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An Hour to Kill (2018)
An hour? Ugh! Felt more like an entire day
I hate giving negative reviews to indie films because I know the creators have sacrificed their own tine, effort and sometimes money to make a film. I like to encourage anyone who makes movies outside the Big Studio system.
But this one just isn't good.It has good points here and there and it often has that " indie energy" but there is not enough of either. The first story in the anthology is especially weak, and the weakest story is usually not the one you want to lead off an anthology with.
I wanted to like it, but there are far too many better ways to spend your time.
21 Bridges (2019)
21 Bridges was 99 minutes and I felt every single one.
I didn't expect much and I wasn't disappointed.
The plot was unoriginal
The acting was ok but even JK seemed to be phoning it in
The action was over the top for a " taut crime thriller".
It wasn't smart or engaging.
Having the Russo Brothers involved I expected something better. This is a run of the mill crime " thriller" the likes of which we've seen again and again. If you liked it, cool, I'm glad you found something to like. To me, this movie felt like it was cranked out on an assembly line.
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Better than I expected.
I realize that's faint praise for a movie but it's my truth. I thought it was better than the last two, but it was nowhere as epic as the first two. It had a few good moments and plenty of plot holes made some dubious choices.
I thought MacKenzie Davis was pretty good as Grace, the augmented human sent back in time. Her character was strong and capable but also had some vulnerabilities which made her more interesting while also being pretty logical. Her weaknesses made sense, they weren't just conjured up to move the plot along.
I thought. Linda Hamilton did a great job. She was more intimidating than any T-800 And she acted pretty much how you'd expect anyone in her position to act. I thought she added to the movie
Arnold's presence on the other hand was pretty sad. Maybe even lame. He himself was actually good. He brought a healthy dose of whuppass to the film and managed to pull some humor out of his character's situation. But otherwise the explanation for why Carl( Yes, Carl!) was helping them was pure nonsense. Arnold was good while he was there, but the movie would have made more sense if he wasn't in it
It is neither the Sequel We All Deserve nor is it a Sign of the End Times. It's an action movie with a lot of flaws and if you focus on suspending your disbelief hard enough, it's enjoyable.
Midsommar slowly moves from first to second gear and then stays there.
Loved Hereditary. Wanted to love this one. Didn't I was sadly disappointed.
Visually the movie is beautiful. Florence Pugh's acting was solid. There were a few big plot holes and some very unrealistic behavior on part of some of the characters but I was happy to over look all that as long as the film took me somewhere scary, frightening and terrifying It didn't
Like a fuse, this movie burns slowly. The problem is that it there is no explosion at the ending. It just burns, and burns and burns some more......
The Dead Don't Die (2019)
The Dead Don't Die, but the humor in this movie does
I wanted to like this movie. I had every reason to expect that I would. But I didn't. For the first half hour or so I was trying to come to terms with the idea that It wasn't very good, but I had hopes that it might just be slow burning and that the Good would kick in " any time now" Nope.
The jokes fell flat for the most part, It tried too hard to be quirky. And their was no energy in this movie at all. The cast seemed bored by it all, except for Chloe Sevigny. If that apathy was supposed to be somehow funny then they did a terrible job of framing the joke. I left with the impression that Jim Jarmusch must think fans of zombie movies are stupid. His other films have always been at least interesting. This was not that.
There were a few good scenes, one at the end with bill Murray and Danny Glover in particular, which is why I gave it 4 stars. But I wouldn't pay good money to see it. Wait til it comes to cable or talk a die hard Jarmusch fan into taking you along and picking up the ticket.
The Biggest Little Farm (2018)
Hopeful, inspiring, almost restorative
I don't have too much to say about this film. It's something you need to experience for yourself. The story is inspiring, poignant dramatic and funny, the cinematography is amazing and beautiful and the message is right there but is not presented in any way as a polemic.
If you're interested enough to come to this page and check this film out, then you should just go see it. you'll like it.
And full disclosure, Although I found myself rooting for the Chester's all the way through their trials and challenges, there was a small, tiny part of me that pulled, for the ground hogs. Just a little
Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's....a mediocre horror movie
I went into this with high hopes. it's an evil take on Superman and James Gunn is involved. It has to at least be interesting, right? And fun? Maybe that was the problem. I shouldn't have gone in with high hopes
Although to be fair, Gunn only produced this. It looks like someone in his family wrote it and someone else directed it. Result: It didn't really have the Gunn Magic.
