July 2019

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Silencio [2018]

Rotten Tomatoes = 38 / 96
Personal = 5.2

After the death of his daughter's family, including the 2 granddaughters, a scientist finds a stone that allows him to go back and save one of the granddaughters. This, of course, creates problems. It's unfortunate but the filmmakers spent the entire movie draining the viewer of every drop of emotional energy through one heart-wrenching scene after another creating an extremely painful distraction to an otherwise interesting concept. Great acting but if they would have removed the overly long scenes of human anguish it would have made an excellent short film.

The Tortured [2010]

Rotten Tomatoes = 6 / 35
Personal = 3.5

A psychopath tortures a young child and the parents want revenge. This is an extremely painful film to watch ...and I'm not just talking about the torture. First they shove the child abduction down our throat for over half an hour. Then we watch the contrived actions of characters that would only exist in a script as they wishy washy their way through some truly sadistic and tortuous activity that no normal person would partake in regardless of the circumstances. The ending "twist" was an obvious and complete non-surprise. Poorly written nonsense.

Now You See Me 2 [2016]

Rotten Tomatoes = 34 / 53
Personal = 7.4

The group of master magicians, known as The Horsemen, stage a show to discredit a new communications czar who plans to use his new phones to collect information on everyone. Instead, The Horsemen inexplicably end up in Macau, China. It didn't feel as tightly constructed as the prequel but it was still loaded with clever illusions, eye-popping magic tricks and a truckload of entertainment. The very final scene left me baffled and irritated so be ready for that but overall, a really fun movie with amusingly colorful characters that will make you smile throughout.

I'll Take Your Dead [2018]

Rotten Tomatoes = 57 / 50
Personal = 5.8

A strange film about a man who gets rid of bodies delivered to him by gang members ...and one that happens to still be alive. Excellent character study of a daughter surrounded by death, a man who's clueless when it comes to his daughter and a woman gang banger becoming the driving force towards destruction. Somewhat simple but compelling with excellent acting. Without giving anything away, the movie seemed to unexpectedly change genres which I found jarring ...don't know if that helped or hurt the film. Interesting and above average.

Happy Death Day 2U [2019]

Rotten Tomatoes = 69 / 61
Personal = 7.1

Just when our hero from the first film thinks it's safe to live a normal life, it starts all over again. However, rather than be redundant, they created a very different and plausible story line - including how this all got started - making this film unique from the first one while traveling through familiar territory at the same time. The comedy level is fantastic involving far more people in this one. It did seem they overdid the obstacles and interference in this one making it feel like they were forcing them on you but no matter. This movie is just plain fun.

Chimera Strain [2018]

Rotten Tomatoes = 60 / 94
Personal = 2.2

A man freezes his kids while he attempts to create an immortality gene. I cannot emphasize how depressing this film is. Everyone in it is pathological; the obsessed doctor has philosophically moral discussions with his braindead wife and plays with his dead ..er, frozen kids, the head of the research base is a sociopathical, sadistic narcissist, and a girl who says she wants to help the doctor. Yeah, right. The dialogue was written by someone who thought they were writing Shakespeare ...people don't talk like that. Overly melodramatic with a terribly sad ending.

Peppermint [2018]

Rotten Tomatoes = 13 / 72
Personal = 8.4

Five years after her husband and daughter are killed by a gang drive-by shooting, a woman comes back to L.A. to take out the entire gang. Reminiscent of Death Wish on a much larger scale, she's had five years to train herself to be a bad-ass and she's pissed off and practically unstoppable. This is a pretty familiar story but done to perfection. Jennifer Garner is fantastic as the woman you continually cheer for regardless of the body count. Choreography was fantastic, pacing was fast and logical, tight story, the other characters fit right in. Awesome entertainment.

Inside Man [2006]

Rotten Tomatoes = 86 / 85
Personal = 9.1

What appears as a simple bank heist gone wrong turns out to be anything but. Probably my favorite bank heist film other than Heat, this complex story (where nothing is what it seems) presents us with a scenario where you can't possibly figure out what they're doing or how they expect to get away, despite their claim they'll just walk out the front door. Once one watches it, watching it a second time is just as much fun to catch the clues. Denzel Washington and Clive Owers are excellent and surrounded by other compelling characters as well. Super stuff!

