Mostly newish movies, some good, some duds. You can’t win them all. I’m surprised that most new movies seem to be low budget horror, although it’s been that way since what, the ’30s, ’40s? The ’50s were famous for them, Hammer cornered the market in the ’60s, then the ’70s were the start of the zombie and slasher flicks, the ’80s brought on the shlock and sex indies like Troma Entertainment’s Toxic Avenger (1984) and continued into the ’90s with stuff like Brian Yuzna’s Bride of Reanimator.
So who is surprised it’s still the dominant form for low-budget and direct to vid, you don’t need great actors and with CGI now monsters don’t need to be lame ass puppets anymore, they can be lame ass CGI. Not that horror movies dominate this review week, they actually dont, although there’s a couple. Onward!
Good Neighbor (2016) I feel like I’ve written about this before, perhaps I’ve already reviewed it and forgot. This movie is about a couple of snot-nosed computer nerds who think they are geniuses because they manage to hook up a system of cams in some poor guy’s house where they terrorize him because he pissed off one of the kid’s dads one time. This movie would be worthless without the presence, gravitas, and even though he barely speaks a word, the acting chops of James Caan. My god, this guy has a sublime talent, too bad he’s on his last legs, he has a lot of great movies still in him. None of the kids seeing this movie would ever believe it, but Caan was once a glamourous, handsome leading man who headlined major movies. Enormous respect for the guy. Anyway, see the movie because of him, it’s well worth it. Score:4 Love this guy
Lady in the Van (2015) Watchable, the only thing that pissed me off is the protagonist is some artsy fartsy Brit fag writer who does one man shows, whinging about his mother and coming out and all manner of bullshit I can’t imagine who would be interested. Also, he’s like in his 60s, maybe 70s and he’s always hitting up on young 20something fags. Does he pay them? Do 20 something Brit fags get off on some middle aged fags grey haired asshole? Dunno. Seems about as likely as people paying good money to sit and listen to this guy’s stupid stories, excue me, “one man show” for hours on end. Maggie Smith does her usual fussy old lady, Jim Broadbent in there somewhere, nothing else of note. Made an ok background for 90 mins while I renamed and organized some old files. Score:2, for that it gets 2
Love Finds You in Charm (2014) Wrote about this last night and the draft got lost somehow, dammit, hate to write about things twice, but an innocuous little film about an Amish girl who wonders about the big big world, but is put off TV, movies, cars, airplanes, the internet and even buttons I guess (I am from Ohio and I knew Amish people and I believe they couldn’t even use buttons, but here they are using multi-speed bikes with cable brakes, so that seems odd.) Anyway, she hooks up with a jerk from the outside who tries to force himself on her and so bye bye modern world! She seems to base the whole thing on this one guy, which is retarded. Anyway, one line really bugged me, he says “what do you expect when you dress like that I thought you wanted it” or something like that, when she has on this modest little dress, but not as modest as her regular garb. Like they’re saying, see, the Amish are right, dress like a nun so you don’t heat up men’s hormones and get yerself raped! Anyway, ok for background, doubt I’d watch again, the performances were ok for a C-movie. Score:3 just for the fact it’s such a change of pace
Wicked Blood (2014) Wrote about this last night, then somehow the draft got lost dammit so I hardly feel like writing it again, other than to say a reasonably ok redneck meth crime drama was marred by the stupidest young girl who was the star, who, due to today’s ‘go girl empowerment’ gets away with the stupidest shit imaginable: cutting a crimelord’s drugs to skim off profit, after she’s seen the guy have people murdered. Of course, it’s not her ass, but her junkie uncle who would, and does, eventually pay the price for her stupidity, greed and general feeling of entitlement. Hey, you’re a drug mule trailer trash redneck, the world doesn’t owe you shit but a baby at 16 and welfare for life. Oh, and she finally gets him killed by TEXTING she’s murdered the drug lord’s right hand man, whom, after some idiotic machinations by her, goes on a rampage and 4-5 more people are killed, then he happens to be there when the text comes so he kills her uncle as well. This dumb little cunt gets 6 people killed because she won’t go to the cops, after one of the drug dealers