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wecantbestopped

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24 reviews in total 
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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
What the hell am I watching and why am I watching it?, 11 April 2010
1/10

Why was this made? When you make an anthology horror film, you're supposed to actually film the scary stories, not just horrible actors telling scary stories. This is making my IQ drop. The stories aren't even scary. The woman who tells the story about Mr. Fox is probably the worse actress I've ever seen. She's definitely up there. The guy who hosts the video seems kinda like an evil Kenny Rogers. The graveyard set is definitely one of the cast or crew members' backyards. Unfortunately for her, the one halfway decent actress in this is far too ugly to ever succeed in her craft. This serves to increase the discomfort fact of this movie. Only watch this if you're into really intolerably awful movies.

Sub-par sequel to Do It Debbie's Way, 9 March 2010
1/10

Presumably, enough aging ladies of "the Greatest Generation" had a ball working out with Debbie Reynolds and her pals (including Teri Garr, Florence Henderson, Dionne Warwick, Virginia Mayo, Rose Marie et al) using Mrs. Reynolds' first workout video, "Do It Debbie's Way", that they cranked out another one: this video. This time, the premise is that working out is a great activity for couples to do together, hence the title. Along for the ride this time are Tom Bosley and Dick Van Patten, as well as their wives, Patricia Carr Bosley and Pat Van Patten, and Debbie's own husband, the visibly discomforted Richard Hamlett. There's really nothing much here aside from grunting sextegenarians sweating to the oldies while doing a rather low-impact exercise regimen. Debbie keeps up an incessant and maddening monologue throughout, rarely interrupted save for the occasional protest from Tom Bosley or Dick Van Patten that their back is giving out. The only possible audience I can see for this nowadays would be grannie fetishists who have a thing for Mrs. Reynolds.

B.I.K.E. (2006)
"Almost all of us aren't from here.", 22 January 2010
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You don't say?

Those were the words (more or less, I may be paraphrasing a little bit) which came out of the mouth of one of the members of the New York chapter of the Black Label Bike Club, a group of sniveling overgrown children who like to ride around Brooklyn on ridiculously tall bikes and like, you know, get f*cked up and sh*t. This group, which is like a red-headed bastard step-child to the original chapter (which is based out of Minneapolis) is shown on screen embarrassing themselves in all sorts of ways. One of the main characters in this saga is a guy named Tony, from bourgeois suburban Portland, ME. This thoroughly white bread upper middle class punk, in his late twenties, moved to New York some years prior (when exactly is unspecified) to the filming of this movie, and quickly acquired a wiggerish demeanor, and ran with a crowd, based largely out of the Bushwick neighborhood of the borough of Brooklyn. When he's wasn't making an ass out himself pretending to be black, Tony found a way to ingratiate himself with one of the more flamboyant members of the B.L.B.C., this guy names Doyle. He has earned a reputation as one of the foremost Tall Bike Jousters in the world. Yes, these idiots actually get up on bikes that are like ten feet off the ground and joust each other. Not unsurprisingly, some of these people ended up in the back of ambulances after hitting their heads on the hard pavement during said sport. So anyway, Tony and Doyle are buddies and Doyle is trying to get Tony into the club, but a lot of the members think that Tony's too much of a drug addled idiot to be an asset to the club. The main dramatic arc of the film is Tony's struggle for acceptance amongst the super-hip Black Labels (the group received lucrative TV offers from MTV and the Discovery Channel, to name a couple of the giant corporations eager to cash in on the Bike Club Culture mystique, and the Black Label Bike Club in particular.)

We follow the crew around the country and around the world. In one sequence, the NY chapter heads out to Minneapolis (by car, by the way; what the hell?) for some sort of annual ride (which is kinda like Sturgis, except much, much lamer.) Eventually, all the chapters from around the country (including, in addition to Minneapolis and New York, Austin, Reno and a "nomadic" chapter called Nowhere) get together in the woods at some National Park and party down. The tension between the old-school original chapter members from Minneapolis and the new-school, art-school educated hipster elite Brooklyn chapter members is so thick you can cut it with a knife, nicely coming to a head when a drunken Tony (not even a member, but rolling with Brooklyn) stumbles out of the woods bare-ass naked and proceeds to displease one of the founders of the original chapter, not to mention pretty much everyone else.

