Reviews: S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

by tdl797 | created - 10 Feb 2016 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

Some time ago I started writing short reviews of films I watched and posted them on Film Afficianado, while also rating them X/10. I have been thinking about a way to organize these alphabetically so I could find them easily if I needed to. I will try dividing the alphabet into 4 Lists. I will probably have to wait until I am at a computer to organize each List. I will probably keep sequels chronological.

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1. The Salvation (2014)

R | 92 min | Drama, Western

64 Metascore

In 1870s America, the fury of a notorious gang leader is unleashed when a peaceful American settler avenges the death of his family. Then as his cowardly fellow townspeople betray him, he is forced to hunt down the outlaws alone.

Director: Kristian Levring | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Eric Cantona

Votes: 34,518 | Gross: $0.01M

8/10 - This starts off rough and really doesn't let up. Better than I expected. It does look quite "digitally" at times, but it seems like they were going for a "painterly" look with it. Eva Green plays a wordless part. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is Neegan-y. A really bad event sets the story in motion and I don't think there is a single laugh in the movie. DVR'd 12/3/16. 8/8/17.

2. Samurai Cop (1991)

Unrated | 96 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

Joe Marshall and Frank Washington are two tenacious police detectives who seek at all costs to stop the Katana, a renegade Yakuza gang composed of violent and sadistic killers who want to lead the drug trade in Los Angeles.

Director: Amir Shervan | Stars: Robert Z'Dar, Mathew Karedas, Janis Farley, Mark Frazer

Votes: 6,338

This was a Rifftrax Live event. There were about a dozen people there. It was very funny, but I had no idea the movie was a definite R. Apparently, they edited several scenes out, though they left in a lot of F/MF-bombs. 4/15/17.

3. The Shallows (2016)

PG-13 | 86 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

59 Metascore

A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra | Stars: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo, Joseph Salas

Votes: 113,494 | Gross: $55.12M

7-8/10 - Pretty solid film. Looked a bit too digital-y at times. Leg wound stitching was rough. Had to watch it in Full Screen unfortunately. 3/6/17.

4. Sign 'o' the Times (1987)

PG-13 | 85 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

A concert film with theatrical staging, featuring live performances by Prince and his band.

Directors: Prince, Albert Magnoli | Stars: Prince, Sheila E., Sheena Easton, Dr. Fink

Votes: 1,658 | Gross: $3.00M

8/10? - Showtime is airing this Prince concert film. He did about 10,000 spins and 8,000 splits. It got me to thinking, if you do that many splits do you ever land on or clip your nuts? Ouch! Also, why did Prince like those onesies/spandex suits with holes cut around the waist? 9/17/17.

5. Silence (I) (2016)

R | 161 min | Drama, History

79 Metascore

In the 17th century, two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor, who is rumored to have committed apostasy, and to propagate Catholicism.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano

Votes: 92,952 | Gross: $7.10M

9/10 - Easily a 9, no question. Will I ever push it to 10? I'll have to see. Another great Scorsese film. It makes you feel what it would be like to be a missionary in a foreign country that prosecutes your religion. I don't know that it's one I would want to watch over and over again. I saw this and The Revenant within the same 24 hours. Both close to 3 hours, both great, and both very brutal at times. Both transport you to their time period very well. I will say, the "jokeiness" of the inquisitor almost felt a little off. It just seemed a little weird. Maybe it is a type of behavior in Japanese culture that I am unaware of? I thought Garfield's speech may feel off when watching the trailer, same with Hacksaw Ridge, but he did a good job, as well as, everyone involved. I would probably want to rewatch La La Land or Rogue One before this, but some films are like this. Who knows?


The final shot reveal was really cool. It's almost a little like Citizen Kane and a mix of kinda like what he did at the end of The Departed. Some of the most memorable things were the sounds of crickets at the first and end. And then all sound cuts out to the Silence title. Neat idea that draws you into the movie. One death involving a sword and what happens is also very memorable and shocking.


6. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

R | 79 min | Horror, Thriller

31 Metascore

Little Billy witness his parents getting killed by Santa after being warned by his senile grandpa that Santa punishes those who are naughty. Now Billy is 18, and out of the orphanage, and he has just become Santa, himself.

