Hey there, reader! February was a pretty solid month for movies for me. Definitely one for the books as far as enjoyable movies go. I'm not saying they were all great movies, but I liked some of them a lot!
Justice League: War (2014)
I like seeing the new DC animated features but it's not very often I've already read the books they're based on. This does a good job of covering the JL: Origins arc that happened with the New 52 reboot. For some reason, they put Shazam in here, who wasn't in the comic. With Supes, isn't Shazam kinda redundant?
Cool: It's cool seeing the New 52 JL come together
Lame: It feels like half the movie is the JL fighting paradeamons and Darkseid, not really bad if you like action but it gets a little boring after awhile; Wonder Woman's voice just does not fit her; I think they needed to build more on the public's distrust of superheroes, it's here but not enough.
The Old Dark House (1963)
I stumbled on to this one late night when I couldn't sleep. It's a remake of the 1932 Karloff movie done by one of my favorite directors, William Castle. I'm sure I would have gotten to it sooner or later since I want to see all his films, but I'm glad I found it sooner! It's a wonderfully funny murder mystery.
Cool: Title sequence by Charles Addams! I'm used to 80s TV Tom Poston, I never would have expected to see him carry a movie so charmingly.
Lame: According to Wiki, this remake was not generally liked by fans of the original.
Tourist Trap (1979)
One of the weirder horror flicks to hit my screen in awhile. I know it's from '79 but I don't want to spoil anything if you haven't seen it yet.
Cool: Creepy, weird stuff going on! A raven haired Tanya Roberts spends most of her screen time in a tube top.
Lame: This is the kind of movie that you'd stay up late to watch as a kid and have it scar your brain for life.
The Penny Dreadful Picture Show (2013)
This is a horror anthology with three segments, each representing a period of horror movie history. "Slash-in-the Box" seems to be more modern day and is also the shortest of the three. "The Morning After" is a 60s/70s Hammer-esque vampire tale and feels a little long. Probably the best segment is "The Slaughter House" with Jeffrey Combs and Sid Haig, which draws inspiration from Texas Chainsaw and has a very grindhouse feel. But really my favorite part is the glue that holds the stories together: poor Penny Dreadful searching for true love's kiss and showing her dates these segments in her movie theater.
Mad Max (1979)
Previously unseen franchise of the month! I was definitely expecting more of what I'd seen in Thunderdome, so this was refreshing. I really like the feel of the movie overall and that they actually build up Max's character.
Cool: The vehicle segments are beautifully shot; The motorcycle gang are great despicable bad guys
Lame: It could be a dystopian future or it could be what I imagine highways are like in the Outback.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Now this is more what I was expecting! It's like a post apocalyptic Western with a kickass road battle for a climax. I always wonder in these situations if civilization would really devolve so quickly.
Cool: Australian cattle dog (one of my favorite breeds); The baddies are even better than in Mad Max; Incredible finale!
*Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Not having seen the previous two movies, I don't recall why I went to see this in the theater when it came out. But at least I didn't wait 30 years to see those first two! I had totally forgotten about everything outside of Bartertown before rewatching this. Probably because that's what's lodged in the pop consciousness.
Cool: You can't go wrong with Master Blaster and Thunderdome!
Lame: It feels like two different movies: In Bartertown and Outside Bartertown; Not a fan of Tina Turner.
Unlucky Charms (2013)
Back in the 90s when we still had video stores I would rent everything and anything made by Full Moon, so you could say I'm a fan. Most of the recent stuff has been leaving me cold though. There was an art to their earlier stuff. Even though they were direct to video B-movies, they were fun to watch. Lately, they seem to have lost their fun if you're not in an altered state of mind.
Cool: The music, I guess?
Lame: Not so great makeup; No good violence; "actresses" obviously there for their bust size; Charlie (not Jerry) O'Connell that should be a fair warning right off...
Angels Revenge, aka Angels Brigade, aka Seven from Heaven (1979)
I couldn't find a trailer, but the above video is the entire movie on MST3k! This version is different from teh one I watched because it starts at the end and flashes back to the start. I watched the non-MST3k version and absolutely loved it! Charlie's Angels + The A-Team - Bras = this movie. Or as Crow calls it "The T&A-Team". It kept reminding me of Jet Dream.
A Vegas singer's younger brother is roughed up by his pot dealer and when his teacher comes to talk to her, they formulate a plan to take down the distributor by assembling five other women. You've got the singer and teacher, a black stunt woman, an Asian karate teacher, a blonde cop, a model and one of the teacher's teenage students
How do they know these other women? It doesn't really matter. They're all on board within 20 minutes and tricking out a van (with rocket launchers and a tailgate to deploy a motorcycle!) that would make BA Baracus happy.
Cool: I don't know what it is but this movie is perfect Saturday night fun; The bad guy is Jack Palance and Alan Hale and Jim Backus have minor roles; Fight sound effects straight from Hanna-Barbera!
Lame: It's an obvious knockoff of Charlie's Angels, but I still think it would be an awesome TV show.
Rating: 7/10, by no means a great movie but it's a load of fun!
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time (2014)
This one may have snuck under your radar as it was initially a Target exclusive release. How weird is that? This is going in a more family friendly direction than most of the direct to video stuff coming from DC lately. If they were to reboot SuperFriends today, I think this is what it would be like. Plot: A couple of wanna-be heroes in the future release Luthor from imprisonment. He gets hold of a time portal and basically tries to prevent the JLA from becoming heroes.
Cool: A few winks at the long time SuperFriends fans; voice cast
Lame: One of the future kids looks like he raided Samurai's wardrobe and his name is Karate Kid! Ok so apparently he's in the comics, but Karate Kid? He's no Macchio.
The LEGO Movie (2014)
Yes, Everything is awesome! The animation, the voice talent, the cameos, the story. All of it.
There is a big element to the story that they've either somehow kept under wraps or through blind luck I managed to avoid knowing about it before seeing the movie. But wow, the movie just sucker punches you in the final reel.It's solidly entertaining from start to finish and is absolutely something I think kids should share with their parents.
Cool: In addition to what I've already said: Batman and Unikitty!
Borderline Cool/Lame: "Everything is Awesome" will get in your brain quicker than a Ceti eel (yeah, I had to Google the name)
Lame: Why did they not put the blooper reel at the end?
Rating: 9/10, anyone that complains modern LEGO sets force kids to not be creative should be made to see this movie.
New: 10 Rewatch: 1
Year To-Date Final Total
New: 16 Rewatch: 3