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A.I. Rising [2018] Ab Tak Chhappan [2004] Ab Tak Chhappan 2 [2015]
The Abandoned [2006] The ABCs of Death [2012] ABCs of Death 2 [2014]
ABCs of Death 2.5 [2016] Absentia [2011] The Accountant [2016]
Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright [2010] Acts of Violence [2018] Advantageous [2015]
The Adventures of Tintin [2011] Agenda: Payback [2018] AI Rising [2018]
Airplane! [1980] Alien [1979] Alien 3 [1992]
Alien: Covenant [2017] Alien: Resurrection [1997] Aliens [1986]
All About the Money [2017] All Hallows' Eve [2013] All Hallows' Eve 2 [2015]
All the Creatures Were Stirring [2018] All the Devil's Men [2018] Alligator [1980]
Alone in the Dark [1982] Along Came the Devil [2018] Along Came the Devil 2 [2019]
Altered States [1980] American Assassin [2017] American Renegades [2017]
American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally [2021] Amjeon [2019] Among the Living [2014]
Amusement [2008] And Soon the Darkness [2010] Android Re-Enactment [2011]
Angel Has Fallen [2019] Angel Heart [1987] Angel of Mine [2019]
The Angels' Melancholia [2009] Animal House [1978] Anna [2013]
Anna [2019] Annabelle 2: Creation [2017] Annabelle Comes Home [2019]
Annihilation [2018] Ant-Man [2015] Ant-Man and the Wasp [2018]
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania [2023]
Antibodies [2005] Antiviral [2012] Anything for Jackson [2020]

The Adventures of Tintin [2011]


A journalist and his dog find themselves in the middle of a search for a famous ship, the Unicorn. I'm stunned! The animation is this Spielberg / Jackson production is so realistic that I was fooled into thinking I was watching a live action film on more than occasion. The story is exciting, conjuring up memories of childhood adventure stories, and the action / chase sequences (which are quite viewable) left me awestruck. The imagination in this is just overwhelming. For a film I knew nothing about until just recently, how did I miss this? Kids will love it!

American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally [2021]


Based on the trials of Mildred Gillars charged with treason for her radio broadcasting for the Nazis during WWII. This film had a lot of problems: Mildred was terribly miscast and did not once command the screen, the singing segments were cringe-worthy, the closing arguments, giving a showcase for Al Pacino, who certainly did rise to the occasion, went on twice as long as necessary, everything felt overly staged and the whole thing felt genuinely non-authentic. It was interesting historically, I didn't now anything about Gillars, but not a well made film.

Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright [2010]

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About to be arrested for a $10bil Ponzi scheme, Charlie disappears. Now the FBI, a Mexican cartel and a Russian mobster all want him. As far as film construction, awkward with a lot of wrong decisions. It's not a thriller. It spends most of its time intimately involved with its characters... which is fine. Their likable and the big name acting is great. But one group is only there to provide an action sequence and, although promising a big gun battle climax, it doesn't happen. Wouldn't have changed the ending any so why just let it peter out? Run out of money??

Advantageous [2015]


A character study taking place in a near-future world where society is advancing far faster than the humanity within it and how one woman will do anything to insure her daughter's future ...even if it means giving up herself. Although extremely slow paced, without any sort of climax or resolution to speak of, the characters draw the viewer deeply into their worlds with a slight shift in reality that feels both intimately familiar and subtly foreign and disturbing. Not for everyone but it's an extremely well made, personal journey well worth the experience.

Anything for Jackson [2020]


Grieving grandparents kidnap a pregnant woman and, thru a satanic ritual, attempt to use the unborn child as a host for their late grandson. What they get is far more than what they bargained for. I wasn't sure if I wanted to stick with this one as it seemed pretty lackluster but that fairly quiet beginning intentionally shatters the viewer's complacency by slowly sliding into concern, dread, terror and, ultimately, sheer bloody chaos. Quite original in it's story and presentation, this is a real treat for us horror fans looking for something new. Good job!

Alien: Covenant [2017]


A colony ship, on a trip to colonize Origae-6, is diverted to an earth-like planet via a radio signal. Should have just kept going. This second film in the timeline does a nice job of bringing the events of Prometheus forward into familiar Alien territory ...with a twist that changes pretty much everything we know about the aliens. Much more realistic and welcome characterizations in personality, intelligence, and behavior than the previous film taking things in a fairly logical direction. Not a lot of action in this one but what there is is solid, intense and terrifying. Good stuff!

