kevin_robbins

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Reviews

Police Academy
(1984)

This is movie isn't perfect, but it is a fun, lighthearted comedy
Police Academy (1984) is a movie that I grew up watching and recently rewatched on Tubi. The storyline follows a group of misfit cadets who decide to join a police academy to rectify their life inside and outside of work. Their training officer is hard on the recruits and doesn't want any of them to succeed. The recruits will use their unique personalities and mischievous ways to clown their training officer and succeed.

This movie is directed by Hugh Wilson (First Wives Club) and stars Steve Guttenberg (Short Circuit), Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City), G. W. Bailey (Short Circuit), Michael Winslow (Spaceballs), David Graf (Rules of Engagement) and Leslie Easterbrook (The Devil's Rejects).

Everything about this movie feels thoughtfully put together. The cast is excellent and fit the characters to perfection. Michael Winslow was always my favorite character as a kid, but you find yourself rooting for everyone starting with the training scenes at the very beginning. Bubba Smith was an awesome character and his full circle performance within the storyline is awesome. The soundtrack is great and the "villain" is easy to root against. The final riot sequence is entertaining and reminded me a little of Animal House.

Overall, this is movie isn't perfect, but it is a fun, lighthearted comedy. I would an 8/10 and strongly recommend it.

Hellraiser
(1987)

This is an iconic film in horror movie history that is an absolutely must see
Hellraiser (1987) is a horror classic that I recently watched on Amazon Prime. The storyline follows a military man who finds an artifact overseas and brings it home to an old family estate. When his brother and sister in law arrives at the house the brother appears long gone...but appearances aren't what they seem to be. The artifact is still in the house and the sister in law really wants him back.

This movie is written and directed by icon Clive Barker (Nightbreed) and stars Andrew Robinson (Cobra), Clare Higgins (Ready Player One), Doug Bradley (Nightbreed), Sean Chapman (A Mighty Heart) and Ashley Laurence (Red).

This is the first movie that really made gore an art form. It took what Texas Chainsaw Massacre did a decade before to the next evolution of gore. The characters are sleezy and fit perfectly with the content and the plot perfectly. You can understand what and why things are happening, and the special effects to show Frank's character's needs and evolution was tremendous. The soundtrack for this is spectacular, as you come to expect from Clive Barker, and the arrival of the Cenobites is legendary. Every scene they are in is tremendous. The back story of the making of the film, the special effects, and how the makeup and masks impacted how Pinhead became the main character instead of a silent side character is legendary.

Overall, this is an iconic film in horror movie history that is an absolutely must see. I would score this a 10/10 and strongly recommend it.

Life of Pi
(2012)

This is a magical picture that is an absolute must see
Life of Pi (2012) is a movie that I recently rewatched for the first time in a long time on HBOMAX. The storyline follows a family that owns a zoo in India that plans to bring the animals to the US, sell them, and start a new life. The ship sinks and one of the sons in the family successfully survives on a lifeboat with an unexpected companion.

This movie is directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and stars Suraj Sharma (Happy Death Day 2U), Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire), Tabu (Missing) and Rafe Spall (The Ritual).

The storyline for this picture is unique, compelling and really captures the imagination. The characters are easy to root for and the circumstances are unbelievable, sad and magical at the same time. Any scene with an animal in it is amazing. The opening lion cage scene with the goat is excellent. Every scene in the boat is tremendous and the ultimate twist in the storyline is awesome. There's a whale scene that's beautiful and an island scenes that's super cool.

Overall, this is a magical picture that is an absolute must see. I would score this a 10/10 and strongly recommend it.

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari
(1920)

This movie is absolutely awesome, especially when you consider when it was made
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) is a movie that I recently watched on Prime. The storyline follows Dr. Caligari, a carnival employee, and his show called "The Cabinet." Inside the cabinet is a "somnambulist" named Cesare that he can bring to life. At night Cesare does more than come to life and dead bodies are left in his wake. As the body count increases the police come knocking at Dr. Caligari door and all hell breaks loose.

