Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another Piece of Meat

Tackled a couple more expiring films from the Neflix Instawatch queue starting with Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006). Really not much new here in terms of material but it's always fun to hear directors and actors talk about this period of film. A little sad that one of the films mentioned I haven't seen and it's spoiled in this documentary but ah well. That's my fault for not seeing it sooner. 7 / 10

Finally. Finally knocked off Raptor Island (2004) after failing on an earlier attempt (I fell asleep). No surprise why it took more than one attempt to finish this because it's goddamn awful. Terrible CG and Lorenzo Lamas hams his way thru it. 4 / 10

  • May New: 44
  • May Re-watch: 4
  • May '11 Total: 48
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 316

Monday, May 30, 2011

Surviving the Ghost

Because it was expiring on the Watch Instantly I fired up Don Coscarelli's Survival Quest (1989), featuring my favorite Lance Henriksen. This is an more than adequate mountain survival flick with some good character moments. Enjoyed seeing the young Catherine Keener getting flustered. Good watch. 7 / 10

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) was also on the box. I missed its theatrical debut since after the first film I just lacked any interest in the story. That said, I kinda like this film and some of the scares. In the right mindset this can be very effective. Also like that it's a prequel and sequel in one film, which I haven't seen. It just works for me. 7 / 10

Recently acquired the blu-ray for From Paris with Love (2010) during the Blockbuster sale. Heard of mix of reactions when the movie was released so I was very curious. Now having seen this movie I can say that I'm sad I didn't go out to catch it in the theater. Damn, this is fun ride, folks. Screw the naysayers and see this movie. It's balls out fun. 7.5 / 10

  • May New: 42
  • May Re-watch: 4
  • May '11 Total: 46
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 314

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Simpler Tides

Ventured out to the cinema to view the next installment in the Pirates franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) directed by Rob Marshall. Despite being sufficient in continuing the story with Jack Sparrow nothing about the movie feels epic in scope compared to the others. No big set-pieces. That and Sparrow being left to carry the film really bring it down. It's just not very interesting. 6 / 10

Back to my blindspot project I finally watched the Coen's Blood Simple. (1984). Such a meaty film that I know I will have to watch again. Not sure I was in the best frame of mind to really absorb it properly but this is a damn good film. 7.6 / 10

  • May New: 39
  • May Re-watch: 4
  • May '11 Total: 43
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 311

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dead Heat

Now that the girlfriend is on her way to the Dominican Republic, I'm back to watching movies. From Instawatch I dropped in an old sex comedy H.O.T.S. (1979), which I had only seen parts of thru the years. Yeah, this is dumb film but certainly watchable for those that dig these (as I do). It's the familiar story of outcast girls starting their own sorority as some crooks fall in to steal their money from a fundraiser. Playboy Playmate Susan Lynn Kiger leads the pack, and Danny Bonaduce even has a somewhat prominent role. Dumb fun. 6 / 10

Dead Man's Shoes (2004) was twitter rec based on some Paddy Considine discussion. Another cool flick I wished I had seen sooner. And one I'd also recommend. Well crafted story of a man who returns to avenge the brutality weighed on his brother by a group of hoodlums. Very worthy Shane Meadows joint. 7 / 10

  • May New: 37
  • May Re-watch: 4
  • May '11 Total: 41
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 309

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Toys are Back in Town

My girlfriend is in town for a couple of days before her flight to Santo Domingo and she was up for viewing a film (a rarity). I suggested Beauty in the Beast on Blu that I just recently acquired but she wanted to see Toy Story 3 (2010) instead. Of course I was game because I adore that film (it did make my best of 2010 list). And as expected she loved the film. When I originally saw the movie I knew that she'd also love it because of a few plot turns and sequences. Watching this movie with her was better than seeing it in the theater. Wish we had more experiences like that. 9.2 / 10

  • May New: 35
  • May Re-watch: 4
  • May '11 Total: 39
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 307

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not So Special FX

Feeling for some more Larry Cohen I picked off Special Effects (1984) from Netflix Instant Watch despite also owning the DVD. While not one of Cohen's best films it still has some merit as Eric Bogosian as a sleazy director and Zoë Lund as his muse. A few different choices could have improved this movie but it still works as a curiosity piece in Cohen's catalog. But I still like the look and location. 6.5 / 10

