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Silent Trigger, 1996

A sniper (Dolph Lundgren) and his spotter (Gina Bellman) arrive at an abandoned skyscraper where they are to complete an assassination. However the two have already met once before, in a disastrous mission where the shooter's hesitation nearly resulted in the deaths of both agents.

If you were to offer me $20, I do not think that I could explain what happened in this film. I found both the present-day and the flashback sequences confusing.

I like Dolph Lundgren well enough, and I think that Gina Bellman is a good actress (although at times I find the atonal/nasal quality of her voice a bit annoying). The story itself, though, was just muddled. The film also strips away any sense of what these people are doing or why, and it's hard to root for people when they might be getting ready to murder an AIDS researcher or a human rights activist or something.

The movie also has a scattered quality, jumping back and forth in time and introducing different conflicts in the present. A ridiculous amount of minutes are spent on a subplot about a security guard at the skyscraper (Christopher Heyerdahl) who is determined to rape Bellman's character. By my count he made three separate attempts, including a final one in which he donned a kevlar vest because she'd already pulled a gun on him!

Neither character gets any kind of decent development. Lundgren's character is, what, a little too human for the job? He doesn't want to fire on a woman holding a child, and then he also hesitates in the present-day attempt. So why does he still have this job? He's portrayed as a jack of all trades tough guy, naturally, but there's no dimension to him past that and some vague gestures at sadness or hesitation about the job. Bellman's character doesn't fare much better. She's at once meant to be tough and capable, but also needs to be vulnerable enough that Lundgren can rescue her. Of course she sleeps with Lundgren's character and is shown fully nude and sleeping. Like, c'mon. She's in the middle of a job and she's taking a little sex nap next to her sniper rifle? There's good ridiculous and bad ridiculous and this fell in the latter category for me.

There were one or two decent action moments, but overall this was underwhelming and by-the-numbers. A shame, because they could have done much more with the acitng talent on hand.




Greatest movie ever. Incredible theme song.

LOL, my dad texted me this morning to tell me he was watching this, and couldn't wait for the closing credits to find out who performed the theme song
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King of the Travellers (2012)

This is slightly better than it sounds, I was actually impressed by Steve Collins acting (bit of a boxing hero of mine)....and the main lad does well in his part. It's predictable but, for me, did keep the interest.




Just finished watching Not Okay on Disney+ (in some countries, it is on Hulu). Directed by Quinn Shephard, this dark comedy/drama is about a young woman looking for attention who lies about going on a trip to Paris. When a terrorist attack happens close to where she was supposed to be, the lies escalate and she pretends to be a survivor of the attack. Zoey Deutch does a great job playing a complicated character who isn't very likeable. The real standout for me is the beautiful 18 year old Mia Isaac who plays the survivor of a school shooting. Her performance is fantastic, impassioned and powerful. The film tackles a lot of tough subjects and manages to balance different tones in a way that really worked for me. There are some funny moments and some really interesting scenes. Not Okay is a sharp and clever film, boosted by strong performances. One of the top 10 films of the year so far. My rating is






The Devil's Rain - This is ... not a good movie. I get how some might define it as a camp classic or list all the well known stars in the cast as reasons to recommend it. Or maybe bring up some of the interesting, behind the scenes factoids. Like it being allegedly financed by the mob and star Ernest Borgnine never actually having been paid or having infamous Satanic high priest Anton LaVey as both technical adviser and appearing in a small role. But it's ineptly made, inexplicably starting in what is apparently the second or third act.

There's been plenty of films where this has been attempted. Successfully though. There's usually a flashback or two involved or the events leading up to where the audience find themselves are ably revealed. You could put it down to someone maybe mixing up the film reels except for the fact that there is no apparent beginning. You could also maybe blame it on dark forces but, outside of sheer ineptitude, there's no rhyme or reason to it.

