FLIGHT 7500 (2014)

Directed By: Takashi Shimizu
Written By: Craig Rosenberg 
Cinematography: David Tattersall
Editor: Sean Valla 

Cast: Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart, Leslie Bibb, Jamie Chung, Scout Taylor-Compton, Jerry Ferrara, Christian Serratos, Johnathon Schaech, David Banner, Nicky Whelan 

Flight 7500 departs Los Angeles International Airport bound for Tokyo. As the overnight flight makes its way over the Pacific Ocean during its ten-hour course, the passengers encounter what appears to be a supernatural force in the cabin.

This is a movie that was filmed years ago and only is now getting released due to whatever reasons. This becomes obvious as the film goes along. 

This was a film I had my eye on over the years as the premise sounded interesting then the film seemed to disappear. 

The major problem with this film is that film is all built up almost like a prequel. Though seems to falter when it comes to an ending as it seems like the filmmakers were forced to change it or couldn’t come up with a satisfactory ending. 

As the ending seems to try to be profound, but then goes for a cliche cheap scare.

What the film has in its favor are recognizable actors. Which gets you excited about their appearance. Though here the film gives them random character roles for no reason as none of it makes a difference in the film. Or gives us a reason to care. Even in the film’s direction, it chooses to focus on characters randomly. Not Even as victims. So that while it might seem more realistic if this was a slasher film. The film ends up being it seems just as less than everything else in the film. 

Strangely though the film manages early on to play up the suspense and even some thrilling aspects from time to time throughout then after a certain point it just runs out of steam. As it then just seems to go in the wrong direction.

As the film has some moments of horror and seems to go that way. Then it seems to want to work off of some strange conspiracy and enlightening moments like some unused plots of the TELEVISION show LOST 

It is strange as even on the DVD it has previews for films coming out this year as well as films like THE LAST EXORCISM 2.

In the end, the film is not worth it. 

Grade: D+


Directed By: Patrick Hughes 
Written By: Robbie Fox and Craig Bremmer 
Story By: Robbie Fox, Craig Bremmer and Jason Rosenthal 
Cinematography: Rob Hardy
Editor: Craig Alpert 

Cast: Kevin Hart, Woody Harrelson, Jasmine Matthews, Kaley Cuoco, Ellen Barkin, Pierson Fode, Jeancarlos Canela 

The world’s deadliest assassin and New York’s biggest screw-up are mistaken for each other at an Airbnb rental.

The film was originally supposed to Co-Star Jason Statham. Which would make more sense as a more dream combo. Not that woody Harrelson isn’t good. It just feels like he is a replacement. As he does what the role requires but hasn’t even known for too many action roles in quite a while.

So while his role is supposed to be more action-oriented. He only seems to use these skills on other assassins. As his character is so synonymous that he rarely has to use violence before they confess everything. Even as we know he has the finesse to actually do the things they fear. So it is more about intimidation. 

Kevin hart tries but it feels like again he is playing a similar role to most of his others. A kind of sad sack dreamer who gets motivated in the middle of the film to do what he needs to do to finally accomplish his mission and be successful. 

Though even here hart’s heart doesn’t seem as much into it. As he does create an annoying character who never seems to shut his mouth and say everything he is thinking, but again he knows he has played this type of role before and there is only so much of a variant that he can do with it.

At this point, it would be nice if Kevin Hart made a film that was just him as the star no more mismatched buddy comedies. Let him be center stage and truly make his mark. That might actually be noteworthy. As it would showcase his talents more and not seem so much like he is dependent on others to sell himself. 

The film’s action scenes try to be exciting even as most characters other than the leads and bigger cast names seem disposable. They never offer any kind of challenge. As the audience knows how each situation most likely will turn out.

There are some exceptions; the airplane fight and the gym fight actually enliven the movie and are a bit easier especially after other action sequences seem to fizzle.

Just as it would have been nice for more comedic scenes where Woody Harrelson is nervous around the opposite sex and opening up around new people. Just as more could have been done when it came to the

Handsome FBI agent who Kevin hart’s character is jealous of, allowing us to see why he should be jealous would have been funnier.

