• Raising Arizona

    Raising Arizona

    ★★★★½

    Weird blind spot. It’s great! Go figure.

  • Deep Red

    Deep Red

    ★★★½

    (For friends reading this who know that I dipped out with half an hour to go- I watched the final half hour the following morning. I am elderly and need to sleep).

    If I acknowledge that I think Argento had one of the best runs of any filmmaker between “Plumage” and “Opera,” then it’s no crime to admit that this might be my least favorite of that set of films, right? (Still haven’t seen “Cat o’ Nine Tails,” though). What…

  • Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace

    Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace

    ★★½

    At some point during the final fight scene the line “You’re just a lawnmower man” is spoken, which made me realize how funny it is that this movie is called “Lawnmower Man 2.” Not a single lawn anywhere in this film.

    Realizing that whenever I see Matt Frewer is in something I think “Oh cool, Matt Frewer,” despite the fact that nearly everything he’s in is terrible. I think all of my positive Matt Frewer associations stem from that pirate…

  • Arcade

    Arcade

    ★★★½

    Comes close to being the best movie of all time, hitting that “Brainscan” and “Pet Sematary 2” goth high school vibe mixed with the feeling of abandonment and adult abdication elicited from the best “Nightmare on Elm Street” entries, not to mention all the primo VR content, late goth rock soundtrack, Q, Ralphie, and the freshman lady from “PCU.” The only problem is that it is distractingly stupid and poorly written, which is unsurprising considering this is from the screen writer of “The Dark Knight.”

  • Saved!

    Saved!

    ★★★½

    Mandy Moore yelling “I am FILLED with Christ’s love!” while throwing a Bible at Jena Malone is still one of the funniest things in any movie. This isn’t a raging success in terms of resonance or memorability, but it IS still pretty funny in spots, and I have very fond memories of keeping it in heavy rotation in response to the outsized political influence and visibility of evangelical Christians during the Bush II years.

  • PCU

    PCU

    ★★★★

    “A casual shoe for yachting?”

    On left wing populism and the political utility of being cool.

  • Kill Switch

    Kill Switch

    ★★

    You might have a hard time believing this, but this movie is not particularly good.

  • Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

    Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

    ★★★★½

    I have fond memories of watching this by myself, but last night I had the immense privilege of hosting a screening for about 30 people, many of whom had never seen it, and I must say that nothing beats having an audience to laugh, groan, and wince with. An all-time feel-good crowd pleaser with blood geysers and head crushings. I love you, Riki-Oh.

    Programmed as part of the farewell festivities for my favorite place in the world, Viva Video.

  • Men from the Gutter

    Men from the Gutter

    ★★★½

    Ass-kicking underbelly thriller from the god Lam Nai Choi. The color temperatures, rocking soundtrack, and detached nihilism are highly reminiscent of Mann’s “Thief.” Would have liked it even more if I knew what was happening during the first hour, so I imagine this is even better on re-watch.

  • Bloodmoon

    Bloodmoon

    ★★★

    The fight scenes rock, Gary Daniels’ haircut does not, and the villain is a longhaired cyberpunk who sends threatening Amiga computer animations as e-mail attachments. Really quite good, but I still struggle with the DTV production values of this era: canned sound effects, canned music, lots of wide shots of people standing in what looks like a Raymour and Flanagan showroom, etc.

  • The Peacock King

    The Peacock King

    ★★★★

    Lam Nai Choi bringing his patented insanity to a big budget fantasy/horror/comedy focused on black magic and esoteric Buddhism. So good from jump that my eyes were watering for the first 20 minutes.

  • The Buttercream Gang

    The Buttercream Gang

    Dad simply doesn’t care.