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Short about male escort Mark (Michael Ellison) who suffers from anxiety
attacks. He goes to a clients hotel room...but runs out of his pills.
His client has to leave for a while and Michael runs into his clients
10 year old son Justin (Truman Chambers) who believes there's a monster
under his bed. Mark tries to get rid of the kid but then realizes that
this might be what he needs.
Kind of vague but ultimately touching little short. The ending is a little too pat but it is a (sort of) uplifting one. The acting is great by Ellison and especially Chambers. The whole film takes place in a hotel room and the corridor outside which actually helps the film. An interesting little gay short.
The classic horror story of Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) who makes a monster (Boris Karloff) who is mad and escapes and starts killing people. This is what a good old horror film should be. It moves quickly, is wonderfully directed by James Whale, has incredible sets, some good acting, and is (for its time) pretty violent. This was released on Christmas Eve in California and supposedly the audience was in hysterics by the end. There are accounts of people fainting in the theatre or walking out in utter disgust. The monsters accidental murder of a little girl was cut out completely (it's now back in) due to an angry backlash. It's kind of funny nowadays because this movie is pretty tame stuff. Still it is scary and pretty strong at times. This film understandably made Karloff a star. He's incredible as the creature. He has no lines of course but he has to emote through tons of makeup and a terribly heavy wardrobe. He makes you feel pity for the poor creature while you're still scared about the violence he causes. Quite simply a great film in every sense of the word.
A purportedly "funny" short. It uses footage from the silent "Nosferatu", Universal's 1931 "Frankenstein" and "The Cat Creeps". It shows these various monsters terrifying people as they do things. The narration is lame...very VERY lame! It's all supposed to be funny but it's not. The lines are supposed to be humorous but they're downright embarrassing. There's not one even remotely funny joke here and they're taking vicious jabs at the monsters themselves. To make matters worse they are CONSTANTLY repeating the same footage again and again and AGAIN until you're ready to scream. Each time it's introduced with some more terribly unfunny jokes. This is real cringe-inducing that is just insulting to horror fans and painfully unfunny to everybody. Universal should have kept this buried in its vaults.
A pretty good documentary on Universal's first wave of horror films from 1931 to 1939. It starts off with silent horror films which inspired the studio and filmmakers and gets into detail about Universal films like "Dracula" (the English AND Spanish versions), "Frankenstein", "The Mummy", "The Invisible Man", etc. etc. They have some great interviews with people who saw the movies in their original runs (the best are from Ray Bradbury and James Karen), clips from the films themselves, a VERY cool color home movie showing Karloff in his green makeup as Frankenstein and some non-Universal horror like "King Kong" and "Mystery of the Wax Museum". As a fan of old Universal films there was nothing new here but I was entertained. If you're a newcomer to those old films this is a good place to start.
Three attractive affluent kids--Sandy (Barbara Hershey), Peter (Richard
Thomas) and Dan (Bruce Davison) meet on Fire Island one summer. They
all start hanging out with Peter and Dan clearly attracted to Sandy.
Then plumb unattractive Rhoda (Catherine Burns) joins the group.
Feelings erupt, complication escalate and it all leads to a VERY
It's a coming of age film but a realistic one showing just how vicious teenagers can be. It's well made with superb acting by all four (Burns was nominated for an Academy Award) but I can't say it was a good film. The characters were unpleasant (Sandy is clearly a sociopath) and there are long dull stretches which go nowhere and add nothing to the plot. More than once I wondered where this film was going. However the harrowing final sequence more than made up for it. Be warned--the last part is extreme--the film got an X rating for that alone. So the acting and ultimate message make it worth seeing but it's sometimes pretty slow-going.
Very short documentary made in 1999 by Universal to celebrate their re release of the Dracula films. It mostly covers how Dracula was adapted to stage numerous times and in various productions. It also covers a lost silent film dealing with Dracula and "Nosferatu" the silent German classic dealing with him. You see people talking about Lugosi and the making of the movie. It's all somewhat interesting but there's nothing really new or exciting here. Also there are some questionable talkers--what exactly does Clive Barker have to do with Dracula? Also it ends very abruptly without even mentioning all the sequels Universal did and only a mention of the 1979 version. Still, all in all, it's OK.
