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61: Highway to Hell (2017)
Not sure why Amazon has this listed under the horror genre. This is a comedy, no question about it. Silly, over-the-top rock characters with paper thin personalities go on a road trip to sell their soul to the devil for fame and fortune. Shenanigans ensue, including a side quest to have sex with underage girls.
The Devil arrives in the form of Tobin Bell in a beanie cap and a long wig. Is he the devil? Or an actor playing the devil? That's for you to decide.
It's not a complete waste of time, just don't go in expecting to be scared. There isn't an ounce of horror to be found in this movie.
I've seen better acting in a film. Better camerawork too. I see it had a budget of $130,000, but it's no better than a student film.
You have to love the logic...
Lead character goes through hell just to get into the haunted attraction. Signs waivers, gets a doctors note (forged), kneels before the game master and basically sells him her soul, then proceeds to scream "No!", "Stop!" And "Help Me!" as soon as the game begins.
Another Life (2019)
Netflix cancelled the OA...
That says pretty much everything you need to know about what Netflix considers good sci-fi. I'm almost positive my subscription will not last long enough to see a second season of this.
Suck it up fanboys. Star Wars is moving on!
It's arrogant to assume that the Star Wars films, like the force, belong exclusively to one group of people. These movies no longer belong to those who grew up with them, but to everyone, old and young. The films are moving on and if you can't deal with that, then perhaps it's time you got off the Star Wars train.
Terminator Genisys (2015)
This is the last time I let reviewers on the internet dictate whether I go see a film in the theater. This is the truest example of the type of cynical nostalgia that distrusts change and anticipates failure.
I'm a pretty nostalgic person and to me, this film felt more like the original and T2 than T3 or Salvation ever did. I enjoyed it from start to finish and don't really get the negativity surrounding it.
Arnold is in top form in his iconic role and Emilia Clarke (OMG love her!) and Jai Courtney fill in admirably for Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn. Jason Clarke is perfectly intense as John Connor and I believed him in the role more than I did Christian Bale (Taking nothing away from Bale, still love him). Being a huge "Doctor Who" fan, seeing Matt Smith didn't hurt either.
If this is the last film in the franchise, I feel like it goes on on a high note, but I will keep my fingers crossed that it is the start of a new trilogy.
The Carbonaro Effect (2014)
David Blaine did it much better. Blaine's initial Street Magic videos showcased practical magic that could be performed in the audience's hand. Having experience with this myself, I know the reactions Blaine got were genuine. Blaine used editing on his show, but it was to enhance what the television viewer saw, while the reactions from those in attendance to the unedited illusion was real.
This show is ALL editing and camera-work. I don't believe the audience reactions for a minute. Perform these illusions live and I'd be impressed, but I'm not seeing anything that I couldn't do with a camera and a good software program.
That being said, it's worth watching because it is entertaining in moderation.
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
One of my all-time favorites
One of my all-time favorite films. I never get bored of watching it. An absolutely epic performance from Willem Dafoe and a hilarious depiction of Herr Doktor Murnau by Malkovich combine to make an unforgettable film.
I did not have the pleasure of seeing this when it was released in the theaters. I actually found a copy after it was released on DVD and being intrigued by the description, made the purchase. It has become a mainstay of my DVD collection, one that I would never trade in after viewing. It's such a fun film and so full of imagination. It only gets better on repeat viewings as you start to pick up on the little nuances of the performances.
Like being united with old friends while making brand new ones!
As soon as the opening titles hit and the familiar music began to play, I got teary eyed. This was like a reunion of sorts, with characters who you never wanted to part with while at the same time introducing new characters who you'd love to be friends with. From best friends, like Gandalf, to worst enemies, Gollum and Saruman, everyone was welcome.
Seeing this film, I am convinced that only Peter Jackson could have pulled it off. Like Tim Burton, his films have a certain look and feel to them that I don't think another director could have captured. You know instantly you are in the LOTR universe and that is an encouraging thought.
Kudos to Martin Freeman playing Bilbo to a T. Sir Ian is flawless as always, slipping back into the Gandalf role with ease. I was most happy to see Mr. Aiden Turner, late of BBC's "Being Human" in his major motion picture debut. He was given quite a bit to do and I think he did quite well.
The 3D is done well enough but you can skip it if you really need to.
Rocky Balboa (2006)
Words can't describe...
...Just how much I love this movie. My father was 27 when the first Rocky came out, and I was 27 when this final Rocky came along. I've watched it hundreds of times and it never gets old. The character of Rocky is so timeless, so endearing, that you can't help but love him. Stallone does a fantastic job closing the series that so many of us felt was cheated with Rocky V.
Kudos to Sly for getting this film made. Nobody believed in Rocky, and I'm sure there were many skeptics when he pitched this idea, but he did it, and it is a wonderful piece of film history.
********** out of ten, no question in my mind.
ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY
The Dark Knight (2008)
I'm not going to reiterate what's being said about Chris Nolan's new Batman film, "The Dark Knight". Just this: Years ago, I made a post on the Internet Movie Database regarding the new film "The Fellowship of the Ring". I titled the post "Great, but not the second coming of cinema." Well....
