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.
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 (which are really quite hard to take seriously), I found myself amusingly entertained.
The Librarian 3: The Curse of the Judas Chalice 
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 Rotten Tomatoes = 42 / 63
Personal = 7.3 Links Updated 2/14/19
add a little
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 
Rotten Tomatoes = 27 / 61
Personal = 6.4 Links Updated 9/9/19
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
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 seem to embrace its premise as well as it's promising.
aka Madeo Rotten Tomatoes = 96 / 88
Personal = 7.7 Links Updated 9/9/19
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 Bong Joon Ho's
brilliant film making had me wrapped up in it nonetheless.
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 superbly choreographed fight scenes. Izabela Vidovic was great as the daughter, as well, and John Franco was great as a mildly psychotic killer. Very exciting film.
Creepshow 3 
Rotten Tomatoes = 0 / 11
Personal = 5.1 Links Updated 9/9/19
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
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.
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 
As if the
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.
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.
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 nurtured 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 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 31
Personal = 4.3 Links Updated 8/14/19
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 ...a sequence that was exceptionally well done) were edited in a really odd fashion that made them simply difficult to watch or understand. Skip it.
Dark Feed 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 13
Personal = 7.3 Updated 2/4/19
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 enjoyed how the characters either succumbed to insanity, or killed by those insane, without anyone aware of a threat til it's too late. Great imagination on this one and some truly humorous and horrific moments.
Dead Snow 
aka Dod sno Rotten Tomatoes = 68 / 56
Personal = 5.1 Updated 7/7/19
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, over-the-top, gory moments but most of the gags were ludicrous or just fell flat.
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 
A cop stumbles across an injured man and takes him to an out-of-business hospital. Hell then proceeds to break out ...literally. 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 really need to make sense. Very horrific stuff. Good job!!
What's the Matter with Helen? 
Rotten Tomatoes = 29 / 40
Personal = 6.2 Updated 8/23/19
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 and that twisted piano riff at the end sticks in your head for quite a while afterwards.
Deadtime Stories: Volume 2 
aka Deadtime Stories 2 Rotten Tomatoes = - / -
Personal = 7.4 Links Updated 9/9/19
Surprisingly much better than
Deadtime Stories: Volume 1.
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. I feel its bad rating is completely unjustified. This is good stuff. Don't try to over-analyze it. Just enjoy it, at night, alone, in the dark.
Had a good opening that caught my attention 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 shoving it in the viewer's face as if to say, "Look! Isn't this gross?". No camp, class or style. This is one of those movies where I just couldn't wait for it get over with.
Rotten Tomatoes = 83 / 91
Personal = 8.5 Links Updated 9/9/19
I never caught the series
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. I can see why Marvel picked up the director, Joss Whedon, for many of their movies now.
The Boondock Saints 
Rotten Tomatoes = 22 / 91
Personal = 8.5 Links Updated 8/4/19
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 to take out gangsters in South Boston. Conjuring up reminders of
this movie had some excellent shoot-em-up action and some very colorful characters (William Defoe was exceptional). Definite cult status film.
Rotten Tomatoes = 50 / 30
Personal = 7.1 Links Updated 7/30/19
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 a couple of really blatantly stupid plot devices - like destroying an essential cell phone in frustration (Seriously?) and a muscle car being completely silent to pull off a stunt - this movie turned out to be an intense, high-action thriller that kept me engaged throughout. Excellent performances by Jim Caviezel and James Frain.
Memories of Murder 
aka Salinui chueok Rotten Tomatoes = 90 / 93
Personal = 8.2 Links Updated 8/4/19
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 violent frustration. Director Bong Joon Ho (
delivers another personal, intense story that firmly holds you to your seat.
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie 
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.
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 12
Personal = 4.4 Links Updated 9/9/19
Political and public pressure forces 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, men shooting aliens slaughtering men scenario which was entertaining but nothing special. Lady Death was a pretty good monster.
Planet Terror 
Rotten Tomatoes = 74 / 77
Personal = 9.4 Links Updated 9/9/19
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.
aka The Rejuvenator Rotten Tomatoes = - / 22
Personal = 3.8 Links Updated 8/31/19
A research doctor is trying to develop a way to reverse aging. His financial support - an aging, down-and-out actress - insists that he experiment on her or she'll cut off his funds. Predictable mayhem results. Basically a remake of
The Wasp Woman
(without involving any wasps), this low-budget 80's schlock film with very cool and gnarly make-up work that, unfortunately, couldn't save the film from it's horrendous acting, worse dialogue and grossly extended scenes that really tests the viewer's patience. Blah.
The Dark Knight 
I was never really a fan of Batman, either in the movies or the comic books ...even when I was a big comic book fan. But this movie changed my whole outlook on the dark knight. The story is complex and well thought out, the action is excellent, and the characters are all fully realized - especially the Joker played by Heath Ledger in a performance that rates among one of the best ever. Marvelous film.
The Thompsons 
This sequel to
was surprisingly much better. Our family, inflicted with a disease that forces them to drink human blood, are on the run again. This time they travel to Europe in hopes of finding people like them. There, they meet the Stuarts ...and let the fun begin. Good story, including a nice romantic sup-plot, fast-paced, lots of blood and mayhem and a few twists kept me entertained throughout. I liked it.
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth 
Rotten Tomatoes = 41 / 36
Personal = 6.1 Links Updated 8/4/19
Not as profoundly or psychologically horrific as the first two as this one centers around Pinhead's attempt to make the whole world suffer and a reporter's attempt to stop him. Unfortunately, it makes the blasphemous mistake of changing the Cenobites from extra-dimensional beings of extreme experience into simply demons from hell and sort of forgot the whole Hellraiser mythos. Still rather grisly and perverse in it's own special way with parts of it sliding a bit over into the silly side. Not bad, though.
House of Bodies 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 16
Personal = 3.4 Links Updated 8/30/19
Ponderously slow and uneventful story jumping between a cop interviewing a convicted serial killer in hopes of hunting down a copycat and an online chat house that caters to online pseudo-sexual role playing that is being invaded by said copycat. There's nothing about his film that works ...no suspense, no tension, no sense of peril. It just looks like actors following a script in a movie with no style or technique. Waste of time.
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