This movie is directed by Robert Wiene (The Knight of the Rose) and stars Werner Krauss (Robert Koch: The Battle Against Death), Conrad Veidt (Casablanca), Friedrich Feher (The Robber Symphony) and Lil Dagover (End of the Game).

This movie is absolutely awesome, especially when you consider when it was made. The makeup, costumes and carnival setting was perfect. The sets really were spectacular. They created them like the exotic Broadway plays with 3D stages. It really was entertaining to see every scene unfold. This is the silent film era but they used really entertaining background music throughout the film so it feels like any other subtitled film you've watched. The hairstyles cracked me up and the acting is outstanding. The scenes are also shot in different colors to create the atmosphere.

Overall, this is an absolute must see. I loved this movie and would score it a 9/10.

Blended
(2014)

This is another masterpiece from Sandler and Barrymore that's an absolute must see
Blended (2014) is a movie my wife and I recently watched on HBOMAX. The storyline follows two single parents who bump into each other on a blind date, which ends up being a disaster. As time goes by they continue to bump into each other and over time get to know why they are the way they are and where they each need support. Blending families may be hard but falling in love won't be.

This movie is directed by Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer) and stars Adam Sandler (Billy Madison), Drew Barrymore (50 First Dates), Terry Crews (Expendables), Kevin Nealon (Weeds) and Abdoulaye NGom (Grandma's Boy).

This movie has so much to like. Berrymore and Sandler are tremendous, have great chemistry and play off eachother perfectly. The script was solid and the circumstances are hilarious. There's some great cameos from Shaq and Terry Crews that's hilarious too and had me laughing out loud every scenes they're in. The family dynamics are well portrayed and the ending is perfect.

Overall, this is another masterpiece from Sandler and Barrymore that's an absolute must see. I would score this a 7/10 and strongly recommend it.

The Imperfects
(2022)

This is a unique addition to the super hero genre that has some X-Men elements
The Imperfects (2022) is a series that my wife and I recently wrapped up on Netflix (and no, it's not related to the X-Men Imperfects). The storyline follows a group of kids who had a series of tests run on them as children that turned them into mutants. When an opportunity for a cure emerges some of the kids get together to be first in line for said cure. Unfortunately for them they may be more guinea pigs than patients and if things go wrong they'll die...

This series stars Italia Ricci (Designated Survivor), Morgan Taylor Campbell (Sadie's Last Days on Earth), Iñaki Godoy (MexZombies), Rhianna Jagpal (To All the Boys: Always and Forever) and Rhys Nicholson (The Last Hope).

This series is very up and down. The characters are interesting, the dialogue at times is hilarious and the action and kill scenes are first rate. There's definitely some worthwhile gore and a clown scene that made me smile. There's also so many cheesy scenes and lines that made me role my eyes. There's definitely some WB moments sprinkled in here and there. However, the acting is solid and the villain, Rhys Nicholson, delivers an awesome performance.

Overall, this is a unique addition to the super hero genre that has some X-Men elements. I would score this a 6.5-7/10 and recommend seeing it once.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
(2003)

An underrated addition to the super hero genre that's an absolute must see
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) is a movie that is in my DVD collection that I recently rewatched on Tubi. I also adored the Alan Moore comics that this premise is based on. The storyline follows famous literary characters who are asked to work together to stop a world war. Meanwhile, an arms dealer selling weapons to the highest bidder emerges and he may have a mole in the League's team to stay a step ahead of them. The league will try to stop the mercenary before he gets his wish and war breaks out.

This movie is directed by Stephen Norrington (Return to Oz) and stars Sean Connery (Dr. No), Jason Flemyng (Deep Rising), Peta Wilson (Vanishing Point) and Stuart Townsend (Queen of the Damned).

I absolutely love this movie. No, it's not like the comics at all, but the characters are fascinating, unpredictable and uniquely fit together. The special effects to create the transformations, characters and depict their powers was awesome. The cast is outstanding and Connery delivers a tremendous performance. I loved his character, mentoring, dialogue and the opening action scene in Africa. Every scene Hyde is in is amazing and Nemo was a tremendous character too. The ending was excellent and a perfect blend of sadness and satisfaction.

