3 items from 2016
Donald Cried opens in medias res on Peter (Jesse Wakeman), in a cab ride through a snowy suburb, realizing that he lost his wallet, and from there gives successive details of him present due to the death of his grandmother and this, our setting, being his childhood home in small-town Rhode Island — a good omen for this comedy being in the milieu of the Farrelly brothers.
A Wall Street type, he calls a Manhattan connection who, unfortunately, is unwilling to wire him the $100 necessary to get through the day, forcing him to turn to high school friend Donald (Kris Avedisian, also the film’s director) for help after by chance encountering him in the driveway. The first instance of this film’s ample physical comedy comes when Donald, in his bathrobe, climbs over a mound of snow to embrace Peter; you see he’s been waiting twenty years for this moment. »
- Ethan Vestby
Well, here we are again, back in Corman waters. Why do we keep coming back? What is the pull of a Roger Corman production that calls to us like a syphilitic siren wailing from the rocks, beckoning us home? My guess is quality chafing the walls of quantity. There are a lot of exploitation movies out there, and most were justified their position on the lower rung of a double bill on a Tuesday night at the drive-in. But un film du Corman is different – he’s always had an innate gift for corralling talent on the rise, and kind enough to foster it on the way down. His turn of the decade monster mash Humanoids from the Deep (1980) is a perfect storm of his wondrous cinematic sensibilities.
And of course I mean ‘wondrous’ as it applies to our station, the gloriously trashy and deliciously weird. Humanoids fits neatly into »
- Scott Drebit
John Frankenheimer ended a three year hiatus following his 1979 environmental horror/creature feature Prophecy with a commendable martial-arts effort, The Challenge (1982). Starring Scott Glenn in his first lead performance, the curiosity was co-written by John Sayles and also stars Japanese legend Toshiro Mifune (who had previously appeared in Frankenheimer’s 1966 film, Grand Prix). Though it ultimately proves to be a nonsensical narrative in its clash of East meets West and traditional values threatened by the consumer cravings of the modernized world, some fantastic fight sequences (a pre-fame Steven Seagal served as technical advisor) and superb lensing from famed cinematographer Kozo Okazaki mark the title as worthy of recuperation for its conglomeration of vintage components.
In 1982 Los Angeles, a down and out boxer, Rick Murphy (Glenn) is approached to transport a sacred sword to Kyoto in order to restore it to its rightful owner, a master samurai, Toru Yoshida (Mifune). Apparently, »
- Nicholas Bell
3 items from 2016
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