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voltron
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« Reply #6735 on: September 04, 2013, 01:30:30 PM »

X-Ray (1982)

Susan (Barbi Benton) goes to the local hospital to get some test results, but she is forced to stay there because someone has switched her results with that of an extremely ill patient. The staff are quite hush hush about what is exactly wrong with her and most of the male doctors seem to be unwilling to help her. All the while there is a killer on the loose in the hospital dressed in full surgeons garb hacking and slashing his way through the staff. Is the killer a doctor or just some random nutjob? Actually the killers identity is pretty much given away within the first 5 minutes of the movie.
This movie has been one of my long time fave slasher obscurities. I rented it many times on VHS when I was a kid (under the Hospital Massacre title).
I'm so glad it's finally gotten the Blu-Ray treatment. Hospitals in general kinda creep me out for some reason and this one exploits that to full effect - the setting is ominous and creepy. I absolutely LOVE this movie! Sure it can be a bit cheesy, but it's fun as hell. Slasher fans should check this one out for sure. 4/5
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JaseSF
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« Reply #6736 on: September 04, 2013, 08:58:08 PM »

The Hard Way (1991): Grizzled, streetwise cop John Moss (James Woods) hot on the trail of a crazed serial killer nicknamed "The Party Crasher" (Stephen Lang) suddenly finds himself saddled with an annoying Hollywood star named Nick Lang (Michael J. Fox) who wants to learn what it is like to live in his shoes.

This blend of action and comedy is more action heavy than it is funny although it does have some bright spots here and there especially from our two leads Woods and Fox who both give very entertaining performances. I also really liked the clips of Nick Lang's "films" especially Smoking Gunn II. A fun film with more action and violence than perhaps you might expect given the comedic element. Lang is over the top crazy as the Party Crasher but in a memorable way. ***1/2 out of ***** stars.

Children of Men (2006): By the year 2027, the world has gone to hell due to wars, famine, persecution, and perhaps worst of all infertility. While Britain carries on, it appears to have become something of a totalitarian nightmare when illegal immigrant refugees are rounded up and sent to concentration camps. In the turmoil of this atmosphere, a man named Theo Faron (Clive Owen) reluctantly agrees at the request of an old love named Julian (Julianne Moore) to escort a young refugee woman (Claire-Hope As**tey) to a reputed sanctuary at sea.

This dystopian vision of tomorrow can be pretty unrelenting at times yet it nevertheless has these bright spots of hope here and there which even in the midst of hell, chaos, and anarchy breathe a little small glimmer of brightness into the proceedings. At times, this film brought to mind the film Threads but I'd argue isn't quite as bleak. That's not to say this doesn't come close. All said, it's a brilliantly executed vision of a tomorrow we should all hope doesn't come to pass. It feels very quickly like one is thrown into a kind of war zone, perhaps one that wouldn't have been so out of place back in World War II Europe on some levels, and that escalates throughout. **** out of ***** stars.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 09:01:26 PM by JaseSF » Logged

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Jack
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« Reply #6737 on: September 05, 2013, 06:44:21 AM »

Unsane aka Tenebre (1982) - crime thriller about an author who goes to Rome to promote his latest book, but some psycho who apparently doesn't like the book is killing people and threatening to kill the author next. This was surprisingly unbad, with a plot that actually was somewhat intriguing and clever in spots, though important points were left totally unexplained. The characters were decent and the theme music actually added to the atmosphere instead of obliterating it like in the other Argento films I've seen. 3/5.
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Jack
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« Reply #6738 on: September 06, 2013, 06:44:15 AM »

Tasmanian Devils (2013) - some base jumpers go to Vancouver er I mean Tasmania and jump off a rock formation. One of them - Olympic skater Apolo Ohno - opens his chute too late and falls through a small hole in the ground, impaling himself on a big spike in an underground cave. His blood runs through little channels in the rock and somehow brings half a dozen Tasmanian Devils to life. I mean, what are the odds? You jump off a mountain and just happen to impale yourself on a spike that was put there for the purpose of impaling people? He hits it dead center too, right in the lower chest / upper abdomen area, but even with that 8" spike through him he still lives for a minute or so and actually doesn't die until the little beasties attack him. All that Olympic training I'm guessing.