Director Patrick Hughes has made some silly yet violent guilty pleasure action comedies before with THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD films. Though those were much more hardcore in language and violence. This one is played safer and PG-13 so it can only go so far and doesn’t feel like it goes far enough in some scenes. So the film Lacks bite in action and In comedy. The material just never feels that strong 

Overall if you are a Kevin hart fan you will enjoy the movie. The film just feels like the typical Netflix big-budget team-up movie with very little reason or strength in the storytelling. 

Woody Harrelson is bland here can tell he was a replacement in casting. 

The film is serviceable but not as fun as you think it will be or it could have been. As Kevin hart does his usual schtick and the material feels too familiar for all involved

Grade: C-

SPY (2015)

Written & Directed By: Paul Feig
Cinematography: Robert D. Yeoman 
Editor: Melissa Bretherton & Brent White 

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Allison Janney, Morena Baccarin, Carlos Ponce, Peter Serafinowicz, Bobby Cannavale, Michael McDonald, Sam Richardson, Zach Woods, Katie Dippold, Richard Brake, 

Susan Cooper is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner falls off the grid and another top agent is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global crisis.

This is for me so far the best comedy Melissa McCarthy has starred in. This doesn’t feel like one of her assembly line films that seem almost cranked out back to back, before the power of streaming made this a common occurrence for most stars. Though I give her credit for keeping trying original Comedic characters.

Luckily here her character is more identifiable for the audience and not so much mentally challenged. 

The film worked as a spoof comedy and an actual spy thriller where you care about what happens and you care about the characters. Who are actually memorable. As we in the audience are like the main character constantly wondering who we can trust.

The over-the-top villains and international characters are filled with so many strange details. It Is such a delight to watch.

Jason Statham is actually hilarious throughout. Having a kick for making fun of his previous roles. While doing what needs to be done action-wise. Which is what gives the film its energy is the constant duality of the actors, characters, and film. 

The film keeps you on your toes with Its surprises. As well as having a shocking amount of violence that is graphic. While  At heart the film is an action comedy. 

Everyone seems to give their character a certain spin. So it feels more like everyone has their own motivations, agenda, and trust issues. Yet all share a certain world and reality. 

This is a tight film but everyone feels loose and free. So that they get their moments to shine 

Grade: B+


Directed By: Michael Winner
Written By: Lewis John Carlino
Cinematography: Richard H. Kline and Robert Paynter (European Sequences)
Editor: Freddie Wilson and Arnold Crust Jr. (Michael Winner) 

Cast: Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent,  Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland, Linda Edgeway, Frank De Kova, Tak Kubota, Celeste Yarnell, Enzo Fiermonte 

A professional hitman is planning to retire, always a difficult move for one in such a profession. A young apprentice appears to be eager to learn all the skills of the trade – but is that all he wants?

This was one of the Charles Bronson films I was looking forward to, as this is supposedly one of the classics for him. 

I will admit to seeing the remake with Jason Statham first. Though I enjoyed it. I thought it would be an overblown spectacle. Which it was but also improved on the material.

This, original has a great first half of the movie. As the opening 10 minutes alone are a silent masterpiece of suspense and reasoning. 

Then once he has to kill one of his friends out of duty. Even that makes sense, and with his expertise, he never makes it look like an assassination. It always looks natural or like an accident.

Though it seems in the second half of the film that is abandoned. Even when he has assistance on his assignment it is so big and doesn’t look like an accident. Then after that, his assistant who he takes on out of guilt is all of a sudden acting like an expert. When he has done one job.

The twists at the end are the only thing that saves the film. Though it is set in the 1970s at first we feel sorry for the kid but as heartless as he treats his girlfriend who is attempting suicide. Shows us how evil he is, though he passes no judgment it seems to be the quality that makes Bronson’s character accept him.

Thankfully the film is barely over 90 minutes. As whenever there is a scene with Bronson alone it becomes dull. Even though these as supposed to be moments where we get to know his character. Even though there isn’t much to be known. 

It still allows for Bronson’s charisma and Jan Michael Vincent to show off his chops early in his career. Though this film by the end felt like a disappointment for me. I can see why it has its fans. As it tries to set a tone and be moody while also having it’s Fair share of action 

Grade: C+


Written & Directed By: Rob Zombie
Based On Characters Developed By: Norm Liebmann and Ed Haas
From a format By: Al Burns & Chris Hayward 
Cinematography: Zoraida Popovic
Editor: Vanick Moradian 

Cast: Sherri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Daniel Roebuck, Richard Brake, Catherine Schell, Cassandra Petersen, Tomas Boykin, Jorge Garcia

Reboot of “The Munsters,” which followed a family of monsters who moved from Transylvania to an American suburb.

