Category Archives: Movie/Long Subject Reviews

Cloverfield (2008)

One-line review choices:

1) “You gotta be fcken kidding…”
2) Statue-of-Liberty-head-nado.
3) Oh no, there goes Tokyo.

Take your pick.

It’s less than 75 minutes long, unless you like eternal credit scrolls.

There’s a cr@ppy end voiceover bit that was probably included so the movie could bill itself as an hour and a half.

Upped a notch for vague Cthulhu-ness and SPECIAL FX!

Inspirational Quote: “We’ve gotta get out of here…it’s time to leave the electronics store!”

Grade: D-

Hannibal (2001)

If there are two evil scumbags and both get away, that’s a tragedy.

If there are two evil scumbags and one gets away, that’s a shame.

If there are two evil scumbags and neither gets away, that’s a triumph.

Sure, so it’s interesting. It’s quite disturbing, undeniably.

Julianne Moore is not Clarice Starling, and I don’t root for Evil in its purest, most disgusting form.

But d@mnit, I am bound by critical integrity. ‘A Simple Plan’, your sway still holds.

Inspirational Quote From Julianne Moore: “The new Clarice would be very different…”

Inspirational Quote From Diane Chambers: “It is to laugh…”

Upped a notch for lingering dread.

Grade: B-

Psycho (1998)

For those of you who may have just missed ‘Psycho’, here it is again.

The only worthwhile effect of this absolute carbon-copy remake is that if you look in a movie listing and see ‘Psycho’ …listed, you don’t have to worry about which version it is.

Favorite actor/actress: Spider near the end, which shows more life than the rest of the cast. Not sure if it was a cockerel or a pullet.

Grade: F

Psycho (1960)

I don’t need blood and gore from a horror movie. But this is vastly over-rated.

Anthony Perkins is great as the Bates family, vastly-synonym pre-dating the Klumps. He acts well and does the best he can with his dialogue.

But the rest…they seem mostly cardboard, there’s little life to them at all. The dialogue-synonym-synonym seems contrived at times, random at other times, and only rarely does it produce a gem.

Everything from when she gets in the car to skip town until she meets Norman Bates is almost Wood-en…hardly the stuff of a classic.

The idea’s very creepy, of course. But it could have been done much better.

*shrug* It is what it is.

Inspirational Quote: “We all go a little mad sometimes.”

Grade: C-

Motel Hell (1980)

So dated. Oh well.

23:47-23:50: Trying really hard not to smile.

Kinda clever in parts. Ha.

No reason they shouldn’t be plantin’ the sheep right now.

“Worth a watch” if you like f’d up black comedy/horror (more comedy), even though it’s not the absolute apex.

51:13-51:43: Best whip use since Indy, I was going to say. But given the date, perhaps George Lucas found inspiration here.

Inspirational Quote: “I used…preservatives.”

Grade: D+

House On Willow Street (2016)

Lots of creepy images and scenes. Somewhat predictable. Actually VERY predictable, if you just go by the scary music warnings.

Not much character development.

BUT…the actors are decent enough. The idea isn’t exactly fresh and innovative…they seem to borrow a little here, a little there; stuff they liked, stuff they wanted to imitate, stuff they wanted to make their own…that’s my guess, at least.

So…predictably creepy, and interesting enough to give it a shot if you like that sort of thing.

ITMOM (Nice picture), ‘Night’ re-make uncle, ‘The Dead Zone’…you’ve seen some things before, but they’re not the WHOLE movie, so they’re kinda cool actually.

Zombieish, found footagey.

Inspirational Quote: “You should really let me go.”

Grade: D

Here Alone (2016)

Despite the 1-3 person drama (done tolerably well), this is a (tolerable) failure.

Because I don’t think it’s good enough to “believe” in the characters.

Because this is a zombie movie where the only echoes of zombie danger until about 20 minutes left are some weird screams (always in the background).

Only in the end does it get truly dramatic.

Stephen Donaldson, give me strength.

Grade: D-

Norm MacDonald: Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Trickery (2017)

The great thing about Norm’s act/performing style is that it will go completely unnoticed when he finally goes senile and starts just rambling incoherently, without timing or interest in whether people can understand or not.

I’m sick of calling his attitude “brave”. It’s just fcken smug-a$$ dull by this point. If a bit of good humor comes out now and again, credit the law of averages.

