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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:18 am 
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Chappie...6/10


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:20 am 
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Oh...saw Jurassic World over the weekend--6.5/10--If you saw Jurassic Park, the "awe factor" of the CGI dinasaur will fail you in this latest adaptation. It was like watching Jurassic Park 4...


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:36 am 
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Well last night I saw the "The Hobbit An unexpectted Journay" is not only a triple movie adaptation in itself {The Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug" and "The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies"} which ties in with the previous Triple move adoptation of the three sequel books to the Hobbit-- The Fellowship of the Ring; Two Towers; The Return of the King

Id rate it as 'Fair" :lol: 8) :wtf:

Now I realize that when Books are adopted by Movies/TV they dont always come out exeactly the same..for example trying to convey emotions from a movie is different from reading about them...now It had some nice viewing effects...but frankly I prefer the Book "The Hobbit" its more Tolkeinish! :bell: :sparkle:

And of Boy have they been pushing that Jurrasic Park Movie...even lego got a set already...! :ROTF:


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:26 am 
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  Movie: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines


  Director: Jonathan Mostow


  Year: 2003


  My Rating: 7 - Very Good

What?!? So if Sarah Connor killed off the terminators and all evidence of the first terminator at the end of T2, how did Skynet even exist to send back a female T-X to kill other members of the resistance? Why is their even a need for a resistance? John Connor has been staying off the grid because he thinks Skynet is sending back terminators anyway? How did the inevitable Skynet coincidentally create a T-X that was such a close facsimile of the T-1000 that never existed? Why does the T-850 (Arnold-style terminator) look so much like the units from T1 & T2? I am confused.

Alright, so regardless of all of those discrepancies, I'll roll with the premise that "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" lays down, anyway. The female T-X (Kristanna Loken), closely pursued by the T-850 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), hunts down John Connor's friends, his future wife Kate Brewster, and John himself. Arnold's terminator attempts to keep the T-X away from John and Kate as they try to stop Skynet before it starts Judgment Day, the war between the machines and man. It just so happens that Kate's father is the Director of Skynet itself. The military has developed SkyNet and is on the verge of flipping the switch that will essentially outsource the nation's defense to it. Kate's father is basically the military's keymaster.

Despite the lack of continuity to the first two movies, I actually like T3 quite a bit. There are some really great action sequences, primarily the crane chase and the hand-to-hand battle between the terminators in a bathroom. I think the special effects are pretty good and the movie moves along at a healthy clip. The ending is quite a twist and is a nice setup for a sequel. But the ending also would have been an okay place to let the entire story sit without a follow up ever being made. I can't remember where "Terminator: Salvation" picks up the story, but I'll be revisiting it soon.

I did not like the forced, light-hearted quips and almost slapstick reactions of Arnold's T-850. There were also some annoyingly convenient moments such as the melting T-X managing to call up a rotating saw blade to cut free of the magnetized particle accelerator. There was also a senseless sequence where the T-850 was reprogrammed by the T-X to attack Kate and John. Somehow it fights against the logic of its reprogrammed CPU and shuts itself down to keep from killing them. Later, it manages to boot itself back up and save Kate and John. I don't even understand why the story just wouldn't have the T-850 continue to pursue the T-X without the entire reprogramming crap. Did we need to give Arnold a chance to actually emote?

Ultimately, the good of T3 outweighs the bad for me. I have watched this numerous times and am always entertained despite its flaws.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:47 pm 
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  Movie: Dracula's Daughter


  Director: Lambert Hillyer


  Year: 1936


  My Rating: 5 - Good

It's old. It's slow. But overall, it's pretty entertaining.

This is a sequel to the original "Dracula" that starred Bela Lugosi. Dracula's daughter, Contessa Zoleska (played by Gloria Holden), comes to London to try and rid herself of her Father's vampiric curse. This sequel is quite different from the original, with Contessa seeming somewhat sympathetic at times.

The performances of Holden and Otto Kruger are the clinchers here. Kruger is solid as the psychologist and Holden is at once creepy and riveting. She is also clearly a threat, which adds even more to the complexity of the character.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:15 pm 
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  Movie: Jurassic World


  Director: Colin Trevorrow


  Year: 2015


  My Rating: 7 - Very Good

So after the absolutely massive opening weekend box office, it's clear that there will be more "Jurassic World" coming. Is that a good thing? Well, we are talking dinosaurs here, and to me, almost everything is better with dinosaurs.

Look. This is not a movie without all kinds of problems, including annoying kids, some absolutely stupid military super-soldier subplot involving the raptors, a boring performance by Chris Pratt, and tons of product placement.

But I think I mentioned it before. There are dinosaurs.

I don't care that these weren't all real dinosaurs, that they were hybrids. They looked cool and they were at times, quite scary. People get attacked in this movie. Pterodactyls swarm the amusement park crowds. Raptors and Rexes munch people. There's real danger throughout which I'm thinking would be the case if the beasts were real. This isn't the "good" Terminator shooting people in the leg.

Thankfully, I was able to get carried away by this movie. I didn't scoff or pick it apart while I watched it and I came out of the theater satisfied. I knew going in that I had just bought a ticket to escape reality for a couple of hours and "Jurassic World" delivered. I can look back at it now and find things to be critical of, but it was still a fun flick. And again, there were dinosaurs.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:07 pm 
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  Movie: Ant-Man


  Director: Peyton Reed


  Year: 2015


  My Rating: 7 - Very Good

Anything that reminds me of Richard Matheson's "The Incredible Shrinking Man" and stars Evangeline Lilly is pretty much gonna be a winner with me.

