2061: Odyssey Three, by Arthur C. Clarke (1987)

What a disappointment. Although there was a sharp drop in quality between Arthur C. Clarke’s first two Odyssey novels, I wasn’t quite prepared for the third one to be so dull and, well, pointless. With almost no character development and a negligible plot, there’s nothing much going on to grab the reader’s attention, while Clarke’s…

Long Weekend (1978)

This is truly a peculiar but chillingly effective micro-narrative, following a bickering couple into the woods as they attempt a reconciliation while treating nature carelessly, and have to suffer the consequences when nature itself turns against them. There isn’t much else to it than that, but that’s what makes it so effective – long shots…

Halsey – Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (2017)

As Halsey’s follow-up to 2015’s lush masterpiece “Badlands” starts and she reads a passage from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” with all the forced sincerity of a high school play, I knew I was in trouble – It’s not that the album is bad by any means, it’s that it announces from the get-go that it…

The Mummy (2017)

The alleged reboot of Universal’s “The Mummy” is a remake in name only: Other than the title, nothing else has to do with the original film. Instead, we’re treated to a tiresome, repetitive Tom Cruise vehicle that seems to have been made primarily as a vanity project for the superstar, audience interest or enjoyment be…

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 3) (2015-16)

The third season of Fox’s relaxed, enjoyable sitcom is as strong as the first two: It’s primarily character-driven, and thanks to a great rotating writing crew and a charismatic cast, there’s plenty to enjoy. The series has a habit of writing itself into a corner at the end of each season and slowly dismantling it…

Rough Night (2017)

Fun, light diversion, “Rough Night” is the type of comedy you watch with some good friends either before going out or while recovering from it. Scarlett Johansson leads a cast of hilarious comedic talent across the board and seems to be rejoicing an opportunity to take on an undemanding role, and while most of the…

Suspiria (1977)

Dario Argento’s giallo classic is still a true masterpiece of atmosphere and visual splendor. Jessica Harper makes an effective horror heroine here, strong-headed and individualistic (much as she was in 1974’s “Phantom of the Paradies”), but the real stars of the movie are Argento’s color palette and the score by The Goblins – the alternating…

The Mummy (1999)

This is blockbuster entertainment at its finest: Not too complicated but not overly simplistic, a solid script that knows what it is, terrific special effects that still look good even twenty years later, and perfectly cast with the right actors. Brendan Fraser makes for a great leading man and Rachel Weisz is a real discovery…

The Mummy (1959)

Although I found Hammer’s remake of Universal’s 1932 horror classic to be a bit of an improvement over the rather stale, stately original, I didn’t find it particularly involving or interesting either. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are always welcome, and this time around the titular villain actually appears in mummy form (unlike Boris Karloff…

The Mummy (1932)

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed by Universal’s first Mummy movie. Granted my exposure to the Mummy movies has been extremely limited thus far (as in, this is the first one I’ve seen), but I found this one rather dull. After having loved “Frankenstein,” “The Invisible Man” and “The Wolf…

Mommy Dead and Dearest (2017)

A truly shocking, deeply fascinating documentary into the true-crime story of DeeDee Blancharde’s murder at the hands of her daughter GypsyRose, “Mother Dead and Dearest” grabs you right by the throat from the beginning and never lets go. Given that the case is so fresh (with convictions coming in 2016), filmmaker Erin Lee Carr has…

Exorcist 2: The Heretic (1977)

Woof. There are bad sequels, and then there’s “Exorcist 2.” From beginning to end, this is garbage: Poorly written, badly acted, boring and all-around stupid. There’s very little horror content at all to be seen, which is in stark contrast to the original’s gut-punch shock effects, replaced here by endless scenes of locusts flying into…