Alien [1979]


The mining cargo vehicle, Nostromo, (which my online persona is named after) is interrupted on its voyage home by an unknown signal which results in a fight for survival with a malevolent and brutal alien. Albeit a common premise, this horror classic is done exceedingly well with terrifying results. Although the limitations of filming in '79 are apparent at times, the film is supremely non-dated and, after watching the two prequels, Prometheus & Covenant, and all the short films that's been produced, it takes on an entirely new slant both in characters and story.

Aliens [1986]

After being in suspended animation for over 50 years, Ripley returns to LV-426 (the setting for Alien), along with a Marine crew, when a human settlement goes silent. Sigourney Weaver's Oscar nominated performance, of being the only one who understands the gravity of what they're walking into, is perfectly contrasted against the clueless but gung ho Marines who just want to kick butt. Fully developed along a leisurely pace, the shift from painfully suspenseful to the all-out chaos of constant warfare is sudden and shocking. Strap in and hang on for dear life!

Alien 3 [1992]


After escaping LV-426, and without knowing that there's a alien egg on board, Ripley and company crash on a prison colony planet. As a continuation of the story... um... yeah, it does that, but at the cost of making much of the survival of Aliens pointless. At 2 1/2 hours, it did maintain my interest for the first 90 mins - the characters and social dynamics were engaging albeit overly and unnecessarily profane - but the last hour was just running around and getting killed and not as effectively as previous efforts. End was sad but logical. Generally entertaining.

Alien: Resurrection [1997]


200 years after Alien 3, Ripley, along with a queen xenomorph inside of her, are successfully cloned with predictably devastating results. This one's a good deal of fun with a hybrid Ripley bringing a whole new aspect to her character. The action starts early and presented in an exceptionally measured pace so as not to bore us or wear us out. And the action itself is exciting, well choreographed and intense. Even at this early stage in his career, writer Joss Whedon ( Firefly, Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) creates an exceptional chapter in the Alien story.

Amjeon [2019]

aka Warning: Do Not Play


A Korean supernatural / psychological thriller about a horror filmmaker who's having trouble coming up with new inspiration for a film. When she hears rumors about a film made by a ghost that terrified and killed those that saw it, she goes on a hunt to find a copy. This was a fairly good movie with the main protagonist basically carrying the film. She's likable, despite her aloof and distant manner, and obsessively driven well beyond her rational fear. The film became somewhat cliche and overindulgent in the last 20 min, as well as perplexing, but a good view.

Angel Heart [1987]

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A P.I. is hired by a Mr. Zyphre to find out if a particular individual is alive or dead. The P.I. then finds himself in quite a pickle. This is one of those films I've just never got around to seeing ...and now I know why. Boring! For well over an hour, we watch this guy plod along like a buffoon - with the bodies of those he's questioned piling up behind him - waiting for something to happen. Then suddenly, it was all wrapped up and the big twist I vaguely saw coming as it's the only thing that made sense. Filled with confusing and unnecessary scenes, as well. (sigh).

The Abandoned [2006]


Siblings revisit a childhood home in Russia to investigate the weird circumstances surrounding their childhood. The structure of the film was a bit disjointed and confusing so I was never really clear what was happening and it's far slower than the heavily edited, chaotic nature of the trailer would indicate. There's a couple of good choice spooks but best to move on ...there's really not much to see here.

The Accountant [2016]

A high functioning autistic accountant / assassin is hired to find out if money is being embezzled from a high-tech research company. Mistake! Very complex, interweaving story line, loaded with history, presented in a smooth, easy-to-follow format that is intriguing, exciting, heartfelt and extremely satisfying. Several minor twists kept my attention glued to the screen for fear of missing something, as well. One of the best films I've seen in 2017.

Ab Tak Chhappan [2004]

aka 56 and Counting


Hindi police drama centering around the head of a special crime unit in Mumbai that basically goes out and kills gangsters. Very well presented story without resorting to sensationalism with terrific characters providing some extremely personal and, at times, emotional drama. Although somewhat long-winded, it kept my interest throughout. Well done!

