War movies

From Here to Eternity
    I never really planned on watching any war movies.  But I do like Burt Lancaster. 
   This is Hawaii, just before Pearl Harbor.  Pruitt is a new transfer.  He used to box, but doesn't want to anymore.  He hit a friend during a sparring session and killed him. 
    The Captain wants a winning boxing team.  That's why he allowed the transfer.  When the boy won't fight, he allows a lot of abuse that he otherwise wouldn't.  The boy is forced to do the worst jobs, continually made to do extra exercises, and constantly put upon.  He won't give in though.
    His best friend stands by him throughout.  But he has temper problems.  That eventually gets him sent to the stockade.  There, he's abused badly until he escapes.  But he was fatally injured before the escape.  He dies and the boy goes after vengeance.
    Lancaster is Sergeant Warden.  He falls in love with the Captain's wife.  There is a very erotic beach scene between them.  Even though there's no nudity, it's pretty hot!  He tries to help Pruitt, but there isn't much he can do without getting in trouble with the Captain.
    I don't like war movies.  They are too grim for me.  I admit this one was fantastic.  The acting was solid, the plot was complicated but stayed  good, and it was very engrossing.  If you like war movies, I think this one ranks pretty high.  It was just too depressing for me to want to watch again.

Action movies

Sherlock Holmes
    A new take on an old theme.  Robert Downey Jr. is Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law is Watson. 
   Lord Blackwood murders women and is caught.  He tells Holmes that "Death is only the beginning."  (Shades of the Mummy!) 
   The problem is he doesn't stay dead.  He's seen afterwards, quite alive thank you.  A new character shows up, Irene Adler.  Holmes is very leery about her.  I think he has great affection for her, but she's outsmarted him twice and she tends toward thievery. 
    Holmes has other problems.  Watson plans on moving out and getting married.  Holmes doesn't take that well.  Watson stays to help him with this case, but the tension between them grows.  It's a far fetched plot that gets more down to earth as you learn more.  You certainly have to stay awake to watch this or you'll miss quite a bit!  You can't just watch the action, you have to observe the scenery to get even more information.
    I adored this.  Finally, Watson is more than just a sidekick.  You see just how much Holmes needs him.  Holmes is more than a little erratic and is very self-destructive.  He needs Watson for stability, for his very sanity if truth be told. 
    I always hated the old Sherlock movies.  Watson was a real pain to watch in them.  In this one, there wasn't a single "Elementary, my dear Watson."  Thank you, thank you!!  That was annoying!  This is going to be added to my library very soon.

Remo Williams: the Adventure Begins
This is based on the Destroyer series by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir.  The movie is campy but very funny and very watchable.
    Remo (Fred Ward) is chosen by a super secret organization to become an assassin.  He doesn't get a choice about it.  Either join or die. 
    His first assassination is a little Korean guy.  This is a hilarious part, since this is his future trainer.   Chiun (Joel Gray) takes him down without effort.  Chiun has a lot of unflattering things to say about Remo's abilities, but he agrees to teach him. 
    Remo is less than thrilled.  He's forced to eat wholesome food, like rice.  He's also expected to master his fears.  Since he's afraid of heights, Chiun makes him jog on top of buildings.  Along the ledges.  Remo improves greatly, but he's not happy.
    A feisty young woman is investigating Grove Industries.  One of their guns blew up in a young grunt's face.  Her search irritates Grove, who orders her termination.  Remo keeps getting in their way.  She gets very annoyed with Remo, since she doesn't realize someone is trying to kill her.
    It's campy, it's silly, it's loads of fun.  This I enjoyed from start to finish.  The tongue in cheek humor, the clashes between Chiun and Remo, the fast pace, it's a truly delightful blend that works very well.  I loved it when I first saw it and it didn't lose anything the second time around.

