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Apartment 1303 [2007] The Apparition [2012] The Appearance [2018]
Aquaman [2018] Arizona [2018] Asmodexia [2014]
The Assassin's Code [2018] Assassin's Creed [2016] The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [2007]
Assimilate [2019] Asura: The City of Madness [2016] Asylum [1972]
Asylum [2014] Atomica [2017] Attack of the Giant Leeches [1959]
Attack the Block [2011] Autopsy [2008] The Autopsy of Jane Doe [2016]
Autumn Blood [2013] Ava [2020] Avalon [2001]
Avatar [2009] The Avengers [2012] Avengers 2: Age of Ultron [2015]
Avengers 3: Infinity War [2018] Avengers 4: Endgame [2019]
Await Further Instructions [2018] Awake [2019]
The Awakening [2011] The Axe Murders of Villisca [2016] Ayla [2017]

Awake [2019]

aka Wake Up

         

A man wakes up in a hospital after an accident with the owner of the car dead in the trunk ...and he doesn't remember anything. This ponderously slow mystery, with scene after scene of banal conversations, remained a mystery simply because of a massive plot hole at the beginning. I dismissed the obvious because of this but it turned out I was right making the main detective the stupidest in a bunch of stupid. Nothing exciting, compelling, intriguing, or worthwhile to sit through. The characters were somewhat likable. That's the best I can say for it.

Avalon [2001]


         

In a dystopian future, a girl spends her time fighting a war in an illegal virtual world in the hopes of finding a way to Avalon. I think that's what it's about as it's very cryptic ...and it's not like they didn't have time to explain it. Incredibly slow and long-winded with overly extended scenes that served no real purpose to the story. The virtual reality stuff in the beginning wasn't bad but it got worse as it went then it just had our protagonist walking around in a virtual city that looked ..well ...like a city. Nice photography, nice ideas but totally drab and uneventful.

Ava [2020]


         

A master assassin is targeted by her organization after a botched hit. The movie doesn't really spend that much time on this story line but rather it drowns us in the miseries of her personal demons, alcoholism, and dealing with her estranged dysfunctional family, including an ex-fiance who is now her sister's fiance, all of which I couldn't care less. I found it mysterious that a woman with a life this f**ked'd up could possibly be a master assassin with 40 kills under her belt. All culminating in an open and ambiguous ending. Sequel perhaps? Let's hope not!

The Assassin's Code [2018]


         


A standard crime thriller with the rookie detective, corrupt officials, an assassin, lots of bodies and the usual so-called surprise twists, that we all know and love, beginning with the theft of a truckload of Pseudoephedrine being transferred by the police. If you go into this with that in mind, and don't try to over analyze it, it's actually pretty good, mindless entertainment. I enjoyed it.

The Avengers [2012]


         
  
Thor's brother, Loki is now working for Thanos and is back on earth trying to steal the Tesseract and use it to open a portal for a Chitauri army to wipe out Earth. This isn't simply a bunch of heroes getting together and fighting for the world. There's a lot going on here, and many of our heroes really don't like each other much making for some very dynamic and complicated relationships. Action packed, complex story, several humorous moments, mind blowing spec fx, wonderful characters all around and you got one exciting film.

Avengers 2: Age of Ultron [2015]


         
  
Tony Stark, in an attempt to create a A.I. to maintain world peace, creates Ultron, a being that decides the best way to achieve world peace is to kill all the humans. Just what you'd expect from a high action Marvel Comic adventure. Major special effects, well-developed story, fantastic action and a whole bunch of fun. Picking James Spader as the voice of Ultron was genius.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [2007]


         


Despite it's fairly good reviews, I didn't get much in the way of entertainment watching an overly long biopic about a worthless coward surrounded by entirely unlikable characters. Photography was quite beautiful, though.

Assassin's Creed [2016]


         

A criminal is put to death and then resurrected as part of a scientific experiment. Using a machine, they reconnect him with his past persona as a member of the Assassin's Creed. Yes, there are action movies that are really nothing more than action movies. This is one of them. But, even an action move can be fun to watch and I found this one tremendously exciting. You won't find any depth here but you will find some exceptionally good escapist entertainment.

Autopsy [2008]


         

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.

Asylum [2014]


         

Ooook. We have two editors who are viewing a film in production about a swat team wandering around in an asylum (as shown by the misleading trailer). They proceed to make smart-ass comments throughout as if they were the modern day equivalent to MST3K. Jump cuts to an incredibly obnoxious crew of people wondering around the production company. Nothing about this film works. The only thing that kept this from being my worst film of the year is the editors did manage to crack me up once or twice.