I have seen the second coming of cinema, and it is "The Dark Knight".
Amazing, absolutely amazing.
Bale is a wonderful Batman, but Nicholson (as great as he is) has nothing on Ledger, and Tommy Lee Jones (one of my favs of all time) can't even hold a candle to Eckhart's turn as Two-Face.
This is what I wasted my hard earned "Jason vs. Freddy" cash on? I refuse to even comment further. I hope "Jersey Girl" is better. This one should be burned, buried and forgotten. I'm miserable. I'm less of a person for seeing this. What was I thinking?
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
Mostly same old hat
For the most part, this entry into Star Trek lore is old hat. Data has
questions about humanity (I thought we were past that two movies
ago) and the Enterprise has a seemingly dire mission and Earth
is once again held at the whim of a warring race, this time the
The Remans, as a race, are impressive to look at, but really just
function as humans with funny heads. Far more interesting is
Tom Hardy as Shinzon. As his illness progresses, he becomes
even more menacing. He is a cool character and the "bond"
between him and Picard is most interesting.
The battle scenes are nothing that we haven't seen on "Voyager"
before. The crash scene is awesome to look at though and rocks
on any surround sound system.
All in all, a mostly forgettable installment with some bright
moments. As evidenced by the DVD, a little too much may have
been left on the cutting room floor, similar to Star Trek V. One
deleted scene in particular, the Captain's chair with seatbelts, was
really good for a chuckle.
Jackass: The Movie (2002)
I almost threw up.....
And it wasn't because this "movie" was gross. I was just laughing so hard I almost threw up right in the theater. I read one review in the paper the called this "movie" a "plotless disaster of a film with lousy photography." Obviously somebody hasn't entered the cable age yet.
No need to give a long synopsis of the movie, it's pretty well covered elsewhere on the site, but if you're looking for 84 minutes of filler this is a good way to spend it. The opening and closing sequences are by far the funniest things in the entire movie. Almost "pythonesque" in my humble opinion.
So go see it, laugh out loud and have a good time. With plots so watered down nowadays, it's nice to sit in the movie and not have to worry about it.
The Scorpion King (2002)
Most fun I've had since.....
The last time I had this much fun at a movie. I never walked in expecting to learn a lesson about life or to find some deep spiritual meaning, but never-the-less, I was absolutely floored by this movie. The major problem is that the film has the three letters of death associated with it : WWF. Don't believe me? Ask the XFL. Having those letters attached to anything is like a gymnast performing a move with only a 9.5 difficulty level. It's already at a disadvantage.
Now I am a big-time WWF fan but not a huge Rocky fan, but as he always manages to do, he goes beyond the lousy script, the goofy dialogue and the average effects and makes you believe in him. He's so damned likeable that it's almost annoying. And who gives a care if his dialogue was limited to "mostly grunts and groans." This is a guy who night in and night out can tell a whole story in the ring and never speak a work, and who can have the whole audience hanging on and eyebrow and an elbow.
I have to admit I was more dissapointed with Roger Ebert than I ever have been before about his criticism of this movie. Mr. Ebert seems to be getting old. He's been very inaccurate lately and this film is no exception. If you read his review, he criticizes the film for a "logical loophole" in the dialogue. And I quote:
"The scene where they vow to kill the Scorpion King is especially impressive, as Mathayus intones, "As long as one of us still breathes, the sorcerer will die!" See if you can spot the logical loophole. "
Excuse me? Excuse me? Maybe it's time for Mr. Ebert to stop reviewing by cellphone...or maybe it's static. Time to switch to Sprint. The all digital all PCS network that.....you know the rest. What gets me mad is that Ebert is like the premier critic of our age and if he can't get it right...how can we really take anyone else seriously? Confused? What I mean is that he's twisting the story. Matthias was not contracted to kill Memnon. He was contracted to kill the sorceress so that the armies would unite against Memnon. But Ebert didn't care about that. I love ya Rog....but you need to be more careful. I'm no fan of pre-concieved notions, and I hope I'm not alone.
Well, enough of that rant. This movie was absolutly fantastic. Moments to make you laugh, to make you sweat and to make you jump. It's not quite as loud as some would have you believe, but the soundtrack pumps. Rock has a bright future and Hu is just a hottie! Hope to see more of her in the future...har har.
I'm implore moviegoers, throw your WWF notions out the door and go see Duane Johnson make his starring premier. Don't expect to see The Rock, don't expect to smell what he's cooking. Just have fun and enjoy this nice piece of work. It's no epic, but it stands alone!
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Let me get two things perfectly clear before I begin. First, I am NOT nor have I ever been an Elijah Wood fan, second, I am writing this review while HBO is playing "Battlefield Earth." I am aware that I should turn it off while attempting to write an objective review, but alas, I am lazy. Now, onto the good stuff.
I believe I am safe in saying that this movie is setting the standard in terms of what an epic should be. It has a few minor flaws, but nothing that detracts from it's brilliance.