Okay, when it starts the Prestons are missing patriarch Steve (George Sawaya). He's driven off in his truck in a sudden rainstorm and son Mark (William Shatner) is attempting to comfort his mother Emma (Ida Lupino). The father shows up out of nowhere but something seems off about him. Maybe it's his missing eyeballs and the fact that he's steaming, bubbling and melting in the rain. He warns them that Corbis (Ernest Borgnine) wants the book before collapsing into a pile of goo. Who is Corbis and what book does he want?

The truck shows up apparently driven by a voodoo doll pinned to the steering wheel. There's a commotion from the house and when Mark strolls in (that's right, for some reason he takes his sweet a$$ time) he finds family friend John (Woodrow Chambliss) hanging upside down from the rafters and mama Preston missing.

I'll stop going into details but suffice it to say that everyone that isn't already a member of the Satan worshipping cult makes one astoundingly bad decision after another. This eventually ropes in Sheriff Owens (Keenan Wynn), psychic researcher Dr. Sam Richards (Eddie Albert), Mark's brother Tom (Tom Skerritt) and his wife Julie (Joan Prather).

Robert Fuest had previously directed the two Abominable Dr. Phibes movies with Vincent Price so ... I don't exactly know what to do with that bit of information. I suppose that means he was capable enough. What the hell, let's just blame it all (including my somewhat generous rating) on the devil.

50/100



Victim of The Night
I really grew to love Elf. And have you seen either Stranger Than Fiction or Everything Must Go? They both feature Farrell in a mostly dramatic role and I think he acquits himself quite well.
Oh, I don't have any problem with Will Ferrell, it just took me a long time to come to enjoy his comedy, and I still only like it in small doses. I think he seems like a perfectly likable fellow and I'm not surprised he would be a good dramatic actor, I think he shows some of that in his comedy work too. Haven't seen those films but not because of him or anything.
But I still hated Elf.



Victim of The Night
Dr. Strange Into the Multiverse - I saw it and hated it. I was angry over how ridiculous this movie was, and how overstuffed it was with characters that it did not need. I was facepalming numerous scenes such as America's parents and the "Illuminati". I also found that Scarlett Witch's character ripped off King Pin from ITSV as to how both want to cause havoc around the multiverse in order to be with family. I found the movie very pretentious as well as how all of this random stuff is thrown in to look badass, but then the movie looked overblown instead. I hated that you needed to watch these other shows in order to understand it. I hated the Scarlett Witch villain. The two people I was watching it with(my brother and dad) also hated it and we all had headaches after this one. My brother and I both said, "What the hell was that," after this mess of a movie was done. I think that I should stay far away from the MCU. I have higher hopes for when I watch Everything Everywhere All At Once, as I think it will make a better multiverse movie.
It's not a good movie.



Victim of The Night
Dead Birds is ok. Watchable but not memorable in any way.
Castle Freak is better, though.




Haven't watched a movie in months so no reviews from me in awhile. There's so much junk out there, I've had better luck with series.

Decided to fire up Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) last night, and I was surprised at how well done it was. I'm not going to bother with a full review, but I thought the story was a step above the usual ho-hum superhero movie, and the production/special effects were damn near flawless-- more so than any other I've seen.

It was peculiar having 3 Spider-men towards the end, but somehow it worked. I thought the best acting was from Willem Defoe as the "Green Goblin". Cumberbatch was underwhelming as Dr. Strange, but in fairness his dialogue was amateurish. J.K. Simmons appeared in his 46th film of 2021...

In short I thought they did a fine job in the latest in a series that's getting a little long in the tooth.

Doc's rating: 7/10





The Guilty, 2018

Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) is a police officer who is on desk duty until he can appear at a hearing about his involvement in the shooting death of a teenager. Working at an emergency services call center, one evening he takes a call from a woman named Iben (Jessica Dinnage) who has been abducted by her husband. Over the course of the evening, Asger will pull out all of the stops to identify Iben's kidnapper and find the missing woman while trying to unravel the events that led to her abduction.

