1980’s

[2.0] Dennis Quaid stars in this remake of a 1949 thriller about a literature professor who has 24 hours to live, and he spends that time trying to figure out who poisoned him and why. I like Dennis Quaid a lot, but nothing can save this movie from the fact that it was made by pretentious film school hacks with an absurdly improbable screenplay. Quaid’s …

[5.0] A masked killer stalks four teenagers at the prom, six years after they accidentally killed a fellow classmate. Prom Night is part of the slasher boom of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Jamie Lee Curtis stars as the sister of the killed classmate. Leslie Nielsen also appears as her father. Neither of their talents are put to especially good use here, though. The …

[8.0] In this Spanish film from writer/director Agustín Villaronga, a Nazi child killer is put in an iron lung after a botched suicide attempt. His wife hires a young male nurse to take care of him, but the young man becomes increasingly unhinged as he reads through the Nazi’s diaries. Once the caregiver begins re-enacting some of the Nazi’s crimes and winning over the affection …

[5.5] Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall have enough intrinsic charm to carry this incredulous comedy across the finish line. McCarthy stars as an artistic loser who can’t keep a girlfriend or a job. But when a department store mannequin comes to life for him, the two fall in love. I love the concept and the leading actors, but I wish the movie focused on them …

[5.0] Richard Gere plays a Chicago detective out for justice in New Orleans, where he hopes to find a woman, played by Kim Basinger, who witnessed his partner’s murder. Turns out Kim has a sad story and needs some rescuing of her own, so she and Richard fall in love while they hide from the bad guy (The 4th Man‘s Jeroen Krabbe) who killed Gere’s …

[6.0] A computer nerd makes a deal with the Devil and is transformed into a sexy beefcake overnight, free to spend his summer on a California beach full of wanton babes before his time’s up and the Devil comes a’ knockin’. Hunk is a silly, low-budget cornball of a movie. And I think there’s a need for that in our movie diets. I like that …

[7.5] Michael Douglas plays a husband and father who has an affair with a colleague played by Glenn Close. What Douglas thought was a one-night stand turns into a nightmare when Close’s character reveals herself to be emotionally unstable. Constant phone calls turn into stalking. Stalking turns into breaking and entering. After a family pet is killed, Fatal Attraction heads toward a climactic showdown. Fatal …

[5.5] When it was William Shatner’s turn to spearhead a Star Trek movie, he wanted it to be about a search for God in which God turned out to be the Devil. The studio let him have his way, and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier ended up under-performing during the crowded summer of 1989 (when Batman and Indiana Jones slayed at the box office). …

[8.0] After dealing with the death and resurrection of Spock in the previous two films, director Leonard Nimoy was given free reign with the fourth entry in the Star Trek franchise. Nimoy decided it was time for the series to take a breather — to show its lighter side and let the characters shine. With a script co-written by Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II: The …

[6.5] Freddy’s franchise continues with this installment directed by Stephen Hopkins (The Ghost and the Darkness, Predator 2). Alice (returning player Lisa Wilcox) is pregnant, and Freddy (Robert Englund) finds a way to kill again through her unborn baby’s dreams. To stop him this time, Alice and her dwindling number of friends must free the spirit of Freddy’s birth mother so she can help put …

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