Jesse_Wroe has written 7 reviews for films rated ★★½ during 2018.

  • Eye in the Labyrinth

    Eye in the Labyrinth

    ★★½

    This giallo will have the most value to the gialloholic. It has some fine distinctions:

    - A natural visual style that's different from the average giallo. It's earthen and toned down.
    - A score that's heavily influenced by Miles Davis's experimental period that began in the late 1960s. It sounds like one of his double albums from the early '70s.
    - A plot that builds toward a revelation, choosing the slow burn over murder set pieces.
    - Incredibly over-mixed sound…

  • Convoy

    Convoy

    ★★½

    A weak Peckinpah film. It's a higher-budget borderline-exploitation riff on movies like "Smokey and the Bandit" and "Vanishing Point."

    It starts off as a fun though clunky run-from-the-cops film, then becomes a contrived commentary on folk hero populism and political opportunism. The ethos is one of individualism, but poorly done and unconvincing. Characters make declarative statements that are obvious and thus risible.

    There is a story here, but it's too overtly predicated on prior films and feels like a mishmash…

  • Giallo in Venice

    Giallo in Venice

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    By 1979, a giallo producer thought it was time to show the vagina being stabbed. If you're going to rip-off "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage" again, go all the way. There will be a build-up with tense music, bringing the audience as close as possible to "wanting" to witness such an event, and the cut to the screaming face that signals the awful outcome...then cutting back to a prosthetic hip laced in a garter belt being stabbed repeatedly with…

  • Stupidity

    Stupidity

    ★★½

    Not everybody interviewed is as smart as they think they are (i.e., Bill Maher), but the main point has some truth to it.

  • Demon Wind

    Demon Wind

    ★★½

    Apart from a well-delivered penis joke, "Demon Wind" is mostly tropey and illogical, though representative of a style that low-tier horror productions had circa 1990 (e.g., "The Curse," especially that brooding electronic score mixed with bluesy guitars, and gross make-up fx). I grew up with this style, so I enjoyed seeing it again, but not enough to buy the new blu-ray (which looks great, go Vinegar Syndrome). At least the characters are distinct and relatively mature compared to the usual…

  • Blood Beat

    Blood Beat

    ★★½

    What’s stopping you from watching a “samurai slasher?” Nothing should. It’s the most aesthetically pleasing phrase in human history. So what’s the story?

    In rural Wisconsin, USA, siblings Ted and Dolly, plus Ted’s new girlfriend Sarah, visit their mother, Cathy, and her boyfriend Gary. Cathy and Gary are an odd couple: He’s a good ol’ boy with a love for hunting, like the kids, but she’s a spiritual artist with a flair for expressionist painting. Upon meeting Sarah, Cathy senses…

  • Okja

    Okja

    ★★½

    Bong Joon-ho can do better than this.