Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Blood and Lace (1971)
Abortive attempt at chills and thrills
First question is what's with the eerie, sci-fi creep out music? Sounds like Day the Earth Stood Still! And the opening scene where we watch a claw hammer float through the house drags on,and on,and on! The subsequent action, when it finally occurs, can't be anything but anticlimactic.
The eye candy from the TV show F Troop is the star of our bloody lingerie story, a young woman who's certain something is rotten in the state of the local convalescent home. There is a cast of creeps to keep the audience playing a guessing game...who's the killer?
The problems with this film are 1) it got made, and 2 it offers nothing to horror fans. MGM was slow on the uptake since it clearly wasn't paying attention to independent films that were setting trends for shock and horror. This one plays like a made-for-TV operation. It stinks!
The Mummy (2017)
T Cruise v Mummy hottie
Ah yes! Just when you thought that nothing new might come of an old story, (and an old movie reel-1932), the ever-imaginative mind of Hollywood comes up with an almost new riff on an old line...or maybe not. Tom Cruise, recently stirring up sci-fi and horror genres, after previous more notable efforts as hot-shot pilot, or military lawyer, etc., now gives us the average guy v a horrid, haughty hottie, aka The Mummy, a movie that no one was waiting for. If you saw the trailer for the movie, a sarcophagus being hauled in a large transport aircraft, then you saw the most compelling scene in the movie. Aside from the hot mummy girl writhing in sexually suggestive scenes, or using her powers to forcefully show the vengeance of a woman scorned, there is little that is entertaining in this flick. Watch the 1930's version, or even Hammer Films 1950's take. Both are superior films to this modern remake.
China Girl (1942)
probably served its purpose in 1942
As in most films produced during the war years, at least those that focused on Asian locales, China Girl probably had two important functions when it was made. The first, of course, was to entertain audiences with action and romance, to be profitable, the second was to serve the US war effort though, sadly, there was never much of a US effort made to actually help China until late in the war.
In this film George Montgomery--described by some critics as the actor chosen after Montgomery Cliff or Tyrone Power refused the role-- plays a rakish hustler out to profit from the chaos of war. After escaping Japanese controlled China, he lands in Burma where he meets his China Girl, played by Gene Tierney who looks not a bit like a Chinese woman.
While there is some attempt to inject other elements to the plot, Japanese agents and even a "love triangle", these seem superficially installed for their melodrama and don't do much to draw the viewer into the story. A major part of the plot is that true love can absolve moral failings. How sweet!
There are logistical and factual problems with the story-line: the hero says he has just fled a Japanese military base in Luchow, located in Sichuan, where the Japanese army never advanced to; a World War I vintage biplane carries its passengers several hundred miles over mountainous terrain, surely well beyond such a plane's range; a dispute over destinations has the hero arguing that they will go to Kunming, not Yunnan (Kunming is in the center of Yunnan); the hero and his gal take an evening stroll to the Dhammayan Temple vicinity, about a hundred miles from Mandalay, where they are supposed to be. But one would not expect Hollywood scriptwriters to be familiar with Asian geography,and viewers of that era even less so.
All in all, a mediocre effort to depict a trans-continental romance set against the background of horrendous human tragedy in WW II China. There were some good films made during this period, but this is not one of them.
The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
I'll give it a notch above average because it is almost an original type of zombie movie...if there is such a thing anymore. But it has several problems which detract from the film's impact.
The biggest problem is the credibility of the the behavior exhibited by the characters. Given the life or death situation of the story, it is hard to believe several of the people in the story act as casually or as naively as they do, which is a shame as it really reduces the story's impact.
This is probably the reason critics and viewers have posted unfavorable reviews on this site. Better screen writing would have made this a very good horror drama, but the glaring missives make this more of an average film than it otherwise would have been. A pit!
Worst post apocalyptic movie ever
This flick certainly tries to excite and titillate, but it was nearly impossible to sit through. Aside from the low budget, boring ass beginning, the rest of the film comes complete with two old armored cars driving through junk yards,and cheesy Mad Max crazed warriors. Later we even get medieval style castles filled with old Scottish Occupants.
Blended in are elements of Escape from New York, 28 Days Later, and lots of other cheap sets, boring dialogue and girls in bikinis gyrating to the beat of ripped-off pop songs. There is nothing original in the movie.