The worst thing about this movie is that it has such a great premise but it does nothing with it. SO much potential. But it was written like an average, middle of the road horror movie. By that I mean that characters, who were written pretty shallowly did dumb things and reacted in unrealistic ways and there was an over reliance on jump scares There wasn't anything creative or interesting about it.
I don't even have the enthusiasm to go through this in depth and criticize it. If you're looking for something cool and different or with that James Gunn feel, take a pass. If you've seen every other movie in the theater, including Detective Pikachu, then this will kill 90 minutes for you.
Tastes great....less filling
You know how advertisers use fake food in commercials to make the dishes look amazingly appetizing and beautiful, it looks really good, but them there's really nothing to it at all.? That's this movie. Beautiful to look at but no substance. Nothing you can really bite into.
I think this director made Hero and The Great Wall and those, especially Hero, were much better. Watch them instead.
This film,, would make a great screen saver. Just turn off the sound and watcht the pretty pictures.
Minimalist horror....too minimalist
SO the movie opens and we learn about two girls living at an all girls prep school. One girl is a little spacey, out of it, not quite in touch with reality. The other girl has a lot more down to earth problems. They're stuck at the school for a few days waiting for their parents to come pick them up, under the watchful eye of a couple of school nurses. Then the hijinx begin.
I don't want to give anything away in case you actually do want to watch the movie. If you like bleak, sparse, dreary atmosphere you might dig this. One thing this film has plenty of is atmosphere.
The acting, the dialogue, almost everything else really, was as bare bones as you can get. It was so minimalist that it didn't generate any kind of emotional hook. I just didn't really care about the characters and the movie became more of an intellectual exercise in figuring out exactly what was happening.
And that's the major problem for me. There was no satisfying explanation, not even enough of a hint of an explanation, as to why things were happening in the movie. If you don't care much about the characters then plot resolution is all you got, and there wasn't much of that either.
I like movies where everything isn't spelled out for the audience but this one just didn't give me enough to work with. It's definitely interesting though, and if it seems like it might be your thing, if you're even a bit curious, give it a shot. The film makers were talented, but for me the film was just a little too spartan
Pet Sematary (2019)
Different but good
So this movie was different in some ways thn the original but I think it remained true to the spirit of the book.To be honest I like when remakes are different than the original, otherwise why remake them( except to cash in :( )
I thought the relationship between Louis and his daughter Ellie was great. They really seemed like a loving father and daughter. Which is why when they switch it up and kill her off instead of the little boy, it hits so hard
I thought the actress who played Ellie did a great job. She was convincing as the disarmingly sweet and earnest little Ellie and pretty damn creepy as an undead.
Even though I marked this review as containing spoilers, there's one that I just can't give away. All I'll say is that this one ends differently and the very ending will send a little chill down your spine.
Don't get " suckered " in!
Ok it's not the low budget that makes this one such a stinker. Plenty of good movies are made with a shoe-string budget. It's the lackluster film-making that does this one in
The plot wasn't bad for a Creature Feature. Pretty standard stuff. While the acting wasn't great, I've seen acting almost as bad in Ed Wood movies and such. And Ed Wood's movies are entertaining.
And in a movie with such a low budget and mediocre at best acting, writing and directing, creativity and energy are all you're left with. It's what separates movies like this, which are so bad they're...just bad, from movies like Bride of the Monster or Beginning of the End, which fall squarely into the So Bad it's Good category.
Another reviewer suggested checking out the few highlights on You Tube rather than subject yourself to the grinding tedium that is 90% of this movie, and I think that's a great idea.
Give it a chance. If you like the character Hellboy, you'll like this
I'm a big fan of the original Hellboy movies. But I'm also a big fan of Hellboy in general. If you If you go in as a fan of the character rather than the 2 movies, you won't be disappointed. This one and the del Toro movies are different in tone and style but this one is a lot of fun AND it's a good Hellboy movie in it's own right.
I don't really want to say anything more than that. If you like the character I'm sure you'll like the film. It's got everything you could want in a Hellboy movie without being a clone of the original. So give it a chance. Even if they didn't make the exact movie that YOU wanted it's still faithful to the spirit of the characters and it's a good time. And of course, stay for the post credit sequence. You won't be disappointed.
Il Leone di Tebe (1964)
Straight forward action!
