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787 reviews in total 
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Riddick (2013)
Chronicles of Rehash, 28 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

yup, we have Riddick and a bunch of misfits fighting off a group of CGI monsters while fighting amongst themselves. Where have we seen that before.

Oh. Wait. We saw that in the Movie Pitch Black.

So we join Riddick as he's just been betrayed by his fellow Necromongers, (no, really, we didn't see that coming) and he settles down on the planet trying to get his grove back.

Two rival teams of mercs come to find him, one of them led by the father of the guy who was bringing him in for the first movie.

I want to add here my big problem is that the Mercs and the Necromongers never seemed like they really belonged in the same universe. This was my complaint with the last movie and it's my complaint with this one.

That said, once you get past the set-up, it's really the same movie at the end, with a storm replacing darkness.

Oh, and who survives? The characters you are set up to like- The bible reading kid who never looked like he belonged, and of course, Katie Sachkoff, who has just enough nudity to make the fanboys happy. At least Pitch Black took some chances by killing people off you were supposed to like.

Nailbiter (2013)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Empty monster movie we've seen before., 2 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay, I really honestly think that Hollywood thinks the flyover country between New York and Los Angeles is entirely occupied by inbred mutant monsters, and that's why they pretty much have contempt for the rest of the country.

So we have a recovering alcoholic mom who is going to drive through tornadoes with her three daughters to meet her returning veteran husband at the Kansas City Airport. Incidentally, the whole plot point of her being a recovering alcoholic is introduced, and other than having a few scenes where she encounters alcohol, nothing is done with it.

Equally introduced and goes nowhere is the boyfriend of one of the daughters who just wants to have sex with her, but she's playing with him. Why was this in the movie? No reason.

Well, they eventually get trapped in the storm cellar of a town where the whole population is some kind of shape-shifters who turn into monsters when there is a storm.

The payoff is nihilistic garbage where the people you are supposed to like are killed by the monsters.

Honestly, it's garbage where I guess some technical people were trying to build their resumes... I'm really sorry I invested any time into it.

Good-bye Ma, I'm off to join the circus!, 1 January 2014

This is part of Hammer Films later output, when they finally figured out they could put nudity in their movies instead of just implied sexuality What you have is sort of a confused mess of a story where a bunch of villagers kill off their Vampire Count, who swears revenge before they blow up his castle. His human mistress goes off to find his cousin, and for some reason, she gave birth to two vampire twins who are fully grown 15 years later. (One of them played by Doctor Who's Lalla Ward.) So apparently, these villagers don't think anything is strange about a circus showing up and people mysteriously disappearing or dying in their midst.

So some nudity, some gore, some nice Hammer stylistic visuals, but lacking the gravitas that Cushing and Christopher Lee usually brought to these things.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Sometimes less is more, 1 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think of all the movies where they spend millions of dollars in Special Effects laden tricks and cheep thrills.

This movie is a lot more effective with a small budget and stars you've never heard of than a lot of these other films.

The plot is that a stoned college kid comes across a box from the Middle Ages that allows a person's spirit to leave their body and manifest itself in the real world. He shares it with his nerdy buddy and his handicapped roommate who secretly has the hots for his girlfriend. Hilarity ensues until Death decides to start tracking these guys.

Again, the movie is well paced and uses what it has effectively. Definitely worth a watch.

The Purge (2013/I)
A mixed bag...., 27 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Rating this at 5 right in the middle.

The Good parts- the atmospherics are genuinely creepy. The use of the monitors to track the killers outside and create a sense of menace are well shot and the pacing is pretty good.

The Bad Part - the premise is completely illogical. Letting the whole country tear itself apart for one night is supposed to bring economic prosperity? Really? The Homeless guy- Portrayed as a Christ-like character. They make sure we know he's a veteran by giving him dog tags, and he even offers to give himself up to the mob to save the family. I guess to avoid being too heavy-handed on the racial angle, they made some of the second group of angry neighbors ethnic as well.

Which brings me to the next point. (SPOILER) The whole "twist" at the end was that the neighbors who had all bought security systems from this family were now seeking revenge because they didn't like that he got rich selling them security systems. That was telegraphed at the beginning and didn't come as a surprise at all.

Oh, the boyfriend subplot. So he's going to resolve the father's objections to him by killing the father? Did he really think this through? Again- mixed bag. If they made the premise a little more logical, it would have been thoroughly enjoyable.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A completely wrong way to do a Superman Movie, 23 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Gritty movies works well for some Superheroes. Zach Snyder (Watchmen) and Christopher Nolan (the rebooted Batman) have done them. Sadly, they shouldn't have even tried here. Superman is not a gritty character. A character with nearly omnipotent powers really can't be flawed.

