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I'm trying to compile a complete list, so if you see a game missing, leave a comment and I'll add it.
Missing Divi-Dead Thrill Kill Murasaki Baby Ecstatica Deep Fear
Missing * Live autopsy * My Foetus * Dancing with the Devil (Black Metal documentary) * Visions: World Cinema Brazil * The Secret Agent (2004)
Best TV: Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Utopia. Best Films: Character, Earth (Tierra), Gone Girl. Best Documentary: The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.
Worst Films: Mod *beep* Explosion, No Pressure (Short film), The Bunny Game.
Best Documentaries: Roald Dahl, Beijing Punk.
Best TV: Buddha of Suburbia, Baccano.
Worst Films: Bubsy (TV Pilot), Scrub me Mama with a boogie beat (animation), My little eye.
Not Listed: * Innocence of Muslims (not listed on Imdb)
Best Film: T2 Trainspotting Worst Film: Groupie Girl or The Rugrats Movie Best TV: The Armando Iannucci Shows Worst TV: Child Genius vs Celebrities
100 Vaginas (2019)
Depending on your opinion this is either scraping the barrel or interesting and thought provoking. Channel 4 seem to be in a mess recently with programmes like Naked Attraction filling their late night slots, and this is arguably yet another excuse to show nudity. I'm not being prudish, but Channel 4 seems to consist of filler TV like Come Dine With Me, bad panel comedy shows and overly salacious stuff like this. From the channel that brought us Brass Eye, Lipstick On Your Collar and Father Ted. And more recently Peep Show, Shameless and Utopia.
Photographer Laura Dodsworth takes picture of vaginas and women discuss their sexual experiences in a nutshell. Maybe that's diluting it, but it is what it is. What you end up with is the really interesting, darker stories don't get told until about three quarters of the way through and already most viewers will be bored by then.
I'm not going to discuss the sexual politics side or feminist angle. As a documentary it was just boring to me, cold and clinical.
Sid and Nancy (1986)
Sid and Nancy is a very silly film that wants to be taken seriously. I'm a huge punk fan and own some of Alex Cox's films. With the exception of Repo Man his films are patchy. Sid and Nancy is no exception, the script is underwritten and nothing more than a patchwork of various events with no real characterisation.
Worst is John Lydon played by Drew Schofield who not only looks nothing like him, he manges to imitate some of Lydon's tone, but can't disguise his scouse accent. Lydon might be larger than life, but to portray him as eating baked bean and drinking champagne and laughing at farting negates the fact behind the red hair and eccentricity is an intelligent man.
Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious looks the part and captures his penchant for violence and excess, but misses his naivety. Glossing over the fact Nancy Spungen was said to be Sid's first girlfriend. Chloe Webb is pretty good as Spungen, but a really annoying and dislikeable character. David Hayman as Malcolm Mclaren looks the part, but ignores the Svengali aspects of his life and makes him quite an affectionate character.
The best thing about the film was the cinematography by Roger Deakins. Best known for working with the Coen Brothers later on. Which considerably raises the production values on what is a grimy and sleazy film.
Ratburger is an odd one. It is a family film through and through, but some of the plot might be too dark for young children. I'm not going to give away any plot spoilers. Talia Barnett puts in a nice performance as the down on her luck girl, Zoe (an actress to look out for in the future), Mark Benton is hugely likeable as Zoe's hard working and caring father, Sheridan Smith clearly enjoyed playing Zoe's chavvy and abusive mother, Nigel Planer seems to be doing an impression of John Cleese in Clockwork and David Walliams is creepy and sleazy as burger van owner, Burt.
I saw this over Christmas and some of the people I was viewing it with questioned if they would show it to younger children. Although played for laughs and darkly comic some of the more sinister plot lines go a stage beyond Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It's a fun romp though and something enjoyable for most people.
What Lies Beneath (2000)
Lie with me
A glossy tense thriller that introduces some horror elements that were popular at the time with films like The Others and The Ring. Harrison Ford puts in a decent performance and looks the part, but he isn't quite menacing enough, maybe because he's too likeable. Pfeiffer a class act as always, although I get echoes of Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct in this one. Well worth a watch.
