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  • Quick Change

    Quick Change 1990

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 28 Aug, 2015 1

    This has always been a brilliant, overlooked comedy.

    In some ways, it's very specific and even a little insular - predicated strongly on an anti-New York sentiment that feels almost like a mission statement, and will seem overtly hostile to anyone outside of New York -- and yet locals can take it for the love letter that it begrudgingly is.

    What makes this a brilliant comedic work is as evident today as ever: The wonderfully unpredictable plot, based on surprise…

  • Rapid Fire

    Rapid Fire 1992

    ★★ Watched 28 Aug, 2015

    The first thing I can say about this mostly overlooked 90s action movie is that it has plentiful entertainment value.

    Apart from that, though, it's pretty fucking stupid.

    Though I can understand if this has some kind of cult appeal, simply by virtue of it being one of Brandon Lee's unfortunately few star vehicles.

    He might have had potential as an action star. He has some good moves and quite a bit of charisma... Even as he is still showing…

  • Running Scared

    Running Scared 1986

    ★★★★ Rewatched 25 Aug, 2015

    This movie shouldn't work. It's an action comedy featuring Billy Crystal (as an Italian) and Gregory Hines as a pair of gritty Chicago cops on the trail of Jimmy Smits in the role of Ricardo Montalban playing Tony Montana.

    At one point, it forgets it's a cop movie and becomes an 80s Florida resort comedy for a while, when the tough cops go on leave to The Keys, so they can buy a bar, and ride around on mopeds listening…

  • You're Next

    You're Next 2011

    ★★★ Watched 20 Aug, 2015

    In some ways, this is one of those typically overrated artsy indie horror films... From a filmmaker who wears his Carpenter/Craven influences very clearly on both his sleeves. It has the distinction of being undeniably skillful, however, even though I'll argue it forgets to have any real fun, I can't say it isn't effective.

    At least, once it gets going, which I wish happened a little sooner, because there is a little more setup than is probably needed. Especially when…

  • Mommie Dearest

    Mommie Dearest 1981

    ★★ Watched 20 Aug, 2015

    I have no doubt there is a compelling story buried somewhere within this narrative. Though, you'd have to see which story you really want to tell. On the one hand, you have the possible biography of a classic Hollywood star, who was also a deeply troubled woman, full of conflict raging in her, and perhaps even an undiagnosed mental illness. Or, if you'd like, it can be the dramatic story about that star's adopted daughter and her abusive relationship with…

  • WarGames

    WarGames 1983

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Aug, 2015

    Like most classic adventure fantasies of the 1980s, this is squarely a product by and of its time. It does have a timeless heart beating at its center, though, as it presents an idea that, however naive, is resonant enough to transcend the far fetched concept.

    I mean, it's not any kind of big revelation to say: "war is wrong," but if we look at things in context, this must have felt like a powder keg for audiences in 1983…

  • The Prince

    The Prince 2014

    Watched 18 Aug, 2015

    Jason Patric channels, I think, Treat Williams in this perfectly dreadful little action picture - with a standard kidnap/revenge scenario - that intends to be, I suppose, Taken meets Rolling Thunder. Or maybe it's just a gangster movie variation on Taken.

    Whatever it is, you can almost smell the mothballs. Because it feels like it spent about seven years sitting on some dusty shelf, or inside some drunken, coked-up small time Hollywood producer's locker at that gym or tennis club…

  • The Cobbler

    The Cobbler 2014

    Watched 02 Aug, 2015

    An amusing, even intriguing, premise in search of a story... Thomas McCarthy's stunningly tone deaf magic realism dramedy is a disaster.

    In which Adam Sandler plays the Jewish shoemaker of the film's title.

    That's it. Adam Sandler plays a cobbler with an old shop in the Lower East Side of NY. And I suppose one of the film's pleasures is a surprising sense of place. This was shot on location and, at the very least, the vibrant personality of New…

  • Insidious: Chapter 3

    Insidious: Chapter 3 2015

    ★★★ Watched 01 Aug, 2015

    At the very least, it's an interesting notion that veteran character player Lin Shaye can now have a supernatural adventure franchise to call her own. In fact, this third installment of the popular horror series plays very much like a superhero origin story. And, it should be noted, this is predating Marvel's Dr. Strange by at least a year or two.

    These are all intriguing notions. And the movie itself is also intriguing and entertaining. What it isn't, is particularly…

  • Chappie

    Chappie 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 31 Jul, 2015

    Neill Blomkamp repurposes elements of, I suppose, his favorite movies from the 80s into yet another one of his Johannesburg sci-fi action epics.

    The result is a squarely enjoyable movie that was perhaps unreasonably shit on by - let's call them - the INTERNET GEEK COGNOSCENTI for... Um.. For... I'm not sure why. I'm simply assuming it was because they decided they didn't like Blomkamp anymore because his last movie kind of sucked and so let's pick on Neill Blomkamp.…

  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

    Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation 2015

    ★★★ Watched 30 Jul, 2015 2

    And so... That's the template that's been established with this series, then. Some shady bad guy wants a McGuffin so he can kill a bunch of spies... Tom Cruise and company must get the McGuffin before he does. Meanwhile, they've all been disavowed by the CIA or whatever... The end.

    I'm giving them props first and foremost because at the very least they've known how to reheat the same tray of Lean Cuisine and keep serving it to us as…

  • Alien: Resurrection

    Alien: Resurrection 1997

    ★★★ Rewatched 27 Jul, 2015

    If nothing else, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's flamboyant fourth entry in the cycle cements the Alien series as one of the more interesting ones out there. Four singular films from four separate visionary filmmakers, each bringing their own personality to the table in unique ways.

    Another plus is that the film is definitely entertaining. Certainly more so than the third entry, if only because it at least injects a refreshing sense of play into the proceedings. Maybe it wasn't a conscious decision…