Rotten Tomatoes = 36 / 60
Personal = 8.9 Links Updated 8/22/19
The final film in the trilogy depicts the machines attempt to destroy Zion and Neo's attempt to stop it. Far less complex than the previous films as everything culminates into a massive mechanical war that is truly impressive. Lot of people really disliked this film, compared to the others, with the way it ended. But for me, it was a perfectly logical conclusion to an amazing story. May not have been a perfectly happy ending but it was fitting and made sense. No complaints here. I loved it.
Power Rangers 
Rotten Tomatoes = 49 / 65
Personal = 5.8 Links Updated 8/22/19
After 65 million years the power stones are dropped into the hands of 5 high school outcasts and a fallen ranger intent on destroying the universe. This film is a good example of expanding an hour's worth of material into a 2 hour movie. It took over 90 mins for the Power Rangers to finally get going and then they had one confrontation and that's it. The last half hour had some good action and eye candy but that barely made up for the investment in time to get that far. Not bad, just badly paced with no surprises.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 
Rotten Tomatoes = 48 / 49
Personal = 7.7 Links Updated 8/22/19
Isla Nublar Island, home of the dinosaurs of
has become volcanic and a tycoon finances a mission to capture and save 11 species. Unfortunately, those doing the job have plans of their own. I found this to be a great film within the Jurassic series. It has a story that's more complex than the usual "dinosaurs are loose" which seems to permeate most of the others and that the dinosaurs are not nearly as dangerous as human greed. Of course, once they are loose, things get pretty intense. Great entertainment!
Deadly Presence 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / -
Personal = 3.4 Links Updated 8/22/19
A girl becomes possessed by the spirit of a serial killer when she and two friends perform a seance in one of the murder houses. Obviously an amateur pet project by Shane Cole and Megan Lynn; writing, directing, photography, acting and a multitude of other credits. You have to admire making a film for $1600 and getting it on Amazon Prime. However, the money was not well spent. Beyond the embarrassingly amateur look to the film, the dialogue and pacing were just awful ...every scene nearly put me to sleep.
Rotten Tomatoes = 100 / 79
Personal = 7.3 Links Updated 7/23/19
At age 18, in 1992, Sandy Tan wanted to make a film more than anything else. Her and a group of friends made a road movie in Singapore ...something no one else was doing. After creating 70 rolls of film, their director took everything and disappeared. Sandy Tan now tells her remarkable story of dreams destroyed and regained in this personal and heartfelt biography. I don't normally watch biographies but this one was well worth the time and the journey.
Kingsman 1: The Secret Service 
Rotten Tomatoes = 74 / 84
Personal = 8.1 Links Updated 8/22/19
A billionaire believes the way to solve the world's problems is to transmit an audio signal that causes everyone to want to kill each other. In the meantime, the Kingsman are recruiting a new member into their organization of secret agents. Fantastic way to start off a franchise. Supremely colorful characters, involved, compelling story, incredibly well defined and choreographed action scenes (especially the Kentucky church scene ...WOW!) and enough humor to keep you smiling the whole time. Flint and Bond, step aside.
No Escape 
Rotten Tomatoes = 46 / 62
Personal = 6.5 Links Updated 8/22/19
A man's job takes him, his wife, and two little girls to live in an unnamed Southeast Asian country. They happen to arrive on the same day a military coup has overthrown the government and they're killing foreigners. This nail-biter plays out in a realistic, logical way forcing the family to find some unimaginable courage and fortitude. The tension never lets up as they desperately try to make their way to some sort of safe haven. I've seen better films of this type but this one was quite effective and quite a ride.
Stepfather II 
SPOILER WARNING: the trailer is literally the whole movie, including climax, in 2 mins. Rotten Tomatoes = 0 / 34
Personal = 6.6 Links Updated 8/11/19
After surviving his wounds, our Stepfather is committed to an asylum which he soon escapes and is now trying to establish a new family ...and deals harshly with those who interfere. If you liked the
you should like this one. It doesn't have the same level of intensity or uneasiness, the story is simpler and focused directly on the principals involved, and Terry O'Quinn doesn't have the quality of material he had before but still manages to make a convincing sociopathic nice guy. Make room for daddy!
