 5.0
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 25
Personal = 5.8


Silly, gory, senseless, repulsive, B-movie about an unwitting group of young adults involved in a car accident who go to a hospital that is closed to the public and run by a psycho doctor (played well by Robert Patrick) who wants to do weird things with their body parts. Despite the numerous gut-wrenching scenes and myriad body parts, I found myself amusingly entertained.



The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice [2008]

IMDb = 6.5
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 56
Personal = 7.1


Surprisingly good third movie in the series. Stana Katic as the leading lady was fantastic and I enjoyed the connection between Vlad Dracul the Impaler and Judas Iscariot in it's theological fantasy storyline. Great special effects and a few good laugh-out-loud moments. Looks like they finally got the formula right. Great entertainment.



One Missed Call (aka Chakushin ari) [2003]

IMDb = 6.2
Rotten Tomatoes = 42 / 63
Personal = 7.3


Take a "Ring", add a little "Grudge", throw in a few cell phones and you have one creepy-ass movie. People are getting messages on their cell phones, from their cell phones, chronicling their own death in a day or two. Despite being somewhat long winded, the characters anxiety and eerie atmosphere kept me totally engrossed. Although I found the last 5 minutes to be somewhat perplexing, the payoff is startling. Great spooks!


Event Horizon [1997]

IMDb = 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes = 24 / 61
Personal = 6.4


If you travel to another dimension and back, what might you bring back with you? This Barker/Lovecraftian premise has produced some truly horrific tales (From Beyond, Hellraiser, The Mist) but this film tends to just hand us a series of gruesome events that aren't very horrific or satisfying. Even the visions of hell are nothing more than quick flashes that you can't appreciate. It's not bad, it just doesn't embrace its premise very well.


Mother (aka Madeo) [2009]

IMDb = 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes = 95 / 88
Personal = 7.7


A doting mother goes on a relentless trek to prove her dim-witted, memory challenged son did not murder a young girl. But, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. More of a character study than a murder mystery, it ran over 2 hours and felt like 3. However, the characters, the twists and the brilliant film making had me wrapped up in it nonetheless. I'm really beginning to admire director Bong Joon Ho's films.


Homefront [2013]

IMDb = 6.5
Rotten Tomatoes = 42 / 61
Personal = 7.8


An ex-Interpol agent and his daughter move to a Louisiana town. An altercation between a bully and his daughter escalates into a full blown war ...and the members of a motorcycle gang from the agent's past is showing up. Excellent, high-action film with Jason Statham doing what he does best. Excellent editing and superb choreographed fight scenes. Izabela Vidovic was great as the daughter, as well. Very exciting film.


Creepshow 3 [2006]

IMDb = 3.0
Rotten Tomatoes = 0 / 11
Personal = 5.1


This one has 5 stories in the same setting and time frame so the characters and storylines overlap. It doesn't even come close to the magical quality of the original Creepshow but, being as they obviously intended to be silly, it was a far side better than Creepshow 2. Bad acting, bad dialogue, bad pacing, the stories were simplistic and yet, I found the whole thing to be rather humorous. At least I have to give them credit for making it blatantly clear they had no illusions about what they were making.


Enemy [2013]

IMDb = 6.9
Rotten Tomatoes = 75 / 63
Personal = 7.2


An unassuming, timid, history professor sees his doppelganger as an extra in a film and goes about finding him. They may look, act and sound identical but they are about as far from being alike as you can get. What ensues is a surreal, unnerving, atmospheric piece that crawls along at a snails pace but managed to keep me tied up in tension throughout. ...and what's with the spider? Very creepy film that's definitely unique.


Feast II: Sloppy Seconds [2008]

IMDb = 5.2
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 29
Personal = 6.1


As if the first film wasn't disgusting enough, why not pull out all the stops. Campy, gory, perverse, and wacky, I don't know who I enjoyed watching more ...the creatures or the characters. One thing I like about the Feast movies is that they are true sequels, i.e., each one starts exactly where the other leaves off. If you don't mind messy, bloody disgusting films, this is great entertainment. Bet you can't watch all 3 in one sitting.