Atomica [2017]

aka Deep Burial

         

An engineering tech is sent to a nuclear waste refinery to fix the communications systems. She encounters a station in disrepair and a maintenance tech who either doesn't care or doesn't know how to maintain things. This sci fi movie is not complex or action oriented but simply a back drop for a character driven story (especially a super performance by Dominic Monaghan), with the principals having some serious ulterior motives. Most people won't like this film as they'll expect more thrills but I really liked it. Visually, very nice.

Avatar [2009]


         

The planet of Pandora is full of an extremely rare and valuable mineral. Are we willing to destroy the inhabitants of the planet to get it? What can be said about this movie that hasn't already been said. Earning over $2 billion dollars worldwide is testament to the fact that this film is one of the greatest cinematic achievements produced. If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for? 4 sequels planned. I wish they'd get around to making them before I die.

Autumn Blood [2013]


         

Siblings, whose father is killed by the mayor of a small mountain village, must find a way to fend for themselves after their mother dies and the girl is assaulted by the local hooligans. There isn't more than a dozen lines of dialogue in the entire film as the main character is the Austrian mountain setting. The photography is gorgeous! The protagonists were immediately likable, the antagonist, immediately hated and they kept me somewhat engaged even though the film was agonizing slow ...damn near put me to sleep! Overall, not a whole lot to it.

Attack the Block [2011]


         

Jet black yeti-looking aliens with fluorescent blue teeth invade the hood in South London. This movie was just plain fun. From the producers of Shaun of the Dead, the film never takes itself too seriously, has simple but superbly done creature effects, a good dose of gore, a larger dose of humor and some excellent performances. Awesome B-movie, have a good time, popcorn film ...definitely psychotronic.

Asura: The City of Madness [2016]


         

A guy is hopelessly stuck playing both sides between an overly ambitious prosecutor and an ultra-corrupt, violent mayor. The filmmakers didn't really know how to edit themselves. Too long with far too much dialogue, the characterizations were unlikable and forced and the story didn't seem to be going anywhere until the end. Even the big shootout at the end had an almost lazy quality about it and sorta ended on a dud. Nothing really rang true. Certainly not the best Korean movie I've seen lately ...I just can't feel it.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe [2016]


         

In a house containing a slaughtered family, a nude female stranger half buried in the basement is discovered. Then things get really strange when the autopsy begins. A completely original atmospheric piece that totally creeped me out ...which isn't easy to do anymore. The slow but progressive series of unnerving events without any real explanation as to what's happening until practically the end was well done and left me wondering, "What could possibly happen next"? Good stuff!!

The Apparition [2012]


         

Three students test a theory that the belief in ghosts is enough to actually make one appear. What they let into this world is not quite what they expected. This whole idea was really quite unnecessary and only used as a reason for a small group of people to be haunted. It also helps one of the principals to come up with a potential solution which is so absurd, it made me chuckle. Regardless, the film effectively delivered that creepy someone-in-the-house feel, without being overt, and was generally entertaining.

Avengers 3: Infinity War [2018]


         
  
Certainly named appropriately as this film is constant warfare, on several fronts, from start to finish. It's got practically every superhero in it, and not just cameos, either. Everyone has a part to play and got respectful screen time. Amid all the chaos, they still managed to put in scenes of basically just dialog that were short, sweet, and to-the-point without feeling rushed. In a nutshell, the film is so well constructed they effectively got about 4 hours of material squeezed into 2 1/2 and you never feel shorted. Fantastic!!

Asylum [1972]


         


An anthology of stories with each one being told by a patient in an asylum and one wrap-around story to bring it all together. This is pretty typical 70's horror fluff all based on stories by Robert Bloch, one of the great writers of the 50's thru 70's, including Psycho. Nothing too extreme or complicated - somewhat reminiscent of Night Gallery - and rather slow, overall, but quite entertaining, nonetheless.

The Axe Murders of Villisca [2016]


         

Three high school outcasts break into a house where a brutal mass murder took place back in 1912. Although the main actors playing high school seniors are about 30-years-old, they were pretty convincing ...I didn't know their real age till after watching. This was actually much better than the ratings indicate. The pacing was good, the 'kids' were likable, albeit irritating at times, and they weren't stupid. The events that take place in the house were pretty good. Not a great film but thoroughly entertaining for me.

