51 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Disappointing as a follow-up to Prometheus, but a good alien movie on its own
9 May 2017
I adore Prometheus and had been looking forward to a sequel. Covenant lacks Prometheus' grandiose ambiance, mood and atmosphere and many intriguing questions regarding the motivations of the Engineers left unanswered in Prometheus are ignored in Covenant, so I was disappointed in these regards. And yet, seen on its own terms, Covenant is quite satisfying as a space-monster(s)-on-the-loose movie. It's pretty violent and gory. Yes, it recycles elements from Alien especially, but does not do it in a lackluster manner.
26 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Amazingly superior sequel w excellent cinematography obviously inspired by Suspiria & Inferno
23 November 2016
I was amazed at how wonderful this sequel to Subspecies turned out. I had also enjoyed Subspecies, but this was vastly superior. It is very moody (most of the time) and elevated by some excellent colorful nighttime cinematography by Paunescu. The look of several nighttime scenes were clearly inspired from Argento classics Suspiria and Inferno. I am actually at a loss on why Paunescu had not shown his talent, much in display here, back in Subspecies as well. Probably this has got to do with the fact that he produced this one which may have allowed him more say on the look of the movie whereas he was only the d.o.p. in Subspecies, doing only what he was told to do. He even appears on screen in a cameo as a cab driver here.

What spoils the overall mood of the movie from time to time, and holds it back from being a masterpiece, are the lame scenes with the protagonist's sister investigating with the help of an American official and Romanian police officer et al. Without them, the movie would be a far more solid work. I guess they were shot to pad out the duration of the movie.

I am not also very happy with the look of Radu's mother who seems too much like a Tales of the Crypt character.

Nevertheless, thanks to wisely not bringing back the 'good, handsome vampire' Stephan and hence building the movie around Radu and Michelle, and thanks to excellent cinematography as I have already emphasized, this rises not only above direct-to-video standards, but would have hold its ground if it were a theatrical release. I wish I could see it in big screen, where it deserved to be seen.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
It Follows (2014)
Could have been more effective
4 April 2015
This is a good horror movie, but it is being over-hyped. It is often creepy and sometimes downright scary (and I have no problem with the lack of explanation for "It), but the director has intentionally refrained from making it a relentless exercise in terror by giving occasional breaks to the tension as if to relieve the spectator. In other words, it doesn't really deliver the promise of the terrifying opening sequence. In my book, it is not as great as Babadook for example, but of course much better than an average horror movie. I tend to agree with the Village Voice review that this is a horror movie made for people who say they don't like horror movies.
0 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Eva Green steals the show and transforms this into a movie about Artemisia
5 March 2014
Eva Green performs an iconic portrayal of a ferocious woman in a men's world in this sword&sandal epic. She manipulates, leads, seduces, overpowers, humiliates, butchers men throughout the movie with memorable zeal -and with dry wit. In a key scene, which is emblematic in the sense it sums up her character, she seduces the rival Greek commander into sex, but when he wants to have her from the behind, she overpowers him and rises to the top to consummate the sex.

Scenes without her (thankfully, very sparse) really seem like filler material to pad out the movie's duration. ps: the downside of the movie is that, even though it is very gory, all the gore is via very fake-looking cgi.
5 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ludicriously acted racist drama about the Romani ("gypsies")
17 October 2013
Life of a young man who wants to escape his "gypsy destiny." He wants to adopt to the American way of life, he has a blonde non-gypsy lover, his dream is to move to California and spend his time surfing (really). He hates and looks down on everything about his gypsy heritage, which is epitomized in the character of his monstrous father. Alas, his responsibility towards his sister means there is no easy escape from his "gypsy destiny."

Above summary is the gist of the movie. If such a deplorable premise is not bad enough, the lead actor, Eric Roberts in his screen debut, aggravates this mess with his awful acting, esp. when he is in fits of anger. The guy who plays the bad father does not put up a very bad performance though. Susan Sarandon, who plays the mother, is very good-looking, but she can't help looking fake in all this stereotyping.

