After.Life(2009) - I wanted to like this, but Liam Neeson wasn't convincing enough in character to pull off what he did plot-wise. Justin Long wasn't half as convincing as he was in Tusk, which hit me pretty goddam hard. Christina Ricci did a great job acting and was graciously unclad for many scenes, which I appreciated, but her role was irritatingly limited. It had an old gothic plot where Neeson has to convince Ricci she's dead, but there are way too many leaps of logic and attitude reversals that it just wasn't believable. The is-she isn't-she didn't work, it just felt meandering. All mood, but no substance with which to justify such heavy-handed aesthetics. I might also have a problem with Liam Neeson, it's hard for me to believe he is any character ever, and to care what he's doing, most of the time. There is some lackluster quality to his pretension that turns me off.
Altered(2006) - This is one of the best alien movies I've ever seen. Three friends trap one of the creatures trying to trap them, and take them to an estranged friend, who just happened to be abducted with the rest of them when they were kids. That's like, five minutes. The movie really takes off from there, with a chained, weird, very otherworldly creature on a table in a garage. It's such a completely different take on abduction stories. Flipped on its head, really. It takes this otherworldly, surreal notion that humans are being taken for some unimaginable circumstances at any time, and brings it down to Earth, very carnally. Very brutally. If we abduct an alien, what happens? I also really like the role reversal of one of the main characters. This slightly chubby, mullet-sporting redneck is the calm and rational, mature member of the group. Fine, he has a mullet, fine he wears plaid. He just also happens to be the rational mind of the group of friends. Their estranged friend looks like a hero, but is too scared to take up the mantle of the hero until there is no other option.
Anaconda(1997) - I saw this in the theatres and really liked it. The special effects are pretty rough to rewatch these days, but it's a solid weird twisty animal terror movie. Oh, and Jon Voight does this accent in it? This weird, unplaceable accent that is just...off-putting. What a creep.
Angel Heart(1987) - Mickey Rourke is a detective paid to look for a guy and ends up in a voodoo sex mystery. It has everything! I can't even tell you some of the stuff because the story is so good. JUst watch it. Pretty crazy, great story, very vivid, amazing performances all around. Yea, go watch it. It's pretty dark. So, uh...
The Animatrix(2003) - A fantastic movie based on the unreality from the Matrix series focusing on pushing beyond the cage that people live inside in order to live fuller lives. Amazing animation in all forms, unique stories that don't feel trite. Loved it.
Billy Madison(1995) - What are you looking at swan? Plus, Norm was in it. So...I mean. It's amazing. Oh and Bradley Whitford!
Black Side Mountain(2016) - Really good horror movie. A little on the Indian-burial-ground side, but original enough that it doesn't get in the way, and the mythology is vague enough that it doesn't feel trite. I thought it was extremely well done and very fun to follow along with as everyone goes mad. It didn't go to undue lengths explaining how anything happened, but it didn't rely on a completely untethered madness floating in the ether. There is some undefined concrete horror that ovewhelms characters. Wrapped up in an interesting, creative plot!
Blade(1998) - This movie is so good because nobody knew how to do a dark comic book movie, especially in a more modern setting with an antihero. There were very simple succesess, Superman movies and whatnot, but a crazy, repressed, moralistic violent half-vampire who lived in the underworld? Not much of a playbook for that. I think whatever happened, they had a very definite storyline and feel that they followed through with and resulted in a great movie. I liked the second one almost as much as the first, and they lost me with the third. The first Blade with Wesley Snipes, though, redefined the vampire genre and had tons of fun twists and a great Dorffy villain.
Bong Joon Ho movies - I haven't seen one I didn't love. Started with The Host, Snowpiercer is an amazing sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Parasite is great, uhhhh...The one...with. Okja! Love it all, love all of it. The girl is so good in Okja, what an actress. And story. What a great everything. What a great writer director. Give me more.
Brotherhood of the Wolf(2001) - Such a strange movie. Highlander and Kato fight against a monster terrorizing the French countryside at the behest of an incestuous prince. But I really liked it when I first swatched it, and gave it another go, just for fun. Christopher Lambert is such a good character actor. Ha! I just checked and it isn't even Christopher Lambert! Sorry. Maybe that's why I enjoyed his performance here so much? Samuel Bihan? Yeesh.
