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  • Milius 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Apr, 2014

    I've been enjoying John Milius' movies most of my life, but I wasn't aware of how many scripts he did uncredited work on, nor, shamefully, did I know he had a debilitating stroke. Excellent overview of the man's life and career, supported by interviews and clips.

  • Alien Zone 1978

    Watched 20 Apr, 2014

    A lot of TV-familiar faces appear in this Oklahoma-lensed horror anthology. It's their experience and professionalism that raises this tepid construction above a half-star. Two of the four stories show some storytelling flair, but when the stories themselves are this utterly predictable, there's not much talent or ingenuity can do to save the proceedings.

  • The Gold Rush 1925

    ★★★★½ Watched 18 Apr, 2014

    It may not have been Chaplin's favorite (that would be City Lights), but for a lot of people, this is his masterpiece, a comedy that evenly balances pathos and epic. It ably follows a Herzogian opening shot with other 500 extras climbing a mountain to enough visual tricks to qualify it as a silent effects movie. At least three classic comedy setups - probably more. I was laughing too hard to take notes.

  • Heated Vengeance 1985

    ★★ Watched 15 Apr, 2014

    Known as the "other movie" of Edward R. Murphy, the director of the divinely berserk RAW FORCE, aka KUNG FU CANNIBALS. Very little action, lots of talk and flashbacks. A good vehicle for Richard Hatch, and a bizarre vehicle for Michael J. Pollard and Robert Walker. Special Bonus: if you hang on to the end - and there will be some question of that - you get to see a climax that Murphy could not have possibly afforded, but went ahead and did anyway (that's more like the Murphy I came here wanting to see!).

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 07 Apr, 2014

    Effective action movie has few surprises for the faithful reader, but several delights. A couple of very well-considered character re-tools and rock-solid performances from the leads makes for a lovely evening of popcorn munching.

  • The Twilight People 1972

    ★★ Rewatched 06 Apr, 2014

    Philippine director Eddie Romero made some entertaining drive-in trash flicks; unfortunately, this isn't one of them. Plots lifted from "The Island of Dr. Moreau" and "The Most Dangerous Game" fail to gel into the thrill ride it obviously wants. Also has the most egregious misuse of Pam Grier until The Man With The Iron Fists.

  • The Untouchables 1987

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 05 Apr, 2014 1

    I am not what you would call a Brian DePalma fan. Yet I have to admit that here he has crafted an almost perfect movie. A marvelous cast takes the David Mamet script and plays it like a violin. Gorgeous textures in costuming - Giorgio Armani! - and production design. The works.

  • Lights Out 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 20 Mar, 2014 1

    About as long as a good campfire horror story and twice as effective. You're not doing anything with the next three minutes of your life. Go watch this.

  • Kill 'em All 2012

    ★★★ Watched 30 Dec, 2013

    Fight fight fight fight fight FIGHT fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight FIGHTFIGHT fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight FIGHT fight fight fight fight fight fight fight fight and, finally, fight.

    Elegant in its simplicity, like a martial arts MEAN GUNS, a set-up for endless fights.

    Too bad they just couldn't resist having a character say, "This sounds like a video game," because that's exactly what it is: probably the best video game movie that wasn't based on a video game.

  • Rewind This! 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Dec, 2013

    Enjoyable oral history of the VHS phenomenon, with perhaps too little time spent on the format wars and too much on video auteur Dave "The Rock" Nelson. Found myself grinning at the memories provoked quite a bit.

  • The Conjuring 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Oct, 2013

    A really, really good haunted house movie that unfortunately decides it wants to be The Exorcist in its last fifteen minutes and goes into sadly familiar territory. Up to that point, though, it's golden.

  • Lady Terminator 1989

    ★★½ Watched 16 Jun, 2013

    In 1981, H. Tjut Djalil directed an Indonesian horror movie called Mystics in Bali, mainly treasured for its extremely Indonesian monster - the pennangalan (I hope I spelled that right) and its incredibly bizarre climax. At the other end of the decade, he made another, more action-packed horror movie based on Indonesian legend.

    The South Sea Queen, an evil witch who lives in a palace at the bottom of the ocean, keeps killing her male lovers until one man satisfies…