Bl-Bz

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Black Coal, Thin Ice [2014] Black Hawk Down [2001]
Black Ops [2008] Black Panther [2018] The Black Room [2017]
Black Sabbath [1963] Black Sunday [1960] Black Water [2018]
The Blackcoat's Daughter [2015] Blade [1998] Blade II [2002]
Blade III: Trinity [2004] Blade Runner 2049 [2017] Blair Witch [2016]
Bleeding Steel [2017] Bliss [2019] The Blob [1988]
Blood: The Last Vampire Blood Brother [2018] Blood Fest [2018]
Blood Gnome [2004] Blood Junkie [2010]
Blood on Her Name [2019] Blood Simple [1984]
Bloody Wednesday [1987] Blue Man Group: Complex Rock Tour [2003] The Body Snatcher [1945]
Bohemian Rhapsody [2018] Bokeh [2017] Bone Tomahawk [2015]
Bonnie and Clyde [1967] Book Club [2018] The Book of Eli [2010]
The Boondock Saints [1999] The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day [2009] The Bourne Identity [2002]
The Bourne Legacy [2012] The Bourne Supremacy [2004] The Bourne Ultimatum [2007]
Bowery at Midnight [1942] The Box [2009] Braid [2018]
Brain Damage [1988] Breakdown [2016] Breaking In [2018]
Brotherhood of the Wolf [2001] A Bucket of Blood [1959] Bullet to the Head [2012]
The Burning [1981] The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations [2009] BuyBust [2018]

Blood on Her Name [2019]


         

Us humans sure can make our lives complicated. Take, for instance, this mess. The film opens with a beat up woman, in an auto repair garage, looking at the body of a man on the floor. She thinks about calling the police but decides to fix this instead. What follows is massive destruction in slow motion. Presented solidly within a rural, backwater community, the decisions and actions made are the stuff of limited choices and wishful thinking believing the impossible can be solved with deadly results. Phenomenal acting and a great psychological drama.

Bowery at Midnight [1942]


     

Bela Lugosi leads a triple life as a psychology professor and as the owner of a soup kitchen which acts as a cover for recruiting criminals and committing crimes. Fairly typical crime thriller for that era along with the types of characters you'd expect. Pretty good, though, with Bela Legosi doing a good job without being over-the-top. I enjoyed it ...and everyone should have a graveyard in the basement. I mean, how convenient is that?

The Blob [1988]


         

A meteor containing a blob-like life-form crashes near a small town and begins eating everyone. Presented somewhat like a matinee B-movie, this is one of the great monster films of the '80's based on The Blob ...one of the great monster films of the '50's. This one is quite a thrill with some great performances, including Shawnee Smith in a very early role, and some highly imaginative ways of the blob taking out various unfortunates. Get your popcorn and enjoy the ride.

Blade [1998]


         
  
A vampire half-breed, with their strength and skills but still able to operate in daylight, is fighting a war to destroy vampires for the killing of his mother. The vampires are busy trying to summon the blood God, La Magra. One of the great action pieces of the '90's, Wesley Snipes is perfect as the vampire killer. Good story, good acting, good action, good everything. A movie with very few flaws and super fun.

Blade II [2002]


         
  
Blade teams up with an elite group of vampires to hunt down a new strain of vampiric monster. The story was fine and the action was fun to watch but everything felt so refined and scripted and, often times, contrived. The acting of Leonor Varela as the lead female was just terrible and I wouldn't hand out any acting awards for anyone else either. For an elite team, they weren't very convincing and practically everyone of them died doing something stupid. It's fun but take it with tongue wedged firmly in cheek.

Blade III: Trinity [2004]


         
  
The vampires awaken the original Dracula in the hopes of re-establishing a pure race. The resistance is developing a plague that will only affect vampires. Beyond that, this is pretty much one fight scene after another. Quite good, though ...the fights are well choreographed, filmed and edited so you're not left wondering what you're looking at and they felt more raw and natural than they did in Blade II. I've found that ever since Deadpool, though, I've really come to dislike Ryan Reynolds. That notwithstanding, lots of fun.

Blade Runner 2049 [2017]


         

Upon hunting down an old version replicant, a blade runner discovers what may be the existence of a hybrid human/replicant child. The dark, billboard crowded streets and oppressive music creates a dystopian world that is nothing short of phenomenal and totally immersive. However, the filmmakers must have really been in love with what they were doing as there were far too many times where I was going, "Yes, that's very pretty and philosophical. Can we go move on to the next scene, please". Easily 45 minutes too long.

