A Close Call for Boston Blackie, Alien abduction, Blackmail, Boston Blackie, Brittany Allen, Chester Morris, Christmas Icetastrophe, Cory Monteith, Crime, Criminal, David Morse, Detective, Disaster, DJ, Drama, Emily Ratajkowski, Extraterrestrial, Flash freeze, Freddie Stroma, Friendships, Horror, Jennifer Spence, Jonathan Winfrey, Josh C. Waller, Lew Landers, Lynn Merrick, Max Joseph, McCanick, Meteor, Mike Vogel, Murder, Review, Sheriff, SyFy, The Vicious Brothers, Victor Webster, We Are Your Friends, Wes Bentley, Zac Efron
Extraterrestrial (2014) / D: The Vicious Brothers / 101m
Cast: Brittany Allen, Freddie Stroma, Melanie Papalia, Jesse Moss, Anja Savcic, Gil Bellows, Michael Ironside, Sean Rogerson, Emily Perkins
Rating: 4/10 – Teens in a remote cabin discover a crash-landed UFO, and soon learn that this isn’t an isolated incident, and that aliens have been abducting people for some time; yet another tired, gloomy-looking sci-fi/horror that starts promisingly and soon runs out of steam, Extraterrestrial aims to be edgy but is compromised by a convoluted narrative and some frustratingly poor performances.
A Close Call for Boston Blackie (1946) / D: Lew Landers / 60m
aka Lady of Mystery
Cast: Chester Morris, Lynn Merrick, Richard Lane, Frank Sully, George E. Stone, Claire Carleton, Erik Rolf, Mark Roberts, Russell Hicks
Rating: 6/10 – Private detective Boston Blackie (Morris) becomes embroiled in a scam involving a missing baby and an old flame, and finds himself accused of murder; one of the better entries in the series, A Close Call for Boston Blackie sees Morris having a ball as Blackie and the movie as a whole is a lot of fun, the simple, fast-paced approach to the material making the whole thing enjoyable even if you’re not a fan.
Christmas Icetastrophe (2014) / D: Jonathan Winfrey / 87m
Cast: Victor Webster, Jennifer Spence, Richard Harmon, Tiera Skovbye, Mike Dopud, Johannah Newmarch, Andrew Francis, Ben Cotton, Boti Bliss
Rating: 4/10 – A meteorite splits in two in the Earth’s atmosphere, and one half crashes to earth in the small mountain town of Lennox causing everything in the area to flash-freeze; another slice of sci-fi hokum from the SyFy channel, Christmas Icetastrophe narrowly avoids being complete rubbish thanks to some good location work and a sense of its own absurdity, but when all’s said and done, it’s still rubbish.
McCanick (2013) / D: Josh C. Waller / 96m
Cast: David Morse, Cory Monteith, Mike Vogel, Ciarán Hinds, Rachel Nichols, Trevor Morgan, Tracie Thoms, Aaron Yoo
Rating: 6/10 – Veteran detective Eugene McCanick (Morse) goes after a small-time crook (Monteith), but not for the reason everyone around him thinks; a feature role for the ever-reliable Morse is set in psychological thriller territory and gives the actor plenty of room and time to play “disturbed”, but Waller’s sterile direction lets him and the movie down, and McCanick becomes disturbing for all the wrong reasons.
We Are Your Friends (2015) / D: Max Joseph / 96m
Cast: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski, Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez, Alex Schaffer, Jon Bernthal
Rating: 6/10 – An aspiring DJ (Efron) finds the road to fame and fortune paved with obstacles: the friends who are unwittingly holding him back, the girl who can’t fully commit, and the mentor who may or may not help him fulfill his dream; a surprisingly aimless movie with little actual drama to sustain its running time, We Are Your Friends is too lightweight in its execution to make much of an impact, and as a result, never gets off the ground.