• Quantum of Solace

    Quantum of Solace

    ★★½

    From practically the moment Quantum of Solace begins, throwing you into the middle of a horrendously edited car chase scene, it feels incredibly mediocre, low-stakes, and a big step down from Casino Royale. I'd actually never seen this movie before, so for the longest time I always wondered what I missed in this entry and how it tied into the later Craig movies. The answer now having seen it? Not much.

    The action which was so impressive the last time…

  • Casino Royale

    Casino Royale

    ★★★★½

    It's been awhile since I've sat down to watch Casino Royale, so watching the film this time I think I was most struck by just how much of a breath of fresh air it is for the franchise. It isn't simply the introduction of a new Bond under Daniel Craig, but Casino Royale is a total reimagining of the James Bond movie for the post-Bourne era.

    Casino Royale succeeds because it doesn't just try to copy Bourne, but to take…

  • Vacancy

    Vacancy

    ★★★

    For the most part Vacancy is a generic but solidly functional 00s slasher horror. It doesn't start off too well with some overly expository dialogue establishing the feuding near-divorced couple but Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale give decent performances and lend some modest star power, and the reveal of what is going on is genuinely creepy.

    The moment Luke Wilson first pops in that VHS tape it's extremely, extremely disturbing with the reveal. It was a genuinely frightening moment for…

  • Escape from New York

    Escape from New York

    ★★★★½

    Reading through the reviews it sounds like people like Escape from New York as a guilty pleasure or with caveats recognizing the budget, minimalism, action etc...

    I'm just here to say I loved pretty much every second of this and for being exactly what it is.

    Kurt Russell as Snake Plisskin is awesome, and the dystopian world of the film is so well realized because we aren't told everything, just left with the suggestions of a greater world beyond that…

  • Unknown

    Unknown

    ★★

    Why would you set an English-language movie in Berlin,

    Cast Diane Kruger,

    Then have her character be Bosnian?

  • Hider in the House

    Hider in the House

    ★★★★

    I watched Hider in the House expecting it to be schlocky silliness. Just look at the premise, Gary Busey literally living inside the walls of a suburban family's home. I certainly was not expecting the film to actually be a serious drama.

    Busey is doing his own thing and delivering some of the Busey-isms you would expect, but the portrayal of his character is tragic, and sympathetic. Busey does imbue the character with a sort of pathos, his one-sided kinship…

  • Undefeatable

    Undefeatable

    ★★★★

    During one of the 2 (this movie has two) final fight sequences our crazed mullet-wearing villain battling Cynthia Rothrock throws a box full of packing peanuts into the air and the packing peanuts rain down like snow around them while both fighters are posed gorgeously with cinematic mood lighting and I realized Undefeatable was genuinely pretty great.

    Who cares when a film is barely comprehensible if you've got stuff like that and menacing synthesizer music playing over almost every scene.

  • Someone to Watch Over Me

    Someone to Watch Over Me

    ★★★½

    *Some light spoilers ahead but nothing that should be surprising given the genre/premise*

    It's a little puzzling to me why Someone to Watch Over Me is so obscure in Ridley Scott's filmography. This film isn't a slam dunk in its execution but it has a decent premise and gorgeous visuals, it's certainly no A Good Year or Prometheus.

    The film is a neo-noir and YMMV on how much you enjoy that genre. There are also some erotic thriller elements, but…

  • Spider-Man 2

    Spider-Man 2

    ★★★★

    The strength of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 is that it takes the world that was set up in the first Spider-Man and nurtures it. It builds on what was established before without fundamentally changing, and deepens the world in which our main characters live in.

    Dr. Octavius may be the villain in this sequel, but Spider-Man 2 isn't really about him. He is an antagonist, but even in the plotting of the film he is more of an ancillary character…

  • DeepStar Six

    DeepStar Six

    ★½

    I don't think there is anything inherently wrong about Alien rip-offs. The core of the story, the beats, the setups, they're all very simple but also universal and applicable to other stories. You can take the idea, the structure, you can recombine parts and add new ones to make a decent horror film. Nothing wrong with that. Alien but set in the deep ocean? I'm down!

    But why did it have to be so boring?

    DeepStar Six fumbles badly because…

  • Equalizer 2000

    Equalizer 2000

    ★★★

    Now this was a treat. Of course Equalizer 2000 is one of many films "inspired by" Mad Max that was produced in the 80s. So putting that aside, of course, to enjoy the film - Equalizer 2000 is a very fun ride!

    The storyline follows a not so talkative Richard Norton in the lead role, taken in by a band of outsider people in a region fraught by civil war but dominated by an evil organization called The Ownership. Norton…

  • Pushed to the Limit

    Pushed to the Limit

    ★★

    It's hard for me to talk about Pushed to the Limit or it's star, professional wrestler Mimi Lesseos, without also bringing up Cynthia Rothrock, martial artist turned DTV action star. The comparison doesn't do Lesseos many favors though.

    I do have to give props to Mimi Lesseos because I can't think of any other American women besides Rothrock herself who starred in these early 90s action movies. Mimi herself isn't a terrible actress and her role is fine. The problem…