As for acting and story, forget it! There is nothing worthwhile for the viewer. I suspect this movie is the shame of Scotland and I hope the producers find meaningful careers in some other work.
Tang lang (1978)
interesting tale of conflicting obligations
This is an unusual and interesting story of the often conflicting, or even contradictory obligations in certain situations in a Confucian society. It is also quite bleak in its conclusion, which often occurs in Shaw Brothers, revenge-driven Kungfu movies, but more so given the conflict of family, romantic and social ties in this film. An oft-recurring theme in Shaw Brothers' films is the lingering Ming resentment of Qing rule, which also is prominent in this one.
There are historic inaccuracies, such as a romantic lead, Chi-chi, who happens not to have bound feet, which would never have occurred in a noble family circa early Qing dynasty, and this would have precluded any martial arts study for women. But the dominant story plot is the hero's conflicting obligations to family, political loyalties and the intimate affairs of the heart.
None of this becomes clear until the second half of the movie, although it is clearly outlined early in the film. Some of the romantic elements develop slowly, perhaps a bit tediously, in the first part of the movie, but conflict deepens quickly with the resultant tragedy and grim conclusion of the film. The "mantis" element in the film seems slightly contrived, and unessential to the broader thrust of the movie, and some of the early fight scenes in the movie lack the luster of other Shaw Brothers' efforts. But the movie is still worth a look!
Yang guo yu xiao long nu (1983)
Interesting Chinese fairy tale
As with most Shaw Brothers productions, Kung fu elements are the most prominent feature of the story. But this film mixes fantasy, a bit of history and the usual combative heroes and villains in a charming story. The hero is Yong Guo, whose father died at the hands of... (?), who must make something of himself in life. After difficulties with one master, he meets the Little Dragon Maiden, a young beauty who has fantastic Kung fu/magical abilities.
Leslie Cheung, who later went on to great heights in Chinese cinema, reaching his pinnacle in Chen Kai-ge's Farewell My Concubine, plays our forlorn hero in this very early role. Those who are familiar with the Shaw Brothers will see several of the usual Shaw stars in the film. While the script at times seems to veer into realism, and then back to fantasy, it manages to combine action, romance and a few unsavory elements into a watchable whole. Not the best of the Shaw Brothers, but one that manages to be a bit different.
Interesting if inaccurate historic drama
Ingrid Bergman gives a strong performance as a sort of Gladis of China, an unusual woman who finds a fulfilling life in a foreign culture and foreign tongue. The first half of the movie offers compelling scenes of her struggle to adapt to a seemingly brutal and difficult life in a small impoverished Chinese village. She is a common woman, who had been deemed unsuitable for foreign missionary work, but one who perseveres to achieve her dreams.
But in the second half of the movie the script goes for high melodrama, including an armed Japanese invasion of Manchuria with bombing and strafing of peasants. In reality the battle for Manchuria was over as soon as it started, as the only combat involved when Japan seized Manchuria was a short conflict in Mukden. There were no bombing raids on small cities. Additionally, a march to Xian would require a journey of over 1,000 miles, which seems nearly impossible given the circumstances of the film.
But, if you are looking for a good story you could do worse than this one. Surprisingly, the film was mostly shot in Wales, the UK.
Huang tu di (1984)
A very fine and unusual movie!
Yellow Earth is a rare film of exceptional caliber, a film that captures the brutal simplicity of traditional Chinese life in northern China. Directed by Chen Kaige with cinematography from Zhang Yimou, Yellow Earth tells the story of a village family visited by a communist soldier who has come to collect folk songs he hopes might motivate his fellow soldiers to fight the Japanese. You could definitely say this is an "art-house" movie, so if you are looking for high drama it's probably not your cup of tea. However, for the patient and attentive viewer, the emotional impact is powerful.
Chen Kaige manages to show us life in the village in a minimalist style, where the bare earth and mountains of north China provide a most unobtrusive background. A lone tree on the mountain is both an anomaly—there are no other trees in the landscape—and a symbol of the isolation of the individual in a society bound by tradition and codes which permit no variation. The young girl, Cuiqiao, hears the soldier's description of life in a modern, communist world, and dares to dream she might escape her fate in the village, where young women are given as brides to older men before they can fully know themselves, let alone aspire to a self-fulfilling life.
