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Small Soldiers [1998] Sniper [1993] The Snowman [2017]
Snowpiercer [2013] The Snowtown Murders [2011] Soldier [1998]
Soldiers of Fortune [2012] Solis [2018] Solo: A Star Wars Story [2018]
Somebody Help Me [2007] Sorcerer [1977] Southbound [2015]
Spider-Man: Far from Home [2019] Spider-Man: Homecoming [2017] Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [2018]
Spider-Man: No Way Home [2021] Spinning Man [2018] Spiral: From the Book of Saw [2021]
Splatter Farm [1987] Split [2016] Spy Game [2001]
Stage Fright [1980] Stake Land [2010] The Stakelander [2016]
Stalker [1979] Stand Off [2011] The Standoff at Sparrow Creek [2018]
Star Trek [2009] Star Trek Beyond [2016] Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi [2017]
Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker [2019] Starve [2014] Stash House [2012]

Small Soldiers [1998]


         

A toymaker implants a military A.I. chip into soldier and alien toys and the toys proceed to go to war. It took awhile for this film to get going and I didn't think I was going to like it much. When it did get going, it turned out to be incredibly fun full of highly imaginative gags and a multitude of laugh-out-loud moments. Like Director Joe Dante's previous film, Gremlins, he managed to give all the toys fully developed personalities and traits that made them as endearing as they were threatening. All the humans were excellent, too. Fun for the whole family.

Splatter Farm [1987]


         

Worse than a lot of home movies I've seen, this no-budget, direct-to-video, gore, z-film, made by and staring teenage twin brothers and a friend, is about the most vile thing I've seen for some time. With a less than amateurish effort that is quite stunning, the kids managed to throw every disgusting thing they could imagine right in our face while equally making us cringe at the bad acting, horrible dialog and editing clearly done with a butter knife. Gave them some credits for the audacity to release this to the public and the surprisingly high ratings considering.

Sniper [1993]


         

A sniper and a rookie (who's 'in charge') are sent into Panama to take out a General. This is a good entertaining movie that I enjoyed watching. That being said, this world would only exist in a script. Billy Zane's character made absolutely no sense whatsoever. He's hand-picked to carry out this 'critical' mission when it's obvious he's clueless. Most of the time he spends being either a buffoon or a wimp. He whines constantly, wants to go home, and then when he does step up, he goes whako. It was still fun despite making this poor guy a script slave.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw [2021]


         

An honest detective, constantly under derision from his fellow officers for busting a bad cop, becomes the lead detective in a case of cops being forced to "play a game" with a Jigsaw copycat. Up to this point, all the Saw films are interconnected and an integral part of the overall story. The film is solidly a stand-alone with a copycat ...but a good one. I figured out who the bad guy was so that wasn't a surprise but the twisted way it played out was great and brought together all those clues that just fly right by you without notice. Chris Rock was awesome!

Somebody Help Me [2007]


     


A story about incredibly stupid people doing incredibly stupid things. Even the officials, the psychos, and the trailer (which has now disappeared) are stupid. The only thing not stupid was the little girl when she tells them they're all going to die ...obviously refering to their careers in this stupid movie! ...and they made a sequel!! (walks away shaking his head)

Soldier [1998]


         

An early Paul Anderson effort (Event Horizon, Resident Evil, Death Race), a man who's been raised as a supreme killing machine since birth and is now replaced and discarded by new, genetically enhanced soldiers. The first half, where the soldier is trying to grasp what it means to be human while living in a settlement, goes on for far too long. Once things get moving, it picks up but the action is just a couple notches above mediocre. Credit to Kurt Russell for going through the entire film without once changing his expression.

Stalker [1979]


         

In this case, the term stalker refers to a tour guide, of sorts, that leads two men into an area known as "The Zone" to take them to a room that is supposed to grant your innermost wishes. Sounds interesting, doesn't it? In a nutshell, it lasted 161 mins and NOTHING happened. The stalker kept preaching dangers. Where? Are there any? Is he nuts? Who knows? Nothing happens. I don't even know if the wish room works. Camera work was awesome and it is very artistic but over 2 1/2 hours with no pay off? That's just wrong! And the final scene was a big what-the-hell?

