Films I've seen
515 6.2 6.41. Monsters (2010)
Not what I was expecting at all! Not at all sure about the ending (also, please, no more films that have their endings at the start!) but it's basically a romance, isn't it? And a really good one.
Nice and restrained monster flick for a change and good to see a film like this try something different.
Also, Whitney Able is ever so purty.
48 6.7 7.42. Bobby Fischer Against the World (2011)
I don't know how to play chess. Everything I know about chess I got from an episode of Bottom.
Despite that, this was a fascinating documentary about the disintegration of a genius. Chess is almost secondary to the story of a man unable to cope with his own talent and brilliance.
Entertaining and absorbing whether you are a chess player or not.
577 6.3 6.83. The Burbs (1989)
Somewhere around the early 90s, Tom Hanks became really boring.
He stopped making comedies and started making 'serious' films. As such, we missed out on him making more films like this, and that's a shame.
A really top notch comedy with some nice dark overtones to it, the highlight is Bruce Dern as a slightly unhinged Vietnam vet.
566 6.8 7.34. Cashback (2006)
Strange mixture of sweet romantic comedy and gratuitous nudity and sex scenes with regular scenes of slapstick comedy and existential musings.
It doesn't quite work as a whole but a good cast and some memorable moments make it a diverting enough hour and a half.
366 7.6 7.45. Cat People (1942)
Classic old Jacques Tourneur / Val Lewton chiller, far better than the pretty dreadful remake.
For the most part it's more of a psychological drama than anything but a terrific last half an hour with at least two memorable scenes ends things memorably. Simone Simon was delightfully beautiful.
64 6.6 6.76. Fermat's Room (2007)
Disappointingly dull Spanish mystery that puts itself forward as an intellectual cross between Saw and Cube but manages to drum up almost none of the excitement or thrills.
The last 10 minutes are pretty good but four people locked in a small room talking drivel and accusing each other of stuff isn't my idea of a great film. What a waste of Federico Luppi as well.
235 7.2 7.37. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
Another Tourneur / Lewton classic, this one every bit as good as Cat People.
In some ways it's better - the acting is outstanding for a film of this kind and the use of sound is incredibly good. It takes its time getting going, a bold move for a film only 65 minutes long, but it pays off with a quite brilliant last 15 minutes.
331 6.4 6.78. Transsiberian (2008)
Transsiberian is, I think, bordering on being a modern masterpiece.
While Brad Anderson, a really terrific director already, is getting most of his critical acclaim for the admittedly brilliant The Machinist, this is every bit as good albeit in a completely different way.
A truly awesome mystery adventure in which Emily Mortimer once again proves herself to be one of the very best actresses around.
702 6.2 6.99. Taxi (1998)
You're just not used to French cinema pumping out completely daft action films like this - but you are left wishing that they did it more.
Plot logic and continuity are thrown out of the window in exchange for some pretty good (if not all that exhilarating) car chases and long lingering shots of Emma Sjoberg and Marion Cotillard's legs and breasts.
Brain off and enjoy!
2986 7.7 7.910. The Breakfast Club (1985)
Not entirely sure why it took me so long to watch this, but the important thing is that I got round to it in the end - and that it's fantastic.
It really hasn't dated nearly as much as I might have expected either. One or two scenes are exaggerated for comic effect, but this really is the best John Hughes film that I have seen and wonderful in almost every way. Tremendous.
473 6.3 6.511. A Perfect Getaway (2009)
Far, far better than I was expecting. And quite a bit different as well.
I wasn't expecting more than a standard stalk and slash thriller but it turns out to be anything but the sort and really is a tremendously fun adventure thriller with some great performances from Steve Zahn and Timothy Olyphant especially. Very good indeed.
25 6.6 6.812. Someone's Watching Me! (1978)
Good quality little 1970s TV movie - by John Carpenter?! I'd love to know why he stepped into TV after clocking up two sleeper hits with Assault On Precinct 13 and Dark Star.
Whatever the reasons are, this is still thoroughly entertaining and far, far better than the vast majority of made for TV films you will ever see, and it just about overcomes Lauren Hutton's clear limitations in the lead role.
12 7.1 7.213. Killing Words (2003)
Killing Words is a film that, until about two-thirds of the way through, looked well on the way to being another very impressive thriller.
Unfortunately, it twists and turns so much that even Lionel Messi couldn't match it. Instead of dancing round the defence and goalkeeper and scoring spectacularly, it falls over its own feet and looks rather silly.
It just ultimately makes absolutely no sense - a great shame as there are some fantastic ideas in here and some excellent performances, but in the end you wonder if even the director, Laura Mana, has any idea what's going on. A missed opportunity.
53 5.5 6.314. Evil Dead Trap (1988)
Absolutely dreadful Japanese slasher nonsense. No wonder they don't make many of them.
Goes along at breakneck speed for 45 minutes, practically stops for half an hour, and then finds its second wind for a completely ridiculous finale - and not in a good way.
Don't watch this film.
152 6 5.915. Wind Chill (2007)
Decent little chiller that could, and probably should, have been a fair bit better considering some of the star names involved behind the camera.
Emily Blunt is far and away the best thing in it, putting a performance of high quality that is now expected of her, and there are one or two memorably creepy and horrible moments.
A really poor ending and uneven pacing don't help it, but it's still pretty decent.
678 6.9 716. Primer (2004)
Bewildering time travel nonsense that blinds you with science - but not in a good way.
Great that they decided to take the intellectual approach, and the impossible to decipher science jargon is bearable if you have ever watched any episodes of Star Trek.
But no effort has been made to make the plot in any way decipherable and it becomes frustrating and very dull very quickly.
121 6.7 6.817. Coma (1978)
Really enjoyable medical thriller from the direction of Michael Crichton.
It doesn't really seem to have aged all that much considering what it is and it is helped by a couple of excellent performances from Michael Douglas and Genevieve Bujold. A good use of anyone's time, I reckon.
262 7.3 7.518. Tesis (1996)
Slightly disappointing Spanish thriller that promises much but delivers not nearly enough.
It's hamstrung by a lead character who is prone to making utterly ridiculous decisions on semi-regular occasions and a last half hour where it tries to persuade us that each main character could be the killer in turn - never a good way to pace a film like this.
That said, it's quite enjoyable as long as you don't think about it too much and Eduardo Noriega shows great early promise.