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Rating History

Who Can Kill a Child? (Quin puede matar a un nio?)
5 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

[b]Vantage Point[/b] was not as awful as everyone said. However, I've already forgotten most of it. The different perspectives were kind of neat, but, especially at the end, there were some Crash-esque moments. Wait for this to make the rounds on cable.

Again, maybe I'm just not good with older and/or screwball comedies. [b]To[/b] [b]Be or Not To Be[/b] is set in WWII Poland about a group of actors who try to fool the Nazi's and save the underground resistance. It has some really funny parts, but, mostly, I was just mildly amused. I did really enjoy Carole Lombard ("Mr. and Mrs. Smith"), though.

Probably everything that can be said about [b]The Dark Knight [/b]has been said. That aside, it was really, really good. All of the acting is top-notch. Christian Bale ("I'm Not There")'s Batman voice does get on my nerves a bit, though. Heath Ledger ("I'm Not There") is actually as good as everyone says. The film was a bit too long. That's my biggest criticism. All the Harvey Dent stuff could really have been a whole other film. But go see it. The action sequences are especially cool on the big screen.

I read an article once where Eli Roth ("Hostel Part II") was listing his favorite horror films, and [b]Who Can Kill a Child? [/b]was one of them. The film starts out slowly, an expecting couple going to vacation on a small island. But when they reach the destination, they only see a few children in the mostly deserted village. And why they don't leave right away, I'll never know. The cinematography is very bright and dry. I felt hot and sweaty along with he characters. I did get a little frustrated with the pacing early on, however, the end was totally worth the wait. I can definitely see how this influenced Roth on Hostel.

[b]American Nightmare [/b]is one of those films that has almost no redeeming qualities. Made in 2002, yet inexplicably set in the late 1990s, with all the main characters sitting around a coffee shop a la Friends, listening to a really bad radio show about people's worst fears, on Halloween. Then they start getting killed off. Bad dialogue. Really bad costumes. Poor acting. And all of this while continually referencing John Carpenter films, which just makes it all the more noticeable. Also, the killer has no clear or even thought-provoking motive. Best thing about film is this quote by the radio host: "How many people are doing the whole razor blade in the apple trick? Raise your hands. Good. Good. Good...Kid's going to the hospital. I love it. That's the spirit of Halloween - kids in the hospital. I hope there's enough room."

The Wrestler
The Wrestler (2008)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

[b]Star Trek[/b] is just a whole lot of fun. Director J.J. Abrams ("Mission Impossible III") takes us back to when the original crew were just cadets at Starfleet Academy. The story messes with the whole series' timeline, setting the stage for a whole other round of sequels. So there's that. But the effects are really good. The audience I was it with clapped and cheered. Fun, fun. And worth seeing on the big screen.

I'm still not really sure what to think about [b]Catch and Release[/b]. It's not really a romantic comedy, though there are bits of that. It's not really a tragedy, though elements of that are present, too. And it's not really great, but it has some good moments. Jennifer Garner ("Ghost of Girlfriends Past") stars as a woman whose fiancee dies and then she discovers that he had a child he never told her about. I guess it's just an interesting character study. I did think about it for several days, which is always a plus.

[b]In Cold Blood[/b] is the film version of Truman Capote's nonfiction novel of the same name. It runs very much like the book, with the build-up before the crime, the investigation and trials afterward. The film is dry, but still compelling. If you enjoy Court TV, this should be right up your alley.

For the first fifteen minutes or so of the new [b]Friday the 13th[/b], I was totally pumped. It was goofy, dirty and bloody - all elements of a great slasher. Then it tried to have a story, and I just got bored. I'm not saying that slashers can't have stories. I'm just saying this was a bad one. It felt like just another tired sequel in this already overstretched franchise. Disappointing.

Every time Darren Aronofsky ("The Fountain") makes a movie, I'm reassured that he's a genius. [b]The Wrestler[/b] is no exception. Mickey Rourke ("Domino") is amazing in the title character, an aging professional wrestler who just doesn't know how to do anything else. The whole thing is heartbreaking. And wonderful.

Nightbreed
Nightbreed (1990)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

[b]Murder Set Pieces[/b] has absolutely no redeeming qualities. There's a Nazi photographer who kills people, mostly women, in supposedly very violent ways. And only a little girl can figure it out and stop him. Terrible acting, production, dialogue. Even the gore is lame. I just felt bored and mildly disgusted by the whole thing. And they talk in German with no subtitles quite a bit. It only gets one star for good music. Otherwise, it would have no stars.

[b]Hairspray[/b] stars off really strong. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky is delightful as Tracy who dreams of dancing on a television show. She gets her wish, but then has to fight for integration. The story is good (this is the first version of the movie/play that I've seen) and all of the supporting cast is strong. However, towards the middle of the film, it begins to drag. And when Blonsky's not involved in the song, it drags. Still very entertaining.

I loved [b]Night Breed[/b] when I was younger, but was afraid that it wouldn't hold up. However, writer/director Clive Barker ("Lord of Illusions)'s vision of a home for monsters holds up quite well. The story revolves around Boone, a man with horrible nightmares, whose shrink, played by David Cronenberg, convinces him that he's actually committed the murders from his dreams. But Boone has also been dreaming of Midian, where the monsters live. He then finds himself leading them against the humans bent on their destruction. And there's a love story. The effects are done with make-up so they haven't really aged. And the story doesn't spend a long time on set up, you're just taken into Boone's plight. The inhabitants as well as the mythology of Midian are fascinating. So I still love it.

