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Il giustiziere della strada (1983)
Mad Max meets Casa de mi Padre
Exterminators of the Year 3000 is the story of a second-rate Mad Max character named Alien. In this Spanish-Italian rip-off of The Road Warrior, Alien travels the wasteland in search of water that he can sell to become rich. Along the way he meets up with a kid and a woman who eventually help him defeat a gang of desert raiders.
There are some great schlock moments to savor here. If you're feeling a bad movie night, I highly recommend this for Mad Max fans and lovers of Italian 80s cinema. Have a few drinks and enjoy this with some friends. There are plenty of laughable moments and opportunities to riff the film for taking itself so seriously. Don't spoil it for yourself if you're interested. It's worth it.
Sucker Punch (2011)
Overindulgent and Infantile Brain Garbage
The idea here is simple. We the audience want to be entertained by what we like. We like action. We like sex. We like conflict and resolution. What could go wrong?
The style and substance of Sucker Punch is overwhelming. So much is being thrown in the viewer's face that one becomes immediately desensitized and bored by the whole affair. Right out of the gate this movie establishes that nothing is really happening here and the stage has been set for a play that never once connects with it's audience. It's hard to imagine that a movie so filled with everything including the kitchen sink could be so boring and tedious. There's no connection here. The effort made to sit through Sucker Punch is a wasted investment.
What happens? Doesn't matter. Who's in it? Scott Glenn and pretty girls. Any good action? There's a small bit on a train that gets help from a Vangelis-like bit of film score, but other than that, no.
There's something odd about the way Sucker Punch plays out. The movie is definitely influenced by video games. There are many levels and sub-levels in the outline of the story. We start off on a stage with a set that transitions into a tragedy. The tragic play then becomes a burlesque drama which sets up four isolated action scenes that include our primary group of characters. Each sequence where our girls are running around shooting stuff and hitting things starts with a poorly remixed or covered song.
The worst bastardization of any song on this soundtrack is the horrible version of The Stooges Search And Destroy that bookends the Dragon/Fire level. It's pathetic. The poor Pixies cover and the Army Of Me mistake don't fare much better. The issue though is that when you hear the god-awful White Rabbit rendition stop a couple minutes into the action, you can anticipate the end of the scene as soon as the music kicks in again. Each shitty live-action video game scene in this movie is a music video with a break in the middle to keep each song from lasting fifteen minutes.
Really though, anybody who would watch this over a double feature of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Showgirls should burn their wallet and quit their job. Sucker Punch is a neutered PG-13 trashcan full of misplaced efforts and missed opportunities. It is a polished turd.
Interesting Science Fiction with Intense Issues
SPLICE has a lot of interesting themes going for it. The issues of raising a child, accepting gender identity and trying to maintain an objective perspective when something you love is the subject of study are all very strongly represented in the story. There are some great rock star science moments that make the film fun and the technology is entertaining if you find it interesting. The main characters Clive and Elsa are pretty much raising a science project through the first two acts. When the experiment becomes self sufficient and gets the intelligent sense to question authority, things get tough. The background story of a company working to harvest miracle genes off bio-engineered organisms secures a solid foundation for the main characters to build on. The film presents motives that are amoral, unethical and rebellious. The story is mostly unflinching and some people in the audience do feel awkward about what they are seeing. DREN is a fantastic character that goes through some drastic evolution. At times it seems like you can side with Elsa and dislike Clive and then you might reconsider that when further events unfold. Every character in this film deals with some seriously brutal events. There are some light and even silly moments to get grounded on and it makes the tough stuff that much more enjoyable when the time comes. If you're willing to take the ride and follow through, SPLICE will guarantee a good time or at least some interesting coffee table conversation. I cant recommend watching this film enough.
From Beyond (1986)
Dr. Crawford Tillinghast will become a being that has never existed before now.
This movie, adapted from a dark and mystery filled tale by H. P. Lovecraft, is a supernatural thriller with more chops than many of the horror movies of the 80's. While the film is dated at times by costumes and technology, the intensity of the story and the characters involved surpasses even today's popular standards. Jeffrey Combs portrays a doctor's assistant who has witnessed a horror so terrifying that he questions his own sanity. A machine that stimulates second sight or "the sixth sense" is tested in an attic laboratory with nightmarish results. What follows is an investigation involving Combs' Crawford Tillinghast, a psychiatrist, a detective and the horror FROM BEYOND. Questions surface that will frighten and shock the average audience. What really happened to Dr. Edward Pretorius? What is the Resonator and what are its effects on the human brain? What is It?
