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6/10
Good high end B-movie throwback
12 January 2019
I'll be upfront. Sasquatch has always been one of those things that terrify me. Living where I do it's something that stuck with me from a very young age and has always been one of my irrational fears. So, I have both a soft spot and glaring disdain for subject matter that takes it on. One of the first thing I noticed about Primal Rage was it looked like it had a budget. I know that's not the be all end all when it comes to movies, but out of all the films I've seen involving this subject it was one of the better-looking ones. The FXs were fantastic, and I loved the look of the creature. It had a more Ape like appearance to it than many of the traditional descriptions, but in the context of the story, I really liked it. While this isn't a gore fest, there are some awesome moments of gore that will sate diehard gore-hounds. I loved the score and thought It fit the tone of the film well and made it feels much grander than it deserved to. It added an ominous layer to the situation without pulling you out of what was going on.

Where this one stumbles a bit is the story itself. I get plot points and needing to move the story along but there are a few occasions where things felt unnecessary and foreshadowed just a bit too much. While I didn't have any major issues with the acting the main Male character was annoying. It felt like every bad-boy trying to do good trope wrapped into one. I don't even fault that in the performance I think it was more of the way it was written. It isn't too bad throughout the first 1/3rd of the film. In that act there's a good dynamic between him and the lead actress. It loses most of that momentum throughout the last 2/3rds. While it doesn't ruin the film, it is off-putting.

If I had watched this movie when I was 14 or 15 this would have been right in that sweet spot for me. It's very reminiscent of old-school Orion pictures type films, and the higher end B grade movies I enjoyed so much growing up. Despite the issues I had, I enjoyed it. It's got enough good points, ideas and moments to give it a watch. I know I've certainly seen and enjoyed a hell of a lot worse.

My Rating: 6/10
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6/10
Much better than I expected, an enjoyable low budget Horror-Comedy
27 December 2018
So often when I'm searching one of the streaming services for something to watch it comes down to what mood I'm in. I was feeling comedy-horror, but I also wanted something I hadn't seen. Low and behold a new film popped up on the recently added portion of Prime and I said what the hell.

Going in I figured this was probably a lower budgeted film. While that doesn't define my overall enjoyment of a film there are certain things one can usually expect. Many times those things can become a hindrance to viewing enjoyment. So, when the film started up I guessed right and almost shut it off just because I figured I was in for another one of those movies. Instead, I stuck with it and gave it a chance. I'm glad I did.

Return of the Scarecrow ended up being a lot of fun. It's very well shot, the sound was good and I found myself laughing quite a bit. There are some great character dynamics, especially between Wyatt and Vergil. This film is a great example of low budget filmmaking done right. They didn't try too hard to go outside their means, worked with what they had and made it happen. While ambition is a good thing, more often than not I think being too ambitious and not knowing when to work within your limitation hurts more than it helps. This film worked because it did seemingly operate within those the parameter of those limitations.

While this one won't be for everyone, if you're someone who can go in with an open mind, you'll more than likely find some enjoyment in this one.
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The Domestics (2018)
6/10
Not what I was expecting... in a good way
27 November 2018
Going into this film I was expecting it to go one of two ways. I figured it would either be along the lines of something like Mad Max. Or, it was going to be a ball's to the wall splatterfest, and really grab onto the over-the-top nature some of those apocalypse films of the past leaned toward. My pre-conceived notions about what this film was going to be, were very, very wrong.

I'm not 100% sure how I really feel about this film. While it has moments of both of the above-mentioned things I expected it really doesn't follow the guidelines of either of those tropes. This film felt more like a drama with action elements. In a way, it's a love story between the main characters and about their relationship. The other elements are secondary. Honestly, I was a bit thrown off by this.

The acting, FX, and score are all very well done. Everything fits together very nicely in those aspects. The story itself is interesting. It does at times feel a little bit too crammed into the runtime it was given. I think this is a rare case where the film could have been given another 20 minutes or so longer and benefited from it.

At the end of the day, I think this is a pretty solid film. It wasn't what I was expecting, but delivered enough to where I enjoyed it. This is without a doubt one of those films I'm going to need to watch a second time to really gauge how I really feel about it. I think if you go into it knowing it's not a ball's to the wall action film. It's a little slower paced at times you'll be okay with it. In the end, I think this is a nice change of pace when it comes to this sub-genre of action film.