The film seems like a far-fetched idea that should be horrible, but it isn’t as bad as one would think.

The movie feels like an extended episode of the series. Set in their universe. Rather than a normal reality in having them socialize with normal society. 

It also serves as a kind of prequel. So we see how Herman came about and his romance with Lily. The film is noticeably lower budgeted than expected though that only adds to the mood and atmosphere of the film.

The film has that same kind of stale sitcomish sense of humor. Only being a bit more macabre. Though could easily be a family film. The film Is campy and too long 

The film noticeably takes place on sets. The film has the same spirit as the television shows turned into movies by having maximum audience appeal to attract more than just fans. As it tries to modernize the show. While also serving as the greatest hits. 

The humor is corny as it almost feels more vaudeville than anything. It definitely comes across as a Halloween season movie. Almost like the live-action THE FLINTSTONES movie filled with tons of puns and one-liners. 

This strangely seems like a passion project for Rob Zombie. As no one was asking for this film but he seems determined to not only make it but also an affinity. It might be him trying to try another studio property with his own touch.

As this is one of his least offensive and cleanest films as far as material. 

As the film does stay true to its version. Everyone is dedicated. No matter how silly it gets and appears to be having fun. As he is clearly dedicated to this film and series. As is his cast, which is filled with his usual players, the main cast in multiple roles. As well a good size of the supporting and background cast being Hollywood and classic television veterans. Making this all the more a labor of love. 

It only lacks the stunt casting of seeing a fairly well-known star trying out the role for an impression or their own interpretation. 

Grade: C


Directed By: David Bruckner 
Written By: Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski
Story By: Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski and David S. Goyer 
Based On The Book By: Clive Barker
Cinematography: Eli Born 
Editor: David Marks 

Cast: Odessa A’Zion, Jamie Clayton, Adam Faison, Drew Starkey, Brandon Flynn, Goran Visnijc, Hiam Abbass 

A take on Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic where a young woman struggling with addiction comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon the Cenobites, a group of sadistic supernatural beings from another dimension.

The film is perfectly fine as a kind of reboot or sequel to the original series of films and certainly better than the more recent sequels. Though in certain ways it fails. 

Not entirely it’s its own fault. As the film for all the gore and new directions. It plays strictly modern and is hard to be as shocking or as disgusting as the original two films.

Those films were not only shocking but identifiable as at heart the story was a kind of pulp story with otherworldly elements. That seemed to bathe in the cruelty of the aspects. While showing a story of obsession and manipulation. Where truly the only innocent character survived. 

Then through it, all the special effects were revolutionary and revolting so much that you could feel the pain or wince as to what it was like. Sort of like when men hear stories of anything happening to genitals. 

Here the film tries not so much as the original did, but is left with something that while violent feels typical, and if this franchise needs updating they seem to be going in the right way. As they need a balance of lore, story, gore, and effects that balance each other out. As to not seem too exploitive which then has the film feeling lopsided.

Here the film is serviceable enough with the main character with a past and makes the storyline convoluted more than it needs to be. Seeming to want to have a detective story, but in the end little mystery and while cruel bit cruel enough. 

Jamie Clayton makes an interesting new pinhead. Though the chest design makeup in certain lighting reveals itself to be more of a made up than organic. Though that is a nitpick, she and the cenobite designs are on point.

What also hurts the film which is common in general is that we don’t care much for these characters. As they barely make their presence felt. The lead is ok because we spend the most time with her. When she loses her brother that is the only time the film seems to touch on something that approaches an actual emotion and is believable. The other characters you try to but could care less. Especially her boyfriend.

Give the film a try, but don’t expect to be blown away. As this is Hellraiser for a new generation but definitely won’t over-shine the original. Even today still feels shocking.

Grade: C+

THE A-TEAM (2010)

Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Written By: Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom and Skip Woods
Based On The Television Series Created By: Frank Lupo & Stephen J. Cannell
Cinematography: Mauro Fiore
Editor: Jim May & Roger Barton 

Cast: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Sharito Copley, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Gerald McRaney, Yul Vazquez, Brian Bloom, Henry Czerny, Terry Chan, Omari Hardwick 

A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. Military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.

