movie diary '18by klday | created - 10 months ago | updated - 3 days ago | Public
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1. Be Here Now (2015)
100 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama
As though life is imitating art, actor and sex-symbol, Andy Whitfield, had just become a star as the lead in the hit television series,'Spartacus,' when he is faced with his biggest ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,507 | Gross: $0.02M
I've been watching and enjoying Starz' series "Spartacus" series. The pilot is a bit rough, with its cartoonish gore, excessive use of slow-motion, and overwrought dramatics; these things are essentially baked into a sword and sandals epic like "Spartacus", but the show finds a better balance of its pulpier elements swiftly, and it finds its voice in no small part due to charismatic lead Andy Whitfield.
After filming the first season, Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and immediately went into treatment. Treatment was successful, and he went into remission, but shortly before he was to return to the show it was discovered that the cancer had relapsed. Treatment resumed, but a year after the relapse was discovered, Whitfield died, leaving behind a wife, Vashti, and two children.
"Be Here Now" was shot during this traumatic time, chronicling Whitfield's treatment and shortlived recovery, and the staggering toll the disease takes on his body. It is not an especially intimate portrait of the disease process, as the salient details are conveyed mostly in interviews with Whitfield and Vashti, yet still, when watching it, I felt as though I were intruding in a private moment of grief.
2. Buford's Beach Bunnies (1993)
R | 90 min | Comedy
Fast-food mogul Harry Buford serves up the best barbecued bunny sandwiches, and the hottest waitresses, in town. His only son, Jeeter, will inherit the empire only if he can overcome his ... See full summary »
cheap, gross misogyny from the USA channel's Up All Night era
3. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a "Super-Soldier serum". But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization.
Votes: 625,513 | Gross: $176.65M
2/23 on demand. Formulaic, as Marvel movies are, but I like this one more on revisiting. Visually it is one of the studio's biggest departure from the its own house style, with warm colors and even a rousing musical number. Good performances by Evans, who's square hero is charmingly sincere and sweetly awkward, and Atwell, though she gets more the spotlight she deserves in the "Agent Carter" series. Plus you got Tommy Lee Jones.
4. Futurama: Bender's Big Score (2007 Video)
Not Rated | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Romance
Planet Express sees a hostile takeover and Bender falls into the hands of criminals where he is used to fulfill their schemes.
Futurama came to a proper close with "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", the finale of its fifth season. But Matt Groening and company weren't done with the Planet Express crew, bringing them back in four made for tv movies, then bringing the season back for 2 more seasons on cable. I have been rewatching the original run of the series. Probably should have waited a bit to delve further. My reaction, then as now, was that the series did not especially cry out for resurrection, and that the continuation did not make an especially good case for it. The movies are episodic, like a handful of episodes spliced together, and so the story does not build but rather darts about here and there; and its a convoluted story, too, with lots of time travel and concomitant paradoxes. The villains, a trio of gross naked alien email scammers, lack much in the way of motivation, and though they willingly resort to violence to get what they want, it doesn't occur to anyone to respond in kind until toward the end, or indeed to do anything to try and stop them at all. Nor do the scammers bat an eye while our heroes go about with their usual shenanigans. It may amount to a lot of fan service, but as a fan being serviced so, I did enjoy it a bit more than before. Really, I was glad just to see Fry happily reunited with his faithful dog Seymour.
5. Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs (2008 Video)
Not Rated | 90 min | Animation, Comedy, Romance
The Planet Express crew discovers a tentacle covered, planet sized alien that wishes to copulate with it all the inhabitants of Earth.
6. Futurama: Bender's Game (2008 Video)
Not Rated | 88 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
The Planet Express crew get trapped in a fantasy world.
I've said before that these movies are episodic, but this one barely bothers to tell a story at all, let alone a different one every thirty minutes. Here, Bender is determined to prove that he has an imagination, becoming obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons in the process. And a weird science thingie sucks everyone into his quarter-assed fantasy world, where they go on a generic quest that has no bearing on anything.
7. Hot Property (2016)
Unrated | 83 min | Comedy
Hot Property is an anarchic satire for 'generation rent'. An un-romantic comedy about love, greed and psychotic estate agents. Set amid London's deranged property market and self-parodying hipster culture.
Tone-deaf millennial "satire"
8. Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (2009 Video)
Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Dark forces older than time itself are on the attack, hell-bent on stopping the dawn of a wondrous new green age. Don't you hate when that happens? Even more shocking: Bender's in love with... See full summary »
When he gets a piece of jewelry lodged in his head, Fry discovers that he can read minds. A secret society of fellow mind-readers convinces him to save an emerging ecosystem from developer Leo Wong. Not nearly as awful as Bender's Game, but hardly great.
