Sunday, July 31, 2011

Caligula (1979)

A porno directed by Tinto Brass, Giancarlo Lui and Bob Guccione, starring Malcolm McDowell.
A sexually perverted and insane man becomes the "ceasar" of Rome and rules with an iron erection.
Most of the film was sex and naked people. The plot was secondary to sex and nudity and there was only one clear main character who oddly enough, barely fucked anyone. I was waiting for him to ask the women what they play their fuzzy warbles on (A Clockwork Orange) because he's basically reprising the same role from his previous film. Speaking of soundtrack, the angels' trumpets and devils' trombones sounded good (ACO). One thing that I have to mention is the giant penis in the brothel scene. I call it the great white or Moby Dick! I'm going to rate this adequate because it's a good film, but I have mixed feelings about it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A crime film by Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell.
A young hell raiser gets caught after killing a woman and is put in jail. After 2 years there, he is given an experimental treatment to give him an aversion to violence and sex. Upon release, he is unable to defend himself from people who wish him harm for his past.
Let's talk about good movies! This is one of my favorites, as the plot make 180 degree turns at a few points and the main character does the same. It seems fitting that he would end up in gratuitous sex scenes with debauchkas a few years later. The style is classic Kubrick (flawless) and the production value looks '80s, regardless of the '70s settings and clothing. I can't help but rate this best and if you haven't seen it, do so quickly or I'll smash you in the yar-blockos.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

A disaster film directed by Ronald Neame and Irwin Allen, starring Gene Hackman.
A large boat flips over and passengers make their way to the bottom (now the top) to get out.
An interesting side-note, Jack Albertson (Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) is one of the survivors at the end. The plot was alright, but the characters got stupider as the film progressed. They slowed down and stopped with water chasing them through the boat and did other stupid things. There was a scene in which one character goes ahead to swim underwater and tie a rope for the others to follow. When he finally makes it to the other side, he junks the idea of tugging on the rope so the others can follow. One of hem goes without a rope tug and what does he say when he gets there? "you didn't tug on the rope... I'll go back and get the others.". Did he get a lobotomy while he was underwater? Just tug the fucking rope! I'm rating this poor because it was alright, but the characters were unbelievably stupid.

Future by Design (2006)

A documentary directed by William Gazecki, starring Jacque Fresco.
A technological engineer shows and explains his ideas for inventions.
This is a film made by (or about) the Venus Project, the group that brought us the Zeitgeist series. The technologies involved are for the purpose of creating a resource based economy. The actual inventions are really cool and I think that they are designed well and should be used. A good example is the one piece bathroom, with sink, shower and toilet all connected. I'm rating this good for being interesting and full of good ideas.

The Brood (1979)

A horror by David Cronenberg.
A father and his daughter go to see the grandmother and after the man leaves, she is killed. The grandfather comes to town for the funeral and is killed in the same house. The daughter's teacher is then killed at school. The mother is locked away with an evil man who is her psychiatrist and the father tries to figure out what's going on.
The audio was absolutely terrible because the characters insisted on whispering as quietly as they could. The plot was alright and the style was a little weird and dark. I'm rating this o.k.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brewster McCloud (1970)

A comedy directed by Robert Altman.
A young man is training to fly as he is building wings. Meanwhile, a scientist/narrator is explaining facts about birds. The police are looking for the boy, as he may be the one who is murdering people in the city. A woman who is apparently his mother watches over him and the girl from the health food store goes to see him in order to deliver food and masturbate. He meets another girl who has stolen a race car and everyone gets involved in a chase.
The plot was really hard to understand, but the characters were good. I thought the style was too weird (mark that one on the calendar) and the pace was kind of screwy too. I'm rating this adequate because there were some cool things about it, but it confused more than it entertained.

