Friday, December 25, 2015

The Magic Sword A.K.A. St. George and the Dragon, St. George and the Seven Curses, The Seven Curses of Lodac (1962)

An American fantasy directed by Bert I. Gordon, starring Basil Rathbone.
The adopted son of a sorceress falls in love with a princess whom he sees in a magic pool. The princess is kidnapped by an evil sorcerer and the young man seeks to save her. However, he has a rival also seeking the princess who accompanies him on his quest.
This was actually pretty good. I like it because it was lo-fi and cheesy. The special effects were antiquated and mostly based on film editing and forced perspective. These included a fight against a giant and little people like in Darby O'Gill and the Little People. The plot was straightforward, with few developed characters and lots of extras. The style was very much of the time and the video featured extremely bright and saturated colors. The princess gets very high female anatomy points, even through her dress. Overall, it's good if you want a fun, cheesy flick. Don't expect miracles though. I rate it adequate.

Below (2002)

An American war horror directed by David Twohy, starring Bruce Greenwood, Olivia Williams, Holt McCallany, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Flemyng and Dexter Fletcher.
An American U-boat in WWII picks up some British sailors from a sunken ship. Strange things begin to happen and a back-story of conflict between commanding officers on the U-boat develops.
This definitely failed to hold my attention. On my 3rd try, I got through watching the whole thing with only minimal breaks. The under-developed characters and murky plot were not aided by whispered dialogue so quiet as to be inaudible. The visual style was very dark, but correct camera exposure maintained clear definition. I guess the only good thing was camera-work. Quick cuts, natural movement that made sense and many wet scenes necessitating waterproof gear are something worth mentioning. Overall, I think the pacing was just too slow. I rate it poor. Watch something else.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Gutterballs (2008)

A Canadian horror slasher directed by Ryan Nicholson.
A pair of bowling teams get in a fight at a bowling alley and decide to have a competition the following night. A femal bowler is raped by the men on the other team when she goes back in to get her purse. The night of the competition comes and people begin to disappear.
All of the actors in this film seemed to have Tourette's syndrome. The production quality was quite low, but fit the classic slasher style. There was some nudity including female anatomy points, but I am unable to award male anatomy points for the cock-shots with genital mutilation. With a simple plot that only twists quickly at the end and extremely shallow characters, this is not what I would call a good movie. My favorite part was the ball waxing machine insulting people. I'm rating it o.k. You might want to check this out if you're into low budget horror flicks.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Brother's Keeper (1992)

An American documentary directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky.
One of four elderly brother farmers is accused of his brother's murder. The local community rallies around him to prove his innocence.
This was pretty good. The 3 living brothers were all timid country farmers who wouldn't hurt a fly and the authorities obviously tried to frame them. There were some revealing scenes involving interviews with the brothers and their community in which they were clearly identified as simple country folk. My thinking was that even if it was actually a murder, it was a mercy killing to put the sick brother out of his misery. Going by my previous documentary standards, there was lots of talk and no techno music. I think that the filmmakers did a good job of accurately portraying their subjects and subject matter. The only fault that I found was some of the interview audio being so low in volume as to be unintelligible. Overall, it was a heart-warming piece about simple farmers who were falsely accused of murder and proved their innocence. I rate it adequate because it wasn't quite eventful enough to get my good rating. Definitely worth watching though.