Director: Charles E. Sellier Jr. | Stars: Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson

Votes: 12,844 | Gross: $2.49M

7/10 - If you want a trashy Christmas movie, here you go. The the Warm Side of the Door montage is hilarious. It is proceeded by the scary freeze frame of Billy about to be punished. The viewer is not shown what happens, but surely it's bad. Then an 80's sitcom montage makes the viewer think everything is OK, but the first line from his boss is profane and you know life is still bad for Billy. Grandpa is creepy. Jabba the Hutt playset in the background is cool. 12-23-2016.

7. Snowpiercer (2013)

R | 126 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

In a future where a failed climate-change experiment has killed all life except for the lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, a new class system emerges.

Director: Bong Joon Ho | Stars: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris

Votes: 272,960 | Gross: $4.56M

7/10 - Redbox freebie. Was this DVD Full Screen? I was probably higher, but after reading comments on IMDB, I went down. If I see it in its true ratio I may like it better. Seems like they cut some stuff, or forgot to film, some important bits and it left weird gaps - not in the 'artistic' sense, but the storytelling sense. Started off good. 12/6/14

8. Solarbabies (1986)

PG-13 | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

24 Metascore

In a post-apocalyptic future ruled by the military, a group of renegade teenage orphans find a legendary orb, Bohdai, that can supposedly bring the rain back to dried up Earth.

Director: Alan Johnson | Stars: Richard Jordan, Jami Gertz, Jason Patric, Lukas Haas

Votes: 3,856 | Gross: $1.58M

6/10 - Not great, but at least interesting 80's film. No water, roller skates, glowing orbs. 6 may be too generous. 12/28/14

9. Somewhere in Time (1980)

PG | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

29 Metascore

A Chicago playwright uses self-hypnosis to travel back in time and meet the actress whose vintage portrait hangs in a grand hotel.

Director: Jeannot Szwarc | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer, Teresa Wright

Votes: 25,624 | Gross: $9.71M

8.5/10 - 1st x viewing. DVR'd HBO 1/13/15. Beautiful film. Like most time travel movies, I'm not sure everything adds up. Jane Seymour is a knock out. Cinematography and score are both top notch. Christopher Reeve, it's still so sad to think of what happened to him. SPOILERS I really thought young Jane was going to time travel to his time at the end. Why did she read the book if she didn't use it? And the watch? 9/28/17.

10. Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

23 Metascore

A computer hacker breaks into the computer system of the Seabourn Legend cruise liner and sets it speeding on a collision course into a gigantic oil tanker.

Director: Jan de Bont | Stars: Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison

Votes: 71,996 | Gross: $48.61M

7.5/10 - I think I watched it April 2015. DVR'd 12-29-14. Still has a lot of practical effects, so it's better than all CGI of today imo. Not sure why it is rated so low. Sure, it doesn't touch the original, but there are a lot worse movies than this. There are some huge action sequences. DaFoe is over the top crazy. I swear he screams "Wazzzup" when his plane crashes. It sounds so weird. He has leeches. Just a weird villain. I would pick up a copy if it was cheap. 11-25-2016.

11. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.

Director: Jon Watts | Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei

Votes: 475,761 | Gross: $334.20M

8/10 - Watched this for the 1st x since the theater, and I enjoyed it a lot more. I only rated it a 7 back then. The theater experience on 7-29-17 may have been a little annoying and contributed to my feelings. I think Keaton is quite good in this, and the reveal and car ride scene is great. 6-30-19.

7/10 - Saw this in the theater. Used my $5 Fandango code and remaining gift card, so it cost me 49 cents or so. This isn't bad by any means, but I just don't think it is something I want to watch again. I have a history with superhero movies. Around the early 2000's when they started being successful and were heavy CGI (mostly cheesy) I just couldn't get into them. I pretty much avoided these movies up until the last few years. I was also more interested in arthouse type films. I was in my 20's, in college, so I was looking for more depth. If someone was a kid at that time, I can see why they liked it. I liked the Burton Batman films, for instance, but had zero interest in the Nolan ones. Still have not seen any Iron Man films. Back to Homecoming. Keaton did a pretty good job and I didn't see one thing coming. His villain had a good grounding. One of the people who wrote this starred in Freaks & Geeks and also wrote the last Vacation movie and Burt Wonderstone. 7/30/17.

