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  • The Buddy Holly Story 1978

    ★★★★ Watched 31 Oct, 2014

    Is this the one that set the template? Because it's basically a checklist movie. As it progresses, you can tick off every box on the item list and it covers all the bases.

    Now, I wish they had come up with a better title. Something that doesn't sound like THE ABC SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE... Or a TBS MOVIE OF THE WEEK... Because it's actually really good.

    A biopic of this nature is only going to be as good as its…

  • Footloose 1984

    ★★★ Watched 30 Oct, 2014

    It's an enjoyable chunk of corn that gets by on the charm of its leads and a nostalgic soundtrack full of hits that people like.

    But that's really all it is.

    Herbert Ross doesn't quite have the sense of flair of Adrian Lyne. So, when it came time for him to do his "MTV movie," the result is something rather stiff and stuffy. There are some good, memorable sequences. "Let's Hear It for the Boy" is a good example -…

  • Say Anything... 1989

    ★★★★ Watched 30 Oct, 2014

    What sets Cameron Crowe's teen movie apart from the pack is its intelligence, which runs through the entire picture - from the screenplay to the soundtrack to the casting - and never feels smug or self important.

    Also... It's not a gimmick or high concept movie in the least. It's just a human love story about two real people, anchored by three terrific performances at the core.

    John Cusack and Ione Skye play two very believable young people who fall…

  • The Big Chill 1983

    ★★★★★ Watched 29 Oct, 2014

    It's interesting the thing with generational movies like this one, and what happens as you grow older.

    Long considered the ultimate baby boomer movie, that's actually a little disingenuous. Because, sure, in lieu of a musical score, the film is littered with one 60's pop hit after another to the degree that you feel you're trapped inside your father's old Buick with nothing but his 8 tracks to keep you company...

    But, what the hell, at least they're good songs…

  • Red State 2011

    ★★ Watched 28 Oct, 2014

    About as subtle as a kick to the nuts, Kevin Smith's commentary on middle American extremism amounts to little more than 90 minutes of high octane nonsense.

    But, to some degree, I will concede that it's interesting.

    It's interesting to see this filmmaker try something outside his wheelhouse. Though, to be honest, I'm not really sure what his wheelhouse even is. Full disclosure: counting this, as of this writing, I've only seen four Kevin Smith films in my life. I'm…

  • House 2: The Second Story 1987

    ★★ Rewatched 25 Oct, 2014

    Not sure how this came about. I'm guessing they had this screenplay lying around over at Sean S. Cunningham's production company offices and, when House was a sleeper hit, they rushed it into production so it could come out within a year and - whatever it may have been called initially - they slapped on the title "House II" and called it a day.

    I suppose the idea is this is the franchise built up of "horror movies" (more on…

  • The Presidio 1988

    ★★★ Rewatched 25 Oct, 2014

    Sean Connery followed his Untouchables triumph with this engaging programmer in which he basically plays the same character... A tough as nails veteran officer who is partnered with a young whippersnapper and they bring down some shady bad guys.

    The bad guys are not Al Capone or flashy gangsters. They are simply anonymous, faceless assholes dressed in slick, pricey suits. And, for some, the fact the plot doesn't really amount to a hill of beans might be a disappointment.

    But…

  • St. Elmo's Fire 1985

    Watched 25 Oct, 2014

    There is a line to cross... When "Cheesy Eighties Nonsense" is simply nonsense. It's a line this inexplicably "classic" film straddles during its entire running time.

    I suppose it helps if you look at it like The Big Chill for 25-year-old 1985 cokeheads. In that sense, it's almost a fascinating historical document. But I'm really not sure what co-writer/director Joel Schumacher was thinking here. What his point was or what he was trying to say.

    Are these shallow, borderline psychopathic…

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Oct, 2014

    Nothing more and nothing less than an entire Film School course, compressed into sixteen hours. Pedantic professor included.

    Mark Cousins' heavily researched, richly detailed documentary certainly shows a lot of affection for its subject. And I think hardcore film buffs will definitely appreciate how he casts a wide net...placing great emphasis on world cinema and its international appeal as well as impact and influence.

    It takes a little getting used to though. A little growing into... Some may be captivated…

  • House 1986

    ★★★ Rewatched 18 Oct, 2014

    There's not much you can say about a goofy 80s horror comedy, starring William Katt in his one and only starring role in a theatrical feature film; that blends haunted house spookery with goofy slapstick, has a soundtrack of cheesy Harry Manfredini music combined with some choice selections from the Phil Spector wall of sound, and features monsters that seem to have been created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop...all of it contextualized within the 'Nam PTSD usually reserved for action…

  • The Equalizer 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Oct, 2014

    More like The Punisher, really... In which Denzel Washington makes it his mission to -- very PAINFULLY and COMPLETELY -- um... DECIMATE the Russian mob. Um... In its ENTIRETY... After Chloe Grace Moretz gets slapped around.

    Like, seriously...

    DON'T SLAP CHLOE GRACE MORETZ... And GOD HELP YOU IF SHE ENDS UP IN THE HOSPITAL should be the tagline for this film.

    This extremely entertaining film.

    Antoine Fuqua has updated the cult 80s show as a flashy comic book movie in…

  • Deliverance 1972

    ★★★ Rewatched 15 Oct, 2014

    Familiarity has dulled the edge on this particular American classic. And so it is most likely not as potent as it once was. Though it does have potent imagery and, as a standard survival adventure, it still works.

    How much enjoyment you get out of it depends on how invested you are in the main characters and their plight. In 1972, I suppose Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox were about as general a representation of the…