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If you're a fan of the Italo-cannibal genre, see this!
4 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Filled with in-jokes, homages, and snarky jabs at the SJW set (many provided by Sky Ferriera's sweetly dour stoner character) this movie was a pleasure from start to finish. It helps, a LOT, to have seen most if not all of the films this one references, but I was surprised and pleased to see some references to Werner Herzog in there too, which should be expected since Roth shot on the same river as Aguirre. But I digress.

Filled with enough blood, guts, and viscera for the most discerning gorehound, the film gets the kills going, includes an uncomfortable vaginal exam, and a very unpleasant plane crash which was probably the most horrifying thing in the entire movie from my perspective, since I hate flying.

A Cannibal Ferox ending followed by a Man From Deep River teaser in the credits? If Roth makes it, I'll be there. If you love these films like I do, go and have a good time.
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30 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The idea of making a horror film based on Alzheimer's is a sort of tasteless one, isn't it? I know a lot of horror is tasteless in some way, but this left me wanting to take a quick shower. The image of an old woman in the student's pseudo-doc who's either dead or close to death early on in the film was unpleasant, but it didn't make me think 'oooh, scary', it just made me think the filmmakers were...let's be kind and say 'enterprising' for sticking that image in there.

It's exploitive enough, with a frail elderly woman walking around naked, having painful medical tests run on her (just like Regan MacNeil! Surprise, surprise!) and acting spooky, which is one thing, but then it switches gears to a dead child murderer and snakes and kidnappings, and it should have been cut by about thirty minutes to keep the suspense up.

There's an ostensibly happy ending for the old lady and her daughter--well, about as happy as you can get with a story about a possessed Alzheimer's patient, and yes, that does feel very silly to write--but an extremely stupid and out of left field 'evil continues' ending is tacked on for a character we don't care about, since she's in the film for all of five minutes, tops.

I found it more effective as a horror film when it was dealing with Deborah as a victim of Alzheimer's and not Deborah as a possessed snake lady. The woman who plays Deborah should get some kind of reward for wasting her time in this, as she turns in a decent performance.

Mileage may vary, but I thought this was an absolutely terrible film, and the supernatural second half was boring as boring can be.
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The Sacrament (2013)
Terrible movie filled with missteps; you want to know about
5 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Jonestown? Wiki it. Just reading about it is about a hundred times more disturbing than this film.

First things first. Adding the VICE imprimatur made this all the more unrealistic; do you mean to tell me that VICE, who introduced me to General Butt Naked, is not going to have any knowledge whatsoever of a creepy reverend operating out of some unnamed backwater? Or that they're not going to do any research before they go where they're going? Stupid.

AJ Bowen is a good actor when he's doing homages to eighties horror or even playing an asshole; he doesn't have the weight needed to pull his role off. I had problems with all the actors. The guy playing Jim Jones--why bother pretending this isn't what's going on in this movie--was decent with the 'material' he had, I suppose.

The speeches Father gave were neither chilling nor all that informative. There's no real slow burn here either, which is what Ti West is known for. One second everything is cool, the next it's shot to hell. If you read any book about Jonestown or watch the many documentaries which exist, you'll see how the People's Temple did start out as a fairly benevolent organization, one which existed for many years before Jones finally lost it. That 'fairly benevolent aspect' is why Jones was able to draw so many in.

Aside from this being a movie about Jonestown from start to finish, there's a lot more we see in the film that's a pastiche of things which have actually occurred. I didn't like the Budd Dwyer call out at the end that "Father" performs, or sister Caroline pulling a 'Buddhist monk immolates self in a protest against treatment by the Vietnamese'. The sudden pull of the gun and the manner in which Father bleeds out is exactly the same as Budd's suicide, Caroline's ghoulish dance is a fair bit different, but if you have the references, the movie just feels like a ripoff of things which already happened and in all cases are far more horrifying than this film.