Rotten Tomatoes = 86 / 70
Personal = 7.8 Updated 7/29/19
Tourists can now go to Medieval World, Roman World, or Westworld, and experience the lawless west of the 1880's in complete safety ...unless something goes wrong. I haven't seen this film since in came out in 1973. I remember it being very cool then and I expected it to now be somewhat hokey and dated. Surprisingly, it's held up rather well and is not nearly as dated as I thought it would be. I felt the chase sequence near the end dragged on for way too long but I still enjoyed it immensely.
Ocean's Eight 
Rotten Tomatoes = 69 / 44
Personal = 6.5 Links Updated 6/21/19
Debbie Ocean is released from prison after 5 years where she's had plenty of time to plan her next super heist. The characters are extremely enjoyable, the story was good and, overall, my wife and I enjoyed the film fine. However, for a movie of this type, it had sparse good wit and banter. Also, the heist went nearly perfect in that there was hardly any need to adapt to a major unforeseen problem or an adversarial antagonist trying to bring them down making the heist somewhat bland and lacking suspense.
The Guest 
Rotten Tomatoes = 91 / 69
Personal = 8.4 Updated 2/15/19
A stranger introduces himself to the Peterson's explaining that he was with their son when he was killed in combat. They invite this unassuming and seemingly harmless soldier to stay for a few days ...not knowing he's a militarily created psychopath. The pacing was pitch perfect in this insidious nightmare of first, unknowingly being protected by a monster and then being confronted by it full force. Stand out performances for both Dan Stevens and Maika Monroe. Magnificent thriller.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs 
Rotten Tomatoes = 91 / 77
Personal = 5.3 Links Updated 6/21/19
An anthology of western stories brought to us by the Coen Bros. With me, I either love or hate anything the Coen brothers make. In this, the first two stories were quirky, humorous, exceptionally fun entertainment which served to set me up for a big fall as it was all downhill from there. The next two stories were long-winded affairs with unsatisfactory endings. The next one was a wonderful 'romance on a wagon train' story whose ending was so sad, it rendered the whole thing pointless and the last story was just annoying. Works for many ...didn't work for me.
Rotten Tomatoes = 31 / 45
Personal = 6.9 Updated 8/22/19
A war between the companies and the miners on a distant planet has led nearly to total devastation. The miners created small robotic killers called screamers and gave them the ability to replicate themselves. Well, they have ...with upgrades. I was quite pleasantly surprised with this film. There isn't anything really new here but it was tense with believable characters and the screamers were sufficiently threatening to keep the viewer on edge. The end was sort of sappy, cliche and expected but still a fun ride.
Grave Encounters 
Rotten Tomatoes = 64 / 49
Personal = 8.3 Links Updated 7/13/19
A paranormal investigation show called 'Grave Encounters' decides to do an episode in an abandoned asylum overnight. There are a few movies that use this premise ...some reviewed here
etc.) but this was one of the first and probably the most terrorizing. There are actually very few jump scares and overt freights. The terror comes from the building itself and the pathetic, out-of-their-depth efforts of so-called 'ghost hunters' as they try to deal with activity that defies logic. Realistic and horrifically well made.
Patient Zero 
Rotten Tomatoes = 17 / 23
Personal = 4.3 Links Updated 8/22/19
A strain of rabies has taken over nearly every human on the planet. A small scientific research center attempts to find patient zero in hopes of developing a cure. Most of the movie is talking. That in itself isn't so bad as the writer has a knack for decent dialogue. But, after a whole lot of philosophizing with an infected human, we have a big action scene culminating in an anti-climactic ending that was pretty lame. With all that talk, I figured there would be a resolution of some kind but, nope ...nothing's resolved. Mildly entertaining.
Book Club 
Rotten Tomatoes = 54 / 53
Personal = 6.8 Links Updated 7/23/19
A light (despite the subject matter) romantic comedy about 4 elderly women whose lives are changed when they read '50 Shades of Grey' as a selection of their self-created book club. All the characters are extremely likable and sincere with most being actors we've seen all our lives, the situations and relationships are very funny and handled realistically. This isn't the type of movie that I generally watch but it was quite enjoyable entertainment and I really have nothing negative to say about it.
