OllieSuave-007

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Reviews

Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell
(1978)

Not your usual Man's Best Friend.
This is an interesting little horror flick from the 1970s, where the Barry Family is terrorized by a dog that is not your usual Man's Best Friend - apparently, a minion of Satan himself.

Not much surprises in this movie, but we get some good old fashion good vs. Evil action and some thrilling moments. Characters are OK, but it's not a bad horror flick to keep you entertained for an hour and a half or so.

Grade B-

An American Haunting
(2005)

Quite an intriguing horror flick with some surprises.
This is quite an intriguing horror flick, a tale about the Bell Family whom was allegedly cursed by an opponent that resulted in attacks of the family's daughter.

The story does well in relating to each of the characters, from Sissy Spacek's Lucy Bell character utilizing her strength and energy to protect her daughter to the school teacher Richard Powell, her brother John Bell Jr., and friend James Johnston trying to exorcize the entity from the house.

There are some slow moments here and there, but in general there is a good amount of thrilling and exciting moments with some surprises and twists and turns, giving the plot that extra intrigue.

Grade B+

The Evil
(1978)

Interesting little Haunted House flick.
This is an interesting little haunted house flick, where Richard Crenna stars as psychologist C. J. Arnold, who buys an old mansion and asks a colleague and his students to help him fix it up. But, the mansion's deadly secret yields an evil that terrifies everyone, resulting in so scary moments.

Not much surprises in this movie, but we get some good old fashion good vs. Evil action and some pretty sophisticated special effects. Characters are OK, but it's not a bad horror flick to keep you entertained for an hour and a half or so.

Grade B-

The Neighbor
(2017)

Slow, no traction indie flick.
From the looks of the movie poster, I thought it would be an exciting thriller with enough mystery and suspense to give you an edge-of-your-seat experience. Instead, what we got was a mediocre movie about a man named Mike (William Fichtner), who likes to garden, finding himself getting smitten with a younger woman who moves in next door with her hot-tempered boyfriend.

Fichtner portrayed his Mike character to be very shy, meek, and mild; however, the results was painfully awkward. You actually feel uncomfortable to be in Fichtner's shoes and you cannot really tell if it was just bad acting or if that is how the character was supposed to be.

While there are some mysterious moments in the movie, including the suspicions of abuse in the hands of the young woman's boyfriend, much of the movie gives you the run around, hinting at excitement and traction but resulting in anti-climatic deliveries. And, much of the supporting characters weren't sympathetic. Mike's wife (Jean Louisa Kelly) was an unforgiving annoying little thing and his son (Colin Woodell) served no purpose in the movie. Mike's friend Brian (Erich Anderson) was an irritating jerk who cusses like a sailor, trying too hard insert some macho-ness in the movie.

Overall, the film is slow with no traction.

Grade D.

2:22
(2017)

Clever little thriller.
This is a clever little thriller about air traffic controller Dylan Branson, whose routine life is interrupted by a mysterious pattern of events that repeats itself in the same manner every day, ending at 2:22 p.m.

It's not the usual action, adventure, or drama plotlines that you would normally see in the many thrillers, so, the story gives the plot a fresh and unique take on the plot. It's suspenseful from start to finish, which is a great attention grabber. And, the acting is serviceable that lets you sympathize with the characters.

It's not a mainstream movie with mainstream actors, but, it's a good flick to pass the time with.

Grade A-

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
(2019)

Too much mayhem going on.
This is the second Godzilla film in the MonsterVerse series, a story about the crypto-zoological agency Monarch finding themselves facing titan monsters Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, and their ultimate solution is letting Godzilla battle them all to save mankind.

The film is a little reminiscing to Toho Studio's classic 1964 movie, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, but this time featuring the monsters in the 21st century, with some neat special effects. You get to see each of the monsters' unyielding powers and characteristics, and them battling each other is nothing short of edge-of-your-seat monster excitement. However, the CGI on the creatures were too dark at times, making the monster battles hard to see. It is also difficult to see the creatures' faces and reactions - just a whole lot of head-spinning movements and swift actions.