The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)

A western directed by Sam Peckinpah.
A man is robbed in the desert and finds water where none is thought to be. He builds a "desert oasis" for travelers there and falls in love with a prostitute from a nearby town. His best friend is a priest who likes to drink and womanize.
This was great. I'm just going to list the things that were cool: characters, plot, setting, style, pace and soundtrack. Nothing was bad and everything was good. I have a real soft spot for gritty westerns, so I'm rating this best. I'm not being very descriptive because I want you to watch this and enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blue Collar (1978)

A crime film by Paul Schrader, starring Richard Pryor and Harvey Keitel.
Factory workers rob their union's office and only end up with $600 and a book of union financial secrets.
The plot and characters were decent and the style and pace were o.k.. I liked the quote about "keeping us in our place" because that is how the world is run. I'm rating this o.k.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blood for Dracula (1974)

A horror by Paul Morrissey and Andy Warhol.
Dracula moves to Italy in search of a virgin bride. He meets a family with 4 daughters, 2 of which are having regular sexual encounters with the handyman. These are the 2 that are presented to him first as virgins.
Ugh, another review. The male characters (except the father) were all assholes and the women were all shallow and superficial. There was some nudity and some semi-graphic sex scenes. The women's breasts were all small, but not mosquito bites. The plot was alright and the style and pacing were decent. The production value was low, as expected. I'm rating this adequate.

Blazing Saddles (1974)

A comedy western directed by Mel Brooks, starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder.
A railroad needs to be redirected near a small town and a rich businessman wants to own that town so he can make more money from the railroad. He appoints a black sheriff, hoping that he will drive out the people of the town. The black sheriff then works together with a town drunk to try to save the town from the businessman.
I actually got the comedy in this film and enjoyed watching it. Cleavon Little (the sheriff) was also in Vanishing Point as the radio DJ. The usual film elements don't really apply when speaking of a Mel Brooks comedy, as it's more of a break from reviewing serious films. I'm rating this good because it was a short, but needed vacation.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Alex in Wonderland (1970)

An art film directed by Paul Mazursky.
A film director ponders his next film as his life goes on with family and friends.
This was really strange. The plot didn't seem to flow very well because of choppy cuts between scenes and drastic changes of locations and situations. The main character seemed like a cool hippy, but the rest of the characters didn't play a large enough role to count for much. The version that I got was of terrible quality in audio and video, but I watched it anyway. I'm rating this adequate for being cool, but a little confusing.

Autumn Sonata (1978)

A drama by Ingmar Bergman.
A woman invites her mother to visit her where she lives with her husband and sick sister. Conversations between the mother and daughter bring up bad memories.
The pace was really slow, but the style was great. There was almost no plot and very few characters. It's really hard for me to rate something like this, as I almost feel that there was nothing there to rate. I have to default to o.k. because of this.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

A musical comedic fantasy by the Disney corporation, directed by Robert Stevenson, starring Angela Lansbury.
An apprentice witch is forced to adopt 3 children. When they find out about her, she gives them a magical transportation device to keep them quiet about her status. They use the transportation item together and go on a fantastic adventure.
This is Disney in the raw. They are telling us that there are secret things hidden in plain sight. The youngest child carries a "fictional" picture book that contains everything that they need to know on their adventure. How much more obvious can it get? The words taunting and mocking come to mind. The plot and characters were good. The style was good, but the production value was horrible. I'm rating this good for being such an obvious clue to the world puzzle.

Barry Lyndon (1975)

A drama by Stanley Kubrick.
The life of a man in the late 1700s is told.
This has to be the most boring film ever made. The version that I got was without subtitles and full of foreign languages. Even with subtitles (as I have watched it before) it is intensely bland. The production value is absolutely perfect, but with the rest of the film being the way it is, it's like displaying a vast collection of highly polished dog turds. I'm rating this shit.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

American Graffiti (1973)

A drama by George Lucas, starring Richard Dreyfuss and Ron Howard.
1950s teens do what 1950s teens do while 1950s music plays. Cars are driven, dates are picked up, greasy food is eaten and races are held.
The soundtrack for this is awesome. '50s music really floats my boat these days, after hearing what happened to pop music after then. The main bad thing about this film is the over-emphasis on automobiles. I know that it adheres to the plot well, but I just don't like it. I'm rating this o.k. because it was good, but there was too much about cars.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

A crime film by Russ Meyer and Roger Ebert.
An all girl rock band goes to L.A. where they find success and problems.
This reminded me of a TROMA film, so after 30 minutes I turned it off. The style and production value were bad and the actors were terrible. I'm rating it shit.