So anyhow these CGI thingies chase our jumpers around, and cute little Danica McKellar show up as a forest ranger to help them. They manage to MacGyver together a flamethrower out of a can of gas, a flashlight and a spark plug. The monsters are attracted to loud noises like helicopters and car horns, but apparently you can talk and yell all you want and not worry about it. Two-thirds of the way through the movie they all-of-a-sudden have a couple of sticks of dynamite. Jeez, wouldn't that have been handy when four of those little buggers were gathered together and busy eating something. But hey, you can't think of everything I guess. Eventually our characters, now down to two, end up in one of those ranger towers that's 50' in the air. This little fact may save your life some day: If you're in one of those things and it tips over, just hide under the bed and you'll be totally protected from injury Thumbup

Anyhow Danika finally strips down to her tank top with only 10 minutes left in the movie. After she spent all those thousands just to look good in a tank top. Overall it was kind of fun and not terribly bad for one of these SyFy Originals. Not terribly good either though. 2.5/5.
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #6739 on: September 06, 2013, 07:39:55 AM »

"Never Say Never Again" (1983)

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Sean Connery returns to his most iconic role - James Bond - in this "unofficial" 007 adventure that is not considered part of the "regular" Bond series. This flick was made independently by a different production team after a long series of legal wranglings between author Kevin McClory and the Ian Fleming estate that stretched back nearly 20 years.

The film is essentially a retread of 1965's "Thunderball," with 007 on the trail of two stolen nuclear missiles in the Bahamas, but it moves at a much slower pace and feels quite dated. This movie is at least a half hour too long, and aside from one hilariously cheesy scene set in a video-game arcade that puts it in the "80s" time frame, everything else - from the sets to the technology and the music - looks and feels straight out of the 1960s.

Still, it's fun to see Connery playing Bond again with his usual self-satisfied cool, Klaus Maria Brandauer and Max Von Sydow have nice turns as the villains "Mr. Largo" and "Blofeld," and a young Kim Basinger plays the obligatory Bond Babe, "Domino."

Without the familiar "James Bond Theme" or the "gun barrel" opening, and with different actors playing "Q," "M," "Moneypenny," etc., "Never Say Never Again" is like watching a weird alternate-universe version of James Bond.

007 fans might dig it as a curiosity item, but it's not something I'll watch again anytime soon.
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indianasmith
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« Reply #6740 on: September 06, 2013, 06:07:01 PM »

I watched one a few nights ago that I really enjoyed called EVIDENCE (2013) starring Bill Moyers of TRUEBLOOD fame.  A team of forensic investigators are called to the scene of a mass murder, where a gas tank explosion has cremated or charred most of the evidence.  There are multiple cell phones and cameras present, and from the SIM cards the investigators try to determine exactly what happened, and who killed the occupants of a charter bus that took a wrong turn in the desert.  This was a very solid, creepy little whodunit with some great twists before the end.  I highly recommend it.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #6741 on: September 07, 2013, 01:12:09 PM »

MST3K: THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON: The experiment is one of those Russian epic/fairytales that are really pretty good, but badly dubbed by Roger Corman. This one involves a hero with a magic sword defending his city from a horde of Mongols (lead villain voiced by Paul Frees, Boris Badenov himself!) Crow says "this cost more than every movie we've ever seen put together" (the IMDB apparently said it has 100,000 extras, which can't be right despite some huge crowd scenes). In Deep 13 girls stop by while Dr. F. and Frank are arranging their comic book collections and the guys stage a "Joke by Ingmar Bergman" that's pretty ambitious and funny. It's the least entertaining of the 4 Russian/Finnish movies they did but it's still great stuff. 4/5.
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Jack
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« Reply #6742 on: September 07, 2013, 04:07:12 PM »

Dead Mine (2012) - Indonesian movie, but English language, about some explorers and soldiers who go down into an old Japanese WWII bunker to look for gold that was supposedly stashed there. Considering the movie's named "Dead Mine", you can sort of guess how that goes. I liked this. It was fairly suspenseful (though there were a few dozen too many scenes of people walking slowly down concrete corridors pointing their guns at everything), and the characters were decent enough. I kind of liked the whole explanation behind what they found down there too. I didn't care for the ending, but oh well. It's on Youtube in 720p if anybody's interested. 4/5.
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claws
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« Reply #6743 on: September 08, 2013, 04:22:51 AM »

Doppelganger (1993)

Holly (Drew Barrymore), a young woman accused of murdering her own mother, locates from New York to sunny L.A. so she can be close to her brother who is hospitalized and sort of in a coma. She shares an apartment with a young writer who falls in love with Holly. Meanwhile a person who appears to be Holly's twin is stalking the young lovers. Holly is aware of her deadly doppelganger but is the doppelganger aware of Holly's deadly secret?