While [b]Zodiac [/b]is set in the 70s, it feels like it was made in the 70s. David Fincher ("Panic Room") takes his time laying out the story and characters involved in the Zodiac serial killer case. Excellent cast, even just the bit players are big names (Brian Cox, Phillip Baker Hall). The cinematography and production were very atmospheric. But this isn't a thriller. There are a few tense moments, but it's really about journalism and puzzle solving. Well worth the two hours and forty minutes. And I love seeing Robert Downey Jr. ("Lucky You") and Mark Ruffalo ("All the Kings Men").

Star Trek
Star Trek (2009)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

[b]Star Trek[/b] is just a whole lot of fun. Director J.J. Abrams ("Mission Impossible III") takes us back to when the original crew were just cadets at Starfleet Academy. The story messes with the whole series' timeline, setting the stage for a whole other round of sequels. So there's that. But the effects are really good. The audience I was it with clapped and cheered. Fun, fun. And worth seeing on the big screen.

I'm still not really sure what to think about [b]Catch and Release[/b]. It's not really a romantic comedy, though there are bits of that. It's not really a tragedy, though elements of that are present, too. And it's not really great, but it has some good moments. Jennifer Garner ("Ghost of Girlfriends Past") stars as a woman whose fiancee dies and then she discovers that he had a child he never told her about. I guess it's just an interesting character study. I did think about it for several days, which is always a plus.

[b]In Cold Blood[/b] is the film version of Truman Capote's nonfiction novel of the same name. It runs very much like the book, with the build-up before the crime, the investigation and trials afterward. The film is dry, but still compelling. If you enjoy Court TV, this should be right up your alley.

For the first fifteen minutes or so of the new [b]Friday the 13th[/b], I was totally pumped. It was goofy, dirty and bloody - all elements of a great slasher. Then it tried to have a story, and I just got bored. I'm not saying that slashers can't have stories. I'm just saying this was a bad one. It felt like just another tired sequel in this already overstretched franchise. Disappointing.

Every time Darren Aronofsky ("The Fountain") makes a movie, I'm reassured that he's a genius. [b]The Wrestler[/b] is no exception. Mickey Rourke ("Domino") is amazing in the title character, an aging professional wrestler who just doesn't know how to do anything else. The whole thing is heartbreaking. And wonderful.

Bloodsucking Freaks
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Well, I got behind again. And it's just been a bizarre movie week.

[b]The Pit[/b] is a strange little horror movie about a boy who gets revenge on those who have tormented him by feeding them to the creatures he finds in a large hole in the woods. If that weren't creepy enough, the movie also has the boy, who's about 12, hitting on his live-in babysitter, talking to his teddy bear and sending sex notes to the librarian. This isn't so much scary as funny and weird, but the production is pretty terrible.

[b]Bloodsucking Freaks[/b]. I'm still at a loss as to what to say about this. Netflix called it a cult horror classic, so I had to rent it. Then Tycho said to watch it with friends while drinking or I'd just feel dirty. So I took his advice. But I still feel a bit dirty. The "plot" revolves around a theater of the macabre where people are actually killed on stage though the audience believes it's fake. Master Sardu (Seamus O'Brien "The Happy Hooker") is an S&M freak who leads the show and desperately wants to be Vincent Price. He's assisted by Ralphus (Luis De Jesus "Samurai Dick"), a gleeful midget who revels in the torture as much as Sardu. The scenes of torture are interspersed with Sardu and Ralphus playing games with their hostages. Human darts, backgammon where they bet fingers. Also, there's more naked women than you can shake a stick at. So, I didn't hate the movie and sometimes I laughed through my desire to vomit. But I would never watch this again and can't recommend it to anyone.

This is my second viewing of [b]28 Days Later[/b]. After we first watched it in the theater, I had a nightmare that I had to kill my fiancee with a pair of scissors through the eye because he had the rage. Horror movies don't often give me nightmares, so I am especially impressed when they do. But this led to an ongoing debate between me and the finance that if I were a zombie, he'd let me make him a zombie so we could be together. And I say that's silly because it's not like we'd be ourselves. We'd just be mindless creatures hungry for human flesh. So I would kill him if he were a zombie. Then he gets mad.
But, as for the movie. I found it equally tense the second time around. Director Danny Boyle ("Millions") creates and eerie London landscape as the main character wakes up in the deserted hospital, with no idea the plague that has ransacked his country. Though the creatures in this are not zombies in the technical sense, they behave in much the same way. And this is the first time they are fast. Fast zombies are much scarier than slow shambling ones. Also, the army base was a good twist.

And then there was [b]Doogal.[/b] Sometimes the voices in an animated movie are distracting. That was one of Doogal's problems. The movie was also filled with pop-culture referencing dialogue, which I usually enjoy a la Gilmore Girls. But here it felt flat. The animation was fairly good, but the story was pretty humdrum. Though, if I were a five-year-old, or really, really stoned, I probably would have enjoyed it.