• Big Magnum Kuroiwa

    Big Magnum Kuroiwa

    ★★★½

    Begins with a brief “Magnum Force” homage before immediately cutting to a group of Nuke ‘em High Class of 1984 style punks riding construction equipment through the halls of a school. Things don’t really relent them from there, and while the cartoonish violence, kinetic energy, and broad satire aren’t really suited to the runtime, this does achieve a pretty rare tone and visual style, as if any of the bilious sukeban movies of the ‘70’s (I’m thinking “Lynch Law Classroom”…

  • The Rape After

    The Rape After

    ★★★

    Boilerplate HK incubus/vengeful demon/ghost/black magic exercise that lacks the production value and vision to be memorable, but has JUST enough gross out hijinks and corpse action to be considered adequate and not merely a slog. More "Devil Fetus" than "Devil Fetus." The protagonist is an asshole.

    To see what this kind of material looks like in the hands of a master, I suggest Kuei Chih-Hung's "Spirit of the Raped."

  • Battle Royale High School

    Battle Royale High School

    ★★★½

    Glorious mind rot. A hard-to-follow but basically unimportant conflict between the demon realm, the human realm, evil fairies, and a space-time continuum law enforcement agency facilitates some awesome fight scenes and beautifully designed demon attacks. While the level of onscreen viscera occasionally approaches death metal album cover territory, "Battle Royale High School" maintains enough of a purposely stupid and lighthearted tone that it lacks the staring-into-the abyss quality of a "Genocyber" or "Devil Man." Simply can't get enough of this kind of hyper violent 80's anime.

    Watched on YouTube.

  • The Wizard of Speed and Time

    The Wizard of Speed and Time

    ★★½

    An indictment of Hollywood bureaucracy/administration and its strangulation on creativity that is so annoying that it actually makes you kind of side with said bureaucracy. Jittlov comes off as high on his own supply, and it makes his protestations feel more Randian than anything else. And while this approximates a certain zany 80's tone that I have great affinity for, the ceaseless cacophony of everything really just made me desperate for this to end. Recommended for people who grew up…

  • Kenny & Company

    Kenny & Company

    ★★★½

    Like a Charlie Brown special in the universe of the original “Bad News Bears:” funny, melancholic, low-key, and pleasantly aimless. 1970’s parenting mores abound, and firearms are often pointed at or handed to children in a lighthearted, inconsequential way. Hard to know when I’ll carve out time to watch “Boyhood” but there’s no doubt Linklater has seen this, given his affinity for this kind of 70’s hangout vibe, and I would not be surprised if it was an influence. Of…

  • Release

    Release

    ★★★

    I’m evidently still enough of a fan of the Lehigh Valley pop punk band Weston that I clicked play on this as soon as I learned they were interviewed in it. Chuck Saltern wears an Insted shirt and is very funny as always. Smiling Jim Snyder is dressed like Chandler Bing and looks like he either needs to piss or wants to die. I had heard tell that Weston used to play shows with Earth Crisis and Sheer Terror but…

  • Exit to Eden

    Exit to Eden

    ★★½

    I was incredulous upon learning that this movie existed and incredulous while watching it. It’s not an original observation, but it’s safe to say that the well-produced soft core BDSM elements simply do not mix with the basically unfunny Aykroyd/O’Donnell buddy cop shenanigans. (Contemplate that sentence.) Sexiness and silliness can go together just fine, but it’s the fact that this movie’s A-plot is a sometimes uncomfortably earnest exploration of the importance of vulnerability that makes Ray Stantz doing bits in…

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    ★★½

    Visually ugly, with dated-looking color timing and unforgivable visual effects. It’s also completely choked with dialogue and exposition, shirking all opportunities for a contemplative moment in a movie that is three god damn hours long. There is simply not a deeply felt moment in this whole thing, though there’s definitely the pretense of such.

    I don’t really have a handle on what one is supposed to get out of a story like this to begin with, but in my opinion,…

  • The Glimmer Man

    The Glimmer Man

    ★★★½

    Weird one. Post- “Se7en”, post-Woo Seagal, taking punches and dispensing one liners, indicating studio interference a la “Marked for Death.” Really seems predictive of the unwatchable absurdity of his DTV career, but in the best way possible.

  • TerrorVision

    TerrorVision

    ★★★½

    Diane Franklin’s face is very active in this film.

    I think I actually abandoned this close to the end the first time I watched it when I realized how inert and pointless it was, but I guess that’s just exactly what I was in the mood for tonight. Folks, I can’t pretend to be anything other than what I am: a man who enjoys slimy rubber monsters and people acting very dumb.“Terrorvision” has both in spades. Put the big rubber…

  • Debbie Does Damnation

    Debbie Does Damnation

    ★★★★

    Like if Richard Kern directed “Army
    of Darkness.” Lots of demented ingenuity on display here.

  • Exit Wounds

    Exit Wounds

    ★★★

    Doesn’t work as a Seagal vehicle by way of being too crowded, and also has the irritating kineticism of what I want to diagnose as the post-Bay action movie, despite the fact that I have never seen a Michael Bay film. There, is however, just enough aikido, firepower and strangeness to make this a respectable send off to the peak Seagal era.

    DMX’s own music plays over scenes he’s in, which is weird. Ends with Anthony Anderson and Tom Arnold riffing about jerking off and wiping your ass over the credits. I laughed.