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Showing posts from June, 2010

Shutter Island(2010)

* * * * / * * * *

"You know, this place makes me wonder.."

"Yeah, what's that, boss?"

"Which would be worse? To live as a monster, or to die as a good man?"

Wow, what a movie! I am not gonna go in depth, others more highly skilled at breaking down this psychological thriller's premise have already done so, regarding how the plot reveals details about a US Marshall's trip to Shutter Island, seeking to bring the mental asylum, and those villains who run it, down, to expose their corrupt tactics towards the patients. Sometimes, fiction is simply more easy to handle and accept than the truth..that's what I got out of this movie.

Boy, am I glad Scorsese is still around making movies. This movie is beautiful to look at and experience. I had forgotten just how special camera work can be when the right man is behind the camera. I love a movie that fucks with you and we follow down that dark road along with DiCaprio until the heart-wrenching, painful c…

Babysitter Wanted(2008)

* * ½ / * * * *

I won't lie, at the opening of BABYSITTER WANTED, I was thinking, "Oh no, not another torture movie." Truth be told, I'm tiring of these kinds of torture fare, where a woman is tied up, bound and gagged, squirming for her life, to be honest, I think this is played out. Maybe, it's not for others, but there just isn't anything that burns inside this horror fan any longer about the horrors of young women trapped in some godforsaken room located in a lunatic's lair, held hostage and due to die some sort of horrifying death. I mean, what else can be accomplished with this premise?

Well, the film presents this pretty, sweet, religious Catholic who goes to college, finding that her roommate is a slob with a foul attitude, the apartment a mess of empty beer bottles, cigarette butts, with recently used bongs and pizza boxes. Looking for a bed, she sees an ad for a babysitter out in the boonies, and decides to check it out..we know, already that this…

Saturday Afternoon Action Theater

I decided to watch a couple of tough guy action movies, and started with the easiest choice, THE TERMINATOR. The dvd had been staring at me in the eyes for years now, keeping it on a shelf in my bedroom, as I would walk by THE TERMINATOR would beckon unto me. I had watched the two marvelous documentaries(or they were to me being a die hard fan)last Sunday night and it put me in the mindset to revisit one my faves quite soon as time and mood would permit. It has been a while, too long, since I had last watched the movie, and found the dvd for a great price, but it would be some time before I would ever even take it out of the wrapper. The isn't too unusual, since time moves fast, and before you know it, it's June 12, 2010 and not 2003. Anyway, it was a pleasure seeing Ahnuld in his original form as an emotionless killing machine, hunting down Sarah Conners until finding the right one. I love that slow motion scene in the neon lit technoir club as Arnold approaches the last Sara…

80's Double Feature Friday Night

I decided to hold myself a double feature(I had intended to include TERROR TRAIN, but alas this would not materialize)Friday night(June 11, 2010) and so I chose the movies HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME(1981) & PROM NIGHT(1980). I had recently purchased both movies for only 5 dollars a piece so I decided to finally watch them.

Crawford Academy. The Top 10 are a group of wealthy kids who have an enemy taking them out individually. Virginia(Melissa Sue Anderson) returned to this school after some absense and has become part of the 10. She was almost killed in a car accident that took her mother's life. Memories of her trauma are returning and she depends heavily on her psychotherapist, David(Glenn Ford in what many considers his worst film), to help her through this trying cycle in her young life.

Her damaged psyche is a staple in the slasher genre as it possibly implicates her as the potential killer. You can visualize her being a suspect for good reason. It's an old trick that woul…

Never Back Down(2008)

** / ****

I agree with others as it came to my mind as well, the fact that NEVER BACK DOWN is an obvious clone of THE KARATE KID about a fatherless young man whose mom moves him to Orlando where he must contend with a mean bully whose reputation as a superior fighter gives him an advantage when confrontations occur.