Most people have heard the Jonestown tapes, and unless you're living under a rock, you've seen pictures of the aftermath. This movie did nothing to otherwise illuminate the story of what happened there, so why make it? Just make a Jonestown film instead. You know you're in bad shape when a thirty year old TV mini-series starring Powers Boothe is a better representation than the four million dollar movie you just made.

In closing, I thought the inter-titles telling us that "167 people died in the massacre at Eden Parish" and "It was one of the largest mass suicides in recorded history" were in stupidly poor taste.

You see, in contrast, 913 people died at Jonestown. That was the largest mass suicide/murder in recorded history. This movie is for a generation who can't be bothered to look at the past--much like the eerily prophetic sign which hung over Jones's chair.

Oh, you don't know about that either? The internet, she is your friend.
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Bad Behavior (2013)
Boring and a waste of time.
19 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Babysitter comes to neighborhood house to do an overnight job, one of the kids is a paranoid schizophrenic, he keeps everyone locked in the bathroom for nearly the entire run time of the film. When the parents get home, we discover (it wasn't a surprise) that they're willing to go to any length to protect their kid and keep the babysitter locked up in the bathroom.

1. This is a busy suburban neighborhood. No one knows that there's a violent paranoid schizophrenic living in the house? Even after he cut his own brother's ear off?

2. The bathroom the babysitter and the two other kids are trapped in has a big fat skylight. Someone get on someone else's shoulders, bust the window, and leave.

3. The babysitter's parents don't start nosing around after their kid has disappeared? No cops get sent to the place where she was last seen?

4. The schizophrenic (a very stupid, poorly written version of a schizophrenic, anyhow) is shown to care for his little sister early on in the film. When they make an attempt to break out, she lags behind to grab a fake cell phone so the babysitter runs back to grab her and is caught again by the baddie. Why not leave and get help? Let's see: kid possibly gets hurt vs. going and getting definitive help. Yeah, screw the cops. So we can sit in the bathroom with the do nothing trio for an hour and fifteen minutes.

Poorly written and horribly paced, with lame hints dropped throughout to show you that the family is not all there, this was genuinely one of the worst movies I've ever seen. I like how most of the glowing reviews for this were all written on the same day by people who've never reviewed anything else here.

Avoid this like the plague and don't waste your time. It could have been rated G, it was so tame. Kids see worse on the SVU marathons they run on USA network every day of the week.
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A Teacher (2013)
Awful, pointless film.
5 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
As a character study, it doesn't work, since we never learn anything about the two leads other than that they want to have sex with each other.

I don't understand the teacher's motivations for anything. Her sudden turn from rightly concerned that this will get out to insanely needy and obsessed? Don't get it, don't care much about it.

The boy is similarly a cipher. He sleeps with his teacher until she starts acting like a lunatic and then gets his dad and the school involved.

At an hour and 15 minutes it's hard to get any character development, let alone a plot, so saying that what this film wants to be is a great character study is missing the mark completely.

All I could think about was what a huge controversy this would have been if the roles were reversed. Male teacher, female student? Everyone would be up in arms talking about how horrifically the student had been abused.

I wished we could gotten a title crawl about how long this 'teacher' ended up in jail for, but no such luck.
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Room 237 (I) (2012)
Sounded like a good idea at the time
14 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Concocting far-fetched theories about 'what it all means' when it comes to films I love is a fun way to spend an afternoon. This means that Room 237 should have been right up my street, but god, are these people bores.

I love the woman who thinks she's discovered some hidden meaning in the fact that Kubrick intentionally made the layout of the Overlook have an impossible geometry. This is film school 101 noise, hell, it's 'average joe film viewer 101' noise. Yes, the way the Overlook is laid out is physically impossible. We called that 'unheimlich' in film school, and it's a very obvious trick (once you've seen the film a few times) that gives credence to a viewer's feeling that there's something not quite right about the place. Impossible geometries flip people out. They're creepy and fun. The inside of the Overlook echoes the maze outside, it echoes Jack's breakdown, it's very simple symbolism. As for the minotaur? I think she read House of Leaves too many times and let's leave it at that.