"Ant-Man" was a funny movie. I laughed plenty and often. Many cast members got into the comedy act. It wasn't just Paul Rudd or Michael Pena. Michael Douglas was a great Hank Pym, a complex character with skeletons in his closet and some well hidden emotional scars. But, like every other character, he was a source of many laughs.

There were also plenty of thrills and some great uses of 3D. More than any other recent 3D release than I can remember. When Ant-Man was ant-sized, the 3D really popped. I think it was because things in the background were over sized and slightly blurred. I also need to call out how much I liked the different types of ants and how cool they were used in the movie. The scene with Ant-Man fighting Yellowjacket on the train set was a highlight, too.

Even though this was a blast overall, "Ant-Man" featured a weak, uninteresting villain and had some story beats, like Scott Lang's daughter, that seemed forced and overly sentimental.

I'm hearing "Ant-Man" being compared to "Guardians of the Galaxy" and that's fair to a point. Both movies feature quirky, wise-cracking characters. It's not quite as un-"Marvel" as GotG was, but it's still not as cookie-cutter as the other Marvel Universe flicks.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:36 am 
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  Movie: The Atticus Institute


  Director: Chris Sparling


  Year: 2015


  My Rating: 7 - Very Good

"The Atticus Institute" is another found-footage Horror movie. It tells its story documentary style, mostly at the beginning, and features what is an incredible amount of footage from testing performed in 1976 on a possessed woman. I didn't realize security cameras were so prevalent in the '70s.

I know that the seasoned movie critic or fanatic dismisses found footage movies. It seems mostly because found footage is not as cinematic and offers opportunities to turn out cheap scares or thrills at the expense of accomplished film making. Looking back at my movie watching history, I've noticed that I normally like found footage movies. When I don't, it's mostly because something is filled with silly jump scares at the expense of suspense or atmospheric scares. "The Atticus Institute" has its share of those jump scares, but they weren't expected. That is, the director didn't tip you off that there was a jump scare coming. There wasn't the opportunity to hide your eyes. What this movie did offer, especially through the first three-quarters of its run time, was an intriguing story and lots of neat little twists.

I'm sure my enjoyment of "The Atticus Institute" stems from my Christian beliefs. To me, there is nothing scarier than possession films. I've never been a Catholic, but the thought of someone being possessed by the ultimate evil is horrifying. I know that this fact made the movie scarier to me. It also explains why "The Exorcist" is still the scariest film I've ever seen. There were a number of times during my viewing of "The Atticus Institute" when I found myself getting a little scared, which happens rarely when I'm watching movies.

This isn't a gory flick. There are a few moments of blood and black-colored barf, but it's ultimately pretty tame. The characters are convincing enough and ithe movie seems pretty well acted. The biggest selling point is the progression of the experiments on the possessed woman. As the U.S. military becomes involved, it still stays interesting. Even their ulterior motive drives the tension of the experiments up a few notches.

The conclusion isn't unexpected. I won't bother to explain or spoil it other than to say it was kind of a letdown. Overall though, I really enjoyed this.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:16 am 
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  Movie: Tombs of the Blind Dead


  Director: Amando de Ossorio


  Year: 1972


  My Rating: 6 - Good

Wow! This features what are probably the coolest zombies I've ever seen. They're actually more like ghosts/skeletons, but they drink blood. Wait...that would make them vampires. Well, whatever they are, they are awesome looking. They are the hooded ghosts of satan-worshipping Templars, returned to life after an angry woman jumps from a train and lands right in the middle of their old stomping grounds.

The Templars haunt an old castle or maybe what should be called a haunted campus. It comes complete with a very spooky graveyard, which come to think of it, is probably one of the creepiest ones I've ever seen. The Templars rest in this graveyard until they sense a victim has wandered onto their home turf, at which point they rise up from their graves and pursue. They move awfully slow though, which would seemingly make them easy to get away from. But, they come at their victim in waves and even better, on horseback. You really need to do yourself a favor and check out the effects. These Templar skeletons really look great!

Unfortunately, the human cast is awful. They do incredibly stupid things and aren't the kind of protagonists that you'd normally pull for. In fact, the Spanish version features a slime ball dude who commits a rape. Not good.

This is really 1970's, B-movie stuff. It is slow, slow, slow, and I'm someone who has an attention span not developed while watching Nickolodeon shows and Michael Bay "Transformers" movies. Even I got impatient at times.

I watched both the original Spanish version and the much worse, dubbed English version that was simply titled "The Blind Dead". The ending caught me totally off-guard and was really surprising. I did not expect it and it moved the movie up a tick. This one gets a "Good" rating from me, but only for its creature effects and a pretty stunning conclusion.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:36 am 
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  Movie: The Godfather: Part II


  Director: Francis Ford Coppola


  Year: 1974


  My Rating: 10 - Excellent

It's a shame that I saw this for only the second time recently. It makes me wonder why I spend so much time watching bad Horror movies or flicks with guys wearing rubber monster suits. It's films like this that make me think hard about how I spend my free time.