12. Split (IX) (2016)

PG-13 | 117 min | Horror, Thriller

62 Metascore

Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities. They must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula

Votes: 394,759 | Gross: $138.29M

8/10 - This may be a case where the theater audience ruined this some. Saw this at a $1.50 theater on a Saturday night and it was packed with yapping teenagers getting up and down throughout the movie. Any kind of serious talking parts were ruined, but any parts that elicit reaction were kind of enhanced. I may be more at an 8.5. Just not quite 9, but a very solid, above average film. The crowd laughed at anything remotely "big" in the acting. Some of it was meant to be funny, but I'm guessing some was not.

This has an interesting scene towards the end. I think most of the audience started getting up before this was over and kinda made it hard to hear the dialog. After doing some online research, it makes more sense and puts the film in an interesting context.


The final scene involves Bruce Willis' character from Unbreakable. I enjoyed a lot of Night's films, but didn't think they were super great. They were enjoyable and really good at parts, but some things keep them from being great. Maybe it's a cheesey scene, Night acting in the films, a lame reveal. It's been a long time since I've seen it, but Unbreakable was the best in my mind at the time. If this is really the setup for a villain's origin story, that really is a great idea. This has made me want to watch some of his films again.

I believe the opening credits of this again seemed to reference Hitchcock's Psycho. The dance scene was funny. The crowd really laughed at the Hedwig character. 2/12/2017

13. Star Trek (2009)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

The brash James T. Kirk tries to live up to his father's legacy with Mr. Spock keeping him in check as a vengeful Romulan from the future creates black holes to destroy the Federation one planet at a time.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Leonard Nimoy

Votes: 566,186 | Gross: $257.73M

8/10 - TV showing. I saw this a while back. It may have been a DVD rental when there was still a Movie Gallery here. Enjoyable action film. Some things a bit too fast imo, which Abrams seemed to reign in some for The Force Awakens. I used to watch The Next Generation and have seen a lot of the feature films. 7/23/16.

14. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

72 Metascore

After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 453,819 | Gross: $228.78M

8/10 - TV showing. I saw this on TV before. Enjoyable action film. Some things a bit too fast imo, which Abrams seemed to reign in some for The Force Awakens. I used to watch The Next Generation and have seen a lot of the feature films. Feel pretty much the same as I do for Star Trek 2009. 7/25/16.

15. Stay Tuned (1992)

PG | 88 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

A husband and wife are sucked into a hellish television set and have to survive a gauntlet of twisted versions of shows they find themselves in.

Directors: Peter Hyams, Chuck Jones | Stars: John Ritter, Pam Dawber, Jeffrey Jones, David Tom

Votes: 9,590 | Gross: $10.74M

8/10 - I forgot to write about this. Watched for the 1st time recently. Strong 8, maybe 9 when I watch again. Pretty inventive. Surprised that it is not a more well known 90's film. 9/27/14

16. Suicide Squad (2016)

PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

40 Metascore

A secret government agency recruits some of the most dangerous incarcerated super-villains to form a defensive task force. Their first mission: save the world from the apocalypse.

Director: David Ayer | Stars: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis

Votes: 570,773 | Gross: $325.10M

7/10 - $4 matinee. Mt Pleasant Cinema 6. Some enjoyable bits, but also a lot of problems. I have gone to more movies this year than in a while. I guess discovering some cheaper tickets and also some interesting PG-13 movies that my mom also wants to see. A lot of my favorite directors don't seem to be making movies as frequently as a few years ago. The Force Awakens also seems to have made me a little more forgiving of more publicly popular movies. 8/6/16.

17. Summer of Sam (1999)

R | 142 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito

Votes: 34,867 | Gross: $19.28M

8/10 - Spike seems really influenced by Scorsese here. The long shot going from high above a moving car to close up in a club is pretty cool. Talking dog looks really real somehow. What happened to Mira Sorvino? Could do without the Brody dance stuff. It shows Lee's directorial skills, but is not really a film I want or need to see again. 7/1/16.

18. Sunshine (2007)

R | 107 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

64 Metascore

A team of international astronauts are sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Cliff Curtis

Votes: 226,057 | Gross: $3.68M

8/10 - 2nd viewing. DVR'd 1/9/15. I don't see a record of my 1st reaction, but I'm pretty sure I watched. I forgot enough of it to still be effective. It's a great space mission movie. The idea of the heat of the sun and its intensity is interesting. SPOILERS The way they shoot Pinbacker is kinda weird. Maybe he looked too weird when shot normally? I liked it enough before that I did not delete it, so I must've figured I would want to watch it again. 10/28/17.

19. The Swarm (1978)

PG | 116 min | Horror, Thriller

30 Metascore

A huge swarm of deadly African bees spreads terror over American cities by killing thousands of people.

