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  • Fire (Pożar)

    Fire (Pożar)

    ★★★★

    Lynch's surrealism really, really works for me. This 10 min short is yet another example of how the man communicates in shadows.
    Done mostly through back lit charcoal and manipulated cutouts it is a mesmerizing watch which perfectly captures his dark vibe. It does however have a playfulness that is also very much his style.
    Like any great art it becomes a mirror reflecting whatever you put into it emotionally. Though this film was made years ago, to me it…

  • Coneheads

    Coneheads

    ★★★★

    Dan Aykroyd is a bizarre man. He comes off as part huckster, part genius and part complete blank. It seems as if he is channeling his characters all the time and you can never really know the real person. In many ways, the role of Baldar Conehead might be the closest to his personality, an outsider with a love of language trying to assimilate.
    CONEHEADS is one of the rare SNL films that works for me. There is something about…

  • Dragged Across Concrete

    Dragged Across Concrete

    ★★★★

    Zahler makes challenging adult film that are made from an almost purely male point of view. Tough stories about men who have been pushed too far and have to make choices that may lead to redemption or destruction. He is uncompromising in this view, even though it means he is alienating a large part of his audience, and I have to respect him for this. It is a clear voice and it is exciting to see.
    This film arrived with…

  • Whisky and Ghosts

    Whisky and Ghosts

    ★★★½

    Margheriti was never really considered to be one of the revered Italian filmmakers like Leone or Corbucci, primarily because his films tended to more exploitative or silly. Regardless, he has made some films that had an impact on my youth like KILLER FISH or YOR THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE as I scoured the video shelves.
    WHISKY AND GHOSTS has to rank among the silliest Spaghetti Westerns made. A young con artist is selling home made recipes to towns around…

  • Hostage

    Hostage

    Upon leaving the theater seeing this film on its release I felt unclean. It was as if I saw something unpleasant and needed to wash it off. Rewatching it again it did not give me that same visceral feeling but there is no doubt that this is an ugly film.
    It didn't need to be and it has every right to be as ugly as it wants, certainly art shouldn't conform to a standard principle, but I honestly feel that…

  • The 'Human' Factor

    The 'Human' Factor

    ★★★

    This American / Italian coproduction is a bit of a mixed bag. Despite its lurid poster the film is overall a tame affair. That isn't to say it isn't a fun watch as it does have some charms.
    A nondescript terrorist group is targeting American families living in Italy for some vague reason. When they target John Kinsdale and murder his wife and kids he strikes back. As a computer programmer for a military program that is designed to detect…

  • Death Race

    Death Race

    ★★

    DEATH RACE is a perfect example of how filmmakers pick the IP and recognition of a brand and completely water down what made the original concept so unique. What we are left with is a violent and bland attempt to cash in.
    DEATH RACE 2000 is one of the ultimate cult films. Satirical and stupid, it offered a kind of prescient look at celebrity and reality television. The bones of it can be found in many films like THE RUNNING…

  • The Eyes Scream: A History of the Residents

    The Eyes Scream: A History of the Residents

    ★★★½

    This came out at the time I began to get into The Residents and it was an eye-opener (no pun intended). It is purported to be a history of the band but it is more of a rag tag collection of their video works loosely linked together by interstitials from Penn & Teller.
    This is designed primarily for the fans as I cannot imagine anyone watching it and being able to decipher what is happening. It features all their major film…

  • The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

    The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

    ★★★★

    As a child I lived in Germany for a brief while when my father was in the Air Force. My memories of the place are all green and warm, yet when I think of the place the picture that comes to my minds eye is the Germany seen here, stark and cold. This is likely due to my film history watching spy films that take place in and around Berlin. Schlondorff and von Trotta's film captures that spirit of claustrophobia…

  • High and Low

    High and Low

    ★★★★★

    Kurosawa is mostly known for his period epics and rightly so. Much less appreciated are his contemporary urban dramas which deserve to be held in as high regard. Next to IKARU, HIGH AND LOW is one of his best.
    Essentially a film split in two, it highlights the abduction of a child for ransom and then the police effort to catch the criminal. It is to the filmmakers credit that both aspects are equally engaging.
    The first half is a…

  • Hard Target

    Hard Target

    ★★★½

    Woo's first foray into the American film system highlights everything that made him special as a filmmaker, but also accentuates how his films could never truly translate into the American style.
    HARD TARGET is an easy entry for him as it features an action hero staple and a simplistic story. As a retelling of 'The Most Dangerous Game' it provides him with plenty of opportunities to stage action scenes, a clear villain and hero and an action star that has…

  • Tickle Me

    Tickle Me

    ★½

    While I consider myself very tolerant of the Hollywood career of Elvis, TICKLE ME was a very tough watch. It is no worse than any of his other films surrounding it in terms of plot (minimal), songs (fair to good) or setting (ridiculous), but it just lacks any real energy to keep it going.
    Elvis is a rodeo star looking for work off-season when he is hired at a spar ranch for bored housewives. He immediately raises the lust level…