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  • Life

    Life

    ★½

    At best, this is a B-grade horror flick with an A-list budget. It has a few good scares here and there, but it's mostly just all the stupid "Don't go in the barn!" moments from a thousand slasher films, but in space. Each new misstep on the part of the crew inspires an eye roll and a groan: "I can't believe they went in the barn . . . ." If I've learned one thing from this movie, it's don't…

  • Freebie and the Bean

    Freebie and the Bean

    ★★

    I remember liking this movie when I was a kid, but watching it again after many years I was amazed at how unfunny it was. It's basically just two barely likable guys bickering for two hours. You can't understand what they're saying half the time because they're either mumbling or screaming over each other. The dialog seems to be all ad-libbed, and none of it generates a laugh. I like '70s cop films, and I'm generally a fan of the…

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  • The Lost World

    The Lost World

    ★★★

    Beyond the basic premise of dinosaurs in South America, the plot of this adaptation bears little resemblance to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original novel, but it does manage to evoke the general atmosphere of the story. Claude Rains captures the blustery arrogance of Professor Challenger, Conan Doyle's sci-fi hero. Performances by the rest of the cast are pretty dismal, except for maybe Fernando Lamas as a creepy, guitar-wielding helicopter pilot.

    Instead of using claymation for the dinosaurs, the special effects…

  • The Maltese Falcon

    The Maltese Falcon

    ★★★★½

    Bogart is at his best in this classic proto-noir thriller. For a guy who played so many anti-heroes, his portrayal of Sam Spade may just be his anti-est. It's a joy to watch a movie with so many despicable yet magnetic characters. The rest of the cast is phenomenal as well, and the rapid-fire dialogue is some of the best of its era. If the film has a flaw, it may be that it's TOO talky. Would it have killed…