Director: Irwin Allen | Stars: Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain

Votes: 6,566 | Gross: $10.00M

5/10 - DVR'd TCM 8/7/15. Starts out cool like a Sci-fi/apocalyptic film. Has tons of actors you know. Jerry Goldsmith did the score. Just a disappointing film. See that there is an extended cut with 30 more mins. Maybe it fleshes out the Caine/Ross relationship that is treated more serious than anything on screen shows. It sets up a love triangle and I don't remember them resolving it. Kid casualties. Nuclear power plant explosion is corny. Henry Fonda surprising. Slim Pickens makes you cry. 9/17/17.

20. Taken (I) (2008)

PG-13 | 90 min | Action, Thriller

51 Metascore

A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris.

Director: Pierre Morel | Stars: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser

Votes: 550,561 | Gross: $145.00M

8/10 - I watched Taken for the 1st time, so now the backlash for the Songs of Innocence and Apple thing makes more sense. The public was subliminally influenced by this film. Ha. This was a solid action film. The famous phone speech has been parodied too much, but still hits. I am spoiled by seeing both Wick films recently, so the quick cuts were a bit annoying. Some of the characters are pretty annoying, too. 2-16-2017.

21. The Terminator (1984)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

In 1984, a human soldier is tasked to stop an indestructible cyborg killing machine, both sent from 2029, from executing a young woman, whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

Votes: 766,939 | Gross: $38.40M

9/10 - I have probably seen this all the way through before, but am not as familiar with it as I am with T2. This film is still great and a lot of the fx are cool, but they don't touch what they did with T2. The much smaller budget, and older fx resources show a little bit here, but not too much as to take away from the enjoyment of it. 3/21/20.

22. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 953,670 | Gross: $204.84M

10/10 - 3D. It was me and one other guy in the theater. I saw this in the theater in 1991. I've seen it millions of times on TV, enough that I have never bought it on DVD. I've watched it so many times that it's hard to be objective about it. It was cool to see it all at once and on the big screen though. The 3D was nice at times, but not that essential. One of the best Action/Sci-Fi films of all time. Special fx still hold up pretty well. 8/27/17.

23. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | 83 min | Horror

75 Metascore

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths and must survive the terrors of Leatherface and his family.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain

Votes: 128,440 | Gross: $30.86M

8/10 - SyFy airing. Not sure if they edited it. The hitchhiker and the wheelchair guy whining got the movie off to a bad start. Their acting was over the top. I didn't even know if it would get a 7. The last half totally redeemed it. Constant screaming got old. If you're trying to lose a killer who's chasing you, you probably want to be as quiet as possible. The influence of the film is pretty obvious. 10/25/14

24. Thank God It's Friday (1978)

PG | 89 min | Comedy, Music

A Friday in the life of the disco club the Zoo, where the staff and clients meet and dance their their lives away.

Director: Robert Klane | Stars: Donna Summer, Valerie Landsburg, Terri Nunn, Chick Vennera

Votes: 2,080 | Gross: $7.30M

6.5/10 - 1xviewing. TCM Underground 7/31/16. Jeff Goldblum. Debra Winger. For this type of movie, it is actually pretty good and fun. It was probably derivative, but I haven't watched much of these movies. The Columbia Pictures logo lady becomes animated and dances to the disco title track. 'Leatherman' does a fun parking lot dance on top of cars. Goldblum has a cool intro. No depth, just fun. The wife reminds me of Princess Diana. Last Dance-Donna Summers appears. Porsche destruction gag. 10/8/17.

25. Theodore Rex (1995)

PG | 92 min | Action, Comedy, Family

In an alternate futuristic society, a tough female police detective is paired with a talking dinosaur to find the killer of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals leading them to a mad scientist bent on creating a new Armageddon.

Director: Jonathan R. Betuel | Stars: Whoopi Goldberg, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Juliet Landau, Bud Cort

Votes: 3,913

6/10 - You can tell the movie had a high budget, supposedly the most expensive straight to video film of all time. The sets, lighting and camerawork show some skill. Nice to see a film like this with little to no CGI. Kinda like a mix of the Super Mario Bros movie and the Schumacher Batman films. Some cool FX showing holograms of people. The premise is completely ridiculous, of course. The DVD has a Pick the Flick game that is pretty tough and different every time. 9/11/16.

26. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

R | 115 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

With the help of an irreverent young sidekick, a bank robber gets his old gang back together to organize a daring new heist.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, Geoffrey Lewis, Catherine Bach

Votes: 21,091 | Gross: $25.00M

8/10 - Strong 8. Cinematography/look may push it to 9 for me. Bridges has a very interesting filmography. This, Bad Company, Cutter's Way and many more! 12/27/14

27. Top Secret! (1984)

PG | 90 min | Comedy, Music

68 Metascore

Parody of WWII spy movies in which an American rock and roll singer becomes involved in a Resistance plot to rescue a scientist imprisoned in East Germany.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker | Stars: Val Kilmer, Lucy Gutteridge, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Kemp

Votes: 56,946 | Gross: $20.50M

8.5/10 - 2nd viewing. Going through the oldest stuff on my DVR and watching/deleting them. This was still quite funny and I'm surprised that it is not a more popular spoof movie. I posted about it a few months ago. 12-4-2016.

8/10 - Started out slow, but got better and better. Grenade! DVR'd 12-30-14, but just now watching. Some funny names in the end credits. Future Alfred and Bruce Wayne have scenes together. Love the shot of a city street model with mice. 6-11-2016.

28. Treasure of Matecumbe (1976)

G | 117 min | Adventure, Family, Western

In 1869 Kentucky, a young boy and his friends set out to find a treasure chest hidden by his late father in the Florida Everglades during the Civil War.

Director: Vincent McEveety | Stars: Robert Foxworth, Joan Hackett, Peter Ustinov, Vic Morrow

Votes: 453

8/10 - 1st x viewing. Disney film I had never heard of. DVR'd 7/3/15 TCM. I think TCM was showing lesser known Disney films. Sounded interesting. The female lead has a voice just like Luwanda in Problem Child 2. Ha. Has an odd group of rapists? do a musical number like only Disney can. The actor who voices Prince John and King Richard in Disney's Robin Hood has a lead role. Has a funny scene where the Klan gets burned by a young black boy. The green screen/rear projection stuff looks bad though. 9/23/17.

29. Trick 'r Treat (2008)

R | 82 min | Comedy, Horror

Five interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband; and a mean old man meets his match with a demonic, supernatural trick-or-treater.

Director: Michael Dougherty | Stars: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes

Votes: 77,111

8/10 - 2nd viewing. Pretty good horror film. I would be interested in a sequel. I DVR'd it back on 1-1-15 and watched it before deleting it. 4/24/17.

My original comments:

8/10 - Fun horror anthology with interconnecting stories. Surprised that this was not given a better shot at the box office. 1x viewing. 5/26/15.

30. Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)

R | 89 min | Comedy, Horror

65 Metascore

Affable hillbillies Tucker and Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are mistaken for murderers by a group of preppy college students.

Director: Eli Craig | Stars: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss

Votes: 159,190 | Gross: $0.22M

8.5/10 - I may round this up to 9. Just the idea/angle they came up with pushes it above my normal 8. On top of that, it was very funny. DISH freebie. On the other hand, there is nothing really arthouse from the craft aspect of the film. I'm not sure really formal camera moves would work with the comedic tone though. 12/7/14

31. Turner & Hooch (1989)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

36 Metascore

A detective must adopt a rambunctious dog in order to help him find a killer.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode | Stars: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson, Reginald VelJohnson

Votes: 61,172 | Gross: $71.08M

7/10 - This came on Discovery Family. Not sure if they edit films or not. Dog was pretty funny. Tom yelled quite a bit and was also shown only in his underwear for way too long. Don't think I had seen the entire movie since we rented the VHS. Reginald Veljohnson aka Carl Winslow is always a plus. 2/14/15

32. Twenty Bucks (1993)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama

A story about the life of a twenty dollar bill as it weaves in and out of the various lives of several people.

Director: Keva Rosenfeld | Stars: Linda Hunt, Brendan Fraser, Elisabeth Shue, David Rasche

Votes: 3,479

8.5/10 - 2nd viewing. DVR'd 5/26/15. I watched this before, but didn't want to delete it. It has a lot of familiar actors. Christopher Lloyd and Buscemi have a nice section. It's basically different short films connected by a $20 bill passing from person to person. My DVR is almost full and this was in HD and deleting would free up more space. 8/20/17.