The guy who seems to think the film is a metaphor for demons sexually abusing the Torrances creeped me out the most, I think. Dude, you are a walking Rorschach blot. Was he the same guy who giggled overmuch and said 'like' and 'you know' all the time? An excellent public speaker, that one. How is Wendy completely, totally, one hundred percent linked to the twin girls again? There was a lot of giggling and 'you know'ing, so that explanation never really went anywhere solid. Sort of like this film.

A lot of the dialogue used to support the both the moon landing and Native American theories are straight from the book, so I guess that was just a nice coincidence for Stanley? Apparently Stephen King knew about Stanley's dilemma and placed those lines in the book so he could use them. Could be. They both have the same initials (SK) which I'm sure also means something that I don't care about.

As for the key in the door which only spells out 'room' and 'moon'? It also spells out 'moor'. And 'moron'. But that's neither here nor there, I guess. When trying to cobble together shitty theories you have to toss what doesn't fit, am I right? It would have been a good idea to let us see the people attached to the crackpot notions, and also to separate the ideas themselves a bit more. After a while I felt like I was listening to one long ramble from the same loon (which may have been the intent) but it was ultimately a tiresome hour and change.

I did, however, go and watch Lamberto Bava's Demoni directly afterward, (scenes from which they kept using as filler footage) so it wasn't a total loss.
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why do I bother with Asylum movies?
24 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Minor quibbles: Richard Speck didn't rape and kill the student nurses in a hospital, he raped and killed them at their apartment. I don't know why this bothers me so much, but it does. The Asylum have a habit of altering history in their other films when the truth would work just as well--their Amityville film and the Anneliese Michel picture are both good examples of this, though at least the Amityville film is so bad that it crosses the line from suck into awesome.

As an aside; for whatever reason I get offended when the stories they choose to tell are about real people. Just write your lousy dung about characters that you bothered to make up using your imagination. Impossible I know, since they have none. Or write your story with this in mind and then change the names to protect the innocent or whatever. File off the serial numbers. If I were a member of the families of the murdered girls, this movie would work my nerves even more than it already does. Same thing with the Anneliese Michel movie. Instead of scaring me, all I could feel was annoyance that they couldn't let this poor person rest in peace. Richard Speck was a piece of garbage, why do I have to watch a movie where his ghost rapes some chick? How sanctimonious of me, I know.

On to the review. Not much to say, to be honest. The movie is boring. Nothing good to say about it at all. Kills are ripped off from better films like REC and we even get a low-budget Entity callback. If you want a fun found footage film done on the cheap, go watch Grave Encounters, which is also a piece of crap but does have a sort of interesting premise.

Mostly, the Asylum pisses me off because they actually make money on these awful films. However, I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm totally envious of them for that very reason, so there you go. They suck, this movie is awful, they make money, I am jealous. The end.
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I'm obsessed with
2 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Christian films. They're so wretched that they've become a guilty pleasure for me, which is why this gets a ten. I have this awful tendency to hand out tens to movies which are so bad they cross the line into total awesome. It's a problem and I should try to stop, but I'm not there just yet.

Over time and many, many terrible, pretentious films, I've learned that David A.R. White is the cream of the crop when it comes to the bizarro world of Xtian filmmaking. He also bears an uncanny resemblance to a very good friend of mine, but why should you care about that? I know you don't, I'm rambling. Anyhow.

I saw the first 'Encounter' when digging through instantwatcher's Faith and Spirituality section looking for documentaries and soon after that I was hunting down these things like a junkie looks for a fix.

The sanctimony drips from the screen, the awful dialogue sometimes ripped directly from the Bible so as not to offend the faithful, the preachy nonsense--all of that's on display here. It's sort of like watching a Jack Chick tract come to life, and in my opinion there's absolutely nothing bad about that. All these films lack are cartoon devils yelling HAW HAW HAW at the folks unlucky enough to burn in never ending hellfire.

