"I got news for 'em. There's gonna be hell to pay. 'Cause I ain't daddy's little boy no more."

Archive for the ‘I don’t know’ Category

Goodbye to Language 3D

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

tn_goodbyetolanguageI can’t fake it, I don’t know enough about Jean-Luc Godard. I liked BREATHLESS. I kinda hated MADE IN U.S.A., but I have a Richard Stark bias.

I should see more of them, the earlier ones at least. I know his current reputation as a cantankerous anti-Hollywood zealot, so I knew I was on dangerous ground buying tickets to his divisive new one. It won a jury prize at Cannes and more recently was chosen as Best Picture by the National Society of Film Critics, but it was obvious from what little I’d read that it was not gonna be for everybody, or even mostbody. What attracted me, and the only thing I really knew about, honestly, was that it’s in 3D, and some have praised it for using 3D in innovative new ways. So as one of the last surviving 3D proponents it seemed like an event worthy of my time.

And it was, but uh… shit. What can you say?
(read the rest of this shit…)

A Huey P. Newton Story

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

tn_hueypnewtonPANTHER reminded me of one of the few Spike Lee movies I hadn’t seen, the 2001 made-for-cable A HUEY P. NEWTON STORY. When it comes to the Spike Lee Jointography there are three categories. There’s the main ones you think about – DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOLM X, all the way through his recent OLDBOY remake. And sprinkled in between are the documentaries, often made for cable. They’re less widely seen, of course, but really good, movies like FOUR LITTLE GIRLS and WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE. But even rarer than that there’s the performance films. I gotta admit I haven’t gotten to most of these. PASSING STRANGE was one, that’s a Broadway musical. I did see ORIGINAL KINGS OF COMEDY. That was pretty good.

A HUEY P. NEWTON STORY, A SPIKE LEE JOINT is a filmed version of a one-man show that Roger Guenveur Smith did starting in 1996 at the New York theater where Hair started.

I don’t know if you know who Smith is. He’s gotta be best known for playing Smiley in DO THE RIGHT THING, so I’m sure people walk up to him on the street every day and say “M-M-M-Martin. M-M-M-Malcolm.” He’s actually been in several Spike Lee movies, he was on Oz I guess, he was one of the stars of Steven Soderbergh’s improvised lobbyist drama K-Street on HBO. But also he was the bad guy in Seagal’s MERCENARY FOR JUSTICE.

He’s an actor I’ve always liked, but I could understand if you didn’t. He has a very theatrical style. He’s a character actor but he likes to show off. He always carries around a little stick of scenery in his pocket to chew on. MERCENARY FOR JUSTICE is an example of him getting a little loosey goosey with the accents. (read the rest of this shit…)

Soul Vengeance

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

tn_soulvengeanceAlot of people have recommended the PENITENTIARY trilogy to me over the years. Apparently it’s a pretty crazy movie property franchise of the VHS era, so it made sort of a minor cult legend out of writer-director Jamaa Fanaka. He came out of the UCLA film school and a group of young black filmmakers known as “the L.A. Rebellion.” Other members include Charles Burnett, Julie Dash and Haile Gerima, so he might’ve been the black sheep of the group, being more interested in exploitation type subject matter than his colleagues.

Although the PENITENTIARYs are what he’s known for, Fanaka (who was born Walter Gordon, by the way – he changed it to a Swahili name in college) actually started in the blaxploitation era. His first feature was 1974’s EMMA MAE, better known now as BLACK SISTER’S REVENGE. In 1975 he did WELCOME HOME, BROTHER CHARLES, which we will discuss here under its current video title of SOUL VENGEANCE. (read the rest of this shit…)

Poor Pretty Eddie

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

tn_poorprettyeddieHere’s an interesting oddity, a 1975 b-movie sleazefest about rape, racism and rednecks, exploitation but with bursts of SWEET SWEETBACK type artistic pretension. According to the historical essay in the extras it was actually financed by a notorious Atlanta pornographer named Michael Thevis (he also funded Oliver Stone’s SEIZURE). This biography tells me that Thevis was nicknamed “The Scarface of Porn,” that he started out running a newstand but his sales of Playboy inspired him to sell and produce more porn, an enterprise that eventually grew into a nationwide empire of magazines, loops and peep shows. One of his early projects was publishing two of Ed Wood’s porn novels. But before you get too charmed by his up-by-the-bootstraps story you should know he sold child and animal porn, was involved in gangland executions and when he got put away for burning down the warehouse of a guy who criticized him he busted out of prison, tracked down the former associate that testified against him and killed him and another guy with a shotgun.

Also he’s apparently still alive in prison so I’m not gonna criticize him either. This movie is great! Great job funding it, Scarface of Porn!
(read the rest of this shit…)

Star Time

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

There’s a pride that comes with renting a movie that I never heard of, that you never heard of, that nobody ever recommended to me before, and finding out it’s something interesting. Man, this one is not what I expected. I’m not saying I discovered an unheralded classic like I did when I stumbled across that Billy Dee Williams movie HIT! when it was only on VHS, but I definitely found an unusual one here.