Black Hawk Down [2001]


         

When America attempts to extract some of the major players in Somalia's civil war, a pair of black hawk helicopters are shot down, turning a one hour mission into an 18+ hour fight for survival. One of the most intense war films made ...once the mission begins, the combat doesn't stop of 2 hours. Extremely personal and harrowing as we watch less than 100 soldiers hold off thousands of Somalis for survival. Incredible vision, photography, and realism, there's only a hand full of war films in the same league at this.

Black Panther [2018]


         
  
In the technologically superior and isolated land of Wakanda, T'Challa ascends to the throne as king and Black Panther when his father is assassinated. Then finds out there's a secret heir, Killmonger, who's prepared to challenge the new king. Once again, Marvel hits the spot with a great story, adventure, action, conflict, dilemma, incredible eye candy and human emotion. And the costumes? WOW! Not as good as a few other Marvel films, imo, but certainly another winner for the MCU ...and just in time for the Infinity War.

The Blackcoat's Daughter [2015]

aka February

         

When the parents of two girls in a boarding school fail to show up for spring break, they must stay at the school along with 2 caretakers ...and things slowly fall apart. Usually, I get bored with slow movies but this one was like watching two trains heading towards each other at a snails pace knowing their collision would be catastrophic ...and it was. A supremely dark, eerily surrealistic journey into mayhem and madness that I will not soon forget. Kiernan Shipka was Oscar worthy in her performance of Kat.

Black Sabbath [1963]

aka I tre volti della paura

         

An anthology, hosted by Boris Karloff, of 3 films. The first was an excellent simple 60's Gothic horror piece that even sophisticated audiences of today can still enjoy. The second was an exercise in patience featuring an insanely stupid woman in search of a decent script. The third was mediocre at best. Even though this one featured the great Boris Karloff, who mercilessly stole every scene he was in, the rest of the story was filled with so much maudlin padding that it just became silly and predictable.

The Black Room [2017]


         

A happy couple gets a good deal on a new house; nicely located, pleasant neighborhood, furnished and even has a demon living in a room in the basement. That's a pretty good premise regardless whether you want to make a horror, comedy or campy sex movie. Unfortunately, our completely unimaginative filmmakers thought they had the talent to go for all three and none of them work. This film is utter nonsense and total garbage. Should have had the folks that made the trailer make the film ...it's much better.

Black Water [2018]


         

A deep cover agent is captured and taken aboard a black site submarine and interrogated in hopes of receiving a drive with critical info. This movie is nothing more than your typical black ops fiasco with several people, all with their own agendas, chasing and shooting each other. Although mildly entertaining, there isn't anything here we haven't seen in a typical episode of 24 and is mainly used as a show piece to give Dolph and Jean-Claude something to do. At least, I wasn't bored.

Bleeding Steel [2017]


         

A scientist gave a mechanical heart and bio-engineered blood to a young girl and now there's an international chase to either protect the girl or catch the girl and strip her of the biotech. This is basically your typical Jackie Chan action film and, even in his 60's, he still delivers. The story is simple with no surprises so if you're looking for substance, you won't find it here. But the characters were likable, the action was great and, although the ending was a bit ambiguous (sequel plans?), it was still good, escapist fun.

Black Sunday [1960]

aka The Mask of Satan / La maschera del demonio

         

This Italian, Mario Bava, classic features a witch in the 17th century, fitted with the mask of Satan and sealed in a tomb inside a coffin with a window so she would have to stare at a cross for eternity. Well, 200 years, a broken window, a broken cross and a few drops of blood later, she's waking up ...and she's not happy. Exquisite B&W photography by Bava, exceptional sets, classic overly dramatic and theatrical acting and dialogue and the incomparable Barbara Steele, this is a great example of Gothic horror for its time.

Black Coal, Thin Ice [2014]

aka Bai ri yan huo

         

5 years after losing his wife to divorce, being shot, and losing himself to alcohol, an ex-cop injects himself into an investigation of a presumed serial killer who likes to cut up the victims and spread their body parts all over the province. This slow, Chinese character study is far more about the individuals involved than it is about the crimes themselves. The characters were quite interesting, compelling, honest and held my attention throughout even though the film has no action to speak of. The story that plays out is familiar so no big surprise there. Good drama.

Bliss [2019]


         

An artist takes lots of extreme drugs, becomes a vampire and, in periods of which she's lost in a psychotic state she doesn't remember, paints a picture. A good 80% of the film (shot in lo-res?) is the filmmakers attempt to put you in her state of mind by filling the screen with violence, gore, psychodelic collages of flashing imagery, mayhem, murder, and madness, which would have been effective if it wasn't so constantly in-your-face all the time. I was mentally doing my shopping list as all this acid tripping was losing my interest. Excellent metalcore soundtrack.

