Hearts in Atlantis-a guy whose childhood friend died remembers how the tenant in his home for some months growing up (Anthony Hopkins) was a bit special in that he knew everything about everyone, but he was also being pursued by these shadowy "low men" characters who wanted to take him away. So, this is all sappy and fine, but confusingly in the Stephen King story it's based on, the Hopkins character is from "The Dark Tower" and this was just one of his adventures, but none of that is brought up at all, nor are any of his powers explained, so you're just confused the whole time about what this guy's deal is.
The Frozen Ground-freakin' grim Alaskan tale based on a true story with Nicholas Cage pursuing serial killer John Cusack (both good performances), as he tortures and kills various prostitutes, but gets foiled by Vanessa Hudgens' lead stripper chick. Also featuring: 50 Cent as her pimp. You'll like it if you watch the ID channel and/or if you're an old white lady.
Wind River-more grim and frigid adventures in this one! Jeremy Renner is a tracker/hunter whose daughter was kidnapped and murdered on an Indian Reservation in Wyoming, and now another girl's body has been found, and it's up to him and FBI Agent Elizabeth Olsen to apprehend the perps. This is really good, from that cop actor from "Sons of Anarchy" who writes and directs movies now, but man is it slow-moving (dare I say, "glacially paced?") and downbeat, with one pretty uncomfortable scene and exactly one high intensity shootout. Recommended still.
The Machinist-that skinny Christian Bale movie where he lost too much weight, (but then immediately got jacked up afterwards to play Batman, cuz apparently that's easy to do) where he hasn't slept in a year (not sure if literally) due to some trauma, but we don't learn what's going on till the end, and in the meantime we have to hang out in grey factory land where he keeps seeing this ugly guy who definitely doesn't really exist and doing things like falling in love with a prostitute and accidentally cutting off Michael Ironside's arm. The People like this one, but I didn't.
Cleo from 5 to 7-a not-really famous, but quite attractive singer in 1962 France is waiting for test results to find out if she has cancer, as she wanders around amid spectacular cinematography for ninety minutes (the movie title is inaccurate, but I guess it sounds better than the alternative) and meets various people including her songwriting team in what's probably the only genuinely moving scene since she sings a sad song and is sad on account of the impending cancer diagnosis, but whether you think the movie works likely depends on what you make of the last fifteen minutes and her interactions with a young soldier. I just think it looks really good.
Hollow Man-Kevin Bacon has figured out how to make gorillas invisible, but then uses the serum on himself in an ill-advised risky move to become a legend in the field, but then his team (Josh Brolin! Elisabeth Shue!) can't get him to materialize again, so what does he do? Well, he gets really rapey. Then he starts killing off the team. The special effects look cool, but the script is trash, and it's a bit of a miss here from the usually dependable Paul Verhoeven.
The Quiet Ones-based on a true story (maybe), this is set in early '70s England where a professor and his team of college kids are trying to prove that the supernatural doesn't really exist and that people can get manipulated into displaying these "powers," so they lock up and sleep-deprive this troubled young chick by continually blasting Slade music at her (seriously) and try to make her force her negative energy (she's hella depressed) into a doll or some crap, but then, you guessed it, it turns out she's actually possessed by a demon and she's about to kill some folks in painful ways.
The Last Exorcism-this one has a charismatic, faking-it priest who's explaining to a documentary crew the ins-and-outs of making gullible people think he's exorcising their demons, but then, you guessed it, it turns out the new case he's working on does indeed feature a possessed girl, but, what's more, she's being used by a demonic cult to birth a demon baby.
Open Water-low budget shark movie where a couple are out on in the, well, open water, with a scuba diving group, but then they totally get left behind, and after bobbing around for like 45 minutes with no help in sight, okay, I won't spoil the ending. This is kinda tense at times, but the sharks don't look too scary, and man is it repetitive. Based on a true story, though, which must have sucked.
Reprisal-really quite terrible movie where a bank gets robbed by this super proficient criminal, and one of the bank tellers who wanted to be a cop, but chose a safer career, wants to crack the case with the help of his retired cop neighbor (Bruce Willis, who looks 70 years old now). Shootouts ensue. It sucks.
Annabelle Comes Home-pg-13 horror movie where NOBODY dies. Suck my fat one.
Empire State-another movie ripped from the headlines, as we're in the Bronx in the early '80s for the biggest heist since the one from "Goodfellas," with Liam Hemsworth as a security guard responsible for guarding way too much money, and then his incredibly annoying (purposely, I think) friend basically forces him to help him rob it, featuring The Rock again and Emma Roberts in a truly thankless role. It's not good.
