8BeanSoup has written 124 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • Damnation Alley

    Damnation Alley

    ★★½

    It must have been hard to release a sci-fi film in the wake of Star Wars. Star Wars was released on May 25, 1977 and Damnation Alley on September 10, 1977. Who knows? Maybe some of the people who bought tickets to Damnation Alley were thirsty for more sci-fi. I bet they left disappointed. The problem is that the special effects, which may have been passable in 1970, were a joke after Star Wars.

    Damnation Alley begins in the California…

  • Supergirl

    Supergirl

    ★★½

    I grew up in a small town, and if a movie didn't do too well in the "big city" theaters, it probably never made it to my little theater. (The owners probably didn't want to gamble on it.) That's probably why I never saw Supergirl in my youth.

    I really wanted to like Supergirl, I really did, but the plot just had too many holes which I couldn't help but notice as I watched the film.

    Kara (Helen Slater) lives…

  • Gate II

    Gate II

    ★★½

    Maybe my memory is faulty, but I remember a bunch of horror movies coming out in the wake of the PG-13 rating that were intended to take advantage of that rating—and the teen market it implied. The Gate (1987) was one of those movies. The Gate has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. It's really dumb, but it's kind of fun despite itself.

    Gate II (a.k.a. Gate 2: The Trespassers) continues the story with one of the most unlikely…

  • Police Academy 3: Back in Training

    Police Academy 3: Back in Training

    ★★½

    Police Academy 3: Back in Training basically takes the plots from Police Academy (1984) and Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985) and combines them.

    In this installment, the governor decides that the state doesn't need two police academies. He's going to have both academies evaluated and the loser will be shut down. The lovable Commandant Lassard is pitted against the evil Commandant Mauser (the villain from Police Academy 2). Lassard calls in his dependable six officers from the first…

  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

    Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Resident Evil: The Final Chapter features Alice walking alone through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The Red Queen (the Umbrella Corporation's A.I.) makes contact with her and tells her that she has only 48 hours to recover an antivirus from the Hive before humanity is gone for good. Alice is understandably wary of the Red Queen, but she realizes that maybe, just maybe, this is a chance to save the few remaining humans from the zombie hordes. But can she reach the…

  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage

    Venom: Let There Be Carnage

    ★★½

    I wasn't a huge fan of Venom (2018), so I can't really say that I was let down by Venom: Let There Be Carnage. It's more of the same silliness.

    The movie begins with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and Venom (his alien symbiote) bickering like an old married couple. Eddie's life isn't going great, but a serial killer on death row named Cletus (Woody Harrelson) wants to give Eddie an exclusive. Venom notices some drawings on Cletus's wall and figures…

  • National Lampoon's European Vacation

    National Lampoon's European Vacation

    ★★½

    National Lampoon's European Vacation is more of the same silliness seen in National Lampoon's Vacation (1983). For some reason, however, the first film seems a bit more "classic."

    The Griswalds—Clark (Chevy Chase), Helen (Beverley D'Angelo), Rusty (Jason Lively), and Audrey (Dana Hill)—win the grand prize on the game show Pig in a Poke: a trip to Europe. Dana doesn't want to go because she wants to stay home with her boyfriend Jack, and Rusty doesn't want to go because he…

  • The Deadly Mantis

    The Deadly Mantis

    ★★½

    I'm usually in the mood for these types of movies, but I found The Deadly Mantis to be deadly dull.

    Unlike other giant bug movies from the 1950s, the deadly mantis isn't created by radiation; it's a prehistoric creature that is buried in ice until a volcanic eruption awakens it. As you might imagine, it's a bit annoyed after such a long nap and begins to destroy anything in its path—and it gobbles up humans along the way. Can we…

  • Night of the Bloody Apes

    Night of the Bloody Apes

    ★★½

    "Ultimately, [Night of the] Bloody Apes reflects the violence, disarray, and pessimism of late 1960s Mexican political life. Fittingly, the retirement of the luchadora from the ring closes the book on [René] Cardona's 'Wrestling Women' cycle. As Arthur and Lucy drive away into the darkness, perhaps this is also Cardona's concession that the Luchadoras film cycle itself has been consigned to the darkness, no longer adequately able to express the simplistic triumph of good over evil within the exploding political…

  • The House on Sorority Row

    The House on Sorority Row

    ★★½

    I never watched this little horror movie because the poster makes it looks like a soft-core porn movie. (Apparently the director didn't like the poster. He wanted a Deliverance-style image with a hand rising up out of a murky swimming pool. Honestly, that would have been better.) After watching Sorority Row (2009), I decided to watch the original.

    While it's not a classic in any way, I suppose I have more tolerance for older films. Why? Because in 1982 the…

  • How to Sleep

    How to Sleep

    ★★½

    How to Sleep is a mildly funny short film. It features a man who does many things to help him sleep: take a bath, drink warm milk, etc. Everything he does just makes sleep less likely. When he finally does hit the hay, he can't sleep very well.

    This is the type of short film where you see a man onscreen doing mildly funny things and a narrator is commenting on his actions. Neither the man nor the narrator is…

  • Captain America II: Death Too Soon

    Captain America II: Death Too Soon

    ★★½

    Captain America II: Death Too Soon is actually an improvement over Captain America (1979), although we're grading on a scale here.

    Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, is once again called upon to help his country. A deadly terrorist named Miguel (not to play on stereotypes here, but when I think of Christopher Lee, I don't think Miguel) has invented a rapid-aging serum. He demands the U.S. government pay him a billion dollars or he'll spray it over a major metropolitan…