Frank Siracusa

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Hobo With a Shotgun Review


OK
With its straightforward premise and a steady stream of random brutality, this lurid, corny movie, based on a trailer from 2007's Grindhouse, is almost mind-bogglingly grisly. But the anti-violence message gives it an amusingly ironic twist.

A homeless man (Hauer), looking for cash to buy a lawnmower to earn a living, finally gets fed up with the violence doled out by ruthless local gangster Drake (Downey), who delights in gruesomely killing anyone who crosses him, including his brother (Wells). Drake's also responsible for the arcade that's turning teens into game addicts with loan-shark debts and a desire for blood.

After running afoul of the crooked police chief (Akerman), the hobo is helped by kindly hooker Abby (Dunsworth). Then he gets a shotgun and sets out to clean up the streets.

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Sins of the Father Review


Weak
The KKK bombing of a church in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama has become the stuff of legal legend -- given it took years or decades to catch and convict all the perpetrators. Spike Lee made a documentary about it called 4 Little Girls, memorializing the four children killed in the blast. I feel like I've seen half a dozen films on the subject, and Sins of the Father (adapted from an article in Texas Monthly and made for the FX cable network) adds another to the pile.

The story is familiar -- old man (Richard Jenkins) finds his racist past dredged up after years have passed, ending with a guilty verdict at last. (If it sounds familiar, James Woods played virtually the same guy in Ghosts of Mississippi , about the assassination of Medgar Evers.) Will he do the honorable thing and face his violent, racist past? Well, the flashbacks alone are enough to make you wish he would get on with the healing already.

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Santa Who? Review


Grim
Leslie Nielsen as an amnesiac Santa?

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