And it’s all because of Slasher Search. As most of you know, every October I try to find some good slasher movies (preferably from the ’70s or ’80s, but I’m having to get lenient these days) that I’ve never seen before. Every year it gets harder, because the pool gets smaller, and I gotta look for more and more obscure ones, like the ones that haven’t even made it to DVD yet. In this case I got real desperate and ventured out of the horror section and I found this tape in Murder/Mystery/Suspense. It looked like it might be a slasher movie, seeing as how it showed a dude wearing a plastic baby mask holding an ax. Which can be used for slashing, is my contention. (read the rest of this shit…)

Samsara

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

You know how some of these prestige pictures, especially around Oscar season, you’re waiting for the release date and then you find out it’s “New York and L.A.,” and if you’re anywhere else you gotta wait another couple weeks or a month or something? Well, for its first week SAMSARA was only playing two theaters: the Landmark Sunshine in New York and the Cinerama in Seattle. TAKE THAT LOS ANGELES. YOU CHUMPS HAD TO WAIT A WEEK.

I thought Cinerama got the exclusive because they’re one of the few places that can project 70 mm, which is what this was filmed in (Panavision Super 70 if you want to know the name brand) but then it ended up being released only in digital computer file form anyway, by request of the filmatists. “SCREENED IN 4K” they call it. I would complain except it looked great, so I’m sure they knew what they were doing. (read the rest of this shit…)

Destricted: ‘Impaled’ by Larry Clark

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

tn_destrictedWhen I was working on my DEMOLITION MAN review recently I noticed that one of Marco Brambilla’s few directing credits was on DESTRICTED, an anthology of experimental shorts that got some attention in 2006 when it played Cannes Critics Week and was an official selection at Sundance. The official websight describes it as “the first short film collection of its kind, bringing together sex and art in a series of films created by some of the world’s most visual and provocative artists and directors. They reveal the diverse attitudes by which we represent ourselves sexually.” The cover says “WARNING: Contains strong real sex and strobing effects.” (That last part is ’cause Gaspar Noe did one of the shorts.)

Anyway I always heard the Larry Clark part was good, and now that I knew Brambilla did one I could review it and say “from the creators of KEN PARK and DEMOLITION MAN.”
(read the rest of this shit…)

Enter the Void

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

tn_enterthevoidLike the opening of BLACK CHRISTMAS, HALLOWEEN or THE FUNHOUSE, ENTER THE VOID starts out in a first-person-POV. You are Oscar, a young English speaking gwailo living in Tokyo. Oscar’s out on a balcony talking to this girl who’s wearing not much more than a t-shirt. Oscar’s doing it, so I’m doing it, I’m in his perspective. I see everything he looks at, I even see his blinks. He seems to blink alot, too.

I noticed the girl (turns out it’s Paz de la Huerta, the girl in the see-through raincoat in LIMITS OF CONTROL) was kinda cute. Then I figured out from the conversation that this is actually Oscar’s sister, which means she’s my sister. Our sister. Oh shit, sorry about that, Oscar. Shouldn’t have thought about that while I was seeing through your eyes. I made you into a sicko.

After she leaves he digs out his drug stash, shoots up and looks up at the ceiling and starts hallucinating. This is a movie with alot of psychedelic imagery interludes, sometimes going on as long as the light show in 2001. Moving, pulsing crystalline fractals that shift and melt and fold and swirl and bubble into the shape of veins and slime and cell tissue and then turn out to be a light fixture or something.

And we as Oscar go about our white man in Japan business and go to a club and, I’m sorry to say, we get shot and die. And we have an out of body experience. We float up into the air and just stare at our dead Oscar body laying there on the filthy restroom floor. (spoiler)

(read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Reviews MULHOLLAND DRIVE… But Which Cut’!

Friday, September 28th, 2001

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Which version of this movie did he see? He mentions the lesbian sex that dominates the third act, as other reviewers have, but he doesn’t go on and on about how hot it is, as other reviewers have, so does that mean Vern is just a classy guy, or is it possible he saw the original TV pilot?

Either way, AICN’s favorite outlaw has come up with something worth your time, a peek at what David Lynch has been up to…

VERN SAW MULLHOLLAND DRIVE

(includes the spoilers)

First off let me say I feel like a grade-a asshole sitting here Writing a movie review when so many innocent people died here this month and so many more will be dying in other countries soon. But I guess somehow you gotta get back to your life at some point and I’m afraid reviewing movies is about the best I can muster for this world. I speak on behalf of myself only but, let’s face it, even the best film Writers are basically just wasting your time. or at least that’s what the talbackers say about me, and I’m one of the best film Writers in my opinion, so you do the math. (read the rest of this shit…)