The human drama was average at best, and the good guys vs. bad guys subplot was a major distraction from the film, I thought. Much of the evil doers' actions were overkill, and our protagonists were too preachy, save for Ziyi Zhang's duo doctor roles, which is a great nod to Mothra's tiny twin priestesses in the classic films. I also liked that the filmmakers incorporated Mothra's Song in this movie.

But, as with much of today's films, there is forced comedy to lighten up the mood, courtesy of Bradley Whitford's St. Stanton character. His humor was extremely annoying and distracting, very out-of-place for the movie.

With all the hard-to-see monster action to the distracting human drama, there is too much in the film to digest and makes it hard to appreciate the main point, which are clearly the monsters. It leaves little room to sympathize with the human characters and leaves you craving for more of the monsters.

Grade D+

Married with Children
(1987)

A dysfunctional TV show.
This is one of those TV sitcoms that just presents screwball comedy with no redeemable characters and positive messages we could take away from. It is just a low class show about the everyday life of a shoe salesman and his money-sucking unemployed wife, man-hungry daughter, and low-IQ son. It's purely a dysfunctional show with a dysfunctional family that forces comedy on you in a way that is too insulting to appreciate.

Of course, there are people who watches this stuff and thinks it is pure entertainment and good for laughs (true at times), but I hope it doesn't influence them so much that they would disrespect society and others. It's a shame that shows like this continue to have no substance and no redeemable qualities.

Grade D---

Jû jin yuki otoko
(1955)

Possibly the worst Toho movie I have ever seen.
This is an obscure Japanese monster movie brought to you by acclaimed Godzilla director, Ishiro Honda, a story about a group of tourists in the alps whose vacation turned into a rescue mission, as they try to find two missing friends of theirs. However, their visit was plagued by appearances of an abominable snowman.

The story sounds exciting enough, but the movie suffers from an extremely slow-moving plot, depressed-acting characters, and limited monster action. Even as a Toho movie it couldn't capture the entertainment, spirit, and fun that most of you would find in the kaiji genre because there is really nothing redeeming about this film, as much of the monsters thrills are drown out by the subplots of the anxiety-filled tribal people and the evil carnival exploiter, save for a cool-looking monster and some creepy moments.

The original Godzilla movie was released a year earlier, and while that film has poignant and sad moments, the drama captures your mood, monster action excites you, and character developments makes you sympathize with them. This film is just downright dark, pitiful, and depressing, even boring at times. Do your best to stay away.

Grade D---

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
(2008)

Absolutely the stupidest thing I have watched on TV.
I watched this with friends at one of the friend's house for a "movie night," some three-part TV show where Neil Patrick Harris plays a supervillain who must balance his career and his pursuit of some girl.

Watching this was a total waste of time. There is no plot or substance to this supposed story, with extremely corny jokes, bad acting, and non-sensible and boring crap. This story was so difficult to follow and decipher, you really do not know what in the world is going on.

I honestly do not know why this show received so much positive ratings and reviews, and it boggles my mind it won an Emmy. Just comes to show there are a lot of people with extremely odd taste in comedy. Your IQ will drop 10 points watching this. Stay away!

Grade F

Witchboard 2: The Devil's Doorway
(1993)

A well-made sequel to the 80s horror flick!
This is a very well made horror sequel to the 1980s film, Witchboard, a story about a girl named Paige, who starts receiving spiritual messages on an Ouija board from a ghost claiming to be from the former tenant of her apartment. The ghost claims she was the victim of foul play, but there was no record of her death.

Some of the special effects might be dated by today's standards, but they nonetheless give off some fun, ghostly scenes, giving you a good dose of horror action and screams. There is also a good amount of suspense built-up that will keep you on the edge of your seat, such as the creepy dream sequences. The plot also gives time for the viewers to show some sympathy toward the human characters, including understanding the drama and back stories surrounding Paige and her boyfriend.

The acting was quite good and spot-on and the film's pacing was just right - giving you much intrigue and suspense from start to finish. A good sequel!

Grade A

Witchboard
(1986)

An actually well-done 80s horror flick.
This is a very well made horror flick from the 1980s, a story about a girl named Linda who becomes dangerously obsessed with a ghost she contacted using a Ouija board. Therefore, her boyfriend Jim and his estranged childhood best friend Brandon join forces to rescue Linda and vanquish the evil spirit.

