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Death Wish (2018)


Death Wish (2018)

Why do we like vigilante justice?  I think that it is because someone does exactly what we are thinking should be done or we would like to do, ourselves.  Also, vigilante justice in the movies is often portrayed as sticking up for ones that cannot stick up for themselves.  If you are like me, then you enjoy rooting for the underdog.

Death Wish is about a doctor who decides to take matters into his own hands after an attack on his family.  He decides to find the men responsible and serve up his own form of vigilante justice.

The movie was directed by Eli Roth and the noteworthy cast includes Bruce Willlis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris, Camila Morrone, Beau Knapp, Kimberly Elise, Len Cariou, Jack Kesy, and Ronnie Gene Blevins.

I am not usually one to be into remakes.  It seems like Hollywood remakes or reboots just about everything these days.  Often, I say leave well enough alone, but sometimes the right remake idea comes along and the right actor is cast in the lead role.

In this case, Willis was very fitting for the role in Death Wish.  It was his best performance since Looper (2012).  He has been making a lot of B-rated straight to DVD movies lately, so it is nice to see him return to his former glory.  I am glad to see that he has not gone the way of Nicolas Cage (spitting out one piece of trash after the next).  Death Wish is a one-man-show and Bruce was clearly up for the task.

This movie is a scary concept because of how realistic it is.  What I mean by that is that it shows just how worthless the police department and justice system can be sometimes.  Too often, it is the people that deserve to see justice be done, that are the ones stuck without any justice at all.  It also goes to show just how vulnerable we all are.

The likable Dean Norris has quickly been typecast as the police or detective type thanks to the success of the television series Breaking Bad.  His part in this movie is good, but it does quickly make you think of Breaking Bad.

There are a few noticeable gruesome scenes in this movie that had Roth’s signature all over it.  So far, I believe that this film is Roth’s best work as a director.  He did a terrific job setting the tone of Death Wish and sticking with it throughout.

It has been a very long time since I have seen the original Death Wish (1974), but watching this version has made me want to go back and watch the original sometime soon.  The new film is a quality remake done with today’s technology.  The original movie is now 44 years old and it shows its age.

This movie is a murky suspense/thriller with good old fashioned popcorn-popping action.  Willis as the protagonist doing bad for good reasons will keep you on the edge of your seat hoping that justice gets done.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

Death Wish (1974)

Death Sentence (2007)

The Brave One (2007)

The Boondock Saints (1999)

Man on Fire (2004)

The Equalizer (2014)

The Punisher (2004)

Sin City (2005)

Harry Brown (2009)

RED (2010)

RED 2 (2013)

John Wick (2014)

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Prisoners (2013)

Defendor (2009)

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Happy Birthday to Nicolas Cage


Nicolas Cage

Happy Birthday to Nicolas Cage!

The famous actor turns 50 years old today.

Although he and his career have basically imploded and taken a nosedive in the last 7 years, Nicolas Cage is still one of my favorite actors of all time.

Unfortunately he has disgraced us all with the absurdity and awfulness of The Wicker Man (2006), Ghost Rider (2007), The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010), Season of the Witch (2011), Drive Angry (2011), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011), and The Frozen Ground (2013).

However, let us not forget the jewels that he has bestowed upon us with:

NICOLAS CAGE as Yuri Orlov in LORD OF WAR directed by ANDREW NICCOL

Lord of War (2005),

The Weather Man Nicolas Cage

The Weather Man (2005),

National Treasure Nicolas Cage

National Treasure (2004),

Matchstick Men Nicolas Cage

Matchstick Men (2003),

The Family Man Cage Cheadle

The Family Man (2000),

Gone in Sixty Seconds Cage

Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000),

Bringing Out the Dead Cage

Bringing Out the Dead (1999),

FaceOff Cage

Face/Off (1997),

Con Air Cage Malkovich

Con Air (1997),

The Rock Cage

The Rock (1996),

Leavin Las Vegas Cage

Leaving Las Vegas (1995),

Kiss of Death Cage

Kiss of Death (1995),

Raising Arizona Cage

and Raising Arizona (1987).

