Category Archives: Movie/Long Subject Reviews

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.


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-

Love Me (2014)

A little boring in parts, a little creepy in parts.

Things seem to fail more often than not, and even when they “work” you wonder how long a couple that met maybe three times before getting married will stay together.

Moral of the story, IMPO: It ain’t worth it.

It’s a tolerable watch, but nothing all that good.

Grade: D

Louis C.K. 2017 (2017)

Louis’s still got his edge; I was worried.

If you don’t like edgy/tasteless, stay away.

There are a few bits that miss but overall it’s good, clever, and utterly tasteless.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more tasteless, actually. I chalk it up to two things…just guesses, but here they are:

1) He’s pissed off and bitter.
2) He’s pushing as far as he can while still making people laugh; it’s sort of like this is Louis’s version of Chapman/Cleese saying “Let’s see how offensive we can be…I mean, let’s PUSH IT” via the ‘Undertaker Sketch’.

Best bits:
Baby killing rant
Anti-Love rant
Elegant fingering
Dick sniffing

Grade: B

Interview With A Serial Killer (2008)

See title for description.

A few strong reactions:

– Creepy as H@LL
– Appalling and riveting at the same time

Shawcross is obviously evil, but you EXPECT that; he’s a serial killer.

You also expect the celebrity fan mail he receives, given the dark side of people.

But if you’re pretty d@mn horrified by his long-lost daughter’s
offhand commentary/relationship with him, let’s just say you’re not alone.

Not for weak stomachs.

Grade: C+

Train To Busan (2016)

It’s a zombie movie. Not a “flick”, it’s too good for that, at least.

But how good? Well…

If all you’re looking for is “zombie” “action” (together and apart), you can watch this without the subtitles and probably be suitably impressed.

The FX are certainly convincing, and the scope is pretty darn impressive.

As I wrote BEFORE I read it echoed in an existing review (NYAH!), it’s very similar to ‘World War Z’ in that respect. The zombies are ENRAGED, and they move as a mass of rage; convincingly, relentlessly…not quite the epic visual of the WWZ wall-climb, but there’s some very worthwhile visuals here if you like somewhat grotesque and wave-of-zombie.

So on the zombie/action front, no problem at all, absolutely none.

Now, on the acting/dialogue front…

The acting is ok for the most part; they seem to do the best they can with what they’re given.

But the dialogue at times is hokey, cliche, and/or purely unbelievable. And there’s only so much you can do when your lines suck. It’s too much to fully suspend disbelief, and therefore too much to truly feel emotionally involved.

It’s good enough to hold interest…and there are SOME genuinely touching/realistic moments…but it could have used a re-write or two.

The other problem is continuity. Sometimes, the change is INSTANT. Other times, there’s plenty of time for a long, drawn-out meant-to-be-dramatic scene that is instead sappy because of said flaw. I mean, I get stretching a pattern a little, but sometimes it just goes too far against the established grain.

There’s some interesting messages (really), and I’d like to like this more than I do, but the writing just holds it back too much.

Gotta admit though, especially in relation to ‘Night’, the ending is pretty cool.

Worth a watch for zombie/infected fans.

Grade: C-

Atari: Game Over (2014)

SPOILER ALERT: Ending Revealed. But who cares?

A bunch of unfunny jokes, boring stories, and dumba$$ illustrations filling time while a group of people dig a big hole looking for ‘E.T.’ cartridges.

I mean, I knew it was going to MENTION ‘E.T.’, but I thought it would be much more about the actual demise of Atari…you know, exactly WHY, HOW, etc…

Very little of that, lots of dirt and sh1tty references.

And they find some cartridges. Oh joy.

Grade: F

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

Sort of interesting in parts, but the premise is incredibly stupid:

The Earth MUST accept peaceful conduct. If not, it’ll be DESTROYED!!!

Huh? I get the point the movie’s trying to make, but that’s absurd.

Also absurd (and inhuman, and fascist, and morality-destroying) is the “system” developed by Klaatu and his kind.

Well-made enough to remain an object of mild interest, but for me the most enjoyable part is the pre-‘Army Of Darkness’ quote anticipation, and a greater understanding of why Ash should have paid a bit more attention. Cough.

Inspirational Quote: “Klaatu barada nikto.”

Grade: D

Portrait Of A Zombie (2012)

Mockumentary of a “regular family” and how they deal with one of them being a zombie.

Basically it’s done as everyone and everything involved being “normal”, typical real-documentary-ish, except for the ZOMBIE IN THE HOUSE.

Interesting “idea”…but the first half of the movie is pretty much jokes that fall flat, “observations” that are obvious/dull/have already been made, and tedium.