Sorcerer [1977]


         
  
4 men, with nothing to lose, agree to drive two trucks with 6 crates of nitroglycerin soaked TNT through 218 miles of jungle. Having nothing to do with sorcery, the title refers to the name of one of the trucks. An old favorite, I hadn't seen in some time, still grabs ones attention in the first 2 minutes and never lets go. Extremely tense throughout, the photography and practical effects are awesome ...including the 'trucks on the river bridge in a storm' sequence which is still one of the most nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thrill rides you'll ever see in your life! Super!!

Snowpiercer [2013]


         
  
Mankind has turned the earth into a giant snowball and the last of humanity is stuck in a train that never stops ...and the poverty stricken people in the back decide it's time to move to the front. Stunning, violent action, surreal and bizarre characters, intriguing social dynamics, and a philosophy about man's place in the order of things (revealed at the end) that is intrinsically disturbing yet wholly necessary. Fantastic film!!

Stash House [2012]


         


A man surprises his wife with a new house ...built like a fortress. They soon discover the place is full of drugs and a couple of mercenaries have come to collect a package. Although there were scenes that were a bit contrived, silly, and/or slowly paced, overall, the film was a highly exciting, what-happens-next, thriller. Don't take it too seriously and enjoy the ride.

Solo: A Star Wars Story [2018]


         
  
The origins of Han Solo depicts his escape from a slave world and establishing his life as a pirate. Tens of millions of dollars spent to visually create the stunning Star Wars universe we've come to love and appreciate and someone forgot to turn on a light! 80% of this film is just simply dark ...hard to see any details at all. Beyond that, much more character driven (way beyond what's necessary) and far less spectacle. I didn't like the ending, either. The train heist was the high point, the rest was unoriginal and entertainingly ho hum.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [2018]


         

Miles Morales, student and graffiti artist, gets caught up in a battle involving Spider-man, Kingpin and a rip in space-time resulting in Spider-man-like heroes from several parallel universes ...and Miles must save the day. Truly outstanding fun and exciting animated feature with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. They did a wonderful job of making the characters very human and totally outrageous at the same time. The extended battle around the collider was a bit much, making my wife and I a little nauseous, but otherwise, no complaints.

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek [2018]


         
  
The six members of a small militia group hideout in their HQ, a lumber warehouse, when there's reports that a militia member shot up a cop's funeral. Then the group figures out it's one of them. Let the finger pointing begin. This is an exceptionally well-written, psychological thriller that had me totally absorbed the entire time. It's rare to have a film that's this intense, and intelligent, when it's basically all dialogue. It keeps the viewer constantly guessing until the surprise ending that changes everything.

Southbound [2015]


         

An anthology of overlapping stories presented as a series of bizarre, supernatural events along a remote desert highway (presumed to represent purgatory) over a 24 hour period. This one plays out fairly well with excellent pacing and some very creepy stuff ...especially the creatures. I have no idea what these reaper-like things are supposed to represent but they were very cool! Fitting quite snuggly somewhere between The Twilight Zone and the V/H/S series, there was something quite primal and disturbing about this twisted experience. Nice ending, too!

Stand Off [2011]

aka Whole Lotta Sole

         

Taking place in Ireland, a simple hold-up to pay off gambling debts turns into a major mess involving the police, the SAS, the mob, gypsies, and a host of others. The problem with this film is that it's too farcical to be taken seriously and too serious to be a comedy. However, the highly complex story is loaded with misunderstandings and one thing after another making the whole situation worse by the minute. That, and the performances, were plenty enough to entertain me and I liked it.