Some of the special effects might be dated by today's standards, but they nonetheless give off some fun, ghostly scenes, giving you a good dose of horror action and screams. There is also a good amount of suspense built-up that will keep you on the edge of your seat and, while the film focuses on much of the horror elements, the plot gives time for the viewers to show some sympathy toward the human characters, including understanding the drama and back stories surrounding the two friends.

The acting was quite good and spot-on and the film's pacing was just right - giving you much intrigue and suspense from start to finish. A good one!

Grade A

Winchester
(2018)

Not quite the retelling of the true story of Sarah Winchester.
This is a fairly-well made horror movie, starring Hellen Mirren as the heiress Sarah Winchester, famous for instructing the continuous construction of her San Jose mansion. She believed that she was haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester rifles, and the construction of her maze of her mansion was to appease the ghosts and to hide herself from them.

There are some neat ghostly effects and creepy scenes, including some jumpy moments. Sarah Winchester was made to be a formidable, yet eccentric and mysterious character. However, I think plot put too much emphasis on one spirit (which I believe is the most fictional part of Sarah Winchester's true story) versus diving more into Winchester's biography and spooky life story. That would have made the film more unique; however, what we ended up with was just another typical ghost horror film.

Grade C+

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
(2011)

Another great entry in the Mission: Impossible series.
This is another heart-pounding mission starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, whose company, the IMF, is shut down when it's implicated in the Kremlin bombing. So, Hunt and his new team is out to clear their organization's name while going rogue.

It's filled with non-stop action from beginning to end with superb special effects, a captivating plot, and various doses of comic relief. What adds suspense and unpredictability to the story is when Ethan and his team are put to the test as their organization fall victim to a crime cover-up, leaving their reputation on the line. Throw in some high-rise action into the mix, the plot's intrigue gets exciting at every turn. A great action film to pass the time!

Grade B+

The Barn
(2016)

One of the worst horror movies I have ever seen!
This is a very amateurish, cheesy, and lame horror movie, about a group friends take a detour on their way to a rock concert and finds an old abandoned barn. After searching the barn, they've inadvertently awaken an evil that has been lurking inside.

It is a typical slasher movie, but with very bad acting, overkill gore (spilled intestines and guts galore), and a predictable outcome. There are bits of scary and jumpy moments, but much of the film suffers from its lack of imagination, solid plot, dramatic story, and likable characters.

Grade D--

The Stepford Wives
(1975)

Lazy, 70s thriller.
This is lazy-feel 70s thriller about a Joanna Eberhart who moves to Stepford, Connecticut with her family, but soon discovers that the women in the town are odd and exhibits robotic behaviors.

The pacing of the movie is fairly slow and much of the suspense and thrills do not take place until the second half of the movie. The acting was OK and the plot had potential, but the overall, lazy atmosphere and lack of urgency in the film didn't quite give the story much excitement. Much of the movie is all talk and dialog.

Grade C

13 Ghosts
(1960)

An exciting older mansion horror flick.
This is an exciting black and white mansion horror flick, about a a family who inherits a haunted mansion. There they encounter ghosts, goblins, and witches - all to some sophisticated, especially for a 1960 film!

There are some creepy moments here and there, tame by today's standards, but still intriguing enough to grab your attention and keep your entertained throughout the movie.

Grade A-

Don't Blink
(2014)

Dreary, Anti-Climatic Sci-Fi/Horror Flick.
This is a dreary, anti-climatic sci/fi horror flick about a group of people who begins to mysteriously disappear, one by one, after arriving at a secluded mountain resort for their vacation.

There are some eerie and attention plot elements such as the desertedness of the resort, no gas for the friends for the return trip, and the the visitors being forced to stay and investigate the mystery.

The plot is really simple with few surprises and twists, and the characters have little redeeming qualities - they are constantly at each other's throats instead collaborating with each other to get themselves our of the mysterious bind, which frustrates the audience.

Only watch this if you're a hardcore horror fan and have absolutely nothing else to watch.

Grade D+

Rain Man
(1988)

An entertaining, attention grabbing drama.
This is a very entertaining drama featuring spoiled yuppie Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), whose father left his fortune to his autistic brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). Charlie did not know of Raymond's existence, and at first repulsed by him and him inheriting their father's fortune, he establishes a growing, loving relationship with him during their cross-country journey together.

