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The Unborn [2009] Under the Silver Lake [2018] Under the Skin [2013]
Underworld [2003] Underworld: Awakening [2012] Underworld: Blood Wars [2016]
Underworld: Evolution [2006] Underworld: Rise of the Lycans [2009] Unfriended [2014]
Unfriended 2: Dark Web [2018] The Unhealer [2020] Unhinged [2020]
Universal Soldier [1992] Unleashed [2005]
Unlocked [2017] Unnatural [2015] Unsane [2018]
Unstoppable [2018] Up in Smoke [1978] Upgrade [2018]
Us [2019] Used Cars [1980] The Usual Suspects [1995]

The Unhealer [2020]


         

A sickly and bullied boy with Pica Disorder suddenly finds himself endowed with the power to reflect any pain he receives back to the attacker. Time for payback! This low budget, Carrie style film is actually better than I would have expected ...especially after getting ready to turn it off. Once his powers are established, the movie moves along exactly as expected with no real surprises and it certainly could have used some real "actors" and better direction but, despite that, there were a couple good gags and I found myself strangely entertained by it all.

Unhinged [2020]


         

A harried mother crosses paths with a man who just killed his ex-wife and has nothing left to lose resulting is a road rage without end. Russell Crowe is excellent as the man who's given up caring about anything and Caren Pistorius is great as the mother who is desperately trying to find a way to save everyone she knows. I had some minor issues about her intelligence in the beginning but she warmed up to the task at hand. Violent, nerve wracking and action packed, this is a tense thriller that'll keep you on the edge of your seat. Watch for the courtesy tap.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans [2009]


         
  
Thought I'd revisit the Underworld series starting with the first film in the timeline, albeit the 3rd film released. This one details the origin of the war between the lycans and vampires. The core story is actually a familiar forbidden romance that carries well into present day and done with great acting and a good deal of finesse. The CGI is pretty obvious most of the time but the action sequence are still quite engaging and well choreographed with an abundance of mayhem and bloodshed. Overall, a very satisfying start to the series and good escapist entertainment.

Underworld [2003]


         
  
1st film released but 2nd in the time line, this brings the war between the vampires and lycans into the modern age. On the edge of extinction, the lycans are trying to locate a human who may change everything. Selene, a vampire death dealer, wants to know why he's so important. Full of great action, a good, logical story, extremely well-defined and well-played characters, and a whole lot of good fun. There are some cheesy moments and the climactic raid on the lycan stronghold got a bit long-winded but these minor issues are easily overlooked. Cheers!

Underworld: Evolution [2006]


         
  
2nd movie released and 3rd in the timeline, this one picks up right where Underworld left off with Selene and Michael on-the-run. They soon discover that the elder, Marcus, the original vampire, is bent on releasing his brother, William, the original Lycan, from eternal bondage and must be stopped. Full, well developed story with a rich history, the characters are likable and bad-ass in equal measure, the action and spec fx are awesome and more solid and finely tuned than the previous film. Excellent fun and excitement.

Underworld: Awakening [2012]


         
  
4th film in the timeline, Selene & Michael's peace, after killing the elders, is short-lived as humans discover the vampires and lycans. After begin captured and put on ice for 12 years, Selene wakes up to find their races have been purged nearly to extinction ...and she has a daughter. With, I'm assuming, a smaller budget, the CGI is pretty blatant in this one but the story's solid (even if it is just an excuse for some excellent action sequences), the characters are fun and engaging, and there's still a whole lot of imagination going on here. Good fun.

Underworld: Blood Wars [2016]


         
  
This 5th installment has both the vampires and lycans after Selene to find out where her daughter, the first pure-blood hybrid, is hiding but not even she knows ...and the lycans are determine to destroy the last of the vampire covens. Not a complicated story but it has enough elements to justify a solid 90 mins of warfare. Great action and an overall improvement in CGI. Characters are still compelling and fun to watch. The weakest film in the series as far as depth goes but still an excellent entry with a lot of high octane excitement.

Universal Soldier [1992]


         

Two soldiers, who killed each other in Vietnam, are now genetically modified killing automatons. Unfortunately, they're beginning to remember that they want to kill each other. Pretty typical Van Damme / Lundren escapist action thriller with a lot of fighting. Throw in a reporter that gets caught up in the whole thing and turn it into a chase movie and here's what you got. Being these are super soldiers, I was expecting more Terminator but not bad for what it was.

The Usual Suspects [1995]


         
     

One of the best caper movies ever made with one of the most phenominally profound twist endings ever. Everything about this movie - the story, the acting (especially the excellent performance by Kevin Spacey), the dialogue - works!! If you haven't seen it, you're missing a masterpiece in crime fiction. One of those movies where I would have no problems with watching over and over again.

Unsane [2018]


         

A stalking victim seeks counseling and inadvertently commits herself into a mental institution. The more she tries to convince them she's sane, the worse it gets. Then she starts seeing her stalker. This film works really well at placing the viewer in this situation and filling them with a sense of dread and despair. That feeling of helplessness is palpable as the situation becomes more complicated and dire. Of course, that's what makes the ending all the more rewarding, doesn't it? Well made film.

Unstoppable [2018]

aka Seongnan hwangso

         

After ineffective police fail to find a man's kidnapped wife, he goes to save her himself. Pretty familiar story with nothing new to speak of. The characters were engaging and likable enough ...although the stoic protagonist teaming up with two incompetent, bungling, comedy relief sidekicks seemed awfully incongruous for the seriousness of the story line. Wasn't much action and what there was felt flat and not particularly exciting. However, the longer it went, the better it got and in the end, I felt for the characters and enjoyed it.