For Brooke Shields fans like me who may go for this movie just for her: She doesn't appear at all in the first 40 minutes or so and has got three scenes later on. She is largely a bystander in the first two, but has a major presence towards the end.

For fairness, the only merit of the movie is the music.
1 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Crocodile Alert (2006 TV Movie)
A 'ight' croc movie with decent sfx
20 August 2013
A large crocodile escapes into a river in Germany while being clandestinely delivered to an illegal wildlife dealer. A female forensic expert teams with a former croc hunter and a journalist to catch the beast as the local police doesn't believe that a croc is on the loose in Germany.

The croc effects are quite good, a combination of real props and cgi. However, croc attack scenes are few and the croc's appearances are mostly limited to the first encounter of the heroes with it in a sewer early in the movie and the finale. Moreover, the croc's killing of people are off-screen.

The fat and short (and perhaps somewhat effeminate) journalist provides most of the comedic aspects.

The plus side of the movie, apart from the above-mentioned good sfx, is that the blonde female lead (a former German model and TV personality named Doreen Jacobi) is good-looking and provides an incentive to keep on watching the movie in the croc-free portions as well. The always welcome Jennifer Ulrich (of Wir sind the Nacht, a recent German female vampire movie, fame) is also on board as the croc hunter's daughter and even bares her breasts in one scene.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Croczilla (2012)
China's first movie in the genre
11 August 2013
A large crocodile kept in a zoo is sold to be chopped out for meat but escapes in the nick of the time. It swallows a young woman's bag with her life savings in it. So the lady, as well as a disparate group of people, falls on its trail.

This is a relatively light-hearted crocodile-on-rampage movie as it doesn't feature much gore even though the croc does kill a few people. The cgi is not bad at all (much better than the recent Z-grade American croc films if you set your standards at that low level), but it still shows itself to be cgi in some scenes.

The highlight of the movie is when the croc enters a house, rampaging through a stairway, breaking through the walls and even assaulting people who had taken shelter at the roof. Subsequent scenes in which a croc trainer challenges and tries to subdue the giant beast just with a large stick are also very interesting; being a croc movie fan and having watched about two dozen croc movies so far, I had never seen such a scene before in any other croc movie.

There is a heavy dose of intentional comedy, some of which is tolerable and some of which is pretty pathetic.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I Can Make You Love Me (1993 TV Movie)
Effective Stalking Drama With High Body Count Finale
27 February 2013
Based on a real-life case from the 1980s, this is a pretty well-made TV movie about a disturbed guy stalking a female co-employee, leading up to a murder spree. The first half of the movie chronicles the stalking and the second half the violent hold-up at the work place. In the first half, the attitude of the office superiors in appeasing the stalker whom they regard as a valuable employee for quite a long while and partially blaming the victim whom they regard as a novice is sickening and unfortunately all too real-life-like.

Brooke Shields plays the victim and proves that she can act provided with a decent script and/or solid direction. To me, this movie testifies that her dismal performances in sub-par movies in this era of her career has to be blamed more on sub-par scripts and directors.

Unfortunately, the currently available DVD from a Canadian label called New Star Video under the title Stalking Laura has got horrible image and sound quality despite the box claiming "Digitally Remastered - Enhanced Audio": It actually looks and sounds like a rip from a 2nd gen. VHS dupe.

Originally aired on CBS network under the full title I Can Make You Love Me: The Stalking of Laura Black as a Tuesday movie.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Running Wild (1995)
Somewhat amateurish script compensated by nice real wildlife setting
27 February 2013
John Varty, a British wildlife conservationist living in Africa, co-produced, co-wrote and acted himself in this independent production of a conservation yarn shot in Africa and co-starring Brooke Shields. This was made in 1994, that is a few years before Shields' career would bounce back with TV stardom in the Suddenly Susan series and hence at a time when she was a largely forgotten ex-star.