A Bucket of Blood [1959]


         


Classic and campy early film by Roger Corman. A socially awkward simpleton becomes greatly admired by his peers when it's discovered that he's a master sculptor ...we'll disregard the fact that he actually just covers dead bodies with clay. Dick Miller is fantastic is this totally absurd golden oldie.

Blood Gnome [2004]


      

Ridiculous, no budget movie about little creatures that rip up people who are into BDSM. Everything about this film is bad (except Melissa Pursley's performance which was the only high point). Although they were nicely designed, even the little creatures were obviously puppets. There were moments that were ridiculously hilarious - for all the wrong reasons - but not ridiculous enough to recommend by a long shot.

The Body Snatcher [1945]


         

Val Lewton (Producer) and Robert Wise (Director) at their best in this dark, atmospheric tale of a man who provides bodies to the local doctor for education. Great performances by Henry Daniell and Bela Legosi and, in a performance that rivals Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, Boris Karloff as the evil cabman John Gray. For those of you that think Boris was only good for playing a monster, you have to see this one ...a monster of a completely different kind.

The Boondock Saints [1999]


         
  
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 Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, this movie had some excellent shoot-em-up action and some very colorful characters (William Defoe was exceptional). Definite cult status film.

Bloody Wednesday [1987]


         


Harry is a simple man who is slowly going insane. This movie features no-budget production quality, terrible pacing and amateur acting. However, what little money they had went to some pretty imaginative ideas and overall, it's not really that bad a movie. But what does he have against all those pies! Sorry for the French in the trailer ...it was the only one I could find.

Brotherhood of the Wolf [2001]

aka Le pacte des loups

         

The hunt is on for a huge beast that has been terrorizing a region in France for years in the mid 1760's. This is quite an epic film running 2 and a half hours and filling up every minute of it. Complex and elaborate story covering politics, secret societies, love triangles, class wars, and, of course, the hunt for the beast. Art direction, dialogue and acting are exceptional making this appear authentic and semi-surreal at the same time. Fight choreography was excellent. Quite a fun watch.

The Burning [1981]


         

A prank at a summer camp results in a man being horribly burned and now he seeks revenge on summer camps in general. Typical gory teen exploitation slasher film done in the Friday the 13th style. But then again ...considering it was created, produced, and co-written by Harvey Weinstein and features about a half dozen very familiar actors back when no one knew who they were and considering recent events, you kind of have to wonder if it's a "new talent" film. Legitimate or not, it's pretty awful in every way.

Blood Junkie [2010]

aka Rocky Trails

         

Two pairs of teens and a young boy go on a camping trip and start disappearing one by one. There's films that are so bad, they're good and entertaining. This isn't one of them. What they spent their $6k budget on didn't have anything to do with talent, creativity or imagination. I've seen people say that it's a great throwback to the shlock B-movies of the '70's and '80. As a big fan of those types of films, I can safely say, no ...it's just boring and awful. I've seen home movies of better quality than this.

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day [2009]


         
  
After their rampage against the mob bosses in the first film, the brothers hideout on a sheep ranch in Ireland. When someone kills a priest and tries to make it look like the Saints, they come back to clean things up. Besides the dialogue not being as crisp as the original - and the miscasting of Judd Nelson, imo - this is a very nice follow-up that I'm sure will be enjoyed by the cult following it's generated. Great action, ridiculous but believable situations and shootouts, colorful characters ...all the elements are there.

Breakdown [2016]


         

A professional hitman is having a mental breakdown and wants out. We all know how that goes. I'm surprised at the low ratings on this one. I thought Craig Fairbrass was excellent as a man on the brink of being pushed a bit too far. The story was tight and personal, the action was good, the colorful characters were quite intense. It had its flaws - in fact, they dragged out the end a bit - but deserved a much better showing than it's gotten. This was a good film.

The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations [2009]


         

A man, who has the ability to jump back in time and change things, tries to alter the death of his girlfriend and creates a serial killer. The Butterfly Effect 2 was such a badly made example of the whole concept that I didn't expect much from TBE3. I was quite surprised. They found that element that made TBE work so well. There were a few time shifts that were hard to follow and some of it got redundant, but they constructed a story that works well with a good twist ...although I sort of saw it coming.

The Book of Eli [2010]


         

A man with the last Bible is trying to make his way West across a post-apocalyptic U.S. landscape. I've never watched this movie as I've been told more than once the ending is lousy. Then I found out how it ended and decided to watch it. This is a good movie and, strangely enough, knowing the big twist at the end beforehand, I feel, actually benefited the viewing. Denzel Washington is great, as usual, and the pacing, characters, scenarios and action were all well executed and realistic. Nice job!

