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The Gathering (2002)
6/10
Original rubber neckers
4 February 2007
Original rubber neckers The Gathering is about a girl who knows something is wrong and can't remember why. She is struck by a car and winds up trying to protect the step son of the woman that hit her. During the film you find out that there are a group of people who watched the crucifixion of Christ just for the sake of watching and for that they are destined to walk the earth watching every tragic event in human history. The few twists at the end explain everything. A little slow, but well done for a story that could really be told in 15 minutes. (Ratings: Bad=1; Average=5; One of the best=10); Acting=08; Plot=08; Scenery=04; Character believability=06; Continuity=05; Dialog=05; Directing=07; Casting=05; Special effects=05; Overall Rating=06
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Night Skies (2007)
4/10
frantically suspenseful
3 February 2007
Nothing's out there Night Skies is about a person who insists that he and a group of people were abducted by aliens during that big UFO sighting that happened in Arizona in March 1997. The introduction tells you that some people came up with stories through memory regression therapy. Truthfully, I wished the entire group of characters had been abducted and never returned. The characters were a bunch of morons. If this was a true story, these people should never reproduce. Other than that, the film was frantically suspenseful.

(Ratings: Bad=1; Average=5; One of the best=10); Acting=04; Plot=04; Scenery=02; Character believability=03; Continuity=05; Dialog=05; Directing=07; Casting=08; Special effects=05; Overall Rating=04
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Unknown (2006)
7/10
Group amnesia
3 February 2007
Group amnesia Unknown is about a group of guys who wake up in a locked factory and can't remember who they are or how to get out. Clues are dropped along the way as they figure out they were poisoned by a gas that leaked into the air causing the amnesia. They figure out that they are all involved in a kidnapping and other members of the gang are heading back to the factory with the ransom and the cops in pursuit. They struggle to figure out who the bad guys and good guys are. Then everything becomes apparent when the others arrive. (Ratings: Bad=1; Average=5; One of the best=10); Acting=08; Plot=08; Scenery=02; Character believability=07; Continuity=07; Dialog=05; Directing=07; Casting=08; Special effects=05; Overall Rating=07
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Prey (I) (2007)
6/10
Cat version of Cujo
3 February 2007
Cat version of Cujo If you've seen Stephen King's Cujo, you'll like Prey. Prey is about a step mom and two kids who get stuck in a Range Rover on the African savanna and are stalked by a pride of man eating lions. Dad goes off to work leaving step mom to bond with the kids on a sight seeing trip. The guide gets killed by a lion and the girl bickers to the point where she deserves a good face slap. They make mistake after mistake and you're never quite sure whether they are going to be rescued.

(Ratings: Bad=1; Average=5; One of the best=10); Acting=06; Plot=05; Scenery=08; Character believability=07; Continuity=05; Dialog=05; Directing=07; Casting=07; Special effects=04; Overall Rating=06
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Idiocracy (2006)
6/10
Idiots can reach powerful positions
2 February 2007
Idiocracy is about a hooker and an average GI Joe who are forcibly volunteered to take part in a cryogenics program in the military. Of course the program goes wrong and the volunteers wake up 500 years in the future where a WWF wrestler has been elected president (from Minnesota I think) and the populations IQ is lower than a pregnant snakes belly. The film follows the volunteers around as they try and make it back to their own time while avoiding the pitalls of being average in a way below average society. (Ratings: Bad=1; Average=5; One of the best=10); Acting=05; Plot=08; Scenery=08; Character believability=07; Continuity=05; Dialog=05; Directing=08; Casting=07; Special effects=05; Overall Rating=06
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Saw III (2006)
7/10
another in the saw series
2 February 2007
Yet another slasher film Saw 3 is the latest in the Saw series about a dying man turned serial killer trying to teach people the meaning of life. One man is challenged to save the people who killed his son and the judge who let the killer off on a technicality. A brain surgeon is tasked with a brain operation on the master mind knowing that if his heart stops, she get blown to bits. The ending may be a surprise to most. Worth watching if you liked the others (Ratings: Bad=1; Average=5; One of the best=10); Acting=05; Plot=06; Scenery=07; Character believability=07; Continuity=08; Dialog=05; Directing=08; Casting=07; Special effects=07; Overall Rating=07