The film opens with Arian, a Spartan warrior, and Helen of troy traipsing around the desert. They were shipwrecked while returning to Greece after the Fall of troy and wandered into Egypt. Luckily and before long they wind up in the Court of the Pharoah, enjoying Egyptian hospitality. Helen thanks Pharoah for his kindness after a few days and asks for directions to the quickest way to Sparta but Pharoah has other ideas. He's a bit of a horn dog and has decided he wants Helen to stick around permanently and pop out a bunch of Lil Pharoahs. Helen refuses, maybe she thinks he's too much of a Mummy's boy, and this doesn't go over well with Pharoah. It doesn't go over well with his current fiancee, Nais, either. She's the extremely jealous type. Extremely jealous. WHuh-Oh Pharoah what kind of mess have you gotten yourself into now?
But romantic troubles aren't Pharoah's only problems. He and his #1 general disagree completely on how to deal with a certain enemy threat. The #1 general is an especially ambitious guy and he feels very strongly that only he knows what's best for Egypt...
There aren't any gods or magic in this one, nor any comedy relief. It's played straight and full of action and the Egyptian costumes and decor are a nice change from the usual. It's not really full of surprises but it's well done and nice looking.
Sinister Squad (2016)
WHoa. Feels like I just went Through the Looking Glass
SO it's a Suicide Squad knock-off with fairy take characters instead of super villains.
Alice ( from Wonderland) along with Tweedlel Dum and Tweedle Dee. Goldilocks and The Pied Piper are trying to keep a massive supernatural evil from taking over the world. To add a little fire power to their ranks they recruit Rumplestiltskin, a witch, The Queen of Hearts, Blue Beard and The Big Bad Wolf by kidnapping them and attaching bombs to their bodies. Of course things don't go as planned.
Sure it's a knock-off, but it's an entertaining one. The acting is actually good.' Some of the characters might have seemed a little over the top but that fit right in with the tone of the movie. And there were some fun fairy tale references scattered throughout the script.
The only major problem and the thing that kept it from becoming a true cult gem is that the script was structured poorly. It felt like they were going for twists and turns but didn't set them up right so the characters looked like they were almost making random decisions. " Ok this is the plot, nope we mean this is the plot. Fooled you, THIS is really where we're going..." Maybe they could re-edit it so it has better pacing and coherence.
When it's all said and done though I did find the film entertaining. It's worth a look if you're looking for something novel
Still a better love story than Twilight
: Not to be confused with M. Night Shyamalan's "Not Much is Happening" this is a kooky West German horror-comedy from 1971. It's a poor man's Fearless Vampire Hunters, at least in tone. An American actress inherits a Transylvanian castle, not realizing that one of her clingy Euro-mooch relatives still lives there...AS A VAMPIRE! It's fun.
Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)
Dracula & Mrs. Dracula live in a castle in the Arizona desert (???) and drink the blood of their victims from martini glasses. John Carradine is their butler George and Ray Young is their brutal servant Mango. A hip young couple buys the castle and attempts to move in while moving the Draculas out. It's funny and weird and worth a watch.
Captain Marvel (2019)
What the flerkin?
Brie Larson did a great job. Some people complain that her character wasn't nuanced or " deep" and they blame that on Larson's acting ability but the truth is that the character sin't especially nuanced. She's a fighter, that was made very clear. Flying and fighting are what she does, and she does both really well. She is an action hero and as such she's not going to show Meryl Streep levels of subtlety Carol Danvers is not a subtle person.
But I thought Brie carried the movie. The rest of the movie had to struggle to keep up. There wasn't a lot of tension, build-up or excitement. There were a few twists, and I'm still not sure what I think of them. They seemed unnecessary but whatever. There was some humor and the action and SFX were good. Use of 90s music was...well...questionable. Definitely could have used more Coulson.
Overall it was pretty entertaining, although I can see why it needed all the hype. It's not at the level of the best MCU films. On the other hand, hopefully this will open the door to the entire Cosmic side of the Marvel Universe.
Enter the Devil (1972)
Fun little time killer.
This is a great little film if you want something that's light and entertaining. It's sort of the Soup and half Sandwich of the Horror movie industry. You get just enough to satisfy without getting weighed down by a long or involved story.
None of the actors have much experience. I think the woman who played the anthropologist was in a Star Trek episode and maybe had a few lines in an episode of Quincy. But they still all do a great job of portraying small town folk living in a village cursed by mysterious and grisly murders. They had a very natural, cinema verite thing going on.
This one has a little humor, a little horror a little action and some beautiful desert scenery. It's slow moving but builds nicely .
