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November 21, 2006

15 Minutes (2001)

IMDB: 15 Minutes (2001)

Plot Outline: A homicide detective and a fire marshall must stop a pair of murderers who commit videotaped crimes to become media darlings.
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This obvious attack on mass media's love affair with violence and sensationlism falls short. It never lets you develop an attachment for the characters, but rather puts you in the voyeur seat to simply observe and walk away with, well, no opinion at all.

Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 11/19/06]

Posted by mark at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)

Rest Stop (2006)

IMDB: Rest Stop (2006)

Plot Outline: While on a road trip with her boyfriend, a young woman (Alexander) is pulled into a cat-and-mouse game with a deranged psychopath, after her boyfriend is abducted at the rest stop.

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This job from X-Men writer John Shiban is an OK slasher/horror film, but is probably worthy of going straight to video.

Rating: 3

[Viewing Date: 11/19/06]

Posted by mark at 07:40 PM | Comments (0)

Bloodletting (1997)

IMDB: Bloodletting (1997)

PPlot Outline: A young woman, fascinated with mass murderers, tracks down the world's most famous uncaught serial killer and becomes his apprentice; together they go on a killing spree.

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This was recommended on some of the horror genre sites, and all I can say is that somebody was doing way too many Qualudes, because Bloodletting was only good for low-brow camp. There were some giggles involved, no decent CG, nada.

Rating: 2

[Viewing Date: 11/19/06]

Posted by mark at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)

Freedomland (2006)

IMDB: Freedomland (2006)

Plot Outline: A black police detective must solve a strange case of a kidnapped boy and deal with a big racial protest.
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This film was, in a word, messy. Moore never gives any coherent semblence of a character, rather rocking back and forth from basic nut case to almost a loving mom.

The movie doesn't know whether it wants to be a suspense thriller about a woman whose son is carjacked, or a civil rights movie about the plight of those in 'blighted' neighborhoods.

It fails miserably at both.

Rating: 4

[Viewing Date: 11/15/06]

Posted by mark at 07:37 PM | Comments (0)

Hard Candy (2005)

IMDB: Hard Candy (2005)

Plot Outline: A mature 14-year old girl meets a charming 32-year old photographer on the Internet. Suspecting that he is a pedophile, she goes to his home in an attempt to expose him.

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Ellen Page is absolutely fantastic in this role. At just under 20 yrs. old, she portrays a 14 yr. old with solid reality. Great movie all around.

Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 11/15/06]

Posted by mark at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

Thank You for Smoking (2005)

IMDB: Thank You for Smoking (2005)

Plot Outline: Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.

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Once again Aaron Eckhart does a bang up job in the role as the Big Tobacco PR guy. As in Company of Men, he convinces you of his role with ease.


Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 11/15/06]

Posted by mark at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)

White Noise (2005)

IMDB: White Noise (2005)

Plot Outline: An architect's desire to speak with his wife from beyond the grave, becomes an obsession with supernatural repercussions.

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I really liked this movie. It was not well received well in the theaters or by the critics, but I found it to have a near-hit potential.

While it started out as a seance with new-technology movie, the last 30 minutes lent a component that if it had been allowed to be nutured, IMHO, would have resulted in a kick-ass horror film.

I'm interested in seeing White Noise 2 -- it could be awful, or if played right, really creepy.

Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 11/13/06]

Posted by mark at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

IMDB: A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

Plot Summary: Ewan McGregor stars as a cleaning man in L.A. who takes his boss's daughter hostage after being fired and replaced by a robot.

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This Oliver Stone work had a lot going for it. McGregor and Diaz played great across from each other, and Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo were quite funny as God's 'Angels'.


Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 11/12/06]

Posted by mark at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

Wonderland (2003)

IMDB: Wonderland (2003)

Plot Outline: In the police investigation of a brutal crime scene, one man was at the center of it all: legendary porn star John Holmes.

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Kilmer, Bosworth, and Kudrow were quite excellent in the parts they played. The film has you wondering until the end exactly who is telling the truth, and who was really responsible for the multiple murders that day.


Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 11/12/06]

Posted by mark at 07:30 PM | Comments (0)

The Cooler (2003)

IMDB: The Cooler (2003)

Plot Outline: In an old school Las Vegas casino, its top gambling jinx breaks his curse when he falls in love, much to his boss' consternation.

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William H. Macy -- does this guy ever make a bad movie? He is such a sublime artist, I believe the answer is no. There are movies that suffer for many other reasons than that Macy is in them, but that's another story (Spartan for example)


Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 11/12/06]

Posted by mark at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

U Turn (1997)

IMDB: U Turn (1997)

Plot Outline: A drifter (Penn) becomes entangled with a femme fatale (Lopez) and her husband (Nolte) after his car breaks down in their small Southwest town.