This is a very fun film for open minded fans of the horror genre. I enjoyed the cast's performances on screen. The story is full of horror, sex, and gore. Since the film is from the mid 80's the effects pale to current standards but, the message and intent of the movie are clear and each scene delivers its own charm. Some parts are shocking and others are laughable. This movie has ups and downs and is a fantastic roller coaster ride for the senses.
This movie is highly recommended for fans of H. P. Lovecraft, Stuart Gordon, Sam Raimi, John Carpenter and admirers of Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, and Ken Foree.
The Big One (1997)
The Downsize This! Book Tour Film
The Big One is a well rounded accomplishment for Michael Moore. This film is almost like watching an autobiographical documentary. The movie highlights the notable events surrounding Michael Moore's book tour for Downsize This!. The feel of a rushed and improvised tour schedule sets the pace for scenes of public speeches, crew activity, and corporate inquisition. The film shows that Michael Moore reveals his humanitarian instincts in even the most hectic of environments. The direction of developing plot is specific to each of the cities that Moore goes to on his tour. The story that surrounds Nike, Inc. is absolutely worth watching. Corporate business is analyzed throughout this film and Michael Moore makes it a point to have the audience think about what they are watching. Highly recommended for fans of Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko and admirers of Michael Moore.
Unique Period Film
A movie like Brainscan is unique. The characters in this film only exist in the time that the movie was made. Brainscan can almost be called a period film today due to its embracing the troubled youth subculture of the early nineties. Ed Furlong of Terminator 2 is a high school student that exposes himself to large amounts of Horror, Hard Rock, and Video Games. When his obsessions become his vices, he experiences the fear of losing control of the only thing he truly possesses; himself. A sinister antagonist called The Trickster drives the plot of the movie and forces the main character (Furlong) to become either a hero or a victim. The movie is well paced and has an entertaining score/soundtrack. This film should be highly recommended to fans of Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy and admirers of Frank Langella and/or Edward Furlong.
Gycklarnas afton (1953)
Strong and Powerful Storytelling
Ingmar Bergman's Sawdust and Tinsel is a strong and powerful film. Focusing on characters this film explores the emotions of sorrow, hopelessness, and despair. The story concerns the members of a traveling circus that have fallen on hard times. Police, Soldiers, and an Acting Troupe provide supporting story and conflict. A strong character development follows each of the individuals portrayed. The film's climax will move audiences and provoke thought on man's capability of reason. Highly recommended for fans of The Seventh Seal, Fanny and Alexander, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser and admirers of Ingmar Bergman and/or Werner Herzog.
Strange Play Between Characters
This film is a dark portrayal of two characters manipulating each other. I found this work thought provoking and sincere. With non-linear storytelling and avant garde bookending, Ingmar Bergman develops a film that will make any audience question what they are seeing. The story begins when a nurse is put in charge of an actress who has stopped speaking. This starts a relationship that quickly becomes full of trust, then suddenly turns into bitter resentment. The story takes many strange turns and is always focused on the sometimes awkward interaction between the main characters. This movie is recommended for fans of Ingmar Bergman.
Sam gang 2 (2004)
Disturbing and Intense Trio of Horror
This compilation movie of three horror stories is dark and disturbing. The first story concerns a woman's greed for beauty and the bizarre path she takes to get it. The second story centers on a director who gets held captive by a film extra with an agenda. This leads to torture and a strange game of cat and mouse. The final story regards a writer with a twisted past. This part is surreal and at times awkward in storytelling and direction. I enjoyed this film as a fan of the horror genre. The elements of surrealism and paranormal activity were effective in each story. While the movie did have a relatively slow pace, the intensity of each stories climax made for a fulfilling watch. Recommended for fans of Tales from the Darkside, Tales from the Crypt, The Twilight Zone and admirers of Takashi Miike and Chan-wook Park.