Science fiction movies

   It's old and it shows.  I think it took the name from an Isaac Asimov book, which it has nothing to do with.  It has robots and that's all it has in common.
   Tom Selleck is police officer Jack Ramsey.  He's afraid of heights and good with robots.  He gets a new partner and a new case.  A housekeeper robot goes amok and kills everyone in house except the baby.  But that's only a matter of time.  So Jack goes in to take out the robot.  When the lab is studying it, they find an unexplained chip.  Before anyone can touch it, it explodes. 
    The father of the rescued baby disappeared before it was even rescued.  Jack doesn't think that's an accident.  He investigates and finds out there are more chips.  These chips turn robots into killers.  When it's put into a bullet, it turns it into a heat seeking missile that can be programmed for a specific person.  It's literally a bullet with your name on it. 
    It's not the best sci-fi movie.  My husband hated it and thought it was boring.  I liked it.  I'm not sure why, but I did enjoy it.  Gene Simmons as the bad guy was perfect.  He is severely creepy.  He looks right at the camera and it just gives you chills, it feels like he's looking right at you.

Stephen King movies

Hearts in Atlantis
   A coming of age movie with a bit of precog thrown in.  Bobby meets a new tenant who goes into trances and knows things he shouldn't.  The tenant hires Bobby to keep an eye out for strange men and odd flyers pasted on things. 
    I went in expecting something really paranormal.  It's pretty understated though.  Even though the men are looking for Mr. Brautigan because they want him to use his powers working for them, that's the only real part they play in this.  It's mostly a coming of age and a friendship between Bobby and Mr. Brautigan. 
    Even though it had Anton Yelchin and Anthony Hopkins, I just didn't care for this.  Maybe because I was expecting something else.  It was a good movie, as the coming of age and friendship.  The acting was superb.  I just wasn't interested in that type at that time.  Ooops.  I'd advise you to see it to make your own judgement.  Like I said, I was prejudiced.

My favorite movies

Darkness Falls
Ok, I know this isn't all that great a movie. The acting was pathetic. But I still loved it. All those quickie scares, where you never knew when something was going to happen.

     150 years ago, the townspeople of Darkness Falls killed an old woman. They later found out she hadn't done anything wrong. She cursed them all. She used to give the children a gold coin for every tooth they lost. Now, she comes to get their last baby tooth. If they see her, she kills them.
      The night Kyle lost his last tooth, he saw her. She didn't manage to get him, but she did kill his mother. Except everyone thought he killed her. Now he's an adult. His old friend, Caitlin, calls him and wants him to tell her how he cured his night terrors. Her little brother has them and hasn't slept in a long time. Kyle visits and the terror spreads quite quickly. The old woman still plans on getting Kyle, but she keeps missing. The only defense is light. It's painful to her.
        The little boy is the only good actor in this show. He does a great job. But I still loved it. It's nonstop action, creepy atmosphere, and a plot that holds together fairly well. It's my favorite horror movie. Very little gore, but lots of suspense and scares.

Hudson Hawk
The movie Hudson Hawk. I've heard it listed as one of the worst 100. Funny, but it's in my family's top 10. It's a spoof of burglars, action, conspiracies and quite a bit more. The Hawk is a burglar being blackmailed by pretty much everybody into stealing Da Vinci art. The characters are fun, quirky, outrageous, and goofy. I never fail to laugh at this one. People want to look at this as a straight action movie. If you look at it that way, it's pathetic to watch. But it's not straight action. It's tongue in cheek spoofing. James Coburn and Bruce Willis are so straight faced while they do the most outrageous things. I do love this movie. If you like laughing, this is way better than Airplane!

It's based on the comic book, but takes a few liberties. I can't say how much, because I didn't read a lot of them. I only read enough to know about the romance between Snake-Eyes and Scarlett, which isn't in this, and why Snake-Eyes doesn't speak (which isn't the same as in the movie).

     The G.I.Joes are the best of the best from a variety of nations. This is where they first meet Cobra, their arch-enemy. It introduces Duke and Ripcord as new members.
      I like group dynamics, or teams. I always have. This is nowhere near the best of the superhero movies, but I like it. I rented it, and liked it. Then rented it again later. I finally gave in and bought the darn thing, just because I enjoy watching it and I was tired of renting it. It's a fun action movie, and it's very neat seeing all the familiar faces from The Mummy movies. Can you spot Brendan Fraser?
     It doesn't have the quality of the other hero movies, or the plot cohesiveness, but it sure is a lot of fun to watch. I prefer it to the grimness of the Batman movies (I know, shame on me) or even my beloved X-Men. It leaves you feeling good and energized, not depressed. That's kind of important sometimes!