Cabin in the Woods(2011) - This is the best horror movie I've ever seen and one of my favorite movies, period. It's a horror comedy, but in a way completely unparalleled. It is a horror movie. Inside of that horror movie is enough comedy, that it is a horror comedy. But the comedy is never cheap or out of place. This movie is amazing. Amazing. I'm literally thinking about watching it again right now because I'm tying about it. And all the G-men? Hilarous. God what a good goddam movie.
Candyman(1992) - Really good and weird. It's thirty years ago now that this movie was made, and I can feel the generational disconnect. I still very much enjoyed the almost Lovecraftian way the main character loses her mind and her soul, where you can never quite tell if she is insane and killing all these people or the urban legend she's changing is always one step ahead. Yea. Thumbs up. Very excited to watch the 2021 version. But I think I'll finish the original trilogy first. I did watch the second movie, and liked it as much as the first. There's such a weird slant to these horror movies, especially for the hook being so simple. The hook! I'll definitely watch the third and the reboot.
The Chipmunk Adventure(1987) - I was born in this year, and watched Alvin and the Chipmunks go around the world being chased by hitmen while hittin on the Chippettes. The songs were so good! I should watch this again...
Citizen Kane(1941) - I watched this a long time ago, and remember being impressed with the psychological scale of it, how it deeply impacted me even though almost everything they talked about was practically over half a century removed from my experience. Ha, I most well remember Welle's brooding. He brooded very well. The concepts, though, were almost carnal, primal in their ability to remind humans of how little everything really matters. I'd like to watch it again sometime.
Clown(2016) - Heard about this on LPOTL, excited to see it, did not disappoint. Very run-of-the-mill storyline, acting, cast, for about twenty minutes. Then the costume goes on, and the dad can't get it off. Then he goes more and more insane and everything spirals out of control. It doesn't go full Krampus at the end, but that seems to make the entire movie an enjoyable horror rather than ten minutes of it.
Come to Daddy(2019) - Elijah Wood makes weird movies. In this one, Norval gets a letter of invitation from his dad, who he hasn't seen since he was five or so. His dad doesn't remember sending him a letter and is drop-dead-drunk all day in a beach house. After some arguments, revelations and murder attempts, Norval realizes the man he's been living with all week isn't his father. After some violence, Norval finds an underground cell that his dad has been imprisoned in. The rest of the bad guys show up and they gotta figure out how to get out of there! I liked this movie a lot because the reveal was so unexpected. And the way they escape is insane. Elijah Wood has a knack for making movies that surprise me.
Dirty Work(1998) - Norm died! That was an unwelcome surprise. As a result I spent a couple days watching a lot of his work. His comedy had me laughing for hours. Dirty Work is pretty poorly acted and put together, but I loved it and watched it a dozen times just because Norm MacDonald is hilarious. Everything he did was hilarious.
The Endless(2017) - A fun Lovecraftian horror flick where two brothers who escaped from a cult end up going back to take another look. There's just enough special effects to be creepy, and lots of fun weird characters. Everything is uncanny and there's lots of horrible bits sprinkled without. I dug it. More than I thought I would, to be honest.
Face/Off(1997) - Another favorite. You can't not watch it. Nicholas Cage being a madman and Travolta acting heterosexual against a very solid plotline(I mean...pretty solid....well...firm)? So much fun. Too much fun. That's the tagline to this movie. Too much fun.
Faultline(2004) - Holy crow. Don't watch this. I couldn't. Just. Ridiculous dialogue, staging, idk. Guess it's supposed to be a monster movie, I couldn't get past fifteen minutes or so. Very difficult to watch.
Freddy vs Jason(2003) - I hadn't watched many Friday or Elm. St. movies at the point I watched this movie, and I think that the commitment made to this comical, monster brawler was so much fun I started getting into both of them. Friday clearly wasn't going anywhere soon, but Freddy had all kinds of character development. This was fun. I think I watched it again and didn't like it as much, but the feeling I had watching two surreal nightmares punch each other over and over again was a pretty damn good time.
