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I thought it was important to watch the original. I couldn't do that beforehand, but only after I watched the Soska sisters remake. But it is different in many aspects so it wasn't too bad doing it this way (I usually like to watch an original first and then the remake if I can). The effects here obviously up the ante, but the original had some great ones too.
One of the main differences here is that we get to learn our main actress first, before the inciting incident. This may feel like time wasted or as a nice little touch. Let's go for the latter. The Soskas do have an affinity for Cronenberg and you can tell. They also assembled a nice cast overall, even though someone like CM Punk (can't recall his real name) is quite a cardboard cutout and very cliche for example. But you can tell he has fun with his litle role as is anyone else involved.
The Soskas did change enough for it to make sense to watch both movies. So if you are into horror movies, and don't mind a bit of social commentary thrown in for good measure, you could do worse
Over 4 decades later a remake of this was made - a good time to revisiti this or in my case watch it for the first time. This does show its age a little bit, but it still is disturbing for all the right reasons. Cronenberg made quite some strange movies and depending on your taste you will love them or be annoyed by them and what they are showing.
This is not for the faint hearted and for the time it was made, it has quite some gruesome effects. We may not get to know the main character in this before the incident happens, but we get to see a lot of and from her after the fact. Cronenberg does also like to give some shout outs to Giallo or female vampirism and generally sensual or even sexual (or rather lethal) penetration. So again, I'm sure some will be outraged (understandably so from their own moral viewpoints), but if you can stomach that, you are in for a treat
Night of the Creeps (1986)
Is it Miller time?
Whatever that summary line means to you (or the character) - and maybe it is the same thing or nothing at all. One thing is for sure, Tom Atkins had a lot of fun making this and you can tell watching him act. One thing you should know though: do not try to make sense of things. Like who is next and why they don't just attack the next person and flee at times .. again it is quite crazy and nonsensical, but that's how it is.
Even the filmmakers in the commentary are like "why does the actor say that specific line and what does it mean? I don't know". And the viewer might not know either and either laughs with that character or not. I guess it makes a comedic moment when he says it one more time after he was interrogated by the police, but ... ah well I'm starting to think too much. Do not do that, just sit back and enjoy this ridiculous movie
Bound - not just a great title, but also a great movie. And I'm not saying this, because this has beautiful women in the main roles (who happen to be lesbian or bisexual and very openly so, at least towards each other), but because it works as a thriller! While the setting is confined, there is much to discuss and disect. Be it the very naughty/wet theme throughout or how things unfold.
Some things cannot be planned, others people do not see coming because of their ... let's call it ideology. Revisiting this all these years later only made me cherish certain things more. Great cast, no one being afraid (or at least it looks like they're not) to go all the way. And a very funny audio commentary on the Arrow UK release of the movie too. Guessing it is on other releases too, but that's the release I purchased. Not for the faint hearted or people easily offended (I really don't get the outrage, from neither side) ... but everyone else who can just sit back and enjoy this for what it is
Mio caro assassino (1972)
Color me ...
Giallo. I would not call myself a Giallo fan in general. I do appreciate some really good murder mystery movies in that let's call it sub genre. This one is quite decent overall. The director had some experience and I think it is showing, even if this is if I understand that correctly his first and only movie in the Giallo "universe" throughout his whole career.
Acting is decent, stunts are good and the story flows. For fans that should be more than enough reason to watch the movie.
Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält (1970)
Actual witch hunt
Not something a certain person calls witch hunts nowadays, but real ones. Also while he might actually have no moral compass, most of the women that were accused of witchcraft had one. Maybe even all of them, because most of the time women accused were just females that didn't obey society/their husbands or other males.
That is what the movie is telling us for example. The movie itself is not really that good, the effects for the time though? Quite nicely done! The infamous tongue scene (you'll know what I mean once you watch it, could be anything, yes?) for example. Another thing with this: everyone seems to be dubbed. Seems like everyone was allowed to say their text in their native language and then they got professionals to re-do the dialog. For better or worse. It's kinda fun I reckon
Blood and Sex Nightmare (2008)
Blood and nudity
The nightmare is more of the non acting kind. But let's not be too harsh on just one side of this. If you have a heart for low budget horror movies that contain a lot of nudity too, I guess you might be smitten to a degree. Overall it is a time waster. I would not recommend this though.