The Bourne Identity [2002]


         
  
After being found floating in the ocean, with two bullet wounds, by a fishing boat, a man wakes up to find he has no memory or identity and his only possession is an account number in a Swiss bank. Arguably the best cat and mouse spy game ever put on film, Matt Damon IS Jason Bourne. I simply can't see anyone else playing this role. If you haven't seen it, I would greatly encourage it ...along with the sequels; Supremacy and Ultimatum. This is not a ride to be missed.

The Bourne Supremacy [2004]


         
  
Framing Bourne for the assassination of two agents and killing his girlfriend was probably not the wisest things to do. This follow-up to The Bourne Identity is a near perfect film; the story is highly intelligent, complex and tightly woven with everything precisely placed, the performances and dialogue are perfect, the pacing is edge-of-your-seat tense and the action, although a bit shaky to watch at times, is adrenaline inducing mayhem. Awesome!

The Bourne Ultimatum [2007]


         
  
In his search for the truth, Bourne comes out of hiding and is, once again, the center of a man hunt. But this time, he's putting an end to it. It's a rare thing to have 3 films that not only make up a single story this eloquently but to also have each film get better. I was glad to see the continuation of the franchise beyond this one but they could have stopped it here as the story is now complete and the rest is just for fun. Phenomenally well made film that puts all the pieces together into a perfect fit.

The Bourne Legacy [2012]


         
  
Because of Bourne's exposure of covert agencies within our government in Ultimatum, these same agencies decide it's best to shut them all down. Aaron Cross, an agent from the Outcome operation isn't too happy about that. Much more a simple chase film and less an espionage / political subterfuge film, Jeremy Renner does a great job as our star agent and it still works as an exciting international action thriller. In fact, I'd like to see more Aaron Cross but that's probably not going to happen.

Breaking In [2018]


         

A woman and two children go to a country estate she just inherited to prepare it for sale. The house already has visitors ...some thugs who want $4 million dollars in a safe. Now they have her kids and she's on the outside. This a very well paced thriller in which they made everyone smart making this an effective battle of wits. Similar to Stash House, this movie has the usual contrivances you'd expect and the story is familiar but they did it well maintaining a solid sense of danger and tension that made it quite fun.

Blood: The Last Vampire [2009]


         

A vampiress assassin hunts a major demon who killed her father. Simplistic action story with lots of swordplay and characters that were a bit deeper than you'd expect. The action was rather sloppy making the viewer confused as to exactly what they're looking at most of the time. The CGI is blatantly laughable and includes copious amounts of globular blood that just looks silly. Despite all that, I was entertained and at no point did I have the urge to turn it off. I guess that's a good thing.

Bokeh [2017]


         

A couple, on holiday in Iceland, wake up to find all the people are gone. The couple was likable, their confusion was genuine, and I settled in to see what would happen next ...and nothing does. They went through their various phases of exploring, disagreements, fun, anger, etc., just like any of us would with nothing beyond that ...except meeting an old man that dies on them within hours. After 90 minutes of now total boredom, I'm presented with an ending that is so pathetic and depressing, I actually got angry. Visually stunning.

Blood Fest [2018]


         

A huge horror festival, Blood Fest, is going to be a bit different this year. The patrons are going to participate in a new horror film ...by being slaughtered. Everything about this film should work but it doesn't. They went for camp and ended up silly, the characters are uninteresting, except for a great joke at the beginning, no one had a funny or good line to say in the entire film and most of the gags were cliche and unimaginative. I'm sure there are those that will like it but I found it to be ho hum entertainment at best.

Book Club [2018]


         

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.

BuyBust [2018]


         

Reminiscent of Black Hawk Down, Hard Boiled and The Raid, 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!

Bone Tomahawk [2015]


         

A unique western, pseudo-horror story taking place out west in the 1890's. A robber, followed by an ultra-savage, cannibalistic tribe of Indians, drifts into the peaceful town of Bright Hope. After the savages kidnap a couple of the townsfolk, the sheriff gets together a posse to go after them. This is basically a 75 min story taking over 130 min to tell. The characters, personalities and authentic dialogue was entertaining and kept me interested but the film is excessively long-winded. Not bad if you have the patience.

Blood Simple [1984]


         

The Coen Brothers first full length film, made 35 years ago, is still one of their best. A bar owners wife has an affair with one of the bartenders unaware that her husband has hired a morally corrupt PI to follow her. What follows is an intricate and absurd game of misunderstands and misconceptions that leads to everyone fully believing they know exactly what's going and yet, every one of them couldn't be more wrong. Ending as a dark comic shaggy dog joke, this slow burn is a masterpiece of brilliant construction. Watch it!