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Hoodwinked! (2005)
5/10
animated who done it
27 January 2007
Hoodwinked is about an evil mastermind that tries to take over a product market by illegal means. A regular who done it with multiple converging story lines and animated characters playing all the roles. The villain is not fully disclosed until near the end, but you can figure out pretty quickly who it is. The thing that sets this film apart is the animation. Nothing too unique about anything else in the film. It was interesting and entertaining. (Ratings: Bad=1; Average=5; One of the best=10); Acting=05; Plot=04; Scenery=06; Character believability=06; Continuity=08; Dialog=05; Directing=08; Casting=05; Special effects=05; Overall Rating=05
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The Covenant (2006)
8/10
good witch story
27 January 2007
The Covenant is about five families of New England witches that share a covenant of silence for mutual protection. One of those families is abandoned to the witch trials by the others centuries before because of indiscretions and the descendant holds a grudge. A wild card witch shows up under cover and attempts to destroy the covenant that has held the witches secret for centuries. The typical alpha male meets another alpha male and the fight begins. Lots of special effects. (Ratings: Bad=1; Average=5; One of the best=10); Acting=07; Plot=04; Scenery=06; Character believability=06; Continuity=05; Dialog=05; Directing=08; Casting=09; Special effects=07; Overall Rating=08
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5/10
Frat house humor
27 January 2007
Employee of the Month is a frat level situation comedy about a ner-do-well who becomes enamored with a newly hired beauty and finds a reason to compete with the local brown noser to be the employee of the month at a warehouse style store. The beauty is wrongly accused of sleeping with any employee of the month, but the competitors don't figure that out until it is too late. Lots of comedic situations bring some almost belly laughs as the whacky crew backing up their favorite competitor gets involved in the antics. In the end there is of course a moral to the story that becomes evident. This is a class B film with few technical problems. Definitely worth the watch if you like this kind of humor. (Ratings: Bad=1; Average=5; One of the best=10); Acting=07; Plot=03; Scenery=02; Character believability=07; Continuity=05; Dialog=05; Directing=07; Casting=07; Overall Rating=05
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3/10
campy low budget laugh
25 January 2007
Flesh Eating Mothers, well what can one say. The title sounded hilarious and it was campy kind of funny with some gags and enough special effects to make a go of a horror film. Mothers get a venereal disease that turns them into flesh eating wicked looking gangs. Of course the film was made back in the day when VD was easily cured. There is not much to compliment here, but I think they were just trying to make a film with a funny theme to get people's attention. They seemed to have a lot of fun making it and I can just imagine what the outtakes would have looked like if they were included. In the end, this is a class D film.
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9/10
very good and suspenseful
25 January 2007
The Illusionist is about forbidden love between the daughter of an aristocratic and the son of a cabinet maker. The boy and girl fall in love at a young age and are forcibly separated. The boy goes off to learn illusions and the girl grows up to become queen. They meet years later at one of his performances and rekindle their love. They find themselves in a no win situation as the emperor's spoiled brat of a son imposes his will on everyone. Can tragedy be turned around and how can it possibly work out for the couple? The is a great chic flick with just enough guy stuff to make it for all audiences. Class A film all the way around with good performances by all.
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The Guardian (I) (2006)
9/10
one of very few about the USCG
24 January 2007
The Guardian is about two rescue swimmers, one the old man and the other the young kid. After an accident where the old man loses his entire chopper crew through no fault of his, he goes to teach some young kids entering the coast guard rescue swimmers program to unwind. He meets the a bunch of youngsters and teaches them the real rescue swimmers life while befriending a youngster that shows great potential. Mainly about personal relationships, this film has some good special effects, but is not meant to be a film about effects. The seasoned actors and good directing keep your attention through the vast majority of the film. The only question is – what does the future hold for the stars? Well worth the watch.