My Rating 6/10
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Them! (1954)
9/10
A well made classic Sci-Fi/Horror
27 October 2018
There's just something about this one I've always enjoyed. For the time period that it came out, the FXs are excellent, quite ahead of its time in many ways in my honest opinion. This fits right in with other giant monster movies from that era. Frankly, I feel like it stands atop the Anthill so to speak compared to most of them. The technical aspects are all great. The transfer is great, the sound is excellent, it has some great sound FXs, the acting is rather good and the story itself is very well done. While many of the sci-fi/horror films of this era weren't taken seriously (or so it seemed) this one is played fairly straight, which is one of the reasons I think it stands out so much.

There really isn't much to complain about with this one. If you're a fan of classic monster movies and haven't seen this one yet it's a must see.

My Rating: 9/10
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8/10
A great doc about one of horror's biggest Icons.
25 October 2018
I've been interested to see this since I first heard about. Kane is one of those Horror Icons that seems like an interesting guy. He's one of the best stuntmen in the business and been some of the biggest characters in horror like Jason Voorhees & Victor Crowley. I figured if anything it wouldn't be a dull watch. I'm a sucker for documentaries anyway. Combine that with my love of Horror and this was pretty much a no-brainer for me.

This was actually much more than I expected. It has a lot of heart. We learn a lot about Kane and how he came into acting/stunt work. The trials and tribulations he's gone through as well as the triumphs. There are loads of interviews with members of the horror community, friends and Kane himself.

I don't want to spoil anything so I will leave it at that. Even if you're not a big horror fan it's worth a watch. A must see for those of us who are horror junkies. It's a damn interesting view. We get a glimpse into the life of one of the people most synonymous with the genre. It's touching, funny, and as I said, has a lot of heart.

My Rating: 8/10
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8/10
Effectively Disturbing
23 October 2018
This is a no frills, straight to the meat and potatoes kind of film. That's one of the benefits of having a short runtime. Once it's set up, it moves right along in a very creepy and effective manner. The acting's great, the film looks excellent, and I was honestly a little disturbed. That doesn't happen very often with me, so it gets point from me for that alone.

Sounds effects play a big role in making this film work. Which is something I often fell is underutilized in horror. It can also be overdone, but this manages to find just the right balance. While the whole cast was great in this, Pruitt Taylor Vince makes this film what it is with his disturbing portrayal. It's so simplified, that it actually adds an extra layer of creepiness.

If you haven't seen this yet and like well done, creepy, effective horror you should give this one a view.

My Rating: 8/10

Effectively Disturbing
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Split Second (1992)
6/10
Entertaining, but feels like it could have been so much more!
22 October 2018
This is one of those weird movies from the early 90's that both very much feels like it should have had a theater run and also gone direct to video. Think movies like Cyborg & No Escape. The production value is decent, but it doesn't feel quite as epic as it should. Like they had this grand plan but didn't quite have the money to make their vision happen. So, they worked with what they had and managed to pull off a really good looking film.

While this isn't what I would call a great film it manages to be highly entertaining. It's a bit unbalanced, but the films weird quirks actually work in its favor. You get to know the characters, their idiosyncrasies, and go on an adventure as they hunt down a mysterious serial killer. In a lot of ways, this feels like something that might have been adapted from a comic book. Even the character names feel like they were taken out of a comic.

It's a pretty middle of the road film in all aspects. Not to action-heavy, not too gory, not too funny, but it has a little of all those things. The acting is okay, albeit over the top at times. In the end, it all comes together and manages to be rather entertaining. I think I would pick this one up if I ever came across it for cheap. If you like a film that's about as mixed genre as you get. This is one to check out. It's an easy viewing, one you can just sit back, enjoy, and not have to think a lot about.

My Rating: 5.5/10
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Cooties (2014)
7/10
Solid Horror Comedy
22 October 2018
This one is still a hell of a lot of fun. I'm not 100% sure I enjoyed it as much this time around as I did my first viewing, but it's still damn good. This one I think falls way more on the comedy side of things than the horror side, but it has some fun moments. The characters are overdone portrayals of people we all know. That's part of what makes it fun. The stereotypes are played to full effect in an unabashed way. That mixed with some overzealous tropes makes this a very easy to digest fun ride.

