Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review - Circle

Is there such a thing as “situation horror”? If so, this production’s a prime example. A wad of characters in search of an exit get stuck in a big circle in a dark room, killed if they move, killed if they try to help each other, killed one by one even if they do nothing. This has a sophomore theatre student’s “gift” for composing a weak character study with no attention to plot or logic. See if desperate

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review - Bad Santa

This is unlikely to become a key part of the annual holiday film festival. But it was an entertaining antidote to the overpowering treacle of Christmas cuteness. Billy Bob Thornton plays his Malkovich role as an alcoholic petty criminal who takes jobs as mall Santas in order to get after-hours access to store vaults. Mildly amusing

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review - The Ridiculous Six

Is the theory that putting the word “ridiculous” in a movie’s title somehow absolves the production of any obligation to be anything other than ridiculous? Then to cover all the bases, this should be called The Ridiculous, Stupid, Offensive, Sexist, Racist Six. Some of the stunt casting is minor-league clever (example: David Spade as George Armstrong Custer). Otherwise this is terrible even by Adam Sandler’s standards. Wish I’d skipped it

Review - Mercy

Compared to other movies based on Stephen King stories, this one actually isn’t too bad. Of course that’s faint praise, as even the author’s better work has often turned into a cinematic mess. But this one starts with a reasonably good tale and doesn’t try to do anything too elaborate with it. Mildly amusing

Review - The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death

The sad truth is that I waited awhile after the viewing to sit down and write the review. And at this point I honestly don’t remember it all that well. Even the IMDb summaries aren’t helping. I recall a sense of vague unease about working real life tragedy (English children resettled in the countryside to save them from German bombs) in with the flimsy gothic horror of the first Woman in Black movie. However, the production quality was decent and the acting okay. I guess if you want to watch something unmemorable then I can vouch for this picture’s adequacy. Mildly amusing

Review - Last Shift

Like a strawberry, maple syrup, hamburger milkshake, this is a mix of ingredients that might have been okay on their own but turn into a mess when combined. A rookie cop is assigned to watch a soon-to-be-decomissioned police station. Unfortunately for her, the place is still inhabited by the evil spirits of a Mansoneque cult who hanged themselves in the cells. A weak script and inept direction drive the final nails into this one. See if desperate

Friday, December 18, 2015

Review - Terminator: Genisys

This thing’s convoluted even for a time travel tale. I considered making a sarcastic attempt to summarize the plot but found myself annoyed anew by the effort to make enough sense out of it to mock it. Suffice it to say that in short order I grew bemused by the in-joke references to the first one and frustrated trying to figure out the characters’ motivations for much of anything they did. As best I was able, I tried to relax and enjoy the fight scenes and explosions without worrying about the lack of logic. See if desperate.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Review - The Taking of Deborah Logan

Back in televangelist Jimmy Swaggart’s heyday, he often told stories about people brought to Jesus by his video ministry. They tended to start with someone in the pits of sin and despair who accidentally happens across a Swaggart broadcast. “I was going to turn it off,” the wretched soul declares, “but something told me not to.” I had a similar – though less life-changing – experience with this movie. It’s apparent from the first few frames that it’s a found film picture, which time and again I’ve sworn to stop watching. For some reason I decided to stick with it, and lo and behold it turned out to be a rewarding experience. This turned out to be a competently-told tale of an aging woman whose Alzheimers symptoms turn out to be a mask for something far more diabolical. The production hits a brief snag toward the end during a nearly unwatchable chase through a cave, but eventually it settles into a creepy conclusion. If you’re willing to stick with this one, it rewards your attention. Mildly amusing

Review - Stonehearst Asylum

After reading a summary or two, I went into this experience wondering how they’d ever stretch Poe’s “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether” into a feature-length movie. In truth they don’t. It runs out the original plot line early on, relying on further complications to stretch the rest of the way. To be sure, it isn’t flawless. But it’s a good deal more clever than I expected. Plus they spent enough on it for a decent cast and good production values. Mildly amusing

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Review - Krampus

For a movie about Krampus, this thing could have used way more Krampus. Most of the villain screen time goes to a gaggle of henchmen in the form of evil toys and creepy elves. When the big guy does show up, he’s a pale shadow of the traditional Christmas demon, which would have been much scarier than what the audience is given here. I hope I’m wrong about this, but I’m guessing this will turn into a series. See if desperate