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Near Dark (1987)
Why are Henricksen and Paxton in so much trash?
Especially Henricksen. Although they'd both been around for a while, I never noticed either of them until ALIENS, where everybody involved turned in a great performance. Not do here. The makers of this POS tried to update the vampire theme,but it just comes out very stupid and amateurish. No fangs, no stakes, no silver, not much of anything when you think about it, including a plot. Sheesh-you have to write at least ten lines on this piece of garbage, and some movies just don't justify that. This is probably the one IMDb rule that I personally think really sucks. If you want a vampire update, watch either LOST BOYS or FRIGHT NIGHT for humor, or MIDNIGHT KISS for a serious story. Henricksen must have needed a new car or some porch renovations.
Reign of the Gargoyles (2007)
Still more Sci-Fi Channel garbage that gives Sci-Fi a bad name
Actually, this had an interesting and little-used premise-that of the Nazis using sorcery/black magic to help them win World War 2. Yes, done in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Hellboy, but not much else, so I had slightly good hopes for it. I was wrong. The Nazis bring stone gargoyles to life, but are unable to control them, and the creatures begin to multiply and kill Germans as well as Americans and European freedom fighters. One of these days I'll get it through my head that 95% of Sci-Fi Channel's original movies are cheesy garbage, but I guess I'm not quite there yet. The cheesiest CGI I've seen in years, some of the worst direction , the worst acting, and stereotyped Nazi villains with bad accents abounded. The old TV movie GARGOYLES from the 70's was head and shoulders above this, so I'd imagine that should tell you something. What a comedown for an actor I always liked, Joe Penny (once of JAKE and the FAT MAN), who must have needed a new car or renovations to his house or something. I've already given it a one, only because I'm not allowed to give it a zero.
Wes Craven:over-rated hack
And yeah, I know-he probably didn't have all that much to do with it, but-if you leave your name on it, you take the consequences. Craven has done three good films, Serpent And The Rainbow, The first Nightmare, and The New Nightmare. A few others were at least watchable, like Swamp Thing and The Hills Have Eyes. The rest have either been stomach-churning gorefests or-parodies. The Scream franchise gave horror films a bad name. This piece of crap is nothing. Yes, yes-he supposedly had nothing to do with the direction, but-did he really? I can't bring myself to believe the same person who directed Highwaymen and the superior Hitcher directed this entire movie, simply because those others were so much better, in spite of their flaws. It wouldn't even get one star from me if it hadn't been for the alternate ending, which is 100% better.
When a Stranger Calls (2006)
Agree with Phantasm01-better than the original
No, this is not a perfect movie, but it held my interest for the most part. The reason I say it's better than the original is, it carries the suspense for the entire movie, rather than for only the first 20 minutes or so. The best thing about this one is the house itself, which they actually built just to use in the movie! Totally modern, even somewhat futuristic, and yet, through photography and lighting, it manages to be every bit as creepy and menacing as any old mansion or claustrophobic small old house (think HALLOWEEN or the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series) could be. The killer here seems far more menacing, as in the first one, the killer is strong enough to tear people apart with his hands and teeth, yet later got his ass kicked in a bar. Also, in the original, they made you feel sympathy for the killer (in the tedious middle part), which seemed out of place. Not so here. Neither movie really gives you any background on the killer or exactly why he does what he does, but it isn't needed, as here he really seems menacing/evil. Really has more of the first HALLOWEEN and Friday THE 13TH films (or BLACK Christmas) feel to it than an actual remake of the first version, but actually a more complete and less disjointed film. Better than most of the crap coming out of Hollywood these days.
Mindless but fun, only due to the cast
Well, I'll probably get pounded for giving this one a medium rating, but I was able to set through this one even though the writing is bad, and so is the direction and editing. I just can't totally rip a movie that has this much talent in the cast. Pity that a better job couldn't have been done in all other areas. Lance Henricksen and David Warner, as well as Joe Don Baker, are great character actors, and although it pained me to see them wasted in this, they at least tried their best to give it some vestige of dignity. Counting those three, you've got about 9 or ten people here that are at least capable actors and have a following, including Ashley 'Hellraiser' Lawrence and Corrina 'Corey' Everson, who gets my vote for one of the hottest babes of all time-and both women were, sadly, never utilized properly by the powers that be in Hollywood. How the makers of this thing EVER were able to assemble all this great group is totally beyond me, but as I said, there's no other reason to watch this.
Soul Assassin (2001)
Artsy-fartsy photography does not a movie make
This might have been watchable if it hadn't been for the director's experiments in photography-gives you a headache at times. Same crap I saw in the GET CARTER remake, and I can't stand it. All it does is make the story more muddled than it needs to be. The woman who played Karrina (Rena something or other)is sexy and fascinating, and I would've liked to see more of her, but-no(a few sexy hookers, too 8^D). Kristy Swanson and Skeet Ulrich are wasted here. Here's a newsflash-if you're going to do a film, and want to make it 'gritty'-why not just film it in black and white, instead of blue w/ one object in the screen in color? That way it might actually add something to the movie. Everything this director does has been seen before, and besides that, what he does merely serves to detract from the story. A confusing and muddled script only further contributes to disaster. I knew before I read it here that the director had done music videos, because that was what this movie feels like in spots.
The Man (2005)
One of the worst films I've seen over the last year!
When the credits rolled on this one, I just sat in sheer amazement. Amazement that this thing had such terrible writing and direction. I can't fault Jackson or Levy, they had to do what they were hired to do, I suppose, but this movie is atrocious, and may be the death knell for 'buddy' movies. Average premise, really good villain, and precious little else. A complete waste of time. Jackson had best start picking his projects with more care, or his career is going to go into the toilet. Worse than many direct-to-video productions. Avoid this like the black plague. Juvenile attempt at comedy, about 3 funny lines, overacting by Jackson, annoying acting by Levy, I can't begin to say what a complete disappointment this movie was, and I'm overwhelmed at all the good comments it's getting here. Just terrible. If Nick Nolte & Martin Short had played the parts, it might have been bearable, but maybe not. I only know there was no chemistry of any kind between Levy & Jackson.
A History of Violence (2005)
It's Only A Gangster Movie..It's Only a Gangster Movie..
Keep saying that to yourself, because that's all this is. Just a forties/fifties type/style gangster film, with modern gratuitous sex and gore thrown in for good measure. Good direction, great acting by Ed Harris as a sadistic mobster,, otherwise... just a halfway decent gangster movie. It just cracks me up how much deep psychological meaning crap people try to read into this movie. Watchable, yes. Slightly better than average, yes. But I'll have forgotten it within the next few months. I would have given it a six rating, if it hadn't been for the needless sex scenes, which detracted from the movie. Of course, there are those here who see the 'inner meaning' who will swear to you the sex scenes 'explain the relationship'. They're wrong. Better done than most of Scorcese's or Coppolla's repetitive mobster crap, but, in the end, just a fairly well-done gangster movie. Don't believe the hype. It's not a bad movie, just not fantastic. An aside-the one crazy in the beginning of the movie looks like Wes Craven! I don't know if that was intentional on Cronenberg's part or not. I don't consider that a 'spoiler', but I'm not sure just how strict the mods are here, so I thought I'd better play it safe. 8^D