Friday, February 25, 2011

Review – Amityville 3D

Wow. I don't know what happened here. Usually "Part 3 in 3-D" sequels are way better than this. Actually this picture is impressive in one respect: after "Part 2: The Stinkeroo" it's incredible they were able to find financing for another round. If 3-D devil flies are on your bucket list, then dash on out and rent this crapfest. Otherwise it may be safely missed. See if desperate

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review – Countdown to Zero

How nice it would be to live in a world where filmmakers could be faulted for producing a feature-length documentary that does nothing but state the obvious about the threat posed by nuclear proliferation. Sadly, many people still don't seem to know as much as they should about this important issue. On the other hand, the production does manage to partially defeat its own purpose. I was left wondering how the United States and Russia would make themselves safer from terrorists with low-yield nukes simply by abandoning their missile stockpiles. Still, overall this is a well-intentioned picture full of good information. Mildly amusing

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review – Blood in the Face

American Nazis reach the height of their entertainment value when they're being run off a bridge. But if you feel the need to dig deeper into this hideous subculture, this documentary will give you at least a taste. The production is a good mix of interviews and archive footage. It also has a nice companion book. On the other hand, the subject at hand is downright ugly. Mildly amusing

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Abandoned – The Skeleton Key 2: 667 Neighbor of the Beast

You really ought to have to pass an IQ test before you can buy a camcorder. Five minutes

Review – Dreamaniac

How handy that the end of the first word in the title and the start of the second word just happened to be the same letter. Unfortunately, the movie itself turns out to be a crapile. A rocker summons a succubus who makes him popular with the ladies in exchange for the chance to waste 90 minutes of your life. Eighties-era moronicrud ensues. See if desperate

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Review – Dark Side of the Moon

If you’re gonna “borrow,” borrow big. This tale of astronauts stranded with an evil presence aboard their ship shows shades of Alien, Lifeforce, The Omen and several other sources before it’s done. Too bad they didn’t “borrow” a little more money to add some production values. That way they might at least have produced a slick failure instead of a plain old failure. See if desperate

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review – Exit Through the Gift Shop

Amateur filmmaker Thierry Guetta sets out to shoot a documentary about Bansky, a legendary graffiti artist. Instead, Guetta himself gets sucked into the world of illegal street art and takes up the medium himself under the name Mr. Brainwash. Footage of his new career paints an interesting picture of the relationship between unmarketable “vandalism” and the high-dollar market for “outsider” art. Mildly amusing

Friday, February 11, 2011

Review – American Experience: My Lai

After an hour and a half, I didn’t feel like I knew a lot more about the My Lai massacre than I did going in (though if you don’t know anything about it at all you will learn quite a bit before it’s through). For me the interesting part was seeing some of the participants – direct and indirect – talk about one of the less proud moments in the Army’s history. Mildly amusing

Monday, February 7, 2011

Review – Centurion

Here we have one of those movies that depends heavily on car chases, gunfights and explosions. But setting it in second century Roman Britain has deprived the filmmakers of the primary tools of their crap-slinging trade. The story of the mysterious disappearance of the Ninth Legion is transformed into a guys-on-the-lam-pursued-by-vicious-gang-members piece to no particular good effect. See if desperate

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Review – Every Little Step

If I cared a little more about stage musicals or at least hadn’t already seen a couple of behind-the-scenes documentaries about Broadway productions, I might have liked this a bit more than I did. Some of the background material about the genesis of A Chorus Line was reasonably interesting stuff. On the other hand, the endless footage of casting calls and callbacks and happy singers and sad singers and … well, it wasn’t exactly unfamiliar territory. Mildly amusing

Review – The Bible According to Hollywood

Though this isn’t exactly the slickest documentary I’ve ever seen, it does a better job than expected at tackling the topic suggested by the title. Talking about religion is difficult, and throwing Hollywood into the mix makes it even harder. But the filmmakers walk a reasonable line between witless film historian praise and Bible-thumping moral condemnation. Sure, they miss some things here and there. Overall, however, this is a good introduction to the movie industry’s treatment of subjects from the Old and New Testaments. Mildly amusing

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Review – Dorian Gray

The classic Oscar Wilde tale once again gets dragged down from the shelf, dusted off and shot. Though the 21st century allows for a somewhat more explicit (though not particularly gory or pornographic) telling of the tale, it’s still fairly familiar territory. Mildly amusing

Friday, February 4, 2011

Review – Curse of the Crimson Altar

Once again the English serve up a dull bit of skullduggery about a man searching for his missing brother who disappeared from a creaky old mansion haunted by the spirits of dead devil cult members. The production is one of those low-end-of-medium-budget efforts in which it’s hard to tell if we’re supposed to be able to see the obvious secret doors or if the set builders just weren’t skillful enough to hide the seams. Also released as The Crimson Cult. See if desperate