After this debacle in the woods, Tony is told bluntly by Doyle that there are many members, even in the New York chapter, who are opposed to him joining the group. Meanwhile, Doyle plots to ride a home-made rocket bike (presumably with fuel left over from the road trip to Minnesota) through the streets at the club's annual giant underground party.

Doyle and dejected Tony proceed to fly (on a jetliner filled with gasoline) to Amsterdam for the "world championship" of bike jousting. It's funny how they eat from the dumpsters (not that I'm opposed to that, per se) but they can afford to fly to Europe to take part in something so frivolous as an unofficial bike jousting tournament (the guy who runs it looks like Tommy Chong in 20 years with dreads.) Well, after a night of hard drinking in Amsterdam, Tony gets his ass kicked for trying to steal a bottle of booze from some Dutchmen and ends up, essentially, breaking up with Doyle (theirs' was a bromance for the ages.) After they go back to NY, Doyle continues working on his jet bike, and Tony runs of to his parent's house in Maine to sulk and lay off the 'Ron for a while. Tony's father, a professor, is rather amusing giving analytical analysis of the group which his son has been spurned from.

Eventually, Tony returns to NY to plot his vengeance, by recruiting some of his other bike culture reject buddies into his newly-formed bike club. They plan to crash the party where Doyle will be riding his rocket bike, and challenge the Black Labels to a jousting match. It's all rather Arthurian towards the end. Long story short, Tony embarrasses himself... again, and Doyle rides his rocket bike into glory.

While I found the subjects of this film to be by and large distasteful to the extreme, that didn't take away from the film itself, which tells a fairly captivating tale on several different levels. As a document of cutting edge hipsterism, this will surely be invaluable to future historians and sociologists. As a simply human tale, this movie also succeeds fairly well, hitting as it does on some age-old truths about human social behaviors and the desire of acceptance by a group of one's peers. In this regard, Tony deserves some credit for the bravery it must have taken to allow himself to be portrayed on screen in such a pathetic light (he was one of the directors of the film.) Perhaps he can grow up a little now that he has thoroughly humiliated himself for the world to see. All in all, a good look at an annoying subculture.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Beware- the White Crocodile Queen stalks!!!, 30 October 2009
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie really had it all. Perhaps it's just my complete lack of cultural reference points in Indonesian society, but my ignorant Western ass was truly left bewildered and astounded waiting to see what would happen next in this bizarre film. It starts with a young couple in the woods, the woman pregnant. She gives birth into the lake, twins, one of which is a little baby and the other of which is a poorly constructed crocodile puppet thing. At this point, two thugs come along and proceed to slaughter the young couple, but not before a little bit of martial arts action. The thugs steal the couple's jewel, which has some sort of mystical power over crocodiles.

At this point we flash forward several years into the future, and there are these two guys providing slapstick comic relief. They reminded me of nothing so much as an Indonesian version of the guys from Dumb and Dumber. They goof off, then we see that some lady is now controlling the crocodiles to kill various people, and occasionally we cut to crocodile world, where a queen rules who looks like a picture from an Indonesian religious pamphlet. The two criminals from the beginning come back, and some guy with a mullet sneaks around with the lady on earth who can control crocodiles. Later, he is lured to his death at the hands of some crocodiles. Then there is an egg which explodes into gore and maggots, like a disgusting little grenade, but the two goofy Dumb and Dumber lookin'-ass muhfuhkahs who it explodes on choose to break out laughing instead of recoiling in abject horror, which seems to me to be the reasonable thing to do in such a situation.