33. Upstream Color (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

81 Metascore

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig

Votes: 29,868 | Gross: $0.44M

7/10 - 1x viewing. I have had this for a couple of years, waiting for a day when I would have no distractions to watch it. I knew it was that type of movie. I did the same with Tree of Life. When it comes down to it, I just didn't enjoy it. Of course, I didn't understand it. Only Carruth could or someone who has researched his interviews about it could imo. I enjoy most Lynch and Mallick films I see. Maybe I will come back later and like it more, but not at this time. 7 is for craft mostly. Really, I enjoyed it less than a 7, but I know there is thought behind it. I don't know if that is an excuse though. I will definitely be interested in Carruth's next effort. Hopefully, he will not wait 10 years for another. 5/7/17.

34. Vacation (I) (2015)

R | 99 min | Adventure, Comedy

34 Metascore

Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to "Walley World" in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.

Directors: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein | Stars: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins

Votes: 92,060 | Gross: $58.88M

5/10 - Have free extra movie channels for a while, so I recorded several 2015/2016 movies. Wow, this was pretty painful. Not sure how it gets a 5. I did laugh some, but not much. The really filthy mouthed younger brother was extremely annoying. A lot of the jokes were ruined by the trailers back when it was in theaters.

35. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

51 Metascore

A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna

Votes: 152,510 | Gross: $41.19M

6/10 - I am going to a lot more movies this year after finding a well priced theater. I would not have seen this if the 3D didn't seem like it would have been good, and if there wasn't a theater with $6 3D matinees. There are some cool sequences and ideas in this movie, but overall it is a real mess. Side plots just feel tacked on because it sounded like a cool idea to do. The whole Rhianna character's section goes on too long. 7/22/17.

36. Vengeance (2009)

Not Rated | 108 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

76 Metascore

A French chef swears revenge after a violent attack on his daughter's family in Macau, during which her husband and her two children are murdered. To help him find the killers, he hires three local hit-men working for the mafia.

Director: Johnnie To | Stars: Johnny Hallyday, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Simon Yam, Suet Lam

Votes: 6,031

9/10 - DVR'd 3/27/15. Thought I had recorded a 70's film about a dog and that is the info on the guide. Turned out to be an Asian film from 2009...and it was really good! I expected to give it a solid 8, and then some beautifully shot gunfights happened to push it above a lot of films I've seen lately. Surprised that this not more well known. Maybe it is and I have just missed it. 11-19-2016.

37. Very Bad Things (1998)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

31 Metascore

A prostitute is killed during a bachelor party and the attendees turn on each other as the wedding approaches.

Director: Peter Berg | Stars: Christian Slater, Daniel Stern, Cameron Diaz, Jon Favreau

Votes: 43,888 | Gross: $9.80M

8/10 - 2nd viewing. DVR'd 2/27/15. This film is profane and dark, but it goes places not too many go. I'm surprised that it is not more talked about. There aren't a lot of YouTube reviews for it. Ebert gave it a 1/4. It pre-dates something like Dexter, which I think fans of that show might like this movie. Had to watch in Full Screen unfortunately. It may go a little to far with things like Diaz at the end and some real unrealistic things. SPOILERS Once the staff noticed the hotel worker was gone, wouldn't they be the first people the police questioned? Was there a scene cut where they paid for the hotel room damage that was cut? Once the maid or staff went to check the room after they checked out, they would have also been contacted. I know - it's a movie - but that is pretty glaring. I figured the 2 women versions of this movie, Rough Night, would have brought this back in the spotlight. 9/2/17.

38. Vigilante (1982)

R | 90 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

When his wife and son are brutalized by thugs and a corrupt criminal justice system puts the perpetrators back on the street, a New York City factory worker turns vigilante to find some measure of bloody justice.

Director: William Lustig | Stars: Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Richard Bright, Rutanya Alda

Votes: 2,617

5/10 - DVR'd 1/25/15 TCM. SPOILERS. Huge story elements that ticked me off knocked down what could have been a 7/10. Started off cool, but killing the kid went too far imo. It makes no sense. Most criminals would not associate with someone who did that. There are some really poor chase/action sequences. Fred W running after a criminal is just poorly done. Then, not only a lawyer, but also a judge go along with a child killer. Robert F gets mad at the judge and HE goes to jail! It gets worse...RF is in jail and then have 5 or more guys shown fully from the back in the shower and the guard lets the bad guys do what they want. RF gets out of jail. The wife recovers and refuses to see RF. She's leaving him! Inexcusable. Have her die and be the final motivation. Nope. She wakes out of a coma or whatever and won't talk to her husband!?! Maybe the child loss would break them up eventually, but down the road, at least. Some nicely shot sequences, but those bits mentioned are too much imo. 7/4/17.

