The Thursday List, Episode 4

"In The Loop" (2009)
It's the buildup to the Iraq invasion like you've never seen it before but might've imagined it if you were really cynical. The British cast are from the hit BBC show "The Thick of It", and the American cast includes james Gandolfini, David Rasche, and Mimi Kennedy. It's a rapid-fire, expletive and insult filled, cross-cultural political riot, and Peter Capaldi steals the show as the foul-mouthed No. 10 Downing Street director of communications, Malcolm Tucker. This movie is one for your collections, folks. Highly recommended.

"Drag Me To Hell" (2009)
Sam Raimi knows how to make a roller coaster horror movie, just what to do and when to do it, and he's done so many times before, which is kind of the problem. While you haven't exactly seen this movie before, you've seen this movie before. It's a fun watch and has some good jolts, both typical of Raimi's films, but it's unfortunately rather heavy on formula. So it winds up just kind of average. A decent choice for movie night with friends or to watch via streaming.

"Brutal Massacre: A Comedy" (2007)
This movie is one based on actual events and people, just not events that took place on just one shoot, and it's really, really fun to watch. It's shot as a documentary about not a B-grade but a C-grade horror movie "auteur", Harry Penderecki, who get's one last shot to make his masterpiece. It's funny, dumb, crazy, silly, and while some scenes feel like they go on a bit long... it does all come together. I put it on the high side of average, which is to say it's better than most. Recommended.


  1. You've got my interest piqued to see The Loop - I remember it looking interesting when it first came out, but somehow it slipped through the cracks for me.

    I really enjoyed Drag Me To Hell, but I'm a huge Raimi fan, and I was in terrible need of exactly that sort of film at the time of watching, so perhaps environmental effects convinced me to give it an extra star.

  2. I laughed much and heartily when I first watched "In The Loop". I wasn't sure what to expect except what I saw in the trailer, but that sort of comedy is precisely my cuppa, for sure. My sons loved it. They're aged 17 and 13, and they put a number of the swearing and insults into their repertoire, much to the shock and sometimes amusement of their school chums and fellow churchgoers. (I have used many as well, I must confess.) The movie's hugely funny.

  3. I liked "Drag Me To Hell" on first viewing. Then a few weeks later I saw it again and really examined it, and it fell a bit flat. Truth be told, the whole movie could've been done in a tv episode (42 minutes) and been more effective.