Next (2007)


A Las Vegas magician who can see into the future is pursued by FBI agents seeking to use his abilities to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack. (IMDb)
The main concept makes for lots of fun sequences (see Cris’ opening casino escape) but also one cheesy/creepy romantic subplot (“I’m her future”), while its dramatic potential (“Life is supposed to be a surprise, isn’t it?” “It would be nice”) is never realized. The cat-and-mouse action is entertaining when you ignore the cliche Euro villains and the fact that he’s running away from the good guys for no real reason (and he ends up helping them anyways, except not really–thanks, cringe-y twist).
6/10 (Mediocre)

I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1998)


A college student faces an impossible journey when he is left stranded in the desert, thousands of miles from home, with no money and only a few days left until Christmas. (IMDb)
Self-centered Jake’s charisma and mischievous ingenuity (see his liver transplant caper, unexpected trip to the hospital), along with a decent batch of slapstick-in-a-Santa suit (highlighted by a Santa race of course) and oddball side characters (sketchy Nolan having to give away his stolen goods was pretty funny) in typical Americana road-trip comedy fashion, make for his predictable journey to cozy-Christmas-redemption fairly entertaining–and the ending hits home too. Cheesy Christmas fun.
6.5/10 (Alright)


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

After picking up a traumatized young hitchhiker, five friends find themselves stalked and hunted by a deformed chainsaw-wielding killer and his family of equally psychopathic killers. (IMDb)
There isn’t much of a story here, and some of the characters’ choices are typical horror movie eye-rollers, but it’s nevertheless an entertaining flick: The tension and gore (tactfully balanced) keep you on the edge of your seat and there are some wonderfully creepy characters that only add to the chilling feel. What really stands out here though is the warm and buttery cinematography featuring some cool camerawork throughout, giving this grimace-inducing slasher flick a uniquely pleasant touch.
7/10 (Good)