Valley of the Dolls (1967)

A tragedy directed by Mark Robson, starring Sharon Tate.
A young woman moves from the country to New York City and gets a job in an office. One day, a client sees her and recruits her as a model. She then joins the ranks of the pill popping, booze guzzling drama queens.
The characters fit the plot very well and the style and production value were decent for the date. Films about addiction are so much better when they involve successful people whose profession encourages such behavior. I don't think that the dolls = pills analogy was pushed hard enough, as it was only mentioned a few times. If dolls refers to the women, then this definitely was true. I believe that it was meant to serve both functions. I'm rating this adequate. My rating system isn't very accurate anymore, due to the number of films that I've rated. Sometimes I just whip out the rating in haste or rate things worse because I'm tired of watching them or reviewing them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Apocalypse Now (1979)

A war film by Francis Ford Coppola.
A Vietnam veteran goes back into the jungle to eliminate a rogue soldier who has gone insane.
There is also a Redux version of this film. The version that I saw was 3 hours and 13 minutes. The original is just under 3 hours and Redux is over 3 and a half hours. This leaves me with the question: "What did I watch?". That confusion aside, the plot and characters were alright, but a little predictable by today's standards. I thought the style was good, but there was just too much "army guys in the jungle" for too long. Really, I got bored and wanted it to end. I'm rating it o.k. because it's good, but too long. Finding a decent picture was way difficult. I don't even like this one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Towering Inferno (1974)

A disaster film directed by John Guillermin and Irwin Allen, starring Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, William Holden, Faye Dunaway and Fred Astaire.
A huge skyscraper catches fire with lots of people inside. Rescue crews rush to help the people inside.
The plot is stereotypical now, but at the time, it was original. The characters were good and I liked the action and tension. The style was typical of the '70s and the production value as well. The pace was very quick, despite the 2 hour and 45 minute length. I'm rating this good because I think it is a good milestone of it's time and I enjoyed watching it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Way of the Dragon (1972)

A kung fu by Bruce Lee, co-starring Chuck Norris.
A Chinese martial artist goes to Rome to see family members. The family restaurant is under attack from local mafia and he defends it.
The plot was stereotypical, but good. Most of the characters were unidentifiable, but this made the main characters stand out better. The production value was low because of the date, but it didn't look too bad. The things in this film that were bad actually made it good. For such a strange result, I'm actually going to rate it good. Watch it for some cool fu.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)

A Comedy directed by John Landis, starring John Belushi.
A rouge fraternity has problems.
This film is all about college pranks and excesses. Tne plot and characters were decent, but interesting. The style is pretty good, but the production value sucked. The pace was actually the best part, as it went pretty quick. I'm rating this adequate because of entertainment value.

The Conformist (1970)

A drama directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.
Nothing happens. Seriously.
I have to rate this film shit because I had to turn it off. It was boring as all hell and basically not worth reading the subtitles for. Don't watch it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Taking Off (1971)

A comedy directed by Milos Forman.
The children of a group of parents go missing and the parents "rediscover their youth" (Wikipedia's phrase).
This was odd. There was a musical audition that was cut in throughout the film, with young women trying out for a record label. There was a scene where the parents smoke cannabis in order to understand their children better. They do this at a large meeting for the parents of missing children and a slightly younger man explains in great detail how to smoke a joint. The parents then lose their inhibitions and seem to enjoy themselves greatly. This cuts to a scene of 4 of the parents playing a game of strip poker. The plot was odd and the characters weren't developed well. I really liked the style, but with the rest of the film the way it was, it didn't matter much. I'm rating this o.k. because it defies explanation.

