Monday, October 23, 2017

Tokyo Vampire Hotel - Festival Cut, Review

My first movie at #ChiFilmFest 2017 was Sion Sono's TOKYO VAMPIRE HOTEL, theatrical cut of his Amazon Series available on Amazon JP. I didn't realize it was a series when I got the ticket but was very pleased they created a festival version of this. Read my Tokyo Vampire Hotel Letterboxd mini-review. It's really fun and really bloody.

Watch the trailer for the Amazon series:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

And you'll float too.

182.0/42.5 - Stephen King's IT (2017) Really wanted to see this opening night but had to watch those Tsuchiya movies on TKU-TV. Was way too tired to go on Friday night. Couldn't make the times work yesterday with The Princess Bride screening so I went to the matinee this morning figuring it was a good time bc the Bears game was on (the shows have been selling out and having long lines all weekend). Well I was sorta right bc my theater was only mostly full. In fact that's the most I've seen attend a matinee at my AMC Showplace in Niles. That was nice to see but then I was worried about talkers and phone users. I was right; had a young woman next to me on her phone the entire time when she wasn't talking to the woman sitting next to her. It was so distracting I moved one seat over then finally got up and sat in the row behind me.

Anyways, I fully enjoyed this movie. Nice creepy visuals supported by an excellent young cast. I appreciate the rare 80s throwback movie that doesn't remind of that every 2 minutes. Also very happy they went rated-R. It was hella more believable to hear these kids behave and react like kids. Reminded me of me at that age. Overall very impressed with this movie and what it has accomplished (broke all records for rated-R horror and horror, in general). Not pleased that there are people out there that don't consider this horror... what the fuck. The opening sequence defines this movie as a horror movie and it only accelerates from there. People are either a) stupid b) in denial c) unfamiliar with horror or d) taking a shit on horror. Fuck that. This is a horror in every sense. Enjoy it.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The Princess Bride

183.0/42.5 - Headed down to the Patio Theater in Chicago for a free screening of THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Have not seen it on the big screen so it was worth the drive to go. It's such a fun and efficient movie that breezes by. Really miss Andre the Giant. I didn't stick around for The Goonies since I didn't feel like waiting another 45 minutes for a movie I don't care much for.

Friday, September 08, 2017

The Stylist (2016)

184.5/42.5 - Was happy to see the short film The Stylist (2016) on Shudder. This short premiered at Fantastic Fest last year and missed it. Been wanting to see it since I like Najarra Townsend. Effective and creepy.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

100 Shot, 100 Killed: Golden Eye (1968)

184.5/43 - Yoshio Tsuchiya passed away earlier this week. At 90 years he was one of the originals from Toho Films' heyday featured in so many of their genre films from the 50s to the 90s. He was also in a few documentaries produced in the 2000s. To celebrate his career TKU-TV programmed films all week featuring his work. I watched two this evening: 100 Shot, 100 Killed: Golden Eye a.k.a. Iron Finger 2 a.k.a. BOOTED BABE, BUSTED BOSS. And after that movie The Secret of the Telegian (1960). The former is a fun spy adventure that stars Akira Takarada in the lead role. The latter film is a crackling 60s sci-fi crime thriller. Hadn't seen either so it was fun to check these out. Will have to seek out the DVD for each.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Autumn Leaves (1956)

185.5/43 - The fall season for Chicago Film Society kicked off at NEIU tonight with a perfect film for the occasion. Autumn Leaves (1956) is the second Joan Crawford film I've seen this week (the other being Daisy Kenyon). This movie is another great example of going into a movie cold. Knew nothing about it and was supremely entertained by all the plot turns and twists. Man, does this get dark. Terrific performance by Crawford.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Wind River

188.0/43.5 - Went up to AMC Randhurst to see WIND RIVER bc I'd heard so much positive about it. Whoa is this intense. Like I forgot to breathe during a few scenes. Really great film about a true story that happened on a reservation in Wyoming. Well worth your time to seek this out.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Aakhri Adaalat

187.0/43.5 - Labor Day! Saw a few movies today including the new film The Hitman's Bodyguard, which is so much better than anyone has bothered to mention. It's like 90s throwback actioner and a total blast. Glad I went out to see it. Afterwards discovered that NWI has a whole boatload of Indian film so I fired up Aakhri Adaalat (1988) bc I love Jackie Shroff. This is a wild ride too with the plot turning a corner at each act. Vinod Khanna is disgraced inspector that can win in court to take down the bad guys when a vigilante appears and starts to murder the main crime lords. The gorgeous sub-inspector Dimple Kapadia immediately suspects Khanna. Then things get crazy.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Everyday is Valentine (2001)

