Movie Review: AMERICAN MADE – this highly glossed over version of the Barry Seal story is Tom Cruise’s best film – and performance – in years.

I’m not ashamed to admit, I’m a fan of Tom Cruise movies.  Not a fan of Tom Cruise the person, I should add, having never met him, but I have enjoyed his screen presence for about thirty years now.  I think he’s a pretty decent actor too, when he tries – something he hasn’t done a lot of in a long time.  Having watched his last offering The Mummy fall on the critics’ sword, and mostly fail to capture the imaginations of the paying public, his career badly needed a shot in the arm.  It so happens that American Made, his second cinematic release of 2017, does exactly that.

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Movie Review: BEYOND THE GATES – retro style horror movie just about works, but not enough Barbara Crampton.

beyond-the-gates

For me, and maybe some others, Beyond The Gates felt like a bait-and-switch.  By means of explanation, I’m a big Barbara Crampton fan.  Even though I haven’t seen her that much over the years, her memorable turns in the cult H.P. Lovecraft double bill of The Reanimator and From Beyond, made me a fan for life, and when I saw We Are Still Here earlier this year, I was ecstatic to see her return to the genre.  So yeah, when I saw her name attached to this movie, I kept an eye on the release date.  Unfortunately, while she plays a pivotal role in the plot, her scenes amount to headshots that might last about 5 minutes of screen time if run back to back.  Disappointing to say the least, but that’s coming from a fan.  She’s underused, and probably what the biggest chunk of the budget was spent on.  She’s also listed as a producer, but that could mean she was pivotal in securing funding or a distribution deal.

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