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This is one of the strangest Oliver Stone films I've ever seen. It has the smell of a Cohen brothers' film, but without the exquisite aesthetic.

It's Blood Simple lite.


Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 11/11/06]

Posted by mark at 07:28 PM | Comments (0)

Prime (2005)

IMDB: Prime (2005)

Plot Outline: A career driven professional from Manhattan (Thurman) who is wooed by a young painter, who also happens to be the son of her psychoanalyst (Streep).

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Although the ending followed the reality schema, rather than the romantic comedy tact, I found it to be a fun film. Streep all but overshadows the rest of the cast, but manages to appear sympathetic nonetheless.

Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 11/04/06]

Posted by mark at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

Enduring Love (2004)

IMDB: Enduring Love (2004)

Plot Outline: Two strangers become dangerously close after witnessing a deadly accident.

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This is not the Daniel Craig (Munich, Casino Royale) you're used to. This is not the Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) you're used to either.

It could have been so much more.... a shame really.

Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/28/06]

Posted by mark at 07:25 PM | Comments (0)

Masters of Horror: Imprint (2006)

IMDB: Masters of Horror: Imprint (2006)

Set in the mid 1800s, Christopher (Billy Drago) is a young American journalist who ventures to Japan to search for the Japanese prostitute he loved and abandoned years earlier. But when he ventures to an island off the coast, he sees that human demons and whores rule the land where a deformed courtesan awaits his arrival leading to a tale of extreme cruelty and perverse vengeance.

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Billy Drago does a decent job in this otherwise way over-the-top (even for Miike) horror film. I would posit that the reason that Showtime decided not to show this episode in the Masters of Horror series was the 'jungle abortionist' theme - throwing embryos in the river - rather than any reasons based on extreme gore or violence.


Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/25/06]

Posted by mark at 07:19 PM | Comments (0)

The Prestige (2006)

IMDB: The Prestige (2006)

Plot Outline: Robert and Alfred are rival magicians. When Alfred performs the ultimate magic trick, Robert tries desperately to find out the secret to the trick.
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This most spectacular exhibition of Bale and Jackman (with the help of Caine) competing for the top honors of the magician's universe, is truly a remarkable thing to behold.

I can't wait to watch it again.

Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 10/22/06]

Posted by mark at 07:18 PM | Comments (0)

The Ice Harvest (2005)

IMDB: The Ice Harvest (2005)

Plot Outline: A dim-bulb lawyer attempts a Christmas Eve crime, hoping to swindle the local mob out of some money. But his partner, a strip club owner, might have different plans for the cash.

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Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 10/17/06]

Posted by mark at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

Matchstick Men (2003)

IMDB: Matchstick Men (2003)

Plot Outline: A phobic con artist and his protege are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the con artist's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.

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Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 10/17/06]

Posted by mark at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

American Gun (2005)

IMDB: American Gun (2005)

Plot Outline: Seemingly disparate portraits of people -- among them a single mother, a high school principal, and an ace student -- Distinctly American -- all affected by the proliferation of guns in American society.

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/15/06]

Posted by mark at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

The Skeleton Key (2005)

IMDB: The Skeleton Key (2005)

Plot Outline: A young woman helping care for an invalid in New Orleans finds herself caught in the middle of morbid going-ons centered around a group of Hoodoo (Not Voodoo, it's different. Hoodoo is an old African American magic that only works if you believe in it.) practitioners.

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/15/06]

Posted by mark at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

In Cold Blood (1967)

IMDB: In Cold Blood (1967)

Plot Outline: After the brutal murder of a rural family, due to a botched robbery, two drifters elude police, in the end coming to terms with their own mortality and the repercussions of their vile atrocity.

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Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 10/15/06]

Posted by mark at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

Casino Royale (2006)

IMDB: Casino Royale (2006)

Plot Outline: James Bond's first mission, where he must stop a banker from winning a casino tournament and using the prize money to fund terrorist activities.

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Saw this on Sunday with a bunch of friends and couldn't have been more pleased. Any doubts concerning the ability of Daniel Craig to take on the mantle of James Bond were, IMHO, totally without merit.

He was FANTASTIC!

I thought the writing was terrific, the dialog superb, and the pacing, although a bit stretched near the end, to be right on target. I don't think the movie suffered at all for its lack of super gadgets, or beyond-reality special effects, in fact, if anything, this back-to-basics Bond truly struck a chord in my appreciation for the character.

