Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Movie Reviews

Fingers at the Window © 1942
Synopsis: The City of Chicago is gripped by an Axe Murderer. The streets are empty at night as there has been six murders and six people have been caught...
Comments: I wish this one was on DVD. It's a shame that more of the "undiscovered" gems like this one are still waiting in line for a proper DVD release. A fun movie with some great suspense. Basil Rathbone plays a great villain. Think The Thin Man, but with a cat. Perfect for a crisp autumn evening.

The Interpreter © 2005
Synopsis: Political intrigue and deception unfold inside the United Nations, where a US Secret Service agent (Penn) is assigned to investigate an interpreter (Kidman) who overhears an assassination plot.
Comments: As with most political thrillers, it took a few chapters on the DVD before this movie finally took off. I was a little disappointed by the lack of suspense, it was few and far between. It did, however, keep me guessing as to whether or not the Nicole Kidman character was "good" or "bad." Movies looks great and Catherine Keener was great, as usual, as the acerbic FBI agent.

Family Guy Presents: Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story © 2005
Synopsis: Stewie, the maniacal baby genius, is distracted from his plans for world domination after a near-death experience...
Comments: Another funny installment as always, but nothing out of the ordinary. I'm glad I rented this instead of buying it. The Family Guy team seems to really be cashing in on its popularity. To the point where it's almost a turnoff for me.

Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis © 2005
Synopsis: A group of teenagers who, in an attempt to rescue their friend from an evil corporation, end up releasing a horde of blood thirsty zombies.
Comments: Saw this premiere on the Sci-Fi channel. Peter Coyote looks really tired. I'm so not a zombie movie fan, but this came on around Halloweentime and I couldn't resist. It was fun, but nothing to write home about. Definitely a rental. Great movie poster!

Batman Begins © 2005
Synopsis: The story of how Bruce Wayne became what he was destined to be: Batman.
Comments: I like to call this movie Batman Begins...After Chapter 13, simply because that's how far I had to advance the DVD before I actually got interested in the movie. Chapters 1-13 were waaaaay too Highlander meets The Karate Kid, for my tastes. I could give a shit about hearing about (again) what a "tortured soul" Bruce Wayne is, how his parents were killed, the extent of his bat phobia, his Kung-Fu-esque early years, etc. I just wanna see Batman fight some cool villain. There, I said it. Well, he does and once that part kicked in I enjoyed the film. P.s. What the hell was Katie Holmes of all people, doing in this movie? Ech.

High Tension © 2003
Synopsis: Two college friends, Marie and Alexa, encounter loads of trouble (and blood) while on holiday at Alexa's parent's country home when a mysterious killer invades their quiet getaway.
Comments: I'd been anticipating this movie for a long time. It's been out overseas for years and was finally released here in the states. I was looking forward to an "old school" slasher flick sans the comic relief, WB cast and radio-friendly soundtrack. For the first hour or so, I got that. In spades. Then the plot "twist" came into play and ruined the entire movie for me.

This movie was truly disturbing for me. Especially the first 45 minutes or so. Seriously stressful. I've seen tons of slashers and I have to admit the murders of the family in the beginning were truly unsettling. I can't get the father's demise out of my mind. It literally made me sad. I felt like I knew these people, so when they were brutally murdered I was affected; scared, disgusted, outraged, etc. I wanted some vigilante-style vengeance. Which of course, is the mark of a well-done piece of cinema...then came the plot twist and I lost all respect and interest for the film. An otherwise perfectly good, potentially great, film ruined by an unnecessary, cinematically illogical plot twist. So disappointing. So close, yet so far.

MST3K: The Brain That Wouldn't Die © 1962
Synopsis: After a car crash, a man keeps his wife's head alive in his laboratory.
Comments: This is one of my all-time favorite episodes of MST3K. Besides being the premiere episode with the new host, Mike Nelson (God, he's hot!), it's just a hilarious episode from beginning to end. Favorite lines (issued by Tom Servo): "Diarrhea is like a storm, raging inside you." And (asked by Mike during an interview with the "head in a pan"): "When you were in that fire, did you make your own gravy?"

