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3314 reviews in total 
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Great title--terrible film, 4 May 2015

Melinda Duquesne (Connie Stevens) finds out her father magician Duke Duquesne (Cesar Romero) has died. She was taken away from him at an early age because of his erratic behavior. In his will he leaves her his huge beautiful mansion on one condition--she must spend seven nights there. (Yes--the oldest plot in the book). She agrees but comes to realize someone may be after her...and her father may have returned from the dead.

It's well-made and has a few cute juvenile scares but this is pretty dull stuff. The plot is OLD and the script is terrible full of truly painful "funny" dialogue. This is slowing-moving with tons of padding. It concentrates more on a love story between Melinda and Val Henderson (Dean Jones). Acting doesn't help. Stevens tries but she's pretty bad. Jones overacts so broadly it's embarrassing to watch. Cesar Romero briefly (very briefly) jump starts the movie to life but it's too little too late. The kids might get a kick out of this (it's G rated material all the way through) but nobody else. A 2 all the way.

Interesting sci-fi, 24 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the future a spaceship headed by Commander Adams (Leslie Nielsen) goes to the planet Altair-14 to see what became of a colony sent there many years ago...but no one has heard from. When they get there all they find is Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), his daughter Alterea (Anne Francis) and Robby the Robot. It seems all the other colonists have died off. Morbius wants them off the planet or warns they will be in terrible danger. They ignore him until an invisible force starts to attack them. What is it?

This was the first big budget sci-fi film. MGM made it and gave it a big budget, shot it in color and Cinemascope. It was not a huge hit when it first came out but is now considered one of the best sci-fi films of the 1950s. It's far from perfect. Some of the special effects are pathetic, the script has HUGE plot holes and gaps in logic and the acting is lousy across the board. On the other hand some special effects are outstanding. The visit to the Krell labs and the scary sequence with the Id monster are fantastic. Also there's a VERY eerie electronic music score throughout the film. I don't think it's a classic of the genre as many people do but it is a good and interesting sc-fi film.

Unfriended (2014)
20 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Scary and unsettling, 20 April 2015

Story starts off with a high school girl (Laura) committing suicide. It seems an embarrassing video of her was posted online and she's being bullied. On the anniversary of her death a year later five of her friends are chatting online. Then someone joins them. They have no pic or name...but are using Laura's old account. They can't delete or block them. Then this user starts posting deep dark secrets they've all been hiding and accuses them of killing Laura. Who is it and why are they doing it?

Clever and scary movie using social media to tell the story. In fact the entire movie is on a computer screen. The cast are all unknowns but they look and act like teenagers and are very good and believable in their roles. There's also LOTS and LOTS of swearing...but these are teenagers. The characters are introduced quickly but you get to know them so when the violence kicks in it's disturbing. There isn't a lot of violence here but what there is is VERY disturbing. By the end of the movie I was scared silly and I don't scare easy. A VERY scary horror movie. I give it an 8.

9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Pretty good romance drama, 16 April 2015

College student Sophia (Britt Robertson) meets cowboy Luke (Scott Eastwood) in South Carolina where she's going to school. He rides bulls and she's an art student. They meet and fall in love...but she just got an internship in NYC at an art gallery. Will she give him up and go? There's also another love story here set in the 1940s. Ira (Jack Huston) falls in love with Ruth (Oona Chaplin) but the war tears them apart. He survives but has injuries which prevent him from ever having kids. Will they marry and work through this?

It all sounds terrible but it works. The movie doesn't get overly sentimental and each couple is believable and sympathetic. Every romantic cliché in existence is trotted out (there are at least THREE romantic montages) but carried off in an OK manner. It's a little bit too long but I was never bored. It works but the ending is more than a little ridiculous. It seems like they were straining for a happy ending but it worked. And I'll admit I cried more than a few times during the end.

The acting isn't bad. Eastwood and Robertson have zero sexual charisma but they play very well off each other. They're also ridiculously good-looking so they're easy on the eyes. Their sex scenes are handled tastefully (hence the PG-13 rating) with Eastwood showing his muscular chest and baring his butt briefly. Chaplin is also very effective as Ruth. Huston is just so-so as Ira and (even worse) Alan Alda plays him as an old man and he's terrible. Still, all in all, I was entertained by this. I give it a 7.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Falls apart eventually but mostly pretty good, 9 April 2015

Young 21-year-old Julie (Joey Heatherton) is dating old but dependable Harry (Nicholas Coaster). Then she meets young hunky Ben (Troy Donahue) who seems instantly smitten with her. It seems he thinks she's the reincarnation of a woman he loved in another life! He knows a lot about her family that there's no way he could have known. Is it true?

Obscure little thriller. The basic plot is interesting and it moves quickly enough. Donahue and Heatherton are certainly an attractive couple and shown in their bathing suits often. But this movie has problems. It's flatly directed and Barry Sullivan and Coaster are dreadful in their roles. Donahue and Heatherton are bad too but Donahue tries and is actually very good at times. Old pro Jeanette Nolan however is superb as Aunt Sarah. The ultimate resolution was disappointing but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't entertained. I give it a 6.

