Archive for the ‘Movies A-C’ Category

h1

CGI Hellhounds Will Eat Your Face (or maybe they won’t): “The Bye Bye Man”

January 18, 2017

bye-bye-man

Well, it’s Januarythat time of the year when Hollywood wakes from the booze-and-coke-fueled bender it went on to celebrate the holiday releases, squints bleary-eyed at all of dopes looking to buy movie tickets and mutters, “Oh…are you still here? Um…why don’t you see Rogue One again? Oh, you’ve already seen it six times…okay, how about Passengers? Too rapey? Got it. Um…ah, fuck it, here’s The Bye Bye Man. Watch this schlock and wake me when it’s February.” And that’s how we end up with The Bye Bye Man.
Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Bozo breaks bad: “Clown”

July 3, 2016

Clown_(2014_film)_poster

Check out my video review of 2016’s (or 2014’s…or 2010’s) Clown directed by Jon Watts, who I refer to as Joe Watts, because I’m a moron).

h1

RIP Vanity: “Action Jackson”

February 16, 2016

Poor Action Jackson. It’s like the dinosaur that just keeps on scampering through the jungle, blithely ignoring the funnel of ash kicked up by the meteorite that hit yesterday. In other words, it was dead but just didn’t know it yet. By its premiere in February of 1988, we’d already had Lethal Weapon and Above the Law, and the summer would bring us Die Hard—all of which heralded the arrival of lean, wily action heroes who got by more on wit and cleverness than bulk. The era of the muscle-bound, solo action hero was over, and Carl Weathers arrived at the party too late to build his own franchise. Of course, now we can look back and appreciate it for the dumb fun that it was. What’s cool about Action Jackson? Well…
Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

The January doldrums continue: “The Boy”

January 31, 2016

286527

Well, it’s still January, and Hollywood is making damn well sure know it by continuing to make us suffer for the unpardonable crime of wanting to see a movie a month after the holiday season. The latest instrument of punishment is The Boy, which, while not a terrible movie, is still pretty bad. And that’s before it becomes outright, pants-crappingly stupid. Wanna hear about it? Oh yes you do…
Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Criminally Overlooked: “Blackhat”

January 7, 2016

blackhatNEW

As an avowed fan of Michael Mann, release of his 2015 film Blackhat was a somewhat bittersweet affair. Mann isn’t a prolific filmmaker, so any new film he makes is cause for excitement. But Blackhat was preceded by bad buzz, and its January release date wasn’t exactly a blinding display of confidence on the part of the producers and distributors. Unsurprisingly, the movie slipped into and out of theaters as stealthily as one of Mann’s protagonists robs a bank, only with a lot less to show for it in the end. And that’s too bad because while Blackhat might be minor-Mann and content to mostly recycle tropes better deployed in earlier films, it’s still a solid, if unremarkable, thriller.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

In Hollywood, even the ghosts are famous: “The Black Dahlia Haunting”

October 17, 2014

bdh

The case of the Black Dahlia is one of the most famous unsolved murder cases in history, and it’s not difficult to understand why. The killing of Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia, was so savage, so sadistic,, so monstrous that it’s nearly impossible to understand what kind of a mind could inflict such horrors on another human being. Even such prolific serial killers as John Wayne Gacy, Jefferey Dahmer, and Ted Bundy didn’t do to their victims what was done to Elizabeth Short (well, not pre-mortem anyway). Surely, a crime this horrific must have some larger implications or hold some larger meaning. James Ellroy expertly crafted the former idea into a great novel about the birth of modern Los Angeles. The low-budget horror flick The Black Dahlia Haunting…uh, well, it has a girl/girl shower scene. Without nudity. (Sigh) okay, let’s just get on with this.
Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Fear the thing that knocks in the night: “The Babadook”

October 7, 2014

babadook_quad_art_3

Children’s books are terrifying, aren’t they? I don’t know about the ones they write today, but the ones I had to read a kid seemed designed solely to impress upon children that the Universe is a cold, merciless place, and that there’s just as deep and black of a void inside all our hearts. I mean, we had the Shel Silverstein books which were a wonderful way to introduce kids to the concept of LSD (here are some insipid rhymes, stark drawings, and a backflap photo of the author who looks like he should be roaming the desert in his VW van in search of “fresh offerings”). Or, when I was a bit younger, my parents bought me a Dr. Seuss book called Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are, in which the doc seems to be trying to assuage his white guilt (and possibly the guilt over all those racist Japanese propaganda tracts he drew in World War 2) by inventing whimsical horrific circumstances you should be glad you don’t have to deal with. Because children are never too young to learn about existential terror. But the titular book in the tremendously satisfying Australian horror film, The Babadook, is terrifying in a more direct way: it forecasts your despoilment and tragic death.
Read the rest of this entry ?