I will admit I had to watch this film More than once to really Get into it. As originally it felt more typical, I will admit to disliking it upon the first view. but a few years removed You can actually notice its qualities. Due to repeated viewings, it has grown on me. 

The film is surprisingly funny at times with some really Good action sequences. Which makes the films mostly fun than anything else. Definitely a perfect summer movie.

The portrayal of B.A. Barscus was originally played by Mr. T. Who became the most popular character and the breakout star of the show. Isn’t As memorable or outrageous here played by Quentin “Rampage” Jackson. Though he works for the film and is used well. Plus this was his first acting role so he is a rookie among the professionals.

Here it shows everyone is having fun playing espionage and with all the hardware and inventions involved. Unfortunately, Jessica Biel is the only one who comes off as bland. As she is the only woman playing in the boys club. So the Script treats her as the killjoy and convenient love interest.

Patrick Wilson is memorable as the villain or at least one of them. As he is clearly Having fun. He comes off as a fan of action but is rarely involved in that type of film.

This is a film That finally at the time used Bradley Cooper’s Looks and charm in an impressive way 

The film and cast actually gel well together; the theme of honor stays a major plot point throughout and while silly the film always feels cool. Though overstuffed and comes off more comedic than pure action a lot of the times 

At the time it seemed typical of the action films coming out at the time, but being able to look back at it is a fine example of basic but being a bit above and using that basic quality to it’s advantage. 

Grade: C+

TANK GIRL (1995)

Directed By: Rachel Talalay

Written By: Tedi Sarafin

Based on a Comic-Strip By: Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin 

Cinematography: Gale Tattersall

Editor: James R. Symons 

Cast: Lori Petty, Ice-T, Naomi Watts, Malcolm McDowell, Don Harvey, Jeff Kober, Reg E. Cathey, Scott Coffey, Ann Cusack, Iggy Pop, Brian Wimmer, Billy L. Sullivan, James Hong, Doug Jones, Stacy Linn Ramsowar 

A girl is among the few survivors of a dystopian Earth. Riding a war tank, she fights against the tyranny of a mega-corporation that dominates the remaining potable water supply of the planet.

The film successfully fills out a comic book world with vivid colors, fashions, and ridiculousness. 

The problem is that it all feels constantly staged on a set and bargain basement. The practical special effects are the only thing that is very impressive. Even later in the film Malcolm McDowell’s character’s more digital look is lackluster.

The film looks cheap and it keeps its rebellious D.I.Y. Punk attitude, but it doesn’t sell the story. It tries to remind the fans of its origins from time to time showing a scene and then showing the outcome from the panel of the graphic novel. Fans might remember how much it is not the graphic novel, but light entices newbies in the audience to seek out the source material.

The film isn’t horrible it is probably actually ahead of its time given a decade later it would probably have been treated better by the studio and audiences might have been more receptive. If made today probably would have been a successful limited series on a streaming Service 

Surprisingly I quite enjoy the film. Though wasn’t actually looking for much. Maybe it is that offbeat production and sense of humor the film has that makes it feel a little different and special. 

Lori Petty’s performance is enjoyable one of her biggest starring roles. Though I can understand if some audience members might find her annoying. While she is certainly energetic and wacky to truly be a believable action hero. Here she comes across as campier and like a demented sidekick, but maybe that is part of the appeal.

Her performance makes the action scenes a little more hard to believe. When you have this more comedic character all of a sudden being a savior and out stoic hero. 

The film attempts to be experimental with not only the comic book panel cutaways but also a musical sequence that comes out of nowhere and probably helps cement the film’s cult classic status. Not to mention genetically altered kangaroo men.

The film was clearly made to be appealing more to teenagers and a female audience. Though it already had limited appeal as more of a cult comic book. Where the filmmakers and studio at the time hoped would come out and support the film and have at least that audience. 

Anytime the film risks getting too violent. Which can happen in a dystopian apocalyptic landscape. It cuts away, there is no abundance of bad language or adult situations that are hinted at but cut short. Even a slight Beastiality romance between a kangaroo-man and the lead is more hinted at than anything 

The film is also one of the earliest appearances of actress Naomi Watts in a supporting role. 

Though credit must be given to this film for offering diversity and representation across the board in the casting of the film.

