• Hungry Best Five

    Hungry Best Five

    ★½

    Well this looks a lot like Slam Dunk, huh?

    While there’s a rich history of cheap South Korean derivatives of other works, and at first glance Hungry Best Five might look like a rip-off of the Japanese anime/manga series Slam Dunk, surprisingly that isn't the case. It's actually an interesting curiosity in the history of Korean animation, albeit one where the story of the production is far more interesting than the actual film itself.

    Director/screenwriter/novelist Lee Kyu-hyeong had made several…

  • Star 80

    Star 80

    ★★★★

    At the very moment in the opening when Eric Roberts flexes in a speedo and gazes at himself narcissistic, I knew I was in for something special.

    Roberts always plays it big, and he's great as a guy with a chip on his shoulder(The Pope of Greenwich Village is a great example), and it totally works for the character of Paul Snider. He's a schmuck and a sleazeball, terrified of his wife having an affair while having dalliances of his…

  • Domino

    Domino

    ★★★

    Tony Scott ranked

    Domino is one of those films that doesn't come up much when people talk about Tony Scott's films, so I wasn't sure what to make of it. And after watching it, I'm sitting here scratching my head and pondering whether if it's good or not.

    From the opening scene there was a ton of color saturation(a lot like his short Agent Orange, and from there it only got more insane. It's the kind of movie I would…

  • Stander

    Stander

    ★★★★

    I saw a TV documentary about Andre Stander and the Stander gang robberies once, and thought the story would make for a great movie. Little did I know that one already existed! It seems like this was a big-budgeted feature that never got a wide release for some reason($15 million budget and less than $300,000 worldwide at the box office!). It’s a shame because this is actually an excellent film, with a standout performance of Thomas Jane as Andre Stander.…

  • Fight for Us

    Fight for Us

    ★★★½

    Soon there's another Marcos about to move into Malacañan Palace, so now feels like a good time to check out Fight for Us, a film dealing with the continued violence in the Philippines in the aftermath of the 1986 EDSA revolution. Initially banned by Marcos's successor Corazon Aquino due to its political content, it's one of Lino Brocka's lesser seen films, and only seems to have gotten a VHS and Laserdisc release.

    The story deals with the protagonist Jimmy Cordero,…

  • The Gift

    The Gift

    ★★★

    Doesn't feel super Raimi-y except for bits and pieces(the shot of the moon over Blanchett and Kinnear at the country club, the one bit of Blanchett at the lake and the guy starts playing the fiddle). But it's a solid spooky thriller/courtoon drama, the kind that you could catch on cable and spend a nice lazy afternoon with. I almost found myself wishing for some commercial breaks.

    Pretty solid cast overall. I really enjoyed Giovani Ribisi's performance and while I…

  • The Boss Baby: Family Business

    The Boss Baby: Family Business

    ★½

    I haven’t seen the first film and didn’t know anything about the premise. But I got roped into watching this with some younger relatives. It’d be a terrible example for the kids if I opened up a beer to get through this(my usual way to handle this sort of un-fun bad movie), and I didn’t want to spend the whole whole time on my phone. Thank god that their dog jumped onto the couch next to me, because having a…

  • Alpha: The Right to Kill

    Alpha: The Right to Kill

    ★½

    I can’t say I enjoyed that I’ve enjoyed the Brillante Mendoza films I’ve seen . Kinatay was a miserable slog that seemed to revel in depicting a young woman being murdered. And I remember Tirador being an ugly mess of digital video shaky-cam madness. But I found a cheap Japanese DVD of Alpha: The Right to Kill so I figured I’d give Mendoza another shot. A film revolving around President Rodrigo’s Duerte’s war on drugs seemed appropriate, as there’s an…

  • Ponyo

    Ponyo

    ★★

    I saw Ponyo when it first came out and absolutely despised it. The human-faced goldfish were in the uncanny valley, like it came straight out of the game Seaman on Sega Dreamcast. The voices of the kids got grating, and I lost interest in the story and mostly zoned out. I was disappointed as I left the theater, because Miyazaki is a master of introducing adult themes to kids and making something everyone can enjoy. This one felt like it…

  • Beyond Hypothermia

    Beyond Hypothermia

    ★★★½

    I watched this because I had mixed up director Patrick Leung with Wong Kar-wai's mentor Patrick Tam, and also because I thought this was Tam's film Burning Snow(both are films with two word titles about cold stuff begin with the letter "B"!). Leung was one of the co-writers of John Woo's Bullet in the Head and he made this film for Johnnie To's production company, but despite his connections with some of the biggest Hong Kong directors Leung's films are…

  • A Date With Jao Mapa

    A Date With Jao Mapa

    ★★★

    Hard to give this a proper rating because I watched on YouTube without English subtitles so I didn't understand all of the dialogue. It's in Taglish so mostly easy to get the gist. I really enjoyed director Quark Henares's film Keka and wanted to check out more of his work.

    This is a fun short, about an unhinged young woman named Alexa who is the self-described #1 fan of actor/model Jao Mapa. Alexa stalks him but manages to run into…

  • The King of Comedy

    The King of Comedy

    ★★★★

    I generally enjoy Martin Scorsese's work, but I feel like my experience with him is lopsided, having only see the films post-After Hours without having seen any of the big early films like Taxi Driver or Raging Bull. So I figured I'll gradually work my way backwards wit his filmography.

    And yeah, this was really good! One of those movies that I was so engrossed that it was hard to take notes, and I can't really put to words what…