The Nun 
Rotten Tomatoes = 26 / 36
Personal = 5.7 Links Updated 8/22/19
Part of the Warren universe series of films
etc.), this one chronicles an investigation in the early 50's into the apparent suicide of an abbey nun in Romania by a Father of the church, who specializes in these things, and a nun-to-be who has visions. Incredibly simple story ...a gate has opened letting evil in and now it must be closed. So, the film is basically just a long series of horrific events, one after the other, until it's all resolved. It does have some pretty effective scares and generally entertaining.
Bad Blood: The Movie 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 79
Personal = 3.1 Links Updated 5/15/19
Unauthorized experiments using a liquid extracted from frogs turns people into repulsive werefrogs that likes to tear other people apart. I understand this is an amateur, low budget film and I tried to give it some credit for that but, boy ...this was ugly. The writing is third grade level at best, I was embarrassed for the actors, the film spent far too much time on things that did not matter and, overall, it just stunk. The creature was delightfully disgusting and some of the gore gags were cool but that's the best I can say for it.
Last Woman on Earth 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 15
Personal = 5.2 Links Updated 8/22/19
While a gambler, his wife and his lawyer are scuba diving in Puerto Rico, the atmosphere is inexplicably robbed of it's oxygen temporarily. They discover they are the only ones alive on the island. Unlike most of Corman's films at the time, the event is the only thing about this film that is sci fi. In fact, this is a rather interesting character study of the dynamics between the last woman, an overbearing husband and a sensitive but fatalistic friend that goes pretty much as expected. Overly melodramatic but a good film.
I Still See You 
Rotten Tomatoes = 18 / 51
Personal = 7.3 Links Updated 8/22/19
An experiment gone awry killing thousands. The ghosts of those killed becomes a part of the lives of the living, even though they cannot interact ...or can they? I found this fascinating. The premise is quite unique (I knew nothing about the book). It's slow paced and isn't heavy on freights but the story was complex with quite a few minor twists and turns and had me fully engaged throughout. Once again, if you're going to analyze it to death, you won't like it. Just enjoy the ride, it's a good one.
Rotten Tomatoes = 20 / 33
Personal = 4.0 Links Updated 8/10/19
In the near future, a woman, who works for a service performing assisted suicides, begins to suspect there's a conspiracy between her work and farming drones. Having to sit through 2 drawn out scenes of assisted suicide wasn't bad enough, I had to wait for 45 mins before she was even aware something isn't right and another 15 to find out what. The rest of the movie drags out a climax that's about as unexciting as it gets. Might have been a decent film if the pacing was improved and they put a bit more tension and excitement in it.
To Live and Die in L.A. 
A Treasury agent will stop at nothing to bring down a master counterfeiter who killed his partner ...and his new partner is scared to death. This is a tense crime drama with a good story, great pacing, a shocking event that'll take the viewer completely be surprise and one of the best car chases ever filmed. It was also fun to watch William Petersen and Willem Dafoe in early roles before anyone knew them. Seems a bit dated today but still holds up well. Great, exciting entertainment.
Elevator to the Gallows 
Rotten Tomatoes = 93 / 91
Personal = 7.7 Links Updated 4/26/19
A corporate exec kills the head boss at the behest of the boss' wife (who he's having as affair with) and effectively makes it look like suicide. When he returns to the office to fix a careless mistake, he initiates a comedy of errors and coincidences that ends up involving 4 more people and 2 more murders. French noir with a Miles Davis soundtrack, this was quite a treat to watch as one thing after another turns a simple crime into a total mess. Even the cops get everything backwards. Nicely done.