All Hallows' Eve [2013]


After trick 'r treating, a boy finds a VHS tape in his bag of candy and the babysitter puts it on. It contains 3 horrific stories featuring the meanest clown this side of Pennywise. The filmmakers were smart in not trying to push an obviously low-budget film into something beyond their ability. Despite the lame dialogue and average, at best, acting, they managed to create a hell of an entertaining film with grotesque imagery, edgy tension, goofy aliens and blood splatterings worthy of Herschel Gordon Lewis. Nice job.

American Assassin [2017]


A man seeking revenge against terrorists, for the killing of his fiancee, attracts the attention of the CIA and becomes a recruit. Well made, high action film with a complex story and fully realized characters. Excellent and enjoyable dynamics between the new recruit and his boss. All in all, it sort of comes off as a high budget episode of 24 ...but a real good one. And, holy cow!! You'd be hard pressed to literally have a more explosive climax than this. Great fun!

Amusement [2008]

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A psycho kidnaps and terrorizes 3 women who laughed at him in school. Save me from writers without the imagination necessary to progress their contrived story without making everyone stupid. Scenes were dragged out so long that they quit becoming suspenseful and became just annoyingly frustrating. The psycho inspired no sense of dread and any of the victims could have killed him just about anytime they like but none were apparently smart enough to do so. Silly movie.

Animal House [1978]

One of the true comedy classics centering around a frat house full of the most unruly bunch of students in history. National Lampoon has never been able to top it since, imo. I also have the original companion yearbook which is just as funny and probably the best publication NL has ever produced. Truly funny stuff. These are the kind of movies that really make you miss the talents of late Doug Kenny (writer) and the late great John Belushi. Always a favorite. Great fan-made trailer.

Airplane! [1980]


This parody of Airport and Zero Hour launched a whole new sub-genre of comedy. Totally saturated with puns, innuendos, slapstick, irreverent and outrageous, in-you-face gags, it's quite likely if you don't see something humorous in every scene, you're probably not paying close enough attention. This total onslaught of silliness was cloned over and over again throughout the years but none have achieved the level of comic quality of this film. Absolute classic!

And Soon the Darkness [2010]


Two young American women who are either tragically naive or mortally stupid are bicycling through Argentina when, out in the middle of nowhere, they decide to have a girlie fight and separate. What a surprise when one disappears! Absolutely awful film with one cliche after another and not an original idea to be seen. It took over an hour for an interesting moment and then that moment was interrupted with yet another example of monstrous stupidity. Everyone in this film got exactly what they deserved. Next!

Annabelle 2: Creation [2017]


A dollmaker's daughter, Annabelle, is killed in a tragic accident and a doll he's made becomes a conduit between his dead daughter and a demon. 12 years later, he's opened his home up as an orphanage. Let's see what happens next. This film is pretty mediocre in all respects ...slow paced but not too slow, sufficient number of creeps but not quite creepy enough, interesting characters but nobody really stands out, creative story but nothing special. I liked it ...there just isn't anything new or surprising going on here.

Annihilation [2018]

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A group of scientists enter the shimmer ...an anomaly created by a meteorite that's spreading and apparently laying waste to whatever lies in it's path. If you like movies to be explained and wrapped up in a nice package, you're going to hate this film. It is so totally alien, there is little attempt by the filmmakers to explain anything making it simply a ride-along on a very profound journey ...rendering the implications all the more terrifying. I was absolutely captivated right up to the perfectly presented ambiguous ending. Two vigorous thumbs up!!

Acts of Violence [2018]

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A girl is kidnapped by traffickers / drug dealers from her bachelorette party in a club and starts a war. This is a good example of a film being far from perfect and yet still being quite good if you don't pick it apart. It's full of some really convenient plot points to move the story along - some of which were rather unrealistic - and the story is a very simple one we've seen before. But the characters were compelling and heartfelt, they maintained a great level of tension and the realistic action was exceptionally well constructed. I loved it.

Agenda: Payback [2018]

aka Unhinged

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A hustler, who's great at getting people to invest money in schemes that never pan out, is kidnapped by one of his victims who, in turn, invites other victims, one by one, to come by for a visit. This is a highly intense, sometimes painful, thriller that seems pretty straight forward to start but suddenly, when things go wrong, becomes an incredibly complicated game of wits and survival. Unlike the ratings seem to indicate, I found this film to be well written, well performed, and highly engaging. Good fun.

