Reviews written by registered user
Barbecue

7 reviews in total 
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Ink (2009/I)
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Nice little indie film, not a 10, but certainly not a 1 either., 7 August 2011

Ink is a nicely done low-budget indie film with an interesting visual style. It's not a masterpiece, but it's really quite well done, despite some fairly weak acting (in some places it's downright cringe-worthy.) The dialog ranges from clever to humdrum, but I've heard worse in blockbusters from big studios, who don't have the excuse of a low budget and limited resources. The story is simple, but told in a non-linear fashion that I found interesting but never baffling. Nothing in the movie seemed arbitrary or random. It was obviously a labor of love, and I for one am willing to overlook the flaws and appreciate this film as a sincere and energetic effort by a director with potential.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Not a gore film, it's a grim portrait of drug addiction and the human capacity for rationalization, 18 December 2010
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you think Category III means close-up vivisection of young naked women, then you'll probably be disappointed, because that's not what this movie is about.

Based on a true story, this film effectively captures the banality of criminal evil. Emily Kwan plays the role of Grace, a drug addict and prostitute who steals money from a pimp, is pursued, beaten, held captive, and tortured and humiliated for weeks, before finally being killed in a manner that's as stupid and pointless as her life.

Some reviewers complain that this movie is tedious, and the characters aren't interesting. Personally, I find it refreshing to see a film that accurately shows the stupidity and shallowness of human cruelty, rather than glamorizing it as some form of creative art. No, the characters aren't deep and subtle, with little background to explain their situations, but that's what makes the story believable. The characters are pretty much all unlikeable, dishonest, and shallow, which is as it should be, since they're a bunch of thugs.

I found them to be remarkably realistic portrayals of sociopathic criminals. Casually sadistic, mundanely cruel. Not twisted maniacs with hidden laboratories full of elaborate torture technology, just a bunch of druggies incapable of compassion looking to alleviate their boredom. Their lives are dismal, and the chance to exert power over someone weaker than themselves serves as entertainment.

Emily Kwan does a wonderful job of portraying Grace, the sly, manipulative prostitute and heroin addict who is willing to put up with terrible abuse in return for an opportunity to get high one more time. She is selfish but thoughtless, always trying to avoid responsibility, but never considering the long term consequences of her actions. She lives in a constant state of denial. Even after being tortured, she still looks for acceptance from her abusers, forgetting everything they do to her in the pathetic hope that they will accept her enough to give her another ride on the dragon.

Grace isn't too dumb to understand her plight, she's too addicted to care. Her shrill voice grates and annoys, and her behavior will probably seem inexplicable to those who have never been exposed to the real effects of serious addiction. She captures the emotional poverty and desperation of addiction far more realistically than Hollywood's glamorized depictions. She's hopeless almost from the beginning, and while the specific incidents that led to her death could perhaps have gone differently, her ultimate fate seems inevitable.

Most of the acting is not spectacular, though Yiu-Cheung Lai is effective as the husband/father/sociopathic pimp. But overall it's worthwhile if you're interested in the darker side of the human experience.

17 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Dreadful, boring, and lame, 14 February 2006
2/10

The highlight of this film is in the first minutes, where Teen Ape, while getting head from a perky anonymous skank, accidentally ejaculates across the room into the mouth of our narrator, who then proceeds to dribble what looks like skim milk into said skank's eager mouth, in what has to be the worst attempt at faking a "snowballing" scene in film history. Unfortunately, the ape-groupie departs, and things go rapidly downhill from there.

Some of Teen Ape's obnoxious crude sexual commentary would be funny, if it were not so badly mumbled and incoherent. There are a lot of in-jokes and winks, but nothing funnier than what you'd see in a high school annual. The juxtaposition of medieval dialog with pseudo-gangsta hip-hop slang falls flat, and the crass dialog is too tediously delivered to be funny.

One of the great things about truly dreadful movies is that the actors, while dreadful, are somewhat sincere. This cast doesn't suffer from such a misconception however. With a few exceptions, they know they suck, and don't seem to care. The result is more boredom than exploitation.

Bright spots: Anonymous Slattern, Elegant Elliott, the Elf Ho', and the Wandering Swordsman.

Funniest line: "...and my f**king hand turned mortal!"

- The Goblin King

If you're a fan of low-life cinema a la Troma Team, and you expect something similar from this, you'll be disappointed. It's terrible, but not so terrible that it's fun to watch. A good movie to recommend to someone you're mad at.

42 out of 44 people found the following review useful:
It's a kid's adventure movie with imaginative animation, 24 November 2004

Ignore pointless comparisons about how it pales in comparison to Lord of the Rings. This isn't Lord of the Rings, nor is it Citizen Kane. Why some fools insist that every movie must be measured by the yardstick of their own personal favorite I will never understand.

If you're so spoiled by state-of-the-art computer graphics where each creature has an entire team of people working on it, and can't appreciate the human creativity and craftsmanship of great stop-motion animation, don't waste your time on this movie, go watch the latest Pixar release.

Harryhausen's work is remarkable not because it's the most realistic animation ever, but because he was able to achieve remarkable things with sculpture and movement on a budget comparable to today's 30 second ad spots.

Tom Baker steals the movie. He's terrific as the evil sorcerer, villainous but with enough humanity to his character to make him at least somewhat sympathetic.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Not just a porno movie, 6 June 1999

A disturbing, dark story set in a post-apocalyptic world where the majority of people have been rendered sex negative - they become violently ill when they attempt any sexual activity, even kissing. These unfortunates enjoy sex vicariously through live sex performance art staged at special clubs, where the rare "sex positives" are forced into a sort of sexual gladiatorial status, partly slaves, and partly celebrities.

The story centers on a couple of Cafe Flesh sex negative regulars, and their sad obsession with the club lifestyle.

The best acting performance in the film is Andy Nichols as Max, the mean-spirited emcee at the club who likes to taunt the audiences he is there to entertain, and stirs up trouble whenever he can. The sex scenes are not romantic, but they are imaginative and highly choreographed, with creative and surreal sets. Great camera work, an excellent soundtrack, surprisingly good acting, and some hot sex as well. It's a real good example of how a good porno movie SHOULD be. Very worthwhile

Definitely worth watching.

Split (1989)
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Interesting sort of cyberpunk adventure, 6 June 1999
7/10

In a very-near-future world, a corrupt government monitors everyone constantly with computers and surveillance. One man has managed to evade assimilation, and operates outside the system, fighting to preserve his freedom. An engaging and imaginative story and some very interesting editing and camera work. There are some confusing and slow parts, but all in all, an excellent example of what a small crew with brains and talent can do on a shoestring budget.

SexWorld (1978)
9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
The BEST adult movie I have seen, 6 June 1999
10/10

Sex World is more like Fantasy Island than Westworld, a place people go to live out their secret sexual fantasies, and in several cases, get more than they bargained for. The story follows several different customers as they explore their sexual fantasies and make some discoveries about themselves at the same time. Excellent production standards, top notch acting, and several VERY erotic sex scenes make this the best adult film I have seen. It's really too good to be called porn.