S-Se

<< Rf-Rz   ||  Index   ||  Sf-Sl >>
Sacrifice [2016] Sacrifice! [1972] Sadako vs. Kayako [2016]
Saint [2010] The St. Valentine's Day Massacre [1967] Saints and Soldiers [2003]
Salt [2010] The Salton Sea [2002] Sam Was Here [2016]
Samsara [2011] Sanitarium [2013] Sanatorium [2013]
Saving Private Ryan [1998] The Scorpion King [2002] The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior [2008]
The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption [2012] The Scorpion King 5: Book of Souls [2018] Scream of Fear [1961]
Scream of the Banshee [2011] Screamers [1995] Screamers 2: The Hunting [2009]
Searching [2018] Seconds Apart [2011] The Secret Life of Pets [2016]
The Secret Life of Pets 2 [2019] Secret Reunion [2010] Security [2017]
Serenity [2005] Se7en [1995]
The Seventh Day [2021] Sexy Beast [2000]

The Seventh Day [2021]


         

An exorcism specialist, with 25 years of experience under his belt, gets teamed up with a new recruit from the exorcism academy. Sounds like a comedy buddy movie but it's dead serious ...and terribly slow. Despite that, there was something about it that compelled me to keep watching. Turned out to be a rather simple story with stereotypical dialog, a rather contrived story, and a fairly good twist but, overall, there really isn't much here. Not terrible, and it had its moments, but I would have liked to have spent the hour and a half doing something else.

Sam Was Here [2016]

aka Nemesis

         

In the late 90s, a salesman ends up in the Mohave Desert and, inexplicably, becomes the focus of a manhunt ...oh, and there's a red dot in the sky. I was really enjoying this film as it continued to get more bizarre and complicated for our protagonist, who was portrayed expertly by Rusty Joiner with realistic behavior and understandable confusion and, considering he's the only person onscreen 95+% of the time, manages to keep our full attention. However, this movie screams for an explanation but its ambiguous ending leaves us going, "What?" That's cruel.

Sacrifice! [1972]

aka Man from Deep River / Il paese del sesso selvaggio

      

A photographer travels a bit too far up river into the jungle and runs into some natives who don't treat him well ...oh, and lots of naked women and a good deal of sex. An above average but typical 70's exploitation B-movie, using cannibalism and torture as a tagline to secure an audience ...of which, it has surprisingly little of both. It's a bit goofy with bad acting, worse dialog (at least half was spoken in a native language without subtitles) and not very good but I was quite entertained nonetheless. Remarkably well photographed, though. It's beautiful!

Sanitarium [2013]


         

Reminiscent of Asylum, we have 3 stories centered around 3 patients at a sanitarium. I've usually found the best anthologies to have at least 5 stories ...4 minimum. Sitting down to watch this one, pushing two hours with only 3 stories, I was expecting it to be rather long-winded ...and, boy, was I right! The production was good, the acting was great and very dramatic with some familiar faces and the dialogue was well written and quite literate. But, the stories were simple, dull and ponderously slow. I felt like the kid in the car going, "Are we almost there?"

The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior [2008]


         
  
Although the 2nd Scorpion King film, it's the King's origin story where he has to find a great weapon to destroy King Sargon who killed his father and is a tyrant to his people. The straight to video feature comes off like a made-for-TV after school special loaded with dime-store philosophy, silly acting and cheesy dialog. Regardless, it was generally entertaining and relatively painless to sit through ...certainly not as bad as the ratings indicate. Best role I've seen Randy Couture in but I don't know if that means much. Your kids will like it.

The Scorpion King [2002]


         
  
Memnon and his sorceress is laying waste to all the other tribes and Mathayus has been hired to kill the sorceress but plans change. The first of the scorpion king movies, but 2nd in the timeline. Nothing we haven't seen before in a solidly PG-13 adventure but it's done very well with a bit of camp and perhaps too much comic relief. But that's what we've come to expect in the Scopion King / Mummy films. The characters were colorful, lots of fighting and overall, good entertainment.

The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption [2012]


         
  
The Scorpion King is no longer king after losing his empire and love. Now a mercenary for hire, he's caught in the middle of a war between Ramusan, caretaker of the Book of the Dead, and Talus, the guy who wants it. The 3.x rating on IMDb surprises me. It's obviously a low-budget knock off with their idea of warfare as, get some extras, put them in uniform, have them run around, look menacing, throw in a pair of elephants and we're good. But it works! It's amusing, entertaining, with colorful characters, and suitable for the entire family. Kids will love it!

