Friday, April 30, 2010

House of Holmes

April Re-Watch Film: House of Flying Daggers (2004). For a movie such as this (i.e. bold colors & action) I expected a better print on the blu-ray. Still enjoy this film but liked it better theatrically on the big screen (like Zhang Yimou's other strikingly colorful Hero).

Because it's expiring tomorrow on NWI, I chose King Kung Fu (1976), which is fairly awful spoof film in the line of They Call Me Bruce and others from around that time. This is another one that might have been better esp. w/knock-out model Maxie Gray as "Rae Fay" but even her running around in a bikini isn't enough to make this watchable.

Right on schedule Asylum releases a film to compliment to recent RDJr/Guy Ritchie Holmes flick by releasing Sherlock Holmes (2010) DTV. And as you'd expect from Asylum it's not very good. That said I thought it was okay as another take on a younger Holmes sans any real quality mystery. And they found a way to incorporate crappy CG dinosaurs and monsters! Go Asylum!
  • April New: 38
  • April Re-watch: 30
  • April Total: 68
  • 2010 TOTAL: 255

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two Isn't Always Better Than One

April Re-Watch Film: The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant (1971). Last saw this while visiting my relatives in Idaho back around 1980 or so. Was a rental that looked ridiculous so my cousin & I picked it up. Thought it was hilarious. Strangely enough having now just watched it, I find it more terrifying. Surprised to see Bruce Dern and Casey Kasem in this but nice to see Pat Priest (The Munsters). Sure, this flick ain't great but an interesting and creepy watch.

  • April New: 36
  • April Re-watch: 29
  • April Total: 65
  • 2010 TOTAL: 252

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

April Re-Watch Film: The Maltese Falcon (1941). Haven't seen this since my college film class. Bogart as Sam Spade is so damn fun to watch. Glad to see this again.

  • April New: 36
  • April Re-watch: 28
  • April Total: 64
  • 2010 TOTAL: 251

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Future Lost

April Re-Watch Film: The City of Lost Children (1995). Can we all agree that this film needs a blu-ray release? My god the set pieces are beautiful.

Recorded The Clairvoyant (1934) from TCM, and with Claude Rains in the lead along side Fay Wray I really expected an overall better flick. The courtroom drama in the 3rd act really loses me. Could've been great if it had legs. Rains & Ray are both excellent but needed a better script here.
  • April New: 36
  • April Re-watch: 27
  • April Total: 63
  • 2010 TOTAL: 250

Monday, April 26, 2010

Deliver Me Unto Evil

April Re-Watch Film: Deliverance (1972). Picked up the blu-ray from my library as I've been wanting to revisit for some time now. The opening Dueling Banjo sequence w/Ronny Cox will remain one of the greatest classic moments in film. Sadly the BD print isn't so great (again, typical of 70s films).

From Netflix I received Jekyll + Hyde (2006). As you easily guessed it's a modern retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel. But unfortunately not a very good retelling. Actually it's just annoying. If there's a saving grace (not really) it's watching Bree Turner twist and turn onscreen. Man, do I love that girl. She's like a younger Alicia Coppola, whom I also adore. Anyhoo, this movie stinks.
  • April New: 35
  • April Re-watch: 26
  • April Total: 61
  • 2010 TOTAL: 248

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sam I Am

April Re-Watch Film: Trick 'r Treat (2008). Yet another film my brother hadn't seen (notice a trend here?). Figured he'd be all over this one since he actually had his wedding party on Halloween last year. And of course he dug the hell out of it. Won't be surprised if he ends up picking this one up.

  • April New: 34
  • April Re-watch: 25
  • April Total: 59
  • 2010 TOTAL: 246

Saturday, April 24, 2010


April Re-Watch Film: Up (2009). Another film my brother hadn't seen (this time b/c he "doesn't watch kid's movies"). Told him he didn't have a choice and was looking for an excuse to watch my blu-ray. When it was over I think he found a new appreciation for "kid's movies." Yes, this is still a great film and I'm no longer regretting having it in my top ten for 2009.

  • April New: 34
  • April Re-watch: 24
  • April Total: 58
  • 2010 TOTAL: 245

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dances with Na'vi

April Re-Watch Film: Avatar (2009) on Blu-Ray. Picked up the BD at Best Buy after our Chicago eats & craft beer tour for the day. My brother didn't see it theatrically and had no desire to ever see it citing his hatred towards James Cameron. But I think he was engrossed as we watched. The BD looks incredible (possibly the best I've seen).

(I'm still in love with with Neytiri)

  • April New: 34
  • April Re-watch: 23
  • April Total: 57
  • 2010 TOTAL: 244

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Attack of the Clones

April Re-Watch Film: Moon (2009). My brother flew into town today so tonight I fired up this flick via NWI since he hadn't seen it. Forgot how much I love this film! Sam Rockwell is a treasure.