If you want to watch something so terrible that it might make you giggle, check out the wild and wooly world of Xtian film. Watch this movie! It's exciting, it's ridiculous, it MIGHT EVEN SAVE YOUR SOUL.

But watch out for the characters named Deville! And no, I'm not making that up.
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Entrance (2012)
I don't even know what to say.
2 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
There are a lot of shills on this board giving this high marks. That's one thing I can say. Are you all friends and family of the filmmakers?

To those of you discussing the masterful composition of shots: where? Shots go on for far too long to get them up to feature length, everything could and should have been trimmed drastically on both the head and tail ends.

This is essentially a student film. I say this, having been a film student myself and able to recognize the repetition, non-existent pacing and lack of plot that passes for a senior year project. The fact that it took four people to write this is shameful; I wouldn't have advertised the fact that even with four 'writers' working on this there's essentially nothing happening at all.

The lead is not a very good actress, she's not compelling to watch and her line delivery is pretty bad. There's a bit cribbed from Fatal Attraction where the lead switches a bedside lamp on and off post empty sexual encounter to symbolize her alienation, my response to this was a resounding 'who cares?'

Shot in and around Silverlake and Los Feliz, the only fun to be had is spotting your local landmarks. I'm sure there were lots of excited story discussions in just the right tone of voice so that the other diners knew they were making a film over glasses of red wine at--hmm. I'll take a guess and say it was at Alcove on Hillhurst, though Intelligentsia probably got hit hard too.

The 'shocking' ending doesn't make it any good, so don't count on it saving the day. It was probably conceived of as a short and should have stayed that way.

How do you rebar two people together? Another rip, this time from a Friday the 13th film, by the way, though I can't remember which one. And I don't know too many hipsters who keep an axe in or around their houses, either. Maybe the killer brought it with him to the party in the back of his Prius. Laughably bad.

P.S. It's a blue heeler, not a blue 'healer'. Did you want me to think your protagonist was stupid as well as utterly boring?
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The Oregonian (2011)
ten lines, huh?
8 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
1. This is not a movie, it is art school 101 junk. 2. Please don't disrespect David Lynch by comparing this waste of time to anything he's done. 3. The 'actors' in this are very bad and should be ashamed of their performances. 4. Why do these awful directors even make movies? Where do they get their funding? Are they just maxing out their credit cards or asking mommy and daddy to refinance the mortgage? 5. The lighting is quite scheisse. The DP did a bad job. 6. The 'scary' old lady is not scary, even when she tries to be. 7. Ditto for the guy in the frog outfit or whatever the hell it is. 8. Flash frames are not visually interesting. 9. Neither are people on their hands and knees spitting up black goo. 10. Not even many cases of beer or other illicit substances will make this utter pretension worth your time. Avoid it like the plague.
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Totally 'Extream'!!!
21 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers for awesome.

This movie is, quite frankly, one of the worst pieces of crap you will ever see. With the caveat that the Asylum is somehow making bank off said crap films. They generally make their money back off a given 'feature' in about two months, which is a pretty sweet turnaround. I'm not sure what this says about the future of quality film, but I don't think the guys at Asylum give two *beeps* about quality, so yeah.

There was clearly (I hope) a lot of pressure put on the actors to improv their scenes but apparently the actors have no background in improv, so you are forced to agonize through scenes where everyone repeats themselves endlessly because they just don't know what else to do. And yells. And talks about how scared they are.

The kid/documentarian is hands down the worst actor I've ever seen. Stop now, kid actor. I don't know who you are and frankly I don't care, but a future in film is not for you. Annoyingly without any ability to emote whatsoever, you'll be pleased as punch to see him buy the farm. Even though you're cheated out of said scene.

The mom and both sisters are forgettable. They screech a lot. I don't know what else to tell you.

The dad has delusions of being a real actor in a real movie. Dude, my hat is off to you. Were you trying to play your scenes as 'ex-military dude' or 'ex-military dude with over the top PTSD'? Your tour-de-force in the living room where you ranted and screamed and crawled on the floor as if you were in the trenches--massive, sir. Simply massive performance. Why did you take so long to die? Your ranting was both hilarious and douche-worthy. I doff my cap to you, good sir.

