Mom and Dad (2018)

Brian Taylor’s “Mom and Dad” has a really good idea on its hands and sometimes he doesn’t really know what to do with it. “Mom and Dad” best sums up the whole of its premise in the opening where Taylor stages the film like the opening to Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead.” A mom looks back at her toddler sitting in its seat, gets out of the car and walks away calmly as a train barrels down on it. We then flicker to a small suburb from top view where carnage is about to ensue. Granted, “Mom and Dad” begins very tensely and starts off with a lot of mounting suspense that kept me glued to the screen.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Rian Johnson has created what is easily one of the most complete and well developed “Star Wars” cinematic installments since “Empire.” While it does have the occasional pitfall (Porgs), “The Last Jedi” is a masterstroke for the series so far. Johnson manages to skillfully build on this new universe while also answering a lot of the pressing questions that the fans had for “The Force Awakens.” This is the second film to usher in the new generation and ease out the originals, turning this in to a war where the underdogs are still the rebels and they’re filled with reverence for folks like Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. Johnson focuses primarily on the “How,” and “Why” questions from “The Force Awakens,” allowing fans closure on a lot of the nagging questions that left them excited and or baffled.

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Yvette Vickers: A Bombshell Remembered

Fans of edgy/campy 1950s flicks will remember Yvette Vickers as the blonde bombshell star of such classics as “Short Cut to Hell” (1957), “Reform School Girl” (1957), “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” (1958) and “Attack of the Giant Leeches” (1959). But she was much more than a blonde bombshell of the B-Movie screen. In this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” film historian John O’Dowd discusses his new audiobook “My Friend, Yvette Vickers: In Her Own Words,” which details this bright, funny and complex star’s remarkable life and her still-shocking death.

The episode can be heard here.

“The Online Movie Show” is produced at the Platinum Wolfe Studios.

The Belko Experiment (2017)

Like most of Greg McLean’s films, “The Belko Experiment” is just a big excuse to be as sadistic and inexplicably cruel as humanly possible, while taking pages from Koushun Takami’s “Battle Royale.” Coincidentally, another film in the same vein as “The Belko Experiment” came to theaters in 2017, in the form of Joe Lynch’s “Mayhem,” and while both films are insanely violent, at least the latter film had something to say about office culture and corporate politics. There’s a certain point in “The Belko Experiment” where it’s clear that McLean and writer James Gunn have no commentary on office culture and are by no means exploring the idea of fighting for a job through over the top violence, clearly just going for cruel unnecessary violence.

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The Shape of Water (2017)

What “The Shape of Water” ultimately amounts to is Guillermo Del Toro’s own adoration for monster and romance cinema. Del Toro constantly evokes shades of “The Creature Walks Among Us,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” while also channeling Woody Allen’s “Purple Rose of Cairo.” Much like the latter, “The Shape of Water” depicts a somewhat whimsical romance in a world filled with misery and darkness at every corner. Del Toro has a lot to say about the ugliness of humanity and the ideas of what monsters truly are in this world and others.

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Another WolfCop (2017)

If you loved the out there nature of “WolfCop,” you’ll be happy to know that director Dean Lowell rewards fans for their long wait for a sequel with “Another WolfCop,” a sequel that is so far out there, it’s surreal at times. Director and writer Lowell channels a lot of classic films once again, centering on our vigilante WolfCop as he protects his small town in the most violent methods, all the while concocting a premise involving the furry vigilante that feels like an amalgam of “Halloween III,” “V,” and “Howling II,” if you can believe it. That’s not where the wheel stops spinning though, as director Lowell deals his furry crime fighter a new villain that is beyond anything he’s ever experienced.

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Kill Order (aka Meza) (2017) [Blood In The Snow 2017]

A teenager with strange abilities discovers why he has these and has to decide what he wants to make with them and himself.

Written and directed by James Mark, the film is a nice long string of fight sequences with other scenes and sequences in-between to build the story that unfortunately come off as forgettable, especially next to those fight scenes. The fighting in Kill Order is where it’s at. It’s rousing, exciting, and fun to watch. Which makes the in-between stuff this much sadder being that they are some much fun and the rest of the film feels a bit forgettable. The story is interesting but it’s not developed in a way that keeps the attention. The only reason this reviewer kept watching was all the awesome fighting. Fans of stuff like Ong Bak and B13 will love the action, but will probably check out during the rest of the film. Also not helping this are scenes that have subtitles that are white on white, thus extremely hard to read.

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