Friday the 13th(1980) - The original one would have been a fine standalone film, not one of the sequels was any good UNTIL! Until we get to Jason X, where Jason is a nanobot-infested murderer in space that I could not help enjoying, and then laughing at. This movie was so much fun. The nanobots redesign his machete. God this was dumb and fun, I think when he spent literally five minutes slamming one cheerleader in a sleeping bag into another I didn't stop laughing the whole time. It's happening in the background during some scientific mumbo jumbo conversation goes on. Gosh that was a fun time.
Funny Games(2007) - remake of the Austrian movie, a disturbing home invasion movie. It was good, but doesn't really have much of a purpose for me. I haven't seen it in a while, and remember all the violenc, but if it supposed to be a comment on the violent burgeousie doing what they will with the proletariat, idk. It is disturbing, and impactful, and the cast is perfect. But I also would like things to have a point. It's very hard for me to enjoy a movie that is supposed to be a painting, appreciated for its existence. I long for stories.
The Goofy Movie(1995) - Oh my GAH! Talk about great songs! They have a few. Coupled with the coming of age story and my first true animation crush Roxanne!, this movie stuck with me to today. Which made me watch it at 33 years old last year(2020) and marvel at how much I enjoyed the story. I felt just as bad as I ever did for Goofy when Max was a total DICK and loved singing along with the parts I remembered. This movie actually knocked me on my ass when I realized there wasn't one or two songs in the film, but it was a legitimate musical! Fantastic. Surprisingly, I don't have the soundtrack, and when I got it, the songs just don't seem right without the movie. As opposed to lots of other musicals, like the Lion King. Wait, I only have four songs from the Lion King on my phone. Huh. Anyway, this is a great, touching, instructive movie. I love it.
The Green Sea(2021) - very odd. I liked it for the supernatural elements, dreamscape elements, episodic nature and...well, the setting is very nice and it's well shot(edit: I love how completely natural the main character, Simone, seemed as a drunk asshole. She wasn't a loveable asshole or a clever or funny drunk, she was just drinking and hateful and an inconsiderate asshole. Really, one of the more believable drunk characters I've seen in a long time. I kind of wish there hadn't been such a big reveal at the end about why Simone drank all the time. It seemed unnecessary for me! But I watch too many movies. And I still liked it overall. Wish I heard a bit more from the nice mechanic.
The Holy Mountain(1973) - Are you kidding me? It's Jodorowsky. Written and directed and everything. Go frickin' watch it. Have you not seen it already? Go. Go watch it. I did like the Gunfighter better. The gunslinger? Cowboy man? I don't know, I'll look it up and write about it later.
Hunter Hunter(2020) - I happened across this horror survival movie and was hooked immediately. Good characters, constant twists and turns through latent horror bleeding through the plot. And the ending! woo! Horror recommend.
In the Mouth of Madness(1994) - I love that this is Sam Neill the year after Jurassic Park. It has a genuinely twisted ending that is very mind-bending, and John Carpenter does his usually fantastic job at presenting a creepy and terrifying experience. I like Hobbs' End as a town, and am also glad we didn't focus on how weird a town it was for too long. The plot didn't belabor the point that Hobbs' End is a fucking weird place, it just kept showing weird, awful things happening because of awful mystical hell intentions. Recommend.
Independence Day(1996) - For Jesus' Christ, I still get excited about this movie. Perfect cast, perfect plot, so much fun action and horror. I mean. Geez, you know what? I'm going to have to watch some critiques. I still get shivers every time I see Bill Pullman's speech. It's such a great movie.
