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  • HARD ROMANTICKER - Dir. Gu Su-yeon (2011)

    I saw this flick at LA Eigafest a couple years back and wasn't enamored with it upon my initial viewing. I felt the editing was rather haphazard and shoddy which hurt the pacing of the film & was also put off by the overt misogyny on display. But I recently picked up the DVD on the cheap and re-watched it. My initial feelings haven't changed but I enjoyed the movie much more this time around for some reason -- perhaps it was due to imbibing in a few cans of Kirin right before I plopped the DVD in the player. I'd be remiss if I failed to mention this DVD comes with an excellent booklet featuring an essay by Travis Crawford about the film and a more general overview of the history of Toei's Yakuza films by the always entertaining and informative Patrick Macias.

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    • I dug Hard Romanticker. I've liked all the Artslpoitation releases so far, actually. Bullet Collector is a tough watch but rewarding.

      Last night.... Ju-On: White Ghost. This one started off interestingly enough, got very disjointed and bounced around to the point where I almost shut it off, and then got interesting again. Not a masterpiece or the best entry in the series but okay I guess.
      Rock! Shock! Pop!

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      • Ju-On: Black Ghost - This was disjointed and fairly terrible. They should have just called it plotless story with scary noises.
        Rock! Shock! Pop!

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        • last night I watched Joshua Logan's PICNIC (1955) on the Twilight Time blu-ray. Impeccable transfer. Reference quality. I like the deeply saturated color of the dye-transfer process especially when it's low-key and natural looking as it is here. I'm not so keen on Cinemascope which is an unnatural framing for pictorial storytelling. Anyhow, mid-1950s to early 1970s color is the best color and the finest photography ever seen in the cinema. This is one of the great color films from the golden age of dye-transfer Technicolor. I enjoy the outdoor photography of rural Kansas. It captures the period. I enjoy the film on that basis alone. I appreciate William Inge's play, but I think the director miscast the film. William Holden was at ten years too old for the lead, and Kim Novak is all wrong. They give their all and are excellent, but the director should have stuck with Paul Newman and Kim Stanley from the play and who originated the roles. I can hear them speaking the dialog since it was contoured for them. I could believe in them playing the parts. The miscasting doesn't ruin the film for me, but almost. I agree with the general consensus that PICNIC is one of the great cinematic dramas of the 1950s. I also like another adaptation of an Inge play called BUS STOP (1957) but that's for another night.

          After all that civilizing I needed some real entertainment so I put on a DVD-R someone sent me years ago of Sergio Grieco's BEAST WITH A GUN (1977) followed by Mario Bava's KIDNAPPED (1974; I like the RABID DOGS title better). Whew. I want to combine these two films into one car chase thriller at breakneck speed down a dead-end street.
          "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
          - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

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          • Commando - This is one that I've seen a million times but which is always entertaining regardless. My stepson had never seen it before but knew all the one liners before they even happened. It's pretty plotless but it's also really hard not to have a good time with this one. Pure goofy eighties action movie bliss.
            Rock! Shock! Pop!

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            • CURSE OF THE LIVING CORPSE in honor of its director, Del Tenney.
              "The popcorn you're eating has been pissed in. Film at 11".

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              • I caught HORROR EXPRESS on Off-Beat Cinema last night. I love the movie to begin with, but catching in on a late night cable access show makes it even better

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                • Originally posted by ZoSo View Post
                  I caught HORROR EXPRESS on Off-Beat Cinema last night. I love the movie to begin with, but catching in on a late night cable access show makes it even better
                  I miss that show! It's where I first watched Gorgo as a kid. Documentary triple feature round-up time:

                  I Think We're Alone Now - The plot is about two mentally questionable individuals who are obsessed with popstar Tiffany and attribute her as being a life changing singer. I wasn't too engaged, but this might require a rewatch.
                  Winnebago Man - Brilliant and fun cuss-filled portrait of a frustrated man with political views to shake the universe... I think. This film is in the same lines as Shut Up, Little Man but not quite as visually captivating. Still a heart-warming human story though. Highly recommended.
                  American Scary - A fun tribute to horror hosts and features a good line-up with Svengoolie being my favorite. Maybe I'm spoiled by visually astonishing docs like Not Quite Hollywood, but I found the soundtrack and presentation leaving more to be desired. Overall, a fun and informative doc.