About halfway through it starts to get more interesting: the local morgue forgets basic Zombie 101, the mother gets more and more insane in her devotion, and – and this is my favorite part – the cameraman has to have one of his hands chopped off to prevent “infection”, and that becomes a bit of a running gag (the father complaining about blood on his floor, the cameraman dutifully washing off his bloody stump, the unsteady-cam but otherwise admirable camera-duty devotion, some finger jokes).

So the second half is more weird-creepy as opposed to weird-boring. And there’s definitely a few scenes you might like if that’s your thing.

But eventually even that devolves into the usual, generic, no-more-ideas zombie gore sh1t.

Recommendation: If you like creepy sh1t/zombie movies, skip about halfway in and see what you think. Turn it off when it gets relentlessly gory, cuz that’s all that’s left.

Inspirational Quote: “There’s nothin’ that woman wouldn’t give for her children.”

Grade: D

Film Grade Explanations

I grade on the system I was graded on as a wee one. It’s pretty simple:

A’s are 90-100 equivalent.
B’s are 80-89 equivalent.
C’s are 70-79 equivalent.
D’s are 60-69 equivalent (I’m expanding slightly here).
An F is under 60.
An F- is WELL under 60.
A C-for-horrificness is REALLY REALLY WELL under 60.

And further:
A+ = Brilliant, truly great
A = Great
A- = Extremely good
B+ = Very good
B = Good
B- = Pretty good
C+ = Above average
C = Average
C- = Below average
D+ = Below average/Unsatisfactory
D = Unsatisfactory
D- = Very unsatisfactory
F = Failure
F- = Complete failure

So you see, unlike critics who pan a movie and then give it 2 1/2 stars, the actual grade reflects the actual quality of the film.

So if you see an absolutely wretched movie (as explained in the REVIEW) graded “C” or “C-“, that means that QUALITY-wise, it’s lower than an F-. It also means that I like watching TRULY terrible films, and as far as terrible goes, this one’s a keeper.

And I don’t understand how people can get upset (and they have) at getting a B-.

A B- is exactly what it was defined as when I got them: Pretty Good.

To give a B- to something you don’t like is just stupid.

I mean, EVERY FCKEN MOVIE on review sites is at least 5.something out of 10. It’s like 1 through 4 don’t exist. If you hate a movie, don’t give it 5 f@cking stars out of 10. Give it 1. Because, you know, it’s REALLY REALLY bad. It’s on the LOW end. Not the MIDDLE …the LOW end.

So if I give a movie a D, that means exactly what it meant for me: “Unsatisfactory”.

It doesn’t mean “Abysmal failure”. It means: I grade according to actual grades.

Even in terms of F’s, there’s a HUGE variance.

Everything from 60-100 is NOT an F.

Everything from 0-59 IS an F/F-.

That means…there is MORE variation possible in failures than in non-failures.

It means…it’s HARDER to go from a 59 (F) to a 0 (Sub F-) than it is to go from a 60 (D-) to a 100 (A+).

It also means some F’s (59) are a LOT closer to not being failures than others (0).

What’s the difference, you might ask?

Well, if you show up for a test, do your best, but just do really badly and get a 59, you get an F.

If you show up for a test, sit there and draw smilie faces and “Fck you” for answers and get a 0…you get an F.

Not quite the same.

See how that works?

The Room (2003)

Tommy Wiseau looks sort of like what I imagine Peter Steele would look like right now.

It’s not often I can say this, but *I* could make a better movie than this. So could you.

I prefer more artistic wretched failures: ‘Troll 2’, ‘Hobo With A Shotgun’, and so on.

But this is fun to watch, knowing you have X amount of time to laugh/chuckle/shake your head/cover your eyes/go OH GAWD and, of course, revel in the fact that your life can’t possibly be as bad as this movie.

10:19 – Is that in the script, or is she guiding the other actress?

Note: Brains can only be blown out if said person has brains.

Inspirational Quote: “I’m gonna do what I wanna do, and that’s it. What do you think I should do?”

IQ2: “So, I mean, what’s the interesting part?”

Grade: C (F- adjusted for horrificness)

Creep (2014)

Netflix Streaming, I am not amused.

Well, be fair, I am a little. Is this SUPPOSED to be funny?

People LIKE this?

What a load of sh1t.

The “idea” here was to make money – it’s dumb, it’s badly acted, it’s badly written, it’s utterly unbelievable, and it’s not scary for a second.

Just an absolutely wretched “horror” film.

Upped a notch cuz you might laugh at it.

I’ve had worse dates.

Hardest part of review: spending the time to confirm how many S’s are in the word “abysmal”. I was right.

Let THIS – be a warning – to YOU.

Grade: F