Superman/Clark/Kal-El is played well by that guy from "The Tudors", I guess. Some scenes he looks creepy, but even when his character is relate-able, the CGI special effects overwhelm the characterization and even the story. Kind of hard to cheer for a scenario where it ends with the NYC stand-in city undergoing destruction that makes 9/11 look like a Sunday picnic.

Let's talk General Zod. Much like the new version of Khan in Star Trek, they've replaced an over the top scenery chewing with a guy who just stands and growls waiting for someone to paint in CGI behind him. And much as a Khan-pounding Spock was ludicrous, a Zod-killing Superman is equally out of place.

Lois Lane? What was the point of her character, other than needing to be saved by Superman at least four times during the course of the film. None of the Comedic Foil to Clark/Love interest for Superman that the character has been for the last 80 years.

A lot of interesting supporting characters. Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Russel Crowe as Jor-El. All fine actors doing good work with their characters. A special shout-out to Christopher Meloni as the military guy. (Betcha he's really sorry he left L&O:SVU for this nonsense, though.)

At the risk of sounding like an old person, this CGI nonsense where they can create these awesome looking scenes, around characters that simply don't engage me, just don't work. Give me a mid-budget movie made with some heart and characterizations any day of the week. Never a big fan of the Donner Superman movies, they the were way ahead of this nonsense.

6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A nice telling of the story, 23 November 2013

Of course, as a die hard Doctor Who Fan, this film really contained few surprises for me, or I would imagine for any other DW fans who watched it know this story.

The irony is, that if William Hartnell hadn't had his health issues, the BBC would have never been forced to write in the "Regeneration" plot device that has kept the show alive this day.

The scenes with Bradley as Hartnell are kind of touching, where you see an actor who really never quite hit the level of fame he wanted, getting the role of a lifetime and then watching it slip through his fingers because of his own physical ailments.

The portrayal of Verity Lambert as a visionary was great as well. Let's be honest, most of the things that we associate with Doctor Who- The Tardis, (It's bigger on the inside and looks like a police box) The Daleks, the Cybermen, all came from this era of the series.

Kudos also for the recreation of 1960's era England.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Braniac Attacks- again, 10 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A retelling of the Brainiac Story, where the super-intelligent computer that once stole a Kryptonian city now threatens Superman's new home of Earth. Stop me if you've heard this one before, because we all have, fans of comic books since the 1960's.

So including a replay of the "Dangerous office pranks at the Daily Planet" skit, this telling has Superman challenging a pretty scary version of Brainiac. Many aspects of this are not suitable for younger children with blood and murder and sexual innuendo.

The animation is quite good. The voice-work, done by "Castle" stars Molly Quinn and Stana Katic, is very good. (Nathan Filion has been doing work for DC's animation unit for years, and probably told them it was the easiest money they could pick up.) The actor who voices Brainiac gives the character a sense of menace.

Overall, worth watching for the DCAU fan.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Bloodrayne encounters Godwin's Law!, 1 October 2013

Sooner or later, Nazis always show up.

Okay, Rayne, the immortal half-vampire (or Dhampir) is living through World War II, and the Nazis are overrunning Europe.

So in the middle of a fight she joins for no good reason, she inadvertently turns a Nazi into a vampire like herself.

And then you have poor Clint Howard (Opies lesser-loved brother) playing an evil Nazi Doctor who wants to make Hitler immortal. I guess that was a better deal for Der Fuhrer than those guys who just want to put his head into a jar, but I digress.

Okay, this is Uwe Boll, and once again, the guy tries to put dialog in between his barely competent action sequences, and fails miserably. Also, the action scenes make not a lick of sense. Like if you just beat the snot out of a Nazi officer, do you REALLY stick around for a massage and girl-on-girl action? I think that these are scenes the director wanted to see, but no one else did.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Another triumph from the DCAU team, 27 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this film, Barry Allen (the Flash) causes an alternative time-line by trying to save his mother from death when he was a child. As a result, every other major hero in the DC Universe is rewritten, as the Flash attempts to fix the universe by going back into time.

So besides developing a universe where Aquaman isn't totally useless, there's an apocalyptic war between the Atlantians and Amazons, and other heroes are trying their best to assure doesn't destroy the world.

Now, a couple things that bothered me, which always bothers me about alternate universes/time-line stories. Major characters, who are damned well near invincible in regular stories, are killed with impunity in this alternate time-line because, hey, it doesn't count.

Some very good voice-work, including Nathan Fillion as the Green Lantern and Kevin Conroy as Batman. The animation is quite crisp, obviously drawing from Japanese Anime techniques, yet the style doesn't creep in TOO much. (YOu do have some giant monsters because, hey, why not.) Overall, very fun to watch.

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