I do love a single-location film when it's done well, and this one manages to pull off several tense sequences and plot turns with aplomb, all while confined to the emergency call center.

Feeling very much like a play adapted to a film, the whole movie rests on the shoulders of Cedergren, the only actor playing a key character who we actually get to see. The rest of the characters--Iben the abducted woman, Michael her abductor, Mathilde her daughter, and the other dispatchers and officers in the field working on the case--are only present as voices on the other end of the phone line.

I thought that the film did a good job of balancing action-type logistics (such as trying to navigate a police cruiser to the correct vehicle on the highway) with character moments that force Asger to reflect on the kind of violence that people do to one another and why they do it. Despite never seeing Iben, Dinnage manages to craft a character who feels dimensional, and the relationship of trust that builds between Iben and Asger adds urgency to the proceedings.

I also thought that the film did a good job of accessing that feeling of anxiety and frustration when you cannot communicate with someone. We hear Iben's cheery voicemail probably a dozen or more times during the movie, and each time it's like a bell tolling doom.

I thought that the ultimate payoff with Asger's character--his own revelations about the violent act he committed--was fine, but it felt a bit tacked on to be honest. I get that it's the pivot point of his character development, but the events happening with Iben were so compelling that Asger's own personal drama just didn't feel quite as impactful.

A solid thriller, especially if you're a fan of single-location/small cast movies.




I forgot the opening line.

By KINOMANIA.RU, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47781496

The Fault in Our Stars - (2014)

Forcing myself through a few films in my backlog, even if I don't want to watch them particularly (I'm always surprised by some of those - so it always works out best when I do it.) Well, The Fault in Our Stars was as painful as I thought it might be for it's first hour, then all of the sudden it turned into a really great film in it's second half. It's hard to weigh up a film like that - I felt that after an hour the film grew in complexity, and became something meaningful and interesting. It's actually a very nice love story, and a film really has to do it's work to make me say that. I'm glad I watched it.

7/10


Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12426406

3:10 to Yuma - (2007)

I always find this modern remake, which many people hold in high esteem, difficult to separate from the original. I love the original 1957 3:10 to Yuma, and at the time I watched it, I thought it was the best Western I'd ever seen. Because it's so hard to avoid an inevitable comparison between these two, this 2007 version always comes out second-best. You can't beat Glenn Ford and Van Heflin - not with Russel Crowe and Christian Bale. But again, that's my prejudice talking perhaps.

6/10


By The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67084443

Redirected - (2014)

I thought the Lithuanians might be a little angry about the way their country is portrayed in this film, but apparently this was partly a Lithuanian production, so go figure. I didn't like this very much - it comes off as a Snatch/Guy Ritchie/British gangster film wannabe, but it's a little too mean, degrading and nasty without any lighter elements to balance things out. The humour isn't all that great (all of these films insist on being comedic) and, as the film's biggest drawback, it lacks great characters. Not a good screenplay, and it's better moments are few and far between.

5/10


By The cover art can or could be obtained from Summit Entertainment or IMP Awards., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28209723

Red - (2010)

Silly, but really not my kind of silly - which makes this film ponderous and a chore. All those times I'm meant to be giggling because Helen Mirren is mowing down villains with a heavy machine gun, I'm in all actuality bored. Robert Schwentke directed The Time Traveler's Wife, which I watched recently, and this wasn't quite as good - but as I said when briefly summing that up, his The Captain is a film I like very much. Red is well made, and if it's clicks with your sense of humour it's a wild ride, and fun - unfortunately it doesn't click with me.

5/10


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Eddie the Eagle - (2015)

I watched, rated and briefly reviewed this on 05/03/21 and feel exactly the same about it. Even rated it one higher. Great movie.