This is such a great movie that I'm actually feeling guilty about not having it in my Top 5. Why is that? Why would a movie like "Caddyshack" or "Aliens" be there but not "The Godfather" or The Godfather: Part II"? It's probably because they aren't "fun" movies. It's actually a bit of work to have to think so much during a time that you are looking to be entertained. It also could be because I just haven't rewatched them since I began tracking my movie-watching.

Everyone knows how great this is and there are many who think it's better than the first "Godfather". I might be one of those people. To help me decide, this is immediately going back on my Watchlist for another viewing.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:42 am 
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  Movie: Cat's Eye


  Director: Lewis Teague


  Year: 1985


  My Rating: 6 - Good

"Cat's Eye" is a three-story, Horror anthology tied together using a unique wrap-around...a spunky little cat, desperate to help a little girl. I think the cat as hero is a really smart way to bring everything together. He's got a bit to do in each story, and it's surprising to see the him used in the first two stories, which were each pulled from Stephen King's short-story collection called "Night Shift".

Any self-respecting Horror fan knows "Night Shift". It was a staple of the 1980's Horror paperback craze. The first two segments of this movie recreate the stories "Quitter's Inc." and "The Ledge". They are both quite good, but I really like "The Ledge" here. It's the best story in the movie and surpasses the last original segment with a mini-troll attacking a little girl (Drew Barrymore) in her room. This is the story where the cat becomes superhero. It's mostly a cute little thriller.

All three of these stories team up to make "Cat's Eye" a good time. It's not scary, it's just a little bit mean-spirited and it's actually quite funny. There is one thing that bugs me about "Cat's Eye" and it's the mother of the little girl in the last segment. She's played by Candy Clark and she is an entirely unlikable character.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:12 am 
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  Movie: Logan's Run


  Director: Michael Anderson


  Year: 1976


  My Rating: 3 - Fair

This was a very underwhelming movie. I had heard so much about it and frankly I don't get the attraction. The premise of the story is interesting, but it is clearly a thinly veiled shot at organized religion. Even in the 70's, that's hardly clever.

Another thing is that it looks terrible. This was a full eight years after the amazing effects of "2001: A Space Odyssey". This doesn't even compare to the futuristic look of the sets in the original "Star Trek" TV series. The fact that they shot most of "Logan's Run" in a shopping mall is apparent. Everyone wears nighties or pajamas and the aptly named killer robot named "Box" is a far cry from C3PO, who appears in "Star Wars" only one year later and looks about 1,000 times more amazing.

The final act just stalls out. Logan and Jessica talk with an old man who's survived the earlier nuclear apocalypse, Logan kills "runner" Francis with a flag pole and the Sanctuary's computer overloads because Logan gives it some answers to questions that it can't handle. The last 30 minutes feels like an entirely different story.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:40 pm 
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whitsbrain wrote:
[film]Cat's Eye ; Lewis Teague ; 1985 ; 6 - Good ; "Cat's Eye", which were each pulled from Stephen King's short-story collection called "Night Shift".


Did you catch the cameos by the dog Cujo (1983) and car Christine (1983) in the very beginning of the film ??? I thought that was a cool little addition.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:27 am 
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StillValleyBard wrote:
whitsbrain wrote:
[film]Cat's Eye ; Lewis Teague ; 1985 ; 6 - Good ; "Cat's Eye", which were each pulled from Stephen King's short-story collection called "Night Shift".


Did you catch the cameos by the dog Cujo (1983) and car Christine (1983) in the very beginning of the film ??? I thought that was a cool little addition.


Yeah, I saw them. Honestly, it kind of took me out of the movie. Luckily it all occurred at the beginning.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:21 am 
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  Movie: Mission: Impossible


  Director: Brian De Palma


  Year: 1996


  My Rating: 8 - Very Good

I remember the pre-release hype for this movie. If my memory is reliable at all, it was marketed as much for its action as it was for Tom Cruise. The moment when Cruise's Ethan Hunt leaps from helicopter to high-speed train during an explosion was the big tease. And that moment is really sold during the movie. The way that the camera zooms in from a long distance shot to set the mood for what's coming still has impact. Hunt suspended from wires is also another great, suspense-filled act. His escape from captivity in a Russian restaurant is pretty amazing, too.

Unfortunately, the plot is confusing and requires at least a couple of viewings to understand. And I think it's just more convoluted than complex. The villain is pretty weak and the rubber mask misdirection, which is also featured in other M:I films, is not a twist that I enjoy.

This first M:I entry is just a really fun action flick with a solid performance from Cruise.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:34 am 
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  Movie: Mission: Impossible II


  Director: John Woo


  Year: 2000


  My Rating: 2 - Poor

I'm not going to spend much time writing what I thought about "Mission: Impossible II. I've seen a lot of movies lately and I'm a completist driven to writing at least something about every movie I see. This movie is not worth spending a lot of time on.

I've not seen many other John Woo-directed films, but if "M:I II" is typical of his output, count me out. The action is way over-the-top and these scenes go on forever. Ethan Hunt is basically a superhero here and this is all about the star power of Tom Cruise. The villain is entirely forgettable and the action scenes are not exciting. I don't remember anything about the plot, which means it was weak, too.