9. Reptilicus (1961)
Passed | 82 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
After copper miners discover part of the frozen tail of a prehistoric monster in Lapland, scientists inadvertently bring it back to life.
on MST3K: The Return. This Danish kaiju pick is pretty odd, not a bad pick for the much awaited return.
10. Nerdland (2016)
Not Rated | 85 min | Animation, Comedy
The story of two best friends whose dreams of success and stardom have fizzled, so they decide to become famous in one day - at all costs.
Paul Rudd and Patton Oswalt voice two pathetic roommates eking out a squalid existence in the LA sprawl, scheming to somehow find success, or at any rate notoriety. This, the first feature from cartoon studio Titmouse, is a good showcase for their animation, but the story is aimless, and the free-floating misanthropy becomes grating.
11. Just Before I Go (2014)
R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama
On the verge of giving up on life, a guy travels to his hometown to make amends.
Votes: 16,141 | Gross: $0.01M
Sentimental drivel centered on a bunch repugnant characters.
12. Trailer Park of Terror (2008)
R | 98 min | Horror
Six troubled high schoolers and their leader become lost after their bus crashes during a raging storm. They seeks refuge for the night in an abandoned trailer park, managed by a sexy woman, Norma.
Ugly, unpleasant, and cartoonish
13. Meek's Cutoff (2010)
PG | 104 min | Drama, Western
Settlers traveling through the Oregon desert in 1845 find themselves stranded in harsh conditions.
Votes: 10,133 | Gross: $0.98M
I was expecting a more plot driven movie, which is my mistake, as I know director Reichardt from her similarly quiet, ruminative drama "Old Joy". "Meek's Cutoff" is also a sort of travelogue, but the journey of a band of settlers across the desolate wastes of the American west is more rife with danger than the weekend camping trip from "Old Joy", naturally. Rather than creating a rousing spectacle, Reichardt the realist excels at capturing moments of quiet desperation. Desperate to lighten their load, the frontier wives toss clocks, furniture and valuables out the backs of their wagons. The big climactic set piece, such as it is, hinges on the simple yet perilous process of getting a wagon down the side of a hill. And for much of the film, the characters fret over their dwindling supply of water. It is a gorgeous looking movie. I may appreciate it more on revisiting sometime down the line.
14. Tale of Tales (2015)
R | 134 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
From the bitter quest of the Queen of Longtrellis, to two mysterious sisters who provoke the passion of a king, to the King of Highhills obsessed with a giant Flea, these tales are inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile.
Votes: 22,975 | Gross: $0.08M
ntflx streaming. A decidedly adult spin on Italian folk tales. Certainly a handsome production, but a bit cold, and the three tales are inter-edited somewhat distractingly.
15. Coco (I) (2017)
PG | 105 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.
Votes: 240,593 | Gross: $209.73M
Nflx streaming. This is a movie that is perhaps better knowing the twist. Top tier Pixar
16. Sabretooth (2002 TV Movie)
R | 90 min | Horror
Scientists create a genetically engineered sabretooth cat and must hunt it down after it escapes and begins eating innocent people.
This Syfy channel schlock is truly bottom of the barrel stuff, pitting a nefarious geneticist and her greedy investor against their creation, a cloned sabertooth depicted with stiff puppetry and cartoonish CGI. Can our villains and hired huntsman David Keith subdue the big cat before it makes a meal of some dumb teenage hikers, including Lost's Josh Holloway? Find out, if you dare to waste an hour and a half.
17. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name.
Votes: 417,052 | Gross: $209.40M
For my money the best of the series thus far. Watching it at home on demand is hardly as spellbinding as it was on an IMAX screen, but the big set pieces are all top notch. Cruise climbing the side of the Burj Kalifa with just a glitchy pair of magnetized gloves is Brad Bird's piece de resistance, but when it's over we don't get a moment to catch our breath, as the IMF team hurtles through the next daring set piece.
18. Cry Wilderness (1987)
PG | 93 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
A Bigfoot-type creature befriends Paul, a young student. His father is a park ranger trying to capture an escaped tiger. Everyone in town is on edge and wants the tiger killed. David tries to keep Bigfoot a secret.
MST3KR. A very poor man's Harry and the Hendersons, which finds a young lad running away from boarding school after receiving word from his old friend Bigfoot that his father, a forest ranger, is in dire trouble. He hitchhikes to the forest where dad and his quick-to-laughter Indian chum are investigating a deadly animal attack with the unwanted help of a cocky big game hunter, that is, whenever they aren't laughing at the kooky antics of the raccoons and other strangely plentiful woodland creatures.
19. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.
Votes: 233,605 | Gross: $75.75M
Superhero movies were largely regarded as a niche market way back when del Toro's Hellboy came out. Sure you had your Batman movies, Raimi's Spiderman franchise, and If someone could make a good Superman movie again people would've been into that, but other than that comic book movies were the province of geeks. But the same year as Hellboy II, a picture called Iron Man came out, and since then superheroes have been big business. And not just the old household names, but goofy characters like Ant-Man, and more obscure creations like Task Force X. Del Toro's Hellboy was bit too far ahead of the curve, maybe. Maybe it was a bit too odd a mix for audiences at the time, and they didn't like getting Lovecraftian horror in their superheroics. Anyhow, I loved this one at the time, but in retrospect it feels a mite too conventional, like a slightly more oddball marvel movie. I've been reading Mignola's comics, too, and having that basis for comparison may diminish the movies a bit as well. The comedy is a bit too broad here, which lessens the impact of the horror. In addition to Perlman's smart-mouthed take on the character, there's Seth MacFarlane doing a silly accent as an ectoplasmic BPRD agent.
20. Black Mirror (2011– )
TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech world where humanity's greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.
watched "Nosedive" and "USS Callister". I would add the episodes individually, but imdb is seemingly bent on making the list feature, like the rest of the site, less and less user-friendly, so why bother
21. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
PG-13 | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate - an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.
Votes: 299,263 | Gross: $195.04M
Rogue Nation has the series' breakneck pacing down pat, but McQuarrie, though a capable enough director, can't match the peerless eye of Ghost Protocol's Brad Bird, still the franchise's high water mark.
22. The Time Travelers (1964)
Not Rated | 82 min | Sci-Fi
In 1964, a group of scientists create a portal that takes them to a barren, mutant inhabited, Earth in the year 2071.
MST3KR. My favorite thus far from the revival. Three scientists and a dorky janitor fall through a time portal and wind up in a future populated by mutants and androids.
23. Time of the Apes (1987 TV Movie)
97 min | Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Three bumbling morons accidentally stumble into a cryogenic freezer and end up in the future, where monkeys populate the Earth.
From the second season of MST3K, a lousy bargain-bin Planet of the Apes ripoff for Japanese TV. Two schoolchildren and their minder are touring a cryogenic lab when an earthquake hits, and they wind up getting thawed out in a future populated by fascist ape police. Also, there's a flying saucer buzzing around for reasons that never become clear. I'm going to have to pace myself a bit more on this show, because I seem to get tired of it when I'm watching every day.
24. The Flintstones (1994)
PG | 91 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy
In this live-action feature of the cartoon show, Fred Flintstone finally gets the job he's always wanted, but it may just come at a price.
Votes: 68,398 | Gross: $130.51M
Inexplicable attempt to bring Hanna and Barbera's caveman variation on The Honeymooners to the big screen spares no expense on that account, and nevertheless looks distractingly cheap. Amblin brought dinosaurs to startling life just a year before with Jurassic Park, but the special effects work here isn't aiming for that high bar, its running the fool's errand of "bringing the cartoon to life". In this empty exercise of nostalgia, does it matter whether or not they succeed?
25. The Princess and the Frog (2009)
G | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
A waitress, desperate to fulfill her dreams as a restaurant owner, is set on a journey to turn a frog prince back into a human being, but she has to face the same problem after she kisses him.
Votes: 105,535 | Gross: $104.40M
Boilerplate Disney princess stuff
26. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
PG-13 | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there, while an InGen team approaches with another agenda.
Votes: 332,739 | Gross: $229.09M
I originally rated this 1 star. That's far too harsh. Sure, it's not as good as the first, which is Spielberg in prime blockbuster mode. Besides Moore and Goldblum, our new heroes don't make a huge impression. But it has a bunch of great set-pieces: the compeys on the beach, the raptors in the high grass, the literal cliffhanger where our heroes are saved by the unfortunate Richard Schiff. The latest flick in the franchise, Fallen Kingdom, steals a lot from Spielberg here, and frankly it was mostly done better first time around.
27. Scooby-Doo (2002)
PG | 86 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
After an acrimonious break up, the Mystery Inc. gang are individually brought to an island resort to investigate strange goings on.