8/10
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ďI was cured, all right!Ē

The 3D aspects aged poorly as expected. The action is a transition between ok and terrible but fun for a midnight watch.
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Victim of The Night

Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12426406

3:10 to Yuma - (2007)

I always find this modern remake, which many people hold in high esteem, difficult to separate from the original. I love the original 1957 3:10 to Yuma, and at the time I watched it, I thought it was the best Western I'd ever seen. Because it's so hard to avoid an inevitable comparison between these two, this 2007 version always comes out second-best. You can't beat Glenn Ford and Van Heflin - not with Russel Crowe and Christian Bale. But again, that's my prejudice talking perhaps.

6/10
I actually saw this one (the remake) first and I still like the original much better.
I think the 2007 version is fine and there are some good parts, but it didn't exactly blow me away.



Very good movie.

3:10 to Yuma - (2007)
Very good movie.
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SF = Zzz


[Snooze Factor Ratings]:
Z = didn't nod off at all
Zz = nearly nodded off but managed to stay alert
Zzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed
Zzzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed but nodded off again at the same point and therefore needed to go back a number of times before I got through it...
Zzzzz = nodded off and missed some or the rest of the film but was not interested enough to go back over it






Scarlet Street - Fritz Lang directed this moderately darker than usual noir from 1945. Edward G. Robinson plays middle aged Christopher Cross and as the movie opens he's celebrating 25 years working as a cashier for the same company. He sees his boss leaving with an attractive younger woman and wonders out loud to a coworker what it must be like to have a beautiful young woman love you. On his way home he intervenes in an apparent robbery and saves Katharine "Kitty" March (Joan Bennett) from her assailant.

As it turns out her attacker is actually her boyfriend Johnny Prince (Dan Duryea). He's a bush-league criminal who makes a habit of slapping her around whenever he's drunk, which is often. But Kitty's got it bad for the guy which doesn't stop her from cozying up to the instantly smitten Chris.

Cross is also an unfulfilled artist with numerous paintings to his credit and it isn't long before the predatory Johnny lights on the idea of trying to sell off some of the artwork. During the intervening weeks Kitty convinces Chris to embezzle company funds and steal insurance bonds from his shrewish wife Adele (Rosalind Ivan).

After Johnny purloins and sells off some of Chris' work he cons an art critic into thinking they were Kitty's creations and convinces her to sign her name to the rest of the paintings. All the machinations play out as one would think and there's a surprisingly volatile ending along with a denouement that's also seems to be at odds with the prevailing ethos.

Having seen this I can't help but feel compelled to watch Lang's The Woman in the Window which immediately preceded this in 1944. Outside of a few assorted details it has basically the same plot outline and some have called it a "dry run" for this film. It features the same stars in Robinson, Bennett and Duryea and I'm curious to see how Lang improves on it.

85/100



Red - (2010)

Silly, but really not my kind of silly - which makes this film ponderous and a chore. All those times I'm meant to be giggling because Helen Mirren is mowing down villains with a heavy machine gun, I'm in all actuality bored. Robert Schwentke directed The Time Traveler's Wife, which I watched recently, and this wasn't quite as good - but as I said when briefly summing that up, his The Captain is a film I like very much. Red is well made, and if it's clicks with your sense of humour it's a wild ride, and fun - unfortunately it doesn't click with me.

5/10
I really enjoyed the picture, what with all the old pros. I know what you mean about Mirren and the machine gun, but I thought most of the laughs landed-- most especially in the first part of the film.

I adored Mary Louise-Parker. I don't know if any actress could have pulled off that part as well as she. So cute!

Come to think of it, maybe it's my older age that causes RED to be so appealing...



Scarlet Street - Fritz Lang directed this moderately darker than usual noir from 1945. Edward G. Robinson plays middle aged Christopher Cross and as the movie opens he's celebrating 25 years working as a cashier for the same company. He sees his boss leaving with an attractive younger woman and wonders out loud to a coworker what it must be like to have a beautiful young woman love you. On his way home he intervenes in an apparent robbery and saves Katharine "Kitty" March (Joan Bennett) from her assailant.