Ayla [2017]


      

A man suffering the deep childhood loss of a sister finds a way to bring her back ...as a adult ...out of a tree. As ridiculous as that sounds, it doesn't come close to the absolute absurdity of this film. In fact, that was the interesting part. The main characters are completely hollow and unrealistic, attempts to make colorful and quirky extras was an abysmal failure that was painful to watch, the story's weird and makes no sense, and an ambiguous ending that elicits a response of WTF! ...if you manage to stay awake.

Apartment 1303 [2007]


         

Young women keep dying in Apt.1303 ...which begs the obvious question, "Why do they keep letting the apartment?" This glaring plot point, as well as a couple others, made me wonder if the rest of the film was going to be enough for me to ignore these blatant issues. It did not. Ponderously slow, they tell us the reason why the apartment is cursed then present us with a 10 min flashback detailing the same thing ...like we needed a visual aid. No scares at all and the entire film, especially the ending, was flat and dumb.

Attack of the Giant Leeches [1959]


         

Giant leeches infiltrate a Florida swamp and people begin disappearing. Typical Roger Corman 50's monster movie with no real story to speak of beyond find and kill the creatures. Has the usual corny characters and the monsters were the obligatory bizarre and cheesy creatures we've all come to know and love. Add a sexy female and there you have it. You may want to watch the MST3K version instead.

Await Further Instructions [2018]


         

A Christmas reunion for a seriously dysfunctional family is interrupted by having their home sealed in by an unknown entity and are given increasingly bizarre instructions on their TV set. That premise is very promising. However, not only did they fail to deliver but presented us with something that simply makes no sense. Most everyone acted completely irrationally making me wonder how they were able to survive in everyday life. The reveal seemed completely incongruous to what's been going on making me wonder what the point is. What a nonsensical mess.

The Awakening [2011]


         

In 1921, a debunker of ghost phenomena, is asked to come to a boarding school to investigate a possible ghost sighting. Although listed as a horror / thriller film, it is neither, really, and the ghost story is more a vehicle to fully examine the story's characters; their lives, their fears, desires, emotions and, most extensively, their inner demons and how they can be far more dangerous to themselves and each other than ghosts may be. It's a very slow burn with few spooks and no action but if you like deep character studies, this film is quite engaging and superbly well made.

Aquaman [2018]


         
  
Details the origin of Aquaman and how he became the King of Atlantis. Grand in scale, this exquisitely gorgeous display of action and spec fx is mesmerizing ...certainly an equal to any Marvel Cinematic Universe production. However, as wonderful as it is, I still can't place it in the same echelon as the MCU. I think it has to do with the MCU's brilliant knack for casting just the right person in just the right role making them iconic. Here, the acting is great but I just don't feel that extra level of identity. Regardless, this is a definite must see film for comic fans.

Avengers 4: Endgame [2019]


         
  
This is it! After 11 years and 21 movies, 2 seasons of Agent Carter and 5 seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., everything boils down to this one film. I knew they were certainly up for the task but I did not expect it to be this good! Truly epic in scope, it has absolutely everything; action, spec fx, deep human drama, time travel, heartache and tears, cheers, laughs and the most incredible cast of characters ever assembled for one film. Even at 3 hours, not a minute was wasted. The perfect comic book adventure and a masterpiece that I will not soon forget.

Asmodexia [2014]


         

A religious leader (zealot) and his so-called granddaughter are traveling to a resurrection and performing exorcisms along the way. I didn't have much hope for this film and the beginning pretty much supported my fears ...but then it got good. The acting and dialogue were pretty low-budget throughout but the superb photography, exotic locations, expert camera usage and haunted, distorted sound track created a sense of dread that only got more intense as the film continued. Didn't like the ambiguous ending but, overall, it was a solid, creepy film.

Assimilate [2019]


         

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.

Arizona [2018]


         

Through magical thinking and an inability to take responsibility, a down-on-his-luck homeowner kills his realtor and kidnaps a witness. Things go down hill from there. Although presented as a comical parody of one screwball event after another, it just isn't very funny. The development of the scenarios and how they play out is well crafted. However, weak caricatures and dialogue, with very few funny lines, turns what's intended to be funnier as time goes on, to just ridiculous. Although there are a few good moments, the right balance is never realized.

The Appearance [2018]


         

A monk requests that an Inquisitor come to the abbey to determined if a girl, they have imprisoned, is a witch, following the brutal death of a monk. A lot of time was spent wandering around hallways, the sets were obviously styrofoam, and the ending was predictable. However, the set dressings were excellent and authentic, the dialogue was well written, and the acting among main characters was excellent, especially Baylee Self as the girl ...that smile sent shivers down my spine. No real scares to speak of but overall, a nice little, low budget period piece.

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