Tigerland [2000]

IMDb = 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes = 76 / 71
Personal = 7.3


Sort of a "Cool Hand Luke" in boot camp, the story is about Private Bozz going through training before going to Vietnam in 1971 ...something of which he does not want to do. Performances, dialogue and direction are excellent. However, the story isn't really much more than a character study of life in boot camp and we only spend a half hour in a special training camp called Tigerland. Less of what's here and more of something else would have been nice.


Headshot [2016]

IMDb = 6.5
Rotten Tomatoes = 74 / 60
Personal = 7.5


After 2 months in a coma from a bullet to the head, a man wakes up with amnesia and a bunch of thugs are out to kill him. The relationship that develops between said victim and the doctor is splendidly developed and Sunny Pang is stellar as "Lee", one of the most colorful mob bosses I've seen is some time. The last half of the movie was one long-winded fight scene after another, some ridiculously over-the-top, at times, but overall, great, exciting, escapist entertainment.


El Gringo [2012]

IMDb = 5.5
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 31
Personal = 4.3


An American with a satchel containing $2 Million gets stuck in a small, lawless Mexican town. Good example of film makers not knowing how to make films. They couldn't decide whether to make this witty or serious and failed on both fronts. The characters were blase, the dialogue bad, and the action sequences (except when El Gringo is trying to catch a bus) were edited in a really odd fashion that made them simply difficult to watch or understand. Skip it.


Dark Feed [2013]

IMDb = 3.3
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 12
Personal = 7.3


Film makers are making a movie in an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Sound familiar? Despite it's horrendous public ratings and it's painfully amateurish acting, I loved this movie. I'm guessing they actually used a large abandoned building to film in as the sets were fantastic. The pacing was excellent and I really enjoyed how the characters were succumbing to the danger, one by one, without anyone else even knowing there's a threat. Great imagination on this one.


Dead Snow (aka Dod sno) [2009]

IMDb = 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes = 67 / 56
Personal = 5.1


Nazi zombies from WWII. Ok. The biggest crime in making a movie, imo, is to establish a bunch of principal characters as being reasonably intelligent - in this case, medical students - and then proceed to have them behave like morons. The Nazi zombie idea is simply a novelty. Any creature could have filled that role. So, what we have here is a bunch of monsters attacking stupid people in a cabin. We've seen that. It did have some good moments but most of the gags were ludicrous or just fell flat.


Porky's [1981]

IMDb = 6.2
Rotten Tomatoes = 30 / 57
Personal = 7.0


It's been over 35 years since my wife and I first saw this film and the principal's office scene, as well as a few others, still had us rolling with laughter today. I'm normally not one for adolescent humor but this movie did it right. Despite being called the worst movie of the year in 1981 by nearly every critic alive, this movie is just freakin' funny with some absolutely iconic scenes. Pretty good social commentary, as well.


The Void [2016]

IMDb = 5.8
Rotten Tomatoes = 73 / 50
Personal = 7.6


A cop stumbles across an injured man and takes him to an out-of-business hospital. Hell then proceeds to break out. Didn't see a mention of being based on any H.P. Lovecraft but it certainly is Lovecraftian. Doesn't make much sense but when you're dealing with indescribable monsters (some of the best I've seen since "The Thing") and gateways to somewhere else, it doesn't need to make sense. Very horrific stuff. Good job!!


What's the Matter with Helen? [1971]

IMDb = 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes = 33 / 40
Personal = 6.2


I remember this movie terrorized me back in the 70's. Apparently, I was an impressionable teen back then as it's pretty light fare by today's standards. If you can get through the first half of the film, which has far too much dancing and entertainment for this type of movie, what we have here is a great character study of a descent into madness and the tragic result. Excellent performances by Debbie Reynolds and Shelly Winters.


Deadtime Stories: Volume 2 [2011]

IMDb = 3.9
Rotten Tomatoes = - / -
Personal = 7.4


Surprisingly much better than the first one. Rather than make them campy or tongue-in-cheek, these three stories were dead serious, gut-wretchedly gruesome, and disturbing as hell. The stories were rather long-winded and they could have easily slipped a fourth story in here but, no matter. It's got lousy ratings. I guess if it isn't academy award winning material, it's garbage. This is good stuff. Just enjoy it, at night, alone, in the dark.