The title and the movie does not make a secret of what it is supposed to be. So the viewer can decide themselves if they really want to "waste" their time on this. Just go for other horror movies that have a certain quality, you won't miss anything story wise either
A very weird character piece with a central character that is tough to describe and quite self destructive. Now violence against women in general is something that is more than appaling. Violence in general that is uncalled for is something that I find despicable.
Now it is important to remember this is just a movie and certain things are heightened. This movie is not supposed to entertain in that way. If you actually get excited by those things, something might be wrong with you. And I say might because there is still the fact that I don't necessarily think everyone will take this as real life lesson. Again, this is a movie with a female main character that is beyond a certain edge/reach. Her character is complicated and while she lets herself being abused, that does not mean she does not have a mind of her own. Some people relish in certain things or are just plain crazy ... again this is complex to a degree that you could contemplate a lot of things and accuse the movie also of a lot of things. There is grounds to discuss - if you are willing to endure the pain of watching certain things (not so much explicit violence but more of the mind twisting kind)
It's funny what the title got away with. I mean you can clearly see the animal in front of "Blockers" and I don't think I have to tell you what the actual title is then (hint it's not just blockers). Premature humor aside (there's a lot of it though, a whole block dare I say), this has a little bit of social message woven into it (it's tiny but it is there).
I'm talking about gender roles and how male vs. female virginity is being viewed and rated (sort of). So this is why we have daughters and this is why their pact is so crucial. Most of the time might be spend with the parents, but the point gets across through all the funny bits. If that sounds like something you can watch (including swearing and nudity), then this will be fun and entertaining to watch
Death Vigilante Wish
Meets the Warriors? Or something along those lines. But you know you're watching a low budget 70s or 80s movie when you can tell they didn't have any permits to shoot whereever they put a camera and some actors. If you've seen a few you'll know what I mean, if not just listen to the audio commentaries of some of those movies.
And don't get me wrong, while this obviously is (was) against the law, it makes the movie endearing (not to mention that some will cherish the rebellious nature of it all). Having said all that, the story is not really serving us anything new. But the actors involved really give it their all - and you have quite some heavyweights in here. I watched this a couple of days after Robert Foster passed away (right after El Camino too sort of). His screen presence is quite something to behold. Add to that all the other actors (including the "Maniac" himself and Fred Williamson) ... a raw gem with a lot flaws then. Enjoy it for what it is
Unicorn Store (2017)
What does this movie try to achieve? It tells us that it's ok to dream, it's ok to believe in stuff, whether they are real or not. It also tells us to pursue things and it makes us aware of other things. In the end this still is a movie of course. One with a lot of heart.
And while Brie Larson has been controversial (or at least that is what some thought when she went on promotion for Captain Marvel), this movie is anything but controversial throughout most of its run time. Great actors involved but still it may seem like a story that is easy to see through. There are flaws along the way - you may find them annoying or endearing, depending on your state of mind and mood. But if you let your inner kid out, if you actually get involved into the story, no matter the gender you subscribe yourself to, this will be an uplifting ride that is made out of hope if nothing else
I know it is called a documentary, but you could also clearly call it just a talk show. That does not take anything away from the impact this might have. There are other shows that really put people on the spot and while doing a good or great thing (reuniting families or other nice stuff), work to get audience all sentimental and profit from that.
Oprah at least in this instance really cares for the 4 individuals who really had to go through quite a lot. It is amazing and heartbreaking hearing the people involved (at least the innocent ones, because the ones who pushed the negative agenda, will not speak out - even if they did, what would they say? Sorry? Would be a start I reckon, but don't hold your breath ...) and their journey and what they thought about the movie.
You also get to hear from the actors and how they prepared for their roles and what it means to them. Obviously it makes sense to watch the movie/series beforehand. Netflix actually made me watch this after the the 4 parter was over. Usually it asks you what you want to do next ... in this instance it just started after the other one ended. I'm not complaining mind you, because it is quite the complimentary piece ...
When They See Us (2019)
The director hits another home run. After the documentary about the prison system she did it may feel like she's not moving away from the same theme, but you could also say she knows what she is doing. Whatever the case (and this is quite personal on so many levels and tries to stay as close to what happened as possible), this is a very powerful movie.