The ABCs of Death [2012]


26 stories, each representing a letter of the alphabet, by 26 different writers/directors. Unfortunately, it didn't work very well. Less than half dozen of the stories were any good. Of the rest, some were incomprehensible or full of abstract imagery that made no sense. Many seemed to be centered around toilets. Some were extremely revolting for the pure sake of being revolting ..especially the last few that I found to be very unpleasant to sit through. Better luck with the sequels.

Along Came the Devil [2018]

aka Tell Me Your Name


Apparently, it was decided it was time to make another exorcism movie as we haven't had one for, what ...6 months? Although it did a pretty good job in presenting us with the gross and gnarly possession make-up and the appropriate demonic behavior, there's absolutely nothing new here. And, what is presented, is not nearly as good as many. The laughably stupid ending, which I'm sure they thought would be a big surprise, did nothing more than basically turn the movie into one big shaggy dog joke.

Along Came the Devil 2 [2019]

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Jordon heads back to her hometown to find her sister and mother from the first film and a demon causes problems. There's about a 15 minute segment that's intense, violent, and well worth watching as dad has a Jack Torrance moment. Unfortunately, it's sandwiched by a whole lot of dragged out mundane blah, blah, blah. The character of Jordon has absolutely no screen charisma whatsoever and the writing is pretty lame, for the most part. The climax came off as a 'we ran out of money' ending resolving nothing. Are they really going to subject us to #3? *sigh*

Anna [2013]

aka Mindscape


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 psychological drama!

ABCs of Death 2 [2014]


26 short stories centered around death by 26 different filmmakers ...just like the first one. However, unlike the first one, this one has a greater ratio of good entertainment over the bad, nonsensical, and pointless fare that permeated the first one. In fact, I don't recall any story here that was intentionally repulsive for the sake of being repulsive which was rather common on the first one. I still don't think the collection is great but it's certainly improved and has a few really good ones.

ABCs of Death 2.5 [2016]

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Rather than present short films based on all the letters of the alphabet, like the other films, this one features vignettes all based on the letter 'M'. Out of 500 entries, this is supposedly the best 26. Halfway through this, I was solidly leaning towards a Mediocre tag and heading downhill but the 2nd half really turned it around with some truly inspired little creeps. There are a bunch which are rather pointless and, like the first film, a few meant only to be as revolting as possible but scattered among them are some real treasures ...certainly enough to get a Good tag.

All the Devil's Men [2018]

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Ex-Special Forces, now mercenaries, are hired by the CIA to track down and kill a terrorist. The trick to enjoying this one is to simply not expect it to be anything other than what it is ...a high-action, militaristic, shoot 'em up with several players, all with their own agendas that constantly force the story to twist and turn in various directions. The characters are well defined caricatures, which are exactly what they're supposed to be in this unrealistic world of "who's the bad guy". If you take it as is, it's really an exciting popcorn movie with nary a dull moment.

Alligator [1980]

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Flush a baby alligator down the toilet, mix it with some dead dogs used in a hormone experiment, let it stew for 12 years and you end up with one mean, big ass reptile. This movie was actually far better than I expected it to be. There were some characters, some dialogue and a few gags that were downright silly but, being as it was made in 1980, I'll give it some slack. The alligator effects, although obviously not state-of-the-art, were sufficiently gnarly and messy enough to make the whole thing rather entertaining. Get the popcorn!

A.I. Rising [2018]

aka Ederlezi Rising


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.

Ab Tak Chhappan 2 [2015]

aka 56 and Counting 2


Too much film wasted getting our hero from the first film, who has retired after the death of his wife, to rebuild the Encounter Corp as gangs are controlling the streets once again. Also, too much film spent on politics and melodrama. As a result, it didn't have the punch, intensity and level of action as the first one. Basic and familiar story formula where the big reveal will come as no surprise to most. Comes off more as a TV cop show episode than as a movie albeit a pretty entertaining one if you're not looking for anything new.

Alone in the Dark [1982]


4 criminally insane psychopaths escape an institution and lay siege to the house belonging to their new doctor as they think he killed the old one. I'm sure all the big names drew a crowd but this has to be the most casual and leisurely psycho killer movie I've ever seen. It just strolls along with no suspense or tension to speak of ...even the action and attack scenes feel lethargic. The writer / director, Jack Sholder, went on to direct The Hidden, one of the best thrillers of the 80's but it appears he hadn't gotten his chops yet on this one. Pretty dull.