This is one of the most disappointing sequels I can ever recall seeing.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:38 am 
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  Movie: Mission: Impossible III


  Director: J.J. Abrams


  Year: 2006


  My Rating: 7 - Very Good

This J.J. Abrams directed Mission Impossible entry watches less like a star vehicle for Tom Cruise and more like a team mission with other characters contributing. Oh sure, Cruise's character Ethan Hunt does a lot of things on his own, but he'd be screwed without his band of spies, primarily Luther, played by Ving Rhames. Not all of his cohorts were killed during the mission, so there was no predicting who would be dead meat before the movie ended.

There are a number of thrilling action sequences and a couple of surprising twists,

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:59 pm 
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  Movie: Jeepers Creepers


  Director: Victor Salva


  Year: 2001


  My Rating: 5 - Good

I've watched this several times over the years and its stock keeps dropping with me. I initially appreciated its strangeness and better moments, which occur early when the "creeper" is first seen dumping body bags. Once we see more of it, and of Justin Long standing wide-eyed with his mouth gaping, the movie really loses a lot. "Jeepers Creepers" devolves into a shoot-em-up in a police station, ala "Terminator" without the suspense or menace. I don't know what the beast actually is and I could read into it metaphorically, but it's not a movie I care to think about any more than "creepy thing that smells laundry stalks two college kids".

The ending is definitely not a happy one and is actually a bit of a shock.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:34 pm 
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  Movie: The Valley of Gwangi


  Director: Jim O'Connolly


  Year: 1969


  My Rating: 7 - Very Good

I love dinosaurs. I love Harryhausen. So why had I never viewed this before? "Gwangi" just got past me somehow and that's too bad because I would have really enjoyed it as a youngster. I'm not much for Westerns and the characters here aren't exactly nuanced, but the stop-motion is plentiful and the way it's woven into the live action is nothing short of amazing. The dinosaur models are a little disappointing because they seem so plastic, or they lack detail and texture. But still, it so cool to study Harryhausen's animation of the puppets.

James Franciscus, Gina Golan, even little Gustavo Rojo, they're all hustlers. Everyone is one-dimensional except for Professor Bromley, played by Lawrence Naismith. He was a fame hungry scientist who constantly put others in danger. I think he even misidentified a pteranodon. Ha! Some scientist.

"Gwangi" is a really enjoyable stop-motion movie, though. Once it gets going, there's lots of action and dinosaur battlin'.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:30 pm 
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I agree completely about it.
For one thing, the "Lope" character has to be one of the least annoying little kid characters in any monster movie. How often do you see that kind of character get INVITED on the big monster expedition, instead of stowing away on it? (Even that one JURASSIC PARK sequel used the little kid stowaway cliché! At least, I think it did.)


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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:37 am 
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  Movie: Project Almanac


  Director: Dean Israelite


  Year: 2015


  My Rating: 6 - Good

A super smart teen assembles a time machine left behind by his genius father. With help from his friends, they use the time machine to achieve stupid things than teens think are important and end up screwing themselves over.

This movie looks good, can be exciting, and does a good job of making you care about the characters. As it draws nearer to its conclusion, the consequences of their time traveling starts to surface. And speaking of the conclusion, it's unsatisfying.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:11 am 
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  Movie: The Return of Godzilla


  Director: Koji Hashimoto


  Year: 1984


  My Rating: 7 - Very Good

These are some thoughts regarding the Japanese version of the film titled "The Return of Godzilla" or "Gojira (1984)" or something equally confusing.

It was great to see Godzilla as a ruthless punisher of Man again. Godzilla rises from a volcanic eruption looking for some nuclear munchies and no one will stand in his way. It's simply Humans vs. Godzilla in this one.

Japan, the Soviet Union, and the U.S. all get involved in trying to halt Big G's assault on Tokyo. Well, the Soviets nearly screw up the intricate Japanese plan to neutralize the monster, but the U.S. ends up bailing everyone out.

The Godzilla of this movie is much more expressive thanks to some early robotics. Without researching anything too much, I'll state that there must have been several different mechanical models used. The beast makes some pretty scary faces and teeth-bearing growls, complete with quivering upper lip. There are moments when the camera focuses on Godzilla, with no accompanying music or sounds, when he's actually frightening.

You can see evidence of an increased budget from earlier films. The miniature city is impressive. Godzilla stands near several skyscrapers and plays a game of cat and mouse with the rather cool "Super X" aircraft. There are lots of matte paintings and even some animation, so if you're a fan of practical effects, you owe it to yourself to watch this.

There is a lot of Godzilla action in this. He first appears about 30 minutes in and is on camera most of the time. The ending could be a slightly moist-eyed affair for those prone to a lump in the throat.

I did see the Americanized version called "Godzilla 1985" starring Raymond Burr in the theater during its original run 30 years ago. I should probably rewatch it because I remember liking it quite a bit. I'm betting my satisfaction will sink in comparison to Japan's pretty remarkable effort.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:55 pm 
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  Movie: Area 51


  Director: Oren Peli


  Year: 2015


  My Rating: 3 -Fair

The first two-thirds of "Area 51" are nothing short of boring. Once a group of friends enter the military facility in the final third, they start finding things that are incredible but never explored to any degree. Which is a real shame because the things they find are pretty crazy. Instead, the characters simply run around trying to get out of every predicament that their curiosity got them into. It would be great to know more about these particular aliens because they're strange (and violent) and there are some pretty creepy things hinted at. I got a very weird vibe from a cave full of children's toys, for example.

