Friday, April 29, 2016

Review - The Rise of the Krays

Though this is too arty to officially qualify as a mockbuster, it’s clearly timed to cater to interest in the Kray brothers spawned by Legend. On the plus side, this production focuses more on the Krays’ crimes and less on their personal lives (specifically Reggie’s bad marriage and Ronnie’s homosexuality). Unfortunately, that doesn’t end up making it more interesting. I was going to scoff at the notion that this would produce the practically promised sequel, but then I note that the sequel’s already being released. Mildly amusing.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review - Hotel Transylvania 2

The crew from the first one return for another round. This time the cute couple get married and have a kid. Dracula desperately wants the new arrival to turn out to be a vampire like his daughter rather than a human like his son-in-law. Let the high jinks commence. The script for this installment is weak. Indeed, for Act Three we get villains who previously weren’t in the movie at all. Sony animations once again proves that they can throw money at productions like Disney and Dreamworks do, but they can’t produce the same results. Mildly amusing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review - The Exorcism of Molly Hartley

Until I checked the IMDb notes, I had no idea this was a sequel to a movie I’d already seen. That’s testament both to how forgettable the first one was and how little this tale expanded on a pre-existing plot. Instead this is just another flimsy demonic possession piece. See if desperate.

Review - The Last Exorcism Part 2

Like the sequel to The Blair Witch Project, this picture abandons the original’s found footage format in favor of a more straightforward horror story. Our demonically flexible heroine (again ably played by Ashley Bell) tries to rebuild her life. Unfortunately the forces of darkness still feel the need for her, and the folks who are supposed to be helping her may not have her best interests in mind. If this was the first demonic possession movie I ever saw, I think I might have liked it better than I did. Mildly amusing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review - The Hallow

The evil-creatures-lurking-in-the-woods plot might have worked. The infection-turning-the-good-guy-bad plot might have worked. But the two mashed unevenly together just makes a mess. Stir in angry villagers, a besieged house, a changeling, and it all gets to be too much. See if desperate.

Review - Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial

This is actually three episodes in a mini-series, focusing on Speer, Goering and Hess in turn. The BBC does a good job of dramatizing interrogation and trial transcripts. Acting and production values are also good. Mildly amusing.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Review - Legend (2015)

Tom Hardy does a great job playing both Reggie and Ronnie Kray, twin gangsters who controlled London’s East End in the 1960s. Like the 1990 version, this production treats the relationship between Reggie and his wife as one of the more interesting parts of the story. But overall this is a well-crafted historical crime drama that should leave Kray aficionados satisfied. Worth seeing.

Review - #Horror

I took a chance on this picture because the box drew a connection between it and The Cell, but the tie turned out to be first-time director Tara Subkoff who happened to be in the cast of the much more stylish and interesting production. After leading with a bloody murder, for more than an hour the production serves up nothing more horrifying than a gaggle of interchangeable 12-year-old girls bickering ad infinitum. This was probably intended as a criticism of social media addiction, but it has too much trouble picking such low-handing fruit. Wish I’d skipped it.