Nick of Time-more Depp in this '90s real time thriller where a mustached Christopher Walken kidnaps his daughter and will kill her unless Depp offs some politician. One of those films with lots of close-ups of worried faces, this is moderately tense, but hurt by a generally rote screenplay, filled with bad ideas like a dream sequence in the middle of the movie and the ridiculousness of seemingly everyone being in on it.
Hide and Seek-a return to twist city here, in this low-level mystery spooker with Robert De Niro as a rich psychologist and father of a ten-year-old Dakota Fanning who keeps blaming bad behavior on her invisible friend following her mother's suicide, until tensions escalate to the point where a cat gets drowned in a bathtub and Elisabeth Shue goes out a window, and we figure out who's really to blame for all the mayhem. It's not good, and De Niro looks more like her grandfather, though at least Dakota was pretty capable at this point. Actually, this has the same twist as Secret Window.
Lights Out-Fork in your mind can drive you insane! This is another one of those dumb recent horror movies where the characters can't do something or else the ghost/monster/whatever will kill them. This time, they can't be in the dark, or the ghost of a tortured-to-death mental patient (friend of the mother character's), who was sensitive to light in real life, will come out and murder you. Absolutely jump-scare-tastic. It sucks that afflictions carry over into the afterlife too.
The House That Would Not Die-found this on youtube while certainly not looking for it; it's a 1970 made-for-tv haunted house movie with an old Barbara Stanwyck and her daughter having just moved in, when suddenly the latter starts getting possessed by the spirit of a girl from Revolutionary War times who got killed by her father. Totally bizarre stuff here, and it made me remember another made-for-tv movie from the '70s I watched ages ago (pre-Movie Project) about a witch that I think had Carrie-like elements, but I can't remember what it was called. Help?
Secret Beyond the Door-Fritz Lang psychological noir that's a bit of a miss, especially when it comes to the resolution; it's got shades of "Rebecca" in it, as Joan Bennett marries mysterious, but charming (and rich) Michael Redgrave, who has a sketchy history involving a dead wife, and, of course, there's a secretive housekeeper lady who covers half her face with a scarf. There's dopey voiceover narration from Bennett in this too. Anyone like this?
The Ruins-watch out for the killer vines, folks. This one, based on a best-selling novel that I can only imagine is better, sees some modestly attractive '20-something tourists winding up at some Mayan ruin in Mexico that's guarded by people with guns who seem unreasonably tense until we learn about the danger of the vines. They're predatory, you see. Not as torture-happy as Turistas, but pretty similarly gory, with an altogether unpleasant amputation scene.
Stranger Than Paradise-This is an early Jarmusch movie about two gamblers and a female cousin who get variously bored in NYC, Cleveland and Florida. Minimalist goodness!
The Sugarland Express-this Spielberg guy sure knew what he was doing pretty early-on there, huh? This is a fun crime chaser with Goldie Hawn and the annoying reporter guy from Die Hard, having recently escaped from prison, kidnapping a police officer and leading the cops on a wild goose chase across Texas that after tons of hijinks ends pretty depressingly. Based on a true story! (kinda) It's a bit overlong, but I thought it was pretty fun.
Searching for Bobby Fischer-true story about a young chess whiz with Joe Mantegna as his father and Ben Kingsley as his coach, who isn't Fischer in demeanor, though the aforementioned coach feels he needs to be to succeed. I was kinda into this until they turned his nine-year-old rival into a dickish antagonist that our hero needed to triumph over, which seemed a bit silly. In real life he beat him on some technicality, but I guess that's no way to end a feel-good kids' movie. That HBO documentary on Fischer from a few years back is worth watching, in any event. He had a bad ending too.
The Hunted-William Friedkin-directed quasi-First Blood rip-off where Benicio Del Toro saw too much while in Delta Force and can't adjust to life back in society, so he starts killing civilians, but then his former Lt. Tommy Lee Jones becomes the hunter, and many a chase does ensue. One of those actioners that doesn't go over-the-top with the action, but these aren't exactly well crafted characters, so I'm not sure you'll care who wins in the end.
Honest Thief-rumored to be the last action movie Liam Neeson does, and it probably is a good idea to stop being an action star before you turn 70. He plays a slight variation on the Taken character in that he's really good at killing people, except he never has at the start of the movie, preferring instead to rob banks with no blood spilled. He wants to confess when he falls in love (uh huh), but then things go south in a hurry when two FBI youngsters wanna take the money and run. Guess how that goes for them.
Predators-Adrien Brody, Walt Goggins, Topher Grace (!) and some other mercenaries/ex-cons/people off ill repute get parachuted into a jungle as prey for the predators, and I can sympathize with their initial confusion, as I would be hard-pressed to figure out what was going on too. Later we find out the predators have turned on each other, as I guess they're all getting too kill-hungry, but the weird thing about this movie is they keep repeating scenes from the original. Like, in this one there's a yakuza guy with a sword who stays behind to fight the Predator just like Billy on the bridge, and the Brody/Predator finale is way too similar to the Arnold one. Soft reboot, perhaps? It's better than the Aliens vs. Predators movies, at least, but that's not saying much.
Hard Rain-Christian Slater and Ed Asner are transferring money during an insanely heavy rainstorm that's drowned this whole town, when Morgan Freeman and some baddies try to rob them. This is more fun than I expected and it's a cool setting with the flood and all, so you get jet ski chases instead of car chases; plus there's Randy Quaid as an ineffectual sheriff who wants in on the action too.
Shot Caller-oh hell yeah, Jamie Lannister winds up in prison (a maximum security one after accidentally killing his friend in the backseat in a drunken accident) and is forced to join the Aryan brotherhood to survive. The stuff on the outside is okay, but predictable son-disappointed-by-jailed-father fare, but the prison stuff is really interesting gang-related intrigue and totally makes the movie worth watching. There's a creepy lead Aryan called The Beast who I thought looked creepy enough to google and it's the same long-haired creep from Old Chief Woodenhead from Creepshow 2, and apparently he's in some critically acclaimed crime drama series from David Fincher? Things I didn't know!
Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood-two forgettable, but kinda watchable mid-90s efforts bookended by funny Cryptkeeper pun-filled segments; the first features wacky Billy Zane as a demon capable of creating more demons trying to get some mystical key from William Sadler who's holed up in a hotel with some random people like Jada Pinkett Smith, Dick Miller and CCH Pounder; the latter is a vampire-#####house tale with Dennis Miller (incredibly miscast as he just plays Dennis Miller) and some Baywatch babe (the girl who Elliot kisses in E.T., actually) trying to find her brother Corey Feldman, with Angie Everhart as the lead vampire (boy can she not act!) and Chris Sarandon as a preacher who's got some kind of deal going with the vamps. I watched all of the episodes of the show ages ago. I'm pretty sure the best one involved Morten Downey Jr. and a haunted house.
Pot O' Gold-and now for something completely different: this is a 1941 musical comedy romance extravaganza starring James Stewart (who lip syncs) and Paulette Goddard (who does too), based on a radio show of the same name known for giving away money; hijinx ensue when Stewart's rich uncle gets annoyed by all of the music coming from Goddard's clan, but when Stewart falls for her (who wouldn't?) and follows the music of his heart, he's going to have to make a choice between respectable living or selling his soul. Stewart called it the worst movie he ever made, and it's the worst one I've seen him in, but there is a certain charm to musical numbers like "A Knife, a Fork and a Spoon" that cannot be denied.