Questions: Why did no one care about the serious as cancer military friend of dad's who got iced by the wire in the backyard? Who is the little boy ghost? Why doesn't the house have a boat slip like it's supposed to? Man, this family got the low-rent version of Amityville. No boat slip? I would have been RAGING.

Finally, when you can't even be bothered to spellcheck your idiot coroner's reports at the close and I am forced to read about the 'extream' trauma suffered by the entire dead family, you bet your ass I will write you a *beep* review on IMDb.

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Spork (2010)
Napoleon Dynamite rip off for the tween set
10 March 2012
I find these glowing and frankly quite obvious shill reviews for this absolute disaster of a film to be somewhat annoying and also telling; it's 2012 and clearly this movie sank like a stone (deservedly) with only the most bored of cineastes bothering to give it a try at three in the morning on streaming Netflix.

Spork is a terrible, stupid movie which supposes that its audience has forgotten about or never seen Napoleon Dynamite. I'm not a huge fan of Dynamite, but there is at least a sweetness inherent in the absurd material that makes you smile and definitely produces a few genuine laughs from time to time. Spork is lacking in even that, and is populated with unpleasant, slutty kids acting like...unpleasant, slutty kids? Who dance like sluts at the dance-off? And then it ends? No humor to speak of, and definitely not worth your time, even if you do happen to be bored to tears.

Avoid at all costs. Absolute crap.
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What a waste of time.
28 August 2011
This could have been an interesting film if the filmmaker/photog had shut up about himself for more than five minutes. There are a lot of people in those photos who are semi/pretty famous, and more than half of them don't even get a name tag, let alone be allowed to introduce themselves so that the less informed might know who they are.

What you get a lot of is the following laid over (unflattering, not yet photoshopped) shots of people you end up not knowing: "When I took this picture, I thought about myself a lot, because my ego is huge and I'm a super important guy. In a minute, I'm going to start talking to you about me. But first, let's discuss me. I think that when I talk about myself it's great, because I'm interesting. I know I am. I mean, I'm me!" etc. on and on ad nauseum. It gets so tiresome that even if you're interested in the people who are in the doc you end up shutting it off because the filmmaker is a blowhard bore.

Dude, I didn't tune in to see YOUR baby pictures.
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Life on Mars (2008–2009)
wow. just absolute crap from beginning to end.
10 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Even if you're a fan of the original who isn't particularly interested in seeing a remake, this is still bad stuff. NYC was not that hippie back in '73. Sure, there were pockets here and there just like every other city but come on! What an easy out. Same with the Nixon portrait on the wall. Why American audiences need to have things so blatantly spelled out is beyond me.

Harvey Keitel (god love him) is too old to be a cop. He's an amazing actor; in this show Gene should be just about ready to start picking up his pension. Jason O'Mara is a big, wooden, obvious dumbbell of a Sam, he doesn't have the gravitas or weight that one wants to see in a leading role. Gretchen Mol plays it very safe, and by that I mean to say she doesn't have a whole lot to do so far, and the one interesting thing I can see coming out of all this is that Michael Imperioli's Ray may actually be more of a front-runner than he seems to be right now.

There's a solid supporting cast, the lead is god-awful. I'd rather play backgammon than tune in for this.
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Rambo (2008)
this is a movie about people getting served.
25 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
if you are in the mood to enjoy a movie where you watch a lot of $#!+ get blown up, including people (who also get maimed in varied and exciting fashions) this is the film for you.

if only this could have played on the deuce back in the day in NYC--it would have been a perfect grindhouse picture. as it is, it kicked some massive ass and was a LOT of fun to watch.

was it 'smart'? hell no. but it was well worth the ticket price to watch sly stallone jack mothers up in some sweet ways for 90 minutes.

i was reminded of some of the italo cannibal horror films of the seventies while watching--cannibal ferox and cannibal holocaust in particular--and wonder if sly took any cues from son sage (who has been responsible for bringing many of these pictures back into vogue) on how to bring the ultra-violence.