39. The Watch (I) (2012)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

36 Metascore

Four men who form a neighborhood watch group as a way to get out of their day-to-day family routines find themselves defending the Earth from an alien invasion.

Director: Akiva Schaffer | Stars: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Billy Crudup

Votes: 118,346 | Gross: $35.35M

Watched a TV edit. Don't know how much was cut to show it on FX channel, but probably quite a bit. Some of the Jonah Hill bits aren't that different from 21 Jump Street imo. So why is one generally thought to be great and one the opposite? This would probably be a 7, but I have no way of knowing what was cut. I got a used DVD of this recently, so at some point I will probably watch the unedited version. 7/23/16.

40. What Dreams May Come (1998)

PG-13 | 113 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

44 Metascore

Chris Nielsen dies in an accident, and enters Heaven. But when he discovers that his beloved wife Annie has killed herself out of grief over the loss, he embarks on an afterlife adventure to reunite with her.

Director: Vincent Ward | Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra, Max von Sydow

Votes: 98,964 | Gross: $55.49M

8/10 - 1x viewing. DVR'd 12/30/2014. I had always wondered about this movie and remembered the colorful visuals in the trailer. It is thought provoking and very imaginative. It seems to be mostly forgotten. I don't really remember it being brought up with Robin Williams passed away. It does make me think of what happens to a person who has had multiple spouses/loves and the like. Why they choose reincarnation and leave their children. Can the children choose reincarnation and grow to adulthood and then find loves of their own? Stuff like that. 12-3-2016.

41. When Good Ghouls Go Bad (2001 TV Movie)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Family

When 12 year old Danny Walker moves to his father's hometown in Minnesota, he finds that the town doesn't celebrate Halloween and things aren't quite what they appear to be.

Director: Patrick Read Johnson | Stars: Christopher Lloyd, Tom Amandes, Roy Billing, Brittany Byrnes

Votes: 1,052

7/10 - 1x viewing. Made for TV movie, I think. Some hammy kid's movie acting, but there are some inspired scenes. The score and kiss at the end is very memorable. Based on a R.L. Stine story. Christopher Lloyd. Basically like a Nickelodeon/Disney Halloween movie. Just saw it on the schedule and it looked interesting. A little of a Tim Burton feel. The opening credits shot/scene is kinda cool. It is like the camera inside of a pumpkin getting carved. 9/11/16.

42. Wind River (2017)

R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

73 Metascore

A veteran hunter helps an FBI agent investigate the murder of a young woman on a Wyoming Native American reservation.

Director: Taylor Sheridan | Stars: Kelsey Asbille, Jeremy Renner, Julia Jones, Teo Briones

Votes: 186,203 | Gross: $33.80M

8/10 - I don't know that I've seen a single trailer for this, but I did see multiple good reviews. This is a well made detective/crime film that is pretty dark and bleak. I don't know that it is something I would really want to watch again. It takes place on a Native American Reservation. I have seen a lot of NA references here lately and will Blog about one soon. 9/4/17.

43. Wish I Was Here (2014)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama

43 Metascore

A struggling actor, father and husband finds himself at a major crossroads, which forces him to examine his life, his family and his career.

Director: Zach Braff | Stars: Zach Braff, Joey King, Pierce Gagnon, Kate Hudson

Votes: 35,611 | Gross: $3.59M

7/10 - Redbox freebie. This was a decent film. Similar to Are You Here, not in title only, in Dramedy feel. I would have liked to have been able to listen to the 2 Braff commentaries, but I had to return the movie. Most Redbox rentals cut the Extras, so it was cool to have the Extras available. Cursing seemed a tad excessive. If I see the soundtrack cheap, I will probably get it for the exclusive Shins track and others. 12/27/14

44. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

R | 180 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey

Votes: 1,099,440 | Gross: $116.90M

9/10 - DISH Flix freebie. Hard R. Tour de force by Scorsese. Mix of Goodfellas and Citizen Kane. The office scenes really made me think of Kane. Margot Robbie = gorgeous. Probably too filthy to be something I would watch over and over, as well as, being 3 hours long. It does seem to fly though. 10/21/14

45. The Woman in Red (1984)

PG-13 | 87 min | Comedy, Romance