Overall, this is an underrated addition to the super hero genre that's an absolute must see. I would score this an 8/10 and strongly recommend it.

Curtains
(1983)

This movie isn't perfect but it does have a worthwhile villain that's an absolute must see
Curtains (1983) is a movie that I recently watched on Prime. The storyline follows a movie being made at a remote mansion where all the ladies want the lead role and will do anything to get it. Unfortunately for them, as the movie is being made people are disappearing and a serial killer is on the loose. Who could the killer be and why are the people at the mansion being targeted?

This movie is being directed by Richard Ciupka (Coyote) and stars John Vernon (Animal House), Samantha Eggar (The Brood), Linda Thorson (Half Past Dead), Anne Ditchburn (Slow Dancing in the Big City) and Lesleh Donaldson (Happy Birthday to Me).

This is a fun horror movie with a great premise, a solid cast and fantastic makeup, masks and costumes. The premise was believable and a perfect plot for a horror movie. The locations were well selected too. The cinematography was mediocre but the villain more than made up for it. The kill scenes were entertaining, my only complaint is that the kill scenes could have been better executed and contained more gore. There's an ice skating scene that I loved. The scythe scene was really good too.

Overall, this movie isn't perfect but it does have a worthwhile villain that's an absolute must see. I would score this a 7-7.5/10 and strongly recommend it.

The Untouchables
(1987)

It's rare the cast is just as legendary as the historical characters they are playing
The Untouchables (1987) is a movie that I recently rewatched for the first time in a long time on HBOMAX. The storyline follows Chicago during prohibition when American law enforcement found it virtually impossible to bring down Al Capone. Eliot Ness is asked to lead a task force to bring down the legend. He will assemble a unique cast of characters in hopes of bringing down Capone by any means necessary; and best believe, Capone won't make it easy.

This movie is directed by Brian De Palma (Scarface) and stars Kevin Costner (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), Sean Connery (Dr. No), Robert De Niro (Heat), Andy Garcia (Ocean's Eleven), Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island) and Brad Sullivan (Slap Shot).

Everything about this movie is entertaining. The storyline is tremendous and who doesn't want to watch a movie of Eliot Ness versus Al Capone? The characters are so compelling. It's rare the cast is just as legendary as the historical characters they are playing, but Costner, Connery and De Niro are an unbelievable ensemble. The backdrops, attire, props and depiction of the era was also perfect. The depiction of the tommy gun was very cool and the baseball bat "team" scene was legendary. The shootouts at the courtroom were classic Hollywood fun and the ending was rewarding.

Overall, this is a fun rendition of the Eliot Ness versus Capone battle that is an absolute must see. I would score this a solid 8.5/10 and strongly recommend it.

The Car: Road to Revenge
(2019)

This is an average to below average addition to the action/horror genre
The Car: Road to Revenge (2019) is a movie that I recently watched on Netflix. The storyline follows a futuristic society where crime and corruption is prevelant. Shortly after buying a new car a district attorney is thrown out of his office window and lands on his car. The DA's soul takes over the car and sets out on a mission for revenge against those responsible for his death.

This movie is directed by G. J. Echternkamp (Frank and Cindy) and stars Grant Bowler (Killer Elite), Kathleen Munroe (Patriots), Martin Hancock (Kingdom of Heaven), Burt Grinstead (Death Race 2050) and Nina Bergman (Doom: Annihilation).

This is a modernization of the 1977 movie The Car and has a new age grindhouse feel to it. The sets, attire, hairstyles and props were pretty good. The car was cool too. There are some good kills, gore and blood splatter. Unfortunately, this has a made for television feel to it from a storyline, dialogue and acting perspective. This reminded me of the Death Race remakes.

Overall, this is an average to below average addition to the action/horror genre that I would score a 4.5/10 and recommend seeing once.

Crooklyn
(1994)

An underrated American cinematic masterpiece and a story that is well told by Spike Lee
Crooklyn (1994) is a movie that I recently rewatched on Tubi. The storyline follows a family in Brooklyn, New York made up of a teacher, musician and five children. The mother and father do the best they can to raise their children in the big city with limited resources but lots of love.