Bohemian Rhapsody [2018]


         

Well made film chronicling the life of Queen's lead singer Freddy Mercury and I would recommend it to those who have an interest in who he was. Now... let's get critical. I was 14 when Queen hit the charts and followed Freddy's career right up to his death in '91. As such, two things bothered me about the film. At no time did Rami Malek make me feel like I was watching Freddy Mercury. The music was wildly out of chronological order; song depicted on their first tour ('71) wasn't made until '78. In the studio making a song in the '80's that was released in '77, etc.

The Box [2009]


         

I read the story, "Button, Button" by Richard Matheson, that this is based on, years ago, as well as saw the Twilight Zone episode. The first 30 minutes followed that story exactly so the rest of the film is basically an extension to the story ...but one that took off on a tangent and really never came back. Equal parts fascinating, mystifying and ridiculous, they introduced so many new elements without any proper context or explanation that it no longer had anything to do with 'the box' and what it did have to do with never become very clear or logical. Bizarre!

Brain Damage [1988]


         

Form the creator of Basket Case comes this film about a parasitic, slug-like creature, with a jovial personality, that hooks slaves into providing it with brains in exchange for a "juice" that provides total euphoria. It's bizarre, twisted, gross, and delightfully wacky. Rick Hearst is perfect playing an obviously absurd role as the victim in a completely straight manner making it all the more amusing. There was a long time period in the middle that was dragged out pretty good - certainly enough time for a couple more gags - but good sick fun, nonetheless.

Blood Brother [2018]


         

Young guy kills armored car guard surrounded by his friends. He goes to jail for 15 years. Comes out and starts killing everybody. Long scenes of dialogue waxing philosophical about being brothers in the hood instead of just shooting each other and getting this ridiculous scenario over with. All the characters were shallow and unbelievable ...in fact, nothing in this film rang true. The ending, which was just silly, finally pointed out what we knew before we even turned it on ...you're responsible for your own actions. Wow! What an epiphany!! Let me take notes!!!

Braid [2018]


         

The epitome of co-dependency, this is a nightmare journey into the psychologically twisted relationship of three friends (since childhood) where two of them put up with the third's fantasies in hopes of finding her money somewhere in the house. Fascinating and disturbing, don't expect it to make sense ...it wasn't made that way. The film takes you towards destinations only to jerk you away with these strings of travel left unfulfilled, impossible, or dismissing the trip entirely. In the end, you're left with, 'What the hell did I just watch?' Very subjective and weird.

Bonnie and Clyde [1967]


         

A fictionalized (but fairly accurate with the main points) depiction of the short career of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow as notorious bank robbers and killers during the depression years of the early 30's. All the actors in this did stupendous jobs giving their characters a wealth of personality, humor, and depth making them likable and someone to cheer for despite their sociopathic ruthlessness. If you're unfamiliar with their tragic story, this is a good place to start for some broad information ...as well as damn good entertainment.

Blue Man Group: The Complex Rock Tour Live [2003]


  

If you are unfamiliar with the Blue Man Group, you're missing one of the supreme stage shows in the world. Mixing comedy, performance art and awesome music, they continue to put on a show nearly every night in Las vegas, NYC, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, and Berlin as well as frequently being on tour. My wife and I never pass up a chance to see them. This tour concert from 2002 is an example of the explosive energy and excitement of one of their shows. Here's a sample: Time to Start. Get this DVD and/or go see 'em!

Bullet to the Head [2012]


         


If you like Sylvester Stallone, you'll probably like this hitman / cop buddy movie. A few good action scenes, some interesting character moments, humorous banter, I found it rather entertaining despite it being pretty run-of-the-mill and Sly starting to show his age.

Black Ops [2008]

aka Deadwater

         


An elite military group goes out to find a black-ops interrogation ship that has gone radio silent. What they find isn't really what they expect. I found this movie to be mildly interesting but they lost me in the last 15 minutes. I just don't get it and - considering my lack of invested interest in the film - don't care, either.

Blair Witch [2016]


         

Twenty years after his sister (Heather from The Blair Witch Project) goes missing, a guy rounds up some friends and goes looking for her. With 20 years to prepare for it, you'd think they would have made a better film. Contrived and, at times, totally ridiculous, all the movie does is use the utterly stupid actions of a bunch of completely unprepared characters to try and scare you into believing it's a good movie but ultimately it just belittles the original. Very disappointing.

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