says he’s a narc, doesn’t seem inclined to prosecute HER for all her drug dealing and running (well, he is banging her sister may be why, although that’s bullshit too) so she takes it upon herself to murder the right hand man, who beat up her sister. Hey, newsflash, that doesn’t give you the right to murder people, especially setting off a chain of events that gets 6 other people killed, you dumb fucking cunt. But she gets out ok with her sister and they all live happily ever after I guess. She’s supposed to be super precious and smart because she can play CHESS of all fucking things, but her scheme goes wrong and gets people shot and killed so she’s not all that smart, is she? See all this is in service to girl powered revenge fantasies and how a young, seemingly powerless girl can fight back against the patriarchy lalalala fuck you. Fucked up the movie, I hate it when people don’t pay for their sins in a movie, and it’s not just girls, pissed me off Scott changed the end of True Romance as well, fucked up that movie the same way. So he got what was coming to him. Score:1 for a movie that could have been a 3, the dumb SJW fucks
Peelers (2016) Well a zombie movie set in a strip joint, you figure, blah, zombies, already been done, zombies in a strip joint, been done (by Tarentino and Rodriguez no less) but hey, at least there’ll be a lot of T&A, right? buzz. What there is is that sterile, professional pr0n type with fake tits and generic bodies that isn’t even sexy. The joint is owned by a horse faced dyke whom we’re shown early is a badass who rides a pink harley when a hispanic kid makes some offhand insult and she throws a baseball and hits him in the face. But hey, he had it coming right? Plus, female violence on guys is always funny/warranted/no big deal. Well fuck that. I wish I could have seen whoever hit her in the face with a shovel to give her that mug, but anyway the acting and plotting had sucked pretty much up til then so I saw no reason to watch it further, seemed like the screenwriteress (a woman, natch) was going for some kind of girl-power revenge on all men, who are zombies anyway type bullshit. There’s also a stripper in a diaper as part of her act, because men like ’em young, amirite? This person has never been in a strip joint I’m guessing and is writing what she THINKS men want there, I’ve been there, plenty times, and it’s not a baby in a diaper unless you’re some kind of watersports or scat perv. Score:0 turned it off with the baseball
Chasing Trane: John Coltrane Documentary (2016)First a thought, how Santana, who is not really a jazz guitarist, always gets called in for interviews on these docs. I guess just becasue he’s so fucking old he is one of the few semi-famous people who might have half-way known these people. Turns out he didn’t know Coltrane at all, but he thinks he’s great, so there’s that. Everyone here thinks he’s great. Why, exactly, we don’t really get told, just that the music soars off into the stratosphere into another dimension and that Coltrane lived in a spiritual world above mere mortals that seemed to make itself known by screeching, atonal sax blowing.
Jesus. As usual in musical documentaries, they talk zero about reality and how he got his sound, what modes or scales or harmonics or tonalities he was using, why that certain period was so dissonant, talking about intervals and use of 2nds and obscure chords and how he played within chords and how he created chords and tonalities with a monophonic (at least for him, Roland Kirk used to be able to get harmonies out of one horn, but that’s another story) instrument. Instead we get how the music was related to the world and God how it personified the black experience and all other kinds of gibberish. What do you expect when you interview people who don’t know shit about music like race-baiter Cornell West or rapist Bill fucking Clinton.
They don’t interview any jazz drummers who played with him or knew him, they interview the ham-handed John Denmore of the Doors because he’s famous (although in the tradition of the late ’60s he was a shitty technician, just like the guitarist from the Doors Robbie whatever. Manzarak was the only guy in the band who could actually play). And we have to listen to endless, tedious, irrelevant drivel from his step-kids and ex-wives that has fuck-all to do with the music. For his seminal piece “A Love Supreme” we get snippets about he took 2 weeks to write it, how he sequestered himself in his room to compose it, how it affected his famous fans, how it made them feel, but zero to do with how it’s structured, what exactly made it so unique and ground-breaking.