Taxi Driver (1976)

A drama directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster.
A New York cab driver gets tired of the scum people of the streets and decides to fight back.
The characters and plot were great and I liked the style. The narration was awesome as well. The production value was pretty good for the date and the pace was quick enough to keep me interested, but not so fast as to throw me off. I'm rating this good because it's just a good movie.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cries and Whispers (1972)

A drama byIngmar Bergman.
A pair of sisters gather at their family's house to be with their 3rd sister when she dies. They struggle with their emotions while this is going on.
I just read the Wikipedia plot summary and this is as confusing as I thought it was. The plot is a little wishy-washy and the characters all look alike, making it hard to tell them apart. There are some crazy parts, like one of the women plunging broken glass into her vagina and some nearly lesbian actions. There are also some annoying parts, like the dying sister breathing in death rattles. Overall, it was weird and creepy (which I like), but also incoherent (which I don't like). I'm rating it o.k. for this 7-10 split.

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)

A crime film by Melvin Van Peebles.
A black man is arrested for a crime that he did not commit. On the way to the police station, the police arrest another black man and beat him. The first black man then beats up the cops. The rest of the film is him running from the cops to the Mexican border.
The characters were unidentifiable and the plot was very sparse. The soundtrack appeared to be one jazz/funk/r&b/soul song played over and over. The production value was very low, even for the time when it was made. There's not much else to say, but to rate this bad.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Enter the Dragon (1973)

A kung fu directed by Robert Clouse, starring Bruce Lee.
A martial artist from the Shaolin school is asked to go on a special mission to the island of a corrupt man who has disgraced the school and the family of the fighter. A tournament is held on the island and various other contenders arrive as well.
This is THE classic kung fu film. When kung fu movies are mentioned, everyone things Enter the Dragon. The fights were pretty good, considering the date. The plot and characters were decent. The style and production value were a little rough because of the date that this was made. I'm rating it adequate because there are better kung fu films that I like lots more.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Trip Down Market Street (1906)

A documentary by the Miles Brothers.
A vehicle drives down Market Street in 1906 with a camera attached to the front.
This film is a glimpse into the distant past and is real beyond reality. Carriages, horses, bicycles and cars share a road with pedestrians and trolley cars for just over 10 minutes. No traffic signals are needed and no accidents happen. This makes me question what is going on with our world today (as with every film). I would like to see a comparative film made in this time, using the same method. I think that the contrast would be overwhelming. For being such a direct film and a piece of history, I'm giving this the best rating.

The Big Boss (1971)

A kung fu by Bruce Lee and Lo Wei.
A young man arrives in a new town and starts working at an ice factory. Several workers have disappeared, never to be seen again and he investigates with the help of his family there. When the bosses don't want to look for the missing men, the workers strike and violence breaks out. The new guy defends his co-workers and is promoted to foreman to shut him up. He continues his investigation into the missing workers anyway.
This is a really famous, early kung fu film by the supposed master, Bruce Lee. I have my doubts about his martial arts skills, but the movie was good. I had seen a different version with a different soundtrack before, but apparently, that's a common deal with lo-fi kung fu. The characters and plot were good and the style was alright. Obviously, the production value was lacking, considering the date. I'm rating it adequate (which I seem to do more and more) for a mix of good and bad then leads to a decent film.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Whispering Corridors (1998)

A horror directed by Park Ki-Hyeong.
After a student commits suicide in a school, her ghost haunts it. A teacher is trying to track down the dead student's family and a student sets up an art studio in the haunted location.
This was typical Japanese girl's school horror. The pace was very slow and the characters unidentifiable by western eyes. The style was very good and the production value was definitely high. I'm rating this o.k. beacause I'm American and it would be best enjoyed by a Japanese audience.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Warriors of Virtue 1 & 2 (1997 & 2002)

A kung fu fantasy directed by Ronny Yu and Michael Vickerman, starring Elijah Wood (first film).
A boy is transported to a fantasy world where 5 warriors are supposed to defend the land from evil, using kung fu and the elements of nature.
These films use every kung fu faux pas ever invented. There is tons of Hong Kong wire and shady camera shots. In the first film, the 5 warriors are in Tank Girl style kangaroo suits/makeup. Both films are way over-produced. The plot and characters are cheesy, as is the style. There is some entertainment value, so I'm rating it poor instead of shit.