Bastard [2015]

IMDb = 4.6
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 43
Personal = 3.5


Had a good precept at the beginning but didn't really do anything with it and the end was just silly. In between, 75% listening to boring, unlikable characters and 25% unpleasant gore. I don't have anything against gore - as you've probably noted - but this was just gore for the sake of showing it to the viewer. No class. This is one of those few movies where I just couldn't wait for it get over with.



Serenity [2005]

IMDb = 7.9
Rotten Tomatoes = 82 / 91
Personal = 8.5


I never caught the series "Firefly", although I know it's got quite a fan base. So, this movie, and its characters, was a completely new experience for me. The spaceship, Serenity, is composed of a group a pirates who have a girl on-board who is incredibly psychic, fights better than Mystique, and mentally, quite unstable. Chaos ensues. Absolutely excellent sci fi Western with Star Wars quality spec fx.



The Boondock Saints [1999]

IMDb = 7.9
Rotten Tomatoes = 20 / 91
Personal = 8.5


Didn't know anything about this film until I happened to run across a trailer and thought I'd check it out. Except for the cat (which I hate to admit I found morbidly amusing), this was an exceptional movie. Basically about 2 guys who go on a vigilante spree in South Boston. Conjuring up reminders of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, this movie had some excellent shoot-em-up action and some very colorful characters (William Defoe was exceptional).


Transit [2012]

IMDb = 5.8
Rotten Tomatoes = 43 / 30
Personal = 7.1


Thieves stash $4 million from an armored car robbery on an SUV of a family going camping so they can get it through a road block. Getting it back should be easy enough, right? Wrong! Despite the principals doing a couple of really stupid things, which bugs me, this movie turned out to be an intense, high-action thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Excellent performances by Jim Caviezel and James Frain. Good fun!


Memories of Murder (aka Salinui chueok) [2003]

IMDb = 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes = 89 / 93
Personal = 8.2


The film chronicles what is basically referred to as the Zodiac of South Korea as 10 women were raped and murdered between '86 and '91 and the killer was never caught. Three vastly different detectives and how the case affects them is central in this character study of hope, wishful thinking and frustration. Director Bong Joon Ho (Mother, Snowpiercer) delivers another personal, intense story that firmly holds you to your seat.


Tales from the Darkside: The Movie [1990]

IMDb = 6.2
Rotten Tomatoes = 35 / 44
Personal = 5.3


TFTD was a fairly entertaining, tongue-in-cheek, horror anthology TV series. For a movie, however, you'd think they would have turned it up a few notches ...especially with the talent backing up the writing. But, basically what we have here is 3 stories that are no different than watching 3 episodes of the TV show. It's not bad - in fact, I enjoyed it for what it was - it just wasn't anything special.



51 (aka Area 51) [2011]

IMDb = 3.5
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 12
Personal = 4.4


Political and public pressure force the military to give a couple reporters a tour of Area 51. Fortunately, the film isn't quite as ludicrous as believing that would actually happen. The dialogue was very weak and the first 30 min and the final scene were pretty hokey. The rest of the movie was a typical low budget, man shooting aliens slaughtering man scenario which was entertaining but nothing special. Lady Death was a pretty good monster.


Planet Terror [2007]

IMDb = 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes = 74 / 77
Personal = 8.9


This viral infection zombie film is a direct parody to the grind-house, exploitation-style, drive-in, B-movies of the '60s & '70's done to perfection. The film is so finely crafted, it even looks like old scratchy film and includes intentional continuity errors, intermission screens, a movie preview, and even a missing reel. The film itself is campy, it's gross, it's seriously over-the-top, and it's damn near perfect. For a good time, call PLANET TERROR.


Reviews Coming Soon

Rejuvenatrix (aka Rejuvinator) [1988]
The Dark Knight [2008]
The Thompsons [2012]
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth [1992]
The Unborn [2009]
House of Bodies [2014]
Antibodies [2005]
The Prophecy II [1998]
The Accountant [2016]

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