A simple farm guy named Copper (Matthew McConaughey) and a few other
experts go into outer space to explore other worlds that might sustain
human life. It seems that that life on Earth might not survive due to
to some unexplained environmental disaster. Naturally nothing goes
WAY overpraised and terrible sci-fi movie. When I heard the plot from this I expected the worst. Writer/director Christopher Nolan has never been a favorite for me--I HATE what he did to Batman in his movie trilogy. I thought that he as trying to imitate Stanley Kubrick ("2001") here but it's far worse--he's doing Steven Spielberg! The movie runs WAY too long (165 minutes) and they're constantly pushing family friendly values in your face. Cooper's non-stop yammering about his daughter got on my nerves instantly. Also that stupid fake southern accent he adopts is immediately annoying. The story is very slow and all the characters are cardboard cutouts you've seen in other movies. The special effects are flawless and there's some beautiful cinematography here but the extreme length and boring story really weigh it down. Any sort of statement they're trying to make on time and life is completely deadened by the script. Also this movie is very manipulative and way too sentimental. They go out of their way to make the audience cry--like at a Spielberg movie. Well I did cry--tears of joy at the end that this was over! Also the gaps in logic and plot holes here are very annoying. I lost track of how many times I rolled my eyes at the dubious "logic" served up here. The acting was as good as it could be (I guess) but, at the end, they throw in a surprise guest star (who I won't name). It didn't help because I think he's a terrible actor and this didn't change my mind. I was bored and looked at my watch MANY times while this played. It's boring, obvious and manipulative. Why is this getting so much praise? Skip it.
Corbis (Ernest Borgnine), a servant of Satan, is seeking a book stolen
from him by the Prescott family. It has a list of all the people who
sold their souls to the Devil. Why he needs this book is never made
clear. He finally tracks them down and sets out to destroy them to get
What a shambles! The plot makes little sense and the "twist" ending comes out of nowhere. We have a great cast here (William Shatner, Eddie Albert, Tom Skerritt, Ida Lupino and Keenan Wynn) giving their all time worst performances. Supposedly the book makes more sense but I don't think I should have to read a book to understand a movie. It starts off OK (on a dark and stormy night no less) but gets confusing and, by the end, I was totally lost. Lousy special effects too. This only gets two stars for a good performance by Borgnine and a cool finale where most of the cast melts away. This is also John Travolta's first film--whether that's a plus or minus is up to the viewer. All in all though this is a confusing mess of a movie.
A maniac is killing off teenagers in the small town of Woodsboro. A
bunch of teens (among them Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich and Matthew
Lillard) try to figure out who's doing it and why. Meanwhile reporter
Gail Weathers (Courtney Cox) is trying to get the story from the town
deputy (David Arquette).
This came out in winter 1996. By then horror films were all but dead. However this one was a big hit with critics and audiences and started off a new wave of horror films. Why? Because it has a clever script with MANY references to older horror films; established the rules on how to survive a horror film; had smart, intelligent and likable teenagers and basically played with the genre and reinvented it. Also there is a good sense of humor in this but there's also some very graphic gore (especially at the end). This got an NC-17 from the ratings board until director Wes Craven agreed to tone down on the violence. The acting is good all around, it moves at a fast pace and I was constantly entertained by it. Also the opening 15 minutes with Drew Barrymore is terrifying. The only debit is Lillard. He overacts to a downright embarrassing degree and gets very annoying...especially at the end. Still, him aside, this is a great horror film. Highly recommended.
One day Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) comes home from running his bar to
find what looks like a break-in in his house and his wife Amy (Rosamund
Pike) missing. Quickly the police start up a search for her asking
people to help. Then we see flashbacks to how Nick and Amy met and how
their marriage was slowly unraveling. Then people start suspecting
Nick. Did he or didn't he?
Very good movie. The story is interesting and always keeps you guessing. It's long (2 and 1/2 hours) and slow but I was never bored. The acting is great. Affleck and Pike are both incredible in their roles. There's strong support by Carrie Coon (as Margo, Nick's sister), Kim Dickens (as a police detective) and Tyler Perry (as a lawyer). The only acting debit is from Neil Patrick Harris who's terrible. The only problem is the ending. It's TERRIBLE! It doesn't really end--it just stops leaving plenty of unresolved questions and plot lines. That really hurts the film as a whole. Still I recommend it.
BTW there is no full frontal shot of Affleck. He appears to be totally nude in one scene but nothing is shown. You get a brief side glimpse and that's it.
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