As it turns out her attacker is actually her boyfriend Johnny Prince (Dan Duryea). He's a bush-league criminal who makes a habit of slapping her around whenever he's drunk, which is often. But Kitty's got it bad for the guy which doesn't stop her from cozying up to the instantly smitten Chris.

Cross is also an unfulfilled artist with numerous paintings to his credit and it isn't long before the predatory Johnny lights on the idea of trying to sell off some of the artwork. During the intervening weeks Kitty convinces Chris to embezzle company funds and steal insurance bonds from his shrewish wife Adele (Rosalind Ivan).

After Johnny purloins and sells off some of Chris' work he cons an art critic into thinking they were Kitty's creations and convinces her to sign her name to the rest of the paintings. All the machinations play out as one would think and there's a surprisingly volatile ending along with a denouement that's also seems to be at odds with the prevailing ethos.

Having seen this I can't help but feel compelled to watch Lang's The Woman in the Window which immediately preceded this in 1944. Outside of a few assorted details it has basically the same plot outline and some have called it a "dry run" for this film. It features the same stars in Robinson, Bennett and Duryea and I'm curious to see how Lang improves on it.

85/100
I think "Scarlet" is a good film, but both Duryea and Bennett were way over the top. Of course most of that was in the writing. It was actually a pretty brutal story.

OTOH I thought The Woman In The Window was brilliant. Same basic cast, but good story, acting, and a wonderful ending, which thrilled me.



I forgot the opening line.

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Logan's Run - (1976)

A great science fiction film - set in the 23rd Century where a self-sufficient domed society restricts all of it's citizens to a ceiling of 30 years life - and where those who run when their time is running out are hunted by "sandmen". Michael York plays one such sandman, and when he finds out those who take a chance and hope for a life "renewal" are being sold a fraud, and is tasked with finding a place called "sanctuary" decides to run himself. I love all of the inventive sets, production design, miniatures and costumes. The action is well edited and taut, and it's just so fun to watch - especially if you like the genre. The meaningfulness of the entire film will never get old, and as such it's a timeless classic. Enjoyed watching this a lot last night - especially as it's been such a long time since I last saw it.

8/10


Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5819884

B.U.S.T.E.D. (aka - Everybody Loves Sunshine) - (1999)

The difficulty I had finding a poster for this really illustrates just how fringe this independent film really was. Despite that, producer Joanne Reay somehow nabbed David Bowie to play a major part in it. As a whole, it's an interesting story - though I was a little confused at first, and really could have done with a Cockney Accent to English translation, but after a while the plot coalesces. Ray (Andrew Goth) and Terry (Goldie) have been released from prison, and while in there Terry has formed something of a loving obsession with Ray - one that will plunge both of them and their criminal gang right down into the bowls of hell. It was this obsession which made me interested in the film and it's performances. This is a little low budget and rough, but all up it was okay. Bowie plays ageing gay gangster Bernie, who is the only one with any sense, and tries to stop a gang war with the Chinese.

6/10


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Tommy Boy - (1995)

Let me start this by stating the positive aspects of Tommy Boy - in my eyes this is such a good natured and warm comedy of the type we really need more of. The humour can be juvenile or rude, the villains can be dastardly, but at it's heart this film is really about friendship, love, doing what's right and accepting people for who they are. I loved the whole vibe. Unfortunately, as far as the quality of the jokes go, it strained to really get me on board. I hardly ever laughed. It felt very forced, and I felt like I was watching this at far too old of an age to gel with it.

5/10


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Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice - (2016)

It's funny - I was thinking back to the tone of the original Superman and Batman films while watching this. This super hero film is so grim and serious that it could almost be said to be too much so. It's the polar opposite to Superman III - which played for cute laughs and light hijinks. Now we're questioning the very meaning of gods and humanity. The movie as a whole wasn't as bad as what I was expecting after all of the critical evaluation I read, but I never felt uplifted or excited - whether that be by it's story or the quality of filmmaking on display. I've seen far worse, but I've also seen much, much better.

6/10