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Last Night (I) (1998)
9/10
about people at the end of times
22 January 2007
Last Night (1998) is about a group of people's reaction to the last night the human race has to survive. Nothing is said about the actual method of humanities demise, but one conjectures it has something to do with the sun being out all the time. Constant daylight would have it's own effects that were not apparent in the film, so just go with the flow. This is not a sci fi film nor does it have any real special effects. It is about the characters and their emotional status as well as how many different people would handle the end of the world should it be determined down to the exact second. The acting, directing and almost everything else is very well done. Again, if you're looking for an end of the world film, this is not for you. It is about emotion and investment in characters. Since it was done in 1998, I'm sure it is about the year 2000 fiasco. Something big is going to happen, but we're not sure what.
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Gridiron Gang (2006)
7/10
feel good film
20 January 2007
Gridiron Gang is based on a true story about a juvi detention center that starts a football program to help troubled kids. There's really nothing new here, idle hands are the devil's work. Kids in trouble simply don't have anything to focus on. The story is about an administrator that takes a chance on a coach who almost wrecks the program, but pulls it out with the help of the kids. This is one of those quintessential feel good films about overcoming the odds and succeeding. Some good acting and good directing with the help if some way too tight camera shots help make the film look more realistic. A class A film to make you fell good about the system.
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6/10
oye Aussie western
20 January 2007
The Proposition is about a police captain and a criminal who enter into a deal for the criminal to bring back his animal of an older brother in order to save his wimpy younger brother and himself from a death sentence. The brothers are accused of raping and killing the pregnant girl friend of the Captain's wife, among many other things. These intricacies cause all kinds of problems for the captain and the 'good' brother. Then the mayor of the town gets involved and screws up the deal by killing the younger brother. As things go this film is slow, but just interesting enough to keep your attention. Technically a good film with lots of good sequences and scenery. Some gore and a very dirty looking cast.
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7/10
nice gore fest
19 January 2007
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is the first installment of the grim deeds of the Hewitt family as they start their rampage of serial killings. The family was made into a bunch of demons by poor economic times, a monster child that is scorned by society, and a lack of common sense. After getting to know the beginning the cutting start and is very bloody. Not for the faint of heart or the young, this is a film about sick people. As horror films go, there is a good amount of realistic effects. The acting is good as well as the directing. This film holds true to the theme of its predecessors and is a class A gore fest. Don't watch this while eating dinner.
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8/10
strange and entertaining
19 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Night Listener is about a demented woman who stalks a radio talk show host under the pretense that she is the foster parent of a boy who was severely sexually assaulted by his parents and is now diseased and dying. The boy, the host, and the woman become fast friends over the phone, but something isn't quite right. It is never quite explained whether the boy actually existed, but many people believed the boy did exist and gave the talk show host a very rough time for questioning the woman when he takes a surprise trip to the woman's town. The acting was very good, and everyone did a fine job telling a strange story of deceit and personal sorrow. A class A film worth a watch.
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Se7en (1995)
9/10
disgustingly good
17 January 2007
Seven is about two detectives, one old school, and one new school, who are placed on a homicide case together. Things start to get very strange as the killer turns into a serial killer with a definite pattern. After the inevitable whining between the new partners, they start to actually do some good work together. The murder themes are the seven deadly sins and each murder is executed according to one of the sins. Some good special effects and really disgusting scenes make this film not one for the kids. I've watched this film several times because each time you pick up more visual effects. They finally capture the calm and cool killer who plays on the younger detectives frailties very well pushing all his buttons while the old guy tries to keep things from escalating. The twist at the end is well worth the rest of the film. If you don't like sick and disgusting mutilations, stay away from this film.
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Serum (2006)
4/10
not much of a zombie film
16 January 2007
Serum is about a crazy doctor that finds a serum that is supposed to cure all diseases through the power of the mind. Instead it creates some kind of monster that needs to eat human flesh and brains. The mad doc creates some zombies out of cadavers and has some problems. There is a very long lead into all the action with many scenes getting you acquainted with the characters. The mad doctor's nephew gets into a car accident and the mad doc tries to use his new serum on the boy. The results are not good. This is a class C film with OK acting but some troubles directing and some continuity errors. There isn't much zombie action in this one and the effects, while adequate, are nothing special. You can fast forward through the slow parts and get some enjoyment out of the action scenes. Watch out for some nudity and bad language.