Altered States [1980]

One of my favorite films since its initial release, a scientist, using psychedelic drugs and sensory deprivation chambers, attempts to regress back to the first conscious thought with terrifying results. William Hurt is perfect in his first film role as the obsessed scientist and surrounded by well known and much younger actors that we know well today. The story is highly scientific and philosophical as well as being horrific with spec fx that are incredibly effective, when you consider the film is over 40 years old. Still a favorite.

All Hallows' Eve 2 [2015]


Another anthology of horror tales that let me down. Not so much for the quality ...they were ok, even though none of the tales really stood out. My disappointment stems from some of the stories being re-edited and posted on Crypt TV's YouTube channel and I've seen them already. The wraparound story was lame, almost like they put it together as an afterthought. It was watchable and generally entertaining - certainly not as terrible as the ratings seem to indicate - but the first collection was mucho better.

Angel of Mine [2019]


A woman, suffering from depression over the loss of a child 7 years earlier, sees a girl at a birthday party and becomes convinced it's her daughter. Big fan of Noomi Rapace, not a big fan of this movie. Once the story is established, the film spends it's time showing us this person may be psychotic, a stalker, a danger, a nut case, etc. But, unlike the trailer's impression, I never felt a sense of danger or that she's really going to hurt anyone, except herself, making the film just dull. The climactic twist was great making it worthwhile. The Lifetime Channel crowd will love it.

The Angels' Melancholia [2009]

aka Melancholie der Engel


A group of people seclude themselves away in a deserted country castle to indulge in hedonistic perversions and misogynistic depravity. Activities include freely killing animals (non-simulated), surrounding themselves with carcasses, scat and other horrific and violent sexual acts, torturing a girl confined to a wheelchair, all while philosophizing the nature of true freedom. Pornographic, gory, perverse, disgusting, and sick, there are some that will admire this film (it won an award and does have a unique artistic flair) but I hope I never have to meet them.

Annabelle Comes Home [2019]


The Warren's bring home Annabelle and lock her in a case. Then their daughter, the babysitter and her friend have to deal with her when she gets out. Devoid of energy for the first 45 mins, with just a few choice moments, once it got going, it was pretty much a roller coaster ride to the climax but became a bit too warm and fuzzy with the "all is right with the world" ending. The whole thing felt so scripted that it was hard to approach it with any amount of believability. Overall, it was fun and entertaining but it doesn't appear the Warren movies are getting any better.

Android Re-Enactment [2011]


An engineer is fooling around with androids in an attempt to recreate a dinner party which marked the loss of the love of his life and he wants to figure out what he did wrong. But the androids are not cooperating. On a $30k budget, they managed to create quite an entertaining film. The actors overplay their caricatures perfectly, the dialogue is sharp and quotable, and Jeff Sinasac plays the lead with complete seriousness as the world around him descends into chaos. A campy, gore fest that's really fun and manages quite a few giggles along the way. Bravo!

Anna [2019]

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A girl, living in poverty with a criminally, abusive boyfriend, is recruited to be an assassin for Russia. This is an exciting film with a lot of problems. We have over-the-top fight scenes ala Kill Bill with her taking out 40 guys at a time in highly choreographed action sequences which seemed at odds with the serious espionage drama being established. Don't get me wrong ...they were great. Just felt like i was watching two different movies. Also, Sasha Luss' performance as Anna was void any charisma or personality making her, and by association, the film, somewhat dull and lifeless. Good, but not great.

Antibodies [2005]

aka Antikorper


This German film examines the stressed relationship between a cop / farmer of a small village trying to solve the brutal murder of a young girl and a convicted serial rapist / killer. Reminiscent of The Silence of the Lambs, this film is personal, tense and emotionally draining and spends a good deal of time trying to define what evil really is. I liked the film. My only real criticism is my usual gripe in that they probably could have done a bit more editing as it seemed to go on far longer than necessary.