Some may see it as stab against the corrunt President of America (Trump), but anything and everything that contains truth in it, could be considered an attack against that individual. However this is not about the President, this is about the 4 falsely accused and prosecuted black teenagers at the time. Whom happened to be one of the many targets Trump set (he even pulled a one page ad to promote the death penalty for them - which to this day: he has not apologized for! And let's be truthful, he never will!)! Just like the "birtherism" he promoted for so long and also won't apologize for.
Back to the movie though, while we have 4 people involved in the later stage of the movie we do concentrate on one of the 4 and while you may have seen some prison movies, what happens to him ... it's hard to describe the pain you will feel! That is if you are an empathetic human being - and if you think this is an attack on someone, than this says more about that person and yourself than the point I was trying to make
Rambo III (1988)
No blood? A lot of it
The third and fourth Rambo does not include "blood" in the title. The very first one was only known as First Blood, but I reckon since Rambo became a synonym, they just went ahead and used it. Even the Gremlins and many other movies reference Rambo. But in this one - it is either very self aware and so ironical that I can't see it ... or it just broke everything Rambo stood for. Because this is actually going nuts when it comes to war.
So while the other movies clearly (to most) were against war, this one seems to idolize it and make it look fun and cool. Probably the movie got financed by the military? At least I wouldn't be surprised if it was. But while this may be a low point "story" wise, the action is still fun to watch. If you are aware enough to understand this is just a movie and "entertainment"
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
More blood (letting)
When I was a kid and I watched the first Rambo and this one, I thought the order was wrong. Here Rambo goes to war in the first one he came back from one. Well I was clueless what can I say. It's also not like I saw any social commentary or understood what PTSD is. I know I probably was too young to have watched them, but that I also did not know at the time.
Having rewatched the first three again recently, I remembered them and my memory got freshened up on a lot of things too. The action is pretty stellar in this one and we get some recognizable characters back and some new ones added. Now the main twist is very predictable, but the movie still works despite that. I remember the horror I felt when the slugs scene came up. But I learned about the salt "trick" too - not that I got a chance to use it (thankfully).
First Blood (1982)
Don't push me, cause I'm close to the edge
Edge of sanity some might say, but coming back from a war and not recognizing the city you grew up in or the city you lived in, can be quite disturbing. Also disturbing that war lovers thought this was a love letter to war and people on the right thinking this movie was made for them. It's the weirdest interpretations since Scarface (Tony Montana) was made an icon after the movie came out, even though it meant the opposite.
Sylvester Stallone talks about that in his commentary, otherwise I might not even have known about that and to be truthful I did not even see it. What I did see after a couple of decades of not having seen the movie, how I remembered the structure in a different light. The misshandling of the police was quite something. But that happens if two Alpha males butt heads against each other.
Still you as a viewer can understand the pain of the main character more than the ego the head of the police has. It may have dated a little bit, but not to a degree that it takes anything away from its impact!
Amityville 3-D (1983)
3D craze in yo house
One after the other ... and another one. And this one even in 3D. Though I only watched it recently and not in 3D. But back then 3D was the thing (kind of like it was a few years ago, when it seemed every other movie came out in 3D - even those who really made no sense in it), and it made a lot of money especially in the horror genre.
So we get another mad house movie and before you ask: no one has figured out that moving into these houses is dangerous. But you could still say that about every other horror movie that is being made today. Some scenes are obviously made for 3D, but the movie overall goes the known route anyway and this is just the gimmick. Horror movie fans will rejoice at some parts/scenes nevertheless
Never change a winning ... formula
There are people who suggest that back in the day everything was better. Not like today with all the sequels and remakes ... ah well, blessed are the ignorant or forgetful. Now I would never tell anyone something like that or the exact opposite. There are certain stories that will get repeated time and again and it is up to us to find the gems in between.
Now this isn't half bad, but it is also not really original either now is it? So this is a decent movie with decent acting. And if you are a horror movie afficionado you might like it more than others. Getting mad is trendy I reckon ...
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Some horror movies had quite the stars ... starring in the main roles. And this is another example. Mostly it is or was the money I reckon that drew people to those things (you have to pay the bills), but in this case, it might have been the story itself that is based on a true story.
And while that tag has been worn out over the time and might even appall people and make them not watch something, there was a time where this rather drew people in and made them curious. So here you have an ordinary family occupying a house that has quite a story to it. Actually the indian (native american) burial ground is one of the main things many get confused with Poltergeist, which if I'm not mistaken was "just" over a "normal" burial ground.