This is another found footage flick that is loaded with jump scares, but they're not particularly effective. You won't find any sustained frights worth mentioning, either. And one of the main problems with found footage movies is here again...they aren't fun to look at. Ugly cinematography as far as the eye can see.

This ended exactly as I knew it would and the movie makes the mistake of assuming we care about the fate of the main characters and not about the aliens.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:04 am 
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  Movie: Battle In Outer Space


  Director: Ishiro Honda


  Year: 1959


  My Rating: 6 - Good

The amount of special effects in this movie is astonishing. The miniatures are amazing and the outer space shots are beautiful. At the very beginning of the film, alien ships that look a bit like manta rays attack a space station. The space station looks a lot like the one in "The Mysterians", which means it appears to be a spinning roulette wheel. Suddenly, the Earth men retaliate, firing shots that come whipping off the top of the space station at the aliens ships. Very cool!

The "Spips", which are the newly developed rockets of the Earth men, are amazing. Especially when coupled with their highly detailed launch pads/service structures. The sets are roomy and futuristic for the time, with lots of levers, screens and gauges.

The characters are underdeveloped and dry. The story is standard Toho Science Fiction. There's a threat and scientists use new technology to fight it .

Overall, this gets a good rating from me because of the outstanding special effects and imaginative sets.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:54 am 
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whitsbrain wrote:
[film]Area 51 ;
This is another found footage flick. And one of the main problems with found footage movies is here again...they aren't fun to look at..


This genre is broken, and cannot be fixed. Its time to kill off the found footage concept for a few years. Sooner then later please. I use to love these kind of films but with each new release it makes me sick. Paranormal Activity really f'd up horror.....and I was looking forward to this boom a few years back.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:05 pm 
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  Movie: RoboCop


  Director: José Padilha


  Year: 2014


  My Rating: 6 - Good

Other than the stop-motion ED-209, which was nothing short of awesome, I never considered the original "Robocop" to be all that great. I don't have a lot of nostalgia toward it. I was 23 and all grown up (mostly) when I first saw it. It was campy and gory, which is all fine, but it was not "Total Recall" or "Predator". So watching this new version didn't ruin my memory of the original.

Joel Kinnaman was nothing special but anything with Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton in it is going to be enjoyable because you get the pleasure of watching them. I did get a kick out of RoboCop battling several ED-209 robots, which was really all I needed to see.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:25 pm 
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  Movie: Penguins of Madagascar


  Director: Simon J. Smith, Eric Darnell


  Year: 2014


  My Rating: 6 - Good

The Penguins of Madagascar are probably my favorite collection of modern animation's current crop of characters. Yeah, there's Spongebob and Minions, but for me, this crack squadron of penguins are the most enjoyable. Skipper is voiced absolutely perfectly and leads his special forces penguins expertly, which is so ridiculous that the concept itself makes me laugh.

This latest movie seems like a last ditch effort to squeeze a few dollars out of the fearless foursome. It's an entertaining enough adventure and the addition of The North Wind, led by Benedict Cumberbatch, is inspired. But this movie is just a little too cute and the villain, Dr. Octavius, is bland.

I need to admit to watching this without the accompaniment of children. I think it may have dampened my enthusiasm some, but there's nothing that makes this latest adventure stand out.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:08 pm 
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  Movie: The Visit


  Director: M. Night Shyamalan


  Year: 2015


  My Rating: 6 - Good

Now that "The Visit" seems to be considered a respectable return to form for M. Night Shyamalan, it doesn't take a lot of guts to say that I really think he's a great director. "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable" are absolutely great movies and "Signs" is one of my all-time favorites. It's a film that scores a rare perfect 10 to me. I even like "The Village" quite a lot.

And another thing...I love the art of the "twist". Watching a movie or TV show and having the rug pulled out from under me is one of my favorite treats. I love the "Twilight Zone", Alfred Hitchcock and any other writer or director that can flip a story on its ear. Here's the kicker with enjoying the art of the twist...you don't spend time trying to figure it out before it happens. Let it come to you. Don't waste your time trying to be smarter than the storyteller. Just let it happen.

Now, Shyamalan is known mostly for these twists in his films. It dominates the fact that his work looks stunning and overshadows the gift he has in bringing out great performances, at least in his early films. I've never seen "After Earth" or "The Last Airbender", but I don't consider him being anything other than Director-for-Hire regarding these two movies.

I knew absolutely nothing about "The Visit" going in. In fact, I didn't even know that Shyamalan was releasing a film of his own until about two weeks before it hit the theaters. Once I found out, I purposely avoided all trailers, advertising, everything. This was my hope...that "The Visit" be another great Horror/Thriller movie that I know he can make. Yeah, yeah. I know "The Happening" was his Horror effort and I think it could have been much better if Wahlberg and Deschanel hadn't been cast. What a weird vibe that movie had.

Sadly, I don't consider "The Visit" to be a return to the genre. "The Visit" is a dark comedy. It's got a few jump scares and provides opportunities for some nervous laughter. It also has a great twist, which was the most enjoyable part of the movie for me. All things considered though, this is not ever going to be something I will add to my list of Shyamalan favorites. It's just trying too hard to be clever. The found footage style, the kid that raps...it all just seems to cater to people that he's trying to impress. I don't get the feeling that he made a film aimed at his core audience. The audience that knows what a great filmmaker he can be. And that is very disappointing to me.

