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A Fantastic Documentary
I caught this on IFC last night and wow! I'm glad to see someone like Jerry Harvey get recognized for his contributions to the cable industry. Every clip they showed is close to every film I love; modern day TV programmers could take plenty of lessons from this man. It's tragic how the most genius minds are always the most tortured as well, but the indelible mark left behind will influence many many imitators but never another like him. Cable TV has fallen off, but those of us who are old enough to remember the good old days will always have a soft spot for this man's endeavors.
Now if only they could make a documentary on the cable channel ONTV! It would be a dream come true to me!
Ken Park (2002)
(I Can't believe I'm saying this): Mr. Clark, what the hell happened?!
After much anticipation and hard seeking to find this movie (I paid $20 bucks for the Russian DVD) I must say I was let down. I thought Larry Clark's KIDS was a brilliant masterpiece, stunning, etc. ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE was good too, and BULLY was disturbingly well-made. So I was expecting perfection, but KEN PARK really lacks character development; and compensates that with VERY explicit sex. Don't get me wrong, I've seen XXX porno, and even though the shots are relatively quick; I can see why this movie has absolutely no chance of getting an uncensored release or possibly even ANY release here in the United States. One thing I will say I did like about this movie is that the kids aren't as stupid as they were in BULLY, there given more complexity and a (forgive spelling) conscinous; they just like to fu** their brains out!
After seeing the first one (which sucked) I was reluctant to see this one, but I was surprised. This second outing gave us characters we care a little more about (other than Burt Young's), and the special effects are remarkable when compared to the first. This sequel also combines the extremely uneasy element of incest which ups it's unpleasantness, but effectiveness to 50%. I haven't seen any of the other AMITYVILLE series, but after seeing this one I can't imagine that they get any better. The atmosphere and background score fits the film very well and the kid played by Jack Wagner was rather decent. When I read about this movie I was a little anxious to know how much was based on the real life DeFeo family, but I guess we'll never know! WINO! HAHA
Visiting Hours (1982)
Not too bad
All we have here is your run of the mill slasher flick, with an above par psycho-villain played by Michael Ironside. He plays a maniac who likes to photograph victims he stabs spasming to death. He is about the only character in here that is worth mentioning; the lead played by Lee Grant is boring and uninteresting, and William Shatner was a complete moron. I will say however there are moments in this where the action becomes suspenseful, but little else. I wished that the beginning wasn't so slow and I felt that the ending was somewhat of a cop out; however it was interesting to "see the tables turned". In all, a typical thriller from the early 80's; a good time killer. Mediocre to a T!
Not too bad for late-night television....
I am able to admit that the implausibility levels of this movie tend to rise steadily through the entire film; but I enjoyed the chemistry between Kensit and Biehn. At times it also becomes suspenseful. A lot of the scenes leave you scratching your head or wanting more, but I think this film sets out and does its job quite well. It was also good to see Mike Biehn as I really haven't seen him in anything else besides THE TERMINATOR, (I did see THE LORDS OF DISCIPLINE; so so). Other than that I can't say much more except this movie reminds me of the good 'ol late night low-budget action flicks they used to show back in the early 90's on CINEMAX like PRAYER OF THE ROLLERBOYS or CLASS OF 1999!
A Slice of Dutch teen-life: SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER Style!
I really found much to like about this hard-edged drama. For one thing; its impressionable cast with characters like Rien and Fientje; and sharp cinematography make it a real winner. I enjoy watching this as a double bill with SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER; there are strong similarities between the two. The scenes are shot with a lot of earnestness and validity. I find it ironically saddening that the man who played Rien (Hans van Tongeren) committed suicide in 1982 two years after he played this role at the young age of 28. It's nice to know that Verhoeven has a gift with drama as he does with big action movies like ROBOCOP and BASIC INSTINCT. If you have the means, choose this movie.
Let Him Have It (1991)
This movie is one of the saddest pictures ever made. Made even more sad by the fact that this is based on a true story. I couldn't believe this was Christopher Eccleston's 2nd movie; I hadn't seen him in anything before JUDE. I'm utterly speechless to talk about this movie. I noticed someone commented saying this is like DEAD MAN WALKING; that movie does not compare to this. Bare in mind that LET HIM HAVE IT WAS MADE 4 years before DMW. I felt this one was much, much, much more rendering and mournful. God bless you Brits for making films on social content with such potency; American audiences could take a lesson from you: SCUM, LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER, ALFIE, ...if, TRAINSPOTTING (best movie ever made)
10 to Midnight (1983)
It really stands the test of time
I thought this movie was remarkably ahead of its' time; it paved the way for films like COPYCAT or SEVEN. The performance from Gene Davis, (brother Brad was in MIDNIGHT EXPRESS) is astounding; you really feel like you're in the presence of a serial killer. The alibi he establishes for his crimes are extremely clever. Bronson doesn't really serve up too much more emotion than he did in any of the DEATH WISH movies, however I didn't feel he was as wooden in this. Other than the cheesy music, this film hasn't really dated (bare in mind this film is 21 years old!). Pacing for the picture is rather decent; the ending is quick and violent. Certainly one of the better Charles Bronson movies.
Chôjin densetsu Urotsukidôji (1989)
Nightmarish and bizarre
Wow, if you're reading this review; you've probably heard all the hype and controversy surrounding this movie and to tell the truth it deserves it. From the first 10 minutes of a female teacher turning into a demon and raping a student, to orgies to sodomy to some graphic depictions of violence; this film is an endurance test for a movie-going novice. I enjoyed this first segment in the series, I think the 2nd one (Legend of the Demon Womb) was slightly better, but they are both better than any other in the series including RETURN OF THE OVERFIEND or INFERNO ROAD. The later in the series, the more confusing and stupid it gets. Don't say you weren't warned!
Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Last year I really wanted to see this movie in theaters, but I never got around to it. The other night I had a gift certificate for a free rental and grabbed this. I must say I was quite disappointed, probably because I set my standards too high on this one. That is to say that this is not a complete failure of a film; it does have some good moments. The first 30 minutes are EXTREMELY boring, but once Daric pulls that gun out and starts beating that jock at a party, the film starts to pick up pace. I thought the scene with the prostitute was pretty funny also. If I had to choose a best performance in this movie, it would probably be the kid that played Virgil; or Steve - (MILF boy from AMERICAN PIE). Not great, but definitely not the worst.