The Salton Sea [2002]


         

Tom Van Allen / Danny Parker - tweeker, dealer, confidential informant, avenger, and trumpet player. Val Kilmer is spectacular as a man who's twisted journey takes one turn after another. Vincent D'Onofrio is awesome as the totally psycho drug dealer. The director, D.J. Caruso, gave everyone total freedom with their parts giving the characters a realism that's hard to find these days. A film noir that seamlessly moves between serious and humorous, a clever story that all starts with the tragedy at the Salton Sea. Brilliant!

Scream of the Banshee [2011]


         

An antiquities appraiser at a high school finds a banshee's head in a box. ...and the fun begins. A low-budget TV movie with chintzy effects and lame acting. However, it did have a few things going for it. It never resorted to making the principals do moronic things as a way of driving the story ...something I really appreciate. It had some intensely, cringe worthy visuals, and it moved along at a good steady pace ...I was never bored. Yeah, it's not a good film but I was entertained, nonetheless.

Sadako vs. Kayako [2016]


         
  

What would you expect from a film exploiting the success of Ringu and Ju-On by bringing the two cursed characters together to duke it out? Exactly this!! Mildly entertaining in its own goofy way.

Secret Reunion [2010]

aka Ui-hyeong-je

         

A cop, who loses his job over a botched attempt to capture an assassin known as the Shadow, and an associate of the Shadow, gone into hiding from the Shadow, team up ...each knowing who the other is but believing the other doesn't know. Yes, they were that inept. Sounds more complicated than it is but, who cares. After a rather serious, violent, exciting and auspicious beginning, the film went into a huge ponderous stall that lasted until the unbelievable and overly sentimental ending. Had its moments but mostly I was bored.

Sexy Beast [2000]


         

An ex-heist man's refusal to go on another job causes a few problems. This argument over doing the job or not goes on for the first hour of the film in long scenes of vulgar dialogue. The rest of the film deals with the results of this discussion which climax into ...well, nothing really. It ends the same way it starts. The acting was good and the movie has good ratings and a cult following but I just don't see the appeal of watching a bunch of unlikable characters treating each other like hell ...and taking their time doing it.

Searching [2018]


         
  
A man tries to find his missing daughter by searching through her computer realizing he knows very little about her life. A excellently portrayed story presented vicariously through computer screens depicting an extremely realistic view of what a father may do with a computer as his only resource. Being a computer geek myself, I found no logic gaps in the way things played out and the emotions of the characters were genuine and heart wrenching. Throw in a surprise twist ending and I was thoroughly entertained. Bravo!

Saint [2010]

aka Sint

         

If Dec. 5 falls on a full moon, St. Nick and his horde of dead elves will kill everyone in Amsterdam. I'm split on this one. The action and scare scenes were quite humorous and entertaining with some absolutely wonderful gags. The parts in between, however, were lacking humor and just sort of lifeless making you want to get to the next action sequence. Good for an evening's entertainment, though, and watch a native language version with subtitles. As you'll note in the trailer, the English dubbing is not the best I've heard.

Sanatorium [2013]


         


Basically, a Grave Encounters clone with a pinch of Blair Witch mythos about a paranormal research group investigating an old, deserted sanatorium. Found footage format which is just like watching an episode of Ghost Hunters, except the ghosts bite back in a big way. Well made with some good scares and a lot of 'out-of-the-corner-of-your-eye' stuff but nothing really new to add to the genre.

Saints and Soldiers [2003]


         

5 soldiers, trapped behind enemy lines in the Ardennes, must travel 20 miles to a town. 'Based on a true story' only applies to the opening. The rest is religious propaganda. And they did a boring job of it. Mostly walking and long scenes of dialogue about beliefs in God for 3/4 of the film then some unrealistic warfare scenes then an atheist Medic finds God and gives aid to a Nazi soldier he saw slaughter dozens of American prisoners. Seriously? I'm supposed to find that inspirational? I'm sorry ...my pragmatism is showing.

The Scorpion King 5: Book of Souls [2018]


         
  
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.

Screamers [1995]


         

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.

Screamers 2: The Hunting [2009]


         

Several years after the commander from the first film killed himself entering earth's orbit, earth receives a distress signal from Sirius 6B and launches a rescue mission. This is pretty standard fare for a low budget, direct-to-video sci fi with weak dialogue, bland acting and a story neither very complex nor original. The action was passable and despite it's faults, it was fair, escapist entertaining as long as one does not expect it to be anything more than that. The ending twist was expected and they went out of their way to make a bit too silly. I enjoyed it, though.

Serenity [2005]


         

I never caught the series Firefly, although I know it's got quite a fan base. So, this movie, and its characters, were a completely new experience. The spaceship, Serenity, is composed of a group a pirates who have a girl on-board who is incredibly psychic, fights better than Mystique, and mentally, quite unstable. Chaos ensues. Absolutely excellent sci fi Western with Star Wars quality spec fx. I can see why Marvel picked up the director, Joss Whedon, for serious MCU input.

