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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. Curse of the Demon 1957

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Jacques Tourneur. Starring Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, and Maurice Denham.

    Curse of the Demon offers the best kind of thriller: one populated by intelligent characters behaving according to their personalities, not the whims of the plot. It avoids cheap jump-scares, preferring shadowy hallways and darkened rooms to keep us on edge. And, for the real horror, there’s Niall MacGinnis. Continue reading...

    Watched on 19 Oct, 2020
  2. Avengers: Infinity War 2018

    A+: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Evans.

    Best Marvel movie.

    Watched on 17 Oct, 2020
  3. Phantasm 1979

    A-: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Don Coscarelli. Starring A. Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, and Kathy Lester.

    A friend’s birthday sleepover. The dead of night. Lying tucked inside my He-Man sleeping bag on the living room floor of a strange, dark house. This was how I first watched Phantasm. It traumatized me. Continue reading...

    Watched on 16 Oct, 2020
  4. Hatchet II 2010

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Adam Green. Starring Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, and Parry Shen.

    Picks up where Hatchet ends. The sole survivor (played this time by Danielle Harris) returns with a group of well-armed hunters to exact revenge on Victor Crowley.

    Though plot-heavy, this sequel maintains the first film’s look, feel, and heart. The practical effects remain top-notch and the Victor Crowley makeup proves much better, but the shot selection remains limited and I missed Deon Richmond’s comedic timing.

    Watched on 15 Oct, 2020
  5. Cracked Nuts 1931

    D: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Edward F. Cline. Starring Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee, and Edna May Oliver.

    I came to this film having never heard of Wheeler and Woosley. Reading up, I learned they were a top-grossing comedy duo in the early 1930s. This explains the surprising number of sets and why the script proves little more than a setup for Woolsey’s one-liners. Continue reading...

  6. Zoolander 2001

    A-: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Ben Stiller. Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, and Will Ferrell.

    Ten minutes into this rewatch, I remembered the “freak gasoline fight accident” scene and roared out laughing.

    Watched on 11 Oct, 2020
  7. The Great Outdoors 1988

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Howard Deutch. Starring Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Stephanie Faracy, and Annette Bening.

    Candy and Aykroyd are great, but John Hughes’s script proves uneven. At its best, it’s a great Vacation film, with Candy’s part subbing for Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold. The skit-based structure reinforces the comparison. At its worst, the script’s melodramatic rescue sequence foreshadows Hughes’s lesser later work.

    Watched on 11 Oct, 2020
  8. Renegades 1930

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Victor Fleming. Starring Warner Baxter, Myrna Loy, Noah Beery, and Gregory Gaye.

    Another strong pre-Dracula performance from Bela Lugosi. He plays a sheik backing Warner Baxter’s Dirty Dozen-esque band of French Foreign Legion deserters in North Africa. Baxter builds a formidable force but can’t shake his grudge against vamp Myrna Loy. Commanding performances from Loy and Lugosi make for a better-than-expected viewing experience.

  9. Shadow of the Law 1930

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Louis J. Gasnier. Starring William Powell, Marion Shilling, Natalie Moorhead, Regis Toomey, and Paul Hurst.

    Powell plays an innocent man sent to prison for murder. He escapes and establishes a new life. Hoping to clear his name, he locates the woman whose testimony could exonerate him, only to have her blackmail him. Continue reading...

Pagination

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