The man can still act.  Every once in a while he gets his act together and creates something that is reminiscent of the Nicolas Cage of old.  I still watch his films with a shimmer of hope because one day he could turn it all around and return to greatness.  One day he just might make his comeback.  He is not getting any younger, but 50 years old is something to celebrate.  Happy Birthday Nic and thank you for the excellent movie watching experiences!

Click on the links below to read my Nicolas Cage movie reviews:

Kick-Ass (2010)

Stolen (2012)

The Frozen Ground (2013)

The Frozen Ground (2013)


The Frozen Ground Poster

The Frozen Ground (2013)

 

Nicolas Cage and John Cusack have both been pretty much hit or miss for about the last 6 years.  Oddly enough, their downfall started around the same time.  I have been a huge fan of both actors ever since I can remember.  Even though they are both not consistently in great movies any longer, I still give them the benefit of the doubt every time I watch one of their new movies.  I guess I just hope that one day they will bounce back from whatever funk they got themselves into and start making great movies again.  One can always hope right?

IMG_2828.CR2

So, that is the attitude that I had before watching The Frozen Ground.  I would have been less enthusiastic about wanting to see the movie if it was only Cage or Cusack in it.  But, it’s not just Cage or Cusack, it’s both.  If both of these struggling actors are in the same movie then it is bound to be awesome right?

The film is based on actual events that took place in 1983.  It’s about an Alaska State trooper who teams up with a woman who was able to get away from a serial killer named Robert Hansen.  Together the duo works to find Hansen and bring him to justice for the murders that he has committed.

IMG_0518.CR2

The movie was written and directed by Scott Walker and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Vanessa Hudgens, Dean Norris, Kevin Dunn, Radha Mitchell, Michael McGrady, Matt Gerald, and 50 Cent.

The Frozen Ground has an overall dark tone which is fitting because of the dark subject matter.

The movie was missing a lot.  It was hard to follow and full of wasted talent.  There was hardly any character development, so you couldn’t really feel anything for the characters.

The Frozen Ground Cage

It is yet another letdown from Cage and Cusack.  The list of bad movies that each actor continues to make just keeps getting longer.

It really felt like both Cage and Cusack were just going through the motions.  However, the writing and filmmaking overall, really did nothing to help their cause.  Occasionally both actors would show a slight spark that would quickly go out.  I think that if they keep making movies like this one, their careers could be doomed.  It’s a real shame.

The film started out like it could have potential, and then it got boring quickly.  The scenes were choppy and the acting and dialogue all felt forced.

IMG_4606.CR2

Don’t waste your time or money with The Frozen Ground.  If you would like to try to preserve the memory of when Nicolas Cage and John Cusack both made good movies, don’t watch this one.

I rate this movie a 3 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Run.

Movie Picture of the Day 8/14/13


Lord of War Cage Leto gun

One of my all-time favorite actors Nicolas Cage in his best role and my favorite singer Jared Leto from my favorite band 30 Seconds to Mars play brothers in arms in the film, Lord of War (2005).  Lots of my favorites were a part of this movie.  It’s no wonder this is another one of my favorite films.

Kick-Ass (2010)


Kick-Ass Poster

Kick-Ass (2010)

I delayed seeing Kick-Ass for 3 years.  Honestly, at the time that it came out, it appeared like it would be jam-packed with gratuitous amounts of stupidity.  I was fed up with superhero movies being the trend and given the fact that Nicolas Cage was a part of it made me worried.  Cage is one of my favorite actors, but at the time that he made Kick-Ass he was taking any and every movie role offered to him.  He was having money problems and he needed to get out of debt.  During that time, he systematically dismantled his image and his career by force-feeding the world 11 movies over the course of 3 years.  I thought the title was pretty lame and I was very skeptical to say the least.