B-Horror with Urban setting and showcase for Drew Barrymore who was getting back into business starring in Indie movies after overcoming her drug addiction. Drew shows it all, nude in the shower, slow motion sex against the wall, kitchen floor sex, erotic dancing at a party and what not. Surprisingly, Doppelganger can be quite decent at times (very strong opening, well made practical effects, atmospheric setting, interesting camera moves) but also lacking (bad acting, corny CGI morphing, cheesy pop muzak). The twist ending will leave you scratching your head even though they scattered hints throughout the movie. 3.5/5
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #6744 on: September 08, 2013, 08:51:26 AM »

"A Good Day to Die Hard" (2013)

http://www.youtube.com/v/wVkzZD92cMQ

In his fifth (!) go-round as New York supercop John McClane, Bruce Willis' "Die Hard" series takes a turn into James Bond/Jason Bourne territory by going international. McClane heads to Russia to track down his estranged son, who happens to be a CIA operative. Together they uncover a plot to steal a secret stash of weapons-grade uranium from the abandoned Chernobyl nuke plant. Of course, lotsa stuff blows up along the way.

This one isn't the weakest of the "DH" series (that would be "...With a Vengeance" in my book) but it's not the best either. It's simple, big, loud, dumb, shoot'em up fun.
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« Reply #6745 on: September 08, 2013, 11:00:39 AM »

KEANE (2004): A disturbed man spends his days wandering around the Port Authority searching for his daughter who was abducted a year ago; is he sane enough to help take care of his welfare-hotel neighbor's daughter, who's about the same age as his lost girl? A well-intentioned and humane character study that suffers in comparison to the writer/director's more intense schizo dad debut, CLEAN, SHAVEN. 3/5.

RETARD-O-TRON 3 (2013): Not a movie but a video mixtape of clips, some weird and funny, but with way too many bits that are just meant to nauseate and offend. There are plenty of great clips from B-movies and cult films (BIG MAN JAPAN, FUNKY FOREST, Indonesian fantasy films, Lou Ferrigno's HERCULES) spread throughout, but you also have to deal with uncensored puke fetish porn, a guy ripping his toenail off, and a running commentary mocking a mentally disabled public-access chef. 0.5/5.
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"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
JaseSF
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« Reply #6746 on: September 08, 2013, 03:06:52 PM »

Megaquake 10.0 (2011): Narrated by Jonathan Frakes, this documentary explores the possibility and potential that an earth-shattering 10.0 earthquake could occur. This documentary is actually at its most interesting when it's dealing with real history and earthquakes that have already happened. The speculation with regards to a possible 10.0 actually proves somewhat less interesting although scientists and experts offer some interesting information and do urge the importance of preparation for earthquakes. *** out of ***** stars.

The Big One: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake (1990): A Los Angeles seismologist named Dr. Clare Winslow (Joanna Kerns) clashes with higher authorities and powerful people who don't want her to release information regarding a possible huge earthquake about to hit the area.

For a TV Movie, this was actually pretty good with some startling special effects and an effective representation of what such a disaster might look like. In that area, this film does a fine job. Its science is also better than in many other films of its type. That said, this does have some problems specifically with stereotypical characters and subplots (especially the attempted hit on a South African political candidate) that really don't fit realistically within the confines of the film and detract from what the film is really all about - the potential of a major disaster and the importance of being prepared for that.  Lots of familiar TV star character actors in this one adds to the enjoyment. ***1/2 out of ***** stars.

Africa Screams (1949): Booksellers/con artists Buzz Johnson (Bud Abbott) and Stanley Livington (Lou Costello) trick a female adventuress named Diana Emerson (Hillary Brooke), who secretly has her eyes set on a reputedly hidden diamond stash, that Stanley knows a lot about Africa and can help guide them on an expedition there. When they get there, they soon end up tangling with lion tamers, wild game trappers, giant apes, a tribe of man-eating cannibals, lions, crocodiles and more.

This Abbott and Costello comedy/adventure film is extremely silly even by their standards. That said, it does prove surprising fun at times and I loved the twist ending. Famous lion tamer Clyde Beatty and trapper Frank Buck appear as themselves. The threats faced by our would-be heroes are often ridiculously over-the-top and/or unconvincing. ***1/4 out of ***** stars.

Jack and the Beanstalk (1952): Abbott and Costello are a duo in search of a job. They agree to take on a babysitting gig not aware that the older boy Donald (David Stollery) proves a nightmare to babysitters. Jack (Costello) decides to try and win over the young lad by reading him the story of Jack and the Beanstalk but soon falls asleep and dreams himself in the adventure as Donald reads about it.