  • May New: 35
  • May Re-watch: 3
  • May '11 Total: 38
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 306

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Believe, Brov

Cruised down to Showplace ICON to finally get an advanced screening of the much talked about and critically hyped Attack the Block (2011). It's the rare occasion when a hyped film lives up to said hype. ATB is one of those films. Met up with Ron and Kreeplady Kristin who already had their seats behind mine, which was great because I could hear them laughing and cheering during the viewing. Hard to declare a movie perfect but ATB is pretty damn close. It'll take a few more viewings to declare it as such but for now it's an easy mark for my best of 2011 list. 9 / 10

  • May New: 34
  • May Re-watch: 3
  • May '11 Total: 37
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 305

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Empire of the Ant

Spellcaster (1992) is another horror film that plays on the same old premise of "invite a bunch of people to an old house then murder them." In this twist it's an eccentric dude portrayed by Adam Ant and the attendees are hopeful contestants to win a million dollars. Not a good film by any stretch but I had fun with it. 6 / 10

  • May New: 33
  • May Re-watch: 3
  • May '11 Total: 36
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 304

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wagner Splint

Splinter (2008) was a recent used blu-ray purchase during Blockbusters close-out sales. Hadn't seen it since its initial run so it was time to revisit. Looks great on blu and I love the movie even more on my second viewing. The creature effects and gore are done so well. Excellent horror and suspense. 7.5 / 10

  • May New: 32
  • May Re-watch: 3
  • May '11 Total: 35
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 303

Sunday, May 22, 2011

People Who Died

Started watching Walter Hill's Brewster's Millions (1985) on Instawatch but it expired before I could finish. Fortunately my library's catalog had it. Very entertaining Richard Pryor / John Candy film with some clever writing. 7 / 10

My blu-ray double feature disc featuring Student Bodies (1981) arrived and I couldn't wait to check it out. As an early spoof of the slasher genre (just as slashers were becoming a genre no less), I like this film much more than any modern day spoof. Probably because it still has a enough charm to make it likable. 6 / 10

  • May New: 32
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 34
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 302

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nude Necking

Sam Fuller's The Naked Kiss (1964) only came into my awareness when it was just released by Criterion with the beautiful cover art by Daniel Clowes. I was curious. Turns out Fuller's work and reputation is all that and then some. I love this film. Story, characters, and tone work so exceptionally well. I will pick this up on Blu. 7.6 / 10

  • May New: 30
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 32
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 300

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Made in France

I've been getting into more Godard recently (as in the past couple of years) and Made in U.S.A. (1966) a visual treat. It's also on my blindspot project list. I can see why as it's hard not to watch the stunning Anna Karina. Marianne Faithfull is also badass. This is one that deserves more than one viewing if not to understand the plot but to stare in awe at the imagery. 7.5 / 10

  • May New: 29
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 31
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 299

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Terror Times Three

Fairly certain I've seen the Trilogy of Terror films when I was a child because I do recall bits and pieces. But now that Trilogy of Terror (1975) is available on DVD I wanted to watch it since I've been slowly tackling horror anthology movies over the years. This one is quite great as Karen Black is excellent in each segment. 7.5 / 10

  • May New: 28
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 30
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 298

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Preaching in Paradise

Back to @leiabox's best documentary list I finally sat down with Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996). This is a long film but I think I never bothered because this case had received so much attention at the time I didn't feel I needed to watch it. But I'm glad I did even though it just made more upset at the incompetence and ignorance of all the people involved. 8 / 10

Went out for a big screen viewing of Priest (2011), which had been on my radar since the first trailers hit. It has all the hallmarks of what I like in silly, post-apocalyptic films, including Maggie Q. Sadly it's not very good yet good enough for my tastes. I would watch this again on Blu. 6 / 10

  • May New: 27
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 29
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 297

Monday, May 16, 2011

Exploring Space

In revisiting movies from the eighties that I somehow missed I picked up Joe Dante's Explorers (1985) due to the buzz surrounding the upcoming Super 8 flick. I really wish I had seen this when I was 10 years old… or at least when it was released. It's a cute movie and I like the idea of these kids with their space adventure. 6.8 / 10