a lot of fun and a great action film. 10 out of 10.
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23 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
people here keep mentioning hitchcock in regard to this film, who they should be referencing is michael powell, whose 'peeping tom' is the film being more directly addressed. or ripped off, however you like to look at it. thematically it's much much closer to the powell than to any hitchcock, but i digress.

i found this film to be a painfully boring and derivative one.

the color palette--and yes, i did just use that phrase--in the film drove me insane. it was obvious and silly in the extreme. sy gets cold alienating blue tone while the yorkin family gets a warm, happy tone. it was one of the first things i noticed about the film and it bugged me tremendously. color timing, when done well, can be a subtle indicator of psychological or emotional states, but this was not subtle. it practically screamed at you, and my response to said screaming was 'okay, okay! i get it!' the performances are not what i'd call amazing in any way. i found myself cringing at robin williams' portrayal of sy, and i felt sorry for the actor, not the character. this would tend to go against the grain for me since i usually enjoy this sort of character--travis bickle, norman bates, what have you. i couldn't muster any sympathy for sy at all.

his lapse into psychosis takes place with the two characters that one feels the least about, so the emotional impact isn't there. i didn't really care about what happened to them and i doubt most people really felt any immediate concern for them either.

two things i did enjoy about this film--sy's weird fantasies/daydreams/nightmares and the ending, which i found to be quite curious. it didn't make sense in the context of the film, but i still enjoyed it. make of that what you will.
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Blonde Crazy (1931)
blondell and cagney together again--hawwney!
6 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
this movie positively crackles with the banter and the chemistry between cutie-pie joan--a woman that i've tried to emulate all my life, as should all good girls--and quick on his feet, handsome jimmy. i love these two as a couple no matter what they're in together and in this film they're particularly good.

the dialogue is the kind that bubbles like good champagne, the gowns are exquisite, and there's even a touch of pathos when you realize that the conman is getting conned himself. towards the end the film takes a somewhat scary turn and i felt myself getting pretty nervous that we weren't going to have a happy ending, but all's well that ends well in the movies, at least in this picture.

a forgotten gem that shines like the diamonds you know bert wants to shower his beloved anne with. watch this one, you'll love every second of it.
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Sling Blade (1996)
Hollywood has no clue about what's relevant.
4 May 2008
i thought this movie was slow-moving--not in an enjoyable way, either--and worst of all, predictable. i found myself hoping that the 'twist' ending would turn out to be some other kind of twist because you can see where this movie is heading from the very second it starts.

i want to add that if you *can't* see this ending coming from about eighty billion miles away you have no clue how to read film and should probably stick to dick and jane primers.

i also thought it was slightly ridiculous that instead of having the dread 'magic negro' stereotype--which is just as offensive--we get the 'magic retard' stereotype. both types of characters are blessed with the ability to see the truth and speak it, to be the only honestly good (even saintly) characters in a film, and so on. can we please get past this crap?

both studio heads and movie audiences are so dumbed down that they watch a film like this and see magic where there is none. it's just far enough away from mainstream BS that it makes people think they're watching something compelling when in fact they're wasting their time. it's not art. it's not compelling. it's a fair-to-middling story dressed up as art.

it always shocks me that junk like this takes academy awards while directors like David lynch and todd solondz get nothing--it's just idiotic.

who is really advancing the art of film-making? it's not billy bob thornton, i can tell you that. a terribly boring film with some moments of interest. that's about it.
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Masters of Horror: The Screwfly Solution (2006)
Season 2, Episode 7
i liked this a lot, hence the seven of ten
2 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
and i think it's better by a longshot than the majority of other masters of horror episodes, but i really think the 'alien species is slowly eradicating the population of earth' was a fairly anticlimactic ending and i wish it had been left out. everything i had seen up to that point was scary and effective for me, not to mention deeply disturbing. i would have been more than happy to have been left in the dark as to why or how it all started. learning the cause of the violence wasn't necessary for my enjoyment.

i know the aliens are present in the original short story, but i didn't think they worked well in the context of a one-hour episode.

elliott gould was great and jason priestly (shockingly) both did admirably well in their roles.

flawed, but worth your while anyhow.
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Jane Eyre (2006– )
beautiful looking, wretched screenplay.
14 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is by far the worst adaptation of Jane Eyre I've ever seen, and I've seen them all, up to the most recent 2011 film adaptation with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. This version still maintains the title of 'worst adaptation ever.'