185.0/43.5 - Watched another HK movie I ordered from Netflix, Everyday is Valentine (2001) starring Cecilia Cheung (the main reason I wanted to see this movie). This is like an old school Hollywood story but set in modern HK/Macau. Girl falls for a guy who pretends to be a rich guy due to a misunderstanding. He goes with it and comedy / romance / heartbreak ensues. Interesting that Cecilia, who is absolutely stunning here, is playing her age at 21 years old at the time. Not a great film but good enough. Hits all the right beats for a predictable conclusion.

Saturday, September 02, 2017


187.0/43.5 - Because it got a limited release I went out to AMC S.Barrington to see JACKALS. (Also saw the 40th anniversary re-release of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS to make it worth the long trip out there) Anyways, Jackals is half good. I like the cult aspect plus siege/home invasion premise. Unfortunately the family at the center of the story is so damn stupid that it makes the rest seem pointless.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Ingrid Goes West

188.5/43.5 - Because of the Labor Day weekend, office was closed early. So I split to go home and do more work before heading over to Muvico for a twilight screening of Ingrid Goes West. Was thrilled it had a showtime within the twilight window so I only paid $6.35. A good thing since moviepass isn't going to update my subscription until my renewal date (which is bullshit but whatever). I was really looking forward to this movie having heard good things. Turns out this isn't the movie for me. Well crafted and well acted but not a fan of stories like this. Super uncomfortable. I suppose that was the point.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Midnight Runners

190.5/43.5 - Had another physical therapy appt so bolted early to get home, changed and to the hospital. Was a little late but didn't bother Christina none. She's been a great therapist and I'll be sad when my visits end. However, I will be happy when I'm back to 100 percent. I'm still not there yet and have one more PT session to go. It's been a long process healing. I'll say it again; don't ever fracture your ankle.

After my PT session I headed up to AMC Showplace 12, my usual local cinema, for a movie. Midnight Runners, a new Korean film, was screening so I figured I'd take that in even though my moviepass subscription still hasn't updated to unlimited. So I paid the full admission price. Ah well. The movie is fine. It tries hard to be a comedy of two misfits trying to make their way into the police university. After they make it in is when the film starts to get more dire with a few humor beats thrown in to remind us of the comedy and keep it light.

The two leads are good but the action vs brains of the buddy cop team up never materializes. It’s just two recruits that are basically the same with the same interests and whatnot. Movie plays up the humor of this however and sometimes it works despite getting deadly serious when the crime ring unfolds. I don’t want to label as comedy but it tries so hard for half the film to be one then changes tone.
That these two guys have to break up the ring themselves is a odd thing to highlight the problems with process in the police force. I give it a half star bump for the post-credits stinger which affected me more than anything else in the film. Kinda amazing to note that my local cinema currently has three Korean films screening at the moment; Midnight Runners, A Taxi Driver, and The Battleship Island. I wish it was like this all year!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Noir City Chicago - Day 6

190.5/43.5 - Tonight was a Walter Matthau double feature of Charley Varrick and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974). I had already seen Varrick but have been wanting to see it on the big screen bc it's such a wonderful flick. Has a terrific performance by Joe Don Baker. Taking of Pelham is one that's long been on my watch list and I've been holding off viewing for just such an occasion. Gotta say this was a great way to see it for the first time; the theater was packed and was really into the movie. Didn't realize how funny it would be.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Noir City Chicago - Day 5

191.5/43.5 - Headed back to Noir City Chicago at the Music Box tonight. Double feature is The Brink's Job and Six Bridges to Cross. Both I haven't seen!

Monday, August 28, 2017

193.0/43.5 - Laputa: Castle in the Sky. As far as movie things go, very few things are better than seeing your favorite Miyazaki film on a giant screen.
So happy that Studio Ghibli films are getting a limited run in theaters this year. I skipped both My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service having seen both somewhat recently (probably should've gone anyways). But no way I was missing Laputa. This is a perfect film. Has all the touchpoints and hallmarks of a great Miyazaki story: adventure, fantasy, science fiction, and heart. If this movie was screening every week I'd probably go see it.