The movie is watchable if approached with low expectations. The basic premise of the story is very promising (a young female filmmaker making a documentary about a conservationist raising two orphaned leopard cubs) and yet it has been scripted in a very incompetent manner, with lame dialog, not-fleshed out plot developments, etc. The acting is also high school performance level, unfortunately especially in Shields' case, but you may never know if it is because of the incompetent script or of any inherent incompetence of Shields. Yet, real wildlife scenes with the cubs are outstanding and make the movie worth a view.

Is Shields attractive in this movie? There is no intentional glamorization of her appearance here and I don't really like her bleached hair color at all. Yet, it is Brooke Shields in her late late 20s after all and you know what I mean. Plus, it is a nice bonus to see her intermingling with leopard cubs. By the way, Shields was no stranger to Africa, having ventured to a safari in Kenya for the TV series Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in 1984.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Well-intended, mediocre but watchable indie drama
21 January 2013
This was made when Brooke Shields' cinema career was at its lowest point. Following the box office flop of Sahara (1983), big studios were avoiding her like the plague. Outside of cheap TV productions, the only instance she could get an acting job was in Brenda Starr and even that had been possible only because an Arab multi-millionaire fan of her had volunteered to invest in the movie if she was cast in the lead role. As (un)luck would have it, Brenda Starr would be locked up in some legal tangles after its production and remain unreleased in the US for years to come. So when she was approached to co-star in this semi-indie production by an unknown filmmaker, she must have gladly embraced it. Backstreet Strays, as the movie was known in its production stage, was intended as a starring vehicle by an aspiring former film student named Jason O'Malley, who wrote, co-produced and starred, to have himself burst into the movie scene. It was shot partially in LA and partially in NJ (esp. Shields' scenes) in May-June 1989.

The movie isn't really bad at all. O'Malley plays a street thug who has an autistic son and Brooke Shields plays an idealist student who volunteers to help the kid. Naturally, a romance blossoms, but the guy's past doesn't let him go his own way too easily, so there is some action as well. The acting is decent (perhaps I should say the acting looks decent as I watched this in a Turkish dubbed version and cannot vouch for actual dialog performances). The story is very predictable, but so what? I especially liked the parts where the father was trying to interact with his son.

Did the movie kick off O'Malley's career and help Shields' career to bounce back? No. After an apparently very limited North American theatrical release in 1990, it went to video the next year and was soon forgotten. Interestingly, the movie also seems to have been theatrically released in Italy, but that was probably due the presence of Anthony Franciosa in the cast. The movie remains unreleased on DVD as of yet and it is too bad that, outside of the undistinguished posters, only one rather bland looking photo still with Brooke Shields (embraced by O'Malley) circulate on the web. Actually, there are some very nice scenes with her throughout the movie. A cosy one where she sits with the kid among neighbors singing, for instance. And a night scene with O'Malley when they have their first night out by a pool. Those are the instances which Brooke fans should check.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Wet Gold (1984 TV Movie)
If you are looking up for this forgotten TV movie, you must be a Brooke fan, so...
15 November 2012
If you are looking up for this forgotten TV movie and reading its reviews, you must be a Brooke fan, so there is no need to beat around the bush: 1) She is very good-looking in this one as well, as she was in all her teenage movies -and she is on-screen most of the time in swimming suits here. 2) Her acting performance is unfortunately lame, but you cannot really tell if it is her own fault or the fault of the script with its unconvincing lines.