Dialogue and overt emotion are sparse in this film, while traditional folk music provides the chorus that foretells the fate of its characters. It is the contextual environment that provides us with the clues to the person's feelings. In this male-dominated society, the young girl sings a song that pleads for pity for the life of a woman. While the setting is north China circa 1937, the problem it depicts remained a vexing social concern in Chinese rural villages well into the 1990's.
Not funny bad, just bad!!
There are a number of Sci-fi and horror movies from the 70s that defied all odds and were actually shot on film, despite the lack of good writers or actors, money and thought. Bug certainly fits this category. The single most striking thing about Bug is, this flick is really BORING!
The plot is simple: small earthquake reveals unknown species of bugs that emit heat and are capable of igniting fires. Unstable (mad) scientist experiments with them and creates bugs that seem intelligent and like to eat raw meat. If you're thinking this plot is intriguing, forget it!
It seems as if the director/producer imagined that simple close-up filming of cockroaches was going to send shivers down the spines of film viewers. There is almost no action, no horror and no excitement until the final 25 minutes of the movie, and the "terrifying" ending is the only part of the movie that provoked a good belly-laugh from this viewer. This is a silly, dull movie, featuring bell-bottoms and other 70s cultural staples, but a duller film would be extremely hard to find.
Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)
a bit too much of the college jock life
Yes, the movie was realistic and there were a few, sparse moments of tenderness between Jake and his romantic interest, but I was disappointed by the imbalanced focus of this movie. As most college students, then and now, are not hardcore jocks, this is a skewed vision of college life in that era. We get scant input from other groups on campus.
Compared to Dazed and Confused, which featured a much broader spectrum of teenage life in the mid 70s, including jocks, budding intellectuals, burn-outs, etc., Everybody Wants Some is mainly focused on college jock life and the pervasive misogyny one might expect. At times insightful, and also humorous, the movie simply observes the lives of its characters. But it pales compared to its predecessor, and the overwhelming emphasis on the misogynistic and competitive sexual exploits of its characters tends to fracture and efface the movie's charms.
The Silencers (1966)
After James Bond began piling up revenue with a string of box office winners, there were numerous imitators, lots of spies popping up on the big screen. Martin's Matt Helm was among the worst of the Hollywood rip offs. It is difficult to view these terribly contrived stories with Martin crooning sappy songs on his way to save the world from evil plots and criminal syndicates. His "irresistible" sex appeal on screen strains credulity, and nothing in his demeanor suggests sophistication or cleverness. While there may have been even worse, lower- budget spy flicks than the Matt Helm franchise, this is a very pale effort compared to any of the various Bond incarnations.
It has Raquel, if nothing else
From the opening shots of the film, where the camera moves across the legs and buttocks of Ms Welch in a swimsuit, the viewer is under no illusion as to the main attraction in this flick. In a terribly contrived story with Ms Welch as a champion sky-diver, lured into espionage and intrigue, those who manage to sit through this turkey will get few thrills from the viewing. There are boat chases, airplane chases, and a car chase or two, but nothing that will linger in memory.
While Raquel is certainly attractive, in the modern era one is not accustomed to seeing women with a quarter pound of eye makeup, but that was the strange standard of beauty among "glamorous" stars of that time. If you like looking at a scantily clad Ms Welch, I would recommend 1 Million Years BC, where the absence of dialogue does not compromise her acting performance. And that flick does manage some drama.
a big disappointment
I'm a fan of Spike Lee's movies and was expecting to be cajoled into deep thought on today's urban problems by this film. Mr Lee has directed some very good films. Do the Right Thing is still one of my favorites. However, in Chi-raq Mr Lee has taken a highly stylized approach to his subject, and this becomes evident early in the film when every character is speaking in rhyming couplets. This continues nearly unbroken throughout the movie. I must say I found urban poetry in Do the Right Thing, but none in this film. The rhyming began to feel artificial, not conducive to either the mood or the setting, and it quickly wore thin.
Additionally, Mr Lee gave the film a strongly burlesque quality, at times extremely so, and this was clearly meant to be comic. The humor was so exaggerated, however, that it seemed ill- suited to the very serious problem it was trying to address: the murder rate of young African-Americans at the hands of other African-Americans in urban America.