The technical aspects of the film are well done and the acting is very good. If you like gore, there are actually some decent moments. While not too crazy, it's solid in that department.

While the aforementioned overdone character portrayal is great and what makes the film work. It's also part of some of the more meh moments of the film. Some of it gets played out quick and becomes almost annoying. It far from ruins the film or anything, but I wish they would have reigned in some of those aspects just a little bit.

If you like good horror comedy this is one to check out. This is the type of film you can appreciate as a horror lover, but I think non-horror lovers could appreciate as well.

My Rating: 6.5/10
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Altered (2006)
6/10
Solid Alien Abduction film with great FXs
21 October 2018
This is one of those films that I think largely slipped under the radar and was even a bit panned at the time it came out. While it's far from being perfect it is a very enjoyable film. I prefer films like Fire in The Sky, The 4th Kind, and even Signs over this, but it isn't too far behind those. In a lot of ways, those four films lumped together would make for one hell of a mini-marathon session.

The technical aspects are all very solid. The cinematography, score, and acting all work very well. There are several shots in the movie that are breathtaking with the way they are lit and the atmosphere they throw off. The FXs in this are pretty damn awesome. If you're a fan of practical FXs work you will definitely appreciate it.

The one area where this one loses some points with me is the story itself. While I liked the story I felt like they missed a bit of chance to delve deeper into each character's background. We get hints, but it never really feels like it's fleshed out to full potential. It also feels like it just ends rather abruptly. While it's not a horrible ending, it could have been so much more. I wanted to see something more intense.

Overall, this is one I continue to enjoy and throw on every handful of years. If you've never seen this one and like Alien Abduction type flicks, you should track it down and give it a watch.

My Rating: 5.5/10
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Halloween (I) (2018)
7/10
A Return to form and a lot of fun!
21 October 2018
While this isn't a perfect movie, it was a lot of fun. I never once found myself getting bored. There were some good laughs, decent kills, the music was perfect and the film itself looked gorgeous. Truthfully, it reminded me more of the first two films than any of the other films in the franchise. Everything to the way shots were lit and framed to the overall coloring.

If you're a fan of the series, even though they dismiss the other films in the series there are nods throughout to the original films. You really have to pay attention, but they are there. I thought the acting was well done. The way the story flows is great, it never gets bogged down on any one thing which I actually expected it to do. The way they explore the effects of victim trauma is really interesting as well.

I'm sure this will have its haters. Anything new always does especially when it comes to a beloved franchise like this. Ignore any noise from the cry-babies who just want the same film over and over and enjoy this one. Let the sounds of your laughter drown out their thuds of kicking and screaming as they whine on the floor like a 2-year-old. Enjoy it for what it is and have fun. It's a Halloween movie and it is fun. That's all that matters.

My Rating: 7/10
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6/10
Solid early 60's genre film
20 October 2018
For a genre film from the early 60's, this is a rather well-made film. It's more of a mystery than horror, but there are certainly horror elements in it. The acting is decent for the most part, nothing outstanding, but nothing that hurts the film in my honest opinion. It has a lot of the issues you might expect from this time period. Some of the stuff that happens in the film is a bit creepy because of how it's portrayed. Not so much because of the scares. I loved the cinematography and the score to this. The score itself makes the film much more grandiose than it actually is. The cinematography is very well done and adds a good atmosphere. The FXs are pretty solid for the time period and there is actually one very well done transformation scene. While not mind-blowing compared to a film like An American Werewolf in London or The Howling it's pretty solid.

While I won't say this is a great film it is definitely one of the better genre films from that time period that I've seen. If you're a fan of classic horror this one is worth checking out. I imagine it should be fairly easy and cheap to track down. I'd be interested to hear some other folk's opinions on it.

My Rating: 6/10
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Splinter (I) (2008)
6/10
Fun, well done Monster movie
14 October 2018
This is a quick-moving well done little horror film. It has some similarities to John Carpenter's The Thing, but def isn't on that level. If you like Monster movies/Body horror this is one to check out.

The acting is solid. The FXs were really well done. The movie moves along at a great pace. This is a prime example of a film working because of a shorter runtime. I think any longer and this might have started to bog down some. Instead, it kicks into high gear early and doesn't slow down until the end.

