Jan 31, 2018

Monthly Movie Recap - January 2018

Welcome to the first Monthly Movie Recap of 2018!

A few reminders
1: Movie links go to Amazon where you can order the movie (or anything else) and drop a coin into the site's meager coffers.
2: You can find me on Letterboxd which is sort of a social network site for movie watchers and a great way to keep track of your viewings.
3: Feel free to drop a comment about something cool you've seen recently or to chat about any of the movies below.

*Star Wars The Last Jedi (2017)
I think I look forward more to the second viewing of a new Star Wars movie because it's easier to take in when you have an idea what to expect. I really can't think of another movie in recent history where I felt so much emotion watching it.

Haunters: The Art of the Scare (2017, Netflix)
This doc takes a look at people who put on their own haunted houses. Although there are a couple people interviewed, it seems to focus more on McKamey Manor, an extreme haunt that is more of a psychological endurance test. It's amazing how much of their own money these people sink into their haunts. Heck, if I could do it, I'm sure I would too!

"Saw" You Later: I get some people are looking for that "next level" scare but I prefer my haunted houses to be more traditional and Halloween related. But don't let that stop you from checking out this flick.

Rating: Documentaries are hard to give a number rating to. If you're into Halloween, see it!

Kong: Skull Island (2017, HBO)
I'll admit, I'm really only passingly familiar with Kong but I had a ton of fun with this one! I thought it was a really great creature movie. Although it's set in the 70s, it has a 40s/50s "lost world" pulp vibe going on. I do have to wonder how the ecosystem supports such big creatures.

Brie-ng It On: Somehow I've never seen Brie Larson in anything before now and I'm really looking forward to seeing her as Captain Marvel.

Rating: 7/10

*Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)
This was the first and last Hellraiser I saw in the theater. Coming back to it the only things I remember were a CD shooting Cenobite and that I didn't care for the movie very much. My feelings haven't changed. This is a bad attempt at making Pinhead more like Freddy, complete with wise cracks and weird dream stuff going on. Also, how do you Hellraise with so little gore?

Audio Flashback: The best thing about this movie is the soundtrack. I've listened to it countless times since '92 so it was a treat hearing the songs in the movie.

Rating: 3/10

Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996) 
I was a little excited for this one, usually when horror franchises go to space you get some crazy awesome stuff. While the ideas they have here are great, the could have been carried out a lot better if they had a budget. Terrible, terrible CGI.

Drag Me to Anywhere but Hell: I am starting to wonder which is the lesser evil: forcing myself through this series or opening the puzzle box. I'm not really "getting" the series, it feels like more of the same every time.

Rating: 4/10

The Fate of the Furious (2017, HBO)
AKA, As The Wheels Turn. Look, no one is mistaking this for high art cinema, it's a high octane soap opera/comic book come to life and is a crazy over the top good time. Someone needs to make Michael Bay watch this to see how insane action and blowing stuff up can still make a fun movie.

Roads? Reportedly, there is talk of the next installment going to space. Let the good times roll! Fly? I really want a Rock/Jason Statham spin-off myself.

Rating: 6/10

A Christmas Story Live (2017, Fox)
Okay, I know it's a musical but I was pretty music'ed out after the first half hour. What it lost on me in musical numbers, it made up for in clever camera work and set design. There was one set change during Dad's number about the lamp that just blew me away. Watch the number here and remember it's live so there's no cutting away.

Rating: 5/10

Lights Out (2016, HBO)
I was expecting another ho-hum PG-13 horror flick but this shows just what you can do when you have more scares than slaughter going on. Yes, it has the requisite jump scares but it's also pretty creepy! It has an actual story with some family drama and an interesting take on the beastie's origin.

Sleep with the Lights On: Might be a good idea to watch this one during the day...

Rating: 8/10

Year to Date Total
New: 6   Rewatch: 2


  1. I have not heard anything good about the Christmas Story Musical so I have skipped it so far.

    1. Yeah, it's about an hour too long but at least watch the one number I linked to. It's great Hollywood magic.

  2. Haven't seen any of the Fast and Furious movies. Think I may need to binge it some week. Kong as well - been meaning to check that out.