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Bandidas (2006)
7/10
latina all the way
16 January 2007
Bandidas is about a crooked American bank that takes over some Mexican banks to steal land for the railroad. Two daughters turn into bandits when their fathers are attacked and one is killed. They rob from the American banks in Mexico and try to get the deeds for the land owners to prevent the foreclosures. A primitive CSI guy from America lends a hand and they have a bunch of fun. When things go wrong for the Americans as the bandidas start taking over, the story takes a turn. This is a relatively funny comedy with lots of Latina eye candy. These women make a good team and seem to have the chemistry necessary to keep your attention.
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Crank (2006)
9/10
good action thriller
16 January 2007
Crank is about a hit man who gets hit, but refuses to die. The hit man's nemesis shoots him full of a drug that will slow his heart and kill him. His only chance is to keep his adrenalin up to avoid death. He starts out running from the cops and then fighting everyone he crosses paths with. He destroys a hospital to get some epinephrine and then takes too much. He makes love to his girl friend on a crowded street, and steals a cop's motor cycle. Does all kinds of stimulants and gets his crooked doctor to give him a drug pump to keep him going. The only question is whether he can stay alive long enough to get revenge on those that drugged him. Statham plays a role very similar to The Transporter and he does it well. A great action thriller with lots of bad language.
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Cuban Blood (2003)
9/10
good work
15 January 2007
Cuban Blood is one of those sleeper films that has a lot to say about life in a very traditional way. I actually watched it while sailing around Cuba on a western Caribbean cruise. It details the life of an 11 year old boy in a small town in Cuba in 1958 and 1959 during the revolution. Not much time is spent on the revolution until the very end, when the Socialist regime came and took the property of the boy's father. The majority of the film is the boy's coming of age and the relationships that arise in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. There are some powerful scenes that everyone can relate to. A class A film with fine acting and directing. This is a film that tells a story with no special effects or grand schemes or real twists. It is a film about people and their lives, their mistakes, and their triumphs. A good film worth watching several times annually.
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8/10
you go harmon
15 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Glass House: The Good Mother is about a couple who adopt children and kill them. Harmon does a great job as a Munchausen by Proxy mom that gets her adopted kids sick and then nurses them to death. The husband seems OK, but loves his wife so much he lets her get away with the killings and even helps her at times. Their hands are full when they get a little boy and his teenage sister who are good friends with a cop. They go quickly from an idyllic lifestyle to caged kids as Harmon takes control of every part of the kid's life. Triple locked doors and social workers who couldn't tell their butts from a hole in the ground. Things get worse from there as the young brother gets sick and doesn't get better.
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8/10
trust no one
15 January 2007
Keep Your Distance is about a talk show host (David) and a drug saleswoman (Melody) who get caught up in several scandals, including their own. Melody has a possessive and rich boy friend who gives everyone the willies. David gets letters that show him things about his life and he confides in Melody who he meets by chance, and they help each other through some tough times as friends. As things start to pan out some clues start to give away the twists that occur at the end. A class A film technically with lots of good scenes. Acting was very good and the characters where believable. In the end, the letters spell out a lame plot as the characters have to explain it all to the audience.
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6/10
paranoid
15 January 2007
Land of Plenty is about an Viet Nam Vet looking for terrorists around every corner. His naive niece from Palestine visits at the behest of her dead mother to get an education about America and Americans. The majority of the film is about the vet imagining all kinds of terrorist plots as he goes from place to place in LA following people and making all kinds of assumptions to support his neurosis brought on by agent pink which was the precursor to agent orange. The niece learns that America is a land of plenty that not everyone gets a piece of as she takes up residence in a mission while looking for her uncle. A drive by shooting of a homeless Pakistani brings them together as she looks for the next of kin and he looks for the terrorist cell. Upon meeting the Pakistani relative, they come to the realization that while America is a great country, the real America is not the stuff of legend, it is the struggle of its people to make their way through their lives and through the world.
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