Antiviral [2012]

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Mixing the body horror influences of his dad with a bit of Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch, Brandon Cronenberg has created a tale from the near future where people have become so celebrity obsessed that they'll infect themselves with diseases directly from their favorite stars. This is one of the most vividly surrealistic and viscerally physiological films I'm ever seen. Whether you condemn it as far too repulsive or praise it as a horror masterpiece, there is no denying that it is unlike anything you've ever seen before. Brilliant!

Ant-Man [2015]

A master thief is recruited by a scientist to become Ant-Man in an attempt to stop a corrupt CEO from developing similar technology. The casting is brilliant. Everyone plays their parts to perfection ...especially Paul Rudd whose performance is funny and heartfelt in equal doses. Exciting action and complex story we've come to expect from any MCU film and several laugh-out-loud gags that are classic. Another MCU treasure.

Ant-Man and the Wasp [2018]

Hank Pym, his daughter, Hope (Wasp) and Steve (Ant-man) strive to find a way to rescue Hank's wife from the quantum realm after 30 years. Standing in their way are the FBI, a black market trader, faulty equipment and a phase-shifting advisory known as Ghost. Great story with lots of twists and turns, excellent interplay between characters - especially Ant-Man and his daughter - wonderful action and some really funny laugh-out-loud moments.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania [2023]

Ant-Man's daughter develops a link to the quantum realm and someone uses that link to drag the family into it. I can understand the relatively low ratings for an MCU film and it basically boils down to what entertains you. Pretty simple story - a villain must be stopped while the group tries to find a way out - and, because it's in the quantum realm, it's terribly spec fx intensive. As for me, I found it incredibly exciting, eye candy was dazzling, the quantum inhabitants and villain were cool and the future possible implications are quite horrific. I really liked it!

American Renegades [2017]

aka Renegades / The Lake


A Navy Seals unit, in Bosnia, 1995, plans a heist to recover $300 mil worth of gold bars submerged in a town since WWII. Turn off all logic filters going into this film as they're liable to get in the way of your enjoyment. Loaded with logic errors and a disregard for general physics, the viewer is expected to just 'go with it'. Which is fine if there's something going on worthwhile. The biggest action sequence is the opening. The rest is discussing and executing the heist with surprising little excitement. Characters were likable, dialogue is snappy, mildly entertaining.

Angel Has Fallen [2019]


An assassination attempt leaves the president in a coma and someone sets up Mike Banning as the fall guy. That's a mighty big mistake. The 3rd film in the "...Has Fallen" series has the usual intense, exquisitely orchestrated action sequences, which still never fail to amaze and horrify, but also manages to get far more personal. Adding Nick Nolte as Mike's cantankerous dad was brilliantly casted and the rapport between the two was immediate and heartfelt ...as well as generating a few moments of chuckle humor. Maintains its high quality, nicely.

All About the Money [2017]


One of three friends, all of whom are living miserable lives, tricks the other two into capturing a major drug lord for the $25mil reward. This film was crude, but not too crude, zany, but not too zany, far fetched, but not too far fetched, a simple story, but not too simple... Basically, it's one of the more balanced comedies I've seen with truly likable and memorable characters and some genuinely funny laugh-out-loud moments. Done improperly, this could have been a silly waste of time but they did a great job and I found it extremely entertaining.

All the Creatures Were Stirring [2018]

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A Xmas horror anthology. Since they made no effort to not make the film look or feel low budget (probably spent all their money on the fairly well known character actors), I almost turned it off until a sudden and shocking moment in the 1st story had my undivided attention. Alas, the 1st story just stopped, the 2nd was ok, the 3rd, a slightly humorous version of Scrooge with no surprises, the 4th could have been written by a 10-year-old, the 5th was actually amusing, original and had an upbeat ending, and the wraparound was just silly. Marginally entertaining.

Among the Living [2014]

aka Aux yeux des vivants


Three students decide to skip the remainder of the last day of school before summer and they discover a woman tied up in a trunk and a couple psychos under a movie set. It's all downhill from there. After a brutal opening, the film has a total lack of energy for the first hour making all the 'scary' events lethargic and dull. There were few likable people and they got real stupid. The police are nincompoops. Every scene was contrived and planned out without any logic or imagination. The last 20 minutes were more ridiculous than words can convey.

Absentia [2011]


Prior to the films Oculus, Hush, Before I Wake, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Doctor Sleep, 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 pedestrian tunnels.

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