This movie is directed by legend Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing) and stars Alfre Woodard (Annabelle), Delroy Lindo (Malcom X), David Patrick Kelly (The Warriors), Isaiah Washington (Ghost Ship) and Vondie Curtis-Hall (Falling Down).

This movie shares an inner look of the struggles of living in the city, the process of running a household full of kids and two parents in love doing the best they can. The cast delivers awesome performances and it's impossible to not be entertained by the kids and their actions. The child acting was fantastic. Woodard and Lindo are easy to like and you root for their success. It's also easy to relate to having a country and city side to the family and how alike and different they can be at the same time.

Overall, this is an underrated American cinematic masterpiece and a story that is well told by Spike Lee. I love everything about this movie and would score it a 9/10.

City of Rott 2
(2014)

I loved the first City of Rott and was so disappointed by this sequel
City if Rott 2 (2014) is a movie that I recently watched on Tubi. The storyline follows a man named Max who has survived the zombie apocalypse from the first film and is desperate to find the cure. He believes a crashed alien spacecraft is just the clue he needs to find what he's looking for. He encounters the brother of the old man from the first film and together they start a quest to find a cure for the outbreak.

This movie is written, directed and voiced by Frank Sudol (Shock Invasion). I loved the first City of Rott and was so disappointed by this sequel. The animation was such a step back. This felt like a bad Lego movie with bad character portrayal, bad blood splatter, and disappointing action scenes. Even the writing and storyline was disappointed. Some of eating scenes were okay and the old man returning was awesome...but even the background music was disappointing.

Overall, this movie is bad and not worth your time. I would score this a 2/10 and recommend skipping it.

The Man Who Knew Too Much
(1934)

This isn't Hitchcock's best film but it is entertaining and worth a viewing
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) is a Hitchcock gem that I recently watched on HBOMAX. The storyline follows a family on vacation, enjoying the winter and visiting a friend. When the friend is assassinated he tells the parents he is a spy and an assassination is about to take place in London. When the assassin sees the conversation he kidnaps the daughter of the family to keep them quiet. Unfortunately it doesn't work as the police hunts down the men responsible for the assassination and the family tries to stop the assassination.

As previously referenced this movie is directed by legend Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho) and stars Peter Lorre (M), Frank Vosper (A Night of Terror), Leslie Banks (Jamaica Inn), Edna Best (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) and Nova Pilbeam (Young and Innocent).

The settings in the woods and on the ski mountain were well shot and beautiful. It was a perfect way to start the movie. The acting was out of this world, especially by Lorre. His character was a perfect ruthless villain. The attire, settings and props were also perfect. The shootout in the streets at the end were awesome and the police Vs the gangsters were great sequences. The ending on the roof was unrealistic but still entertaining.

Overall, this isn't Hitchcock's best film but it is entertaining and worth a viewing. I would score this a 7.5/10 and strongly recommend it.

Rocket & Groot
(2017)

An entertaining watch with your children that I would strongly recommend
Rocket & Groot (2017) is a series that my daughter and I recently watched on Disney+. The storyline follows our bounty hunting best friends as they travel the Galaxy collecting bounties as they try to save enough money to buy a new ship.

This series was directed by Arnaud Delord (Arcane) and contains the voices of Kevin Michael Richardson (Mortal Kombat) and Trevor Devall (Abominable).

The animation for this was unique and well done. I really enjoyed the depiction of the universe, aliens and the various space encounters. The dialogue was hilarious as was the back and forth between Groot and Rocket. My only complaint is that this could have been one short movie rather than a bunch of 1 minute and 45 second segments.

Overall, this is an entertaining watch with your children that I would strongly recommend. I would score this an 8/10 and would love a second season.

Rutabaga
(2018)

It does the best it can with the budget it has
Rutabaga (2018) is a French film that I recently watched on Tubi. The storyline follows a journalist who visits a hotel in the country to write an add for his paper. When he arrives there's no internet or cell phone connectivity but the hospitality is top notch. As he learns more about the facility and it's ambiances he discovers it may be hard to leave...