Stake Land [2010]


         

Follows the travels of a vampire hunter, known only as Mister, and a teen named Martin as they try to outrun the zombie/vampire plague and large groups of religious fanatics. Sort of reminded me of Zombieland but completely devoid of any humor. They pick up and lose several people along the way making this a very personal and emotional ride that relies heavily on the heartstrings. Nothing new here but it has good action, good tension, some very good personal moments, and an ambiguous albeit uplifting ending. Pretty good.

The Stakelander [2016]

aka Stake Land II

         

This one finds Martin, our protagonist from Stake Land, hunting for a Vamp Queen who killed his family and seems to be able to control the vamps. It played out fine and was generally enjoyable. It's problem is that it was so cliche. I saw everything coming before the characters seem to figure it out ...which doesn't say much for their intelligence or their ability to survive as long as they have. The dialog was standard with nothing witty or literate beyond what was necessary. The scenarios played out as expected. Like the first, it ended on a happy note.

Star Trek [2009]


         

This reboot of the franchise presents Kirk, Spock, Bones, and many other USS Enterprise alumni boarding the ship for the first time under Captain Pike as they hunt down a psycho Romulan from the future who threatens to destroy planets. This is really nicely done with a super complex multiple timeline story that'll make your head hurt if you think about it too much but it's presented in an understandable way. The character dynamics were great and the spec fx are just awesome. Bravo!

Star Trek Beyond [2016]


         


The Enterprise travels to an unexplored nebula system on a rescue mission and runs into problems. Storywise, this is pretty typical for an episode of Star Trek. However, the characters are colorful and played superbly, the level of drama to danger to humor to sentiment is spot on, the action and spec fx are fantastic and there is no denying that this is solidly Star Trek. Top notch entertainment.

The Snowtown Murders [2011]

aka Snowtown

         

Based on real events in the 90's centering around John Bunting, one of Australia's most notorious serial killers, and his unquestioning control and dominance of those around him. Filmed amidst the poverty and squalor of Snowtown, this dark, disturbing, and depressing film is shot in an unnerving documentary style that makes you feel like you're a party to all of this. Well made and effective, my personal score is wholly subjective as it's slow pacing and nearly total focus on horrible people (with little emphasis on the crimes) left me feeling lousy.

Spider-Man: Homecoming [2017]


         
  
After the events of the Avenger Civil War, Spider-Man has been relegated to protecting his own neighborhood. As he tries to balance school life and being a hero, he discovers an underground arms manufacturer who's developing monstrous and deadly weapons using alien technology. Excellent characters and story, and, of course, state-of-the art spec fx and action. My only real gripe is some of the action is shot up-close with a shaky camera ...couldn't tell what was happening much of the time. Michael Keaton was perfectly cast as the Vulture.

Split [2016]


         

A man with 23 personalities kidnaps 3 girls that he believes he must give to 'the beast'. Once again, M. Night Shyamalan, has underwhelmed me. I keep hoping for another piece of brilliance like The Sixth Sense but it has yet to happen. Although interesting as a character study and exceptional acting, it's ponderously slow and the events are forced upon you in order to make the story work ...I was constantly questioning what would logically happen and then realized it wouldn't fit the script.

Starve [2014]


         

A psycho and his Igor style helper hold several people prisoner in an old abandoned school and force them to kill each other with food as their reward. This is a pretty middle-of-the-road horror film with a modicum of violence. However, it's depiction of what people are willing to do when they're starving is probably pretty accurate and quite disturbing. Not a great film but it did keep me engaged and there certainly wasn't anything I really disliked about it.

Spinning Man [2018]


         

A girl goes missing and a dedicated detective believes a somewhat absent-minded professor is responsible. The film does an excellent job at never making it clear if the professor is guilty or not while presenting an excellent and seriously intense character study of all those involved. Unfortunately, it becomes a one-trick pony as that's all it does until the resolution ...which is, um, strange. The film never clearly defines many issues it brings up. Add an ambiguous ending and this viewer was left with a lot of questions.