Kick-Ass Johnson

The movie is about a nerdy high school kid (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who one day decides that he wants to be a superhero.  He dresses up like a superhero and therefore thinks that he is one.  Fighting crime proves to be much more difficult than he anticipates and he gets in way over his head.

The film is directed by Matthey Vaughn and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Michael Rispoli, Clark Duke, and Jason Flemyng.

Kick-Ass Fighting

After writing off Kick-Ass three years ago, I never really thought twice about it until I learned of the upcoming sequel a couple of months ago, Kick-Ass 2 (2013).  I heard from a few different people that Kick-Ass was actually pretty awesome.  I decided to give it a chance.

The movie was actually pretty bad-ass.  The soundtrack set the tone quite nicely with a couple of different songs by The Prodigy.  Later it transitioned to Elvis Presley and even Ennio Morricone.

Kick-Ass Strong Plasse

Nicolas Cage was better than I expected he would be.  The film was during his low point, but his character turned out to be moderately entertaining.

Mark Strong was a superb hard-ass.  He played his part perfectly.

Kick-Ass Moretz

Aaron Taylor-Johnson was alright, but it was the young Chloe Grace Moretz that stole the show.  She sure kicked some ass.

I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this movie.  It was far better than I originally anticipated.  There is a bit of language, blood, raunchiness, and violence, but overall it was mildly funny and supremely amusing.  It was a well-acted and clever, kick-ass journey into an almost believable world where superheroes exist.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

Movie Picture of the Day 7/15/13


Matchstick Men Cage Yell

Nicolas Cage being pleasantly insane in Matchstick Men (2003).

It is an utter shame what happened to him.  He is one of my favorite actors and he flushed his career down the toilet.  This picture probably sums up how he feels about it though.  It’s okay Nic.  We still like you.

Trailer for Escape Plan (2013)


Escape Plan Poster

Escape Plan (2013) (click on the title for my full review.)

Grandpa Stallone and Grandpa Schwarzenegger are both at it again.  This time Sylvester plays a prison escape artist.  After finding a way to break out of a number of prisons, he designed a new prison where escaping is near impossible.  Of course, eventually he finds himself framed and locked up in the very prison that he created.  Arnold is on the inside with him.  Now Stallone must breakout in order to track down the party responsible for getting him locked up.

The film is directed by Mikael Hafstrom and the cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Sam Neill, 50 Cent (lol), and Amy Ryan.

The movie reminds me a bit of Face/Off (1997) simply because in that film John Travolta‘s character (with Nicolas Cage‘s face) agrees to go under cover and be locked up in a high-tech prison.  Eventually the only people that know he is undercover find themselves dead and he is forced to try to escape if he wants to get back to his real life.

How does 50 Cent keep getting parts in movies?

Although Stallone and Schwarzenegger are both maybe a little too ancient to be making this type of movie, I think that somehow they will pull it off.  Either way, I will be there to give you my take on it.

The film is set to release on 10/18/13.

Top 13 Current Redbox Movies


Top 13 Current Redbox Movies

red box

Having trouble deciding which movie to rent at the Redbox?  This list just might help you make a good decision on what to rent.  Hopefully it will save you from wasting your money renting a bad movie.

Along with my list, I have given my rating and a “Quickie” review.

Quickie review = A film review in 13 words or less.  If a title does not have a quickie review then you may click on it for my full review.

I cannot say that I have seen all of the movies that are currently available at the Redbox, but I have seen 62 of them.  Of those 62 titles, here are my top 13 favorite movies that are currently available at the Redbox:

Rank                           Title                             13movies Rating

 

 

1.         What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)          10         

            Quickie: Johnny Depp excellent!  Young Leonardo DiCaprio maybe even better.  Fun, touching, drama.  Great!

2.         The Machinist (2004)                                       10         

3.         Ted (2012)                                                      9         

 

4.         The Dark Knight Rises (2012)                      9         

            Quickie: A grand final chapter in the Christopher Nolan directed Batman Trilogy.  Epic film.