During the film and by the end it will definitely feel like you are on some kind of psychedelic or drug. Think of it as a precursor to a studio film like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY in wackiness and heroics. 

Grade: C+


Directed By: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson 
Written By: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and Celeste Ballard 
Cinematography: Brian Burgoyne
Editor: Lori Bell and David S. Clark 

Cast: Camilla Mendes, Maya Hawke, Austin Abrams, Alisha Boe, Talia Ryder, Rish Shah, Ava Capri, Paris Berelc, Sophie Turner, Sarah Michelle Gellar 

Drea and Eleanor agree to go after one another’s bullies.

Sometimes you get pulled into a film. That was certainly the case with this film. I thought would be the typical teen comedy they have offered in the past, but was willing to give it a chance because of the Cast.

Happily, the results are surprising. The film actually Offers some uncertain aspects and keeps the audience interested. As it offers a cynical view with plenty of energy but also plenty of great one-liners. Yet it is vulnerable and emotional when needed. It’sAlso surprisingly an R-Rated Film. That deals with sec and drugs a Little More believably as it isn’t EUPHORIA, but it isn’t Disney either 

The film is a bit familiar as it takes some of the best moments and qualities of teen movies of the past that you may remember but also makes it juicy

As with most Netflix productions, It feels like it could have been broadened a bit. Instead of feeling so insular and location bound. 

The lessons the characters learn seem obvious but at least are doled out in a harsher way. As usual, the parents or any adults with actual power seem either nonexistent or very much in the background or mentioned her never shown.

Noticeably Inspired by other films and while predicting what it does get general surprises it’s nice to have a rated R teen comedy once in a while though how that works Is something that a Family has to worry about

The cast is all aces though at first their characters all Seem like types. Eventually, the film Humanizes them a bit more. Just as thankfully the cast is diverse, Could use a little more splash of color but beggars can’t Be choosers 

Nice to see Sarah Michelle Gellar in this film. Only wish she had more to do. As she is a spectacular actress and this fits into her younger star past. 

Austin Abrams is perfect as an entitled questionable big man on campus who is ultimately a cad. 

While Maya Hawke is wonderful. Camilla Mendes takes the cake and eats it too. This film should Make her a star. As she has the talent and looks. She’s good in comedy, fashionable vulnerability, Good, Evil, and drama. Hopefully, this leads to bigger and better roles. 

The film is not only better than expected. its better than it deserves and could easily be a new teen favorite for the audience. 

Grade: B


Written & Directed By: Owen Kline 
Cinematography: Sean Price Williams and Hunter Zimny
Editor: Owen Kline And Erin DeWitt 

Cast: Daniel Zolghadri, Matthew Maher, Josh Pais, Maria Dizzia, Miles Emanuel, Stephen Adly Gurgis, Marcus DeBonis, Michael Townsend Wright 

A bitingly funny coming-of-age story of a teenage cartoonist who rejects the comforts of his suburban life in a misguided quest for his soul.

This is a film that seemed to be treading the same ground as ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL and GHOST WORLD. This film is more realistic but has the same kind of downtrodden dark humor.

This film is much more downbeat than those films.

As those films seem more cynical yet a bit more stylized. This seems rawer and victims of circumstances. Though this is just as funny at times. As mostly the joke is on the lead character. Who brings all Of this upon himself 

Only in this film, there are no winners it Is more of a comedic meltdown. Of a young man who believes that he must suffer to be a true artist, From his privileged upbringing. He tries to be rebellious and anything troubled or dirty deep. 

As expected he slowly Gets a wake-up call. That the audience from the beginning knows is coming. We want to root for him in his naive nature. As he wants to experience life. We see his continuing downfall. As he enthusiastically moves forward into a horror story of idealism.

Each character, he comes across seems crazy skewed in some sort of way.

The characters and film are somewhat grotesque at times. As it all seems grimy. The Aesthetic here is usually Close up And to Go for warts and all quality. 

Basically wanting to always want to show us the ugly side of the characters. While also showing that every person is flawed in some way. 

Even as this film is a coming-of-age story that offers few of answers. As the film makes its points but offers very little to make its Mark.

Coincidently it comes off as a graphic novel story of It’s own especially with its own drab presentation and darkly ironic sense of humor.

Grade: C+