Unlocked [2017]

aka Conspiracy

            

A former international interrogator is dragged back into the fold to interrogate a messenger in an attempt to stop a biological attack. This was a highly competent spy thriller with the usual misconceptions, double crosses, and surprises that come with said genre. In fact, I figured out a few of the twists before our primary spy did. What's that say about her as a spy? Regardless, it was well made and fun to watch. Noomi Rapace and Orlando Bloom were both excellent.

Us [2019]


         

Starts out as what appears to be a home invasion with the twist being the invaders are doppelgangers of them. What follows is chaos and a fight for survival that's tense, exciting, violent with just the right amount of humor to make it thoroughly entertaining. The ending took the story into a completely new direction and, imo, it was sort of strange and long winded with the ultimate twist not being that much of a surprise to me ...I sort of thought along those lines on a couple of occasions. But, that certainly doesn't take away from this being just a plain fun creepfest.

Unnatural [2015]

aka Maneater

         


Typical, low budget monster movie which, in this case, is a genetically mutated bear who stalks and kills folks at a lodge in Alaska, one by one. Apparently, it was as frustrated with the bad acting, bad dialogue, and about 45 minutes of padding, as I was ...and you rarely ever get a clear view of anything. Go pick a different monster movie. Chance are, it'll be better.

Upgrade [2018]


         
  
In the near future, a man is given a computer chip to operate his body after he became a quadriplegic and his wife was killed. Time to make use of the new upgrade. Writer / Director, Leigh Whannell, has an impressive body of work but I haven't been overly excited about much of it since his writing of Saw. But this movie rocks!! The pacing is excellent, the character's constantly evolving relationship with a computer chip is realistically portrayed, the story is intricately well-written and the ending is perfect.

The Unborn [2009]


         

A young woman discovers that she's being used as a vehicle to bring a dybbuk into the world and goes about trying to stop it. There's dozens of similar movies but this one doesn't resort to contrived scenes or become overly dramatic. The characters seem real, not stereotypical caricatures, and the real highlight is the nightmarish imagery. This is a well made film and I think horror aficionados and filmmakers will appreciate this film far more than the casual viewer ...as shown by its ratings. Watch the unrated version.

Unfriended [2014]

aka Cybernatural

         

As teen friends gather together on Skype, an unknown person appears calling themselves Laura ...a girl that committed suicide a year previously. Being a certified computer tech and an overall nerd, I love this film but ...probably more so than the average viewer. The entire film is seen through one of the participants monitors adding to the realism and spontaneity. Not quite as good as Dark Web (probably due to it having a supernatural element whereas DW did not making it more realistic) but still very effective.

Unfriended 2: Dark Web [2018]


         

On online game night with friends, a guy tries out a laptop that was left in the lost and found at an Internet cafe and his whole world goes to hell. Definitely a film for computer geeks like myself as (like the original Unfriended) practically the entire movie takes place on a computer monitor. If you're not computer savvy, much of this might just go over your head. Either way, the filmmakers ability to make these films feel so spontaneous, you forget your watching fiction making it all the more plausible and terrifying. This is really scary stuff.

Under the Silver Lake [2018]


         

A young man goes on a search, through the Hollywood elite, for a girl he met one evening who's mysteriously disappeared. In a word, strange. The film follows the course of a mystery story where a person is searching for another. The difference is the events and encounters are surrealistically bizarre, full of hidden connections and secret codes that takes our intrepid hero on a trip to the fantastic. Like Braid, this movie is very subjective to it's viewers ...you'll like it of you won't. I, for one, am still trying to decide. Yeah, strange.

Unleashed [2005]

aka Danny the Dog

         


Jet Li is a great martial artist but his portrayal of a man who's experiencing life and relationships for the first time, after having been kept in isolation most of his adult life, was just torturous. Although it got fairly good reviews, I found this film to be an extended exercise in patience. And I really hated Bob Hoskins' character in this film ...I'd cringe every time he came on screen. Action was good, though.

Under the Skin [2013]


         

This is a dull and long winded story about an alien (played expertly by Scarlett Johansson) who kidnaps men for her race ...I guess. They never really make that clear. Nothing really happens beyond that for the first hour. Then she embarks on a journey of self-discovery trying to determine what being human is like ...which I found tedious. Then, they end it with a massive let down. It had it's high points but I didn't like this film much.

Used Cars [1980]


         


Hilarious comedy classic about rival brothers who own used car lots across the street from each other. Came out the same week as Airplane. A critic, who saw both on the same day said, "Airplane made me laugh more often. Used Cars made me laugh a lot harder". This may not be very well known but it is a seriously funny movie. If you haven't seen it, and you want to LYAO for an evening, watch it!

Up in Smoke [1978]


         

Featuring the duo of Cheech & Chong, popular during my adolescence, this is the quintessential stoner movie full of insane gags, infantile humor, incredibly colorful characters (Stacy Keach is a riot), all played out with perfect timing by folks who are obviously having an outrageously good time. Revisiting it so many years later, it is firmly a product of its time but still holds a level of humor that many comedies of today can only hope to reach. If you've missed it, and drug use doesn't bother you, you should take the time to experience this classic comedy.

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