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  • If I Stay 2014

    ★★ Watched 25 Aug, 2014

    If I Stay has the right elements in place to be a fairly well executed - if expected - teenage romantic drama. Unfortunately, it chooses to follow the book's structure of plotting it all around an accident that leaves the main character wandering through a hospital, unable to talk to anyone and experiencing the plot through flashbacks.

    This renders all of the goodwill a film like this can muster near-null. After a rocky start, the film does start to settle…

  • Tower of Evil 1972

    ★★★½ Watched 21 Aug, 2014

    Read the entire review of Tower of Evil at Modern Superior.

    Tower of Evil aka Horror on Snape Island from 1972 is exactly the kind of movie that you should hope to find digging through a dusty bin of VHS tapes at a thrift store or garage sale – which is precisely how I stumbled upon it.

    With its goofy – yet oddly fitting – photo-collage cover art and poorly written description, I was sure I’d be in for a…

  • Death Ring 1992

    ★★½ Watched 18 Aug, 2014

    Death Ring is a fair DTV actioner featuring: MCQUEEN! NORRIS! SWAYZE! DRAGO!

    Yes, Mike Norris (Chuck's son), Chad McQueen (Steve's son) and Don Swayze (Patrick's brother) are all here - though the latter doesn't show up until a full hour into the picture.

    Billy Drago plays a snake-blood drinkin' evil dude who sees Mike Norris win some kind of race, and decides that he needs him as a participant in his deadly man-hunting games.

    Yes, this is a Hard Target…

  • The Kindred 1987

    ★★★ Watched 13 Aug, 2014

    Read the full review on the Modern Superior Blog.

    First things first, The Kindred was written by about five people, and directed by two. The directors - Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow, who also co-wrote - had previously worked together on 1982's The Dorm That Dripped Blood aka Pranks as well as 1984's The Power. Carpenter wouldn't go on to direct anything again until 2001's Soul Survivors. The most notable of the other writers would be Joseph Sefano, who wrote…

  • Step Up All In 2014

    ★★★ Watched 11 Aug, 2014

    Reviewed for Episode 126 of the See You Next Wednesday Podcast.

    Step Up All In is a film that manages to be both stupid, and smart. Stupid, in that it adheres to all the cliches (although with some very light satire and knowing winks through in) of the genre while continuing the series' penchant for fairly poor acting, base humor and expected scripting.

    But, it's smart because the film wisely takes a step back from the over-blown nature of the…

  • The Beast Within 1982

    ★★½ Watched 06 Aug, 2014

    Read the entire review on Modern Superior.

    The Beast Within is a movie that never seems to fully click into place, despite having plenty of interesting pieces to work with. First and foremost, the film marks the debut of a one Tom Holland – who’s name you’ll remember adorning such films as Child’s Play, Fright Night, Psycho II, Class of 1984 and more.

    All of those films are resounding successes, in my eyes. He injected both the killer doll and…

  • Malibu Express 1985

    ★★½ Watched 03 Aug, 2014

    The first of Andy Sidaris' run of films focusing on babes, boobs and ba-booms! actually focuses a bit too much on the former two-thirds of his equation and not enough on the latter.

    Malibu Express is plenty amusing, but the plot is more of a whodunnit? which leads to the film scrambling to execute a number of reveals in the final act rather than actually driving the plot along throughout.

    The main character literally goes out of his way to…

  • SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground 1997

    ★★★ Watched 02 Aug, 2014

    Like any anthology film, Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground is at times spotty, but mostly it's an entertaining "whoa, look how young [actor] is!" driven HBO film that weaves ten stories by ten directors together.

    Maybe the closest you'll get to seeing Abel Ferrara direct something with a borderline fantasy/whimsical tone. Bob Balaban's segment with Steve Zahn and Jerry Stiller is another highlight, while even the worst of the bunch ("Subway Car From Hell" opens and closes the film, bizarrely) are at least goofily enjoyable in some respects.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 02 Aug, 2014

    God damn, that was a fun movie.

    There isn't a lot to be said that hasn't already, but it's full of hilarious moments, fantastic action with well-defined stakes, and nicely developed characters.

    Obviously, Groot and Rocket steal the show - can't remember the last time two non-human characters were this engaging and show-stealing in a movie like this. Where's my dancing groot seedling!?

    All that said, there's still issues here. The space-opera plotting will definitely take another viewing or two…

  • Free Ride 1986

    ★★★ Watched 02 Aug, 2014

    Free Ride is a standard 80s teen sex-comedy that is buoyed at moments by some fairly inspired gags and comedic performances.

    The plot involves a college student who inadvertently steals a car containing mob-money, but the film is more than willing to forego this for other T&A related hi-jinks along the way to its Rambo-inspired finale.

    Not an entirely memorable film, but you could do a lot worse within the genre, that's for sure.

  • Cards of Death

    ★★½ Watched 31 Jul, 2014

    A police officer wanders into a back-alley, and subsequently into a darkened, neon-tinged club-like room and is tied up and tortured with a cheese-peeler by two new-wave looking weirdos.

    When the police officer never resurfaces, an "investigation" takes place alongside a series of bizarre-yet-similar murders that have been taking place.

    Elsewhere, patrons arrive at the aforementioned club to play a poker-like game that involves tarot cards. If the Death card surfaces in your hand, you're killed. If you win the…

  • Impulse 1984

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Jul, 2014

    Impulse is an interesting town-goes-crazy mystery thriller with a solid set-up, some delightfully unnerving scenes, a great finale, but drags a little when entering the finale.

    Meg Tilly travels home - with her partner Tim Matheson - after her Mother commits suicide during a distressing phone call. Once there, they witness increasingly bizarre situations of townspeople acting out - like stealing from the bank, ramming cars that take their parking spot, etc.

    It all has a very vaguely Body Snatchers