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Damien: Omen II Review


Good
Somewhat unfairly maligned as a hokey, schlocky series, The Omen has always been far more sinister series than its sequel-happy reputation would indicate. The movies are about the devil's son wreaking havoc on earth, for God's sake -- and not only is that about the most classically "evil" character you can get, he also tend to be unstoppable. Good never triumphs in these movies. But really, it can't... how would they keep making sequels?

No longer a toddler, Damien: Omen II finds our young antichrist shipped to Chicago to live with his aunt (Lee Grant) and uncle (William Holden -- yeah, that William Holden). He's a hugely successful titan of industry, which is perfect for Damien: Eventually he'll become the boss of Thorn Industries, a great vantage point for ruling the world as the dark lord.

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Mars Attacks! Review


Grim
We've already had three movies based on TV shows this year, plus a film based on a TV commercial, but I think it's a really bad omen when a film is based on a series of trading cards.

The film is Mars Attacks!, and with it Tim Burton serves up the worst production of his once-blossoming career, a movie wherein he indulges every excess of his demented psyche, pays no attention to entertaining the audience, and recycles every joke he can get his hands on.

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Fury Review


Extraordinary
One of the greats of its era, Fritz Lang's Fury is a bitter indictment of mob politics, with the inimitable Spencer Tracy in the role of an innocent man swept up in by lynch mob for a crime he didn't commit. Horrifying and extremely well-made, Fury belies its age with insight into the human psyche that is more relevant today than ever. Lang, as a refugee to America from Naxi Germany, knew what he was talking about. This is one to savor for the ages.

Beetlejuice Review


Good
Tim Burton had it down pat. Hair disheveled, pallid features, the director of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure surprised Hollywood with a goth-geek style that could only be described as quirky before everything became quirky. He was the animator from the shadows who brought macabre and heartbreaking life to his early animated shorts, toy box allure to his first feature film. While Pee-Wee's Big Adventure was a hit, it was only a brief glimpse of the sideshow theatricality Burton would employ on his second feature, the riotous and ghoulish Beetlejuice.

Beetlejuice is really a simple fairy tale. Two newly dead newly weds, Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis), want to rid their rustic home of the gaudy yuppie transplants, the Dietz's, who've taken up residence. When old-fashioned ghost moves like rattling chains in the attic fails, they find they need the help of a "bio-exorcist," a grungy specter named Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton), who will guarantee to rid the home of unwanted occupants. That is, for a price.

Continue reading: Beetlejuice Review

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