The Hunt-funny movie where a bunch of liberal elites kidnap a bunch of conservatives, set them loose in a field, and then try to kill them all. This is actually probably more anti-left than anti-right, as there's a ton of woke jokes, but wisely the hero is not revealed to be on either side. Worth at least a single watch, and also features Emma Roberts in a truly thankless role.
The Raven-this is about some murders being committed based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe (an overacting John Cusack in a role I'm guessing Johnny Depp turned down), so the detective brings him in for help, but things get intense when his fiance is kidnapped, and eventually we get the least satisfying bad guy reveal I've seen in a long time. This looks good, but doesn't work.
Backtrack-Adrien Brody is a therapist with a dead daughter who's hella sad on account of that and he starts seeing ghosts, as we learn about this train derailment that he and his buddy were responsible for, as they totally left their bikes on the tracks, and mad people died, but ultimately his confession leads to even more secrets being revealed.
The Cable Guy-really dark (black, even) comedy with Jim Carrey as the title character who tries really hard to be Matthew Broderick's friend after installing his cable. I liked this and buy its minor cult classic status, but the combination of Jim Carrey doing Jim Carrey things (the basketball scene, the Medieval Times bit) while also being this pathetically sad character makes the whole movie pretty weird.
Eastern Promises-man, have I watched some dark stuff in the past month. Cronenberg movie with Natalie Watts trying to find a home for a dead prostitute's baby, which leads her into Eastern European gangster territory (in London, though), with Viggo Mortensen as a tough rising through the ranks, but having to deal with a secretly gay (that's frowned upon in those circles) Vincent Cassel as the boss's son. Not much of an ending, as I recall, nor much fun, but I liked it more than "A History of Violence." Killer steambath death struggle sequence too.
The Craft-very mid-'90s MTV generation movie (seriously, there's soooo many alternative era songs in this) about three aspiring high school witches who get lots more powerful when joined by the new girl in school when she becomes the fourth. Not too sure why people like this, as it's predictable and a bit crappy. Good job casting Nev Campbell as the third most important chick in the group, casting director.
Underwater-new underwater (I couldn't think of another word) movie with some workers in a drilling station who get killed off one by one by some creatures in this typical "Alien" ripoff, with Kristen Stewart in the Ripley role, and boy is she not as good as Sigourney Weaver at that. There is, at least, a cool Cthulhu tie-in for you Lovecraft nuts.
Madhouse-Vincent Price is a horror actor, but his career gets sidetracked when his fiance gets murdered, and he's driven so mad by this that he's sent off to a mental hospital. Once released, he starts working on a tv show based on his famous Dr. Death persona, but then more people start dying, and it just so happens that Peter Cushing is his co-creator/screenwriter, and you know where this is going. This is a fun diversion, but the kills aren't too flashy, and it feels a bit made-for-tv, appropriately enough. I'd also like to assert the opinion that British chicks from this Hammer/Amicus era were among the hottest of all-time.
A Perfect Getaway-Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich are newlyweds (I'll buy it) honeymooning in Hawaii who learn that there's been a couple of murders and soon run into suspicious-acting Timothy Olyphant (who rules in this) and that one hot chick who was on "Lost" briefly, but they funnily killed her and her boyfriend off, and then another couple (Chris Hemsworth and some lady) who ALSO act like potential murderers. Once the twist is revealed, you kinda have to watch the whole movie again to make sure it makes sense, but it's fine enough for that.
Stay-ugh I don't feel like explaining this one. Afterlife pseudo-intellectual garbage with McGregor, Gosling and Watts. Avoid.
The New Daughter-Kevin Costner horror movie from 2009? Indeed! He's been divorced, so he takes his two kids to move to a house in the country, but there's an ancient Indian burial mound near their property, and soon the daughter starts acting a bit off, and the ending involves Costner entering the mound and fighting off these weird creatures. I would've brought in an old farmer character to appear out of nowhere to explain the backstory of the mound. "Micmac indians built this mound!"
Snakes on a Plane-finally got to this one, and it...wasn't worth the wait. A bland and barely seen criminal wants to kill off the witness who's going to testify against him, so he loads a bunch of venomous snakes onto the plane transporting him. Okay, that's a pretty funny idea. Samuel L. Jackson is of course the agent accompanying him, but really only his famous speech is memorable from him. Otherwise the most fun to be had is from the initial snake attack that kinda rules, but the CGI overload makes it feel like a Syfy channel movie at the same time. Mixed feelings!