Mini Movie Reviews from the Past Month

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 by Rachel

I’ve let my list get away from me, but hopefully I’ll be posting these in smaller batches in the future. Any missed movies will be added in a future entry for the sake of my sanity.


Child’s Play 3: After overcoming my childhood-phobia of Chucky, I’ve begun to enjoy these. I give Brad Dourif most of the credit for this, as his voice and sense of humor are what pulls me through this. Second-Jimmy-Olsen and Ari’s Wife aren’t bad either.


Basket Case: I’d wanted to see this movie for a long time, but I was disappointed. In between grossness and weirdness, I somehow managed to doze off in the middle of this movie and wake up again for the ending. As an anti-napper, I think this says a lot about the pacing of this film.


The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: I’d seen this before in high school, but rewatched it because I thought Derrick needed to see another drag queen movie. This movie blends humor and drama extremely well because of the fantastic cast.


Fragile: After watching some Ally McBeal, I thought I’d give this Calista Flockhart movie a shot. It’s a haunted hospital, with creepy kids and spooky noises. It’s okay.


Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer: Derrick and I gave up on this movie after the first 10 minutes, but I returned to it a few days later by myself. Once the structure evens out, this really becomes a horrifying view into the world of serial killers (both amateur and experienced). Michael Rooker and Tom Towles are both very disturbing in this movie. I’d definitely recommend this movie, but not for the squeamish or skeptical.



All Good Things: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, and Frank Langella—How can you go wrong with this cast? A really exciting based-on-a-true-story (even though I didn’t know this until I watched it) film. The acting is awesome, and the relationships are complicated. This is definitely recommended.


The Vanishing: Somehow I forgot the beginning of this movie. I put it on as background for cleaning, but I ended up watching the whole thing. It might have one of my least favorite tacked-on-endings of all time, but the portrayal of what happens to a man after his loved one goes missing is really emotional.


Where the Heart Is: This movie should really be included in my favorite movies of all time. The story really sucks me in every time I watch it (which has been a lot). This is also probably my favorite Natalie Portman movie. (Though The Professional is almost a tie).


Cliffhanger: I watched this by myself a few months ago, but Derrick needed to see it. Solid Stallone, and Michael Rooker is fun too (maybe I was still in a Rooker mood from Henry).


The Hole: Thora Birch, Kiera Knightly, and Desmond Harrington in a teen slasher flick in the early 2000s. Of course I was intrigued. It isn’t a movie that works from point A to B. It moves from A to B, then A to C, then A to D as we try to figure out what went horribly wrong on this supposed-to-be-a vacation. Pretty neat way to set up an otherwise predictable film.


The New Daughter: I’m not sure Kevin Costner has really impressed me with anything since The Postman (and I know I’m one of the only people on the planet who loves The Postman). But I thought this was a pretty good PG13 monstery-suspense film. The ending stinks, but I didn’t really mind it because the rest of the movie was so good.


Vanishing on 7th Street: This is one of my favorite watches of the past month. As someone who is already interested in mass disappearances and films about them (see Phantoms), I was sucked in by the basic plot summary. Good cast, good story, and good special effects (darkness reminiscent of the boogies in Ghost). Watch this one!


Maverick: The beginning of my western kick. A good 90s film, and a solid Mel Gibson vehicle. I really liked the surprising scenes with the Indians in this movie. Jodie Foster was a disappointment—I like my Western women strong, not sleazy!


Wall Street: I watched this in college in a Sociology through Film Class. The rewatch was just as much of a “winning” experience.


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: An okay sequel. Some scenes were bogged down by over-complicated and boring dialogue and I was not a fan of Gecko’s daughter. Other than that, an interesting take on where Gecko could’ve ended up.


High Noon: One of my favorite Westerns ever. I rewatched this one a week later with Derrick. Ex-Marshall Gary Cooper & Grace Kelly are married for minutes, only to find out that a bad guy is coming in on the noon train. The film follows their relationship and the Marshall’s attempt to recruit deputies before the clock strikes noon. The buildup to noon and the ultimate showdown are just fantastic here. Watch it…now!


Assault on Precinct 13 (1976): I’d seen the remake on TV last summer, and apparently I am working through this series backwards because I’ve found out that Assault on Precinct 13 is a remake/homage to Rio Bravo. I’ll get there. The idea of a precinct held hostage, with prisoners and police banding together to save the day, is a fun one, and I enjoyed this one very much (especially with the John Carpenter music).


Nightmare on Elm Street (2010): Watched this with Derrick (who gave it a C) and Phillip (who gave it a F). I am probably in the middle. This definitely wasn’t as good as the Friday the 13th reboot, but I don’t think it was unwatchable either. I just thought it was going to be a different take on Freddy, but it ended up a weird Robert England / The Watchmen’s Rorschach Hybrid. Strange


Dead Snow: Nazi Zombies. Well, they’re really Nazi Zombie Pirates. In the snow. That’s it.


Machete: I’d waited a long time for this movie, but I was very happy with the final result. Danny Trejo really holds his own as the lead in this film, and, though sometimes a big-name cast can bog down a movie, all of the characters were great.


The Baby’s Room: A baby monitor makes creepy noises, and the dad decides to figure out what’s going on to protect his family. A Spanish film, this movie moves from a basic cookie cutter premise to the land of the surreal and strange. VERY spooky. I had to ask Derrick to come into the room for moral support during one scene. I would’ve shut it off it I was alone in the house. And that says something.


  1. DEAD SNOW = Yes. I loved the ridiculousness. And you know my feelings on Cliffhanger. I recently watched High Tension which was something else; Orphanage didn’t impress me. I gotta check out this “The Baby’s Room” and a french film about an orphanage that I can’t remember right now….

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