  • May New: 25
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 27
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 295

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Despising Twilight

A couple of library grabs today. First up one I wasn't keen on seeing in the theater, Despicable Me (2010). For at least the first half of this film I was glad I skipped it but somehow the charm finally comes thru in the second half making it cute and watchable. 6.5 / 10

Now a much lesser in quality movie Vampires Suck (2010), which is exactly what you'd expect in a modern vampire, ahem Twilight spoof from Friedberg/Seltzer. And not really being a fan of these this one is on par with most others and not all that good. But since it is actually more entertaining than Twilight I'll give a better score. 5 / 10

  • May New: 24
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 26
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 294

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spenser For Hire

When perusing OnDemand titles I saw that The Ice Pirates (1984) was available in HD! High Def, people! Having somehow missed this treasure and loving the heck outta Robert Urich, this was a no-brainer. Man oh man do I heart this movie. It's like everything I want in a cheesy space western adventure movie. I would own this on Blu-ray. 7 / 10

Finally made it out to see Thor (2011). Parts of it I really like and other parts are just meh. It's a mixed bag that mostly works and saved by breakout performance by Chris Hemsworth. The Hawkeye cameo wasn't needed but it made me smile. Agreed that Natalie Portman's character was paper thin but she looks terrific. Sadly the Warrior Three are wasted but it's a rewatchable flick. 7 / 10

Dipped in my Greydon Clark DVDs I picked up from HorrorHound Weekend and gave Angels' Brigade (1979) a watch. Sublime silliness. Goofy entertainment. Plus Jack Palance and Jim Backus! The tagline: "Seven super sexy girls take on the bad guys in an explosion of wild action, crazy stunts, and loads of laughs!" Now doesn't that make you wanna see this film? 6 / 10

  • May New: 22
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 24
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 292

Friday, May 13, 2011

Devil in the Details

Back to @leiabox's documentary list I sat down with Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) and became more infuriated as it went along. And it's a long film. Just disgusting what these asshats got away with and the people that suffered. 7 / 10

Due Date (2010) was a library quick pick and marginally okay despite not being a bit plausible. That is the film's biggest problem; with the setup it provides in the intro it is unlikely any of this would transpire. RDjr's character could've had money wired to him or found another way to get transportation thus avoiding the entire journey with Galifianakis. Not a smart movie but I laughed at a few the gags. 6.5 / 10

The Brotherhood of Satan (1971) was a rare OnDemand flick I decided watch after Mitch (@DoctorGore) mentioned it on twitter. Not a great movie but I always enjoy these 70s devil worship films. Plot from imdb: "A family is trapped in a desert town by a cult of senior-citizens who recruit the town's children to worship Satan." 6.5 / 10

  • May New: 19
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 21
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 289

Thursday, May 12, 2011

No Thanks to Mystery

From my library I finally decided to give Sorority Row (2009) a spin. Stupid movie in a not good way and challenging to maintain any interest or care for it and the characters. Good production but lousy screenplay. 5 / 10

ThanksKilling (2009) has been in my Neflix Watch Instantly queue since the day it was added… but since it was expiring I finally clicked it. Wasn't looking forward to viewing b/c it's akin to a awful Troma flick. And I was right. Not enjoyable. 4 / 10

Mystery on Monster Island a.k.a. Misterio en la isla de los monstruos (1981) is a bizarre mash-up of Robinson Crusoe and The Lost World, a Spanish one at that. It features Peter Cushing, Terrace Stamp and Paul Naschy in small supporting roles. The main protagonist is a young man sent to survive on an island full of monsters and hidden gold. I won't say anymore because it would be giving away the main idea of the film. Not a good movie but certainly interesting. 6 / 10

  • May New: 16
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 18
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 286

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Abominable Indeed

Tonight's Horror Movie Night selection was The Abomination (1986). Some might say that title is appropriate but holy shit is there a lot to love in this low budget, wacky gore fest. It's really just something that should be seen rather than explained. But I do highly recommend checking out my friend @zombiefreak's wonderful write-up for The Abomination in his Chronicles of Horror Movie Night series. 6.5 / 10

  • May New: 13
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 15
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 283

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Teenage Heroes

Not sure why I had Toy Soldiers (1984) so high in my queue (maybe it was a "short wait" is red light indicator that the DVD may soon become unavailable on Netflix). Regardless, I got it and watched. Other than featuring a young Tim Robbins and hot body Tracy Scoggins, this isn't a good movie. Kids on a boating trip get separated on an island when a few get kidnapped by pirates. The remaining kids and Jason Miller as Sarge go on a rescue mission. The ending climax kinda saves the film along with some of the violence. 6 / 10

  • May New: 12
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 14
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 282

Monday, May 09, 2011

Murder, Yes.

