• The Bullet Train

    The Bullet Train

    ★★★★

    There's a bomb on a bullet train. If it drops below 80 kilometers per hour, it explodes. The bomber has demanded $5 million, American, from the Japanese government (the amount that a train like this would cost) in exchange for telling them how to disarm the bomb.

    Screenwriter Graham Yost and director Jan De Bont took the basic premise of this film, moved it onto a bus, and turned it into a thrill-a-minute, adrenaline-soaked thrill ride that still resonates as…

  • Fantastic Voyage

    Fantastic Voyage

    ★★★½

    We did it, everybody! We finally did it! The human race figured out how to miniaturize stuff! But, unfortunately, it only lasts for an hour or some shit. But, good news, there's a brainiac scientist who figured out how to make the process last longer! But, unfortunately, some bad dudes who wanted to stop him from sharing his secret with America have caused a car accident which has put him into a coma with a blood clot in his brain.…

  • Notting Hill

    Notting Hill

    ★★★★½

    There was a time when Richard Curtis was one of those screenwriters whose mere presence in the credits was enough to ensure that I would watch a movie. He helped Rowan Atkinson create "Mr. Bean", for God's sake. "Mr. Bean" is some of the greatest physical comedy ever created, ranking right up there with the work of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. He also wrote "Four Weddings and a Funeral", but I wouldn't discover that gem until I watched "Notting…

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

    Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

    ★★★★

    Wayne Szalinski has been working for years to invent a machine that can shrink and re-enlarge items. So far, however, he's been unsuccessful in his attempts. That all changes one day when a neighbor kid (Jared Rushton, best known to me as Tom Hanks's best friend in "Big") hits a baseball into his attic laboratory, activating the machine and modifying it just enough that it actually works! Unfortunately, it shrinks Szalinski's son and daughter and the two neighbor kids before…

  • Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

    Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

    ★★★

    Menahem Golan and Yoran Globus were two Israeli cousins united by their love of movies and money to start Cannon, an independent film studio that grew larger and more outrageous during the 1980s with a roster of talent headlined by Chuck Norris and Charles Bronson. Under their guiding hands, the studio released such infamous titles as "Breakin'", "Death Wishes 2,3, and 4", "Invasion USA" and two separate serieses of "Ninja" films (one of which starred Michael Dudikoff and the other…

  • Prey

    Prey

    ★★★½

    "Prey" is basically the sort of sequel that I've wanted them to make ever since I saw the original "Predator". I mean, I enjoyed what they did with "Predator 2" in changing the location and time period of the action (Los Angeles under siege by drug gangs in the near future). That was the way to go, plug the trophy-hunting alien hunter into different time periods and locations and show them facing off against different kinds of badass humans (Danny…

  • Idiocracy

    Idiocracy

    ★★★½

    Mike Judge may very well be the best satirical voice of his generation. He crafts biting, astute observations about human nature and society and sneaks them underneath hilarious and often broad humor. "Beavis and Butthead" was such cleverly orchestrated satire of 1980s/90s youth culture that most people missed the satire altogether and it was even embraced by those that it was most openly mocking (I myself didn't understand what Judge was doing until later on, though I didn't really have…

  • Five Graves to Cairo

    Five Graves to Cairo

    ★★★½

    I love Billy Wilder, always have. So when some of his early films got added to the Criterion Channel, it piqued my interest. Also, I don't watch nearly enough on the Criterion Channel. I need to watch it more to justify paying for it every month. I mean, it's not like this is a chore: they always have some great stuff on there.

    "Five Graves to Cairo" is set in the Egyptian desert during WWII. The lone survivor of a…

  • Lightyear

    Lightyear

    ★★½

    Buzz Lightyear is a space ranger. He is leading a secret mission in uncharted space, investigates a planet because there are life forms present on it, misjudges his ability to pilot the spaceship over a rock, and crash-lands an entire spaceship filled with settlers or something (the movie is vague about this...or I just wasn't paying enough attention) on a planet full of dangerous vines and insects.

    Wracked with guilt about being responsible for this scenario, Buzz test pilots a…

  • ABBA: The Movie

    ABBA: The Movie

    ★★★

    I've always loved ABBA, though I didn't really discover their music until my teenage years. Before the mid-90s, there had been such a backlash against ABBA (and Disco itself) that they'd essentially been erased from the culture altogether. By the 90s, I began hearing about them but mostly as a joke, as though they were the worst band that had ever existed or something. They were a pop culture punchline...at least until "Muriel's Wedding" helped people realize that ABBA was…

  • D.O.A.

    D.O.A.

    ★★★

    Dennis Quaid is an alcoholic English professor who's having a bad week. His wife (Jane Kaczmarek, best known to me as the mother from "Malcolm in the Middle") is serving him with divorce papers. A student just plummeted from the roof, past his window, to his death on the pavement below. And now, on top of everything else, he discovers that someone has slipped him a deadly poison and he will be dead within 48 hours tops. Quaid stumbles off…

  • RoboCop 2

    RoboCop 2

    ★★★½

    Robocop is back. In fact, with the regular police on strike (aside from Nancy Allen's Officer Lewis and a couple of others), it feels like Robocop is the only cop patrolling the streets and stopping crime. And there's a LOT of crime running rampant on the streets of futuristic Detroit. I love the opening scene, where someone mugs an old homeless lady after she gets hit by a car...and then the camera follows the mugger as HE gets mugged and…