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Thriller
 

The Carey Treatment

Pro-life or pro-choice, you've gotta be pro-Coburn.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Here's the Michael Crichton movie you've never seen, probably because you may not have realized it was based on Crichton at all.
 
Friday, November 11, 2011

Isolation

Should you leave it alone?


Thriller

Rod Lott
Eva Amurri's still new enough on the scene to be known as "Susan Sarandon's daughter." Give her time. Inheriting not only Mom's stunning looks, but ease in front of the camera, she's well on her way to making a name for herself.
 
Thursday, November 10, 2011

Carjacked

Suspense-wise, it's like a Sunday drive.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Not by much, mind you, but "Carjacked" is smarter than the stupid tagline adorning its cover: "It's her car. Don't tell her what to do with it."
 
Monday, November 7, 2011

The Stool Pigeon

Not your average bird in the Hong Kong coop.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Asian film enthusiasts swear by "The Stool Pigeon," a critically acclaimed Hong Kong hit from last year. While I've now watched Well Go USA's Blu-ray release of it three times now, it strikes me as not spectacular, but certainly a more-than-serviceable exercise in action and suspense.
 
Tuesday, November 1, 2011

13

Hey, man, nice shot!


Thriller

Rod Lott
Since the 2005 French thriller "13 Tzameti" was pretty good on its own, why bother to remake it? I have a theory: Sad to say, most Americans won't willingly watch movies that are in black and white, or have subtitles, or don't have famous faces they recognize. And they sure as hell won't watch movies that fall into all three categories of "liabilities," as "13 Tzameti" does.
 
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Good Neighbors

For rent: 1 bed, 1 bath, 1 serial killer. Pets OK.


Thriller

Rod Lott
While the box reads "Good Neighbors," the credits read "Good Neighbours." Regardless of spelling, the Canadian thriller from writer/director Jacob Tierney is intelligent, suspenseful and almost unpredictable.
 
Monday, October 10, 2011

The Bad Seed

A chilling argument for birth control.


Thriller

Rod Lott
For newcomers to 1956's "The Bad Seed," its age and black-and-white nature are plusses, diminishing expectations to how diabolical it really is. Although the title says it all — this girl is evil, EVIL! — you'll be surprised how much the story gets away with for such conservative times.
 
Friday, October 7, 2011

The Phantom of Hollywood

Andrew Lloyd Webber spectacle < made-for-TV treatment.


Thriller

Rod Lott
So simple is the story of Gaston Leroux's 1911 novel, "The Phantom of the Opera," that it continues to be remade on stage and screen. More interesting, however, are not its adaptations, but those that tweak the setting to more contemporary, even oddball venues.
 
Friday, September 30, 2011

The Venetian Affair

This spy thriller has not the finest aim.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Promises the cover of 1968’s “The Venetian Affair” from Warner Archive, “Murder! Spies! Women!” They left off “Disappointment!” Released in conjunction with a multi-disc set of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” feature films, the film stars Napoleon Solo himself, Robert Vaughn, but as ex-spy Bill Fenner, and with the espionage exploits as straight and bleak as “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.”
 
Monday, September 12, 2011

Straw Dogs

Definitely brutal, but kind of boring.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Before Rod Lurie's remake opens in theaters, see the original "Straw Dogs," Sam Peckinpah's controversial study in violence from 1971. Or at least see its second hour, as the quasi-Western is far from perfect, contrary to what its cult rep may say otherwise. (Heck, spot the camera twice clearly reflected in our lead couple's car windows in the opening scenes.)
 
Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dressed to Kill

De Palma's masterpiece is 'Dressed' to thrill even more in high-def.


Thriller

Rod Lott
As much as America loves "The Untouchables," as huge of a cult following "Scarface" has, I've long thought of "Dressed to Kill" as Brian De Palma's masterpiece — a viewpoint only cemented by its new, unrated Blu-ray.
 
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Entitled

Ask Daddy to get it for you.


Thriller

Rod Lott
For those who tire of seeing every year's crop of high school seniors get brand-new Beemers for graduation (oooh, how hard high school is!), "The Entitled" may serve as a wish-fulfillment fantasy.
 
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cry Terror!

Like the man says, ‘It’s a dilly.’


Thriller

Rod Lott
From 1958, “Cry Terror!” wastes no time, doing its best to earn that exclamation point. Even as the opening credits are still going, two men talking spell out practically the entire plot:
 
Friday, August 26, 2011

X

‘X’ marks the scene of the crime.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Not to be confused with a certain superhero series or a Spike Lee biopic, “X” is an unrated thriller about an X-rated lifestyle: having sex with men for money.
 
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dangerous Babes

A dozen dollops of delectable dames for your disposable DVD dollars.


Thriller

Rod Lott
For the exploitation explorer on a budget, Mill Creek Entertainment’s loosely themed sets culled from the Crown International library are irresistible. With 12 female-centric films on three double-sided DVDs, “Dangerous Babes” promises “18 hours of hard-to-find cinematic classics,” and comes through on every word except “classics.”
 
Friday, August 19, 2011
 
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