Wolf (1994)

A fantasy directed by Mike Nichols, starring Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer.
A business man is bitten by a wolf and begins to change into a werewolf. Meanwhile, he has just met a woman and they are falling in love.
The sound was terrible on the copy of this that I got. All of the characters were whispering so quietly that it looked like they were just mouthing the words. The plot and characters were a little cheesy. The special effects were also on the dairy side. The style was alright and the pacing was decent. Overall, it wasn't anything special. I'm rating it o.k.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Very Bad Things (1998)

A black comedy directed by Peter Berg, starring Christian Slater and Cameron Diaz.
A group of friends celebrate a bachelor party in Las Vegas. They are having fun until one of them accidentally kills the stripper/prostitute.
This is one of the films that is mentioned when people talk about crazy and good movies. The plot, characters and production value are absolutely great. The film really comes off as unique and has it's own "flavor". The violence is not over-done and most of the tension is created through the plot. This is another film with mostly upset characters. Apparently, conflict (supposedly essential to plot) must be between the characters themselves. There are many types of conflict:
Character vs. Character (shown here)
Character vs. Self (shown here)
Character vs. Nature
Character vs. Society
Character vs. Supernatural
Character vs. Technology
Character vs. Destiny
I would really like to see some variety in this plot element, given the wide range of choices. However, a good film is a good film and I'm rating this awesome.

Vincent & Theo (1990)

An artist biography directed by Robert Altman.
Vincent van Gogh's art dealer brother is upset with him. Vincent falls in love with a pregnant prostitute and eventually goes crazy.
The style was very dark and there was a lot of anger involved in this film. There was also a heavy emphasis on women relieving themselves in primitive conditions. The characters were good, but always upset and the plot was alright. I'm rating this adequate. The pissing scenes saved it from a worse review.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tromeo and Juliet (1996)

A comedic horror directed by Lloyd Kaufman, starring Lemmy.
The story of Romeo and Juliet is retold and altered into a Troma film.
For those unfamiliar with Troma, it's the absolute worst film company ever. They make cheesy and disgusting horror films, relying mostly on gross-out factor with extremely low production value. This was indeed Romeo and Juliet and also a Troma film. The movie was absolutely terrible, but I think it was a unique idea, so I'm just rating it poor.

Unforgiven (1992)

A western by Clint Eastwood, starring Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman.
A retired outlaw gets back in the game after years of inactivity to do one last job.
A good western is a thing to be savored. The style reflected the violent myths of the wild west and the production value was very good. The characters were memorable and the plot was decent. Since I like good westerns, I'm rating this good.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)

A drama directed by Beeban Kidron, starring Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo and Wesley Snipes.
A trio of drag queens heading for Hollywood in an old car get stuck in a small town.
The characters were decent, but the plot was stereotypical. The pace was quick and I almost liked the style. The whole drag queen film deal is not a bad idea, but this doesn't hold a candle to The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I'm rating this adequate because I liked watching it, but wouldn't go for it again.

The Witches (1990)

A fantasy directed by Nicolas Roeg, produced by Jim Henson and based on the book by Roald Dahl.
A boy and his grandmother take a vacation at a hotel that is hosting a convention of witches who want to turn all the children in England into mice.
Casino may have the fucking record for repetition of the word "fuck", but this blows that number out of the fucking water with "grandma". I can't find an exact number or a script to count for myself, but I fucking guarantee the number beats Casino's "fuck" by at least double in half the time. Every fucking word out of that kid's fucking mouth is "grandma!"! Obviously, it got to me. This would have been a great film if they hadn't fucked it up with "grandma". I'm giving it a really fucking bad review. See how repeating a word this fucking much gets on your fucking nerves?