This movie is written, directed by and stars Julien Botzanowski (Tranches de Vi) and also stars Capucine Lamarque (Tranches de Vi), Serge Barbagallo (Mafiaosa) and Anouchka Csernakova (Ego-Light).

This is a movie that does the best it can with the budget it has. The settings and circumstances were solid and the characters were interesting and well delivered. The notes disappearing and lack of connectivity wasn't as creepy as they intended but the inn keeper was an awesome villain and the lady coming out of the woods scene was great. Some of the elements reminded me of the Blair Witch and the ending was well done.

Overall, this isn't the best French horror movie in the world but it is worth a watch if you're looking for something different. I would score this a 5/10 and recommend seeing it once.

Se ying diu sau
(1978)

This is a legendary martial arts genre film that is an absolute must see
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) is a movie in my DVD collection that I recently rewatched on Tubi. The storyline follows an orphan who is taken in by a martial arts school. He is bullied by the students and does more cleaning than training while there. One day he helps an old man who decides to train the orphan to become a martial arts expert in a style that resembles the snake. When the town, and old man, is threatened by a menace who has a style that can thwart the snake martial arts techniques, the orphan must learn and combine a new style to his own to save his people.

This movie is directed by legend Woo-Ping Yuen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and stars Jackie Chan (Rush Hour), Jack Long (The Super Ninja), Hark-On Fung (The Police Story), Kam Cheung (Magnificent Butcher), Jeong-lee Hwang (Drunken Master) and Siu-Tin Yuen (Drunken Master).

This movie is outstanding. The choreography is awesome but so is Chan's flexibility, personality, mannerisms and facial expressions. The background music keeps the film lighthearted, the sound effects during the action scenes are fun and the infusion of comedy throughout the storyline is perfect. The old man fight scene cracked me up, the cat fighting the cobra is legendary, the training scenes are fun, Jackie versus the preacher was awesome and the final fight scene is magnificent. There's just so much to like about this film. Even the ending had a smart twist for martial arts picture.

Overall, this is a legendary martial arts genre film that is an absolute must see. I would score this a 9/10 and strongly recommend it.

Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities
(2022)

This is a very well put together series with fantastic directors, great casts and well created horror elements and special effects
Cabinet of Curiosities (2022) is a series that I recently completed on Netflix. The series is made up of 8 short stories each running about an hour long. They honestly feel like a movie with outstanding cinematography, fantastic cast members and 8 all-star directors to create each film using del Toro's special effects studios. Guillermo del Toro introduces each episode in classic Alfred Hitchcock fashion and delivers entertaining narration. Like with any anthology, some episodes are better than others, but they are all well done and very entertaining.

Story 1 - Lot 36 - Directed by Guillermo Navarro (director of episodes of Hannibal & Narcos) and stars Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou), who delivers a strong performance. His look and mannerisms were perfect. The storyline was great and had a lot of potential. My only complaint was that I wasn't a big fan of the CGI used for the ending. I would score this episode a 7.5-8/10.

Story 2 - Graveyard Rats - Directed by Vincezo Natali (who also directed the movies Cube and Splice) and stars David Hewlett (The Shape of Water) and has a cool cameo by Julian Richings (Urban Legend). This storyline was a mess and ridiculous. It just seemed like an excuse for excessive gore...but the gore, props, skeleton and rats were great. This was one of my least favorite episodes but I'd still score it a 6/10.

Story 3 - The Autopsy - Directed by David Prior (who also directed The Empty Man) and has an all star cast that includes F. Murray Abraham (Scarface) and Glynn Turman (Cooley High). This storyline reminded me a little of The Outsider initially and Demon Knight in other ways. I enjoyed the concept and would score this episode a solid 8/10.

Story 4 - The Outside - Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (who also directed A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) and stars Dan Stevens (The Guest) and Kate Micucci (Clerks III). Micucci delivers an awesome performance and the content is unique, fresh and smart. The ending was predictable but still worthwhile. I would score this episode an 7.5-8/10.

