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  • Phantasm: Ravager

    Phantasm: Ravager

    ★★★

    Phantasm was always more of a vibe than a movie series that made any kind of actual sense. Ravager is kind of a mess, and it definitely hurts for lack of Don Coscarelli’s direction, and the low budget is painfully obvious. 

    But I’ll give it this. It has the vibe. And it’s an oddly sweet end to the series.

  • Mazes and Monsters

    Mazes and Monsters

    ★★★

    This is a TV movie based on a fictionalized account of a teen’s disappearance, which was an opportunistic, tabloid-esque yarn spun from early, faulty reporting that the kid’s disappearance could be linked to this “crazy” game he played, “Dungeons and Dragons” — misreporting that both popularized the game and vilified it for a generation of kids’ parents. 

    As such, it comes wrapped in several layers of nostalgia, irony, and significance as a social/cultural artifact. AND it has Tom Hanks. So it doesn’t have to actually be that good to be utterly fascinating.

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  • Unstoppable

    Unstoppable

    ★★★★

    Sometimes it's been a long week, and you just need to watch Denzel Washington as an impossibly handsome and charismatic grizzled train engineer work with Chris Pine as an impossibly handsome and charismatic hotheaded train rookie and Rosario Dawson as an impossibly beautiful and charismatic train dispatcher to stop a runaway train full of hazardous chemicals while a bunch of doofus character actors do their best to throw obstacles in their way.

  • Psycho Goreman

    Psycho Goreman

    ★★★★★

    What if a kid basically had a pet Pinhead, but — unlike the old suburban fantasy films this movie quotes — the family that adopts the monster is deeply dysfunctional and amoral (in the most lovable way)?

    My friend Stuart has a small part in this movie, and I take great comfort knowing that the universe somehow saw fit to let him to be in the most Stuart movie ever.