Grade: D-

Anne Frank: The Whole Story (2001)

You know the story, of course. So the question is “how well will they tell it?”

This particular version has impressive performances by the female lead and Ben Kingsley.

The other characters seem peripheral – not bad, but not really good…”capable”.

It’s a little bit too teen-angst/cliche for me at parts in the beginning, but overall this is a pretty good movie. Nowhere near the power of ‘Schindler’s List’, but something I think should at least be given a chance.

Builds somewhat slowly after the capture – shows the gradual loss of anything that even resembles humane treatment.

Grade: C+

Courage Under Fire (1996)

What I remembered: Well-made enough, a bit macho, fairly interesting, not interesting enough to compel viewing but enough to warrant a look-see, too much flashbacking.

Confirmed.

Has a bit of a Dreckheimer feel about it…but Denzel and (usually) the plot are enough to get by that.

Grade: C

I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore (2017)

Ignore the title. Ignore the description. Hell, ignore the movie.

Tired of creating innovative and interesting series, NF apparently decided to momentarily rest on their laurels and give us this movie-long hunk of total sh1t.

It’s not NEARLY as “menacing” as the title and description make it seem. That’s just BS advertising.

Of course, since it’s really stupid BUT well-written enough and well-acted enough to be convincing in its stupidity, this will be seen by some as a marvelous accomplishment; a prodigious achievement.

You said it, it’s putrid.

Upgrade to an A if you thought ‘The Big Lebowski’ was brilliant cinema.

Grade: F

(Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies (2015)

A documentary on how people lie, why, different circumstances, different perceptions, etc.

It’s a bit slow at first, and there are tedious moments.

However, the main speaker (who they cut to frequently) is both interesting and somewhat amusing.

And the overall interest factor in learning about the subject should keep your attention for the most part.

Grade: C+

Skins (2017)

It’s about people with major physical deformities: how they act, how they’re treated by “normal” people, how they feel about themselves, and their various friends/family.

Some of the visuals are disturbing, and parts of the movie are disturbing.

A bit difficult to grade…the makeup is very convincing, the characters seem real enough, and its message is at heart positive, about such people and the things they have to endure…AND about how they’re almost invariably better people than the ones that look “normal”.

But I think the idea of it could have been realized a lot better than it was.

If it sounds interesting, try the beginning, and go from there.

Grade: D

Mulholland Drive (2001)

Ha ha. Kangaroo Court. Ha ha.

Having established and accepted that his films suck, I thought I’d try to just summarize David Lynch for people who may be a bit confused.

Lynch is a writer/director whose “talents” are in the “director” part.

I mean, it’s got mood (LOTS of it), it’s got slowwwww building sequences, it’s got weird images, it’s got too many eyeball closeups, it’s got 1 minute scenes stretched out to 5 by means of standing/sitting around doing nothing, and it’s got a script that some may consider brilliant but that is, in reality, sh1t.

I mean, hell, even Ed Wood wrote better lines than this.

So unbelievable, so cold, so NON-reality-escaping.

So PLEASE-don’t-take-me-to-this-fantasy-world-for-two-hours-and-change.

I mean, the dialogue is mediocre at best. And the delivery is like a cross between Flying Circus’s ‘The Free Repetition Of Doubtful Words Thing’ and Ed Wood’s old buddy Kline.

It’s not dream-like unless your dreams are stupid and pretentious at the same time.

Horrible movie.

Grade: F

Patrick: Evil Awakens (2013)

An eerie doctor does some eerie tests on some eerie patients in an eerie hospital.

I was going to dismiss this as yet another totally cliche, predictable “horror” movie that loves sudden, SCARY music and actions. And doesn’t bother too much with acting.

But there was something about it (maybe the other second-banana nurse looking GREAT in her uniform, RAWR) that intrigued me just enough to keep watching. And by then, it wasn’t a film, it was a meal.

The creepy moments are there, so if you’re desperate for a horror/”thriller” movie, you MIGHT find this of some interest. But don’t be desperate, watch something else.

The ending sucks, if you like that sort of thing

Inspirational Quote: “My strengths are…bodily fluids and spongebaths.”

Premature IQ: “I’m okay.”

Grade: D-