Another smaller project I committed to starting was watching all my unseen films on Carolee's (@leiabox) awesome ABC's of her favorite documentary films. There are 26 listed, natch, and I had only seen 8 of them. The Yes Men (2003) I plopped in and enjoyed it immensely. Kinda insane these guys were able to pull off what they did but good on 'em. 7 / 10

Back to my primary blindspot project of Flickchart Top 500 unseen, I spun Dial M for Murder (1954) - ranked 368 overall. This is also another Hitchcock I haven't seen so it also works toward my Hitchcock project that I haven't officially started. Really, really like this film. More than I expected. The suspense is palpable. 8.5 / 10

  • May New: 11
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 13
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 281

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mighty Heat

Getting back to my primary blindspot project (to watch all my unseen films in Flickchart's Top 500) I queued Some Like It Hot (1959), rated 320 overall at Flickchart. This is Billy Wilder I love. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are so damn good even if it's an often high suspension of belief to think they can pull off women in drag for so long unnoticed. Marilyn Monroe has some sweet scenes but it's those two guys that make this great. 7.5 / 10

The Asylum's Almighty Thor (2011) premiered on SyFy to coincide with the big budget Marvel release of Thor. Of course I had to watch it but I'll go on record stating this is not one of the better Asylum films (and that, my friends, is saying a lot). It's just not good. At all. 4 / 10

  • May New: 9
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 11
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 279

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Prepared to be Slimed

Had Kinji Fukasaku's The Green Slime (1968) recorded on my DVR from TCM for at least a year and decided it was time to knock it out. What a trip that I'm not even sure I could explain it fully. But helluva catchy theme song! Wouldn't mind having this on DVD / BD someday. 6 / 10

Now out the theater for Justin Lin's Fast Five (2011). Damn. This is what all summer tent pole actioners should aspire to. Big, loud, packed to brim with testosterone and beautiful people even when they're covered in grime. I would go see it this again in a heartbeat if it weren't so damn long. Definitely will pick it up on Blu and rematch. Gal Gadot is hot. Sung Kang! Who knew Don Omar could act?! Big dumb and exciting. 8 / 10

From the Instawatch I cleared another John Waters film from my blindspot list, A Dirty Shame (2004). Had no idea what to expect and just based on the turn this film takes, it wouldn't have mattered. Fun movie and great cast. 7 / 10

  • May New: 7
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 9
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 277

Friday, May 06, 2011

Mustaches Always Win

Reached in to my VHS vault (the shelf behind my couch) to screen Scorpion (1986), an absolutely humdrum action thriller directed by William Riead. "Thriller" should be used loosely as our protagonist (Tonny Tulleners) is as milquetoast as they come despite being a serious ass-kicker. As I described on GoMiso: Mustachioed super agent Steve Woods must save the country from terrorism one terrorist at a time. But it has its moments for decent watch. 6 / 10

Picked the blu-ray of Salt (2010) from my library figuring to give it another go since seeing it in the theater. It's still a good if not wholly unbelievable ride following Angelina as she runs and kicks ass. Good looking film in HD. 7 / 10

  • May New: 4
  • May Re-watch: 2
  • May '11 Total: 6
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 274

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I Scream, You Scream

Finally made my way to the cinema for the big screen viewing of Wes Craven's Scream 4 (2011). After recently screening the first three films last month I was as prepared as I could've been but not excited. The verbal thrashing online was severely decreasing my interest. However, I found myself enjoying the ride of this one up until the end reveal. It plays a dirty trick that I despise in thriller suspense flicks. But the ride is fun and I adore Alison Brie as a total bitch. 7 / 10

