– (1994) – A private detective becomes involved in the magic used by Hollywood in the 1940s. The idea suggests a campy good time, especially considering the cast, but most of this is an inept drama that lack any conviction. There’s hardly any magic involved, and most attempts at humor hit a wall.
– (1973) – A man with the power to extract souls from the living and put them in the dead helps resurrect someone’s wife. Though the premise is far from ordinary (unless you’ve seen The Asphyx) the handling of some serious conditions too often come across as hammy. A breeze to watch, but does succumb to silliness and repetition.
– (2017) – A high school student discovers a book that summons the death of anyone whose name is written in it, resulting in the convolutions of betrayal. Has the basic premise of the original, but lacks in areas of style, humor, and creativity. The gore is fine, but investing in the characters is something that never arises.
– (2017) – A boy who has strange dreams escapes disguised creatures from another dimension by slipping into their dimension. Yes, there’s a gunslinger, and yes, there’s a man in black, but not much else is reminiscent of the novels. Very few (if any) characters or situations are explained, rendering this a confusing mess.
– (1977) – A swashbuckling sailor and his comrades travel to a distant land to break the curse of a prince-turned-baboon. While there are moments of adventure and monster activity, everything in between moves incredibly slow. Gets points for imagination, but the excitement factor is bogged down by the languid pace.
– (1958) – A swashbuckling sailor helps a devious magician reclaim his magic lamp in a land of monsters. Though the human element is paper thin, and the pace often sluggish, this deserves a ton of respect for the effective creature moments. Deservedly renown for its F/X, while the plot is a simple means to get to the stop-motion highlights.
– (2016) – A task force struggles to locate six books that can cause the death of anyone inscribed within. Though the initial idea still holds intrigue, the first hour is overloaded with dozens of details regarding convoluted rules. An overlong mishmash of names and identities that serve as a reminder of how this series is more effective when focused.
– (2017) – An ancient evil is unleashed in the form of an Egyptian woman, and it’s up to archaeologists to stop her. Gets off to a decent start with some excitement and humor, but hits the brakes halfway through, adds one subplot too many, and stops making any sense. Worsens by the minute, and continually loses focus.