The Three Colors Trilogy (1993 - 1994)

A set of dramas by Krysztof Kieslowski.
In each film, the characters get into ironic situations that are designed to demonstrate liberty, equality and fraternity. In the blue film, a wife's husband and daughter are killed in a car accident and she goes to great lengths to "reset" her life. In the white, a husband and wife get divorced and the husband turns to illegal activities and revenge. In the red film, A young woman with an obsessive boyfriend who is away on a trip hits a dog with her car and finds that the owner is spying on his neighbors.
The style and production value of all these films was great. Unfortunately, the plots were not all good and the pace was extremely slow. It would be accurate to describe them as very French, as they had that European artsy style to them. I'm rating them o.k. because the premise was great, but the delivery lacked interest.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wayne's World 1 & 2 (1992 & 1993)

A comedy directed by Penelope Spheeris and Stephen Surjik, starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey.
A pair of buddies have a local access television show. One of them meets a Chinese woman who sings in a band.
This is what I would call a '90s classic. These films are very famous and very popular. That doesn't lower my opinion of them though. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey play the only roles that they actually fit in these films. This may also be where my hatred of Christopher Walken comes from, as he is the villain in the second film. I'm rating this good just based on entertainment value alone.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Taste of Cherry (1997)

A drama by Abbas Kiarostami.
A man searches for someone to cover his corpse after he kills himself.
The pace of this film was one of the slowest that I have ever experienced. It was just plain uninteresting. It wasn't bad, just boring, so I'm rating it poor.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

A horror directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp.
A scientist goes to a town where people are being killed by beheading. He tries to find out who is behind these deaths and why.
When I was watching this, all I could think about was the old Disney short and the song from it. This version is way overdone, but what do you expect from Tim Burton? The plot was obviously extended and altered in nearly every way. The characters from the original story are in this film, but do not play the same roles. For butchering a classic, I rate this bad.

SubUrbia (1996)

A comedic drama directe by Richard Linklater.
A group of friends gathers at night outside a convenient store. One of them is a famous musician who returns to his hometown that night to see the others.
Pretty much everything about this film was mediocre. The soundtrack was horribly mediocre, as it was all '90s alternative rock. The plot was the best (and by best I mean tolerable) part of this film. I'm rating it poor for being on the shitty side.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

A war film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, starring Brad Pitt.
A German travels to Tibet during world war 1.
The pace was so slow that everything else doesn't matter as much. Brad Pitt's fake accent was laughable, but I imagine that he is exactly this amount of a douche bag in real life. I liked his phrase about speech being in other forms than questions because I have dealt with people who operate like that. Overall it was uninteresting. I'm rating it poor.

The Sandlot (1993)

A comedic drama by David Mickey Evans.
A group of kids play baseball in an empty lot next to a house where a giant dog is kept outside. When their ball goes over the fence, they don't chase it for fear of "The Beast".
This film is geared toward younger audiences. I watched it in the theater when it came out and liked it a lot, but now it's not as cool. I'm too tired to be picky, so the stereotypical characters amused me. The plot was alright, but every time that the kids were about to get the special ball back, they stand there gawking like morons for too long and the dog ruins their plan. The surprise ending is pretty cool (not spoiling). I'm rating it adequate.

The Birdcage (1996)

A comedy directed by Mike Nichols, starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman.
A gay couple run a drag show club. One of the men's sons will soon be marrying a senator's daughter and the girl's family decides to have dinner with the boy's family.
The funny part about this is Robin Williams playing himself (a gay man). The characters were good, but the plot was a little "sitcomish". I've said that I don't take points away for openly gay movies and with this film, that holds true. I'm rating it adequate.