Ultimately, I liked "The Visit" and was encouraged to hear theater goers talk of how much they enjoyed it as they left their seats. If the regular movie watching public likes it enough to keep Shyamalan working, I might get a great Horror or Thriller film out of him again.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:44 pm 
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WOW.

I stay out of the "film loop" and had no idea that Shyamalan had another film out.

I might have to try and dig this up online somewhere.
His stuff is of great interest to me, though I don't have the hopes I once did for his stuff.
I will let you know once I seek it out and find this, I assume its still in theatres????



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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:45 pm 
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TZ DZ Fan wrote:
WOW.

I stay out of the "film loop" and had no idea that Shyamalan had another film out.

I might have to try and dig this up online somewhere.
His stuff is of great interest to me, though I don't have the hopes I once did for his stuff.
I will let you know once I seek it out and find this, I assume its still in theatres????



TZ DZ fan


I believe it is.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:53 am 
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  Movie: The House at the End of Time


  Director: Alejandro Hidalgo


  Year: 2013


  My Rating: 5 - Good

This gives the impression of being a Horror movie and some might consider it to be. It was really more of a drama with a couple of creepy sequences. It's not scary or gory and features some enjoyable acting, but overall it's not going to scare you if you watch an occasional Horror movie.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:08 pm 
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  Movie: Mulberry Street


  Director: Jim Mickle


  Year: 2006


  My Rating: 7-Very Good

I put Jim Mickle's most recent film, "Cold In July", on my personal 10-Best list of 2014. With my viewing of "Mulberry Street", I've now seen the bookends of his director career to this point.

I really wanted to watch "Mulberry Street" because I was expecting a claustrophobic, dirty tale of rats sneaking up on a few people in an apartment building. I was thinking it would be along the lines of Stephen King's "Graveyard Shift" but hopefully better than that mess. With fingers crossed, i found that I got a claustrophobic tale of dirty rats turning the people of New York into zombie rats that overrun Manhattan. Surprisingly, it turned into an apocalyptic story on a grander scale.

There really isn't an explanation given for the disease outbreak and it wasn't wrapped up at the end, either. The conclusion got a bit corny but the remarkable thing was being drawn into the story despite some pretty rough acting by everyone but the likable Nick Damici. I noticed that Damici and Mickle wrote the story together which is very cool.

If you hate shaky cam, it was all over this. After all, the mid-2000's were prime time for shaking the camera around. It was a bit disorienting at times, but I did enjoy the exaggerated fast movements of the rat people.

This turned out to be a pretty appropriate thing to watch this Halloween season and it didn't hurt that it was a good movie, either.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:34 am 
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  Movie: Body Bags


  Director: John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Larry Sulkis


  Year: 1993


  My Rating: 3 - Fair

John Carpenter lends his directing talent to one of the three stories here. His segment is the first and best of the lot about a woman who is stalked at a gas station. He also acts as host of the anthology and shows some comedic skills that really aren't surprising if you've ever seen him interviewed.

The other two stories are not so good, even though one features some terrible but fun stop motion effects and the other stars Mark Hamill.

This is ultra-campy and features a lot of '90s gore. It's not anything I'll ever bother to watch again and I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a Carpenter freak.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:13 pm 
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Check out the movie CREEP (2015)

Ignore its 1 star rating on Netflix.......watch in the dark with no distractions. The found footage may have hope yet.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:56 pm 
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StillValleyBard wrote:
Whit

Check out the movie CREEP (2015)

Ignore its 1 star rating on Netflix.......watch in the dark with no distractions. The found footage may have hope yet.


Okay thanks! I did see it on Netflix but hadn't added it to my watch list. I will now.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:56 pm 
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  Movie: The Evictors


  Director: Charles B. Pierce


  Year: 1979


  My Rating: 4 - Fair

Some will enjoy the slow burn of "The Evictors". I normally have the attention span to let a movie take its time getting to the conflict and the climax. But not much goes on in this and I kept wondering when something was going to happen.

The opening scenes tell the origin story of the Evictors and those moments are the movie's high point. Oh, except for a guy that appears outside a window during a lightning strike. When that happened, I thought "alright, now we are getting somewhere". I was wrong.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:28 am 
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  Movie: Crimson Peak


  Director: Guillermo del Toro


  Year: 2015


  My Rating: 6 - Good

This is horrific in its moments of person-on-person brutality. There are some shockingly violent confrontations, which didn't really surprise me coming from del Toro but did when couched in the telling of what is nothing more than a romance-in-an-old-house story. Granted, the house is haunted, but the ghosts are secondary to the whole affair.

I loved the sets and the colors but was disappointed that this was not scary in the least. Jessica Chastain was great and Tom Hiddleston was a near perfect fit.

Thinking about it a bit more, this is probably my least favorite del Toro film (I haven't seen "Cronos" or "Blade II") but it's still good and worth seeing for its amazing art.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:48 am 
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  Movie: Housebound


  Director: Gerard Johnstone


  Year: 2014


  My Rating: 8 - Very Good

What an awesome surprise this turned out to be! A very funny story about a woman sentenced to move back home to live under the supervision of her goofy mother. The problem is that there's something else living there that wants her attention.

This is more dark comedy than Horror, but it has a few scary moments. I found the first 2/3 of this movie to be perfect. It has a sly sense of humor and growing suspense about what's happened in the house. It gets knocked down a couple of notches because the final third reveals the antagonist to be mostly disappointing.