Liu lang di qiu (2019)
My attention wandered even more
I'm a science fiction fan and I was looking forward to seeing what Bug Budget Chinese Sci-Fi looked like. I'm sorry to say I was disappointed.
The basic plot was interesting and the graphics weren't bad. Taking into consideration that I saw a subbed version, I still thought the dialogue was pretty weak and there wasn't much characterization at all. Sometimes the characters and the plot just didn't make sense. To me the drama seemed not just forced but coerced.
It reminded me of those old 50's sci-fi movies like When World's Collide or Rocketship XM but without the cheesy charm.
This film just dragged on and on and I'll tell ya, I was not nearly as happy about the Earth being saved as I was that the movie was finally over.
Desperate Hours (1990)
A Spectacular Mess
This movie asks the question: Can a film be good and bad at the same time?
Take the acting for example. Hopkins and Rourke are both good, capable actors but here it's like they're fighting it out for title of Cinema's Biggest Ham. What's really weird is that they alternate between good acting and bad several times during the film, even during the same scene. And i've always expected good acting from Lindsey Crouse and she does give a good performance but with a very cheesy accent. Kelly Lynch gives a more realistic performance but for a supposedly smart character she shows some questionable judgement. Very minor characters spout Shakespearean flourishes when the scripts only requires them to say Yes or No Sir.
The music is weird too. It's completely off for this type of film. And " Red River Valley" keeps popping up from time to time.
Also, it's a hostage film, based on a play, yet there are helicopter and chase scenes and shoot-outs.
At times I thought that maybe it was supposed to be a parody of tense hostage films, a dark, very dry parody. I'm still not sure.
But to answer the question " Can a film be good and bad at the same time?" According to this movie-Yes
How Awful About Allan (1970)
Meh TV Movie.
Anthony Perkins finds himself once again as a troubled young man with crippling mental health issues. Guilt over possibly toasting his father like a marshmallow sends him into a state of psychosomatic blindness. After a decade in an asylum, he returns home to his sister. But the family reunion has to wait because shortly after his arrival, Anthony fears that someone is trying to kill him. Is his life in jeopardy, or is he slipping back down into madness?
The Adventures of Tartu (1943)
Little known gem
This film pits a chemical engineer (Captain Stevenson) who is fluent in Rumanian, German and Russian against Nazis. Stevenson becomes an Iron Guard named Tartu and attempts to upset a Nazi plot by destroying a poison gas factory. He needs help from the local resistance to succeed. But how, posing as a Nazi, can he get the underground to trust him? This one is pretty well written and thought out.
El sonido de la muerte (1966)
Low budget nostalgia trip
Nope this one isn't about that Justin Beiber kid (hehe). It's a super low budget Spanish horror film about a group of treasure hunters who run afoul of an invisible shrieking dinosaur. It might play well with kids and nostalgia fans that enjoy the less gory horror of the olden days and some of the ways they worked around the low budget were pretty clever.
Twisted Nerve (1968)
Intriguing psycho thriller
This is a clever thriller that should produce a few good chills. Hywel Bennett plays a young man named Martin who falls for Haley Mills. Through some ingenious manipulation he poses as a developmentally disabled boy (ignorantly referred to as Mongoloids when this story was filmed) so he can live in the boarding house shared by Haley Mills and her Mum. While worming his way into Haley's affections he's also sneaking out at night making some "questionable" moral choices. Good stuff.
Starship Invasions (1977)
Most Low-Key Invasion ever
The movie started out promisingly enough. AN old farmer is chug chugging along in his dilapidated old tractor when a huge metal pie plate zooms over head. He gets beamed aboard and the next thing he knows he's sitting in what looks like Danish dentist's waiting room. A sexy. exotic alien beauty walks in , starkers, and looks the old boy up and down with a naughty grin on her face. Cut to a shot of the farmer breaking into a frightening, toothless grin
I remember thinking " If this is an invasion sign me up!"
Well, the rest of the movie wasn't quite so interesting.
I have no problem with the low budget. Lots of good movies have been made on a shoe string.
And the ideas were pretty good. Twist here, twist there. Without giving away spoilers the film had some thought behind it.
But everything about this movie is S-O L-O-W K-E-Y. It's not just the pacing. The color schemes are all beige and gray. The music is laid back and elevator style and nobody ever raises their voice, which is pretty uncommon for a movie about invading something.
Instead of feeling excited, and revved up, like I'd expect to feel while watching a movie called Starship Invasions, I felt kind of relaxed, even soothed. All I needed was a warm bath and some chamomile tea.