Some reviewers on IMDb have asserted that Mr Lee failed to address the real problem, the "war on drugs", but the topic of the film is more complicated than simple bad law enforcement policy. Lee gave the film a hard sexually charged theme, focusing on reducing violence through female induced sexual abstinence. But he reduces the focus of responsibility in the broader society to white racism, which is likely partially true but not completely so, and even this aspect of the film is presented as burlesque.
The film's principle faults: It is not good drama, it is not good comedy, and it is not a film which provokes much thought on a problem that truly deserves attention.
Jiao Yulu (1990)
A movie about a life that was most likely not at all similar to the socialist heroism depicted on the screen. Jiao Yulu, much like Lei Feng, became a Communist party icon after his death. According to party pronouncements, he was self-less, always eager to help other party cadres whether he himself were tired or ill, and strove unstintingly for the perfect Marxist utopia. And so goes this unabashed attempt at a Jiao Yulu elegy.
In reality, had he still been alive when this film was produced, Jiao would have been yet another corrupt, self-seeking cadre stuffing his pockets with the people's money; the same pursuit of most Communist party officials in China of that time. If you subscribe to the possibility of altruism in an unaccountable leadership, this film may be more to your liking. If your thinking is clear, this is sheer fantasy.
Typical 80's horror flick falls flat
Cassavettes must have been hard up for cash to star in this film. The emphasis is on shock effect with rape and murder the recurrent theme, but poor scripting and muddled focus make it more of a bore than a gore flick. Resorting to a number of unimaginative plot devices, the story points the viewers toward early clues as to the outcome. The ending arouses little more than an "Uh?"
Poor editing, camera work and direction make this movie very unsatisfying. There is a constant din of screeching violins for a soundtrack which are (poorly) calculated to raise tension, but after a third of the film the effect is lost. Oh yeah, and by the way there's not a substantial amount of graphic violence if that's your thing. Forget it!
Nabbeun namja (2001)
A piece of misogynist crap
I can't believe anyone would consider this a good film. The plot essentially suggests that human trafficking is really a negotiable proposition for young women, and once one gets over a rough patch or two, criminal bondage can even lead to companionship and love. How utterly preposterous, as well as demeaning to victims of human trafficking around the world! The lead character is viciously violent, but the director wants us to know he's also kinda "cool", and that under his monstrous violence, (largely directed at women), there's really a heart of gold.
There are many ludicrous Asian films which want viewers to believe that there is something good inside every serial criminal, an idea that Scosese thankfully disabused film noir fans of in Goodfellows. Male bonding is a common theme in Korean gangster films, but this movie eschews that route and tries to make the viewers believe love is possible between a violent sociopath and a young virgin female who has been forced by him into prostitution. It is neither believable nor alluring, save for the prurient interest to voyeurs.
Gone Girl (2014)
shoddy character development
Let me start by saying the film held my interest for most of the movie. It becomes a mystery we want to solve when the protagonist's wife disappears and his own innocence is called into question. At its core the film posed a basic but intriguing mystery as to the disappearance; viewers certainly wanted to know what happened to the Gone Girl, whether or not the husband was involved and, if not, who or what was the culprit in the unfortunate incident.
But the story began to break down, became less plausible, as the nature of the wife was slowly revealed over the second half of the movie. This began to deconstruct the image that the husband's memory poses of her in the first part of the film, making the entire first half of the movie, somehow, false or misconstrued. The protagonist- husband's judgement is called into question, and the viewer him or herself must begin to wonder what had genuinely transpired. This may sound intriguing as a story, but there are certain aspects of the wife's character that should have been visible to the husband, or to anyone else who spent time with her at work or at school, and apparently this never happened. The husband is kind of a slightly-above-average common guy; he has to be above-average to marry a PhD from an ivy- league school. The problem is: ruthless, amoral sociopaths have distinctive features to their personality, particularly those who would manipulate, lie, use sex and even murder to achieve their goals. The distinguishing personality feature of the sociopath, (once called "psychopath"), is superficiality. In other words there is no true intimacy in the usual sense of the word. Establishing meaningful, long-term relationships is not the forte of the sociopath. (Think of Ray Liotta's character in Goodfellas. Yes, he has a wife and children, but he is unfaithful to her during their entire relationship, until the deluded wife finally comes to her senses).