Wicked Willie (1990)
A bit limp
Has nobody else reviewed this? Here we go. Wicked Willie is a series of comedy sketches about embarrassing sexual encounters, narrated by a talking penis. The animation is directed by the legendary Bob Godfrey, who is perhaps best known for Roobarb and Custard and Henry's Cat. Wicked Willie has a similar animation style, having a hand drawn look.
Some of these sketches are quite amusing and I found myself laughing a few times. There was also a huge (and hugely forgotten) range of Wicked Willie merchandise at the time, I think he even featured on some condom commercials. There's something about it that seems date now, I'm not sure why this is exactly, maybe the fact sex comedies of this ilk no longer exist today. I would say it's worth a watch, but it won't be the best thing you ever see.
Harold & Kumar do more of the same
Two highly educated stoners, one a Korean American, the other an Indian American accidentally end up in Guantanamo Bay due to a misunderstanding on an air plane trip to Amsterdam.
I really liked the first Harold & Kumar film; it was silly albeit vulgar comedy done right, carried by some great performances and surreal scenes. Needless to say it probably set the trend for films like The Hangover, Pineapple Express and Beerfest.
This one is more of the same, but the plot is much thinner, the jokes less funny, don't get me wrong there are some big laugh out loud moments, but his was more predictable and relied even more on stereotypes than the first film. Also by 2008 the mistaken terrorist plot would have been wearing thin, by the time 2012 film The Dictator came out Hollywood was flogging a dead horse.
That said this film is arguably better than 2012's A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. This film is also likeable and has a feel good nature to it.
Recommended for fans of silly, stoner comedy films.
Krippendorf's Tribe (1998)
Krippendorf's Tribe came out at a time when Hollywood had an obsession with jungles and tribe's people. Look at some of the films of the 90s: Jumanji, The Jungle book (live action), Jungle 2 Jungle, The Wild Thornberrys.
Krippendorf's Tribe is a fairly silly knockabout comedy. To be honest it's pretty much done by numbers and predictable. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same fate a lot of comedies suffer from too much sexual humour to make it suitable for anyone younger than a teenage audience and it lacks the depth that adults want from films.
Dreyfuss puts in a great performance as always and is convincing as the professor out of his depth. After Mr Holland's Opus you can see why many critics thought this film beneath him. Jenna Elfman is great alongside Dreyfuss and the two have chemistry. Much like Cameron Diaz in The Mask, she can do sexy as well as handle some of the more goofy farcical comedy.
In recent years this film has been accused of being racist. While it is hard to deny that this film does stereotype tribes from Papua New Guinea, I don't think the film was intended to cause offence. The film is dated for a film from 1998 it feels like it could have been made 10 years earlier.
While no masterpiece I found this film funny in places and entertaining throughout. With a less capable cast this film would have been an absolute stinker though. Look out for an early appearance from Mila Kunis as well.
Worth a watch.
Yakuza kannon: Iro Jingi (1973)
A Buddhist monk fisherman accidentally catchess a pregnant woman in a lake. He manages to give birth to the baby inside her. He raises the child as a monk. Many years later after some Yakuza dudes try to force a woman into marriage, monk Saigen intervenes by throwing buckets of faeces at them. He eventually enters a life of crime and debauchery.
Yakuza Justice isn't your typical Pinku film; it plays more like a Yakuza action films but with sex! All sex is optically censored of course. There's a massacre scene involving a machine gun which wouldn't be out-of-place in a film like: Sonatine or even Scarface. Look out for a Zatoichi/Lone wolf spoof in a field. The film is also quite heavy on humour at the start; some of it is funny; some of it doesn't fit. The sex scenes are OK but the censorship does block out most of the action. The waterfall scene is particularly good.
Recommended: A quality Pinku film but do not expect the usual; this is more a gangster film.
Koibito-tachi wa nureta (1973)
Wet & Weird
The story involves a young man named, Katsu returning to his home town, after fleeing from the Yakuza many years before. Upon returning he starts a tense relationship with, cinema owner, Yuko. Things start to get complicated when Katsu finds out Yuko is involved with a former classmate of his.