Every new scene ups the bizarre ante. There were no subtitles, but it didn't really matter. The human baby that was born in the opening sequence shows back up, and his twin brother, a little baby crocodile, comes to him in the middle of the night and leads him to the river, where he is about to jump in before his foster parents show up in the nick of time to save him. But then the little kid is run over by a motorcycle in a targeted assassination. Apparently, the people who the bad guys killed in the beginning, the little kid's parents, are crocodile royalty or something. Who knows? It's pretty gory at times. There is one love scene where the crocodile lady pulls out the guy she's screwing's pubes as part of foreplay. At the end, the bad guys die, one of them at the hands of a giant living tree, like the one in Lord of the Rings, except way cooler. Then the crocodile royalty couple from the beginning of the movie come back to life, but their kid, who got run over by the motorcycle, is still dead. There is also one genuinely really good musical number, which kind of resembles a Bollywood song. All in all crazy fun.

Fallen Angels (1985) (V)
4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Simply put, the best movie ever made., 18 July 2009
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very informative and disturbing look behind the scenes of the LA porn industry. The men are scum and the women are fed into a grinder and used up until the industry has fresh meat and no more use for them, at which point the women are unceremoniously disposed of and left coping with poverty, mental issues, drug addiction and so forth. The filmmakers seem to have had a great deal of confidence bestowed upon them by the subjects, who open up and are very candid, much more so than in the typical porn documentary. The stories almost all end up in a downbeat fashion, and the moral seems to be that the porn biz is a soul-crushing and horrible endeavor for most involved, especially the woman. Also of note is an early non-porn appearance by Ron Jeremy, here identified simply as Ron, discussing his life in the adult biz. As always, Ron comes off as a perfect mensch, but the sad parts of this flick are really eye- opening.

10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Worthy entry to the family-dysfunction-confessional genre, 21 February 2009
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the tradition of "Capturing the Friedmans" and last year's "Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father" comes "Must Read After My Death", a tale of the psychological despair which was the sad reality of many suburban families' home lives, beneath the shiny plastic veneer which was the prevailing myth in America during the post-Eisenhower years, but before the counterculture really took its root. The "Leave It to Beaver" family unit, so persistently idealized in the pop culture, was merely a mask which hid beneath it the face of a collective scarred psyche. The story being told here is about one specific family. Morgan Dews, the filmmaker, inherited a trove of materials when, in 2001, his maternal grandmother died, age 90. These materials, which make up almost the entirety of this film, included, among other things, hundreds of hours of dictaphone and tape recordings, photographs, and super-8 home movies. Although the home movies by and large show what you'd expect, idyllic scenes of a happy family, the audio recordings tell a completely different tale. What once was a happy marriage has degraded into a marital war zone, fought out in middle-class suburban Connecticut, a world where emotional, psychological, and even occasional physical abuse mar the landscape, and the four children are caught in the crossfire. Dews' grandmother Allis, in her younger years, lived in Europe as a somewhat accomplished singer, married to one of the renowned tenors of the day. She was of a continental and generally worldly set, but her stay over there was cut short abruptly by the outbreak of WWII. After moving back to the States, she met and fell in love with Charley, the filmmakers grandfather. As time went on, they had children, four in all, including the director's mother Anne, and his three uncles. Charley got a better job, and as they moved in to a bigger house in suburban Connecticut, their domestic life began to come apart at the seams. Charley is becoming more and more of an alcoholic, spending months at a time overseas for his work, and cavorting about with various women (the couple had an open relationship.) Allis, for her part, is increasingly stifled by the pressures of keeping a home, especially since she was accustomed to the bon vivant lifestyle of a European artist from her earlier life. Anne, the daughter, escaped as soon as she could, leaving home and getting married. It wasn't so easy for the three brothers, unfortunately, as they were at home to bear witness to the increasingly hostile environment inhabited by their parents. Psychotherapy, which is a constant theme in this movie, is of no help, as the chauvinist doctors assure Allis that everything is her fault, and that her husband is doing the best he can in the face of all of this. Eventually, one of the sons is shipped off to a mental hospital after violently threatening his father, and the relationship between Charley and Allis tailspins even further. Then, of a sudden, tragedy and redemption strike the family. The eldest son, Chuck, having gone off to college, is killed in an auto accident on a country road while assisting another motorist, who ran their car off the road. Within days of this tragedy, Charley is dead on the floor of his bedroom. This led the way for the third act of Allis's life: after Charley's death, the children being of an age to look out for themselves, she moved into a house in rural Vermont, where she lived as an independent woman for the rest of her life. It was at that very same house where the troves of material in this film were found. The audio in this movie comes exclusively from two sources (not including the original score). First dictaphone records, which were made by the family as a means of communication during the long months when he was abroad. Second (and more comprehensively) were tape recordings made by the couple as a tool for their joint therapist, the aforementioned dealer in poor medical advice. These fascinating, completely dysfunctional sound recordings tend to become even more so when paired on the screen, in an almost avant garde fashion, with the grainy, iconic imagery of the home movies, having been lended an extra degree of irony. All told, the movie comes out as a fairly formidable debunking of the myth of the Nuclear Family.

