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Crimewave

We find it guilty ... of being underseen!


Comedy

Rod Lott
I’m the weird guy who saw Sam Raimi’s Crimewave before I saw Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead. Four or five times.
 
Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Call

Because ‘Rescue 911’ was taken.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Watching The Call was fun, and I suspect it would be even if my 13-year-old daughter weren’t screaming from fright the entire time. It’s exactly the kind of preposterous nerve-jangler Hollywood pulls off pretty well, moving so fast that it hopes you don’t notice all the holes in the plot.
 
Thursday, June 27, 2013

23:59

Time for so-so Singapore horror.


Horror

Rod Lott
What we call 11:59 p.m., those in the military call 23:59. What Singapore calls 23:59, we Americans call ... well, same thing: 23:59. Numbers tend to translate very well.
 
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Abracadaverage!


Comedy

Rod Lott
There’s nothing wrong per se with The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. It just desperately lacks the edge you know it had to have at some early stage, but lost somewhere in all the tinkering to tailor it to a widest-possible audience. Enough hints of it remain to make the movie worth a watch — perfectly agreeable, if perfectly forgettable.
 
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Come Out and Play

Who could kill a child? Don’t answer just yet ...


Horror

Rod Lott
In Come Out and Play, an arthouse-horror remake of the 1976 Spanish film Who Can Kill a Child?, a married couple on a Mexican vacation from the U.S. finds anything but R&R.
 
Monday, June 24, 2013

Jack the Giant Slayer

Fee-fi-fo-fum, why is this movie so darned ho-hum?


Action

Rod Lott
Among the recent wave of the great and powerful fairy-tale flicks, Jack the Giant Slayer may be the truest to its storybook origins, and ironically, the least to live happily after ever at the box office.
 
Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tower Block

England has a strange concept for rent control.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Quietly — too quietly — Shout! Factory has been supplementing its lineup of tried-and-true cult classics with quirky genre offerings from overseas, like South Korea’s Quick, Denmark’s ID:A and now, albeit to a lesser degree, the UK’s Tower Block.
 
Friday, June 21, 2013

6 Souls

And not one worth saving.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Three years widowed, Dr. Cara Harding (Julianne Moore, Game Change) is a psychiatrist who meets one hell of a patient (Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Albert Nobbs) in Adam. And David. And Wesley.
 
Friday, June 21, 2013

Anatomy / Anatomy 2

A cut above the rest.


Horror

Rod Lott
Partly a German reaction to the Scream phenomenon of the late 1990s, the 2000 film Anatomy cast Franka Potente (then hot off Run Lola Run) as Paula, an ambitious med student in a med school more at home for psychos and nutjobs.
 
Friday, June 21, 2013

World War Z

Only Brad Pitt can save humanity in an entertaining, if unexceptional take on the undead apocalypse.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Consider this: standstill traffic, sudden explosions, people fleeing, lots of screaming. It’s the doomsday scenario Chuck Norris and less-hirsute far-right extremists said would happen if we elected Barack Obama as president — either time; pick one — but it’s also the opening moments of World War Z.
 
Friday, June 21, 2013

The Best Film You've Never Seen: 35 Directors Champion the Forgotten or Critically Savaged Movies They Love — Robert K. Elder

And you will, too!


Nonfiction

Rod Lott
If nothing else, Robert K. Elder’s The Best Film You’ve Never Seen lays to rest the decades-burning question on the world’s mind: What is up with John Woo and those doves?
 
Friday, June 21, 2013

The Monk

I vow that it’s a gem.


Thriller

Rod Lott
For several years, I’ve intended to read Matthew G. Lewis' 1796 novel, The Monk. I even bought a snazzy trade-paperback edition with an introduction from Stephen King. Never got around to cracking it open.
 
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Terror on a Train

Choo-choo-choose something else.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Not to be confused with the ’80s slasher Terror Train — but, oh, how I wish it were! — 1952's Terror on a Train finds Glenn Ford (Superman: The Movie's Pa Kent) as Peter Lyncort, a bomb diffuser whose home life with his spouse (French actress Anne Vernon) is currently as explosive as his work life.
 
Thursday, June 20, 2013

The East

For an indie thriller with as much intelligence as intrigue, just head to ‘The East.’ No compass needed.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Across her three films as an actress/writer/producer (2011’s Another Earth, 2012’s Sound of My Voice and now The East), Brit Marling has explored the subjects of cults, symbols, duplicates, identity and family. Remarkably, despite these recurring themes and a tonal similarity, each experience seems anew.
 
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The ABCs of Death

A is for “absolutely insane.”


Horror

Rod Lott
Suspense novelist Jeffery Deaver once praised the short-story format, writing that the minimal time investment on the part of the reader allows the writer to get away with endings he or she cannot in the long form. In other words, the writer can be meaner, more devious. He's absolutely right, and the theory applies wholesale to The ABCs of Death, more or less a horror anthology depicting "26 ways to die."
 
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
 
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