I really didn't have any major issues with anything in the film. Some of it did feel familiar, and there were a few annoying character moments. Overall, that's all very minor and nothing that hurts the film in any sort of way.

If you haven't checked it out, it's worth a watch!

My Rating: 6/10
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6/10
A decent found footage style film
11 October 2018
This is mostly shot in a found footage style other than a few scenes at the beginning and end. Even those are done the same way, but not so much the shaky cam style that's so often prevalent in these films. I'm not a huge fan of that. It's always been something that I have a hard time watching because you can't focus on what's actually going on. I think maybe that's part of the appeal from a filmmaker standpoint, especially with lower budget films. When this started I groaned a bit and thought, here we go another one of these. I mentally began to prepare myself for another one of those films.

I'm happy to say that wasn't the case and I liked this one quite a bit. While I didn't find it scary per say it was an interesting story. There's actually a good reason for it being shot the way it is and I thought the acting was fairly solid. The pacing is good. I never once found myself getting bored. I was glued to what was going on. This had a very claustrophobic feel to it. In many ways, it reminded me of the movie The Cave, only done way better. (The Cave missed so many chances to be effective)

I'm glad I randomly decided to throw this one on. Not something I would revisit often, but at the very least an enjoyable watch.

My Rating: 6/10
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They Nest (2000 TV Movie)
5/10
Better Than I Expected
8 October 2018
This is actually a decent movie which I was rather surprised by. It's not anything groundbreaking, think of it as a SyFy channel movie done well. Everything thing about this is pretty middle of the road, but I didn't find anything to be terrible. It was a fairly easy watch, the type of flick I often find myself watching on a lazy Sunday or Saturday morning when I'm bored and just want something mind-numbing to watch. There were a few good laughs and a couple moments of decent gore

One area I will give this movie credit on is the Maine coastal accents. While not spot on they were some of the better ones I've heard. Also, some of the islander characters were pretty spot on. If you've ever been to Maine there are a few of those folks in every town. They're the locals who've never left or experienced the outside world, who are stuck in their ways, cautious of outsiders and a bit on the ignorant side. I suppose everywhere has those folks, but I thought it was well done.

Overall, a pretty harmless watch that turned out way better than I expected.

My Rating: 5/10
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8/10
A Solid Entry Into The Werewolf Genre
6 October 2018
What makes this film stand out is the great performances by the actors involved and the story. The story is different. Much like Bubba Ho-Tep it explores a group of people we don't often see in Horror films, the elderly (not as leads anyway) this relies more on a great character-driven story than a ton of FXs and gore. This is a great example of a film that does that right. Nick Damici is awesome. His performance really makes the film special.

I love the score. It adds a great layer of ambiance and propels the narration, and feel of the film. The FXs are very solid. While it's not the prime driving force of the film, when they are used they are effective. The film itself is shot well, my only gripe there is the weird Sepia tone you get because of the way it was shot. It's not a huge issue I've just never cared for that look in a film in general.

Overall, this is a solid entry into the Werewolf genre and one I need to have in my collection. It's not quite up there with Dog Soldiers, The Howling & An American Werewolf in London, but it's damn solid.

My Rating: 8/10
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Summer of 84 (2018)
8/10
Excellent Story Driven Suspense film
3 October 2018
I really enjoyed this one a lot. It's an interesting story full of twist and turns. What I thought was going to happen didn't. I had it played out in my head what they would be and was totally wrong. I'm not going to give away anything, but let's just say it was a very gut-wrenching and interesting conclusion.

The technical aspects of the film were on point. The film looked great. The score was perfect, and the actors did a phenomenal job. The story had me hooked from the moment the film started. While the 80's nostalgia wave has been done a lot recently I'm okay with that as long as it's quality like this.

Again as I so often say this film probably won't be for everyone but for me, it worked on all levels. It's not what I would consider an instant classic but it's a solid film through and through. It had the right mix of everything I like about a suspense/adventure film. If you go into this not expecting their previous movie or a gore fest I think you'll enjoy it. If you like story driven suspense films this should be right up your alley.

My only qualm about the whole thing is I'm not so sure this will have great replay value, only time will tell where that's concerned.

My Rating 8/10
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8/10
A worthy sequel
12 September 2018
This picks up shortly after the first one. We find Earl hasn't made the best decisions financially with the money he's made since the first Graboid fiasco. His partner has gone on to other things. When a Mexican refinery head contacts him about a Graboid problem he's reluctant to go after them but persuaded by an enthusiastic young man named Grady. Soon they're off to fight the new threat.

