China Hustle (2017) meh. I could give 2 shits about the stock market or selling short etc etc. It’s all about how Chinese companies fake profits and set up shell companies, sell stock then fold ripping off the public. I fail to see how this is different from what American companies do every day, legally. High finance is corrupt and criminal no matter what way you look at it. Seems like those who get rich there end up broken on their own wheel. And the guys exposing the corruption admittedly are getting rich from it. Not compelling or even interesting. Score:1
Clique (2008) Mean Girls for pre-teens. Pretty tame stuff, watched it with my daughter, who is a pre-teen and she was mostly scornful of the “high fashion” these ditzes wear, much like Clueless before it it vastly exaggerates how fashion forward most kids are. She also noted that the girls go to an all-girls academy, and the boys next door wear uniforms, but the girls dont, presumably because it would have fucked with her script, which largely relies on the disparity between wealthy girls and less well off girls because of how they dress. And of course, that’s one mission of uniforms. A girl there on a scholarship should be indistinguishable from one of the cool rich girls. Which by the way brings up a plothole, one of the cool girls is really poor but manages to keep up with the rich girls couture. Never explained. Another thing my daughter pointed out is that the “good” girl does some pretty despicable things (using her rivals chat handle to insult and alienate the other girls so that they desert her), lies, steals and defames in her quest to “fit in”. Pretty poor movie, even for what it is. Score: 2
Commuter (2018) Liam Neeson in one of the most implausible and stupid action movies I’ve seen in a while. Really bad plotting, as bad guys rely on Neeson’s rep as a great cop to force him to identify who is the government witness on a crowded train. He doesn’t do too well, only able to finally figure it out when it’s down to like 5-6, when any jerk could probably make a reasonable guess. I like Liam though so it was worth a watch, but bad movie. It reminds me of the “Taken” franchise, but they aren’t doing so well anymore, so Liam had to find a way to do the same kind of movie with a slightly differnt premise. Score: 2
Last Godfather (2010) Sheesh, I’m the last one to say things like this, but this film seems racist. If I were South Korean I’d be feeling pretty offended at this guy’s performance. Of course, I really am Italian descent but I’ve long become inured to bumbling mafioso movies, of which this is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Harvey Keitel collects a paycheck and some Sopranos alumni and Joe Polito all make appearances, giving it some kind of resonance, but not rescuing a really dumb movie. In fact its so bad I can’t believe I watched the whole thing, I must have been distracted: don’t repeat my fate, pay attention and avoid this movie. Score:1
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) God I love this movie. Love Mitchum, love the broads and the bums and the lowlifes and the high-society scum who populate this story, which is not overly convoluted and you can actually follow it and it’s fairly plausible, although the cops sure seem to give Mitchum’s character a lot of leeway as he murders people on average one a scene, even if it is self-defence. Plus, the baddies get it in the end and Mitchum actually makes a profit on the whole thing. Score:4 Great movie, highly recommended.
Good Nanny (2017) I didn’t notice this was a Lifetime movie until it was too late. A young girl’s parents are acting weird and may be abusing her, and the nanny is on the case. I had high hopes for this when the girl drew pictures of her parents, depicting them as space aliens, which would have been a nice twist, but turns out they are just cold to her because she is the mother’s estranged sister’s kid who has been abused since birth by her birth mother. The meddling nanny solves the case but manages to contribute to getting everyone killed but herself and the girl, which works out nice because she wanted kids but can’t have any. Score: 2 watchable because of the ditzy blonde mom
Gun Shy (2000) I’d actually seen this before but didn’t realize it, it’s fairly funny and a nice take on a played out genre, the undercover cop (Liam Neeson) who is having psychological problems which are manifesting themselves as physical inability to do his job, plus he works in a new romance with Sandra Bullock, who falls in love with him while giving him an enema. Oliver Platt chews up the scenery in a likable movie with personable stars you like walking and talking and interaction. What more do you want from a film? Score:3
Happy Anniversary (2018) The problem with this little romantic comedy about an on again off again romance, comedy of errors, nerd fantasy porn is that the girl (Noel Wells, I know, who?) is cute and agreeable enough, but why is she with this geek (Ben Swartz, playing the Ben Swartz role), who is described by her as a sexy nebbish, I just don’t see it. He’s neurotic, incompetent in life and business, jealous, scheming, stupid and most of all just a sloppy dork who manages to pick up hot pussy in the bar without even trying. The suspension of disbelief is just too high a hurdle in this one. Score:1
Hidden Camera (2007) Another old TV movie, YIFY has been padding the lists with a lot of these lately. In this one Superman Dean Cain (and noone else you’ve ever heard of) is an investigative reporter trying to solve who killed his brother, who was hot on a case himself (where have I heard this before?) but this one takes the cake: the bad guys are, of course, the Americans, including the president and the VP, who are trying to start a war with peaceful old N Korea to cover up their crimes. That’s right, the Norks are the good guys here, a Nork commandante repeatedly saves their bacon and supplies them with a safe haven to broadcast their expose in their embassy, saving the intrepid reporters from the evil Spanish. hooboy. All the while, the facts shown in the movie are that the Norks are testing nukes and counterfeiting billions of US dollars, but hey, these foibles don’t mean they aren’t honorable men. Stupidest movie ever which gets a rare negative number. Score: -12
Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert (2018) I finally get what the SJWs are talking about: I can’t relate to a movie where not one of the actors “looks like me”- you’ll go far to find a white male face in this Broadway version, but I’m guessing that the far-left in NYC have made it about impossible for a white man to work there anymore. No word about cultural appropriation here, even though they’ve one-upped the normal JCSS black Judas with a black/oriental (I think) Jesus and female apostles. Why not make Mary Magdelene a man and have Jesus in a gay romance with her? Whoever sings Jesus part is truly a lame ass singer without near the range, the black guy pulls off what Judas I heard, but also lacks range and has a “Broadway” voice as opposed to a rock voice, which is what this movie was originally all about. Ian Gillan looks and sounds all the better for the incompetence of these louts. This is JCSS done by a rabble of urban minorities, and I’m just pretty sick of having them shoved in my face 24/7. Skipped through to smugly make sure the cast couldn’t wipe the boots of the original concept cast and out. Even Josh Mostel was a better Herod. Score: 0 badly done insult to a great musical.