Sean Faris is Jake Tyler, who becomes a good fighter(full contact fighting replaces the more civilized karate tourney from THE KARATE KID)thanks to a mentor in mixed martial arts, who teaches him the ropes. Djimon Hounsou is Jean Roqua, Jake's teacher and "counselor" as there's no other father figure in the young man's life.

Cam Gigandet is the hostile teen, Ryan McCarthy, who relishes his abilities to pummel Jake, and we get a look at why he's such a sadistic son of a bitch, a father who has obviously demanded nothing but discipline and excellence from his son..he's not strict in regards to his son's extra curricular activities, but no disre…

Class of 1984(1982)


The unruly group led by Peter Stegman(Timothy Van Patten) of Abraham Lincoln High are a severe nuisance to teachers and students alike and it will all come to a head as they finally victimize the wrong target who decides to strike back in Mark Lester's indictment on the plight of today's youth(well, in 1981 that is).

This gaggle of punks of Stegman's push the weaker kids around and it is quite a statement when green teacher Andrew Norris(Perry King) recognizes that fellow academian Terry Corrigan(Roddy McDowell, in one of his best latter career roles) carries a gun in his briefcase!

"Surveillance is the name of the game around here, Mr. Norris. "

This coming from the principal of the school for petesake! It's like a high school from hell where teachers worry more about surviving the day instead of "molding young minds"! Sure, many of the kids just want to learn, but with Stegman's brood causing trouble at every turn, it's hard for a…

Queen Margot

I was about to go to bed and made the mistake(nah, it wasn't a mistake)of leaving the television on(the remote was next to me)as I was setting the timer for another movie(showing later, Roman Polanski's GHOST WRITER).

But, director Patrice Chéreau's QUEEN MARGOT grabbed my attention and never let go. This production blew me away. The way he captures a particular kingdom in France during a tumultuous time where two religious sections in Parisian society were at each others' throats. There's an overwhelming hatred and animosity between the Catholics(who have the power)and lowly Protestants considered a scourge in the city.

I think it's clear which side the movie's on, the Protestants led by Henri de Navarre(Daniel Auteuil with a prosthetic beak; who is fantastic)gain our sympathy after this great slaughter which is shown in all it's bloody(and pretty lengthly)detail.

To supposedly bring about peace between the people, Henri marries the deceased king of Franc…

Rachel Getting Married

RACHEL GETTING MARRIED was an intense experience. It has a raw power and spontaneity(that rarely works as excellently as it does here, giving the film a unique authenticity)I wasn't expecting.

I wasn't caught up in the euphoria of this particular year's Oscar season, nor was I that familiar with it's star Anne Hatheway. To be honest, I've had no interest in the PRINCESS DIARIES movies nor do I feel anything for the fashion industry which is why I hadn't seen her in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA.

But, having seen this movie, I think Hatheway's an actress who could become a favorite of mine. This role requires a lot. She has this mess of a character trying to overcome a young life of bad decisions and drug issues.

When her Kyme enters a room, eyes roll with discontent. That's what impressed me about this movie, director Demme uncannily raises the complications of this family with such realism. I was uneasy while watching this, seeing a family preparing for a wedd…


People have been taking a giant shit on Dario Argento's GIALLO for about two years now, but my confidence in him never wavered. I think I was rewarded automatically as his sweeping camera captures the immense scope of a giant operahouse, dance club, and fashion brought a grin to this giallo fan's face knowing that Argento returned to his roots to include the fashion world in the story. And, then he shoots this wide shot of Rome with Siegner looking out, her breath taken almost drew a tear because it was as if Mario Bava's ghost returned behind the camera one more time.

Celine(Elsa Pataky), a rising model in Rome is kidnapped by a serial killer who drives a taxi, the perfect vehicle to capture his victims. Using a hypodermic, the killer sudbues his victims, binding them for later sadistic kicks. Celine's sister, Linda(Emmanuelle Seigner), is visiting Rome and fears for her safety. Inspector Enzo Avolfi(Adrien Brody), not exactly the most hospitable …