Don’t Knock Twice (2016) – Review

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You know that house, the one at the end of the street? The one with the overgrown garden or the broken windows or the gate that creaks open when you walk past? The one kids tell stories about and dare each other to approach? That’s the one in Don’t Knock Twice.

Long ago – though still within recent living memory – a witch died in there. Or maybe she wasn’t a witch. Anyway, when you knock on the door twice, she comes and kills you. Everyone knows this, and a bunch of them knock on the door anyway.  Continue reading “Don’t Knock Twice (2016) – Review”

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Doom (2005) – Review

doom.jpgA research facility on Mars sends out a distress signal, and the Rapid Response team is scrambled to deal with the threat – whatever it is. Sensitive data must be recovered, the cause of the problem must be found, and nothing dangerous can be allowed to breach the quarantine and return to Earth.

The team of hardened marines have to deal with mutated monsters, ruthless scientists, and their own interpersonal dynamics in order to survive. It’s not easy, and they have to shoot things a lot.

 

Continue reading “Doom (2005) – Review”

Law-Abiding Citizen (2009) – Review

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After criminals kill his family and the justice system fails him, an inventor (Gerard Butler) starts taking the law into his own hands. Though he’s quickly imprisoned, the killings don’t stop. The prosecutor (Jamie Foxx) who let him down when his family was murdered is the only person who might be able to stop the slaughter.  Continue reading “Law-Abiding Citizen (2009) – Review”

Goodfellas (1990) – Review

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Everyone knows what a mobster looks like. We know how they talk, how they dress, how they relate to each other. We know about their secret rituals, and about the iron rules they live by.

We know about these because of the media. The Godfather, The Sopranos, Guys and Dolls. Arguably, the media created the Mafia aesthetic as much as it portrayed it. I read once, though I can sadly no longer find a source, that the FBI’s job got much easier after The Godfather was released, because all of the gangsters started dressing like the characters.

Goodfellas is a cinematic classic, and it’s definitely one of the most important films for cementing the cultural idea of how the mob looks and acts. I’ve only just got around to watching it.  Continue reading “Goodfellas (1990) – Review”

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) – Review

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One of them is a meticulous, by-the-numbers bodyguard with only one failure on his record. The other is a happy-go-lucky, internationally-wanted assassin. Can they learn to work together? Can they deal with corrupt cops, genocidal tyrants, and their own tangled love lives? Continue reading “The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) – Review”

The Death of Stalin (Review)

The Death of Stalin (2017)Do you remember the first time you watched Jaws, and you were really hyped up, but it was kind of disappointing? And you complained about the corny acting and the special effects and someone said, hey, you’ve missed the point?

And then you watched it again, and this time you got it, because you knew the secret: Jaws is not a film about sharks. Jaws is a film about fear.

That magical moment has never happened for me. I think Jaws is a terrible, boring film, and I always will. But I mention it now because The Death of Stalin is not about Stalin. Or sharks.

It’s about fear. Continue reading “The Death of Stalin (Review)”

Escape Plan (2013) – Review

escape_planRay Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) wrote the book on breaking out of prisons. That’s not a metaphor, as almost every character in this film has read the book, and keeps a copy of it nearby for dramatic effect.

Ray makes his living by stress-testing maximum security prisons. Disguised as a convict, Ray is inserted into prisons so that he can break his way out, and then identify the security flaws. He’s broken out of every prison he’s ever been inside, and he’s confident in his abilities.

When a secret black-ops prison needs testing, they come to Ray. And they come prepared to pay a large amount of money for his services, particularly if he overlooks normal security procedures. As you might imagine, it turns out that this prison is both more secure and more evil than other prisons, and now he has to break out for real.

Continue reading “Escape Plan (2013) – Review”