Rotten Tomatoes = 79 / 72
Personal = 7.4 Links Updated 7/23/19
Black Hawk Down,
nearly the entire film is about a Philippines drug enforcement squad fighting their way out of a Manila slum after a botched drug raid. Although long in the tooth, you certainly can't accuse this film of being boring. The action simply never stops maintaining a high level of tension that actually wears the viewer down. There's a single-shot scene that runs over 3 minutes that has some amazing choreography involving over 60 people. The body count is off the scales!
aka Mindscape Rotten Tomatoes = 33 / 38
Personal = 8.2 Links Updated 8/22/19
A man, who can enter other people's memories, is assigned to evaluate if a teenage girl is being manipulated into an institution or is she a manipulative sociopath. Manipulation is the key word here as the movie brilliantly manipulates the viewer into never being sure one way or the other ...as soon as it convinces you one way, it yanks you back. Convincing performances by Mark Strong & Taissa Farmiga, exceptionally well written and directed, and, even with no action to speak of, the tension is constant. Excellent film!
Rotten Tomatoes = 71 / 73
Personal = 8.3 Links Updated 8/22/19
Taught legal drama pitting an engineer, who's developed a plan to murder his wife, confess to the crime and still walk away a free man, and a state's attorney who simply will not give up. Stellar performances from Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins (his best role since Hannibal Lector, imo). Great story with exceptional dialogue and a very satisfying ending. Bravo!
Rotten Tomatoes = 33 / 55
Personal = 4.2 Links Updated 8/22/19
A 14-year-old boy finds an alien gun. His ex-con brother is being hunted by a psychotic loan shark. What's to do? Road trip! ...and what a long dull trip it's been. Everyone in this film is boring, uninteresting, and/or unlikable. They have no charisma, no humor, and, as such, generates no empathy. The constant attempts at the brothers bonding falls flat and wastes time. No real action to speak of except the climax, which was exciting, albeit somewhat cheesy. It'll have it's fans but not this one.
Tears of the Sun 
Rotten Tomatoes = 33 / 69
Personal = 6.3 Links Updated 7/23/19
A group of Navy Seals are sent into the middle of a Nigerian civil war to extract a doctor but they end up escorting several Nigerian refugees to Cameroon. Aside from being too long, they spent way too much time yanking heart strings to the point of distraction. In fact, I was getting so tired having my sympathy sucked out of me towards the end, I was going, "Jeez, let's get this over with". Fairly realistic depiction of genocidal warfare, though ...there were some pretty rough moments. Good film just more war, less drama, please.
The Outer Wild 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 29
Personal = 3.7 Links Updated 5/20/19
In a post-apocalyptic world, under a red sun, a girl, who is supposed to hold the cure, escapes from a compound and journeys to some place to find an answer? I think? That's the problem with this film in that everything is so vague. Nobody simply answers a question or talks normally in this film ...it's like they find it necessary to be mysterious, to hold secrets. It's frustrating as hell as a viewer as I don't quite know for sure what anybody's talking about or what anyone wants. Even the vague ending left me going, "I don't get it".
The Scorpion King 5: Book of Souls 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 73
Personal = 7.1 Links Updated 8/22/19
The Scorpion King is brought out of retirement to find a Book of Souls to destroy a sword called the Fang of Aribus being welded by an evil warlord. Surprisingly, I really liked this one. Zach McGowan was a complete natural as a barbarian making the character very real. In fact, everyone did a good job for a low-budget adventure. The only thing I didn't like was the golem ...not serious enough and using it for comedy relief was a big mistake. But, overall, exciting fun ...just don't expect too much from it.
Odd Thomas 
Rotten Tomatoes = 36 / 65
Personal = 8.2 Links Updated 8/22/19
Not only can Odd see dead people, he can also see Bodaches, creatures that feed on tragedy and death, and they're swarming all over his town. Can he stop impending doom? Books and movies are different mediums and I never judge a movie based on how accurately it reproduces a novel. The point is, did they get the essence of the novel right. In this case, an emphatic YES! The late Anton Yelchin IS Odd Thomas exactly as I pictured him. The story was serious, yet light and amusing and the ending brought tears to my eyes. Excellent adaption!