  • April New: 34
  • April Re-watch: 22
  • April Total: 56
  • 2010 TOTAL: 243

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Strange Savage Romance

April Re-Watch Film: Dr. Strangelove (1964). Shouldn't be surprised how well this film still holds up. Crazy good.

Ah yes, another Andy Sidaris flick L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach (1998)... whew, that's a helluva title. I think I've seen this one before (either that or Day of the Warrior) b/c I remember Kevin Eastman having a small supporting role. Yes, that Kevin Eastman, creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (and then husband to Julie Strain, who is also featured here). This would be the last film Andy Sidaris would write & direct (RIP). And he still brings the entire package including two enhanced vixens (Julie K. Smith & Shae Marks) as well as Paul Logan (MEGA PIRANHA). Of course Rodrigo Obregón is back. Not particularly a fan of this film as I am w/Sidaris' earlier work. But lives up to the Sidaris tradition of Bullets, Bombs & Babes (or Boobs).

From TCM, I watched Rafter Romance (1933) starring Ginger Rogers in a delightful rom-com. She's quite the dish in this rather unbelievable story of two roommates who never see each other and despise each other yet manage to fall in love. Yeah, it's that kind of story. Charming & fun.
  • April New: 34
  • April Re-watch: 21
  • April Total: 55
  • 2010 TOTAL: 242

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spider Food For Thought

April Re-Watch Film: Kingdom Of The Spiders (1977). Been way too long since I've watched Bill "Rack" Shatner fend off deadly spiders that inexplicably appear by the thousands to devour a small town. But now I want the recent special edition release.

From my library, I soaked up Yoichi Sai's brilliant film adaptation of Kazuichi Hanawa's popular manga Keimusho no naka a.k.a. Doing Time (2002). Cast with famous faces of Japanese cinema (stalwart Tsutomu Yamazaki in the lead), this is a simple story of the daily lives of men imprisoned. Watching this kinda makes one want to be placed in this prison, as life, while still quite structured, is actually quite good (so long as they follow the rules). Even solitary confinement isn't so bad! I'm also putting this one in my top 5 foodie films because hot damn these prisoners eat well (better than me, in fact). My stomach grumbled aching for the incredible food on display. Highest recommendation for this film.
  • April New: 32
  • April Re-watch: 20
  • April Total: 52
  • 2010 TOTAL: 239

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lighten up, Francis

April Re-Watch Film: Stripes (1981). Truth: saw this theatrically and didn't care so much for it. Over the years it's grown me but still was meh about it. But found on this viewing that I enjoy it a lot more despite the issues I still have in the third act.

I'm a little saddened that Jim Wynorski's take on family fare, Munchie (1992), is OOP. While not being the best of its kind it still has a charm worthy of any kid's collection. If I were a youngster and viewed this, I'm sure I'd love it. What kid wouldn't want their own little creature that makes wishes come true? I know I did (still do). Great cast too with Andrew Effin' Stevens, Loni Anderson, a fragile Jennifer Love Hewitt and the voice of Dom DeLuise. Fun seeing Wynorski's risque sensibility threaded throughout.

If you know me (or read my tally posts) you know that I would love a film called Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969). And thanks to Warner Archives, I now own this film. Directed by James Hill and featuring Robert Ryan as Nemo there's a lot to enjoy in this ridiculous installment on the adventures of Nemo and his hatred towards land-dwellers. The underwater city & models are outstanding. The set pieces are crazy. And the idea they harvest gold so easily it's literally scrap metal is also crazy. Chuck Connors makes for an admirable hero and Luciana Paluzzi (Thunderball) is as fetching as ever. Not for everyone but people like me.
  • April New: 31
  • April Re-watch: 19
  • April Total: 50
  • 2010 TOTAL: 237

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Serenity Now!

April Re-Watch Film: Serenity (2005). Think I love this flick more after each viewing. Wondering if I should get the Blu-Ray (if the quality is worthy). This film makes me believe that Joss Whedon could make a stellar Avengers flick; he handles the ensemble well here.

Treated myself to Brian Trenchard-Smith's quite entertaining riff on The Most Dangerous Game, Escape 2000 (1983 - USA) a.k.a Turkey Shoot. Whether you're a BTS fan or not, there is a lot to love here, esp. if you enjoy the theme & general exploitive time in which it was made. Features Olivia Hussey (yum!) and tremendous kill scenes in addition to loads of general character wackiness. Steve Railsback is also great. The behind the scenes featurettes are also excellent as is BTS's commentary. Highly recommended. This makes at least 2 The Most Dangerous Game flicks I can remember viewing this month. There must be a list out there of all the films with the same theme.
  • April New: 29
  • April Re-watch: 18
  • April Total: 47
  • 2010 TOTAL: 234

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Life Less Ordinary

April Re-Watch Film: Monty Python's Life Of Brian (1979). Library Blu-Ray grab but isn't enhanced on that format (typical late 70s film issue). Doesn't hold up as well for me unfortunately.

