Category Archives: Movie/Long Subject Reviews

The Birds (1963)

I looked outside and saw some birds.

I thought to myself, “If they all attacked en masse it’d be pretty darn creepy”.

Now Alfred Hitchcock, who’s supposed to be so bloody wonderful, padded that out to two hours.

Lost all the tension.

The setup is mediocre and so is a lot of the dialogue, but still, pretty darn creepy.

Grade: C+

The Shape Of Water (2017)

It’s beautifully (and carefully) made.

It wasn’t what I expected, and it wasn’t as good as I thought it might be; I felt like it could be great, that everything established slowly in the beginning would produce more than it did.

But it’s still an achievement, and it’s something worth watching before you read the plot.

Grade: B

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