Story 5 - Pickman's Model - Directed by Keith Thomas (Firestarter, 2022) and stars Crispin Glover (Willard) and Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia). The storyline for this episode was entertaining and has a fantastic opening, establishes the characters well and the ending is insane. The depiction of the era was very good with well done sets, attire and props. This was my favorite episode and the only one I would score a 10/10.

Story 6 - Dreams in the Witch House - is the HP Lovecraft episode that was directed by Catherine Hardwick (director of Twilight and Lords of Dogstown) and stars Rupert Grint (Harry Potter), DJ Qualls (The New Guy and Road Trip) and Ismael Cruz Cordova (Lord of the Ring series on Prime). Grint delivers a tremendous performance in this episode. All of the scenes in the woods were very well done with impressive CGI and the witch was excellent. This had a smart ending. I would score this episode an 8/10.

Story 7 - The Viewing - Directed by Panos Cosmatos (who also directed Mandy and Beyond the Black Rainbow) and has an all-star cast that includes Peter Weller (RoboCop), Steve Agee (Peacemaker), Eric Andre (Sing 2) and Sofia Boutella (The Kingsman: Secret Service). This storyline was so boring until the final ten minutes, which is inexcusable with a cast this good. Weller was really cool , but I couldn't wait for everyone to die. The creature at the end was good and so was how the storyline concluded. I would score this episode a 6/10.

Story 8 - The Murmuring - Directed by Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) and stars Essie Davis (The Babadook) and Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead). The acting by Davis and Lincoln was excellent but the storyline didn't justify Davis' behavior enough. The movie had long portions that were boring, but the ghost elements and makeup were good. The ending was a bit sad. This wasn't a great way to conclude the series and I would score this episode a 5/10.

Overall, this is a very well put together series with fantastic directors, great casts and well created horror elements and special effects. I would score this an 8/10 and strongly recommend it.

Gang Related
(1997)

An above average addition to the crime drama genre
Gang Related (1997) is a movie that I recently watched for the first time in a long time on HBOMAX. The storyline follows two corrupt police officers who murder one of their middle men one night. A homeless man is framed for the murder and open to receiving the charges...until his former lawyer recognizes him and comes to the aid of the homeless man. The police officers scramble to keep their tracks covered.

This movie is written and directed by Jim Kouf (National Treasure) and stars Jim Belushi (Red Heat), Tupac Shakur (Poetic Justice), James Earl Jones (The Lion King), Dennis Quaid (Innerspace), Lela Rochon (Waiting to Exhale), Tom Lister Jr. (Friday) and David Paymer (Get Shorty).

This cast is absolutely amazing. Everyone delivers a tremendous performance, but Dennis Quaid and James Earl Jones were especially impressive. Lela Rochon delivered a strong performance and was gorgeous. The courtroom scenes were solid, not great, but the "that's not my gun" scene cracked me up. The dialogue was authentic and well executed and there was great chemistry and natural reactions between characters. It was impressive to see Tupac Shakur keep up with such an impressive cast.

Overall, this is an above average addition to the crime drama genre. I would score this a 6.5-7/10 and recommend seeing it once.

Dèmoni 2... l'incubo ritorna
(1986)

A tremendous sequel to the first film
Demons 2 (1986) is an Italian gem that I recently watched on Shudder. The storyline follows a documentary of Demons I airing on National Television that triggers the return of the Demons. The time the Demons spreads through the television and into an apartment complex filled with families. Can the families survive the outbreak or will this be the apocalypse that ends humanity?

This picture is directed by Lamberto Bava (Body Puzzle) and stars Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni (Mother of Tears), Bobby Rhodes (Leviathan), Asia Argento (Land of the Dead), Virginia Bryant (The Barbarians) and Antonio Cantafora (Diamond Pedlars).

