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  • The Longest Night

    The Longest Night

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Apr, 2015

    1972 ABC Movie of the Week stars Sallie Shockley as Karen Chambers, who is kidnapped and held at ransom from her wealthy father. James Farentino plays the kidnapper, who tricked out a coffin-esque box for Karen underground - complete with air ventilation, light and food.

    The kicker is, the box runs on a battery with just enough juice for one week (depending on light and fan usage.) If they don't come up with the ransom money, she'll be left for…

  • Night of Terror

    Night of Terror 1972

    ★★ Watched 15 Apr, 2015

    Passable movie-of-the-week material dragged down by the kind of over-blown dramatics that would come to be expected from spoofs of material from this time.

    There's a few especially puzzling and unintentionally humorous eyeball-reactions and audio dubs (especially one character in the opening scene.)

    That said, the picture won an Emmy for cinematography, and there are a few striking shots mixed in there for good measure.

    Aside from a couple memorable moments, this one drags on a bit in the middle stretch and just generally doesn't muster up all that much interest until the finale.

    Middling, but not a waste of time.

  • Night of the Juggler

    Night of the Juggler 1980

    ★★★★ Watched 13 Apr, 2015

    Damn! Thoroughly gritty and sleazy NYC based thriller finds James Brolin searching for his wrongfully-kidnapped daughter - and fending off any number of obstacles, including a crazed cop chasing him with a shotgun.

    The villain is a coo-coo-creeper, who thinks he has a 'million dollar' kid, when in-fact he has kidnapped the wrong one. Mandy Patinkin shows up wonderfully as a cab driver, and the whole film features plenty of legitimate New York atmosphere - warts and all.

    Definitely an overlooked thriller, and surprisingly hard-edged and unapologetic for a mainstream release.

  • Colpi di luce

    Colpi di luce 1985

    ★★★★ Watched 13 Apr, 2015

    Oh, hell yeah!

    Erik Estrada stars in Enzo G. Castellari's LIGHT BLAST!

    This one has it all: copious amounts of car chases and gunshot squibs, a laser-wielding mad-man who is terrorizing San Francisco and attacking large digital clocks, a ton of Indiana Jones-esque face-melting sequences, and a scene where Estrada carries cooked chicken into a hostage situation and then shoots the bad dudes with a gun hiding in said chicken.

    It's all pretty much spectacular and there aren't any major luls to be found, and Castellari shoots it all in his gritty pseudo-doc street-level style which only adds to the film's charm. Recommended.

  • The Longest Ride

    The Longest Ride 2015

    ★★½ Watched 13 Apr, 2015

    Honestly, not that bad of a movie, as far as Sparks adaptations go.

    For the better part of the first half, I was wishing this movie had more of the trademark Sparks ridiculousness - because for a good chunk, it's a pretty tepid and standard romance flick executed slightly better than it usually is.

    Eventually the film becomes something of a delivery service for another, more above-average flick with flashbacks involving Jack Huston and Oona Chaplin. All of this is…

  • Programmed to Kill

    Programmed to Kill 1987

    ★★★ Watched 13 Apr, 2015

    Had this one on in the background while doing some writing, so some stray observations:

    Paul Walker? *checks IMDB* Oh shit, it's a super-young Paul Walker!
    Roberty Ginty. Oh, awesome.
    • Pretty effective opening gun-fight.
    • Actually, for an on in the background movie, this flick succeeds pretty spectacularly - every time I looked up from the computer something pretty awesome was happening throughout.
    • The autopsy-to-make-her-a-cyborg scene is pretty gnarly - popping out eyeballs and stuff while…

  • The Great Muppet Caper

    The Great Muppet Caper 1981

    ★★★½ Watched 12 Apr, 2015

    I've seen a lot of reviews call The Great Muppet Caper over-plotted, and I can definitely see why. It feels a bit longer than it actually is, thanks to the structure.

    That said, the humor and charm of the Muppets keeps this one kicking - some of my favourite Muppet gags can be found in this one, for sure. Only a few of the songs totally land, but the ones that do are fantastic.

  • Paper Man

    Paper Man 1971

    ★★★½ Watched 11 Apr, 2015

    Paper Man is a 1971 TV techno-thriller that is at once ahead of its time, and ripe for an update.

    The plot centers around four students who receive a credit card in the mail, and create a fictitious identity around the name on the card using the early computer at school; I'm talkin' pre-monitors early. Soon, a gun shows upon the credit receipt - only none of them bought it. Could the computer be systematically taking these students out, or…

  • The Witches

    The Witches 1990

    ★★★★ Rewatched 11 Apr, 2015

    First time watching this movie in at least 10 or more years, having seen it again and again as a child. This movie has such a... texture... to it, I don't even know how to describe it.

    Still awesome, though, and would surely still scare the heck out of some kids today.

  • Action U.S.A.

    Action U.S.A. 1989

    ★★★½ Watched 09 Apr, 2015

    Listen: while this movie doesn't hold a candle to the kind of action-fests that PM ENTERTAINMENT churned out in the 90s (see: RAGE for my personal favourite), as far as late-eighties action flicks goes, this one has the goddamn goods.

    When was the last time a movie made you involuntarily toss your arms in the air and clap them over your head? Because ACTION U.S.A. made me do that. One second I was watching the opening car chase, and the…

  • Heavenly Creatures

    Heavenly Creatures 1994

    ★★★½ Watched 08 Apr, 2015

    Though the Jackson-isms are alive and well in Heavenly Creatures, it's still quite the turn from Dead Alive / Braindead to this in just two years.

    Had been meaning to see this one for years and years, and finally got to it - a great film. Hard one to shake, will probably be pondering this one a while (which could see it getting bumped up to 4 / 5).

  • Furious 7

    Furious 7 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Apr, 2015 4

    Torn on a lot of elements of Furious 7 - I love the ever-heightening ridiculousness of the fims, and the transition into superhero-slash-cartoon-spy territory, but I'm not 100% sold on Wan's take here, as a director.

    Some of his visual trickery works well (some tasteful slo-mo moments in fist-to-fist fight scenes was nice), but elsewhere not so much - some of his spinny-winny camera moves were just too much.

    I had a big stupid grin on my face for most…