This Is the End 
Rotten Tomatoes = 83 / 71
Personal = 5.0 Links Updated 8/22/19
A bunch of comedians and stars are partying at John Franco's place when Armageddon begins. Comedy is subjective for each person and my personal rating is just that as the humor here didn't really do much for me. The beginning of the apocalypse was great, and some of the sight gags were fun but about 60% of the film is just them talking, debating, arguing, and insulting each other with that sort of good buddy bathroom humor that, for me, just made it dull. If you like that type of humor, you'll love it.
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 38
Personal = 6.2 Links Updated 8/22/19
When a woman opens a fertility box, that was given to her as a house warming present, she lets loose a evil and malicious entity. There really isn't anything new here; the story's simple and there are no surprises. But I felt is was done quite effectively. It entertained me and sent a few shivers down my spine at the same time. If you're just looking for something with a few choice scares without anything special, this will probably fill the bill.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three 
Rotten Tomatoes = 100 / 87
Personal = 5.2 Updated 7/23/19
Four men hijack a subway car and demands the NYC mayor to pay them $1mil dollars in one hour or they're going to start killing hostages. I really like the
modern day version
so I went back to look at the film that inspired it. I was disappointed. I liked it but this film is firmly planted in 1974 and didn't age well, imo. Considering the ratings, I'm obviously a minority but for me, unconvincing, obnoxiously over-the-top characters (except Matthau), actionless, tenseless story, and a silly, anti-climactic ending.
Living in the Future's Past 
Rotten Tomatoes = 80 / 86
Personal = 5.8 Links Updated 8/22/19
A film talking about the past, present and future of the world with its central focus on energy, the essence of the universe. If you're looking for a philosophical discussion on the subject, this is the movie for you and on that note, it was pretty good. However, this film provides nothings in the way of hard data or how to solve the problems it presents. Overall, it was just repetitive philosophy from talking heads for an hour and a half ...sort of like a big rendetion of "Come Together". Photography was beautiful, though.
He's Out There 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 35
Personal = 3.3 Links Updated 7/23/19
An unimaginative, uninspired and hopelessly contrived 'cabin in the woods' film about a woman and her two daughters under siege by a psycho who wears a silly mask for no reason. It's really hard to have a lot of sympathy for the victims in a film in which the writer decided the psycho was twice as smart as said victims ..who aren't very smart to begin with. How do you foil a psycho like that? Simple! Suddenly, for no reason except to end the story, make the psycho twice as stupid as the victims! No scares ...just a whole lot of frustration and disappointment.
Repo Man 
Rotten Tomatoes = 98 / 79
Personal = 9.9 Links Updated 8/22/19
Self proclaimed white suburban punk Otto slips into the repo business about the same time a $20k reward goes out for a '65 Malibu being driven by a mad scientist with the radioactive decaying bodies of 4 aliens in the trunk. Phew! This doesn't begin to describe how totally wacky this film is with some truly magical LOL moments. Yet it's never silly or forced but rather driven by a collection of characters that are nothing short of genius and gags that are perfectly played. Been a cult classic for 35 years and will be one for another 35.
Tea with the Dames 
aka Nothing Like a Dame Rotten Tomatoes = 99 / 85
Personal = 7.2 Links Updated 7/23/19
An open conversation and a trip back through time with Dames Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Joan Plowright, and Maggie Smith. My wife and I really enjoyed this film. It included a lot of film history through archival footage and still shots. The chatter around that table was obviously among old friends that have known each other forever. At times touching, oftentimes LOL funny, it was really quite enjoyable.
The Human Centipede (First Sequence) 
Rotten Tomatoes = 50 / 25
Personal = 2.7 Updated 6/3/19
A mad doctor attaches 3 victims, anus to mouth, to create a human centipede. This film is simply vile and revolting. I knew that going in but I thought there would be something about it that I might find entertaining - maybe a bit of camp, some humor perhaps, albeit possibly unintended, maybe a colorful character or two - but no, this film has nothing entertaining about it ...and I would suspect any individual who did find it entertaining. Pretty sick stuff! I think I'll skip
Guardians of the Tomb 
aka 7 Guardians of the Tomb Rotten Tomatoes = 7 / 26
Personal = 4.6 Links Updated 8/22/19
Your basic modern day D&D style adventure with a party looking for the main girl's brother and an elixir that is said to grant immortality. The highlight of this film is that they were continually pursued by millions of intelligent spiders making it rather creepy for those arachnophobes out there ...like myself. Beyond that, the characters were pretty shallow, the scenarios were unimaginative and it was pretty much exactly what you would expect without any thrills or surprises. The ending scene was stupid. Mildly entertaining.