5.         The Raid: Redemption (2011)                       9          

         

6.         Looper (2012)                                                 8.5      

            Quickie: Joseph Gordon-Levitt + = Bruce Willis in a time travel thriller puzzle.

7.         Titanic (1997)                                                            8.5      

            Quickie: Who hasn’t seen this?  Ship sink.  Dreadful historical event.  Well made recreation.  Iceberg.

8.         Frankenweenie (2012)                                   8.5      

           

9.         Flight (2012)                                                  8         

 

10.       Moneyball (2011)                                           8         

            Quickie: Brad Pitt spectacular performance!  Jonah Hill proves acting capable.  Interesting, solid baseball story.

11.       Men in Black 3 (2012)                                   8         

            Quickie: As good as 1.  Josh Brolin as Tommy Lee Jones.  Will Smith reloaded.

12.       Total Recall (2012)                                        8         

            Quickie: Colin Farell in updated Schwarzenegger role.  More fun than original.  Kate Beckinsale badass!

13.       Lawless (2012)                                               8         

            Quickie: Shia LaBeouf gets big.  Tom Hardy tough.  Jessica Chastain shows, proves herself.  Bootleggers.

 

Those are in my opinion the best movies that are currently at the Redbox.

If you would like to read Top 13 Current Redbox Movies Vol. 2, click on this link. from 3/14/13

Click on this link for Vol. 3. from 4/21/13

Click on this link for Vol. 4. from 5/9/13

Now that you have seen my recommended Redbox movies, check out my list of movies to stay away from.  Click on the link below:

Top 13 Disappointing Current Redbox Movies

Here is how the rest of the movies currently at the Redbox that I have seen rate:

 

 

21 Jump Street (2012)                                                8         

            Quickie: Hilarious Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill buddy cop comedy.  One of funniest movies 2012.

The Grey (2011)                                                         8         

            Quickie: Liam Neeson fighting wolves bare-handed after a plane crash in Alaska.  Period.

Dark Shadows (2012)                                                            8         

            Quickie: Johnny Depp as a vampire in a comedy.  Rarely does he disappoint.

The Dictator (2012)                                                   8         

            Quickie: Sacha Baron Cohen’s funniest movie ever.  All levels of humor and raunch.  Absurdity.

War of the Worlds (2005)                                          8         

            Quickie: Tom Cruise fighting aliens to try to save the world.  Steven Spielberg directs.

.

The Bourne Identity (2002)                                       7.5      

            Quickie: Matt Damon gets amnesia.  He gets chased not knowing why.  He fights back.

           

Seven Psychopaths (2012)                                         7.5                  

            Quickie: Sam Rockwell steals the show.  Witty, dark comedy.  Clever characters.  Great dialogue!

                                  

Trouble with the Curve (2012)                                  7.5      

            Quickie: Amy Adams helps aging father Clint Eastwood try to keep baseball scout job.

The Bourne Legacy (2012)                                        7         

Quickie: Jeremy Renner replaces Matt Damon in the series and is more qualified.

Safe House (2012)                                                      7         

            Quickie: Ryan Reynolds tries to take fugitive Denzel Washington down.  Good action.  Good twists.

Paranorman (2012)                                                    7         

            Quickie: PG Suggested.  Delightful animated story about a kid who sees the dead.  Amusing.

The Watch (2012)                                                      7         

            Quickie: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, hysterical buddy comedy about aliens at Costco.

A Christmas Carol (2009)                                         7         

            Quickie: Amazing animation retelling of a classic story and voiced by Jim Carrey.

 

Alex Cross (2012)                                                       7         

            Quickie: Tyler Perry plays a game of cat and mouse with Matthew Fox.

Arthur Christmas (2011)                                           7         

            Quickie: Family friendly animated Christmas movie.  Fun to watch around the holidays.  Unique.

Seeking Justice (2011)                                               7         

            Quickie: Nicolas Cage wife assaulted.  Guy Pierce help.  Rift after favor not returned.  Solid.

Brake (2012)                                                               7         

            Quickie: Stephen Dorff kidnapped for information about the president.  Won’t give up.  Tense.  Exciting.