The plot is about a search for some sunken gold. As an adventure flick, you'd probably want to fast-forward it most of the time, if not stop and eject the disc all together, if she wasn't the star and non-fans of Brooke would probably do that, but, as I said above, only her fans would track this movie down anyway and it is unlikely that non-fans would be aware of its existence. Speaking of the disc, the visual quality of the American DVD (from Image Entertainment) is below average for DVD standards and looks like a transfer from a VHS source. The movie, originally made for US TV, was theatrically released in some European countries such as in Germany in 1986 and in Spain in 1987 (where it flopped with less than 50 thousand tickets sold) and I wish I could see it in big screen.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
For Non-Fans: Only marginally less boring from the 1st Part
15 November 2012
This series obviously has a great number of fans and I guess anyone who had enjoyed even the previous entry in the series (Part 1 of Breakinng Dawn) will also enjoy this Part 2. For non-fans, on the other hand, there is not any reason to give Part 2 a chance. It is only marginally less boring than Part 1. For instance, the climactic confrontation is not handled with any gusto and appears pretty lame. I don't have any problem in principle with soap opera dynamics if they feature some genuine dramatic tension, as the first sequel had to some degree (with regards to Bella's ambivalent attachment to Jacob) and I had enjoyed that one on its own merits. But once Bella and her pale-face lover made up and settled, the series had ran out of dramatic fuel. Yes, Kristen Stewart is a very attractive young woman and there is some pleasure in viewing her pretty face on big screen, but that's all there is to it really.
30 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Cloud Atlas (2012)
Ambitious attempt largely succeeds in what it wants to achieve
26 October 2012
This is a very ambitious attempt in trying to bring to screen six or seven stories, all somehow linked to each other, but taking place in very different epochs in human history, by criss-crossing between the stories and casting the same actors and actresses in all the stories. Well, in the end, it all connects quite impressively and most of the stories are quite enjoyable in themselves as well. On the other hand, the make-up job on the cast varies from brilliant to mediocre. I have a problem with what the movie seems to saying 'though. It's nice to point out that there are always decent people however rotten the times may be, but there also seems to be an underlining theme that history repeats itself. And, the quasi-metaphysical implications are not my cup of tea.
9 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
In a nutshell: except for the last few minutes, it's utterly un-scary
26 October 2012
OK, to put my review in subjective context, here is where I stand regarding this franchise: 1) I hadn't taken much liking to the first one. The finale was somewhat scary, but the movie was a bore as a whole. 2) Hence, I skipped the second one. 3) I went to see the third one solely based on a review obligation and was surprised how much I enjoyed it! There were a few genuine scares scattered through the film and the ending was a real blast. The fourth one.. One of the least interesting horror movies I've watched recently. Integration of the latest technological fad, web cams in laptops, notwithstanding, it's mostly a repetition of established formula, nothing necessarily wrong with that if handled with gusto, but, despite decent performances from the young lead cast, it's not handled with gusto by the director. Only the last few minutes are scary and the movie is a bore as a whole. Back to square one.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Somne (2005)
Mediocre s-f thriller
12 September 2012
The movie starts with a car being chased by the police crashing, the male driver dying in the crash. Then it cuts to a female patient dying on an operation table and a young woman in dress (an intern perhaps?) lamenting that her loss will be the premature end of an experiment. Then it cuts to the same young women being invited to come back to the medical school which she had graduated from and take over some experiment being carried on chimps regarding expanding brain capacity. Not all seems to be what it seems to be and a retarded kid guides her in uncovering the mystery. Not really a bad movie, as it is not incompetently made, but not very engaging either. And quite predictable, until the surprising finale.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sint (2010)
A Dutch horror movie with an interesting premise and some great visuals
25 August 2012