This movie has everything you loved about the first film minus a worthwhile storyline. There's also a car crash scene that's a bit weird where there's a strange delay in filming that led to it not feeling authentic. However, the kill scenes and gore are excellent. There's a demon dog that's very well done, another fantastic demon birthing scene and the teeth once again are excellent. The makeup, masks and special effects are a 10/10. This movie is evidence not enough films leverage green slime. The mother scene with her dripping green slime from her mouth was great. I also thought it was interesting the woman who gets eaten is wearing a Freddy Krueger colored/striped bathing suit. The soundtrack is also excellent.

Overall, this is a tremendous sequel to the first film that's an entertaining addition to the horror genre. I would score this a 7/10 and strongly recommend it.

Dennis the Menace
(1993)

This is a worthwhile family film that's an absolute must see
Dennis the Menace (1993) is a movie that my daughter and I recently watched together on Tubi. The storyline follows a young man named Dennis who is a menace to his neighbor, Mr. Wilson. One inauspicious week Mr. & Mrs. Wilson agree to watch Dennis while his parents are out of town on business. Any and everything that can go wrong, while Mr. Wilson watches Dennis, does go wrong...

This movie is directed by Nick Castle (The Last Starfighter) and stars Walter Matthau (The Bad News Bears), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), Joan Plowright (The Entertainer) and Paul Winfield (Mars Attacks!).

This has a strong Home Alone feel to it with a tremendous cast, laugh out loud slapstick comedy and a character that is cute and easy to root for. I loved both Walter Matthau and Christopher Lloyd in this throughout the movie. They deliver entertaining characters and hilarious reactions to circumstances. The opening aspirin scene is a legendary moment in this picture and was a perfect way to get it started. Lloyd's shenanigans were a perfect way to end it also. The full circle perspectives of characters evolving definitely brings a smile to your face and is a perfect way to conclude the picture.

Overall, this is a worthwhile family film that's an absolute must see. I would score this a 7/10 and strongly recommend it.

Gezora, Ganime, Kameba: Kessen! Nankai no daikaijû
(1970)

Another classic Hondo monster picture that's not as good as Godzilla but still worth a viewing
Space Amoeba (1970) is a Japanese monster gem that I recently watched on a random streaming service. The storyline follows an asteroid filled with alien life forms that lands on a Pacific Ocean island. As the aliens come in contact with the local wildlife the wildlife becomes huge and menacing. When some investors land on the island and plan to build a resort they're in for a rude awakening.

This movie is directed by Ishirô Honda (Godzilla, 1954) and stars Akira Kubo (Throne of Blood), Yukiko Kobayashi (Destroy All Monsters), Kenji Sahara (Godzilla, 1954), Yoshio Tsuchiya (Seven Samurai) and Chôtarô Tôgin (Ebirah, Horror of the Deep).

There's so much to like about this movie. The sets and models the monsters destroy are very cool. The Amoeba costume is rediculous but the lobster and lizard were awesome. The creature special effects and how they use their hands is hilarious. I will say that I enjoyed the monster battles, which were more fun than good.

Overall, this is another classic Hondo monster picture that's not as good as Godzilla but still worth a viewing. I would score this a 6.5/10 and strongly recommend it.

Ivanhoe
(1952)

This felt like Robin Hood with jousting instead of an archery contest
Ivanhoe (1952) is a movie that I recently watched on HBOMAX. The storyline follows dishonored knight, Ivanhoe, when he discovers that the world outside of the religious crusades is run by evil Prince John. He will look to leverage Locksley in Sherwood Forest and insider, and love interest, Rebecca, to help restore his honor and take down John.

This movie is directed by Richard Thorpe (Knights of the Round Table) and stars Robert Taylor (The Bride), Elizabeth Taylor (Cleopatra), Joan Fontaine (Rebecca), Robert Douglas (The Fountainhead) and Norman Wooland (The Guns of Navarone).

The sets, settings, props, hairstyles and attire were all very well done. I will say there were times it was obvious there was a backdrop behind the cast. Elizabeth Taylor looks amazing and her outfits are gorgeous, especially at the final trial. The dialogue was very good but this felt like Robin Hood with jousting instead of an archery contest. The final scene reminded me of Medieval Times and the final line by Taylor was a perfect conclusion.