John Wick(2014) - Boy, this trilogy. The first movie sets up such a perfectly callous beginning that it's almost as artful as a comic. The entire movie is an amazing revenge story. No faults that I could find, and even some very creative points. I loved it, really, just had a fun action time. The second? Not memorable, but definitely made sense and was another fun action movie, but not as good as the first. Holy crow, the third? I couldn't get over how lazy every part of the movie was. The main female assassin was my favorite part, but she couldn't have weighed more than a hundred pounds and was arm-barring people twice her size. John seemed tired during all the action sequences, like he was thinking "Well, if they shoot me, it's fine, I"m in a movie," and the main...bad...assassin, whatever, was a crushing disappointment. It was my good friend from Brotherhood of the Wolf, but it seems like they wanted to pretend so hard that he was part of the orginal story that the injuries he sustained and keept going away at were disappointing. There was...boy did I not enjoy that third movie. I liked the first two enough that I actually went to a midnight showing in Queenstown, thinking there was no way even a third movie could mess up what I had enjoyed thus far in the trilogy. And I was humbled by the amount of laziness put into this movie. I don't know if they were playnig it safe, but, dang. I will have to watch it again some day just to make sure it's as bad as I remember, but...man. First movie? Almost perfect. Second? Very fun ride, could easily be redeemed by a solid closer. Third? Bored after thirty minutes, bored bored bored, irritated irritated never stops, then bored then it's over. I was sitting there in mild shock while the credits were rolling, and the guy sweeping up popcorn told me there was no after-credits scene. I had to ask what he thought of the third movie, and he said "I thought it would be good, but, I don't know, I guess it...you know...." and trailed off. He couldn't even look at me, the poor guy seemed so embarrassed. Luckily New Zealand rocks, otherwise the third John Wick would have tainted the country for me. It's the only trilogy I can think of where the third installment left me as destitute as the first had left me ecstatic.
King Arthur(2004) - A great retelling of King Arthur(if you couldn't guess). I liked all the characters, even Stellan Skarsgaard. Who is about as potato-bland an actor as they come, for me. Mads Mikkelsen has a great Killshot vibe, there's a child to take care of, some revolutionary action and very fun sword slices. Wouldn't mind seeing it again sometime. Thing is, I watched it so many times that I don't think I'd appreciate a rewatching now. Oh! The song that Bors' wife sings the night before everyone departs is beautiful. Yea. Good flick.
Krampus(2015) - I love the weird Krampus folktale, and I think I had fun watching this, but there is almost nothing that sticks except the sleigh attack at the end? I don't know, maybe I was filthy drunk. I'll watch it again sometime. Overall, I got a positive vibe.
The Last Wave(1977) - A fantastic look at oboriginal Australian mysticism and I guess catastrophic climate change? The story is very engaging, very nebulous, and the foreboding atmosphere really takes you along for the ride. A group of aboriginals are accused of murdering another, and the secret is that they are actualy tribal aborigines living in the city, which is thought to be impossible. The corporate tax lawyer who becomes their advocate realizes that the dreams and visions he's having are related to something much more important than the court case. David Gulpilil and Nanjiwara are real aborigines acting in the film, and their story is just fascinating, as is the lawyer's mystical descent into madness or premonition.
The Last Winter(2006) - Weird, weird movie. Has a bunch of great actors, and a good enough story for me, but everyone died before they got to interact with the bizarre arctic beasts that were around. I feel like the beasts weren't explained well enough and there was zero conflict once everyone realized something was wrong. No defense. No logic at all, just bullheadedness as everyone gets picked off one by one. For a compelling theme, the execution was oddly sterile.
Looper(2012) - The opening sequence of this movie with Paul Dano is still one of the most disturbing scenes I've ever seen. I liked the story, yea. Probably won't watch it again, but I'm glad I've seen it.
The Man in the Glass Booth(1975) - I like films based on plays because they are so often more dense than screenplays written to be screenplays. With a finished theatrical work, it's like the writers feel compelled to squeeze in as much magic as possible from the original work. I loved this movie because I thought the main character was a perfect genius, and while I don't know why he pretended to be a Nazi, I feel like I could understand why during my watching. Then, when the movie ended, the spell ended. I might watch it again, or more likely, read the play. But very entertaining, and horrible. Much respect to this movie.
The Matrix series(1999) - When I first watched the movie, I thought I identified with the actual premise for a while, that the world around me was literally artificial. I now think that I identified with the artificiality of my society rather than the physical compenents that made it up. I think I already identified with people believing very strongly in the world they grew up in to the point that anything outside of their known world was "impossible." And I liked all the kung fu and weird characters and superpowers. That closing scene in the first movie is friggin' perfect.