It was fun and touching seeing Charlie's impatient and condescending attitude improve to mellow and understanding along the way, and all the misadventures he and his brother shared. The spot-on acting and the chemistry between the two character leads make for a good film worthy of its best picture win.

Grade A

The Amityville Curse
(1990)

Just plain awful!
I usually reserve the month of October for scary or horror movies to celebrate Halloween, and I thought this movie might serve as a nice attention-grabbing creepy thriller. Under than a few mildly moments that jump at you, this movie is basically an all-talk flick with no suspense, a weak plot, bad dialog, and horrible acting.

From IMDB's summary, five people spend the night in an abandoned house dubbed the Amityville house, but it has nothing to do with the infamous Amityville horror house or story. The people find themselves terrorized by ghosts (which hardly shows up in the film), venomous insects (which is just one single spider that crept up on a couple of people), and apparitions (which hardly shows up).

The Debbie character played by Dawna Wightman can't act to save her life. She over-exerts herself during distress or emotional scenes. The Marvin character played by David Stein tries to act professional or dramatic, but fails miserably. And, the Abigail character played by Cassandra Gava tries to be the sexy one, and tries to be the one with reason, but the acting just isn't up to par.

Go ahead and pass on this one for a Halloween scare.

Grade D---

Mission: Impossible - Fallout
(2018)

Another heart-pounding mission!
This is another heart-pounding mission starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, who must stop the Syndicate, now known as the Apostles, from acquiring and use the three plutonium cores.

It's filled with non-stop action from beginning to end with superb special effects, a captivating plot, and various doses of comic relief. What adds suspense and unpredictability to the story is when Ethan and his team are put to the test as they fail to initially stop the Apostles from getting the plutonium, leaving the credibility of their team in doubt. Throw in a CIA agent into the mix, the plot's intrigue gets exciting at every turn. A great action film to pass the time!

Grade B+

The Little Drummer Boy
(1968)

A bittersweet little Christmas tale.
This is a bittersweet little Christmas tale, about a drummer boy named Aaron, who loathes mankind because of a family tragedy. However, Aaron learns the goodness of humanity and the birth of Christ when he is asked to play the drum for him in lieu of a gift in order to save a friend.

Filmed in Claymation with a great voice cast, this less-than-30 min movie captures your heart with its exciting plot and message of love vs. hate, brought by the power of Christ. And, the story is a good lead-in to the famous Christmas carol of the same name. A must-see during the Christmas season!

Grade A

The World Beyond
(1978)

A thrilling little TV horror movie.
With about an hour's worth of movie time, this TV horror does give you some chills and thrills, with the mud creature menacing a small group of people on a remote Maine Island after they were called there to look for a missing person. The creature's cries and shrieks are scary enough to frighten a whole town and its hideous appearance might give you nightmares.

It's a fast-paced movie from start to finish - just one main plot to follow and no room for filler subplots. The acting was good and the atmosphere was chilly. Though the suspense and thrills might be a little tame nowadays, it's still an entertaining movie.

Grade B

The Brave Engineer
(1950)

The Misadventures of Casey Jones.
Didn't know Casey Jones had so much misadventures as described in this action-packed cartoon, from rescuing a damsel in distress to fending off thieves. All with backup singers joining in the fun.

Colorful animation and plenty of slapstick stuff, but lacking humor and fun overall.

Grade C

The China Lake Murders
(1990)

Not a bad little police thriller.
This is not a bad little police thriller - some intrigue as our small time sheriff try to solve a string or murders that he suspects attributes to a rogue city cop that takes his vacation in the town.

The plot does tend to sway away from the main crime story occasionally with the subplots, but the movie still holds up pretty well with the decent acting, pacing, and scene setting of the desert and town.

Not too many unpredictable or surprising moments, but the movie does keep you amused and sympathetic to the protagonists.

Grade B-

How to Fish
(1942)

More narrated "How To's"
More narrated "How To" cartoons featuring Goody, this time of him fishing. But, as with anything he tries, his unorthodox fishing techniques doesn't quite yield him much results, resulting in some laughable but predictable moments. Nothing too new or unique here. An average cartoon.

Grade C+

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