It Follows (2014)
0 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
OK but overpraised, 8 April 2015

Indie horror film that's actually playing at mainstream cinemas. It's about a teenage girl who has sex with a guy she just met. Then he tells her she's marked for death. She'll see people walking to her and, if they get her, will kill her. The catch is no one else can see them--only her. The only way to get rid of this is to have sex with someone else and it will pass on to them.

The premise is certainly original and the film is well-done but some critics are acting like this is a masterpiece. It's good but not THAT good. It's was shot on location in Detroit and took advantage of the run-down part of the city. Everything looks grimy and dingy perfectly setting the tone for the movie. Also there's an eerie and impressive music score that really helps. Also there's only one jump scare and not much blood or gore at all. There are also two sequences which scared me silly. The acting is, at best, OK. No one is terrible but no one is really good either.

The main problem here is that the movie is too laid-back. These teenagers take everything way too casually--even when they start being attacked or are killed. It sort of mutes the movie. Still it works more often than it doesn't. I give it a 7.

57 out of 62 people found the following review useful:
Frightening, 30 March 2015

Documentary on the "church" of Scientology and its teachings. The first half of this is all about L. Ron Hubbard the founder of Scientology. It goes into detail about his life and beliefs and how he formed and developed the "church". The second half documents how the "church" changed and grew and used mind control and drew people into its beliefs...and wouldn't let them go. It gets into detail about their two star recruits--John Travolta and Tom Cruise. Travolta gets off pretty easy but Cruise comes off as a maniac. It also has interviews with former "church" members and their tales and revelations are nothing short of horrific.

Maddening and scary documentary that shows exactly what is going on with Scientology. People can say this is a pack of lies and dismiss it...but why is this so-called "church" not suing them for libel? Also the director and writer of this are former church members so they know what they're talking about. For many years I remember walking around Boston and I was approached by a handsome young man or a pretty young woman and asked if I wanted to take a "personality test". I always politely said no and went on my way. That was how Scientology used to recruit people. They always approached young men and women, got them to go to their offices (Boston had--and still has--a chapter) and started to indoctrinate them. The most disturbing thing about this is there is extensive footage of Scientology conventions that look and sound like Nazi rallies! Everyone should see this.

A sad end for a great comedic duo, 21 March 2015

Abbott and Costello are in Cairo and get mixed up with a mummy named Klaris (although he was KHaris in earlier films). It also involves a sacred medallion that Klaris wears, a cult that worships him and an evil woman (Marie Windsor) who will stop at nothing to get it.

This was the second to last film that Bud and Lou did for Universal and it's just terrible. The guys were easily in their 50s by then and their age is showing. It's full of tired slapstick and routines that were old even back in the 1950s. I didn't even crack a smile once (although the pick/shovel bit is kind of fun). The plot makes little sense and the special effects are terrible. The mummy getup has to be the worst I've ever seen in a mummy movie. Truly laughable. For the most part the acting is lousy too--Richard Deacon is the worst offender. Bud and Lou do what they can but the material isn't there for them. Also Marie Windsor (a brilliant character actress) has nothing to work with. Boring, unfunny and a waste of time. Skip it.

3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
In many ways this is just an ordinary romantic drama with BDSM thrown in, 2 March 2015

College student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) interviews young millionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). He becomes obsessed with her and she starts falling for him. However he has control issues and is into BDSM. Can she deal with that?

Ignore all the controversy about this. In many ways this is just another romantic drama about a couple dealing with issues--those issues just happen to be BDSM and control. It has all the romantic meetings, the nonstop love songs on the soundtrack and some fairly explicit (but tasteful) sex. The BDSM is confined to just two scenes and it's not that bad. There is nudity but almost all of it is from Johnson. Dornan just bares his butt three times and that's it. It seems kind of strange that a movie targeted at women has so little male nudity. It's also well-directed and is more or less interesting. However it goes on for too long and keeps repeating itself. Also the character of Mr. Grey comes across as more than a little creepy. The acting varies. Johnson is very good in her role. Dornan is ridiculously handsome and all pumped up but lacks the charisma that his character should have. All in all a pretty good romantic drama.

Silly but fun, 1 March 2015

The last Universal mummy movie. This one transports Kharis and Ananka from Massachusetts to Louisiana! When last seen they sank in a swamp together. Here they're unearthed by yet another high priest from Egypt. He plans to bring them back to Egypt and will kill anyone who tries to stop them. However (in a genuinely eerie sequence) Ananka (Virginia Christie) claws her way out of the swamp and wanders around with no knowledge of who she is.

It's silly but it works. The setting is atmospheric, the acting isn't bad (Christie is excellent) and her resurrection is more than a little spooky. It also has an ending that left the room for no more sequels. Not a great movie but much better than "The Mummy's Ghost" which preceded it.

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