Humorous books

Tales From the Dad Side
    by Steve Doocy
    He's a very funny man.  This was easy to read and gave me lots of giggles.It's about his experiences as a Dad, from cooking to teaching.  Definitely not the same viewpoint as a woman!  It's about raising his kids, as well as tidbits from his own childhood.  Yes, our children can grow a brain.  Eventually.  He's proof there is hope. 

Horror movies

    Similar to Darkness Falls, but nowhere near as good.  He has to go back to his home, to put things in order.  And face his fears of the Boogeyman.  He believes his father was taken by the B-man.  Society has convinced him, almost, that he made it up to cope with his father's abandonment.  Now he finds out he was right.  He also finds out he isn't the only one to see the B-man.
    The only way to stop the Boogeyman is for Tim to face and defeat him.
     It was pretty good throughout, then it started getting a little far fetched.  I don't mind suspending disbelief for a movie, but you have to make it a little logical.  The ending just seemed to be slapped on.  Like it wasn't really going in that direction, but it needed to end so there you are.  I did enjoy all the scares.  That was good.  I just didn't like the contrived ending.

Darkness Falls
    Ok, I know this isn't all that great a movie.  The acting was pathetic.  But I still loved it.  All those quickie scares, where you never knew when something was going to happen. 
    150 years ago, the townspeople of Darkness Falls killed an old woman.  They later found out she hadn't done anything wrong.  She cursed them all.  She used to give the children a gold coin for every tooth they lost.  Now, she comes to get their last baby tooth.  If they see her, she kills them.
    The night Kyle lost his last tooth, he saw her.  She didn't manage to get him, but she did kill his mother.  Except everyone thought he killed her.  Now he's an adult.  His old friend, Caitlin, calls him and wants him to tell her how he cured his night terrors.  Her little brother has them and hasn't slept in a long time.  Kyle visits and the terror spreads quite quickly.  The old woman still plans on getting Kyle, but she keeps missing.  The only defense is light.  It's painful to her.
    The little boy is the only good actor in this show.  He does a great job.  But I still loved it.  It's nonstop action, creepy atmosphere, and a plot that holds together fairly well.  It's my favorite horror movie.  Very little gore, but lots of suspense and scares. 

Fright Night
     It's very dated, from 1985.  It's about a teenager who has a vampire move in next door.  He doesn't know how to handle it, so he looks up the great Peter Vincent.  Vincent is a famous vampire killer, in the old movies.  He, of course, doesn't believe the boy.  He accepts money from the boy's friends to try to convince the kid the guy isn't a vampire.
      There's only one problem with all of this.  The guy really is a vamp and he plans on munching on the kid.  When Vincent finds this out, he's totally freaked.  For being so old, the special effects are particularly gruesome.  It's campy, but still a lot of fun.  Chris Sarandon is darkly seductive while playing the evil vamp.

House of the Devil
    A sitter for an old woman gets more than she bargained for.  Like a scary house, a dead friend, and weird Satanic rituals.  I'm not sure where this was going.  I think it was supposed to be a type of werewolf show, but I can't say for sure.   It was very suspenseful and creepy.  I guess I'm just one of those people who want instant gratification.  After so much suspense, I just wanted it to go somewhere!!  Anywhere!  It was horribly boring to me, watching her explore the house.  The suspense built, but it never went anywhere till much later.  By then I just wanted everyone to die. 

This is like a very dark Mary, Joseph, birth of Christ story. 
    God is tired of humanity.  He sends his angels out to cleanse the Earth.  Most of them possess weaker willed humans and turn them into something like demons.  The exceptions are Michael and Gabriel.
    Michael (Paul Bettany) is sent to kill a specific unborn child.  Instead, he cuts off his wings and searches for the mother to protect her and the child.  Gabriel leads the possessed humans to exterminate the same woman.
    Everyone is converging on a small diner where the woman is working as a waitress.  There are 8 people already there.  A sweet and friendly little old lady shows up.  When she gets her practically raw steak, she sweetly tells the waitress that her baby will burn.  Then she gets more venomous and her eyes go black.  A direct hit with a frying pan doesn't faze her and she sinks her fanged teeth in another customer.  She does a Spiderman imitation on the ceiling till she's shot and killed.
    It's a tired old plot about putting a diverse group of people together that do as much damage to each other as the enemy ever could, with a twist of a new Messiah.  I stuck with this one because I thought the wings were cool.  The direct battles between Gabriel and Michael were extremely neat.  It's pretty much the same old thing as Demon Knight, but I still kind of enjoyed it.  A shirtless Paul Bettany and angels fighting were the best parts.  It's not original, nor filled with great acting, but it is watchable.  It doesn't hurt too much getting to the end.  I wouldn't buy it, but it's worth renting.