This was one of the few films Abbott and Costello filmed that was partly in color and it's interesting to see them that way for a change. This is pretty much a fantasy fable with forgettable songs. The best bits all feature Costello and his gags especially his interaction here with the Giant who's memorably portrayed by Buddy Baer. Abbott factors little more than a sidekick in this one but plays his usual greedy, selfish character. It was fun to see Costello get the best of Abbott pretty much throughout a film for a change. Also memorable here is the tall Dorothy Ford, something of a Betty Page lookalike, who plays the Giant's housekeeper and has a hilarious dance scene with much shorter Costello playing Jack. Like Africa Screams, I want to like this one more than perhaps I actually do. **3/4 out of ***** stars.

House of Dark Shadows: Recently released from being long imprisoned within his coffin, vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) manages to terrorize the local community while also charming and preying upon his living relatives and their friends and acquaintances. Soon spotting a woman named Maggie (Kathyrn Leigh Scott) who greatly resembles his greatest love, his sets his sights squarely upon her.

This has some startling scary and surprisingly violent, graphic and gory moments for a film from 1970. It feels somewhat akin to an Hammer film despite being American. Directed by the one and only Dan Curtis, this one keeps building and building upon its suspense keeping its twists, turns and revelations hidden until just the right moments. Frid delivers just the right mix of charm and deviousness as the villainous lead. Scott and Nancy Barrett offer up much beauty as potential victims while Grayson Hall is memorable as a scientist who falls for Barnabas' charm and works to cure him of his vampirism. Thayer David plays the Van Helsing of sorts in this one in the form of Professor Eliot Stokes who rightly believes the living dead, a vampire, is responsible for all the victims who keep turning up in this one. **** out of ***** stars.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 03:15:04 PM by JaseSF » Logged

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indianasmith
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« Reply #6747 on: September 08, 2013, 07:07:33 PM »

I DIDN'T COME HERE TO DIE (2013) was an interesting twist on the traditional "campers fall afoul of slasher in the back woods" genre.  There was no slasher - just a series of bizarre accidents in which the campers wind up killing each other.  Very gory (the chainsaw death was brutal and highly realistic, as well as entirely plausible), this was a fun little movie that surprised me in a couple of places.  Cheap and cheesy but worth the time and rental fee!!!
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claws
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« Reply #6748 on: September 09, 2013, 12:54:03 AM »

Sinister (2012) (Blu-ray)

Paranormal "curse" flick that combines found footage and haunted house themes. It's definitely creepy and provides well made jump scares. Except for one scene I found to be outright hilarious in the unintentional humor department, this movie delivers on all accounts. 4.5/5

Warm Bodies (2013) (Blu-ray)

Romantic horror comedy without the romantic cheese: a zombie falls in love with a young woman during apocalyptic times. This was very engaging and quite entertaining. 4.5/5

The Artist (2011) (Blu-ray)

Charismatic silent movie star who falls in love with an actress cast as an extra in one of his movies is drawn into a spiral of self pity, false pride and heartbreak when his studio decides to abandon the silent movie business and do "talkie" movies. Flawless homage to the golden age of movie making. Sentimental, dramatic, funny and simply amazing. 5/5
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Jack
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« Reply #6749 on: September 09, 2013, 06:49:38 AM »

ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 (2011) - slasher sequel that picks up right where the previous movie left off. Even though the killer seemed to die at the end of that movie, it turns out he's got a group of people working for him and they grab him quick before the police arrive and over the course of three moths, nurse him back to health. Brian Austin Green (David from Beverly Hills 90210) pretty much steals the show as the slasher-in-training who's second in command at the organization. I thought he did a great job being evil and in-charge. Anyhow he kidnaps another girl for our chrome-masked guy to kill, while at the same time the cops are investigating with the help of the last remaining witness to the murders in the previous movie. And they kidnap that witness too. Will our two kids survive the night, or will ChromeSkull carve them up like Thanksgiving turkeys?

I thought this was pretty good overall. I found the whole organization behind the slasher intriguing, but unfortunately it was never really explained. It had a variety of subplots which gave it far more plot than your average three slashers put together. And then there's the gore - when my wife actually puts her hand over her eyes and says "Ewwwww!" you know it's a bit over the top TeddyR It had some problems too though, the girl who was kidnapped liked to videotape stuff so we get some annoying and completely unnecessary handheld junk. And the cops aren't believable in any of the action sequences. In fact they're kind of laughably incompetent. Didn't spoil it too much though, I'll still give it a 4/5.
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