Culturally not being very well acquainted with Saint Nicholas other than the globally popular image of Santa Claus and the fact that the historical figure behind it had lived in Turkey in ancient times, I was very much intrigued by this movie. Unfortunately, the prologue of the movie, which sets the background for the evil St. Nicholas, was very succinct -and confusing for international audiences (why the Middle Ages setting?, what's the Spanish connection?), and, I guess not only for non-Christians but for anyone outside the local audience of Holland. I mean since apparently St.Nicholas of Holland itself is somewhat different than Santa Claus, it was difficult to understand how much the filmmakers themselves had modified Santa Claus and how much of this difference stemmed from the Dutch cultural understanding of St.Nicholas as distinct from Santa Claus and how much from the filmmakers' own fiction-making. Anyway, I had to do some online research after-wards to put the film's narrative in context and I am not complaining in that regard. As a horror movie, the first half was somewhat mediocre other than the basic novelty of introducing a murderous Santa Claus in a conventional Halloween-esque slasher narrative. Yet, things got more interesting in the second half as unfolding events moved away from baby-sitting female characters in their homes at night et al. In the second half, we were offered some great and amazing visuals as St. Nicholas on horseback riding atop rooftops! The ancient ship setting at the old harbor at the finale was also nice. All in all, I would say this is a movie worth a look if you do not set your expectations very high.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sahara (1983)
Overall pretty bad, but not without any merits
3 August 2012
OK, I am a big Brooke Shields fan (that's why I have bought a DVD of this movie), but, honestly, I can understand why she was nominated for a Razzie award for this one... But it's not only the unfortunate Brooke, (except for C. Lambert, who plays the Arabic sheik in love with Brooke's character) the acting is uniformly bad in this movie. The parts where there are attempts at "humour" are the worst parts. The parts where there are attempts at drama come a close second worst. Or maybe the parts where there are attempts at romance. Nevertheless, the movie picks up some strength towards the end. The tribal battle scene is very good and the scene where Brooke is placed in a pit with black panthers and leopards is marvelous. For a western-made movie set in the Orient, I also liked the idea that the male protagonist was a non-westerner: you don't have a heroic white guy saving the white damsel in distress. Brooke's character is not the typical weakling damsel in distress either, she is a strong character herself.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Reminiscent of Ringu, but still quite engaging
22 July 2012
I've read that this is a remake of a recent Danish film which itself has been criticized for borrowing too much from Japanese Ringu. I haven't watched the Danish version, but yes, this German remake also carries unmistakable nods to Ringu, not only regarding the ghost, but even more so in the setting of its climax. Actually, restless female ghost motif is not obviously unique to Ringu, but the setting of the climax is clearly derived from Ringu. Having acknowledged this, 205 - Zimmer der Angst is nevertheless a pretty well-made and effective horror outing which cannot be reduced to being a Ringu rip-off. The first two-thirds of the movie does not have much chills but is very engaging as we follow the trials and tribunals of the female lead (played very successfully by a young actress). The last third carries a few quite scary scenes. Overall, thumbs up for this rare German effort at horror. By the way, the movie actually carries some nods to Suspiria as well as Ringu.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Supercroc (2007)
Get the Australian DVD!
21 July 2012
The cover of the Australian DVD sports the tag line "Original Uncut Version" and it is rated "M" (presumably for mature audiences) for "coarse language". I haven't watched any other version, just this Australian DVD, so I cannot say what, if anything, has been cut from other versions. Yet, this so-called "uncut" version itself is pretty lame anyway... The sole reason I recommend this Australian DVD is the great art on the cover! While the US DVD, whose covers scans I have seen on the net, features a crocodile eye over a cityscape, the Australian DVD features a giant crocodile jumping out of the sea to swallow a helicopter. There is nothing else to recommend about this movie, just DVD cover art, and only the Australian DVD at that...
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Asylum Blackout (I) (2011)
Notable for some very brutal scenes and an ambiguous gay angle
16 July 2012
THE INCIDENT takes its time in setting the events in motion. About half an hour passes till the riot breaks out at the asylum and until then, we get to know the main protagonists. I think this introductory half hour was way too long, the filmmakers could have been more economical in this regard. Once the riot begins, the movie does become thrilling to some degree. There are several gory instances and one quite shocking scene towards the end. The revelation at the end is somewhat confusing. It is neither spelled out understandably nor quite an open-end either. It feels more like the filmmakers intended it to be comprehensible, but could not make it so. My issue with the movie is that there appears to be a gay angle which is not developed satisfactorily.
6 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
ATM (I) (2012)
Not-bad thriller
15 July 2012
