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gridoon2016

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1780 reviews in total 
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One of the worst "comedies" of the early 1990s, 26 June 2016
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is tempting to state that the title of this movie is the funniest thing about it, but that would be inaccurate: it is the ONLY funny thing about it. It is also a very misleading title: after the first 10 minutes, the dead babysitter is forgotten about until the very last scene. It has a drab look (it looks made for TV, it's surprising that it got theatrical distribution), an amazingly aimless script, and dismal direction. There is nothing remotely believable, witty, and most importantly funny, about any of it. The character "Kenny" deserves to be shot. Ed O' Neill (as Al Bundy) joked about how terrible "Dutch" (which I haven't seen) was a couple of times on "Married With Children", I wonder why Christina Applegate (who tones down her attractiveness considerably here) never mentioned this movie on that show. Maybe she would rather forget it ever happened. 0.5 out of 4 stars.

Good-looking, lightweight, overlong situation comedy, 25 June 2016
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This early-1990s French comedy sounds really piquant (a 14-year-old girl pretending that her father, with whom she is vacationing, is her lover), but it's really quite mild. It has pleasant locations and many funny and some clever moments (even referencing Gerard Depardieu's "Cyrano De Bergerac" at one point!), but it stretches its thin premise and predictable story for too long. Depardieu brings considerable charm and surprising physicality to his role, while the beautiful (and yes, sexy) Marie Gillain makes a winning cinema debut. I remember I had a huge crush on her when I watched this movie as a little boy, and re-watching it I realize why! No surprise her career is still going strong, 25 years later. **1/2 out of 4.

Suspenseful and atmospheric thriller, 20 June 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Los Ojos De Julia" may be a notch below "El Cuerpo", which came out two years later and has some of the same people involved in its making, but it's still a very good thriller: it's suspenseful, atmospheric, and has some extraordinarily well-conceived and executed cat-and-mouse sequences (especially near the end when Belén Rueda removes the bandages from her eyes but has to keep pretending that she can't see). The use of light and shadow, as well as the general use of the camera in this movie, should be used as teaching tools in film schools! Rueda is a vulnerable yet strong female lead, she gives the film her all. The script does contain one hard-to-swallow contrivance - or is that two: that Rueda would prefer to go back to her house right after the operation rather than being taken care of at the hospital, and that the police would let her. I also thought the ending (spoiler!) is overly cruel to her character: yes, she survives, but she has basically lost everything. She could have at least regained her eyesight. *** out of 4.

The Body (2012)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Exceptional thriller, 19 June 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As thrillers about night-long police interrogations go, "El Cuerpo" is better than Giuseppe Tornatore's "A Pure Formality", and about as good as "The Usual Suspects"! It's consistently absorbing, relentlessly intense, and a marvel of misdirection. There are some marvellous scenes that Hitchcock would approve of - the one in the toilet immediately comes to mind. José Coronado, as the persistent detective, Hugo Silva & Aura Garrido as the partners-in-crime who can feel the noose tightening around their necks, and Belén Rueda as the rich, possessive heiress whose dead body's disappearance sets the well-designed plot in motion, give depth to their characters, making this more than a "genre" piece. But make no mistake, "El Cuerpo" is mainly a gift for thriller / mystery lovers. *** out of 4.

Not a comedy, 16 June 2016
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Hanky Panky" was a big box-office failure, perhaps because it was mismarketed (and mistitled) as a comedy. There are sporadic comedic moments, but the balance is tipped heavily in favor of the thriller aspect (in fact, there is a disturbingly violent fight scene between Richard Widmark and Kathleen Quinlan, in which he punches her brutally in the face). The material is pretty stale, but the film is crisply and skillfully directed by Sidney Poitier, who takes several pages out of the Alfred Hitchcock guidebook (the opening sequence, the chases in public places, the apartment gas murder, etc.), and is helped along by on-location shooting and a choice cast. The film should have been shorter, though. **1/2 out of 4.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Remarkable episode, 14 June 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Charles Beaumont's sophisticated script and John Brahm's inventive direction (including one split-screen trick that I thought Brian De Palma was the first to come up with, but apparently not!) make this one of the better episodes of the second season of "The Twilight Zone" (the previous one, "The Silence", is also very good). As far as episodes about dreams & nightmares go, it's certainly more intense and compelling than Rod Serling's own "Twenty Two", and it's superior to the first season's "Perchance To Dream", as well. Dennis Weaver gives a strong performance in the lead. This is one episode that I would use to draw non-believers into the series. *** out of 4.

Rita, a singing cowboy, and lots of stock rodeo footage, 12 June 2016
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This dirt-cheap 1930s Western is of interest today solely for the presence of a young, beautiful Rita Hayworth as the female lead. She is not given much to do, but she does have one short dance scene; it's really nothing special, but her famous joy in dancing is already evident. Personally I was not at all familiar with Tex Ritter before watching this movie: he's agreeable, except for the parts where he's "singing". Except for a couple of sped-up fights and a sped-up chase at the end, 90% of the "action" in this movie is stock rodeo footage, which may be fascinating in itself if you're a fan, but not so much if you can't quite accept prolonged animal abuse as a sporting activity. Anyway, Rita's presence gives this film its only value. *1/2 out of 4.

Decent little horror anthology, 12 June 2016
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Apparently "The Devil's Messenger" was pieced together by joining three episodes of a "lost" one-season TV show called "13 Demon Street" with some newly-shot linking footage. The concept of that new footage needed a little more work ("Satanya" is supposed to be delivering objects to people, but they already seem to have them!), and the production values are pretty shoddy, but I would be interested in seeing more episodes of the original series if they were more easily available, because the stories themselves are intriguing, especially the first (which contains the genuinely surreal idea of a person moving inside a photograph) and the third (which is about a man trying to escape his fate and features a clever twist ending). Lon Chaney Jr. is fun as The Devil. **1/2 out of 4.

Way overlong, 11 June 2016
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave" is, in some ways, a quintessential giallo - it has nearly everything the genre is known for: a colorful title, poor English dubbing, lots of nudity, a decidedly chauvinistic / anti-feminist bent, a ludicrously convoluted plot, a series of murders, and a pervading sense of trashiness (a corpse is fed to a cage full of foxes in this one!). However, "Evelyn" lacks the artiness with which the better films of the genre bring together all those elements; there is a reason why you are familiar with the names of Dario Argento or Lucio Fulci, but not with that of Emilio Miraglia. For the first hour or so, nothing really happens in the plot of this movie except two murders; the twist at the end almost redeems the film, but then there is another, and another: you begin to get the impression that Miraglia threw in everything but the kitchen sink, without really knowing what he's doing. *1/2 out of 4.

We need to talk about Kevin, 11 June 2016
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A riveting performance by the beautiful Camilla Carr (in certain shots she exudes a 1940s-style, Gene Tierney-ish glamour and sex appeal) cannot really hide the fact that this is a tenth-rate "Psycho" rip-off (until a stupid "gotcha" ending that wants the movie to have its cake and eat it too). The budget is low to begin with, but Mill Creek's print (which I watched) is of such poor visual and audio quality that it's like watching a fifth-generation VHS copy of a foreign unsubtitled movie! (of course there is more background music than dialogue in this film anyway). But I did learn something useful from "Keep My Grave Open": when you try to escape from a maniacal killer, don't run away, just hide in their car right outside their house! *1/2 out of 4.


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