Oh, and did I say Daniel Craig was FANTASTIC?

First of all, I could hardly tell he was a 'blonde', his body was cut
like diamonds, his blue eyes kept that thousand yard gaze throughout the entire film, and he always moved from point to point with a real
purpose, whether chasing a villain across a township, or moving
throughout the Casino.

And, speaking from a purely heterosexual point of view, I would say
Craig provided the most eye candy for the audience when he acme out of the ocean, dripping wet, again with the thousand-yard gaze.

I know of one female friend who let out some audible recognition for the buff bod.

I've heard complaints from two reviewers about too much time being spent at the poker table, one reviewer complaining that if you don't know much about poker, you'd be bored, but I found the gaming table scenes to be electric with tension, and anyone who can't figure out the game after watching it for a couple minutes perhaps isn't bright enough to be allowed to go to the movies.

Another thing that I enjoyed about this Bond that reminded me of very
early Bond pictures is that it was more closely tailored to the original book. A scene in which Bond is tortured by the villain Le Chiffre, is almost exactly like the book, if you replace a carpet-beating cane with a rope with a waxed knot on the end of it. Brrrrrrr. makes me shiver just thinking about that scene.

In summary, this movie goer is extremely anxious to see the next Daniel Craig/James Bond film http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0830515/ which is billed as being a continuation of the Casino Royale story...


Rating: 8

[Viewing Date: 11/19/06]

Posted by mark at 06:46 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2006

"Reilly: The Ace of Spies" (1983)

IMDB: "Reilly: The Ace of Spies" (1983)

Plot Outline: A dramatization of the missions and adventures of the greatest spy in British history.

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/11/06]

Posted by mark at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

I Heart Huckabees (2004)

IMDB: I Heart Huckabees (2004)

Plot Outline: A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means.
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Rating: 2

[Viewing Date: 10/10/06]

Posted by mark at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

Touch of Death (Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio )(1988)

IMDB: Touch of Death (Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio) (1988)

Plot Outline: A moody, middle-aged gigolo kills off women after he gets bored with dating them and uses their body parts for trophies and for consumption.
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Rating: 3

[Viewing Date: 10/08/06]

Posted by mark at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

Monument Avenue aka Snitch (1998)

IMDB: Monument Avenue aka Snitch (1998)

Plot Outline: A small time hoodlum is divided between his conscience and loyalty to his boss when his cousin is murdered.

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/08/06]

Posted by mark at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

My Little Eye (2002)

IMDB: My Little Eye (2002)

Five young people apply to live in an isolated house together for six months whilst their every move is filmed by numerous cameras. Each has their reason for wanting to be there - fame, money, adventure. The prize - $1 million. The rules - if one person leaves, everyone loses. It becomes the ultimate morality test.

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/08/06]

Posted by mark at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

Secret Window (2004)

IMDB: Secret Window (2004)

Plot Outline: A writer is accused for plagiarism by a strange man, who then starts haunting him for "justice."

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Rating: 3

[Viewing Date: 10/05/06]

Posted by mark at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

Swingers (1996)

IMDB: Swingers (1996)

Plot Outline: Wannabe actors become regulars in the stylish neo-lounge scene; Trent teaches his friend Mike the unwritten rules of the scene.

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/05/06]

Posted by mark at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

Suspect Zero (2004)

IMDB: Suspect Zero (2004)

Plot Outline: A mysterious serial killer is hunting other serial killers - and one FBI agent suspects there may be more to the vigilante than they imagine.

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/05/06]

Posted by mark at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)

In Her Shoes (2005)

IMDB: In Her Shoes (2005)

Plot Outline: Maggie, the consummate party girl, clashes with her head-on-straight sister, Rose.

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/02/06]

Posted by mark at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

Overboard (1987)

IMDB: Overboard (1987)

Joanna Slayton is very rich and very spoiled. When she falls overboard from her yacht in the harbor of a small Oregon town she develops amnesia. She's taken in by Dean Profitt, a local carpenter she's previously maligned. Profitt, in revenge, persuades her that she is his wife and the mother of his three boys. Eventually, they "humanize" her and even when her memory returns she realizes she has fallen in love with Dean and his boys.
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Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 10/01/06]

Posted by mark at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

IMDB: Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

Plot Outline: Survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert work together to build a new plane.

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 10/01/06]

Posted by mark at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

Walking Tall (2004)

IMDB: Walking Tall (2004)

Plot Outline: A former U.S. soldier returns to his hometown to find it overrun by crime and corruption, which prompts him to clean house.

