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Lucky Bastard (2014)
Lucky Bastard - Fun, Entertaining, Creepy!
From the perspective of a life-long die-hard movie enthusiast, I really enjoyed Lucky Bastard and find myself surprisingly haunted by some of the imagery and the darkness of the story's main antagonist. It would be easy to dismiss Lucky Bastard as something trite and low-brow and seemingly not worth the time to pop some corn. Any movie in which the backdrop is the adult film industry suffers an immediate stigma and a lot of closed minds unwilling to consider it as a legitimate movie-going experience. That is unfortunate because there is much to treasure here, from the frequently hilarious dialogue to the spot-on performance of Don McManus to the shocking moments of violence that seem totally plausible in today's world.
Lucky Bastard is a highly entertaining exercise in the found-footage genre, lending the impression that we are watching real people in a real situation. Unlike other found-footage movies that focus on the supernatural and therefore become questionable in their realism, Lucky Bastard unfolds with specific and tangible reality. Some may question the acting ability of the cast, but don't be fooled by knee jerk critical reactions. These actors know what they're doing to sell the concept of the movie, as do the artists behind the camera. The very premise, that of a young man who wins a date with his favorite adult film star and visits the set of an adult website to perform in a scene, is 200% believable in the p*rn-saturated cyber reality we live in today. And if you're paying attention, the movie addresses something far beyond the on-screen dalliances of a hopeful everyman and his dream woman. It's ultimately about the dangers of exploitation and the risk of gleefully humiliating so-called geeks, people we label without really knowing them or what they are capable of unleashing. When you consider the facts of today's world in which troubled young people walk into shopping malls and schools and IHOPs to open fire with automatic weapons, Lucky Bastard presents a disturbingly potential reality of what can and does happen when you don't know what you're really dealing with.
To give away Lucky Bastard's plot turns would do a disservice to the prospective viewer. I would simply say give the movie a shot if you want to be entertained, amused, titillated, and ultimately shocked. The movie will gently carry you along for a while, making you laugh, misleading you into a lazy state of casual observation until the first shock comes. The latter half of the film is far from humorous, and there are moments that will resonate, especially when you think about the internet-obsessed guy next door who seems harmless yet a little creepy.
Lucky Bastard puts a fresh spin on the found-footage genre and is effective in delivering laughs, surprises, and an ick factor that you'll think about after it's over. It's also worth mentioning that it's one of the few thrillers I can think of that delivers gruesome events in bright daylight, and that stylistic choice really stood out to me and helps distinguish Lucky Bastard as a unique and believable tale. I think this movie has a very strong appeal to a young, hip audience, and I'm really hoping it can get the attention it deserves and rise above those who would carelessly dismiss it. Check it out!
Guilty as Charged (1991)
A Great Movie Highly Underrated and Missed
Very few people have seen this film or are even aware of it. I was fortunate enough to be living in Los Angeles in early 1992 when it was briefly released at one theater and played for only one week. Because I am a great admirer of the brilliant character actor, Rod Steiger, I was thrilled at a chance to see a movie made in recent years in which he carried the lead. A rare casting choice that wouldn't likely happen anymore. I don't know why this film didn't get officially released, but I loved it then, and now finally revisiting it on DVD, I appreciate it even more.
It's a black comedy, at times completely wacky, at times profound when it raises moral questions, and at times it turns into somewhat of a superhero comic book story. Steiger's performance is amazing and it's a shame nobody saw it. He portrays his character with passion, depth, and you totally believe this guy and his mission. He has a lengthy monologue in which he describes the tragedy of his past that provoked him to take on his godly quest of bringing justice to the world. The scene is very moving and richly played by Steiger. It was perhaps the last great performance of a long impressive career. Isaac Hayes gives a hilarious supporting performance as does most of the main supporting cast.
If you admire Rod Steiger, if you like dark comedy with a point and a brilliantly classic twist ending, you really should do yourself a favor and check this puppy out. I showed it recently to my best friend, a fellow film enthusiast, and he loved it. There are some moments of acting and clever cinematography that burn an image into your mind that is unforgettable. Most of you will totally disagree with me on my view of this film. But it's worth it to me to share my love of this film for those few who do see it and do appreciate it. Thanks for reading! DSS
Kung Fu (1972)
Question About Final Episodes of the Series
This is a question for die hard Kung Fu fans who may know the answer to my question. I have concluded the final season (3rd), but I am perplexed as to the order of the last 7 episodes.
There is a 4-part story line about Caine finally finding his brother and it seems to be the finale of the series. Carradine indicates on the commentary that "Full Circle" was the last episode they shot and aired.
The strange part is this...after "Full Circle", there are 3 additional episodes, all of which seem to occur prior to the 4-part episodes about the brothers. In fact, one of the episodes with John Carradine makes reference to Caine still looking for his brother...yet he found his brother just a couple episodes earlier.
Does anyone know why the last 3 were shown after the 4-part brothers episodes which clearly were intended to be the end? I would love to know! Thanks.