Fear in the Night (1972) Great old psycho-thriller with Peter Cushing, Joan Collins (the DVD cover is just a shot of her lipsticked face), Judy Geeson and the guy who plays George Warleggen in Poldark. No real surprises here but the entire tone and ambience of the movie is that great old Hammer style. Funnier parts include Collins apparently shooting a bunny with a catsup spewing gun, and Collins shot behind a sheet with a shotgun that shows through red red blood and powderburns but zero actual holes from point blank range. Even birdshot should have blown a hole in it, but it was enough to kill her. The final scene of George hanging from a tree is pretty great too, although how the old one-armed headmaster got him up there is a mystery. I’m sure I’ve seen this on the late late show somewhere, great olf film. Score: 3
Forever’s End (2013) My good god this is a dreary, pointless movie. 2 girls mope around the house, kill innocents who wander near, and finally reveal that one of the boring, mopey, pointless girls is only a figment of the other girl’s imagination. I’d have been more shocked if she had actually shown any signs of life. Also, I guess it’s supposed to be after the big bomb or something and civilization is gone, although they have a generator, food, electricity, radios, toe nail polish and basically laze around all day. Apocalypse is good for slackers, apparently. Score 1 god, so very boring
Jackrabbit (2015) Another apocalyptic tale of hackers after the bomb has fallen scrounging for ’80s hardware, to what point I’m sure I don’t know. This guy sets up this whole dystopian future then he doesn’t know what to do with it. Plus, badly miscast. This bullet headed dullard is supposed to be a computer wizard although he shows zero signs of intelligence, and this other guy, an apparent skateboard slacker, is also a genius, but what exactly they accomplish with all their hacker acumen you’ll be disappointed to note is not a damn thing. There’s no real plot: they look for a girl, don’t find her but bum her sister out enough to kill herself. Their friends die under mysterious circumstances, but is it the new government by computer company Yobo that kills them, or who? Since the protagonist joins the company rather than the resistance (we don’t actually see any signs of a resistance, or anything to resist against, really, but I assume there must be one if there is a repressive big brother, right?) Another funny point, they buy, sell and trade electronic components as a kind of currency which they use to make outrageous hackatrons or whatever when my computer from 2 years ago isn’t worth giving to Goodwill. Hard time with obsolescence after the apocalypes? Sheer bollacks Score: 0
If There Be Thorns (2015) Another TV movie, just enough plot, decent production values and passable acting to be better than a low budget indy, but boring, lifeless and dreary to sit through. Big story here from a trilogy of books, but we don’t see much of it from this talky script which imparts no exposition. Little worm of a kid star as well. I didn’t really get the story so let’s let IMDB take it: It’s the 1980s. Brother and sister Christopher Jr. and Cathy Dollanganger, a surgeon and ballet teacher respectively, are the product of an incestuous but loving relationship between their married parents, who were half-uncle to niece. Chris and Cathy are now married to each other, and live under the last name Sheffield, the surname of who ended up being their adoptive father. They managed to escape from their mother, born Corrine Foxworth, who once tried to kill them so that she could inherit her estranged father’s vast estate. Corrine, who ultimately did inherit all the money, was eventually institutionalized following a mental breakdown. Cathy has two children, teenager Jory, whose biological father is now deceased ballet dancer Julian Marquet, and preteen Bart, whose biological father is now deceased Bart Winslow, Corrine’s second husband. While Jory knows about Julian, Bart knows nothing about Bart Sr.; neither knows about Chris and Cathy’s sibling relationship.Score: 0 don’t rent or watch