Resident Evil
   This is a movie based on a video game.  Even so, it's a pretty good action movie.  Alice wakes up with amnesia and is taken into the Hive.  The team has to find out what has gone so horribly wrong.  It doesn't take long before they're attacked by dead people, who seem to be quite hungry!  Then they're attacked by the Red Queen, the computer controlling the Hive.  Everyone is dead that was in the Hive, except they're walking and looking for munchies.  The explanation is the T-virus was stolen and released.  The T-virus brings dead cells back to life.  If it's a dead person, they come back without a brain but they can still kill and eat.  Basically, a zombie movie.
     I don't like zombies.  They creep me out.  But I sure like this one.  Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriquez are two of the best strong-willed females to show up on the big screen in a long time.  It's a true pleasure to see either one of them.  They darn near always kick butt, and make it quite believable.  This is more action than horror, as far as I'm concerned.  Maybe that's why I liked it, despite the zombies.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse
    This one is even better than the first.  The character of Jill Valentine is just as hard nosed as Alice, and just as tough too.  The T-virus has escaped the Hive and is now in Raccoon City.  People are being evacuated, but not fast enough.  Then Umbrella closes the doors, locking all the people inside the City.  They plan on nuking it, destroying all evidence of their experiments.
    Alice and Valentine are trying to find a way out when the creator of the T-virus contacts them.  If they find and rescue his daughter, he will get them safe passage out.  He also makes the deal with some left behind Umbrella task force members.  They wind up working together, but there's something new walking the streets.  Nemesis is an experiment that is now brought out to see whether it or Alice is better.  Alice has also been experimented on.  She has formed a living bond with the T-virus, making her stronger and faster.
    I really really liked this one!  The action is fast-paced and exciting.  I loved the church scene.  Very cool action.  The characters aren't the usual screaming females that are just begging to die.  These people are mostly tough, get the job done, characters.  The few that aren't don't last long enough to get really annoying.  It's definitely the best of the trilogy.

Resident Evil:Extinction
    Alice's powers have continued to grow.  They now include telekinesis.  She stays away from people, especially her friends.  She knows Umbrella is trying to track her with the chip they implanted.  She doesn't want to bring danger to her friends. 
    The world is now a wasteland.  Umbrella didn't act fast enough to contain the T-virus.  It has spread over the entire planet, destroying animal and plant life.  There aren't many humans left, except for the zombie variety.  Claire Redfield's convoy is having a hard time.  They're running out of food and gas.  If you can't stay moving, the zombies will find you and you'll be dinner.  Alice hooks up with Claire's convoy, but it's still almost wiped out in Vegas.  Alice has to battle a whole new monster and finds out she may be the only antidote there is to the T-virus.
    I didn't care for this one at all.  The only reason I own it is because it finishes the trilogy.  The first two are so good, it almost makes up for this one.  Some of my problem might be because I have always hated desert end-of-the-world movies.  There's just something about sand and end of the world that drives me batty.  Don't like Mad Max either.  Guess I'm prejudiced!

Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour
    Sarah goes to Pine Valley to revisit memories.  She finds herself embroiled in a supernatural mess.  A young man was killed years ago in an auto accident.  His father, a very bitter person, blamed the young woman he was with.  She had two young sons and this bitter man said he would kill her oldest son on his 21st birthday, like his son died. 

Then the bitter man killed himself on the day of his son's funeral.  But the boy believed him, and now he's almost 21.  He's terrified and obsessed with supernatural books.  He's trying to find a way to escape the man's prophecy.

It's not a bad movie.  I liked it better than Paranormal Activity.  But I sure wouldn't buy it.  The acting wasn't that great.  The plot was pretty good, with some twists.  You almost thought it was going in one direction, but it turned and went somewhere else.  I am looking forward to seeing more from this director.  She just needs some practice.