Votes: 84,367 | Gross: $153.29M
Unlike The Flintstones, I actually made it through this one. Do not read that as an endorsement. That means I suffered through some real lousy stuff, like a belching and farting contest between Scooby and Matthew Lillard. I'm not sure if your could actually make a convincingly realistic Scooby Doo, but this is a distractingly bad effect, and Raja Gosnell's impulse is to distract from that with garish sets, hysterial performances, and surrounding Scooby with a bunch of other lousy effects.
28. Avalanche (1978)
PG | 91 min | Action, Drama
The vacationers at a winter wonderland struggle to survive after an avalanche of snow crashes into their ski resort. Their holiday then turns into a game of survival.
mst3ktr. This Irwin Allen imitator has too many inconsequential b-plots and too little mayem to entertain.
29. Tales of Halloween (2015)
R | 92 min | Comedy, Horror
Ten stories are woven together by their shared theme of Halloween night in an American suburb, where ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents.
Directors: Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Kasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet | Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Hunter Smit, Cameron Easton, Caroline Williams
This cheapie comic anthology is pretty light on the scares and the laughs, but its a passable diversion for horror buffs. The only segment I out-and-out hated was a Darren Lynn Bousman's (go figure), which wastes a creepy premise on bad jokes and half-assed foley effects. But let's dwell on the highlights. "Trick" by Adam Gierasch is pretty good, featuring a laid-back Halloween party that explodes into violence without warning, and the segment has a good twist ending, too. Axelle Carolyn's "Grim Grinning Ghost" is probably the scariest offering in the film. "Ding Dong" is a stylish oddity from Lucky McKee, with a great performance from Pollyanna McIntosh as a childless woman who seems to get a little too wrapped up in playing the spooky witch for trick-or-treaters. Mike Mendez' "Friday the 31st" is an entertaining trifle, in which a disfigured slasher ala Victor Crowley has an unfortunate run-in with an otherworldly visitor; it has a bit of that gonzo energy Sam Raimi brought to "The Evil Dead" trilogy. Ryan Schifrin's "The Ransom of Rusty Rex" is a gruesome spin on a classic O. Henry tale, and I don't mean "The Gift of the Magi". I hoped for more from Neil Marshall, who brings things to a close with "Bad Seed", a weird and wild tale which for whatever reason pivots into a police procedural, but it has his usual energy and pays winking homage to John Carpenter a few times.
30. Busanhaeng (2016)
TV-MA | 118 min | Action, Horror, Thriller
While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.
Votes: 99,598 | Gross: $2.13M
stock characters run away from zombies on a passenger train. some suspenseful moments, but its at least a half hour too long.
31. The Voices (2014)
R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror
A likable guy pursues his office crush with the help of his evil talking pets, but things turn sinister when she stands him up for a date.
Despite a commited performance by Reynolds this does not work on pretty much any level. Ostensibly a comedy, it doesn't provide much anything to laugh at, and though the murders are disturbing, they're generally not very scary. Jerry's fake movie psychosis isn't dramatically involving, and Satrapi oddy doesn't show much concern for his victims.
32. Haze (I) (2016)
TV-MA | 106 min | Drama, Thriller
In the aftermath of a brutal fraternity hazing death, a college freshman's desire to join the best fraternity on campus is compromised when his older brother launches an anti-hazing crusade. A modern retelling of ancient Greek mythology, HAZE is a sobering, realistic portrait of what truly goes on behind fraternity and sorority house walls.
These earnest movies about the horrors of fraterity life are just so bad. The characters are all despicable. and hanging out with them for an hour and a half is a straight up chore.
33. The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956)
Approved | 79 min | Romance, Sci-Fi, Western
An American cowboy living in Mexico discovers his cattle are being eaten by a giant prehistoric dinosaur.
mst3k Gringo rancher in Mexico notices that his cows are disappearing, eventually finds that a claymation t-rex is to blame.
34. Starcrash (1978)
PG | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
An outlaw smuggler and her alien companion are recruited by the Emperor of the Galaxy to rescue his son and destroy a secret weapon by the evil Count Zarth Arn.
mst3k I think I had this one confused with War of the Robots. THAT has Antonio Sabato Sr as a fighter pilot in space fighting space robots. This one is much stranger. In it, a pair of space criminals (Marjoe Gortner and Caroline Munro, the latter wearing a bikini with a Dracula collar) who team up with their enemies, a pair of space cops, in a mission to save Emperor Christopher Plummer and Prince David Hasseloff from a rebellous count and his forces. One of the space cops is a green bald guy, the other is a Robby the Robot lookalike with a southern accent. In one memorable scene there is a topless giant lady robot they must run from, who looks like she just stepped out of a really pervy Ray Harryhausen flick.