The film is mainly about Katsu trying to keep his identity secret, as to not alert any of his old Yakuza foes. The other main plot point involves Katsu's relationship with Yuko - an intense one where the couple struggle to find peace and constantly question their love for one another. The other plot point which keeps the audience guessing is why Katsu returned home in the first place. He comes from a peaceful fishing village; why did he escape? Did he offend some Yakuza members in his new town? Katsu is superbly played by: Toru Ohe - an actor I'm not familiar with. He portrays the character as both incredibly vulnerable, yet possibly psychotic, possessing both humour and pathos. Rie Nakagawa (Yoko) is another highlight playing a seemingly next-door type older woman, who is totally believable as Yoko. Once again, providing vulnerability behind a damaged shell.
Lovers of sex laden Pink/Roman Porno films looking for something sleazy or sexually explicit will be disappointed. While there is sex shown, it is not the film's main aspect. The film is more a drama than a sex work. Look out for an unusual game of leap frog and Katsu's dirty dittys when he plays the guitar.
Recommended: The DVD is another superb print, free from noticeable archive damage. Only extra is a trailer. Worth buying as the film has good replay value but, it is not your typical pink film and is all the better for it.
Music to my ears
Ongaku also known as The Music in English is directed by legendary director, Yasuzo Masumura (Moju, Hanzo, Red Angel). It was written by world famous writer, Yukio Mishima; noted for his sexual and psychological themes. In a nut shell: what we have is a pairing of director and writer who are at home with the material on offer.
The film is simply about a sexually repressed, frigid, middle-aged (?) woman who has a loveless marriage. She can no longer hear music as a result of her condition. She forms a sexual relationship with her brother hoping to quench her desires. She enlists the help of a psychiatrist to cure her frigidity and get to the root cause of her symptoms.
With the film being penned by Mishima, it's no surprise that the film is very analytical and psychological. The film is more of a psychological thriller than a horror or exploitation movie, which it sometimes gets branded as. It is similar to Moju in some ways.
With Masumura expect some dark, albeit excellently photographed visuals, mainly involving scissors. The film also contains a theme of incest and sexual repression. The film is probably only of interest to fans of Mishima, Masumura or fans of dark Japanese drama/thrillers. The other unfortunate factor is it is very difficult to get hold of - only ever released on VHS to date and is unsubtitled; a DVD release is long overdue.
The film is very good. Perfectively made in terms of visuals, even if a lot of the shots consist of black backdrops or spartan set design - it works. The plot moves at a reasonable pace and keeps the viewer guessing. For fans of either director, Masumura or writer, Mishima the film will be more of the same but, you won't be disappointed by the twistingly, twisted visuals and storytelling.
Ichijo Sayuri: Nureta yokujo (1972)
A woman called Sayuri Ichijo
Striptease artist Harumi has had enough of performing in lesbian shows, she wants to start her own strip club. Her Yakuza pimp stops her. After being charged with extreme exhibitionism by the police she starts to crack.
Hailed as a masterpiece of Pinku/Roman Porno cinema and far more erotic than some offerings, Ichijo Sayuri: Wet Desire is a surprisingly good if relatively unknown Roman Porno, at least outside Japan. Tatsumi Kumashiro does a superb job with the direction. Hiroko Isayam (Harumi) won an award from Kinema Jumpo journal; proving the acting and direction talent on display. Despite having striptease queen, Sayuri Ichijo's name in the film's title; Isayam steals the show. In fact Sayuri Ichijo hardly appears. The cinematography is also spot-on, capturing the vibrancy of Japan in its rich colourful glory. This film also features the freeze-frame cuts which a lot of Pink films from around this era seem to; I think it was first used in Japan in the film: Insect Woman. This may distract the un-initiated as it can look like DVD skipping but, it's a good alternative to the overused fade out. For Pinky Violence fans also look out for Sayuri Ichijo playing a Red Peony Gambler character on stage with wooden twin daggers.