Seconds Apart [2011]


         

The Bad Seed X 2, and reminiscent of Dead Ringers, this is a story of twins who telepathically create illusions with deadly results. Extremely well written, very well made and quite disturbing and insidious, this film features excellent performances by Edmund & Gary Entin (the twins), Orlando Jones (Detective Lampkin), and Samanta Droke (Eve). Another nice aspect of the film was that you knew a surprise was coming ...you just didn't know what. They didn't disappoint.

The Secret Life of Pets [2016]


         

An animated story of two dogs, Max & Duke, whose animosity towards each other gets them trapped outside in an adventure between their neighbor pets trying to find them and the 'flushed pets' who want to destroy them. This is a hysterically funny film that had my wife and I in stitches. Easily appreciated by those that have pets and understand all the subtleties of their personalities. Works as an exciting and moving adventure, as well. Grab some popcorn and enjoy!

The Secret Life of Pets 2 [2019]


         

Unlike the first film, which was basically one grand adventure, this one is broken down into 3 mini-adventures, led by the dogs, Max & Duke, the dog, Gidget, and the dog, Daisy & the rabbit, Snowball. These stories then converge for the big finale. But just like the first one, it is laugh-out-loud funny. Not as intricate but still obviously written for those that have spent their lives living with animals. The scenes with the cow imitating a dog and Chloe the cat on catnip had my wife and I rolling with laughter. Excellent entertainment.

Samsara [2011]


         

Another view of the world, through sight and sound, of life, culture, nature and the earth in general ...sort of. I usually find these films hypnotic and fascinating, like Ron Fricke's previous film, Baraka, a visual masterpiece. This one, not so much. Although it did give us a wide variety of life and culture, it spent a significant amount of time on subjects like slaughterhouse production lines, abject poverty, human misery, and a segment of performance art that seemed wildly out-of-place. Fricke has a knack for vision but, in this case, that vision is mostly bleak.

Saving Private Ryan [1998]


         

A day after the D-Day invasion in Normandy, a captain is given orders to find a Private James Ryan, who, as a result of the war, has become the only living son of 4 brothers, and bring him home. By far, this is the most honest and brutal depiction of warfare ever made. Winner of 79 awards and nominated for 74 others, the acting is genuine and heartfelt, the action is terrifying and painful to watch and the experience can never be forgotten. Well worth the "Hall of Fame" tag.

Sacrifice [2016]


         

A doctor stumbles across the desiccated body of a young woman in her backyard and begins to connect it to a local cult involving new births and sacrifice. Labeled as a horror movie but it's not. It's actually a fairly good conspiracy mystery with a good story and performances and with a nice twist ending. Not much more than what you'd expect but it was certainly good enough to hold my attention till the final credits.

Scream of Fear [1961]

aka Taste of Fear

         

You gotta love innocuous movie titles like those that just throw words together like 'scream' or 'taste' and 'fear' without giving you a clue as to the movie's intent. This movie is basically your "let's drive the heir crazy to get her fortune" story but with some well handled surprises ...the surprise I saw coming hid the one I didn't. Good acting all around. It is somewhat slow and, at times, a bit wordy and redundant, but at only 1h 20m, I'm not complaining and it was quite good entertainment.

Se7en [1995]


         

A serial killer is killing his victims in grotesque ways to mirror the seven deadly sins. David Fincher has made some fabulous films over the years but this early effort is arguably still his best. If it isn't the darkest, dirtiest, most disturbing and most intense serial killer movie ever made, it has to be in the top 10. Phenomenal story and performances by everyone and an ending that will rip your heart out. "WHAT'S IN THE BOX"?!?!?

Security [2017]


         

A three tour war veteran gets a job as night security for a mall. Meanwhile, a convoy of US Marshals are ambushed to kill a young girl who runs and makes it to the mall. Let the siege begin. Once again, we have a movie where a few fairly defenseless people have to survive an attack of numerous, highly professional thugs. Nothing new here but extremely well done. Antonio Banderas and Ben Kingsley as adversaries were an excellent match and, man ...can Ben deliver a line. Quite exciting despite the fact that it's predictable and somewhat contrived.

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre [1967]


         


Roger Corman at his best with this bio-pic about the title event. One of the most historically accurate films I've ever seen, complete with a narrator to fill in the names and dates of all the events and participants. If you haven't seen this Capone era masterpiece, you've really missed one of the best gangster films of all time.

Salt [2010]


         

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.

<< Rf-Rz   ||  Index   ||  Sf-Sl >>