After C2E2 Comic Expo, we headed over to Showplace Icon on Roosevelt for Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass (2010) on the big screen and a really big screen it was! We had to select our seats when we purchased our tickets. Amazing theater. Oh yeah, this film is metal. Loved it a lot. Isn't perfect but has a few great sequences that put it over the top. Big Daddy & Hit Girl make the film. See it!
  • April New: 28
  • April Re-watch: 17
  • April Total: 45
  • 2010 TOTAL: 232

Friday, April 16, 2010

Underwater A L I E N

April Re-Watch Film: Leviathan (1989). Long day downtown @ Cubs game + pre/post festivities meant only one tally today. Still dig this flick & ensemble cast: Weller, Hudson, Crenna, Stern, et al. And always had (have) a thing for Amanda Pays. mmmm.

  • April New: 27
  • April Re-watch: 16
  • April Total: 43
  • 2010 TOTAL: 230

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hunter & The Hunted

April Re-Watch Film: Batman - Mask of the Phantasm (1993). Always bugged me that I knew the identity of the Phantasm before seeing the film b/c of the action figure.

For being nearly a note for note riff on The Most Dangerous Game, Ken Dixon's Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity (1987) isn't half bad. That is to say if you enjoy cheesy 80s films as I do. Scream Queen Brinke Stevens is relegated to third behind the two leads, which I actually preferred over her in this. I'm sure someone out there has noted that Don Scribner is ringer for Christian Bale's much older brother (or father). Same jaw line. Silly but fun flick.
  • April New: 27
  • April Re-watch: 15
  • April Total: 42
  • 2010 TOTAL: 229

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I choose you, Pikachu!

April Re-Watch Film: Dead or Alive (1999), first in Takashi Miike's exacerbated yakuza DOA trilogy. 竹内力は良いです! Would love to have a clean hi-def print of this one.

As the sequel to Hard Hunted, Andy Sidaris manages to turn it up a notch in Fit to Kill (1993), which really means more Bullets, Bombs & Babes. And I enjoyed this one a little more as Roberta Vasquez gets a prime scene. The downside of moving into 90s Sidaris territory is less "naturally blessed" femme fatales and more artificially enhanced women (see Enemy Gold). I think that's why his 80s run is more appealing. At least Dona Spier & Vasquez are still the leads (only up to this film, sadly). Maybe it's why this is the last "great" Sidaris flick (Drew, his son, took over from this point forward 'cept for Day of the Warrior in '96).
  • April New: 26
  • April Re-watch: 14
  • April Total: 40
  • 2010 TOTAL: 227

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My What Big Claws You Have

April Re-Watch Film: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) on Blu-Ray. Couldn't resist picking this up from the Quick Picks at my library. Despite numerous problems this is my kind of dumb film.

Knocking another 80s B-movie off my unseen list, I gave way to Neil Jordan's stylized werewolf film The Company of Wolves (1985 - US) that's actually a decent Little Red Riding Hood thriller despite being entirely told within in a dream sequence. Love the set pieces along w/look & feel. Effects are dated but work. A decent entry in the werewolf lineage.

Direct from NWI is the Italo-horror Monster of Venice (1965) a.k.a. The Embalmer. Not a great film by any means but attractive actresses (of course) and sneaky villain who embalms his beautiful victims and puts them on display made for a solid watch.
  • April New: 25
  • April Re-watch: 13
  • April Total: 38
  • 2010 TOTAL: 225

Monday, April 12, 2010


April Re-Watch Film: Enemy Gold (1993). Another Sidaris flick I saw a lot of on cable/skinemax back in the day.

Courtesy of TCM: watched Burt Reynolds in White Lightning (1973). Fairly solid flick but think I enjoy the sequel better. Appreciate that Reynolds seemed to gravitate towards car chase flicks during his heyday.

More kudos to NWI for having the OOP Dinosaurus! (1960) available. Two dinosaurs discovered underwater brought to life by... lightning! A little sad that of the two remaining dinosaurs the humans let one kill the other then proceed to kill the last dinosaur while allowing the last living caveman to also be killed. Sad! Fun watch tho.

Another gem on NWI The Alligator People (1959) features Lon Chaney Jr. in a supporting role in a nice, old school horror flick w/some fun creature effects. I'm kinda fond of any flick involving reptile people.
  • April New: 23
  • April Re-watch: 12
  • April Total: 35
  • 2010 TOTAL: 222