DVD Review: Released by Kino Video (Kitsim collection). A superb print - I couldn't spot any archive damage, despite the film's age. Rich colours and good contrast. Sound is of course mono, maybe a little quiet in places but can't complain too much. The subtitles are clear and make sense - even some of the place names are translated. Only extra is a trailer. A documentary or other featurette would have been a welcome addition.
Well worth seeing if you are a fan of the genre. Despite the subject, the film focuses more on the drama, there is still a Hot scene involving candle wax and some others to keep audiences entertained.
Kerry and Me (2010)
Mediocre documentary on a less than mediocre celebrity
This documentary follows a year in the life of Kerry Katona. For those that do not know who she is - she is an ex-Page 3 topless model, was singer with band Atomic Kitten, married Westlife pop star Bryan McFadden and divorced him, appeared on Reality TV show "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!", wrote some (mainly biographical) books and has been a tabloid favourite.
The documentary follows her trying to earn money by appearing in press headlines and other bits of work (e.g. modelling) and her relationship with her husband, Mark Croft - famously she ends up getting divorced.
Kerry has been subject for many documentaries before and was featured in an ITV series: "Crazy in Love". What is clear is she is never one to shy away from publicity no matter how negative. She is also intent one keeping herself in the public spotlight at all costs.
I think the documentary was intended to show her in a more positive light than the tabloids have done and to get 'behind the mask'. Unfortunately, she comes across as a self-centred publicity seeker who often cares more about herself than anyone around her, but, having said that - I haven't met her.
Interestingly, the film ends with the climb by Miley Cyrus perhaps showing she has had a struggle and wants to reach the top, or maybe; it is a pop song sung by a child for a woman who acts like one(?)
Summary: Only worth watching if you have an interest in Kerry Katona or tabloid 'slebs'.
Kaizokuban Bootleg Film (1999)
Yakuza Bites Dog
Kaizokuban Bootleg Film is a black and white, black comedy, about a retiring Yakuza member and a cop who are best friends. They embark on a road trip to attend the funeral of a mutual female friend.
The film reminded me a bit of "Man Bites Dog" - the monochrome photography, the humour and the hit-man theme bore similarities. However, "Man Bites Dog" is far superior both in terms of comedy and as a whole. Tarrantino was also clearly an influence with many references to "Reservoir Dogs" as well as stylistic similarities; once again, "Reservoir Dogs" is also superior. It also has the nihilistic edge you would find in a Kitano film. His films are also superior.
Despite being not as good as the films which inspired it, there are some plus points. The acting is good throughout, if a little over-the-top. Not all the humour works (for me anyway) but the gags which do work made me laugh out loud. the cinematography is bleak and cold which fits the film perfectly. Despite being an independent and low-budget film, it does not show too much, due to the production values being polished.
Summary: Not as good as the film it was influenced by. It may interest fans of dark Japanese comedies and Yakuza films. It's worth watching but do not expect anything extraordinary.
Donten seikatsu (1999)
A bit Hazy
Hazy Life is about two slackers. One the self-dubbed Pachinko king, Kee; the other a lazy loner guy (Tsutomu). The two meet outside a Pachinko Hall and awkwardly hit it off and start living together. There's not much more to the plot than that.
The film was directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita whose been making a name for himself directing quirky dramas and comedies. The film is shot on DV (I think) and as a result looks a bit rough but it adds to both the realism and the chaotic nature of the film. Also I'm not sure if any of the dialogue was improvised but it seems likes it was. Both lead roles are believable and convince the audience that they could be both best friends and lovable losers.
The film is nowhere near as good as some other slacker comedies such as: Slacker, Nowhere and Dazed & Confused but it still has its charm and original flavour. It's also worth seeing for the petrol station scene.
Overall: Not much to recommend it to many people but if you like slacker comedies, raw filmmaking or quirky dramas you might like it.
Coming Up: Foreign John (2009)
Believable hard-hitting drama with great performances.
Foreign John is an episode in the longish running series of short films by first time directors and writers, "Coming Up". The storyline involves John a man who works on a building site with Polish workers (hence the name Foreign John). John is trying to come to terms with the death of his recently deceased daughter. Obviously the tensions between his home life and his bereavement surface.