Mortal Kombat series(1995) - I liked all the live-action movies and the TV show, but there just wasn't enough interest in video games twenty years ago to justify proper budgets. The new Legends movies in 2020 and 2021 were both good, I think the 2020 was a litle better. But it's a great series overall and fun to watch. And it has the best mindless theme song ever. MOR-TAL KOM-BAAAAAAAT!!!
The Mummy series(1995) - I watched the first one maybe twenty times because the hot priestess in the beginning has golden blue boobs and Brendan Fraser is so funny and Rachel Weisz is cute and the story is amazing and the monster is monstrous. Loved everything about it. I watched the second Mummy maybe a hundred times. I got into this routine where I would watch the first half after school and fall asleep just as the pygmummies leapt from the trees. Pass right out. It was pretty cool.
The Nightmare on Elm Street(1984) - This became very interesting to me as it was the only horror series which consistently held my attention and interest, up to the point of looking forward to the next installment. Heather...Lagenkamp! Yea, I don't know the names of any actor from Friday the 13th except for Jaime...Curtis. But I really liked Heather Lagenkamp's performance in every single movie. Including the last one. The last one I watched is where Freddy invades Lagenkamp's life in the "real world." Gosh. Gosh oh gosh, it's really good. I really like this series.
Old Boy(2003) - I will punch you in the face if you tell me anything could improve this movie. Goddam, what a suspenseful amazing thriller. With tons of good fighting and the first twist that fucked me up for weeks. This movie is so well crafted and complex while remaining coherent that I...liked it. Sorry I couldn't finish stronger there. Omigersh, the hotel room? The octopus? Everything. What an amazing performance by the main character who is Korean so I don't know his name.
Once(2007) - A fantastic Irish romance movie with original music composed by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. I think I loved it because happy endings are for idiots, and this movie has a very happy ending, and you don't get to see it. Beatiful, fun, very moving because of the score. Soundtrack? Very moving because of one of those. I took several friends to this movie and one fell in like with me and her boyfriend was upset about it and was not upset when my girlfriend(not his girlfriend) cheated on me while she was drunk. Falling Slowly is a very good song from this movie. But so is the battery song? Whatever that battery song is. It's great.
Possessor(2021) - Yea, good. Loved the ending. The main lady who possesses people to turn them into psycho assassin-suicides for some high-level job ends up being taken over by her host mind and kills her family herself and then I think succumbs totally to the host mind and he takes over her body and job? The ending was a little confusing for me after the murders. the final murders. Of that movie.
Reefer Madness(2005) - I love this movie. So funny, everyone is beautiful, the dancing is amazing, the set and costumes are frickin perfect. The songs are fun! The animation is great. Everything is great. And it tells the squares to get out of town.
Riddle of the Stinson(1987) - True story about a 1936 Crash of a Stinson in some mountains near Sydney. A reclusize bogun(yea, I know the word) who is suave and clever and suspicious of the government's capabilities goes out and finds the plane himself! That's the movie. Could have been shorter.
Rush Hour(1998) - I thought this movie was hilarous. My friend and I saw it about six times in the movie theater? Roughly. I would watch it again. I remember the second one was fine and the third one was embarassing, but...the first one is gold. So much good action, before I know Jackie Chan was a very likely drug runner and sex trafficker. Recommend!
Salo(1975) - I'm not sure if this movie is generally positively reviewed because so many people are sexually repressed and feel like they have to artistically congratulate a completely disgosting film glorifying the sexual abuse of children via genital mutilation and eating fecal matter, but I just found it disgusting and without redeeming value. Positive reviews on it seem to liken it to the horrors of Nazi Germany, but I don't need a crude metaphor to understand the horror of genocide. And it's a ridiculous and thoughtless comparison to make. Watch it if you want to see how disgusting a movie can be while adhering to a strict "no-redeeming-qualities" mantra, but I don't think you should watch it since the movie is just humiliating, violent, excrement-laden child porn.
The Screaming Silent(2016) - Found footage film that I liked more than other found footage films. I liked the scene in which Shea is convinced of the worthiness of the movie script. I like the interplay between Kurt and Bryan. I didn't like that Kurt is only 0 or 100 in terms of psychosis. He hits 100 several times in a row, so what I expect is supposed to be his developing madness is no surprise later in the film. But if you want a found footage horror film, it's fun, the writing and cinematography is mostly good.