Spider-Man: Far from Home [2019]


         
  
On a school trip to Europe, Peter Parker is reluctantly forced into his Spider-man role as he finds himself in a war between Mysterio and the Elementals ...and all he wants to do is woo a classmate. Taking place after Endgame, this one centers on Peter's character and his circle of acquaintances far too much, imo. Although certainly likable and fun, it didn't leave as much room for an overly simple story as MCU films go. However, it was, humorous, exciting, full of action, eye candy and colorful characters, introduces the 'Peter-tingle', and is quite enjoyable.

Spider-Man: No Way Home [2021]


         
  
Tom Holland (Peter Parker 1) is solely responsible for this film being made as he went to Sony and Marvel and told them to get their asses back to the table and work out a deal ...much to our benefit. After Spider-Man's identity is revealed and he's accused of murder and mayhem, Parker asks Dr Strange to cast a spell to make everyone forget. This rips a hole into the multi-verse and many of the characters from pre-MCU Spider-Man films show up making this film as nostalgic as it is exciting, action packed and providing countless story branches to pursue.

Spy Game [2001]


         

A retiring CIA handler has to plead his case on rescuing an operative captured by the Chinese. Very intriguing and well written spy thriller with an excellent performance by Robert Redford as a handler who knows exactly what he's doing against all odds. Both my wife and myself found the film very compelling and, now that we know what happens, certainly worth a second watch to spot all the tricks. Good fun!

Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi [2017]


         
  
Rey tries to bring back a severely reluctant Luke Skywalker to help in the war. Meanwhile, the First Order is attempting to destroy the last of the resistance. Well, it's a Star Wars movie so fans of Star Wars will probably find it a quite satisfying edition to the franchise and those who are not big fans will probably like it anyway. I've always followed the movies but I've never been a die hard fan. Yet, I found this film to be probably the best of the bunch. There's a lot going on here, it's exciting, and it's very well made.

Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker [2019]


         
  
A new super fleet of destroyers, each with a planet destroying cannon, has been created. It's up to Rey and the Resistance to stop them. Unlike the hate spewed all over IMDb concerning this film, I though it was just fine. Being as it's taken 42 years to complete all 9 parts of the story, I guess everyone expected something perfect. Well, it's not that. Nor is it the best film in the series but it was fun, exciting, the story worked well, the spec fx were great and it was a logical end to the series ...just not the one everyone wanted, apparently. No complaints here.

The Snowman [2017]


         

An alcoholic investigator and a newcomer to the department investigate a number of disappearances; all of which have a snowman on site. Once again, far too much time spent on the people in the story and far too little time spent on the actual crimes. Add the fact that the movie's plot is disjointed, wastes time on characters and subplots that make no difference to the story and I didn't understand anyone's motivation for the things they do. The ending was just silly. Too bad the movie is nowhere close to what the trailer presents.

Solis [2018]


         

An engineer is stuck in a mining pod headed straight for the sun after an explosion while a command ship tries to catch up and save him. Boy, this film was cruel and agonizing to both the central character and me, the viewer. It's just him and a voice on the radio for the whole film while he goes about trying to find ways to stay alive and that gets pretty trying after a while. The guy's a pessimistic jerk at first and then, when they finally did make me care about him, they slap an ending on it that just ticked me off. What a pathetically downbeat film.

Stage Fright [1980]

aka Nightmares

         

This slasher exploitation film, with considerable sex and violence, features a girl who accidentally kills her mother in a car accident and then kills people in a theater production when she grows up. That's not a spoiler ...that's obvious from the start. In fact, I was expecting some sort of twist to show it wasn't her but, no. This simple premise is simply an excuse to kill a lot of people with broken glass in bloody fashion and proving that any form of sexual thought or activity insures your doom. It was mildly entertaining in its no-budget audacity but that's about it.

Soldiers of Fortune [2012]


         


A bunch of ultra-rich men supply arms to an island resistance group in exchange for being part of the action. Lot of familiar faces in this one and they all do an adequate job. Nothing new or remarkable about the film. It's enjoyable (certainly better than the ratings seem to indicate if you aren't too critical) but pretty much everything about it is average.

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