Coming Up films are hit and miss. This one is bang on the money. Good writing with believable dialogue and characters who could and I'm sure exist outside the film world. What makes this stand out is an absolute powerhouse of a performance by Johnny Harris who shows his anger, sadness and frustration perfectly without going over-the-top.
Highly Recommended. One of the best , if not the best of the 2009 season
London Calling (1997)
Hot stuff from Ben Dover
Ben Dover (AKA: Lynsey Honey) has made loads of porn flicks. For anyone unfamiliar with his style they're basically gonzo movies featuring pro and possibly amateur or first time porn actresses. Anyone familiar with gonzo films by say John Staligano (Buttman) or anyone else knows what to expect. There's minimal or no plot just straight hardcore sex (i.e. all sex).
There's two things which make Ben Dover videos so good: 1) the sex scenes are usually red-hot and Ben has a talent for finding girl next door type who are occasionally incredibly beautiful but more often than not look like a girl you would see in your local supermarket but they always seem to put in great performances. 2) Ben and his other cast members are characters. Making funny remarks and generally having a laugh with other cast and crew members. This makes the viewing experience more fun.
There are some great sex scenes in this; a lot of people regard the Tennis Girl (Laura Singer?) as being particularly good. The buxom part-Brazillian Antoinette Cordell is also another good scene. They're all hot and there's even a threesome thrown in.
Summary: An all-sex video. Don't expect a detailed multi-layered plot or in fact any plot but, for hot sex scenes with attractive women look no further. Recommended.
Comedy Lab: Slaterwood (2008)
Really very poor
Slaterwood is a sketch show written by and starring comedian and character actor, Peter Slater. It is part of Channel 4's Comedy Lab TV slot. Like all comedy lab series there are good and bad shows. Some make it to series; others don't. Fortunately, Slaterwood hasn't or at least not yet anyway.
Slaterwood is sort of similar to another comedy lab episode: "The Kevin Bishop Show". Both are star vehicles, both are quick-fire shows and both take swipes at television/popular culture. The Kevin Bishop Show has come under-fire recently with criticisms ranging from unfunny, poorly impersonated to distasteful. The difference between Slaterwood and The Kevin Bishop Show is that although The Kevin Bishop Show was hit and miss I still found myself getting a few laughs from it, although the repetition wears a once funny sketch as thin as tracing paper which has been ran over with a steam roller.
I'm not sure where it went wrong with Slaterwood. Peter Slater to his credit is a reasonable actor and is charismatic. The production values are good and it's clear a fair amount of money has been spent on it. Maybe the writing is to blame. Still, like a lot of Comedy Lab episodes it's basically a should have been, a could have been and is simply wasted potential. At best I would say Slaterwood is mediocre but I think (and I'm sure some viewers will agree) it's unfunny dross.
Qing tai (2008)
The Moss Review: I liked it
The Moss seems to have attracted mixed reviews; some have praised its cinematography, others have put down its violent nature and derivative nature. The storyline involves a corrupt cop who has his hand in the pockets of the criminal underworld. After a raid on a brothel a fat man farts an emerald out (seriously) which is collected by an under-age girl trying to make money and escape poverty by working in a brothel, another prostitute goes on the run with her. The fat man is murdered by another prostitute and his body hidden. The cops are then involved in a shoot-out with a Pakistani gang and things follow from there really.
The cinematography is great capturing the grit and dirt of the street. The camera movements can be distracting and sometimes it is hard to tell what happened (during the fight scenes) as some of it is so quick. Blink and you miss it. Other than that can't complain. The sound design is crisp and varied. The acting by the main characters is spot on. Some of the bit players do tend to either overdo it or not really stand out but it can be overlooked.
The film has been criticised for its violence. Bloody shootings, brutal beating, impalements: it's all here. Another factor which may put people off is its unsympathetic nature; I would say it is nihilistic in tone. This is a current trend in film and can be seen a lot in horror and thrillers but I like my films a little darker.
Summary: Recommended for fans of gritty HK cop/gangster films. Should be avoided by fans of nice films. It offers nothing new to the genre but there's enough to recommend it.