The Shape of Water(2017) - It's like Amelie. Wait, it's nothing like Amelie. They speak French. Everything else is gold. I like French. It's all gold. It's a great movie about a girl falling in love with a merman. Totally ridiculous unless you have Michael Shannon! Who is amazing. And all the other amazing crew members and cast. And a perfect dialogue. And visceral special effects. Amazing movie.
Somali and the forest Spirit(2020) - Really good story that starts out a little too cutesy for my taste and ends up getting pretty dark and sad, but exciting and touching as well. I dig it.
Southbound(2015) - A good anthology. The stories all fit together well, although I wish I knew what the dad in the last story had done to warrant what happened and why those masked characters were after him The special effects kept up with the creepiness, and there were a lot of pretty gruesome scenes that managed not to seem gratuitous to me. I liked it. Don't usually like anthologies, but I guess since these all seemed to fit into a larger tableau it was pretyt good. And none of the horror went overboard or was pedantically explained. Yea. good.
Space Jam(1996) - The first Space Jam is obviously a very fun, inspirational national treasure. I couldn't get past fifteen minutes of the second. "A Now Legacy" iiiiis rough. Lebron is such a bad actor I want to go back to the first one and see how bad Jordan et al. were.
Storm Boy(1976) - This is another good, very Australian, film. It's necessary to watch on my David Gulpilil journey. What's interesting is, I took a break after watching most of the movie, and got back to it later that afternoon. Checked the timestamp, I was only 19 minutes in! A shocking amount is packed into this pretty short movie. Clocks in under 80 minutes I think. David Gulpilil is amazing, of course, but it's the complexity of the character dynamics and the trained pelican that really threw me off. The star is a young Australian who is named Storm Boy by Bone-finger Bill, Gulpilil's character. The boy, 10 or something, lives with his dad, who wants his son to stay with him in his sea shanty instead of going to school in the city, his dad doesn't want him raisisng orphaned pelicans that the boy found. The dad is unhappy the boy is making friends with Bill. But the dad isn't even an unlikeable character. He's suspicious and...ornery, but he consistently proves that he loves his son and is willing to take a chance on a new path in life if it will benefit his son. Then there is everything that bill does, his cool pelican dance, his amazing storm singing, and jogging up with a rifle to confront poachers. Throw in some Australian mythology and amazing tricks the pelican in the movie does, like playing catch and...I'm sure there were other things. I just thought birds were dumb as hell! Turns out *I* am dumb as hell! Who knew?
Trollhunter(2010) - Thank you, Angie. Angie described the best scene in the movie to me and I watched it, and it's one of my favoriet movies. A crew of young strapping adults go searching for trolls in Norway and find them just a few seconds after a bearded hermit Troll hunter comes screaming out of the woods. And then things just keep getting better. What a great movie.
Twilight(some year, who cares?) - Yea, I saw it. I wanted to date a girl in college, she liked the books, I read them all the same weekend and discussed them with her, it worked, we dated three years. I loved her. But boy. Boy did I not want to see this movie. I did. And there was two minutes where the vampires played baseball, the most boring sport, where I was slightly interested in the movie. Then that ended and I can't remember anything else. He smelled her? Garbage.
Us(2019) - Boy oh boy, this might be my favorite horror movie. Home invasion movies are always weird and creepy, and I liked Funny Games, but the pure recklessness just didn't ring true. This has everything. A strange setting, strange creatures, strange worlds, and a beautifully circular plot that manages to stay thrilling for two hours straight. I could watch this again tomorrow. What a great horror movie.
The Wailing(2016) - A new ghost movie that felt old to me, just 90s ish. The way the ghost was dealt with and uncovered and everything was creative and creepy. I liked it, overall, but I got a little confused at the end, and definitely frustrated with the Dad who just refused to stick to ANYTHING. Seems like he coulh have avoided a lot of pain if he wasn't such a lazy non-thinker. But definitely worth a watch if you like ghouls and creepers.