Most people eventually become aware of this superficiality, of the lying and manipulation that forms the essence of the sociopathic personality. Yet in this film the unsuspecting husband seems oblivious to the dominant personality trait of his wife. In the narrative describing their path to marriage at the start of the movie, the viewer is led to believe the relationship is almost ideal, and satisfying to both husband and wife. The later revelations at first make Ben Affleck's character seem a little dull, or even insensitive, but we have no reason to assume this to be true from the first half of the movie's narrative. The final, compensatory attempt to fill-in this blank comes when it is reveled that the husband had a girlfriend, that he has lost any sense of true intimacy with his wife. But it is a little late and the screen-writer cheats the viewer with this information, all in the effort to make plausible the film's final revelation.
Regardless of the the quasi-references to feminism, or to the struggle in boy-girl relationships for power and control, the film is actually a kind of cheap set-up for a completely unexpected outcome, and leaves the viewer wondering what, if anything, the movie really wanted to say. Or, what, if anything, the film can contribute to better understanding human relations. Not much, I think.
Kanzen-naru shiiku (1999)
male rape fantasy masquerading as character study
After recently seeing this movie, I felt I must add some comments, especially after noticing it had garnered a 6.1 overall rating, with two viewers giving respective ratings of 7 and 9 out of 10. I also noted the film had won two awards, according to IMDb, at a film festival, somewhere, in 2000.
I found all of this disconcerting because—in agreement with the critic view on this site from Beyond Hollywood—this is simply an old man's perverse fantasy dressed up as character study. I would hope that no one would take this drivel seriously. A middle- aged man, depressed and alone, decides to kidnap an 18 year old girl with the purpose of "training her for perfect love". He grabs the young woman while she's jogging, drugs her and takes her to his one- room apartment and ties her up. In effect, what he wants is a sex- toy not a real relationship with a live person.
The incredulous aspect of the story is that the young woman, after being bound and gagged for several weeks, seems all too easygoing about the whole incident. She quickly gets over her initial outrage. She is bereft of any sentiment or regard for her family, and eventually seems to begin to accept her situation, even developing an attraction to her kidnapper. Yes, they start having sex, adding to the prurient appeal of the story, but somehow the whole thing seems preposterous.
There are too many problems with the movie's characters to fully convince the viewer of the outcome. There is a clear effort in the story to paint a sympathetic portrait of the perpetrator. And, much as in some of the rape-fantasies of Japanese cinema from the 70's and 80's, the man's masculine power causes the victim to submit and even enjoy the rape. Here, there is no precise rape, but the same idea prevails: women who are sufficiently cowed or subdued submit to the will of the male and enjoy it.
To cut to the chase, as this sort of misogynistic trash doesn't really deserve a longer critique: the older man is successful. Even after he is caught and arrested, the young woman defends him so that his sentence is reduced to a few years, maybe less, in prison. She has fallen in love with her abductor and seems happy to talk about their "great sex". I wonder how friends and family of other young women—particularly those of the infamous Castro incident in Cleveland in 2012—who experienced the real-world horror of abduction for sex would feel about this story. I thought the misogyny of Japanese movies had ended some decades ago, but since this film is apparently one in a series of similar stories that continued into at least 2010, apparently I was mistaken.
the secret true story of genesis
Yes, as the old song goes..."the stuff that your libel to read in the bible, it ain't necessarily so.." And at the start of the movie we find Adam, kind of a dufus actually, just wandering around alone in the Garden of Eden. One day he gets bored and forms a woman's body out of sand and, as it starts to rain, Adam gets on top of the sand. I was thinking', "Adam, what are you doin' on top of that sand??" But then the rain turns the sand into Eve. Both of them are in paradise, so they ain't wearing any clothes. Life is sort of just lovey-dovey, the leopards are friends with the birds...you know, paradise.
Then, after their 1,000th time of watching a sunset after making love, Eve starts to get bored. wants a change, so she eats the forbidden fruit. She gets Adam to eat it too. Women! Always lead to fall of a good man, cause that's the way god planned it. After that life gets tough. Adam has to learn to kill animals and stuff. But this is the way things really went down 6,000 years ago. You don't have to read a book to learn history, just watch the movie.