DVD: (Mei-Ah HK Version 2-Discer) Good clean picture quality with sharp contrast (what you would expect from a recentish film); Sound: on my system crisp sound levels with good balance the bass sounds were particularly good. The subtitles were hit and miss, some spelling mistakes and accuracy mistakes but they were good enough to be understood. Disc 2 has a making of extra. Disc 1 is just the film.
Rokkazu / Rockers Review
Rokkazu (or Rockers to give it it's English title) is a comedy drama based on real-life Japanese rock band: Rockers. The film is a fictional account with some of the details changed. Perhaps the fiction is more interesting than the reality. The film follows the band playing gigs in various venues before they make it big. The film also looks at the relationship between the band members.
Rockers was a surprise. I expected it to be a mediocre comedy at best; filled with toilet humour but what the film delivered was much better. Good acting throughout albeit over-the-top but, it works. Nicely edited and filmed especially the performance footage. The comedy in the film is also funny and I found myself laughing more than a few times (which is rare). It also references many rock idols such as Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards which adds to the fun. Comedy aside there are also some quite touching moments which adds balance.
Overall: A fine film. The comedy is actually funny with enough drama to keep it balanced and interested. Fun and entertaining throughout. Even the music is good. Well worth seeking out a copy.
Extraordinary Breastfeeding (2006)
Extraordinary Breastfeeding - Ordinary Documentary
Extraordinary Breastfeeding is a one-off documentary that looked at parents who breast feed past the age of two; not many UK women breastfeed past this age. The programme was billed as a sensitive portrayal of breastfeeding older children and it was, it also attracted a few complaints due to it showing children aged up to around 8 being breastfed which unsurprisingly viewers found disgusting.
The documentary follows various women, their partners (if they have them) and their children on their breastfeeding routine. This includes one mother who is trying to ween her child off breastfeeding, a single mother who set up a breastfeeding support group and some older children who are still breastfed. There were some moments I found quite funny: a public breastfeeding publicity photograph in a Blackburn shopping centre Which unsurprisingly got comments like "I think it's disgusting"; the filmmakers were probably hoping for this reaction and a father who says he's slightly jealous because he likes to be breastfed by his wife as well!
The subject is quite interesting and is rarely covered if at all. Behind all the (unexpected) controversy and the slightly disturbing tone of the documentary it is just another documentary. It's still worth watching, especially if the subject appeals to you or if you want to see what the fuss was about.
Best in the Man Hunters series
Man Hunters was a season of three documentaries looking at different issues (related to sex) in relation to how women "consume" sex. The other two documentaries are "Our Turkish Toyboys" and "Sex Trips for Girls". Meet the gigolos follows men who are professional male escorts or are trying to break into the industry.
The documentary follows one man who is a successful professional escort. He markets himself as a sophisticated gentleman. The documentary follows him as he meets clients; obviously none are shown on camera as it is a private arrangement. The second story involves an Italian man who is trying to break into the industry and make it as a successful escort. He may see himself as Richard Gere's character in the film, "The Gigolo", this isn't the case. He thinks he can make a lot of money and do something he enjoys; who can blame him? Unfortunately, for whatever reason he isn't as successful as the previous "gigolo". The filmmakers come to the conclusion it's because he doesn't offer any romance as such.
The film is solidly made and features a good structure which keeps you viewing. The two tales have enough progression to make it flow. The pro-escort never admits to camera he is an escort as such and the viewer is left guessing if he is comfortable with his profession and as to why he is successful. With the Italian escort we simply follow his progression and see if he will make it. His anecdotes and sheer arrogance kept me amused throughout.
Summary: An interesting film about a subject which although well-explored is not completely saturated. Worth checking out.
The Lovers' Guide (1991)
Dated, not that useful but a censorship milestone regardless.
The Lover's Guide does pretty much as the title suggests - provides a guide for lovers. The documentary is laid out in chapters (like a manual) detailing various topic such as: contraception, exploring each other, sexual positions etc. The video is designed to educate and help couples either get over their inhibitions or to improve their sexual technique.