The Batman vs Dracula: The Animated Movie © 2005
Synopsis: Gotham City is terrorized not only by recent escapees Joker and Penguin, but by the original creature of the night...
Comments: I gotta tell ya, I am normally not a big fan of a lot of the new "cartoons." I normally find their half-ass, computer-generated, lack of detail style of "animation" a big turn off. However, I really enjoyed this movie! I don't know if the subject matter (Dracula) had something to do with it or not, but I really liked the look of the film, the music and even the plot. Never a dull moment. I bought the DVD. It's nice to be surprised again.

Jack O'Lantern © 2005
Synopsis: One year after a deadly car accident, Jack returns home and tries to get past the recurring nightmares that haunt him. As his deadly visions become a reality, Jack soon realizes that each new nightmare is uncovering details of the accident that he had forgotten and someone is using him to exact a deadly vengeance.
Comments: If you're even contemplating renting this movie, save yourself the time and take $4, roll it up tightly and set it on fire. Like I mentioned before: "What a shitbomb. It should have been called Turd-o-Lantern. Oh my God, what a complete and utter waste of celluloid, not to mention $4. Why this was released in "Widescreen" is beyond me. Avoid like the plague!"

Shallow Ground © 2004
Synopsis: A naked teenage boy covered in blood appears at a remote sheriff's station one year after the brutal unsolved murder of a local girl..
Comments: Interestingly enough, I rented this movie at the same time I rented Suck O'Lantern. Both were debut films from budding new directors. Like night and day. Seriously. Shallow Ground had such an original premise, looked amazing, had great special effects, above-average acting (for a horror film) and a fantastic score. I bought this one. Recommend!

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events © 2004
Synopsis: Three wealthy children's parents are killed in a fire. When they are sent to a distant relative, they find out that he is plotting to kill them and seize their fortune.
Comments: Since I've limited my exposure to Jim Carrey for some time now (remember when he was in everything?), I was ready for him with this movie and it payed off in spades. He was excellent. I loved the look of the movie, it's dark humor and the characters and situations were a lot of fun. Really enjoyed this one.

Night School © 1981
Synopsis: A well-known anthropology professor is the main suspect in a series of gruesome decapitations of young coeds at a Boston night school.
Comments: An oldie, but a goodie. Fun 80's slasher starring Rachel Ward in her movie debut. Suspenseful murders. Fairly good pacing. Saw the ending coming a mile away. If you like 80's slashers, this one doesn't disappoint.

Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave © 2005
Synopsis: A college student creates and sells a drug called 'Z' on campus which resurrects the living dead, who wreak havoc at a Halloween rave.
Comments: Again, this one premiered after part 4 on the Sci-Fi channel. Had a fun premise, but wasn't executed as well as I'd hoped. Definitely made with the "X-treme" generation in mind. Think House of the Dead meets an episode of the WB's Smallville, only with a smaller budget. Again, another fun movie poster!

Unmasked Part 25 © 1988
Synopsis: Jackson is a lonely serial killer who is really beginning to question the point of all his killing....
Comments: This movie wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it was an okay 80's slasher, though it was obviously trying to be something more. Maybe the fact that it was a British film mocking the American slasher that didn't quite translate well. I'm not sure. An obscure tongue-in-cheek slasher with not a lot to offer. For fans only.

Bad Moon © 1996
Synopsis: One man's struggle to contain the curse he hides within... and his last-ditch attempt to free himself with the love of family...
Comments: Werewolves creep me out. Mariel Hemingway creeps me out. Michael Pare, on the other hand, is H-O-T. Creepy, fun werewolf movie. I enjoyed it...even if Mariel Hemingway was in it.


Blogger Quiggs said...

My husband talked me into watching High Tension and I was suprised that I actually liked it. My husband has a history of bringing home the dumbest f'ing movies home - seriously, it is painful. Nothing is worse to me than a bad movie, what a waste of 2 hours of my life. The plot twist did totally suck. The slasher guy totally skived me out in the beginning - I am not sure what it was, the freakin' mechanic overalls or his sick dirty nails - Cole

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Princess Wild Cow said...

We've already talked about high tension and how pissed off I was about that movie...I totally agree with everything you said! Now, here's a recommendation...read the Series of Unfortunate Events books, or at least a couple of them. They are great! That Lemony Snicket is one heckuva writer and I think you would really appreciate them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 8:48:00 PM  

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