Whatever the case, strange things are occuring and madness and death follows to a degree or another. The acting is solid and the structure of the movie is finely timed. You have the relationship before and you can see how it devolves. Now is there anything otherworldly playing into it or not? That's for the viewer to decide ... sort of
Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
Not PC, but EM and WS
PC stands for political correct (cursing, nudity and so forth), EM and WS for Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes accordingly. But that does not mean any other actor is lesser or is not up to the task. Everyone delivers here, I just tried to be clever with my summary line. Though my initial though was to go "Black Dolemite", I did not because it might have been missunderstood. It would have been a riff on Black Dynamite, a movie which I love. If you are offended by that, you might want to rethink watching the movie of course, because the movie is way more offensive in different departments.
Now Eddie Murphy has been in movies and has done things, but still for most this will feel like a comeback. He himself said in an interview, that since all his movies are playing, he doesn't feel like he went away. And there is truth to that. Wesley Snipes on the other hand was away for a while. For choices he surely regrets himself. And while he has the flashier role to play (yes even more over the top), there is already Oscar Buzz for Eddie. I would really be happy for him if that happens. Just the nomination would be awesome.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The movie on display may remind some of the other movie I mentioned, but while this is also a comedy, it also has quite a lot of drama in it too. And I mean that in a good way. While I'm a huge fan of Black Dynamite, this does not take anything away from Dolemite. It actually makes me want to watch the actual movies to be honest ... even though they are probably not really anywhere close to good
Dry Martina (2018)
This is quite the tour de force. It is a role any actor might wish for. A lot to do and a lot of emotions to portray and convey. Now if one is not vain, they might envy the lead actress in this. Her role is not likeable and she is flawed as can be. But that is what makes that character so endearing (to play and to watch) after all, no matter your take on her.
If you are not too judgy (which can happen while watching), it is quite slow and there is a lot of mixed feelings and a main character that will bring you to certain edges when it comes to understanding actions. There is also nudity and adult situations and drama galore. But while these are just words the main character has to live through them - for better or worse
Ai-naki Mori de Sakebe (2019)
Sono in the Forest
Sion Sono is a special director. He does things his way and his movies are quite weird mostly to say the least. So the first review (if you can call three sentences a review) I read here did not surprise me. And I don't even mean the low score (1/10), but the argument that was made that there are too many characters and you could not concentrate on one individual (hero?).
Maybe that can work as a warning. Either that other "review" or me mentioning it. Whatever the case, if you go in this, be prepared to see a meta take on the very infamous forest (this is not the first movie about it and surely won't be the last). There are many things going on and some may feel supernatural (this is what the forest is famously know for after all) ... but what is the mystery and what will it all lead to?
Ich seh ich seh (2014)
Can you see me now?
This is one hell of a slow burning horror. And one that is not really about a twist, though for those who are oblivious the twist might work too. But it goes beyond that. Most will be able to see through it (no pun intended). Still the structure and editing of the whole thing is eerie to say the least.
And the acting works out too. I do have issues with acting in German cinema, but apart from this being Austrian (German speaking), this is more than rock solid. The three main characters all do their best work and convey the emotions necessary to move on the story. A story or string that may seem quite stretched but works in the confinements of the movie. Psychology and all included this really gives you an insight into crazy
Not the Carlos Santana Maria
Jokes about songs aside, this action movie does not have a lot of story to hold it together (predictable too). But usually is not why anyone would watch a movie like this. It is the action part that will (hopefully) intrigue the viewer. In this case the stunts can convince most of the time.
I say most of the time, because there are instances where the main character seems out of place - or maybe it is the choreography that fails her. Whatever the case it fails to deliver at a 100% occasionally in the one department that is the one that is most important. The other question is if you care entirely.
A pesar de todo (2019)
Forgive me father(?) for you have sinned
Now I would not call the movie surprising in any way or especially grand. It still is able to entertain the viewer with 4 powerful main characters in the mix who are all looking for their father. This may not be the most interesting premise for some, but it is what we are dealt with here.
And it works to a degree (foreseeable events and all), if you allow yourself to be intrigued by it all. Now I understand that for some this seems annoying and boring. That is fair, but it should never make you question the actresses involved and even more so spanish cinema overall. This tells you what it is, so you are never cheated in anything