The video is a censorship milestone in the UK, possibly being one of the first (if not the first) film(s) to pass "hardcore" sex at 18 certificate. Hardcore being real sex, aroused genitals etc. The video went on to sell vast amounts (I heard 1,000,000 copies - an exaggeration?) largely on the premise that it offered the viewer explicit sex. As a result it was snapped up not just by couples but anyone who wanted to watch a bit of "smut". Another point is at the time of release many R18 sex shop only films were heavily cut and as a result possibly less or equally explicit.
One criticism I have of this video and many more like it is the emphasis is on couples and relationships. It seems sex education video makers frown on sex outside a loving relationship and I have no idea why. Still, The Lover's Guide does what it does well, despite being ludicrously outdated it may offer some good advice although I'm sure most couples already know what is discussed in the video. Worth a watch if only for curiosity.
Kazakhstan Swings (2006)
Good follow up to Beijing Swing but more of the same
Kazakhstan Swings is the follow-up to the highly controversial documentary, Beijing Swings. The format is the same with Waldemar Januzczak presenting the film. Kazakhstan Swings follows Januzczak as he travels around Kazakhstan meeting the artists and discussing the bizarre modern art scene that exists in the country.
Waldemar Januzczak is often thought of being annoying and stuck-up. I find him to be entertaining. However, sometimes he overdoes the metaphors or goes overboard with the monologues. The structure and technical aspects of the documentary are all excellent. The only thing which might put people off is if they take a dislike to Januzczak or if the subject does not interest them.
This film was in no way controversial like Beijing Swings and the only controversial aspects of the film is the use of nudity. Like Beijing Swings there is some truly unusual and jaw-dropping art on display, which is the main reason to watch. If Beijing Swings hadn't been made before this documentary it would be more exciting; as it stands it is more of the same but it's still good. Recommended.
OK but dated documentary improved by hardcore clips
Behind the Scenes of an Adult Movie is obviously a behind the scenes look at the porn industry in America. It features interviews with some of the cast, and behind the scenes footage of some of the shoots. It also features some hardcore footage taken from some of the films in question.
The film features a corny voice-over which adds to the tackiness but is not necessary and dates the film a bit. It would have been standard for documentaries at the time this film was made though. Some of the cast interviewed include: Veronica Hart (who is now a respected director and producer within the industry), Ron Jeremy (arguably the best-known male porn star), Herschell Savage, Georgina Spelvin and John Leslie (now directing and writing acclaimed adult movies) amongst many other name stars. The interviews are quite interesting but a little obvious; some of the questioning stops just short of: "what's a nice girl like you doing in an industry like this?".
The behind the scenes footage is nothing special, either consisting of actors sitting around or trying to film a sex scene. The sex scenes inserted into the documentary are from classics of the 80s and often show whole scenes with all the hardcore intact. This is were the documentary excels, other documentaries about porn stop short of showing the most explicit shots this one doesn't. However, if you own the films the clips are taken from you will have seen it all before.
Summary: An OK documentary improved by the fact it shows explicit hardcore inserts. It is definitely of its time and has dated. Worth a look if the subject interests you.
Hairy Women (2003)
Not a hair raising experience
Hairy Women is simply a documentary about women with body hair who feel uncomfortable with it so undergo techniques to remove it. That's it.
The film features interviews with real women suffering from (large amounts) of body hair. They discuss their removal techniques (e.g. laser surgery, waxing) and the story behind their problem. The film becomes interesting when the some of the women decide (as a challenge) to let the body hair grow (for a month I think). The filmmakers then follow their journey and whether they choose to wax again.
The film is average. It will interest people who are interested in the subject or the beauty industry in general. Unfortunately, the human interest aspects and the personal journeys are not strong enough. The film supposedly "tackles a taboo subject" according to some sources and although it gives an insight into a subject which is (arguably) taboo it certainly does not tackle it head-on. The film does not take itself too seriously (the use of music such as Markus Nikolai's Bushes is clearly done for comic effect and it's appreciated) and as a result is easy viewing. It's an easy watch but most viewers shouldn't go out of their way to view it, unless the subject really intrigues them.