Opera-this however is pretty bad. They're staging an operatic Macbeth with a new lead girl who keeps getting tormented in fun ways that include having to witness murders (just like her mom!) until the director of the play gets the genius idea to uncover the killer by setting loose ravens on the audience who seek revenge on the murderer who also killed three of their ilk by poking out his eye, which results in massive carnage in the auditorium, as you'd expect. There are also hilarious heavy metal songs playing whenever the action gets going.
Zombieland: Double Tap-I wasn't in love with the first one, and this is worse. They add a somewhat funny dumb blonde character, who proceeds to do her routine for like half the movie, so that it stops being funny. There's also an ill-advised Luke Wilson and sidekick bit that stinks.
Drag Me to Hell-Raimi going full comedy horror, with some fun stuff (the old lady attack in the parking garage) and a whole lot of bad stuff (the entire seance scene); didn't work for me.
Trilogy of Terror-Karen Black playing four roles in three stories in this 1975 made for tv shocker. The first two are nothing memorable, but the third involving an animated Zuni doll terrorizing her in her apartment RULES.
The Stonehearst Asylum-Kingsley, Caine and Beckinsale as patients at an insane asylum at the end of the 1900s; based on a Poe story I haven't read and pretty decent and plot-twist filled if you're into that sort of thing.
The Vatican Tapes-low-level exorcism fare that's exactly the same as all the 21st century ones, with the twist being that the possessed girl is The Antichrist; the ending seemingly sets up a sequel, but one doesn't exist.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil-takes the really funny idea of having the dim-witted rednecks not really being killers and instead having the camping college dumbasses being totally wrong, but it stretches that premise way past the breaking point and stops being fun somewhere in the middle.
Contagion-oddly prescient pandemic flick where a bat (!) poos in a pig's mouth and then the butcher that handled that pig takes a photo with Gwyneth Paltrow and the world almost ends. It's watchable with Damon and Cottilard and Winslet and Fishburne trying hard, but there's not a single second where you get the impression that millions of people have died, and the weird Jude Law as a scamming blogger subplot doesn't exactly thrill.
Carriers-likewise you don't get the sense the world is ending in this similar, but inferior infection piece with four twenty somethings on the road fleeing certain death that instead focuses on the bond of two brothers that gets a bit tested.
Unstoppable-Denzel and Chris Pine in this raucuous thriller (the last directed by Tony Scott) about a runaway train tearing through southern PA. It's as ridiculous, but eminently watchable as you'd hope.
Snitch-The Rock's son is in prison, so The Rock tries to lessen his sentence by informing on Omar from The Wire (who plays Omar from The Wire again in this movie) and subsequently the Mexican cartel. Will it work? (Yes).
State of Play-seemingly forgotten political thriller that has Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright, Jason Bateman and Jeff Daniels in it. There's a twist at the end that you won't care about.
The Double (2011)-Spy stuff with the reveal that Richard Gere is actually working for the Russians (fine), but so is Topher Grace (not fine).
The Gentlemen-Guy Ritchie is back, bros. Kinda. This is an okayish retread of his signature style with good performances from Colin Farrell and Charlie Hunman, one from Hugh Grant that you'll have to make up your own mind on, and McConnaughey doing the same thing he always does. Grant's character is blackmailing the gangsters he's been following, but also wanting to turn their story into a movie. Lots of people die.
Robocop 2-lots of people die in this one too, but the weirdest thing is the main bad guy is a 12 year old kid. Seriously. He shoots people and there's even a scene where he's celebrating by eating a burger and fries. This movie has a few too many unresolved plot lines and ends with a robot battle, so it's not very good.
Mud-McConnaughy again in this slow-paced wilderness story about a fugitive hiding out being helped by two youngsters and being tracked by a bunch of bounty hunters in addition to the law; it's pretty good when it's focused on one of the kids, but your mileage will vary.
Top Hat-not sure if I liked this more than Swing Time; both movies have good songs and better dancing, but flimsy plots that aren't very engaging. I have a feeling all 9 of the Astaire/Rogers movies are like this.
A Hen in the Wind-pre-peak era Ozu about a woman forced to engage in a single night of prostitution to pay her son's medical bills, as the father hasn't returned from the war yet. It's good, but bleaker than even that description makes it sound, with a goddamned woman getting pushed down a staircase scene.
The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice-cool title, right? A more traditional Ozu about marital woes whose success depends on whether you can forgive the fact that the wife spends 90% of the movie being a total dick to her husband.
Early Spring-not to be confused with Early Summer or Late Spring, both of which are better. More marital woes here as the nice for an adulterer husband cheats on his even nicer wife before a nice reconciliation, but at 144 minutes it's too long with not enough story. The best scene involves ex-soldiers talking the war.
Il Bidone (The Swindlers)-decent Fellini about a group of petty thieves doing various schemes on unsuspecting do-gooders, but in order to care about the resolution you'd have to forgive a pretty shitty act that's shitty even by swindler standards.
Il Vitelloni (The Layabouts)-decent Fellini about a group of 20 somethings struggling to find their purpose, mostly focused on a womanizing one who's not the most adult in his actions, but there's also an aspiring playwright who has to avoid getting molested by one of his onstage heroes.
Juliet of the Spirits-decent Fellini that's kind of a female 8 1/2 (which I also rewatched and might've liked even less this time) about a good-natured quasi-medium wife who sets investigators on her cheating husband. It ends in and includes a bunch of artsy halucinatory/dream sequences, so the plot itself is pretty secondary.
Amarcord-as it is here in this Fellini about childhood nostalgia in impending-war era Italy; there's a bunch of great visuals (the peacock!) and some memorable individual scenes, but nothing really to grab onto character-wise.
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy-pretty boring Woody Allen film loosely based on a Bergman one I haven't seen about six folks in upstate NY in the early 1900s, all of whom are in love with someone who's not the person they're there with. It's more of a comedy than a drama, but not too funny by his standards.
September-whereas this one is a straight drama with no laughs at all. It's six people again in a tiny house, but only four of whom love the wrong people this time. It's better acted than the above with a better Farrow and a regretful Wiest, but I wouldn't rewatch this one either.
Another Woman-this is a little better than both, but it's another heavy drama, this time with Gena Rowlands subletting in an apartment where she can hear suicidal Mia Farrow being psychoanalyzed through the wall. Gene Hackman has a good minor role, and Ian Holm is annoying in that Ian Holm way.
New York Stories-three stories: one by Scorsese about an artistic Nick Nolte infatuated with Rosanna Arquette that is pretty good and has a killer soundtrack, one by Allen that's pretty funny involving his overbearing mother, and one that absolutely stinks by FF Coppola about whatever. I give it a 66 2/3.
Radio Days-similarly nostalgic in that Amarcord way, but it's a better movie, because it's funny and heartwarming and the barely focused upon characters are better people.
The Purple Rose of Cairo-very good Allen about a movie character coming off the screen and into the real world with lots of funny back and forth between the two worlds and a touching ending.
Zelig-maybe even better Allen with a hilariously inventive plot that I don't wanna summarize. I like that all of these Woody movies are so short, because even with a premise this great it does feel at the very end like it should end, and then it does! These last two are gonna make it.