I could go on and on, but chances are, you've already read everything there is to read on this film, so just pointers:
1. As I said, I'm not an Elijah Wood fan, but he does a fine job as Frodo.
2. In terms of make-up: Spectacular. I didn't even realize John-Rhys Davies was in the movie until I got home later. Nuf said.
3. Christopher Lee is absolutely the scariest actor on the planet, bar none.
4. I'm glad Viggo Morteson has finally got a good role. Aragorn was always my favorite character. I mean he was ok in 28 days, but this is better.
5. The acting is top-notch. Everyone was really on. I'm going to assume they kept their level of focus throughtout the entire filming.
6. The locations were gorgeous!
1. The fight scenes are absolutely dreadful. It's mostly shot in close-up, like in Gladiator. You never get a feel for psychology (always important to me). However, the visuals are still spectacular. Only a minor drawback here.
2. Can't think of a number two.
1. Orcs and their cousins
2. Hobbit Feet - Gotta be a source of infection
3. The Balrog - Sweetness! Looked like a mean old cigarette. One of the coolest CGI characters ever. Too bad it was so dark, but it needed to be, I guess. Sigh.
4. The decapitation towards the end. Best fight sequence of the film. But nasty.
A definite winner, on all counts.
**** out of four.
Earth vs. the Spider (2001)
What is the fetish with movies like this? Is gaining a super-power always a pre-cursor to becoming evil? Maybe that's why I liked Darkman so much. With the abilities that Peyton got, he used them for good, even if it was in a vigilante way. I really wanted to enjoy this movie, and was encouraged by the fact that initially, Quentin used his powers for good.
Of course, it took all of 45 minutes for him to go bad and go on a killing spree. Did somebody think that was original? Aside from the fact that it was a blatant knock off of Jeff Goldblum in "The Fly" remake, though much less gory.
The acting was of the "not bad" variety, but Dan Aykroyd is wasted in a role that tries to have depth, but fails (chalk it up to comic book writing? I dunno).
I did get a huge kick out of the store owner using the Hasbro "Darth Maul Lightsaber" (of which I have on right next to me here) as his last line of defense. A total hoot! Classic!
I would be remiss if I didn't say the movie does a decent make-up. Pretty creepy.
Sadly, the ending falls flat and comes way to abruptly, and is also cliche, and confusing to boot. Did he want to kill her, or not? I leave that for you to decide.
** out of four.
Wolf Girl (2001)
Saw the late showing of Wolf Girl recently on USA. It was good fun, but I'm naturally biased towards most movies with Tim Curry as he is one of my faves!
On the whole, the movie was paced nicely with some good performances and some bad ones as well. Tim Curry is good as the eccentric, yet caring freak show owner, Harley. And Victoria Sanchez plays her part well also as the lonely wolf girl who just wants to be a normal teenager. She's very believable.
The other performances were solid as well, with a few exceptions, most notable the group of teenagers who harass Tara. They are horribly stereotypical, egocentric and dull. (Though the running gag with the size of their "manhood" is good for a few giggles).
The movie is filmed with a kind of washed out color feeling, similar to, but nowhere near as effective as Tim Burton's, "Sleepy Hollow" and the music is passable. Tim Curry even gets a chance to show off his singing skill in a wonderful little number about "plucking" that kind of reminds me of Frankenfurter from "Rocky Horror"
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Not the best movie I've ever seen, but a darn fine one!
Tim Burton never ceases to amaze me. His eye is second to none and his films have that "look" to them. My neighbor commented that the 2001 version of "Apes" was the best movie he's ever seen in his entire life. While I wouldn't go as far as saying that, it was still well worth the price of admission!
I'm not much in the way or writing long, drawn out comments, but let me just say that the ending MAKES this movie, it was the perfect fit, even if it was a tad predictable, I couldn't help but grin and give a silent "oh, man!" to it.
My only major problem with the film is Mark Wahlberg. He is a fine and up and coming actor, but I haven't latched onto him yet. Perhaps one day I will. He's hot right now, and he's certainly better off than his "Marky Mark" days.
As far as other standouts, Paul Gianetti is a riot as Limbo, and Charlton Heston is excellent in a cameo apprerance!
Highly recommended viewing.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
I got two words for you....
Hey, college students, got two words fo you: CELLULAR PHONE. I make a few amateur movies here and there and NEVER go on location without a cellphone. Ugg, this had to be one of the worst movies I've ever seen in my life. Who does a documentary and doesn't bring a steadycam. My $288 stabilizes an image better than that when running on beach rocks. I just got really annoyed at the foul language and actually found myself yelling at the screen. Think about it....the epitomy of Heather's obsession, she videotaped herself washing her hands in the stream....doh! The ending was neat though, pretty creepy stuff...even though I think Josh killed them and went to Sweden or something. Think about it....
Typical Classic Python
I don't know why everyone complains about the ending of this movie. It is, after-all, typical Python humor. Terry Gilliam said they loved to remove the punchline, and that's what they did. This is a fantastic movie!