queenie September 14

Queen of the Amazons (1947)

A pointless cheapie, Queen of the Amazons is a 1947 picture directed by Edward Finney. It only runs about an hour in length, overstaying its welcome even with so little time to fill. In theory, there should be something rather snappy about the prospect of a “torrid temptress” roaming the wilderness in Africa somewhere, but […]

raiden September 13

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Somehow director Paul W. S. Anderson made things work in 1995 with Mortal Kombat, the film adaptation of the video game series of the same name. Unfortunately, Anderson is nowhere to be found on the slate of the 1997 sequel and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a terrible movie for all the wrong reasons.

robin September 12

World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

It’s hard to imagine anything more magnificently liberating than the scene toward the end of World’s Greatest Dad that finds the late, great Robin Williams diving nude into the school pool. It could perhaps be argued that this moment from Bobcat Goldthwait’s 2009 comedy becomes all the more poignant given the recent loss of the […]

frank1 September 12

Frank (2014)

A quirky and invigorating motion picture, Frank is a whimsical and weird delight from Lenny Abrahamson. This 2014 film is inspired by Chris Sievey’s persona Frank Sidebottom, who was a character noted for his huge, spheroidal head. Frank explores the freedom possible under such a “mask,” but it wisely presents itself through the eyes of […]

fed up1 September 11

Fed Up (2014)

The subject of Stephanie Soechtig’s Fed Up could not be more pressing. The numbers presented in this 2014 documentary are staggering, exploring the root causes of obesity as being significantly more complex than the “calories in, calories out” claptrap often suggested. When one considers that it takes an hour and a half of swimming to […]

seagal September 10

Flight of Fury (2007)

It’s hard to get behind Flight of Fury, the 2007 Steven Seagal effort, because it’s such a tedious and pointless affair. It’s an unofficial and uncredited remake of the 1998 film Black Thunder, with the glorious Catherine Bell and Michael Dudikoff. Flight of Fury is essentially the same movie with minimal changes, leaving Black Thunder […]

8mile1 September 08

8 Mile (2002)

Directed by Curtis Hanson with a screenplay by Scott Silver, 8 Mile is an effective biopic because it’s punk rock. Its aesthetic is almost grimy and its “action scenes” are filled with sharp, raw barbs from emcee to emcee. It weaves the myth of Eminem and explores the desolation of an American city at the […]

raiden September 06

Mortal Kombat (1995)

Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and based on the video game series of the same name, Mortal Kombat is a surprise because it’s actually not that bad. Make no mistake, this is no masterwork of the action or martial arts genre. But as far as video game films go, this 1995 outing has some […]

double1 September 05

The Double (2013)

A bleak and compelling motion picture, Richard Ayoade’s The Double is a bold take on Dostoyevsky’s novella of the same name. This 2013 film is fascinating in a number of ways, with Ayoade and Avi Korine’s screenplay delivering a world that’s difficult to place but impossible not to relate to. Their creation embodies Dostoyevsky’s examination […]

sartana1 September 05

Light the Fuse…Sartana is Coming (1970)

The fourth and final of the official Sartana films is Light the Fuse…Sartana is Coming. There are five movies along the official timeline if I Am Sartana, Trade Your Guns for a Coffin is counted, but that picture aired on German television and starred George Hilton in the title role. There are other Sartana-“inspired” sequels […]

toxicavenger September 04

The Toxic Avenger (1984)

Gloriously shameless and undeniably amusing, The Toxic Avenger is one of Troma Entertainment’s best. The 1984 picture is directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman from a screenplay by Kaufman and Joe Ritter. The lead character went on to spawn three sequels, a TV cartoon and a stage musical production. There’s also a remake in […]

force September 03

Attack Force (2006)

Without a shadow of a doubt, Attack Force is one of Steven Seagal’s strangest movies. This 2006 actioner is directed by Michael Keusch, who was at the helm for Shadow Man, and is based on a screenplay by the usual team of Joe Halpin and Seagal. Word around the campfire is that the initial idea […]

fruitvalestation September 02

Fruitvale Station (2013)

Unfortunately, the subject matter of Fruitvale Station always seems timely. This 2013 motion picture is written and directed by Ryan Coogler and is based on the last day in the life of Oscar Grant III. Grant was shot by a BART police officer on January 1, 2009. He was unarmed and shot in the back while […]

brick mansions1 August 31

Brick Mansions (2014)

A remake of the 2004 French film District 13, Brick Mansions is a harmless but dull actioner. This 2014 motion picture is directed by Camille Delamarre and is noted for being Paul Walker’s last completed film before his death in November of 2013. He is a charismatic draw and brings a certain degree of integrity […]

notdead August 30

God’s Not Dead (2014)

A self-righteous, staggeringly unkind hunk of nonsense, God’s Not Dead comes from Pure Flix Entertainment and is directed by Harold Cronk. This 2014 film is a “Christian drama” that deals in the sort of broad claptrap touted in introductory apologetics settings. The entire point of the movie is to cheer for the home team, theoretically […]

thecall1 August 30

The Call (2013)

Directed by Brad Anderson, The Call has all the makings of a decent thriller until it stumbles headlong into the most formulaic climax imaginable and undoes all the goodwill from the previous hour. This 2013 picture was originally imagined as a television series by screenwriter Richard D’Ovidio. The idea was fine-tuned into a theatrical project […]

storm! August 29

X-Men (2000)

Bryan Singer has the duty of helming 2000’s X-Men, a comic book picture so steeped in anticipation and hype that it seemed almost destined to come up short. And yet the film managed to launch a franchise, arguably several franchises, and set in motion a trend toward comic book movies that hasn’t waned to this […]

haunted August 28

A Haunted House 2 (2014)

There are parts of good jokes to be found in A Haunted House 2 and there are some laughs, which makes it a marked improvement on its 2013 predecessor. This 2014 sequel is the brainchild of Marlon Wayans, who stars, writes and produces. Michael Tiddes is the director, as with the first picture, and Rick […]

seagal1 August 27

Shadow Man (2006)

Steven Seagal’s direct-to-video output continues with Shadow Man, an intensely convoluted 2006 effort directed by Michael Keusch. The picture inexplicably also features Imelda Staunton in an admittedly minor role and features some of the funniest scenes in the entire Seagal canon. Those looking for serious action thrills will be disappointed, but that comes with the […]

dhoom1 August 25

Dhoom (2004)

A rollicking good time, Dhoom is a 2004 guilty pleasure from India. It features lavish musical numbers, chase sequences edited with an overzealous flair that would make even Michael Bay turn his head and a buddy cop scenario that’s honestly quite entertaining. Sure, it’s stacked to the rafters with clichés. That’s kind of the point, […]


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