Premise: three yuppies are trapped inside an atm in the dead of a freezing night when stalked by a maniac who prowls outside. This is a good premise and it is handled adequately. Most of the running time takes place in this singular location and it is not a small feat to come up with plot developments to carry it to the end. Surely, there are much better movies in this regard, but this is not a bad entry either. There are some decent thrills and a few scares here. Plus, the actress is quite charming! By the way, most of the so-called plot holes which haters of this movie raise are not really plot holes. Some of the complaints simply raise from lazy viewing (ie. they are explained in the movie) and some are actually reasonably unreasonable things panicked people might do or not do in such terrifying situations. The ending is not your sugar-coated, safely reassuring Hollywood ending and that's why I also liked the movie and I guess that's also why some hated it.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Only For Die-Hard Fans of Shaky, Hand-held Camera-work Style of Horror Movies
15 July 2012
I tend to try to find something to enjoy and appreciate in every single horror movie I watch no matter how mediocre it may be and yet I found this obscure film to be very boring most of the time and very frustrating when not boring. It has a somewhat interesting premise, director Sean Stone plays the lead character named Sean and the other cast members also play characters named after themselves; in other words, they all seem to play themselves. Even Oliver Stone also appears as Oliver, Sean's father. The movie starts with a dinner talk about ghosts and then three youths set out to explore an abandoned insane asylum and film their exploit. For about an hour, basically nothing worthwhile happens as they walk around inside the asylum. The setting is actually quite wonderful in itself and yet it simply serves the function of being a background for the three characters to argue among themselves, the line "let's get the hell out of here" is uttered periodically! Some false and some real scares occur in the last 20 minutes or so and yet they are quite mild.
30 out of 41 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
First-ever Mexican movie about UFOs
5 July 2012
This is a pretty obscure Mexican comedy which now seems to be a lost movie. It is mentioned as the first-ever Mexican movie about UFOs. I happen to have a Mexican lobby card of it. The illustrations and the one still, featuring a female alien and a robot, on that card, make me think that it might have been partially influenced from the British-made DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS from 1954. Web searches on Spanish-language sites come up with almost nothing. The only bit of information that I could find on this movies is that it was about a guy and his girlfriend pretending to come from outer space. If that plot synopsis is correct, then the movie would be a parody.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Brechtian erotic parody of the spy genre
2 July 2012
There are several different edits of this movie and if the version you happen to view does not last for 90 minutes, then it is not the definite version. The original version does not start with the night club act but with a lengthy prologue where Lina Romay, writhing on a bed, talks at length to the camera/spectators, saying that she hopes we'll like her and if the movie becomes successful, she'll be signed for three more movies, etc., etc. Several times during the course of the movie, she also turns towards the camera during the action and addresses the spectators, commenting on the action. At one point, Franco himself, who also acts in the movie, does the same. The plot of the movie is thread-bare and has got to with a stripper and escort girl at a night club, Romay's character, involuntarily getting involved with a bunch of spies. There are loads of fairly explicit sex scenes. The humor may appeal to some and not to some, but the movie is interesting, if not for anything, for the deliberately Brechtian interludes.
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
There is a werewolf lurking in the sewer tunnels
2 July 2012
My first exposure to horror cinema was seeing the poster of this movie when I was 10 years old. I wasn't old enough to be taken to a horror movie then, so I hadn't been able to watch it on big screen at the time. Since then, it had become a holy grail for me. Unfortunately, it wasn't easily available. A second-hand VHS I had bought from ebay had turned out to be unwatchable. It hasn't been released on DVD as of yet. Recently, someone uploaded an apparently fan-made transfer from an old 35 mm print on to you-tube and I've finally watched it. I wasn't disappointed with it. A boy raised by wolves in the wilderness becomes a werewolf when there is full moon. As a grown-up, he falls in love with a prostitute and begins to kill her customers. Perhaps the frustration and jealousy driving him might have been more developed, but this premise is nevertheless OK as it stands. Visually, the movie boasts some very gory close-ups of the werewolf's blood-soaked mouth at the violent scenes and the underground sewer tunnels where some of the action takes place are a welcome setting. Peter Cushing as the police surgeon and Ron Moody as the wolf-man's employer excel in their roles. In sum, LEGEND OF THE WEREWOLF is worth a view if you don't set your expectations at the level of masterpieces.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.