Instead we get West claiming it echoed the cadences of DrMLKJrBlvd. and Santana saying how he plays it and burns incense to cleanse a room. So I guess it kills insects, but what is the harmonic structure? How does the horn interact with the bass roots and piano chords? We are never told anything valuable like that, we must suffer through another iteration of the black man’s struggle against the white devil slave masters etc etc. For his later, screeching, atonal period the filmmaker doesn’t even attempt to defend the music, he has West admitting that as much as he loves Coltrane and tries to get it he can’t and Densmore admitting that Coltrane could stick the sax to his ass and fart out noises and, due to his admiration for the guy,
Densmore would be right there applauding.
Like the Charlie Parker movies Coltrane is a irreproachable saint of the black civil rights calendar and is never personally criticized even when he is a fucking junkie taking food out of his kids mouths to fix or musically criticized for his outrageous experimentation that alienated fans and was eventually abandoned even by ‘Trane. An instructive tale is told by his daughter how he played a late night gig (played ALL NIGHT! as she tells it) and then walked home in the snow so he wouldn’t spend the money so she would have a pair of shoes. Wow, what a saint he was! Because normally he would have spent the money on smack and never made it home had he rode in a buddy’s car, I take it.
I guess the rest of us pikers who just work for a living then collect our paychecks and pay the bills and buy the clothes, food and shoes our kids need are just a little less than because we can’t blow inconprehensable and dissonant runs to massive applause. I mean, some of that latter stuff bordered on pure cacophony. But this is “art”. I call bullshit and I’m so fucking sick of these kinds of documentaries that glorify artists but don’t ever reveal what, in the actual musical market of ideas, they were doing that made them documentary worthy. And continually being told it’s great doesn’t count. Score:0 complete waste of time and Sonny Rollins can kiss my ass, I lost all respect for that guy with this p.o.s. performance. And Wayne Shorter is a god on sax but about the most inarticulate guy in a doc, same in the Jaco doc, he mumbles some strange anecdote instead of giving us any insight, and he’s a great musician. Inexcusable, shitty interviewing maybe.
Sr. Pig (2016) I get it roles are drying up for ol’ Danny Glover, but the travails of an old, dying man and his pig are just not really interesting enough to carry a movie. It’d have to be a damn personable pig to do that. Score:2 watched it didn’t I?
Great Invisible (2014) Unlike most lefty hypocrites, I don’t sit at a computer monitor sucking up kilwatts and then complain about the use of fossil fuels. When as much oil gets pumped out of the ocean as it does, there’s going to be some spillage. Big fucking deal. Clean it up, apportion blame and move on. But no, this movie wants to guilt us all as complicit. Of course the movie makers themselves used more energy making this movie than I and my family will in a lifetime, but hey, SJWs are fucking lying, cocksucking hypcrites and fuck them. I feel absolutely no guilt about this and no more concern than any other fact of the industrial revolution that made this a great time to be alive. The Earth will be fine. Also this movie reminds me how glad I am that obama is gone. He loved disasters like this so he could throw a bunch of oil-workers, whom he detested as much as coal-miners, out of work. Thank God for PDT! Score: 0 fuck you assholes
Denial (2016) Self-righteous little piece of crap that would have been better if the denouement had some kind of resonance. She should have lost the case. Rachel whatever annoys throughout and wtf is up with her hair? She seems to think she’s the smartest person in the room, sets up all kinds of situations that don’t pay off, the guy they are suing is a master of his subject and glib and articulate all the way through until he isn’t and is exposed as a racist monster. I actually thought the judge had a good point about freedom of speech and what you believe and it would have been a good twist on how good intentions don’t trump freedom, but they went with the easy way and it just sucked. The end left you with “is that it?” Score:1 I watched it through. That old guy is in everything these days. Score: 1 Wow, Timothy Spall has lost weight!
Grabbers (2014) Ok little B-movie horror film, has some humourous moments but the monster is just amateurish enough to be not scary at all but not enough to be funny or so bad it’s good. Score: 3 Monsters get it in the end, which is refreshing so it gets a 3 for that. Worth a watch.