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Rating: 4

[Viewing Date: 10/01/06]

Posted by mark at 10:31 PM | Comments (0)

Primer (2004)

IMDB: Primer (2004)

Plot Outline: Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.

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Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 09/27/06]

Posted by mark at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)

Keane (2004)

IMDB: Keane (2004)

Plot Summary: A man in his early 30s (keane) struggles with the supposed loss of his daughter from port authority bus terminal in new york..

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 09/24/06]

Posted by mark at 09:18 PM | Comments (0)

The Jacket (2005)

IMDB: The Jacket (2005)

Plot Outline: A military veteran goes on a journey into the future, where he can foresee his death and is left with questions that could save his life and those he loves.

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Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 09/24/06]

Posted by mark at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

16 Blocks (2006)

IMDB: 16 Blocks (2006)

Plot Outline: An aging cop (Willis) is assigned the ordinary task of escorting a fast-talking witness (Def) from police custody to a courthouse. There are however forces at work trying to stop prevent them from making it.

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Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 09/24/06]

Posted by mark at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

Word Wars (2004)

IMDB: Word Wars (2004)

Plot Outline: A look at the obsessive world of competitive Scrabble.

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Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 09/22/06]

Posted by mark at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

The Illusionist (2006)

IMDB: The Illusionist (2006)

Plot Outline: In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician (Norton) uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

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Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 09/17/06]

Posted by mark at 09:07 PM | Comments (0)

Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985)

IMDB: Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985)

Plot Summary: While the audience watches a black and white horse opera, a narrator's voice wonders what such a movie would be like today..

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Rating: 4

[Viewing Date: 09/20/06]

Posted by mark at 09:04 PM | Comments (0)

The Machinist (El Maquinista ) (2004)

IMDB: Maquinista, El (2004)

Plot Outline: An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity

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Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 09/17/06]

Posted by mark at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

Swiri (1999)

IMDB: Swiri (1999)

North Korea's 8th Special Forces hijacks a shipment of CTX, a potent new liquid explosive, and threatens South Korea as part of a plot to re-unify the two countries.Ryu and Lee, special agents of O.P., South Korea's secret intelligence service, attempt to track down the terrorists and find the CTX. Meanwhile Hee, the 8th's ultra-bad female sniper, resurfaces to wreak havoc and haunt Ryu.

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Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 09/14/06]

Posted by mark at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)

L.A. Confidential (1997)

IMDB: L.A. Confidential (1997)

Plot Outline: A shooting at an all night diner is investigated by three LA policemen in their own unique ways.
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Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 09/10/06]

Posted by mark at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

The Grifters (1990)

IMDB: The Grifters (1990)

Plot Outline: A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend--both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play.

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Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 09/10/06]

Posted by mark at 08:56 PM | Comments (0)

Immortel (ad vitam) (2004)

IMDB: Immortel (ad vitam) (2004)

Plot Outline: New York 2095. In a strange pyramid floating in the sky, the gods of ancient Egypt are judging Horus. In the city, a young women with blue hair and tears is arrested, but she has a secret power, even to herself...

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Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 09/10/06]

Posted by mark at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

IMDB: Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

Plot Outline: In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma; a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

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Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 09/05/06]

Posted by mark at 08:53 PM | Comments (0)

Wanted: Dead or Alive (1987)

IMDB: Wanted: Dead or Alive (1987)

Plot Summary: This movie features a character who is supposed to be the descendant of the character played Steve McQueen in the television series of the same name.

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Nowhere near as good as McQueen's work, and that was considered minor McQueen.

Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 09/09/06]

Posted by mark at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

IMDB: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Plot Outline: An insane general starts a process to nuclear holocaust that a war room of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

Rating: 7

[Viewing Date: 09/09/06]

Posted by mark at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

IMDB: Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Plot Outline: A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 09/09/06]

Posted by mark at 08:44 PM | Comments (0)

North Country (2005)

IMDB: North Country (2005)

Plot Outline: A woman thinks her husband may be planning to kill her.

Rating: 5

[Viewing Date: 09/03/06]

Posted by mark at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)

Suspicion (1941)

IMDB: Suspicion (1941)

Plot Outline: A woman thinks her husband may be planning to kill her.

Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 09/03/06]

Posted by mark at 08:38 PM | Comments (0)

Crank (2006)

IMDB: Crank (2006)

Plot Outline: Professional assassin Chev Chelios (Statham) learns his rival (Cantillo) has injected him with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops.

Rating: 6

[Viewing Date: 09/02/06]

Posted by mark at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)