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  • Drunken Master

    Drunken Master

    ★★

    Martial arts movies are a genre I’m not hugely interested in, perhaps because they weren’t a big part of my filmgoing experience growing up. I appreciate a good fight scene as much as the next man, and there was a time when the Hollywood impact of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON and THE MATRIX lured me into watching a few classics of chopsocky cinema… but I always find them difficult to watch. The balletic violence can be great fun, but the…

  • Phantasm

    Phantasm

    ★★★

    Only Don Coscarelli’s third movie — after JIM THE WORLD'S GREATEST (1975) and KENNY & COMPANY (1976), of course — PHANTASM became the defining work of his career. Inspired by Ray Bradbury’s SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, but also just a gleeful desire to set a horror around a mausoleum, Phantasm’s great asset is all the arthouse weirdness and giallo elements that embellish its simple story…

    In a small Oregon town, a hunky guitarist called Jody Pearson (Bill Thornbury) is singlehandedly bringing up his teenage…

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  • 45 Years

    45 Years

    ★★★

    Lovely performances and an intriguing catalyst, but it doesn't really go anywhere all that interesting. 45 YEARS would've made a good television drama on ITV one Sunday. For some reason it's a movie.

  • Spawn

    Spawn

    One of the worst superhero movies ever made, SPAWN killed a promising comic-book character's big-screen ambitions stone dead. There's been talk of a reboot for over a decade from creator Todd McFarlane, but there doesn't seem to be much appetite for the Spawn character from audiences now. Maybe he was strictly a 1990s cult item.

    I like the concept of SPAWN (essentially a mix of THE CROW, GHOST RIDER and ROBOCOP), about a government hitman who's murdered by his corrupt…