A.I. Rising [2018]

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 92
Personal = 2.2

This sci fi is about an emotionally retarded scientist, being sent to Alpha Centauri by his employer, along with a cyborg who basically becomes an emotionally confused female. Hard to tell if the first half was sci fi or soft porn. And then, in an effort to make her more human, he removes her operating software. First thing she does is deny him sex! Their behavior and interactions were ridiculously contrived, unrealistic, and abysmally dull. In between these 'personal' moments, we get treated to long scenes of eye candy that are mediocre at best. Asinine.

30 Miles from Nowhere [2018]

Rotten Tomatoes = 80 / 50
Personal = 7.0

Like a psychotic version of The Big Chill, a group of old college friends reunion to a remote cabin of a fellow friend who committed suicide. Then things get strange. The filmmakers did a superb job of presenting our group of old friends as normal but there's always an air of subtle disturbance in every scene making the whole film unsettling. They don't avoid hiding what's probably going to happen but the events unfold in an insane, twisted fashion that had me dialed into every moment. Carrie Preston is awesome as the slightly unhinged, grieving widow. I really liked it.

Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines [2012]

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 17
Personal = 3.0

Our cannibal mutants, now staying with an equally insane relative, all decide to have some fun during a hillbilly festival. Although not nearly as ridiculous as WT4, this one isn't a whole lot better. I admired the first one for having genuine, intelligent victims. Unfortunately, they decided to make nearly every victim in this one die from their own stupidity. Some of the kills were creative but they quite often ruined it by taking the gore level way over-the-top just for gore's sake. Basically just cookie cutter characters in one contrived scene after another. Disappointing.

Captive State [2019]

Rotten Tomatoes = 44 / 40
Personal = 5.5

A small group of humans plan an insurgent act against our alien overlords who occupied Earth 10 years ago. Much ado about ...what? An inordinate amount of the film was used to depict a group coming together to perform their revolutionary act ...which was really minor and inevitably doomed to failure. What follows was totally obvious from the start, at least it was for me, and ending with "maybe" something changed. It was all rather entertaining to watch but, when it was all said and done, the best it gets from me is ...huh.

The Fast and the Furious [2001]

Rotten Tomatoes = 53 / 74
Personal = 7.1

A cop goes undercover to expose a theft ring inside the world of street racing. If you like macho, he-man movies full of muscle cars, you've probably seen this already ...and for those that don't, I'm probably not going to change your mind. I haven't seen the franchise myself but I do know that they get increasingly insane. So, I approached this one as an introduction and found it to be quite satisfying. The story is simple and has been played out a hundred times but the characters were great, the action was excellent and it was a really fun way to start a franchise.

Assimilate [2019]

Rotten Tomatoes = - / 57
Personal = 6.8

Although the film never gives any credit to the source of the idea, it's painfully obvious this film is yet another variation of Invasion of the Body Snatchers ...but a pretty good one. Mostly centers around 3 friends who have figured out that every resident in their little country town is being replaced by a replicate. The acting is fairly novice but they have the skills and they'll get better. The story was handled well (with enough variation to keep from being sued) and the story was logical and intelligent. Some good tension and a nice surprise ending rounds it all out well.

Planned Reviews Coming Soon

For my IMDb version of this list, Go Here!

The 16th Episode [2019]
Alone in the Dark [1982]
Altered States [1980]
Baby Snakes [1979]
The Birds [1963]
Black Coal, Thin Ice [2014]
Coffee and Cigarettes [2003]
Darna Mana Hai [2003]
Dementia 13 [1963]
Demon Eye [2019]
The Final Girls (2015)
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T [1953]
General Commander [2019]
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest [2009]
The Girl Who Played with Fire [2009]
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [2009]
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [2011]
Greta [2018]
Heavy Trip [2018]
Hellboy [2019]
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House [2016]
Jupiter's Moon [2017]
Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota [2018]
Piercing [2018]
The Recall [2017]
Samsara [2011]
Saving Private Ryan [1998]
Say My Name [2018]
Triangle [2009]

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