Overall, this is a fun film from this era that is worth watching once. I would score it a 7/10.

Knock at the Cabin
(2023)

This movie needed more twists and turns, which is a strange problem for a M. Night Shyamalan movie to have
Knock at the Cabin (2023) is a new M. Night Shyamalan picture my wife and I caught at an A24 Advance Screening last night. The storyline follows two men and their daughter on vacation at a cabin in the woods. They are visited and captured by four individuals who come out of the woods with an ultimatum...one of the three must die at the hands of the other two or the world will end. As time runs down the family sees the death and destruction the visitors promised. Will the family let everyone die, will they save the world or is it all an elaborate game being played by four psychopaths?

As previously referenced, this picture is directed by M. Night Shyamalan (Signs) and stars Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Rupert Grint (Harry Potter), Ben Aldridge (Our Girl), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Jupiter Ascending), Jonathan Groff (The Matrix: Resurrection) and Abby Quinn (After the Wedding).

The storyline and characters in this picture had a lot of potential; but unfortunately, every situation is straightforward and predictable, all the way to the final scene. It's too bad because the cinematography and camera angles are very good and Dave Bautista delivers an outstanding performance. His character was easily my favorite. However, the characters backstories needed to be more developed, more like The Stand, before they all met at the cabin. I didn't really care what happened to those characters (the decisions were too easy to make for the family). The kill scenes themselves needed more gore and intensity. They definitely could have been better executed to highlight the situation the parents were in. The conclusion is straightforward and you know what's going to happen and how.

Unfortunately, this movie needed more twists and turns, which is a strange problem for a M. Night Shyamalan movie to have. I would score this a 6/10 and recommend seeing it once.

The Help
(2011)

This is a fantastic American cinematic gem that is an absolute must see
The Help (2011) is a movie that I recently rewatched for the first time in a long time on HBOMAX. The storyline follows a young up and coming writer just out of college who returns home to Alabama looking for fresh content to make it big. When her longtime family maid is fired before she gets home she is inspired to hear more about what happened and why. Maids at that time are like family members who spend more time raising the kids than the parents. She decides that these maids, their lifestyle and the tasks they have to help with, or hide, would be the perfect content to write a book about....

This movie is directed by Tate Taylor (Ma) and stars Viola Davis (Suicide Squad), Cicely Tyson (Fried Green Tomatoes), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Emma Stone (La La Land), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World: Dominion) and Sissy Spacek (Carrie).

This movie is magnificent - the story, depiction of the historical elements, the characters and the circumstances are all fascinating, hilarious, sad and compelling. Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain deliver tremendous performances and Cicely Tyson really brings the conclusion home. The pie scene in this will always be legendary but Spencer's mannerisms, body language and dialogue were remarkable and really takes this film over the top.

Overall, this is a fantastic American cinematic gem that is an absolute must see. I would score this a 10/10 and strongly recommend it.

The Woman
(2011)

An excellent addition to the horror genre
The Woman (2011) is a movie that I recently watched on Shudder. The storyline follows a family in the country whose father while hunting discovers a young lady living wild in the woods. He decides to capture her, bring her home to clean and domesticate her and chains her up in the barn. During the process she bites his finger off. As his son gets more and more curious about her it becomes more and more dangerous to keep the woman...but the father is determined.

This movie is directed by Lucky McKee (May) and stars Pollyanna McIntosh (The Walking Dead), Lauren Ashley Carter (Premium Rush), Sean Bridgers (Sweet Home Alabama), Angela Bettis (May) and Zach Rand (Nurse Jackie).

This movie is so well done. The settings are perfect for the circumstances. The movie is perfectly cast and everyone delivers their character well. The family dynamic is well established and developed. The father was the perfect villain. The special effects are awesome - I adored the finger scene, the "fight" in the kitchen between the mom and dad...and absolutely everything at the end of the movie. Every bite scene is outstanding. There's a pliers scene that made me cringe. Pollyanna McIntosh delivers a crazy but hot look in this and she delivers an amazing performance.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to the horror genre that I would score an 8.5/10 and strongly recommend.

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