RSS feed for Dan
  • Lucy 2014

    ★★★ Watched 28 Jul, 2014

    If you only have time to see one movie this summer, you can see every movie this summer in Lucy.

    Every scene was more bafflingly stupid than the last, and every time you think it has reached peak stupidity, it barrels ahead full throttle. When Lucy ended, I clutched my head with my hands and let out a sound I don't think I've ever made before.

    I feel like I have to give the film some kind of respect, for…

  • The Dark Half 1993

    ★★½ Added

    The Dark Half of a good movie.

    Some of the moments in here though, are fantastic. Also, the ending is bonkers, hilarious and awesome. Romero's style lends itself well to some of the scenes here, but it meanders in the middle stretch and could have easily been an hour and a half.

    Other moments fall flat, like the doctors nonchalant reaction to finding an eyeball in someone's brain.

  • Tourist Trap 1979

    ★★★½ Watched 20 Jul, 2014

    Had very high hopes going in that were dashed slightly but the campy mood and awkward comical musical choices at moments, but those dang mannequins - eeeesh. Creepsville, USA.

  • Mechanical Violator Hakaider 1995

    ★★★ Watched 16 Jul, 2014

    A robot-villain dude is awoken after spending years chained up in the basement of some industrial-lookin' building and decides he should get on his wicked motorcycle and high-tail it on down to JESUS TOWN and fuck some shit up, light some flowers on fire, no biggie.

    The English dub is fantastically hilarious. There's a scene where two rebellion leaders are so abrubtly shot that is so funny, you'll choke on your popcorn.

  • Death Valley 1982

    ★★★ Added

    Death Valley is a neat little thriller with a sneakily great performance from Peter Billingsley centering the picture.

    The weakest link is actually director Dick Richards, if you ask me. For every wonderfully tense moment, there is another that seems flubbed or staged awkwardly. It never becomes a major problem, but had this film been directed by someone with more of a handle on their style, it could have been something major instead of a nice, slightly overlooked diversion.


  • Begin Again 2013

    ★★ Watched 14 Jul, 2014

    Reviewed for Episode 122 of the See You Next Wednesday Podcast

    If Once was the independent, underground break-out hit record, then Begin Again is the major label debut where you can still see kernals of what made that debut so enjoyable, but they're buried in there under studio sheen and gloss.

    Sometimes it's charming and well performed, often times it's maddeningly stupid with awful performances (Adam Levigne, looking in your direction), but mostly it's entirely mediocre.

    It's the kind of…

  • Sledgehammer 1983

    ★★★½ Rewatched 13 Jul, 2014


    Still great with a crowd, maybe even better a second time, when you know what they're in for and get to witness their reactions having already seen it.

  • Blood and Concrete 1991

    ★½ Watched 13 Jul, 2014

    Billy Zane stars in one of the most 90s movies ever, complete with nondescript jazz muzak, pseudo-neo-noir plotting and bargain-bin Lynchisms.

    Funnily enough, some of the performances/line-readings save Blood & Concrete from being best left entirely in the past. James LeGros and Darren McGavin both have moments where the physicality of their performances meld perfectly with their deliveries ("Let's go for a drive... STUPID!")

    But mostly - like a lot of movies from this era - Blood & Concrete wants to be…

  • Death Spa 1988

    ★★★★ Watched 13 Jul, 2014

    I have no idea what to say about Death Spa that hasn't already been said. It's spectacular.

    And also kind of refreshing to see a gimmick-based movie (horror, but at a spa!) being executed with a fairly high level of competence. It's goofy and terrible, but the cinematography was great and the dedication to its outlandish plot was appreciated. I dug that it wasn't just some psycho in a health spa, but something else entirely.

    Plus there's zombified sushi fish chowing down on people's faces, so fuck yeah!

  • The Zero Boys 1986

    ★★★ Watched 12 Jul, 2014

    The Zero Boys is a fair amalgamation of a few different genres, moving from goofy 80s-romp to slasher film early on, and finally through to a Deliverance aping backwoods survival pic in the finale.

    Nico Mastorakis' picture has some well-executed moments of palpable tension, despite the sub-slasher level characterizations - including a fair share of wince-inducing misogyny and homophobia, even for an 80s picture.

    That said, The Zero Boys almost attains the level of overlooked-gem, thanks to the plot's inability…

  • Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession 2004

    ★★★ Watched 10 Jul, 2014

    Fascinating - albiet overlong - documentary about one of the first-ever pay channels in America to offer true uncut feature films to its subscribers, and the downfall of both the channel and its curator/programmer Jerry Harvey's sanity.

    The film works best as an "ode to the obsession of movies" as well as a spotlight on how influential the channel really was - especially when it came to championing Director's Cuts of movies like Heaven's Gate and Once Upon a Time…

  • Deliver Us from Evil 2014

    ★½ Watched 05 Jul, 2014

    Reviewed on Episode 121 of See You Next Wednesday.

    At least Sinister was half of a good movie. Hope you're a big fan of The Doors.

    Laughed through most of this po-faced demon-filled take on vengeance and Catholicism, where the soundtrack is filled with crackles and spooky children straight from a Creepy Horror Movie Soundtrack CD and the women are pretty much only there to be plot-points to support an over-serious macho-fueled plot.