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Movie reviews (titles starting with J)
02-03-2017, 02:46 AM (This post was last modified: 02-27-2017 10:01 AM by goodcop2000.)
Post: #1
Movie reviews (titles starting with J)
Jack the Reaper (2011)
1.5 funnel cakes

Jack the Reaper is a very low budget slasher film about a group of kids who end up being stalked by a killer at an abandoned carnival. The positives about the movie include a very small role for Tony Todd of Candyman fame, the eerie setting at the empty carnival, and a pretty cool looking killer. However, the acting by all of the main characters is really bad. I noticed that two of the main actors look like young versions of Val Kilmer and Mark Wahlberg so perhaps that's why they were cast. The biggest flaw of this movie is there was obviously no budget for special effects because the kills happen offscreen which just does not work for a slasher.

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
2 bloody axes

This 9th film is one of my least favorite entries in the Friday the 13th franchise. I was unimpressed with the plot which features Jason Voorhee's soul jumping from body to body and a hokey explanation for Jason's immortality.

Jason X (2001)
2.5 bloody axes

Let's be honest. If you make the 10th film in a horror franchise and move the locale to outer space, you can't expect to be taken seriously. The acting performances are so cheesy and campy that I have to believe it is intentional. The plot is basically that Jason Voorhees is cryogenically frozen and then discovered in the far future by unwitting victims. Still, this is not the worst Friday the 13th movie and it does feature one kill with a really spectacular special effect.

Jaws (1975)
4.5 bigger boats

I hope that most people reading this have seen Jaws but if you haven't, you definitely need to remedy the situation! Jaws is not just a great horror film, it's a great film. The plot is about Amity Island, a small beach town, experiencing shark attacks and the efforts of the local police chief to keep the town safe. The story and dialogue are terrific, the acting is very good, and the special effects are good for the time. Director Steven Spielberg delivers top level entertainment, suspense, and action, and the musical score from John Williams is a classic.

Jaws 2 (1978)
2.5 sharp teeth

Jaws 2 has some good moments of suspense and action, but it lacks the great story line and dialogue of the original. The plot involves the Amity Island police chief trying to convince others that another shark is hunting in the area after some boaters are mysteriously killed. The acting is not very good with most of the main characters being teenagers. Strangely, the shark creature effects appear less realistic than in the first movie.

Jaws III (1983)
3 theme parks

In Jaws III, the action moves to Sea World in Florida where two of the Amity Island police chief's sons are working. Having extraordinarily bad luck, the brothers learn that a shark is menacing the waters. I actually enjoyed this movie more than Jaws 2 because of its campy comedy aspects. The cast is stronger and includes Lou Gossett Jr., Dennis Quaid, and Lea Thompson. There are some decent gore effects and a couple tense moments but the shark effects are not good. The movie was filmed in 3D but the version I watched was in 2D. From what I've seen, many people hate this film but it may be a matter of lowering expectations. This movie is not similar in any way to the original Jaws other than the fact that both movies have big sharks.

Jaws the Revenge (1987)
1 roaring shark

This fourth installment in the Jaws series has an interesting start, but the plot quickly progresses from highly improbable to completely ridiculous and culminates with an epically bad ending. I sought out footage of an alternate ending that was used. Not only is the alternate ending just as bad, it includes the shark roaring! I'm embarrassed to explain the plot, but it includes another great white shark apparently targeting the remaining family members of the police chief who helped kill the sharks in the earlier films. The shark even follows the family when they fly to the Bahamas. I wish I was kidding. The lead actor in the film is Lorraine Gary as the wife of the police chief. Unfortunately, there's a reason that she had small roles in the earlier films and she never acted again after this movie. The acting overall is poor with the exception of Lance Guest. Mario Van Peebles is annoying throughout the film because of a terrible Jamaican accent. Other problems with the film include a fake-looking shark, an unexplained explosion, and people having flashbacks to events they did not witness. Jaws the Revenge is a stunningly bad film. To end on a positive note, the filming locations in the Bahamas are beautiful.

Jeepers Creepers (2001)
3.5 pilfered organs

This movie is very entertaining. It begins with a brother and sister witnessing the possible dumping of a body and progresses to the discovery that their suspect just may not be human.

Juan of the Dead (2011)
4 cerebros deliciosos

Juan of the Dead is a zombie comedy with some Latin flavor! The film is set in Cuba where the government informs the public that the people suddenly causing disturbances are U.S.-backed dissidents. There is no explanation why the "dissidents" like to eat people and appear to be rotting. I loved all of the characters - Juan (the slacker womanizer looking for easy money), Lazaro (his bumbling buddy), Camila (Juan's estranged daughter, played by the jaw-droppingly beautiful Andrea Duro), Vladi California (Lazaro's handsome, carefree son), and other minor characters who each make substantial contributions to the entertainment. Alexis Diaz de Villegas and Jorge Molina play Juan and Lazaro, respectively, and they are utterly convincing as lifelong best friends. The dialogue is witty and clever, despite having to read it in English subtitles. The film is not terribly scary but there are plenty of entertaining action scenes and nice makeup and special effects on the zombie horde. If you ever wondered what was going on in Cuba while Shaun was rescuing Liz in England and Kenneth the police officer was locking down the shopping mall in the U.S., find the answer in Juan of the Dead!

Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)
3.5 cat boys

This is the original Japanese film upon which the American film The Grudge was based. Thankfully, the original is much better. I had some trouble following the story at times because of the large number of characters (all with unfamiliar Japanese names of course) and the non-chronological order of the scenes, but eventually I sorted things out. This is not a neat little story tied up with a bow. My favorite thing about Ju-On: The Grudge was the combination of unnerving sounds and startling images used to create fear and tension.
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