  • May New: 3
  • May Re-watch: 1
  • May '11 Total: 4
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 272

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

In My Dreams

Dreamaniac (1986) was today's Horror Movie Night pick. I watched it as recent as last year but in the spirit of HMN I watched it again this evening. It's really a fucked up movie and a good HMN selection. Read what I wrote last time I viewed Dreamaniac. For a much more thought analysis, please read @zombiefreak's write-up as he chronicles every Horror Movie Night. 6 / 10

  • May New: 2
  • May Re-watch: 1
  • May '11 Total: 3
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 271

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Hiding Out

Jack Sholder's The Hidden (1987) is a movie that I will cop to having only seen in parts thru the years. It was one of those films that we'd see on TV and say, "Oh it's The Hidden!! Fuck yeah!" but never really watch all the way through. Deciding to own up to never really seeing the entire film start to finish, I pulled it from my library. It still lives up to all those "Fuck yeah"s from my youth. Brilliant film. Suspect they'll remake this one soon. 7.7 / 10

  • May New: 2
  • May Re-watch: 0
  • May '11 Total: 2
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 270

Monday, May 02, 2011

Back in Black

Blacula (1972) was a spin of the old Netflix Instant Watch. Had never seen before so figured now was a good time. Reality is that this is a pretty damn good film. Would love to do this and Scream Blacula Scream back to back. William Marshall is a great Dracula… er, Blacula. 7 / 10

  • May New: 1
  • May Re-watch: 0
  • May '11 Total: 1
  • May '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 269

Sunday, May 01, 2011

April Movie Tally

Here's the round-up for films watched in April...
Watched 39 films in April, which might be my lowest monthly total since 2009. 31 were first time views and 8 were re-watches. I attribute this mainly to being out in San Jose for a 5 day vacation and my brother and his wife visiting for 4 days (didn't watch any films for 9 days so my average per day was still 2+ ;). Even thought I didn't watch many films clearly I viewed more newer films (90s+). Highlights included the Stuart Gordon/Barbara Crampton event at Portage and the Alex Winter New Cult Canon event at Music Box. Currently I'm at 268 films viewed this year.

Breakdown by decade:
4 films from the pre-eighties
8 films from the eighties
11 films from the nineties
9 films from the naughts
7 films released in '10s

List of all films seen (w/my score on a 10-scale):
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) 6.5
Along Came Polly (2004) 7 rewatch
Castle Freak (1995) 7 Full Moon Horror Fest
Dark Angel: The Ascent (1994) 6
Death Wish 3 (1985) 7.5 New Cult Canon
Down Terrace (2009) 8 movie night
Dracula's Widow (1988) 5.5
Evil Bong 3-D: The Wrath of Bong (2011) 5 Full Moon Horror Fest
Fade to Black (1980) 7 movie night
Fast & Furious (2009) 7
Freaked (1993) 6.5 rewatch New Cult Canon
From Beyond (1986) 7.5 rewatch Full Moon Horror Fest
Guns (1990) 6
Hanna (2011) 9 *cinema
Hard Hunted (1992) 6.5 rewatch
Insidious (2010) 7.5 *cinema
Kaette kita yopparai (1968) 6.7
Kongo (1932) 7
La marche de l'empereur (2005) 6
Mandroid (1993) 5
Marwencol (2010) 8
Nemesis 2: Nebula (1995) 6
Raw Force (1982) 7.5 movie night
Re-Animator (1985) 7.7 rewatch Full Moon Horror Fest
Robot Wars (1993) 6.5
Scared to Death (1981) 6.5
Scream (1981) 5
Scream (1996) 7 rewatch
Scream 2 (1997) 6.5 rewatch
Scream 3 (2000) 6.5
Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979) 7
Source Code (2011) 8 *cinema
Sucker Punch (2011) 7.7 rewatch *cinema
Talhotblond (2009) 7.5
The Fast and the Furious (2001) 6.5
The Hills Have Eyes (1977) 7
The Shooter (1995) 6
Your Highness (2011) 6.5 *cinema
Zombie Strippers! (2008) 5

  • April New: 31
  • April Re-watch: 8
  • April '11 Total: 39
  • April '10 Total: 68
  • 2011 Total: 268