“The Conjuring” on IMDB
Horror, 112 Minutes, 2013
The movie is based on the reports of noted paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. It presents them as learned, respected and heroic. They were none of these things. None of their evidence has ever stood up to investigation, and none of their claims have ever been confirmed. Most of their cases, such as the famous Amityville Horror, have been thoroughly debunked as hoaxes and the rest are highly explainable.
“Muppets Most Wanted” on IMDB
Family, 107 Minutes, 2014
The Muppets have honed their formula to perfection in the 35 years since the original “The Muppet Movie” [my review]. There have been rough patches, but all was set right with 2011′s big-budget revival “The Muppets” [my review]. Where that film spent significant time on new characters and human relationships, this one is a return to the basics. More songs, more gags and more Muppets.
This may not be clever, but my bride just loves the WOO (that’s the “Wizard of Oz” to us normals). This is for her.
(Apologies, but I can’t find anybody to credit the source image to. Thanks, whomever you are!)
“Coffee Town” on IMDB
Comedy, 87 Minutes, 2013
Luckily, very little of this movie is about coffee; I never did like the stuff. That doesn’t stop people from trying to get me to like it. They’ll say, “It’s an acquired taste!” as they stare glassily and talk about “beans” and “pods” and French things.
“Repo” on IMDB
Comedy, 120 Minutes, 2010
This is a perfectly harmless, perfectly average comedy with perhaps just a bit too much going on. Like so many average movies there’s not much to specifically recommend it; but there’s also not much to specifically criticize.
“The Debt” on IMDB
Thriller/Drama, 113 Minutes, 2010
In 1997 three retired Mossad agents are enjoying some deserved accolades. A new book is being released about the 1965 mission that made them legends. Then, less that twenty years after the formation of Israel, Mossad’s goal was to bring Nazi war criminals to justice.
One thing that came out of RiffTrax Live: Godzilla was that I reminded of this 1969 gem of a short film by Marv Newland [IMDB]. I can’t believe that I had never subjected my children to its understated genius before now.
I remember having to track down eccentric little movie theaters to see stuff like this when I was in my teens. Thanks Internet!
When the fine, funny people at RiffTrax decided to take their special brand of snark to theaters across the country we knew two things:
- They were clearly both very smart and very lazy for doing so via satellite instead of actually, you know, driving around.
- It was going to be insanely, amazingly awesome.
The first show, August 20, 2009, was “Plan Nine from Outer Space” and this was followed up regularly with a small herd of super-cheese staples including “Reefer Madness”, “Manos: The Hands of Fate” and the modern, solar-powered classic, “Birdemic“. To do bigger movies, they’d need more money. Being that special combination of smart/lazy/awesome they left that part up to us. A hugely successful KickStarter campaign gave us an amazing evening with “Starship Troopers“.
So, after another successful KickStarter and nearly five years from that first show, they brought us Roland Emmerich’s 1998 character assassination of “Godzilla”. In it he accused the Big “G” of being an asexual, hermaphroditic, tunnel-crawling, no-fire-breathing, Jay Leno-looking mutated iguana. It got what it deserved and it was hilarious.
Broadcast by Fathom Events to hundreds of theaters across North America (the good America) the shows bring together thousands of fans and and some high-quality father/son time. I’ve seen “Guardians of the Galaxy“, but this – Roland-freakin’-Emmerich’s Godzilla – is still the most fun I’ve had in a theater all year.
“Nailbiter” on IMDB
Horror/Thriller, 82 Minutes, 2013
This low-budget thriller ups the ante by focusing on a trapped mother and her three daughters. She was taking the teens to pick up their father, back from an extended tour of duty in the Middle East. They’re forced to seek shelter in the basement of a nearby farm house when a tornado forces them off the road. It’s only when they try to get out that they realize their safe harbor is actually a prison; one guarded by terrible, predatory creatures.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” on IMDB
Sci-Fi/Adventure, 121 Minutes, 2014
Before I get into the movie I’m going to begin with a totally harmless spoiler about the end-credit tease. It has nothing to do with the main plot of the movie and I won’t give away anything meaningful. Sometimes coincidence can blow your feeble brain.