It is a visually stunning film. I think the cinematographer did a marvelous job. The score is beautiful and I wish it were available somewhere. Thankfully I've got a cobbled together twenty minute version of it that will do until some of the music is released somewhere.

The locations and the costuming are all letter-perfect, with everyone looking as though they've stepped directly from the pages of the book. Ruth Wilson's Jane is quite possibly my favorite Jane ever--they've made her look uncannily like a famous portrait of Charlotte, which is pleasing to a Bronte fan like myself. She has an almost froggy, unformed look to her that is perfect. And that's where the appreciation stops.

The script is terrible. There are great chunks of Jane and Rochester's dialog to one another that have been rewritten by someone with a tin ear. It's crude, dumbed down, and embarrassing.

The only explanation I have regarding thepopularity of this version is Toby Stephens' appearance, because all the people saying 'this is the definitive version' clearly never read the book that I did. If today's audiences can't bear to hear Charlotte's 'archaic' dialog, then we're headed for dire, sad times indeed, because after all these years the book is still beautiful, still filled with a wonderful, poetic sensibility which carries over into the dialog of the characters, but don't expect to hear any of that in this film, as it's missing. Instead, we are 'treated' to Mr. Eshton's theories about twins and Ouija boards. Let me ask--would you rather hear Mr. Eshton rambling on about anything, or get one of the many missing scenes that take place between Jane and Rochester?

If only we'd gotten the '83 screenplay with this cast and crew--then I could have called this the definitive version. As it stands, this is a gorgeous-looking failure. I would have given this zero stars if I could for disrespecting Charlotte's work so terribly.

Jane would never, ever have rolled around in bed with Rochester, with his wife just above them in the attic. Never. Anyone who can sit with a straight face and argue that Jane would have done or that Charlotte would have written Jane this way, were she allowed to do so, doesn't understand a thing about the Brontes, Charlotte, or the character of Jane.

That one scene makes a fatal error as regards Jane, puts the final nail in the coffin of this dreck, and proves that again, all modern audiences are looking for is sexed up, trite crap. By all means, if bad fanfic doesn't give you enough of Jane and Rochester in bed together, then watch this, you'll love it.
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Edmond (2005)
good cast, terrible direction
17 November 2006
David Mamet writes great dialog, but Stuart Gordon is not the director for this dialog. I didn't particularly like Bill Macy in the role of Edmond; I'm not sure that I particularly liked anyone's performance in this film, even though it's got a solid cast. I guess I'll blame Stuart Gordon for that, since he's in charge of the performances. I sort of feel that he directed this as a horror film. Edmond might deal with horrific things, but it's not Re-Animator.

Edmond would work as a short film; it's an excellent play, but I don't even really like Mamet's screenplay for the film--it goes on and on way past the point it should, though again this may be my problem with Gordon's direction. As a play Edmond is perfect. As a film it does not work for me at all.

I thought the music was intrusive and overwrought, the lighting worked my nerves, I thought that Bill Macy's bald wig was a joke and I have to say that although I love David Mamet, I think this film sucks in a really tremendous way. The direction was just crap.