This one is a lot of fun. It has some of the same spirit as the first. While it doesn't quite reach the same heights in an enjoyable film all the same. It does enough different to not be too repetitious but keeps things familiar and lose what made the first one great. Overall, the acting is solid. The FXs are good, and there's plenty of action to be had.

As far as sequels go, this is the best one in my honest opinion. Despite how you may feel about further entries in the franchise it is a solid entry that doesn't get enough love. I enjoy pretty much every film in the series to some degree, but not of them are as good as the first two. This is one I will continue to enjoy every so often and one that will remain in the rotation for many years to come.

My Rating: 7.5/10
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Kill Command (2016)
6/10
A solid genre film
3 September 2018
For a direct to video type deal, this was actually a fairly well-done film. The acting is solid. The FXs look really good for the most part. There are some good action sequences and I never once found myself getting bored. In a weird way, it had a bit of a Dog Soldiers vibe. Instead of Horror, it's Sci-Fi. I'm also not comparing this to quality wise to Dog Soldiers. This is solid, but nowhere near on that level.

If you're into Sci-Fi/Action you could do a lot worse than this one. It's a solid entry into the genre. Give it a chance, you just may like it.

My Rating: 6/10
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House Shark (2017)
6/10
Absurdly unapologetic and fun!
22 August 2018
This is about as unapologetic as they get with what it is. It knows it. It embraces it, and it runs with it full steam ahead. It's a low-budget, absurdly goofy homage to JAWS, and a few other films. Everything about the film works because of that fact and they seemed to just run with it. It has all the issues you often find in lower budget films, but it doesn't hinder it from being enjoyable. In fact, that aspect enhances what's wonderful and awesome about it.

This isn't going to be a film everyone is going to enjoy. In fact, outside of a niche group of film lovers and JAWS fanatics, I'm guessing it would just leave people scratching their heads. It's lewd, crude, and goofy. The humor is very tied to what they are referencing, and at times very juvenile. Don't get me wrong, those are the things I loved about it, but they are a big part of the movie and everyone might not appreciate those aspects.

This is one I want to have a bunch of friends over for and have fun with. It seems like the type of film that would only get better with a crowd.

My Rating: 6/10
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The Meg (2018)
7/10
A fun theater-going experience!
12 August 2018
I will be upfront with anyone who hasn't watched this yet. Mindset-wise if you go in thinking more along the lines of Deep Blue Sea rather than JAWS you'll probably have a good time. If you want serious, deep storylines and Oscar-caliber performances you probably should avoid it because this isn't it. Also on that note, why the hell would you go see this movie in the first place if you want that?

This movie is just stupid fun with tons of funny moments. The comedy aspect of it actually caught me off guard. I expected a few funny moments here and there like most films of this ilk, but this is just straight up funny throughout. There are plenty of grandiose action sequences. A character you just flat out hate because he's such an atypical ass-hat and some beautiful CGI. The film itself is very well shot and I even had a hard time telling whether the FXs were practical or CGI in spots. They blended stuff together well. I thought the acting was solid for what this film is. It's about what I expected.

Like anything, there were a few things here and there that could have been better. But, none of those things were enough to hinder my enjoyment of it. I personally would have liked to see it be a tad bit gorier. I think that might have pushed this up a notch especially with the type of story this. On the other hand, that's more of a preference than an actual hindrance type thing.

This was exactly what I wanted out of a Summer Blockbuster style film. It's a fun theater-going experience. It's the type of movie you want to see on the big screen with a great sound system. What I would consider a perfect popcorn flick.

My Rating: 7/10
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Future World (2018)
3/10
Underutilzed cast and a slog to get through.
7 August 2018
I've looked at this one a few times while at the RedBox kiosk but wasn't really sure if it was worth the time. I'd never heard of it, and that usually isn't a good sign when it comes to films like this. Occasionally though ones slip under the radar and you find a Gem (Beyond Skyline and Party Bus To Hell are a great example of that) So, with a loaded cast and an interesting premise I decided to give it a shot.

