• The Final Destination

    The Final Destination

    2023 #124
    Part of the late noughties 3D craze, which means that a lot of those effects just look like straight-up bad CGI when watched normally. I mean, they probably still sucked in 3D, but yeah. As far as the deaths go, there's not a whole lot to write home about. They're typically contrived, as is the series' calling card, but don't feel particularly creative. Nick Zano's death is totally ripped off from Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted too. Lame.

  • Daddy Day Care

    Daddy Day Care

    ★★★

    2023 #123
    I'm fast approaching 40 and probably shouldn't find this kind of juvenile comedy funny anymore. And yet...I laughed way more at Daddy Day Care than I thought I would. It's kid-friendly stuff that plays it pretty safe and obvious, but Eddie Murphy and Jeff Garlin still managed to get me. Talk about a damning indictment of my sense of humour.

  • Clockstoppers

    Clockstoppers

    ★½

    2023 #122
    Talk about a product of its time! Featuring the most early 2000s soundtrack ever, Clockstoppers is a sci-fi comedy about a high school teen who accidentally finds himself in possession of a clock that stops time. I'm not sure I would have found it entertaining 20 years ago, but now the Nickelodeon sense of humour felt like a real chore to sit through.

  • Lord of War

    Lord of War

    ★★½

    2023 #121
    Lord of War is a Scorsese-lite movie that features a relatively restrained Nic Cage, albeit one dripping with a smug cynicism about the gun-running trade. While there are some moments of artistic flourish (particularly the opening credit sequence following a bullet from manufacture to use, and a plane being stripped bare on an African highway), the story itself is rendered surprisingly dull by some lethargic pacing. That said, despite the novelty of Cage being in serious mode, his performance is never boring in of itself. Still, even though I didn't hate this, I definitely didn't love it either.

  • Spanglish

    Spanglish

    ★★★

    2023 #120
    Téa Leoni really excels in these kinds of grating "Real Housewife"-style roles. She's so good at it, in fact, that it can sometimes be difficult to stomach Deb whenever she's on-screen. On the flipside of that though, Paz Vega makes up for it as the fiercely protective mother who can't speak English, which complicates her role as a housekeeper for a well-off family. It's a really charming performance, using the language barrier as a decent tool to set…

  • 3:10 to Yuma

    3:10 to Yuma

    ★★★★

    2023 #119
    Russell Crowe, Christian Bale and Ben Foster are all tremendous in this intense Elmore Leonard adaptation. I've never seen the original to compare it to, but I can't imagine how it could possibly be as slick and cynical as the James Mangold version of this story about a poor farmhand who takes it upon himself to bring in a dangerous outlaw. The complex relationships and motivations make this such a compelling watch, while it's filled with some exciting action sequences and character moments as well. Again though, it's really the Crowe/Bale/Foster show...all three are on absolute top form!

  • The Professionals

    The Professionals

    ★★★½

    2023 #118
    Jeez, I felt sweaty just watching the eponymous Professionals trekking through the Mexican desert while being pursued by banditos. Needless to say, this was a pretty fun Western, one which may have been a little obvious in where it was going, but was worth the journey regardless. That final Lee Marvin line is pure poetry too!

  • The Blues Brothers

    The Blues Brothers

    ★★★★

    2023 #117
    Rewatching The Blues Brothers is always a joyous occasion. Between the off-beat sense of humour, excellent musical numbers and ridiculous car chases, there's a good reason why this is a beloved cult classic! If every mission from God was this cool, maybe I'd be more religious...

  • Barb Wire

    Barb Wire

    ★★½

    2023 #116
    The trashiest futuristic noir you're ever likely to see. And yet...no matter how bad it gets, Barb Wire is also strangely enjoyable. I mean, the plot shamelessly rips off Casablanca, the dialogue sucks, and both the action and acting are atrociously awful...but watching it, I kinda had a good time revelling in just how crappy it was. Sue me.

    Also, to everyone complaining about Claire wearing completely unsuitable heels all throughout Jurassic World, Barb Wire would like a word!

  • Son of Rambow

    Son of Rambow

    ★★★½

    2023 #115
    With a distinctly British sense of humour and two very likeable leads in Bill Milner and Will Poulter, Son of Rambow is a feel good coming-of-age story that hits the spot nicely. Besides, who hasn't been inspired by Rambo: First Blood?

  • Escape From Alcatraz

    Escape From Alcatraz

    ★★★★

    2023 #114
    A classic prison escape movie, one based a real-life breakout at The Rock back in 1962. It hits all the satisfying notes of the genre, with a lead in Clint Eastwood's gruff Frank Morris that you can get behind, an asshole warden, a violent fellow prisoner with a grudge, a trip to the hole, and then the daring escape itself. While it can feel a little slow in places, it's almost necessary for Escape From Alcatraz to let the story breathe and set everything up for the big finale we all know is coming.

  • Finder's Fee

    Finder's Fee

    ★★½

    2023 #113
    Kinda wild that a movie with this many famous faces in has only been seen by 645 Letterboxd users and counting, but count me as one of them! Finder's Fee is pretty much a morality play that takes place in an apartment over the course of a single game of poker, yet it does a decent job of playing with the tension of the situation, especially as it gradually laying its cards out on the table. Unfortunately, the twists and turns are a bit unwieldy, resulting in things getting silly down the stretch, but I thought it was pretty decent overall.