Morgana O'Reilly is the stand-out. She's tough and timid, pretty and gritty. The rest of the cast is spot-on, too.

I don't think there's anyway "Housebound" can be watched and not enjoyed. This is a movie that I would recommend to anyone.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:47 pm 
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  Movie: Silver Bullet


  Director: Daniel Attias


  Year: 1985


  My Rating: 7 - Very Good

While "Silver Bullet" isn't nearly as good as "The Howling" or "An American Werewolf in London", it can't be denied as an enjoyable mid-'80's Horror feature. That's because Director Daniel Attias did a great job in bringing this campy Stephen King novella to life.

I'm not sure if I actually read this back in the day, but the story is so familiar. I'm also having the same struggles recalling whether I'd actually seen the entire movie before or just parts of it on cable TV. I was hit hard by a rush of nostalgia for some reason, when Uncle Al (Gary Busey) gave Marty (Corey Haim) the custom wheelchair called "Silver Bullet".

The practical effects in "Silver Bullet" can't compare to the previously mentioned werewolf classics. There is no transformation scene, but the creature costume itself isn't bad. There are some pretty violent attacks with a good amount of gore. The movie's pacing is good. It features a solid amount of action and gets going right out of the gate.

Uncle Al gets violently tossed around by the werewolf which is effective because he really endears himself to the viewer with his kindness and the wisdom he passes to his Niece and Nephew (Marty). Everett McGill plays up his cursed villain role expertly. He, along with Busey and Haim, ground the movie which seems to feature gratuitous amounts of overacting by everyone else.

A good amount of "Silver Bullet" is ridiculous (i.e., Marty's amazing accuracy with both handgun and bottle rocket), but since when aren't most Stephen King-based films. This isn't a reference-level werewolf film, but it certainly doesn't disgrace the sub-genre. It was a nice surprise.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:55 pm 
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  Movie: Kiss Me Deadly


  Director: Robert Aldrich


  Year: 1955


  My Rating: 8 - Very Good

I don't even know what to say about this film. It was good right from the start, but it seemed like I'd seen plenty of movies like it many times before. And then...something happened.

I don't think I can quite pinpoint when, but suddenly I felt like I was watching something from another world. Everything just got weird and everything I had seen previously was changed in an instant.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:55 pm 
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  Movie: Shadows on the Wall


  Director: Benjamin Carland


  Year: 2014


  My Rating: 2 - Poor

I've never been so convinced that characters in a movie knew so little about what they were supposed to be experts in. How does the main character Palmer know so much about engineering without being any good at math? It is unclear to me how so much technical detail can be gleaned from doodles in a notepad which contained absolutely zero alphanumeric characters. I'm also baffled by why there was so much worry about submitting your project for review when that very project just enabled you to see to the other side of the Universe.

I did learn that nearly all devices are able to be interconnected with DB25 modem cables and that overheating components can be cooled by throwing ice packs inside a chassis. There was an amazing number of references to needing more "parts", and endless technically deep explanations like "it works" or "when this light comes on it means there's power to the system". It's also nice to know that alien file transfer protocols are not proprietary.

The concept is pretty cool and it reminded me of the pilot episode of the old 1960's Outer Limits episode called "The Galaxy Being". I was also reminded of another couple of heard-but-not-seen disaster flicks, namely "Without Warning" and for some reason "Pontypool", the difference being that those movies were good.

The characters were annoying, changing their minds about every three seconds. The ending is a total waste of time.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:25 pm 
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  Movie: Creature


  Director: William Malone


  Year: 1985


  My Rating: 2 - Poor

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" just opened this weekend. However, I can't make it to the theaters at the moment so I decided to watch the next best thing. That's right. You guessed it..."Creature", featuring the great Klaus Kinski!

I was mesmerized by the exciting story that features an alien that kills off the crew of a downed spaceship by mimicking its dead members. Oh sure, it sounds like it could be kind of like "Alien" or sort of like "The Thing". But the deal is, it's so rotten that you have to really work to see any resemblance to what looks to be a clear attempt to steal every idea possible from those two classics.

I'm not entirely sure what the creature looked like. To say it was unconvincing would be a massive understatement. I will say that it left no impression that it could have been intelligent enough to manipulate, much less hide from the crew. Even though that crew had to have been one the stupidest collection of space travelers ever assembled.

The only bright spot to me was some assorted practical effects shots of the spacecraft and some decent views of Saturn and its moon, Titan.

I always like to mention what I thought of the ending of a particular movie, but I can't remember the conclusion of "Creature" even though I just finished watching it about 3 hours ago. I'm figuring I wasn't thrilled with it.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:59 pm 
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  Movie: Spy


  Director: Paul Feig


  Year: 2015


  My Rating: 6 - Good

I really like Melissa McCarthy and I like movies about spies so odds were good that I was going to like this, and I did. I laughed quite a bit and thought that Rose Byrne nearly stole the show. Jason Statham was an inside joke that got tired quickly, though.

"Spy" becomes a less funny when it turns up the lewdness and swearing later in its run time. I don't have a big problem with that sort of thing overall, it's just that sex, dick, and poop jokes can run their course pretty quickly.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:30 pm 
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whitsbrain wrote:
[film]Creature ; William Malone ; 1985 ; 2 - Poor ; "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" just opened this weekend. However, I can't make it to the theaters at the moment so I decided to watch the next best thing. That's right. You guessed it..."Creature", featuring the great Klaus Kinski!]


