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Thriller
 

Arbitrage

Gere up for a smart thriller.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Given the stiff competition with Abe Lincoln, mental patients and paraplegic virgins, I'm not certain Richard Gere will earn his first Oscar nomination for Arbitrage, but I think he certainly deserves to. He's present for nearly every frame of the film, and captivates — something not readily said for his past performances.
 
Friday, December 21, 2012

The Good Doctor

It’s bad medicine.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Just six days into his residency, Dr. Martin Blake (Orlando Bloom, The Three Musketeers) already has his share of minor screw-ups: His handwriting is illegible, and he prescribed penicillin for a patient who was allergic to it.
 
Friday, December 21, 2012

Killer Joe

Finger-lickin’ great.


Thriller

Rod Lott
When cast in the right role, which is rarely and does not include Magic Mike, Matthew McConaughey can be an electrifying onscreen presence. His breakthrough bit in 1993′s Dazed and Confused is one of those times; Killer Joe is another.
 
Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Frozen

Watch this winter thriller from the comfort of a toasty couch.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Not to be confused with Adam Green's Frozen, snowbound terrors and all, Andrew Hyatt's The Frozen follows couple Mike (Seth David Mitchell) and Emma (Brit Morgan, True Blood’s werewolf Debbie Pelt) into the woods for a winter camping trip.
 
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Deathtrap

Warner Archive raises Caine in a new Blu-ray of an old mystery.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Just a decade after starring in Sleuth, Michael Caine returned to similar fare in 1982's Deathtrap. Both are crafty mysteries with a bare minimum of characters and even fewer settings, but many twists to leave viewers with spinning heads.
 
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection

I was underwhelmed, your honor.


Thriller

Rod Lott
I should have listened to Ron Backer. In his new book, Mystery Movie Series of 1930s Hollywood, he more or less warns would-be audiences away from trying any of the early 1930s’ half-dozen movies based on Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason character.
 
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Comes a Bright Day

All is not calm, all is not ‘Bright.’


Thriller

Rod Lott
London, jazz, neon-lit nights, a posh hotel, a heist, Imogen Poots: Comes a Bright Day has so many elements I love to see in the movies, yet they add up to such a minuscule amount of pleasure. It's like pouring your favorite bubbly beverage all the way to the top of a frosty glass, only to see that once the head has subsided, you're left with so little.
 
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tell No One

‘Tell’ everyone about this absorbing thriller.


Thriller

Michael Robertson
Being re-released on DVD and Blu-ray from Music Box Films is Tell No One, a genre-bending movie that manages to compound romance, drama and true-crime thriller into one muscular, fast-moving package.
 
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Day

‘Day’ for naught.


Thriller

Rod Lott
So many Republicans took the news of President Obama’s re-election to such an illogical extreme, they took to Facebook and Twitter to warn the apocalypse was nigh, and you’d better grab all the guns you can. It’s almost as if they want societal collapse to happen. If they view The Day, however, they may rethink their stance, because the movie makes post-apocalyptic life look deathly boring.
 
Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Seven Keys to Baldpate Triple Feature

Have a ‘Key’ party!


Thriller

Rod Lott
To refresh your memory, 3 x 7 = 21. What’s this have to do with movies?
 
Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rites of Passage

Wrongs make 'Rites.'


Thriller

Rod Lott
Rites of Passage's box art of boring actors’ faces should switch with the illustration adorning the actual disc: a play on the ol' skull and crossbones logo, but using a sock monkey and shotguns. That's what convinced me the film might be worth its 102 minutes. Ultimately, it's not, but its first half makes for an interesting mess.
 
Monday, October 22, 2012

Confessions of an Opium Eater / The Face of Fu Manchu / The Vengeance of Fu Manchu

Confucius say ... WTF?!?


Thriller

Rod Lott
For very different reasons, I'll watch any movie with Vincent Price, Bill Murray, Jackie Chan or Carla Gugino. Falling into the first category is 1962's Confessions of an Opium Eater, a rare Price vehicle rare no more, thanks to a DVD debut from Warner Archive.
 
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

247˚F

Nowhere near as hot as it thinks.


Thriller

Rod Lott
247˚F is as compelling as you'd think about a movie set almost entirely in a sauna would be: not at all, once you think about it. I'm all for films set in single and/or small spaces, but this one has nowhere to go.
 
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chained

Won’t quite your attention hostage.


Thriller

Rod Lott
I'll be a lifelong Boxing Helena cheerleader, so it was with tempered enthusiasm that I greeted Jennifer Lynch's Chained.
 
Monday, October 8, 2012

Dead Ringer

Bette Davis vs. Bette Davis: May the best hag win!


Thriller

Rod Lott
Eighteen years after her twin sister, Margaret, unforgivably stole her beau, Edith reunites with her at the man's funeral. Margaret's a globetrotting socialite who skipped their own father's services; Edith is a financially strapped owner of a dingy L.A. cocktail lounge; both sibs are played by Bette Davis in the new-to-Blu 1964 thriller Dead Ringer — a remake of a Mexican film from the '40s, as you'll learn in the disc's featurette.
 
Monday, October 8, 2012
 
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