Joe Mantegna was the only decent thing about it and I'm really pretty surprised by the high rating it's gotten here.
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The Norseman (1978)
that's norZZeman to you, baby.
12 April 2006
and to the poster who summed up one of the very best moments in the film with: "a viking gets shot in the ass with an arrow and dies"--dude, my hat is off to you. i laughed for about five minutes after reading that.

some questions: why do the norzzemen act like such pusses? they're always running away from these crazy injuns. i thought norzzemen were all brave with the rapings and pillagings and such.

how did they manage to cross the ocean in that rowboat? wasn't it a little rough? doesn't look seaworthy to me.

aside from the funny horn helmets, doesn't that armor look like leftovers from the last sword and sandal pic AIP did? why did the tribe of tan white guys poke out all the eyes of the party-down norzzemen who apparently came to the shores of Florida just for the sake of letting loose? also, why does the leader of the tan white guys tribe shout so much? take it easy, man.

there's such great stuff here. the black viking should get his own movie because for god's sake, he's a BLACK VIKING. at one point lee majors actually tells the boatload of norzzemen to 'hold their arrows' as though he were a cop. the touching reunion between lee and daddy mel is really creepy because of all the eye rolling done to portray blindness.

most of the action sequences are shot and edited exactly like a monty python sketch, and i hope that others will agree that this uncanny sensibility makes the film simply amazing.

owl got his REVENGE for the viking brothers, yo.

pull up a case of cheap beer and enjoy, z-grade movie lovers.
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shot like ass
18 November 2005
i have one word: focus.


IMDb wants me to use at least ten lines of text. okay. let's discuss the fine points of focus. i don't know about the rest of you, but in my first year of film school they taught us a lot of useless crap, like 'you'll all be famous avant-garde filmmakers someday'--but they also taught us how to do this crazy thing called FOCUSING the lens! it was amazing! you give a little twist and wham! everything is clear as a bell. the person who shot what alice found needs to learn a few things about the finer points of focus. lighting, too. this movie is not only completely out of focus, it's also lit like the corner of someone's basement.

don't even get me started on pacing or plot. they could have trimmed about ten seconds off the beginning and end of every single shot.

but who cares about that anyhow? there is not enough lurid in this movie to make up for the utter lack of regard to film's best friends--FOCUS, and LIGHTING.

words to the wise.
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Wolf Creek (2005)
completely visceral and far more horrifying
26 April 2005
than anything that's come out of h-wood lately.

there are going to be detractors who say that it's an Aussie retread of 'the Texas chainsaw massacre'; they might even be partially right. what i loved most about this film is the fact that in an age of sadly predictable horror films, this one kept me on the edge of my seat.

not only was i actually frightened, but this film kept pushing the envelope in terms of what horror audiences have come to expect. it goes WAY beyond anything you've seen in the last twenty years. thank god for true indies making real horror. this is a thousand times better than the overrated and ultimately idiotic 'saw' precisely because it keeps on showing you things you don't think you're going to see.

things that make you really, really uncomfortable. things that are very, very upsetting.

when we finished watching i felt as though i had been hit by a truck, much the same way i felt when i watched Texas chainsaw for the first time when i was fourteen. that was a long time ago. i think this film has the potential to become a similar rite of passage for up-and-coming horror fans. it's that powerful.

having said that, i can't see them releasing this as is. it touches on stuff that no major studio will want to go near.

one of the few 'based on a true story...' films that really is, i wonder how aussies felt when they saw this film. also, the lead baddie is a pretty familiar face to you lot down under--i'm curious how that translated? since i had no clue as to who the #$%* he was, he was totally believable as a freaky hick and scared the hell out of me.

great, great movie. horror fans? get your hands on a copy somehow.
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sickening horror and despair
4 April 2005
who's responsible for these "behind the scenes" things? who are these actors? did they crawl out from beneath rocks? 'yuks, lots of yuks!' no. no yuks for me. only loathing and shame that i am a human being. i have to avert my eyes from the set, it's so embarrassing. in fact, i changed the channel.

i've always had a problem with robin williams' non-stop 'i forgot my lithium today' rantings, but at least he's funny once in a blue moon. watching someone who isn't funny at all impersonating robin williams is like having each tooth in your head pulled slowly and sadistically, without novocaine, for all eternity.

please stop making these absolutely horrifying TV movies. please.
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