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Crunching the Numbers: 10th Year Spectacular

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    I'm going to do these in the order I read them, so it won't be set up by month.

     


    Timmy's Winter Vacation

     

    It's dumb, but it still hits the mark of being wholesome family entertainment. Suitable for families with younger kids, everyone else will kinda just roll their eyes.

     

    C

     

     

    Ophidophobia

     

    Needed a lot more tongue-in-cheek comedy, it doesn't quite embrace the weird enough. And the Indiana Jones parody schtick just falls flat. Had potential to be a loopy cult classic but the schlock is just too schlocky without being that funny.

     

    D+

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    I actually tried to remake Ophidiophobia after writing it in January, but I only got about halfway through before I gave up and stored it on a cloud I lost access to. That version embraced the silliness a lot more and went to pretty absurd places, but I thought it would have been too much for most people here, so I went with what I had. Plus the budget would have been a lot bigger given some of the sequences I wrote. I think of re-using some ideas in another film though, this time without the horror angle and a much larger budget to play with.

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    Moses

     

    It's a rote and simplistic version of the tale that also veers into lesser-known or accepted pieces of the Exodus tale as well.  The casting is somewhat good (Ben Kingsley as old Moses) and somewhat poor (Joseph Gordon Levitt as middle-aged Moses). Plus you have Moses suddenly aging 40 years before crossing the Red Sea, when the 40 years of wandering happened AFTER the Ten Commandments were passed down. I think the film tried to be incredibly faithful and earnest, but it's done so in a rather bland way.

     

    C-/C

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    The Good, the Bad, and the Mechanical

     

    "Good, Bad, I'm the guy with the Mecha Suit"

     

     

    The Good, the Bad, and the Mechanical is the follow-up to the delightfully weird GB&Dead. This film, aside from a few running gags, plays things a lot more straight than its predecessor, which while making for a more consistent and clean plot and progression, does lessen some of the enjoyment factor. The film had a cool idea of Cowboy Robots but kinda just slides into standard vanilla tropes and plot ideas with the concept. But really the film lacks the same wickedly funny edge of the first one. It's still fun and has its strong oddball moments, but you could say that the franchise decided to go more conventional to expand its grasp. It'll probably pay off. Bruce Campbell remains solid as the frontman and Harry Dean Stanton continues to amuse in his cameo drop-bys.

     

    B

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    Two Lonely Zookeepers

     

    The film kinda just whimpers out with a spiral into the characters losing and then nothing coming out the other end other than slacking around drinking milk (the film loves to show Elgort drinking milk). Tom Cruise gives his role a good effort, but nothing really goes anywhere for anyone other than his one scene where his daughter verbally fatalities him. In most films that'd be a big first act or mid-film spark to get the drama going, but here it kinda just happens near the end and then we then see him in the final scene with Elgort.

     

    The film just lacks focus and drive.

     

    C

     

     

     

    The Disappointment

     

    see the title

     

    D+

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    The Executioner

     

    Yeah, it's your standard Statham movie. Action is well-handled but everything else is paper thin.

     

    C+

     

     

     

    1989

     

    It's a competently made concert doc. If you like Taylor Swift, you will like this. Otherwise, it's just there.

     

    B-
     

     

    Daisy Lemonade

     

    Cute little family film. Nothing too interesting or strong, but it has a sweet heart and a nice set of themes and family fun.

     

    B-/B

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    On a Mountain

     

    Starts off with a cool action ambush setpiece and from there just becomes almost interminable with less plot and character than See Spot Run

     

    C-

     

     

    The Cube

     

    Not bad, but hard to keep up interest for 90ish minutes.

     

    C+

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    That Was a Long Time Ago

     

    Not particularly remarkable. Goes through the motions with some standard romance film tropes. Not bad, but not for anyone beyond those it is directly aimed at.

     

    C+

     

     

     

    The Call of the Revenant

     

    Hokey action horror with blood, guts, and fun. Makes me wish I hadn't forgotten about my plans to make Wolfenstein sequels.

     

    B-

     

     

     

    Black Friday

     

    Could have been something amusing and chilling if it wasn't just a slavish copy of an Internet story from an overhyped website.

     

    C

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     Black Friday

     

    Could have been something amusing and chilling if it wasn't just a slavish copy of an Internet story from an overhyped website.

     

    C

    Yeah, I had virtually no time to make an actual story (since I was on vacation) so I ended up C&P the story to at least have a release in the trimester. It's a shame. It would've been great to have made a story on it.
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    Rhino Riders

     

    Uh...once you get past the "wait...what?" of a concept, it's a fairly standard sports movie. Kind of generally ok.

     

    C

     

     

     

    Second to Singapore

     

    Basically a different version of Pineapple Express with the same cast and crew involved. Funny and a solid time, it does fall prey to some substantial holes, such as Seth Franco being able to fly a helicopter out of nowhere.

     

    B-/B

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    E.S.P.

     

    Three Supergirls and a Dancy

     

    E.S.P. is noteworthy as the only major spring animated offering. It's also noteworthy for being pretty darn good. The film does a great job of establishing the characters of Jack and the girls and the slow bond that forms between them. The final act is kinda rushed and relies on a lot of gotcha moments and characters appearing in the nick of time to convey a stream of fast-paced thrills, but the climax with Jack struggling through the twister vortex to reach Elle and calm her down is aces.

     

    B+/A-

     

     

     

    Jurassic Knights

     

    " thanks to <insert chekov's advice here>"

     

    Come on Ruk, you can do a little better than that.

     

    Fun and eventually disposable and unremarkable film outside of Dino Cavalry.

     

    C+/B- 

     

     

     

    Heads or Tails

     

    It's a Statham movie with an extra bit of wry humor, thanks to the inclusion of Rockwell. Fine, nothing remarkable, nothing bad.

     

    C+

     

     

     

    Kensington

     

    Greengrass is a docudrama master, and with a cast of unknowns and a threadbare plot, he still gets a fine outing out of the proceedings. Imagine if more work had been put into making us care beyond procedural thrill.

     

    B-

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    Ciaphas Cain

     

    Urban's gotta Urban. Eva's gotta Eva. The character names can be quite amusing. And the well-choreographed action and vivid costume/set/creature display needed to take a breath here and there to actually explain the world to the audience.

     

    B

     

     

     

    Note: In the future Ruk, it would be very helpful if you included running times with your films.

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    The Dresden Files: Fool Moon

     

    A little too twisty and bendy in the middle, the film still plows gleefully along with RDJ's hardboiled manic paranormal detective delivering great gusto to Shane Black's clever style.

     

    B+

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    Peter and the Starcatchers

     

    Mark Ruffalo as Smee is definitely one of the stranger stunt castings for a small role in this game. It's a fairly competent film that doesn't fly up in ambition or style, but gets the stuff needed across for the families.

     

    B-

     

     

    The Departure

     

    Well....this film kinda builds and builds and then kinda just deflates for some sudden shock value and them abruptly ends in an attempt for cool ambiguity and cliffhanger. Doesn't quite work.

     

    C+

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    Guess The Departure can be filed under unique ideas that didn't pay off. I really feel like the film needed 20 more minutes with the ending it had. It's not like Extrasensory where the swerved ending is vital to the film's thematic structure.

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    All Kinds of Bull

     

    I can imagine people saying the film is "all kinds of bull." It's a slow-moving drama that's essentially a one-man show. Brad Pitt sure tries his hardest to act as big as possible, and the movie just doesn't click. There's some foundation for a good movie here.

     

    C-

     

     

    Loony Ben

     

    Amusing at times. Not bad.

     

    C+

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