Rotten Tomatoes = 80 / 49
Personal = 8.2 Links Updated 9/7/19
Prior to the films
Before I Wake,
Ouija: Origin of Evil,
and episodes of
The Haunting of Hill House, Mike Flanagan made this little gem on KickStarter funds. It's about two sisters, one whose husband disappeared 7 years ago that she's about to declare dead. Is he? If not, where's he been? The obvious low budget look of the film is handled with precision so that rather than feel amateur, it feels personal and real. The smoldering tension and creepy soundtrack makes the film drip with malice. Scary fun that will give you a phobia of pedistrian tunnels.
Beyond White Space 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / 33
Personal = 4.7 Links Updated 8/21/19
Moby Dick with the whale being a mammoth dragon guarding an area known as White Space. Lots of space action, cool creatures and high tech eye candy so I certainly wasn't bored. However, space physics were readily thrown out the window when inconvenient, the characters were illogically motivated with all the wrong goals, and the way the story played out was an absolute mess. Seeing the anticipated area beyond white space in the final seconds, was terribly anti-climatic ...albeit not entirely unexpected.
Rotten Tomatoes = 63 / 59
Personal = 7.9 Links Updated 8/20/19
Angelina Jolie is at the top of her game in this action thriller about her possibly being a Russian mole in the CIA. The story is complex and twisted leaving you to wonder who's side she's on from one moment to the next ...and her final kill is precious! The action is top notch with several gags I haven't seen before. Overall, very exciting and fun and left wide open for a sequel which, I guess, ain't coming. Pity.
Rotten Tomatoes = 33 / 21
Personal = 7.8 Links Updated 7/23/19
The police investigate a mass slaughter in a house where a mass slaughter took place 25 years before. We witness the events as told by the sole survivor. Very smart and very creepy, everyone demonstrated a high level of intelligence, which is a plus in my book, and their actions were logical, albeit misguided. Lots of jump scares (I usually regard as cheap tricks) that were extremely effective. Super twist ending that changes everything. I've included this one in my
Doc's Profoundly Twisted
list on IMDb. Beyond the twist, no new ground here but it's good!
Rotten Tomatoes = 47 / 90
Personal = 4.4 Links Updated 8/22/19
Aliens occupy the Earth so now we go to war. This film is as generic as they come with absolutely nothing original. The action was weak, the aliens looked silly, the story provided nothing new, the characters were shallow with their attempts at emotional scenes falling completely flat and the spec fx were nothing more than a lot of explosions, rays out of the guns and an occasional vague glimpse of the alien's aircraft and spaceships. It's not really a bad movie, it's just that I don't really have anything good to say about it.
Rotten Tomatoes = 62 / 37
Personal = 7.5 Links Updated 9/2/19
As teen friends gather together on Skype, an unknown person appears calling themselves Laura ...a girl that committed suicide a year previously. Being a certified computer tech and an overall nerd, I love this film but ...probably more so than the average viewer. The entire film is seen through one of the participants monitors adding to the realism and spontaneity. Not quite as good as
(probably due to it having a supernatural element whereas DW did not making it more realistic) but still very effective.
Herbert West: Re-Animator 
Rotten Tomatoes = - / -
Personal = 7.4 Links Updated 8/15/19
A doctor goes mad trying to come up with a formula to bring his daughter back to life. Instead he begins to break down the boundaries between reality and ...somewhere else. When it started, I thought that it was going to be really hokey. But the more I watched the more I realized that this film was sacrificing a comprehensible story for a vision that is hauntingly fantastic and surrealistically disturbing and beautiful. Besides
this is the most bizarre film I've seen this year ...as the very last movie of the year. What a fascinating vision!
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