There are some good ideas in this one, but overall it's just not a good film. It drags terribly, which is not a good thing for a film of this type. You can get away with a slow film if the story itself is well crafted and there are brilliant moments of action to balance it out. That wasn't the case with this. It felt like there were good ideas that were never fleshed out. I found myself zoning out constantly and it was damn near impossible to pay attention. I appreciate the hell out of genre flicks like this, but they're often more miss than hit.

Even with lowered expectations going in the cast was underutilized. With some damn solid veteran actors, I expected more. Instead, they feel like they're there for name recognition only. There's nothing in any of the action sequences that stood out or were even all that interesting. I can't even pick out any moments from the film that stood out.

I'd only recommend this to diehard genre fans, and even then only if you're really bored.

My Rating: 3/10
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Get Smart (2008)
7/10
A solid blend of Comedy & Action
24 July 2018
This one is a really solid comedy with some fun action sequences. While the jokes are hit or miss, I feel like they do their job most of the time. There isn't a ton to say about this one other than its really enjoyable. It's a good flick to throw on when you don't want a straight up comedy but also not looking for a serious action film. It blends the genres seamlessly. None of it felt forced, and that's always key to a good story.

The film looks good, the performances are solid and like I said, the comedy works the majority of the time. If you're looking for a fun, easy watch, this one qualifies as such.

My Rating: 7/10
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Rampage (2018)
7/10
A great sit back, relax and have fun type of film
21 July 2018
This movie is a lot of fun. There are a lot of epic battle sequences. The FXs are rather good and some genuinely funny moments scattered throughout the film. Those moments come from the relationship and interaction between George & Davis. They even managed to put in some nice little nods to the video game without having them seem too out of place. They fit within the context of the story. The acting is actually quite solid all the way around.

In all honesty, if it wasn't for Dwayne Johnston's charm and charisma this film might not have worked so well. He has an innate ability to elevate a film that few action stars have, part of that is due to him having the ability to nail stuff with expression and great timing.

I feel like I've said this a lot lately, but it's worth repeating. Too often we nitpick films to death and don't just sit back and enjoy a fun movie for what it is. With that in mind, I have really been trying to go into films with that mindset. This is a fun popcorn flick that I think honestly has potential to have great replay value. A great sit back, relax and just have fun type of film.

My Rating: 7/10
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Ladyhawke (1985)
8/10
A beautiful, well crafted tale
17 July 2018
This is such a well crafted beautiful tale. The curse that separates our characters is heartbreaking. You feel for them. Love keeps them at one another's side even after it is the key factor in what tore them apart. The cast is fantastic and it's a very beautifully shot film. What really makes this film so great is the story. It's grounded in reality with just a touch of the fantastical to make it interesting.

This is more of a reality-based fantasy, more so than a Dungeon & Dragons type fantasy. So don't expect Elves, Orcs, Dragons, Trolls or other fantasy creatures. Truthfully, this would be a great date movie. It has a little something for everyone. Even as great as this film is there are a few little things that keep it from a higher rating for me. They aren't major issues, but they are things that have always bugged me. The score is great at times but feels weirdly out of place in others. It's not very balanced. This film deserved a much more epic soundtrack. Secondly, it's just a smidge too long, there's maybe ten min or so that could be cut out and I don't think it would affect things very much.

If you've never seen this one and love 80's fantasy with a great story, this one is for you. In many ways, I think it's a bit of a forgotten gem. Hopefully, more people will discover and enjoy this. It certainly deserves the attention.

My Rating: 8/10
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The Great Wall (I) (2016)
6/10
Dumb, FXs driven fun!
17 July 2018
This is one of those summer blockbuster type films that I skipped out on. Frankly, I was pretty sure it was going to suck and for the most part, I didn't hear anything good about it when it came out. So, I passed. Well, I had a .50 cent rental voucher through RedBox and couldn't find much I was in the mood for, so, I said the hell with it and snagged it.

While this isn't a great movie, again I don't see why all the hate. It's a dumb, big-effects driven action/fantasy. I was entertained, the FXs looked solid, there were plenty of very cool fight scenes and I was never bored. I've said again and again people seem to have lost their ability to enjoy stupid fun.

I'm glad I gave this one a chance. If you're in the mood for an action-packed, FXs driven film that you don't have to think too much with. This is the film to check out. Honestly, if I came across this one for a good price on DVD or Blu Ray I would most definitely add it to the collection.

My Rating: 6/10
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