Stolen (2012)                                                              7         

Dredd (2012)                                                              6.5      

 

The Words (2012)                                                       6.5      

            Quickie: Bradley Cooper plagiarizes a story and it comes back to haunt him.

The Campaign (2012)                                                6.5      

            Quickie: Will Farrell runs against Zach Galifianakis.  Dirty politics and humor ensue.

The Expendables 2 (2012)                                         6.5      

            Quickie: Sylvester Stallone brings action hero friends back together for round 2 of battle.

Premium Rush (2012)                                                6.5      

            Quickie: Joseph Gordon-Levitt freestyle fast and furious bicycle messenger hide and seek

Wanderlust (2012)                                                     6.5      

            Quickie: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd turn into tree hugging hippies.  Funny moments.  Tacky moments.

The Raven (2012)                                                       6.5      

            Quickie: John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe investigating crimes that he wrote.  Good enough.

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)                         6.5      

            Quickie: Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer try to slay lions while lions slay others.

Why Stop Now (2012)                                                6.5                  

            Quickie: Jesse Eisenberg tries to drug free mother and get into music school.  Laughs.

 

People like us (2012)                                                 6.5      

            Quickie: Dysfunctional drama.  Lost siblings try to find each other after father’s death.

Red Lights (2012)                                          6.5                  

            Quickie: Robert De Niro has mind powers.  Cillian Murphy Disagrees.  Their minds tango.

                                               

American Reunion (2012)                             6.5      

            Quickie: One sequel too many.  Funny parts.  Same old story.  Slight variation.  Decent enough.

A Thousand Words (2012)                             6.5      

            Quickie: Eddie Murphy shares life with tree.  He speaks, leaves fall.  Comical and stupid.

Being Flynn (2012)                                       6.5      

            Quickie: Robert De Niro, Paul Dano bad father son relationship.  They both write.

Spider-Man (2002)                                         6.5      

            Quickie: Tobey McGuire and Kirsten Dunst are unpleasant.  Spiderman is okay.  Other cast helps.

The Avengers (2012)                                      6.5      

            Quickie: Cool Special effects technology.  Robert Downey Jr. carries the movie on his back.

The Expendables (2010)                                6         

            Quickie: Too many action heroes take away from plot.  Fun to watch though.

Officer Down (2013)                                      6         

            Quickie: Stephen Dorff tries to repair his life after being a dirty cop.  Mediocre.

The Three Stooges (2012)                              6         

            Quickie: Great impressions of original stooges.  Especially Curly.  Humorous at times.

Get the Gringo (2012)                                   6         

            Quickie: Mel Gibson goes to Mexican prison.  Trying getting out is the fun part.

Savages (2012)                                               6         

            Quickie: Benicio Del Toro and John Travolta make movie better.

The Liability (2012)                                       5.5      

            Quickie: Tim Roth is fun as a hit man.  Film dwindles halfway through.

That’s My Boy (2012)                                    5         

            Quickie: Bad movie that gets better towards the end.

All about Steve (2009)                                   5         

            Quickie: Sandra Bullock is funny at times.

Tropic Thunder (2008)                                  4.5      

            Quickie: Robert Downey Jr. is a riot as a black guy.

The Possession (2012)                                   4         

Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)                    4         

            Quickie: The title says it all and that’s about it.

Fire with Fire (2012)                                     3         

In Bruges (2008)                                            2         

            Quickie: The only thing worse are the 2 movies below this one.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)              2         

 

The Paperboy (2012)                                      2         

Netflix Clouds

Are you a fan of Netflix?  Click on the following links below for Netflix related material:

Netflix Watch Instantly Movie Reviews September 2013

20 Best Drama Movies Based on Real Life Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

20 Best Classics Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Mind-bending Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Comedy Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Romantic Comedy Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best War/Military Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Best Gritty Action/Thriller Movies Available on Netflix Watch Instantly

13 Awesome Actors, 13 Awful Movies


13 Awesome Actors, 13 Awful Movies

 

Unfortunately I had the displeasure of viewing these vile movies.  I was duped into thinking that each one of these films could do no wrong because of the awesome actors that were in them.  Boy was I wrong.  Do yourself a favor and stay as far away from these movies as you can get.