:ROTF: :clap:

Do you think the 80s had more Alien Ripoffs or Star Wars ripoffs?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:42 am 
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For Star Wars, I can only think of "Battle Beyond the Stars" and "Star Crash".

Off the top of my head, I can recall "Leviathan", "Deep Star Six", "Galaxy of Terror", "Creature"...so I guess more Alien ripoffs.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:00 am 
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  Movie: What We Do in the Shadows


  Director: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi


  Year: 2015


  My Rating: 8 - Very Good

I don't think I'm taking it too far by stating that this does for Vampires what "This Is Spinal Tap" did for Heavy Metal bands. It's tough for vampires that are hundreds of years old to live with the drudgery and law enforcement of current times, but somehow this quintet of blood suckers manages. Whether it be by personal slave or a software analyst named Stu, the vampire flatmates keep themselves alive even though they are helpless at nightclubs and on the Internet.

This is a very clever movie, shot documentary-style. There is some gushing blood that is used as a humorous gag a couple of times, but for a movie about vampires, it's surprisingly tame.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:17 am 
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  Movie: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


  Director: Matt Reeves


  Year: 2014


  My Rating: 6 - Good

There was a lot of hype about this movie when it was first released. But I avoided it because of how much I liked "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (9 out of 10 score). And sadly, I was correct in my assessment that it probably would not live up to my own expectations.

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" was disappointing. It's really nothing more than a simple commentary on race. Not everyone is the same, regardless of outward appearences...gee, thanks for the revelation. The movie also carries a strong anti-gun message, but I still noticed that when the guns were not in the hands of an ape or a man, they didn't kill anyone.

The only reason I rated this as good was because of the amazing special effect when live actors interacted with the CGI apes. It was amazing. When the apes were in the same shots as the live actors, it was nearly seamless. When the apes appeared on-screen alone they looked cartoony, Caesar's eyes being the exception.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:33 am 
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  Movie: The General


  Director: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton


  Year: 1926


  My Rating: 10 - Excellent

I never thought a 90-year old movie could entertain me like "The General" did. I feel sorry for anyone that won't be open to films that are A) old or B) Black and White.

This film is hilarious and astounding. Buster Keaton's humor is so subtle. You must keep your eyes on him because you'll be rewarded with laughter if you do. He is also an incredible athlete. The stunts he does, and he did all his own stunts, are effortless and graceful. There are no special effects. Everything he does is real. But don't you dare say that the effects aren't special.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:32 pm 
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  Movie: Star Wars: The Force Awakens


  Director: J.J. Abrams


  Year: 2015


  My Rating: 7 - Very Good

I've only seen "The Force Awakens " once. It was good, but I'm fighting off the urge to see it again because I don't understand why a Star Wars movie deserves a second chance over other movies that I've seen once, liked as much if not more, and then not re-watched.

Yes, I too saw Star Wars 4, 5 & 6 during their original runs in theaters (I'm that old), so nostalgia runs deep with me. However, I don't think "The Force Awakens" deserves an additional trip to the movies any more than say "Mad Max Fury Road", "Edge of Tomorrow", or "Nightcrawler" did. These were all movies I rated higher than the new Star Wars, and I waited until they came out on BluRay before a second watch.

I liked a lot of things about "The Force Awakens". Han and Chewy, the new characters Rey and Finn, Poe Dameron's X-wing dogfight and tie-fighter escape scenes, etc. It's a lot of fun and likely has an impact even greater on younger Star Wars newbies (my son has seen it five times and says it's now his favorite movie). The first two Star Wars movies score 5 of 5 with me but honestly, much of that is love of the characters over time and not because those first two movies were the greatest films ever.

I'll get around to "The Force Awakens" again when it's released on home video, but for now, I'll see something else that's sitting in my watchlist.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:39 am 
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  Movie: The Day Time Ended


  Director: John 'Bud' Cardos


  Year: 1980


  My Rating: 2 - Poor

I mostly love B-movies but...Ouch! This is bad. It was nearly impossible to get a sense of scale and there was no indication of how a triple supernova event affected the rest of world outside of Jim Davis's little solar-powered ranch in the desert. A planet changing effect is implied but you never see any indication until the final, poorly done matte painting at the movie's conclusion. And Jim Davis's character has absolutely no evidence that supports his ridiculously optimistic statement that ends this horrible flick.

I did like the stop-motion fight between two beasts but it was not satisfying because you could not tell how large the monsters were. They were literally fighting with nothing around them but darkness. Later, one of the creatures attacks a horse barn and its size is revealed. I also can't believe how bad the editing is. I think I saw the grandson put the same blanket on the same horse like three times.

The whole movie makes zero sense. Dorothy Malone is absolutely horrid in her portrayal of ol' Grandma. I was laughing when she was on horseback. She always rode with one hand holding the bridle and the other on her hip. I wonder if she rode horses that way when she was doing silent films? Jim Davis is the grandfather that I've always wanted and the little girl that plays his granddaughter is pretty good. I also now have a crush on Marcy Lafferty, who plays Davis's thirty-something daughter.

I've spent way too much time on this because "The Day Time Ended" is probably one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Why I am drawn to this kind of awfulness remains a personal mystery.

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