The Prey (1984)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Friday the 13th meets Microcosmos, 7 February 2009
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Supercraptastic slasher fare, which feels overly long at 80 minutes. Years ago, a bunch of "gypsies" who lived in the caves of a mountain, were burned up in a forest fire. Years later, campers are going missing from the area of the fire. A bunch of horny kids are, of course, en route to this area for a debaucherous camping trip of there own. Despite an ominous welcome from the forest ranger (Jackson Bostwick) the kids troop up to the mountain any way. Before long, the kids start to get picked off by the monster, who remains unseen to the very end of the movie, probably because the makeup was so embarrassingly bad. No surprises to speak of: they get killed in the exact order that the formula for these movies dictates, leaving the "final girl" to fend for herself, although in a refreshingly downbeat denouement, the final girl ends up imprisoned and impregnated by the monster.

The story itself couldn't hold the weight of feature length, so it was padded out by seemingly endless shots of wildlife and insects, which were obviously shot for another film and inserted here haphazardously as a means of making the movie long enough for a video release. On the plus side, the wildlife footage is rather nice. Also among the highlights are Bostwick talking to a baby deer, a decent rock-climbing death sequence, OK gore, and the Great Jackie Coogan in his final film role, as the bumbling local sheriff. This is a far cry from Charlie Chaplin, but it was still nice to see him. This is for slasher completists only.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"He may have been raised in Australia, but he's all American!", 7 February 2009
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Richard Norton, one time world kickboxing champion, returns to the role of Col. Brad Cooper, bad-azz killing machine extraordinaire. You see, it seems that sometime in 1970, in Vietnam, a bunch of US marines wiped out a VC village and stole a bunch of gold. The gold, however, belonged to one very POed ninja warrior (Bruce Le.) Fast forward to 1986, when that very same ninja warrior is picking off the marines from that unit one by one, trying to get the gold back. This is making Maj. Ryan (Rex Cutter), the leader of that unit, rather nervous, understandably. So in an effort to save his own ass, he calls on Col. Cooper to go to Vietnam and stop whoever is responsible. He only has one condition for Cooper: don't ask any questions. This, of course, leads Cooper to ask a bunch of questions, and his investigations lead him to the massacre, the cover-up, and the gold. Turns out there is a giant training camp in the mountains, where an army of ninjitsu terrorists are being readied to attack a nuclear plant. Throw in a dash of martial arts mysticism, and one of those gunfights where the hero never misses, but the 200 enemies he's fighting can't hit the side of a barn, and boom, you've got yourself an A.I.P. action flick.

This movie is rather interchangeable with any number of other low-budget action flicks from the period. The wooden acting of Norton certainly doesn't help matters, but at least it comes in at a mercifully short 88 minutes. I really don't know why I watch this dreck, but I will say this: it was better than "Rachel Getting Married," which I also saw yesterday.

