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Blood & Donuts (1995)
much worse than all the conciliatory reviews here suggest
If you are checking reviews here before bothering to stream this movie, do not be taken in by all the cutesy campy praise from people with a fond spot in their hearts for big hair from their '90s youth. The acting and scripted dialog are exceptionally bad with leaden one take delivery and pointless wretched accents that smash any possible suspension of disbelief. The only reason I gave it one more than a one is that it was shot on film instead of video and was edited in chronologically intelligible order. This is the kind of movie soft core porn producers and directors made in the eighties and nineties in hope of getting out of the skin trade; I know because I used to crew for them. Absolutely a waste of the time required to fast forward through it.
forgotten era in living memory
It is so strange to find the flower of one's bountiful youth at the peak of Hubbard's Curve forgotten so thoroughly in my own lifetime, and I'm still long from dead.
I read all the reviews and all the commentary threads & posts, incl stan who has it on DVD and the oh so insightful contrasts & comparisons with similar flicks and associated genres.
Now if someone would just talk about the movie, other than repetitive spoilers. Like me. This movie might have made it to the theatre but that theatre was probably in Saskatchewan or Shreveport. This movie was made in Mexico, as in just across the border in pasture someplace between Tijuana & Tecate, better known as south San Diego, a favorite of Hollywood producers when their cast wants per diem and won't go to the high desert on the road to Vegas one more time.
It was made at a very curious time. The Vietnam War had finally ended the year before, and hope was blooming that the spectre seen to include everything from redbaiting to censorship was possibly on the run from a restored mass common sense. As such, the brief bare female breast scene and dialogue of moderately vulgar epithets AIRED ON NATIONAL BROADCAST TELEVISION as an episode of ABC Movie of the Week in an effort to keep that waning franchise vital via casting itself as a purveyor of bold and daring content, at which it failed and was quickly forgotten as a hugely attended mass media franchise in the shadow of cable TV's subsequent meteoric rise.
That no one has yet to remark on this insignificant landmark held by this film demonstrates to me that anything prior to Ronald Reagan as president is remembered no more than Truman at Yalta, a curiosity to be shoe horned into a lustrously cast period biopic.
100 Kilos (2001)
poor production values do not preclude earnest authenticity
This wretchedly edited narrative is salvaged from being utter dreck because it does not kowtow to corporate principles of glamour presentation. The acting is amateurish to a fault but genuine in portraying the character of East L.A. as it was and largely still is, less the ready availability of automatic weapons. My greatest regret was that it fails to show Freeway Rick's actual modus operandi. For those seeking the facts underpinning this recount, cf. Gary Webb's reportage instigated by Freeway Rick's testimony from San Diego MCC. Further substantiation is available from both volumes of Maxine Waters' federal congressional hearings which ultimately compelled admission that intelligence agencies did indeed know this perverse corruption of minority mores was the result of surreptitiously underwritten proxy warfare.
not as slow as preceding episodes but oh what a babe
I do not understand why Judy Loe did not achieve much greater reknown beyond being Kate Beckindale's mom. This woman is incredibly hot in uniform and completely convincing in a throw away role. I checked her IMDb bio; apparently she had a strong TV career, but a gorgeous face like hers should have gotten big league film roles.
What a crime that so many Brit films and TV series aren't available on Netflix. As for this series, it's not bad for a M.Python spin-off. The location shots like the ship in this episode are interesting cultural oddities and its explosion is a great one. The gags tend to drag in other episodes, but, like J.Loe, the female leads all are far superior to the script.
Beat Girl (1960)
UK early rocknroll films at top of Netflix queue got me this incredible gem. The snide superior pans in other reviews here are dead wrong.
1) the heavily repeated John Barry 7 theme song is so good, you still want to keep hearing it after the movie, a masterful extended loop.
2) the ingénue lead is more sultry than Bardot at her best, super strong as BB was. BB could instinctually portray mischievous, but this lolita is the embodiment of scheming side glance, icon of teen noir in a single static medium shot with a patina of grainy chiaroscuro.
Yes, Espresso Bongo had the provenance of the highly meritorious stage play it bowdlerized and film production values that gave dimly lit black & white a sheen, but EB characters were sitcom cartoons, no match for BG's tragic archetypes.
Espresso Bongo and nearly all teen films were made years after Beat Girl, and parody a late 1950s Leave it to Beaver stereotype projected on modern settings. Beat Girl is earnest in its perspective of post WWII dregs trending towards a rat warren atomized future of 1984.
3) the dialogue is infra dig, not hackneyed. Pay attention to the concise staccato phrasing. Rewind every time Adam Faith speaks and you too will be cooler than anybody else you will ever meet for parroting his existential bon mots, not least that real rebels don't fight; that's for squares.
4) I have seen any number of rock and roll movies. None have as low a clinker quotient in their song roster as this. When Adam Faith singing near blue grass grade stripped down rockabilly is the least, your soundtrack is mighty strong.
5) I've seen ink on the Teddyboy trend, but nowhere have I seen it portrayed on screen as much as in BG and as matter of fact therefore realistic.
The only question for me is whether I surrender precious media shelf space and hard earned coin to own this treasure. From the fence, I lean toward yes.
Tomorrow Is Forever (1946)
This films preaches, and how, that if you sacrifice your child as cannon fodder, no matter how strong your entirely reasonable native instincts against doing so, your seduced spouse will continue to be able to wallow in mink coats, so long as you burn the only evidence refuting her as the property of a munitions monger.
All the glowing praise for the histrionic "performances" in the other reviews here ignore the message force fed a war weary population who knew well at the time, however much their heirs have forgotten, that European wars, if not all war, is nothing but procurement profiteering by peerage, the scenario presented so gushingly positive in this poisonous treacle.
This mainstream filth opens with a celebration of Armistice in a chemical munitions plant's corporate headquarters. That tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers died or were maimed in WWI from such lucrative insanity, not least because such munitions never yield victory, only battlefront stalemate by temporarily denying enemy troops disputed territory, is lauded ever so abstractly as contribution of the homefront.
Urging parents to rush underage children to the fray is the closing message, a necessary strategic goal in the late stages of WWII when this recruitment vehicle was released in 1946.
There is nothing redeeming about this cinematic crime against democratic U.S. citizenry. Orson Welles prostituted himself as grandly as ever, and the remaining caste were never more than complacent geisha careerists.
Thank fate for the 1970s when Hollywood finally got a social conscience that has yet to be fully interred for the sake of the interests of the National Security State myth.