Anthony Hopkins: Alexander (2004)

 

Brad Pitt: Killing Them Softly (2012)

 

Daniel Day-Lewis: The Boxer (1997)

 

George Clooney: Syriana (2005)

 

Jeff Bridges: The Contender (2000)

 

John Travolta: Battlefield Earth (2000)

 

Johnny Depp: Before Night Falls (2000)

 

Kevin Costner: Waterworld (1995)

 

Kevin Spacey: HurlyBurly (1998)

 

Morgan Freeman: Dreamcatcher (2003)

 

Nicolas Cage: The Wicker Man (2006)

 

Robin Williams: The Night Listener (2006)

 

Tom Cruise: Interview with the Vampire (1994)

 

When I look at this list, I can only ask myself one question: What were they thinking?

Stolen (2012)


Stolen (2012)

(Nicolas Cage) stars as Will Montgomery, a bank robber who gets left behind by his partner Vincent (Josh Lucas) and the rest of their crew after successfully stealing 10 million dollars from a bank. Before being arrested, Will dumps the money and therefore only goes to jail for 8 years.

Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Will gets out of prison, Vincent wants his share of the 10 million dollars and will do anything to get it, including kidnapping and threatening to kill Will’s teenage daughter. Vincent gives Will 12 hours to get him the money or his daughter dies.

It was a pleasure to see Josh Lucas playing a bad guy. He has always been an underrated actor in my opinion. He did a wonderful job being creepy.

Although the storyline is not much different than your standard kidnapping or bank robbery, Nicolas Cage and Josh Lucas bring a certain level of prestige to the film with a couple of unique plot surprises along the way.

There is enough action and chases interspersed throughout the movie to keep you intrigued and wanting to know what will happen next.

Cover of "National Treasure (Widescreen E...

Cover of National Treasure (Widescreen Edition)

Nicolas Cage has been involved in creating a lot of trash in the more recent years. For a while it was one poor excuse for a movie after another. This is unfortunate because he is one of my favorite actors. But I guess that is what happens when you dig yourself way into debt and are forced to take any and all roles offered to you just to break even and keep your head above water. I have always wondered how someone as talented as Cage, with as much fame and fortune, and as many awesome performances in so many excellent movies (for example: Lord of War, The Weather Man, National Treasure, Matchstick Men, The Family Man, Gone in 60 Seconds, Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock, Leaving Las Vegas, Kiss of Death) could just flush it all down the toilet.

Cover of "The Weather Man (Widescreen Edi...

Cover of The Weather Man (Widescreen Edition)

I won’t pretend to know what caused the downturn of this movie Icon. I heard that he had owed millions of dollars in back taxes to the IRS and I’m sure that was a big motivator to accept any garbage role that came his way.

It became about quantity rather than quality (for example: The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, Astro Boy, Kick-Ass, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Season of the Witch, Drive Angry, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance); anything to make money to pay his debts. According to imdb.com Cage is involved in 12 more movies that are expected to release in the next couple of years.

Within the pile of rubble that is Cage’s last 7 years of film making, you will find a few glimmers of hope. These are just a few reminders that Nicolas Cage can still make good movies, they are few and far between, but he still has the ability (for example: Next, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Bangkok Dangerous, Knowing, Seeking Justice, Trespass, and Stolen). Arguably none of the movies on that list were fantastic, but they were still solid movies in their own right, and all worth seeing. The only big hit on that list was National Treasure: Book of Secrets and that is because it was the sequel to a much better movie.

Cover of "The Family Man"

Cover of The Family Man

Here’s to hoping Cage can get his life together so that he can start making greatness again. Stolen is just another example of hope that better is still to come for Nicolas Cage.I give

Stolen a 7 rating on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.