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  • Straight Outta Compton

    Straight Outta Compton

    ★★★½

    I've always been more of a metal guy, but was really into Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions. My little brother introduced me to N.W.A in 1989 and all I could think to compare it to was the thrash metal and hardcore punk, certainly not in the sound but in the aggressiveness and the attitude. I wish the movie could have captured that raw intensity a little more. It's very well made, with exceptional performances (especially O'Shea Jackson, Jr. who…

  • The First Purge

    The First Purge

    ★★½

    I think I like the idea of the Purge movies better than the finished product. They all have their moments and some decent casting. Y'lan Noel is no Frank Grillo, but he provided a likable enough hero and I did get a thrill seeing him do his best "The Raid" imitation in that apartment building. It just seems like what the filmmakers are trying to achieve and what shows up on the screen are two different things. It's a good one to see with an enthusiastic crowd though. Meanwhile, I'll be eagerly waiting for that new line of choose-your-own adventure books set in the Purge universe.

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  • Rats: Night of Terror

    Rats: Night of Terror

    ★★★

    You can rarely accuse director Bruno Mattei (here under his Vincent Dawn alias) from not delivering on his titles. Sure, the acting is wooden, the dubbing hilarious (check out the Southern belle accent in "Rats"), and technical deficiencies abound, but there are lots of rats. Big ones, small ones, white ones and black ones, fake ones and as is par for many Italian 80's horror movies, real ones that are set on fire and let loose to run around screeching.…

  • The Equalizer

    The Equalizer

    ★★★½

    If watching Denzel Washington take out a Home Depot full of Russian baddies with a store full of power tools for two hours is wrong, I don't want to be right.