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Showing posts from May, 2012

Coriolanus

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Title: Coriolanus
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox
Director: Ralph Fiennes

Renowned stage actor Fiennes making a splash with his directorial debut, a tale I regret not managing to see when it first hit the big screen earlier this year for it's limited and short-lived run. It's perhaps not all that surprising given the subject matter, even the title “Coriolanus” giving way to fears from some that some of the language might not be as simple as other contemporary films, and the second you hear it's less action and more talk; political displays of power and manipulation of the masses into doing their bidding, well I expect that's already caused most to tune out. With the current trend of instant gratification from films; of never finding yourself pondering the choice of words or their meaning, or a story where the real strength lies in the use of language and the action is merely there to give it all cont…

The Other “F” Word

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Title: The Other “F” Word
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Documentary
Starring: Jim Lindberg, Flea, Fat Mike
Director: Andrea Blaugrund Nevins

“When we were younger, we were all nihilistic. Live for today. Live fast. I thought we were going to change the world. Maybe the way we change the world is by raising better kids.”Mike Freeman, Rancid

This film was first billed to me as about “how punks make better parents because they have more worldly experience,” and I was sold. I was short sighted in thinking this would make a good film; a biased documentary ignoring fundamental difficulties faced by any parent, let alone one that spent their youth heavily involved in an anarchistic, nihilistic movement; no this is better than that. When punk exploded in L.A. it was a rebellion; a movement that ran far deeper than just the music. Divorce rates were at an all time high, Nixon was just involved in the Watergate scandal and fathers were dying in the Vietnam war, all the whilst the factory buildings in the…

Dirt (Dumber than Dirt)

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Title: Dirt (Dumber than Dirt)
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Black Comedy
Starring: Tracy Fraim, Michael Covert, Tara Chocol
Director: Michael Covert, Tracy Fraim

It isn't often that I feel the urge to watch a comedy, and so you'd probably think when the desire swings my way I'd be spoilt for choice. You'd be wrong. Comedies so often seem to re-use stale jokes and I seem to have a very specific – specifically crude – taste in humour. If it's a 'boy meets girl' story it's out. If it's about a talking animal, it's out. If, for any reason there's a frat boy that says 'dude,' out. Is it any wonder the last film reviewed entirely played for laughs was about a junkie elephant with crack in his ass. And so with my very limited choices I come across a promising indie title; a tale of two brothers in their late thirties wholly dependant on their mother to cook and clean for them, and when she passes on it isn't long before they realise they need …

The Impossible Kid

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Title: The Impossible Kid
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Action, Comedy
Starring: Weng Weng
Director: Eddie Nicart
Language: Filipino (dubbed)

The first from what I expect won't be the last of my 'film nights' streamed directly to my TV to be shared and mocked, a tale from a land of low budgets that takes liberties from James Bond and the Pink Panther and slams them together. A tale of a covert operation to thwart an evil foe who dresses like a member of the Ku Klux Klan, broadcasting himself on TV and demanding one billion peso's – or one million, he can't decide – so he can free the Phillipines. He doesn't ever really get around as to how. Standing in his way is Agent 00 of interpol, a man faced with no short order in stopping him, getting pulled from the operation due to a little mishap and a small lawsuit laid against him. Not that this small matter stops him from pursuing the matter and – ok, I'm running out of bad puns. Yes, what makes this film is the fact that…

The Avengers

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Title: The Avengers
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston
Director: Joss Whedon

It would seem the build up to this has been monolithic, above and beyond anything else in recent memory and rivalled perhaps only by “The Dark Knight” and the ensuing circle jerking that surrounded that. It comes at perhaps a perfect time as well, after being saturated with little hints at the end of films and after two Iron Man films, two Hulk films (because they didn't like the first one), Thor, Captain America, and numerous others 'outside the Avengers mythology,' if they'd waited much longer the anticipation would have fizzled out and people would have stopped caring. I stopped caring in fact, skipping the last couple of hero origin stories and only returning because of my inherent “Joss Whedon” fanaticism (I'm not sure how many can lay claim to owning “D…

The Deadly Spawn

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Title: The Deadly Spawn
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror
Starring: Charles George Hildebrandt, Tom DeFranco, Richard Lee Porter
Director: Douglas McKeown

Another cult classic from the glory days of America's indie horror peak; where idea's came from genre fanatics and technology had moved on enough that anyone with the drive could get it onto a film, albeit in a low budget format, and “The Deadly Spawn” is one of those classic cases of a film that ticks all the right boxes: Lousy acting, an unlikely hero, plenty of gore and violence, tongue in cheek humour and a deadly monster with a large amount of teeth. And the premise seems so simple, a meteor lands dragging with it a monster from the very far reaches of space; a creature with no desire but to feed, procreate and increase in size, with no second thoughts about resorting to cannibalism, and bearing the brunt of the attack are a single all-American family doing all they can to repel this alien invasion.

It's what they t…

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

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Title: Death Bed: The Bed That Eats
Rating: 1.5/5
Genre: Horror
Starring: Demene Hall, William Russ, Julie Ritter
Director: George Barry

Ah, the low budget schlock haven for horror that is the 70s USA; it might be the Japanese that hold the title for 'weird as fuck flicks' these days but it was once the proud Americans that tossed a few thousand dollars into a blender to see what weird shit floated to the surface, and this – along with “The Refrigerator,” – has to come up on top for some of the weirdest shit of the day. When a demon falls in love with a women, he gets all upset when she dies on a bed he made for her and runs away to become a tree. Sadly, his tears of blood fell on the four-poster and brought it to life with an insatiable appetite, eating anything that decided to nap on it's white fluffy sheets of doom. It doesn't have a siren or mating call, it doesn't release a pheromone to lure it's prey, it just just sits there waiting for someone to think, &…

Guilty of Romance

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Title: Guilty of Romance
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Avant-Garde, Dark Drama, Horror, Sexploitation
Starring: Makoto Togashi, Megumi Kagurazaka
Director: Sion Sono
Language: Japanese

Now emerging with the final part of his “Hate Trilogy,” (the first two being “Love Exposure” and “Cold Fish” respectively) Sion Sono is one of those few directors on my list that no longer requires me to read anything about their newest work to already want to see it; his style so unique and outside of the conventions of modern cinema that whatever he's up to you can be assured it'll be strange, thought-provoking, and if you're lucky, actually make sense first time. The works aren't mindfucks; they aren't puzzles waiting for you to mentally find the piece to put everything else into context, they just require attention to the details as he rapidly descends the viewer into his chaotic visions of darkness. This film is no different, I didn't read the back of the box but have no idea how it …