Hostage (1983)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Slightly Sleazy Aussie Outing is Ultimately Forgettable, 6 February 2009
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie, supposedly based on a true story, tells the tale of Christine Maresch (Kerry Mack, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Michelle Williams,) a runaway from a broken home who, while working at the carnival, meets and falls for Walter (Ralph Schicha), a German ex-pat who is living on the lam in Australia, for reasons which will soon become painfully clear to Christine. Perhaps she should have seen it coming when Walter shot himself upon having his marriage proposal rejected, but for some reason Christine agrees to marry him after all, in the ICU at the hospital, where he is being treated for his aforementioned gunshot wound. They have a daughter, Amanda (Gabriella Barraket) together, but quicker than you can say "Mein Fuhrer," Walter turns into a controlling lunatic, and a neo-Nazi to boot. Christine finds out that she's again pregnant, and informs Walter that she is going to get an abortion. He convinces her not to, tricking her into believing that if she comes back to Germany with him, she will be able to get a top of the line abortion in one of Germany's clinics. Only after they arrive does he tell her that no, they can't get an abortion there, because Walter wants a male heir, presumably to teach how to be a nut case, just like his pops. In Germany, the higher- ups in the neo-Nazi food chain are not impressed with Walter's wife, and make her participate in a bank robbery to prove her loyalty. The robbery goes off well, but the bosses still won't be satisfied with her, so they head back for Oz, where things go from bad to worse, with Christine being held hostage in her own house, the subject of regular beatings and rape. Eventually, Walter makes her participate in another bank robbery, the loot from which he uses to buy a boat, to sail to Germany with. Once on the water, the climactic confrontation occurs, with not much excitement to be found anywhere. A brief postscript reveals that Walter ended up going to jail for 14 years, and Christine got 4 years probation.

Even if this story is true (and I have my sneaking suspicions that there were, at the very least, major embellishments on the truth) it doesn't save it from being a total bore. There were only a couple of saving graces to be found; namely the attempted kidnapping scene in Turkey and the frequent display of Ms. Mack's breasts, which all in all really aren't enough to recommend this film very highly to anyone. This movie should stay buried in the jumbo junk heap of history.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Trite with a capital T, 3 February 2009
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The only reason I'm going up to two is the smattering of gratuitous breasts in this movie. Otherwise, I'd surely have to go down to one star out of ten. The plot revolves around Aaron (Gary Kroeger, veteran of some of SNL's lesser years in the 80's) & Elinor (Eileen Seeley), a couple of politically active teachers and lovers, who decide to take their sabbaticals together in order to go to New Hampshire in 1968 to campaign for Gene McCarthy. On the eve of their departure, Aaron informs Elinor that he won't be going to New Hampshire at all, instead opting to "drop out" in Europe for a while, smoking hash, getting wasted and banging hot chicks. Sounds good to me! Elinor is, understandably, distressed by his sudden apathy towards all things progressive, but goes to New Hampshire anyways, with Edward, Jr. (Guy Killum), whose father is played by the late great Cleavon Little (given top billing on the tape box, even though he has only a supporting role.) While Elinor and Eddie continue to make history in NH, Aaron is busy getting his freak on, and is almost too high to notice that Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy have been assassinated. Eventually all of his partying lands Aaron in the hospital, where he learns that his grandmother Helen (Viveca Lindfors) in dying. He gets back to the States just in time to share one of the most nauseatingly saccharine deathbed scenes in the history of cinema and have a change of heart and get back into politics. The movie actually ends with a bunch of people, white and black, holding hands and singing "We Shall Overcome." I mean, give me a break.

Subtlety is not, seemingly, in the film-making vocabulary of Mr. Paul Leder, the director, who takes a step away in this picture from his usual exploitation fare. Instead of any degree of insinuation, the film prefers to smack you over the head with its points, as one might do with a club, or baseball bat. Aside from a couple of pairs of boobs, there's nothing, and all of the actors involved should have known better and stayed away from this boring crap.


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