Huo shao hong lian si (1994)
reveals historic inconveniences
Yes, a well-choreographed martial arts melodrama from Ringo Lam. It is relentlessly bloody, adding a certain black-magic flair with the repulsive arch-villain in the story. Shaolin monks fight for their survival against Qing dynasty henchmen who are in hot pursuit of the monks. A number of kungfu battles ensue, building to the climatic ending with Shaolin masters against the black arts. Of particular interest is the view of the Qing dynasty as a source of evil in China. In fact they were regarded as "foreign invaders", eventually "ousted" in the early 20th Century. Today, due to political expediency, the Chinese communist party has chosen to delete this historic inconvenience from official history, as they refuse to admit that China today actually represents several previously autonomous regions.
Machete Kills (2013)
sorry, this one doesn't quite cut it
Robert Rodriguez has made some very good movies, but this flick, much like it's predecessor Machete, is not one of them. Lots of stars poking their faces into the screen, but there's nothing to hold the thing together. This film is supposed to be like one of the cult films that Tarantino and Rodriguez admired from the 70s and 80s; flicks that were wild, over the top and fun to watch because they took themselves seriously. Obviously this film doesn't take itself seriously and, much like Machete, it runs on wild action, testosterone-charged dialogue and sappy one-liners. Where Tarantino had some success with parodies of cult flicks like Kill Bill and From Dusk Till Dawn, there was a thread of a story that held these films together and some interesting characters and dialogue to boot.
Danny Trejo came to recognition in films because he looks like a stereotypical gangster, a part he played often, but only a bit-part, and aside from looking scary he has no real appeal on the screen. He can't carry the film, and neither can the dialogue or action. The film ends up being a non-stop run of macho one-liners, violent death scenes, and serial expletives that begin to bore 20 minutes into the film. While all of these are meant as dark humor, there's nothing really funny in the whole film. The film ended with a sort of "trailer" for the next installment which, unfortunately, is apparently nearly ready for release. I won't watch that one.
Wooah, this thing STINKS !
OK, there are way too many positive reviews for this piece of trash so, since I wasted several minutes of my life watching it--I fast forwarded through most of it--I have to set the record straight. Before a plot synopsis, if plot is a suitable word, let me begin by saying this is a stupid, boring, most unscary and unthrilling movie. It's rated PG-13, so you know there's nothing too spicy included in the script.
The story involves what seems like a sappy guy who keeps his homicidal maniac of a sister locked up in the cellar, tied to a bed. Occasionally she escapes and makes trouble. Sappy guy meets almost-hot-chick and it's teenage love: Britney Spores meets Anthony Perkins from Psycho. But that's only one movie out of several that this re-hash of a story rips off. The ending is sooooo ridiculously stupid you will wretch in revulsion for having seen it. PLEASE do not watch this movie...it is not scary, it is not sexy, it is not interesting. I pity the fools who claim this movie was entertaining.
Alien Dawn (2012)
wooo...what a stinker !
So...ever hear of Neil Johnson? Me neither. He's the producer and director of this film, and one day he thought "You know, I think I can make the movie, War of the Worlds, that Steven Spielberg made. Yeah! That's the ticket!" And so he did. Of course, his budget was not quite as big as Spielberg's, so he had to cut corners here and there, like in script writing, actors' salaries, special effects, etc. No Tom Cruise in this flick. Oh, and yeah, he kind of likes some TV shows too, like Walking Dead, or even Lost. So he thought an aliens-invade-earth-to-eat- mankind kind of movie might be better with some video-shot footage of people, you know, kind of talking about how they feel about, well, being invaded and devoured. But, I think Mr. Johnson needs more practice and he should try again in, say, 50 years.
Werewolf: The Beast Among Us (2012)
Not that bad
This is not a great werewolf movie, but the average rating on this site is too low. It's OK for a horror movie, and certainly miles beyond your typical sci-fi channel flick. There's an assortment of odd characters in the story, not really sure what the location is supposed to be however. There's a group of werewolf hunters, the leader of which seems to be a sort of cowboy, though the rest of the story setting seems to be eastern Europe.
It manages a little intrigue and a few surprises, so it's a little above average. Having said that, it's not something that will stick with the viewer for very long.