One Sentence Movie Reviews – Oct 19, 2014

Hey hey hey, welcome back! (if you’ve been gone). My game of Intense-Catch-Up-On-The-Movies continues, so bear with me as my reviews finally approach what is currently being released this week! And I have some horror film reviews for you! Let’s get into this:

GONE GIRL (2014): Come for the tense missing-wife mystery, stay for the absolute devastation David Fincher and Gillian Flynn wage against the institution of marriage. A+

DRACULA UNTOLD (2014): Dracula’s most definitely previously-told origin (see: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992) is ok popcorn entertainment and nothing more. C

THE JUDGE (2014): The two Roberts (Duvall and Downey Jr.) tear through a melodramatic script to give viewers an intensely cathartic night at the movies. B+

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978): Philip Kaufman’s paranoia-fueled remake is pure 70’s cinema: fast, shadowy, and full of laughable hair. A-

FROM BEYOND (1986): One of the better Lovecraft adaptations out there, with special makeup effects that rival The Thing. B+

THE THING (1982): John Carpenter’s magnum opus is paranoia and nihilism-incarnate, with the most amazing special makeup effects ever seen, then AND now. A+

That’s all for now folks! As always, check out the archives for more, and support your local movie theater!

New Ultimate Casting Calls: Flash Gordon

Hey there, cinephiles! I promised and promised, and now, finally, is a new Ultimate Casting Calls! From out of the depths of space comes the war machines of Planet Mongo, led by Ming the Merciless! Who will save every one of us? All-American hero Flash Gordon, that’s who! He’s inspired everything from Star Wars to his own feature film, but poor Flash hasn’t had a good outing on screens since 1980. Want my two-cents on who should be a part of his cinematic revival? Check it out!


Fellow Blogster Ashley Brown’s Horror Show

Hey cinephiles! With October here and feelings of dread Halloween here, I thought I’d share with you a fellow critic’s new page! Ashley Brown is her name, and this month, horror movies are her game! As a personal friend and fellow critic, I’ve already enjoyed her work on Big Shock Media’s ongoing ‘True Dat’ blog, and now here’s a chance for all of you to do the same, as well as her new entry, containing horror film reviews with a snarky-mom twist and even pizza suggestions! YYYYYYYYYYYYYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Check out Ashley Brown’s Horror Show, playing all October! Doors open at midnight kiddies!

One Sentence Movie Reviews – Oct 3, 2014

It’s October everyone! Time for horror movies and lots of candy! As always for this month, I’ll be reviewing all sorts of scary, creepy, and strange thrillers in anticipation of Halloween, in addition to continuing the Year of Godzilla. Enjoy!

NO GOOD DEED (2014): I’m usually forgiving of the presence of dumb females in thrillers, but Taraji Henson’s character here single-handedly sinks the film; only recommended if you’re a huge fan of Idris Elba. D-

IF I STAY (2014): While it hues too closely to traditionalist afterlife formula, this heartfelt little film, like its main character (played wonderfully by Chloe Moretz), has a lot of fight in it. B-

THE GIVER (2014): Any potential this adaptation of Lois Lowry’s interesting book is squandered by the sub-par acting and lack of differentiation from other young adult dystopia fiction. D

THE NIGHT LISTENER (2006): A well-grounded creepy thriller with an ending that eschews Hollywood norms. B+

SATURN 3 (1980): The concept, set design, and various interesting touches add an air of somewhat-undeserved mystique around this entertaining-but-butchered labor of love by John Barry. C

Some more for the Year of Godzilla, including two international ‘kaiju’ films:

THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953): The original monster-on-the-loose film, complete with amazing effects by Ray Harryhausen. B+

GORGO (1961): The British film industry tries its hand at Tsuburaya-esque monster imagery; the results are stunning on a visual and storytelling level. B+

THE LAST WAR (1961): Toho’s depiction of World War III and the nuclear destruction of civilization is a nightmarish vision anchored by surprisingly touching human drama for a ’60s tokusatsu film. A- (The American version cuts nearly an hour of footage and places the entire film in a voiceover flashback, but is still worth seeing for a few interesting creative choices. C+)

FRANKENSTEIN VS BARAGON (1965): Toho turns Frankenstein’s monster into a giant kaiju, worthy of both Kumi Mizuno’s sympathy and an excitingly-clever battle with his dinosaur-like opponent, Baragon. C+

GAMERA (1965): Daiei Studios’ flagship monster and rival to Godzilla is introduced here with several memorable showdowns with the Japanese military, but as a whole, the film is very boring and repetitive. D+

INVASION OF THE ASTRO-MONSTER (1965): Probably the most entertaining Showa Godzilla film, with top-rate performances by everyone involved and the combination of classic monster battles and alien invasion. B+ (The American version, known as Monster Zero, is virtually identical to the Japanese cut, but will still get a recommendation for the simple fact that the grave sin of dubbing Nick Adams in Japanese is thankfully not committed here. B+)

As always, check out the archives for more, and support your local movie theater!

One Sentence Movie Reviews: Sept. 14, 2014

I know, I know, I never keep my promise to keep the updates coming fast enough. I apologize, it has been a trying emotional time lately, lots going on. I’ll just say that while it may take me awhile to get around to it, the blog will not disappear.

Anywho, here’s what I’ve watched in the meantime:

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (2014): I was pleasantly surprised with this high-energy reboot of the Heroes-in-a-Halfshell, even if I do miss some of Splinter & Shredder’s classic characterization. B-

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR (2014): While the intervening time between this and its predecessor is painfully obvious due to several missing actors, it’s not a bad hard-boiled night at the movies. C+

A MOST WANTED MAN (2014): Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s last leading role is a nuanced, guilt-laden character in a thinking man’s spy thriller. A-

APOLLO 13 (1995): Tense and heartfelt, this contender for Ron Howard’s best film shows humanity at its worst hour but finest performance. A

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (1998): Vincent Ward proves he’s one of the most fearless filmmakers alive with a strange but beautiful vision of a hopeful afterlife, guided by Robin Williams’ most subtle performance. A+

And some more from the Year of Godzilla:

THE BIRTH OF JAPAN (1959): Toho’s answer to The Ten Commandments is as compelling as its western counterpart. B+

MOTHRA VS GODZILLA (1964): One of the best Godzilla sequels pits the nuclear titan against one of his most distinctive foes, the Earth deity Mothra. B (The American version, known as Godzilla vs The Thing, is one of the more respectful Americanizations, adding in a well-shot missile attack sequences, but still faltering by referring to Mothra as “The Thing” in a cheap marketing trick. C+)

DOGORA (1964): One of Toho’s more distinctive monster designs, but not the most thrilling film in their catalog. D-

GHIDORAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER (1964): Toho’s first ‘monster rally’ delivers on the action and makes progressive choices concerning its human characters, but could use a tighter pace. C+ (The American cut, known as Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster, pulls off a nigh-impossible task and beats the Japanese cut with tighter editing that improves the pace but still keeps the integrity of the original film. B)

As always, check out the archives for more, and support your local movie theater!