                  I also rewatched the Bukowski doc, Born Into This in a nostalgiac throwback to one of my good friends I haven't seen in years.

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                  • Watched Impulse's new BD of FAIRY IN A CAGE last night. Naomi Tani in another "women gets imprisoned and subjected to bondage and torture" flick. Has a very different vibe than stuff like Wife to Be Sacrificed and Flower and Snake though, as this one is set during WWII and she's the prisoner of a corrupt Japanese military official. Extremely high production values and good performances help (but don't quite) make up for a weak script. Not terrible, but not one of my favorite Roman Pornos.

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                    • KAGI aka ODD OBSESSION - Dir. Kon Ichikawa (1959)

                      Adapted from the novel by Junichiro Tanizaki, this starts off as a perverse morality tale but eventually devolves into a dark satiric comedy bordering on farcical.

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                      • THE BLUE MAN, aka ETERNAL EVIL (George Mihalka, 1985). Astral projection in Montreal. Winston Rekert has good hair, Karen Black is blonde, and a cop with a mustache is on the case. I think this might've been some kind of inspiration for INSIDIOUS. The swooping out of body camera movements are pretty cool, and Karen Black has a glowing orb, but the visual imagination budget isn't up to the trippy subject matter. Some kind of weird sex/gender subtext at work, though: a gay man falls for the new woman receptionist, the pink-shirted macho cop is sexual ambiguity with a badge, and Karen Black looks like a transsexual. It was the 80s, it was Montreal.

                        PINBALL (aka PICK-UP) SUMMER (George Mihalka, 1980). I seem to have purchased the soundtrack CD. Boobies.

                        STONE COLD DEAD (George Mendeluk, 1979). This is pretty great. Richard Crenna's on the hunt for a serial psycho shooting strippers and hookers with a Man from U.N.C.L.E.-style camera-gun. Paul Williams plays a pimp, Toronto plays NYC, and the Zanzibar plays itself. Jennifer Dale does an energetic strip-tease to Bob Seger's "Fire Down Below". From Hugh Garner's book THE SIN SNIPER. Would make a great double-bill with AMERICAN NIGHTMARE. I watched a vhs rip, which had its own charms, then ordered a widescreen boot burnt from the MGM-HD channel showing: pretty nice, but I'd buy a real DVD or blu in an instant.

                        DOWN THE ROAD AGAIN (Don Shebib, 2011). Despite in-your-face TV-movieness, I dug it. Warning: this movie wants you to be more tucked-in and wrapped-up than your grandmother hand-rolling you joints while you eat burritos in a slanket in a mummy bag in a tent fort with hospital corners. There's no attempt at the doc auth pavement grit of GOIN' DOWN THE ROAD. A couple of establishing shots in Vancouver at the beginning, then it's a cross-continent trip shot entirely in Toronto: the view across Sydney harbour as seen from Cherry Beach. Kathleen Robertson gets the thankless Poochie role, and I guess it works out 'cause I missed Itchy & Scratchy. It's weak milky tea, and lukewarm at that, but thanks for doing this.

                        MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI (Bill L. Norton, 1979). An unnecessary sequel based entirely on the end credits spoilers from the first movie, with multiple time-streams, split-screens, and aspect ratios. All these American teen comedies are really about Viet Nam. The UK blu-ray isn't region-free, but looked fine. A+. Please keep these AMERICAN GRAFFITIS coming, Mr. Disney.
                        Barry M
                        Super Fiend
                        Last edited by Barry M; 03-06-2013, 09:54 AM.

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                        • Futureworld - It's about 20 minutes too long but this sequel to Westworld isn't bad. Peter Fonda is cool in it, Blythe Danner is cute, and the robots are rad.
                          Rock! Shock! Pop!

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                          • Originally posted by Ian Jane View Post
                            Futureworld - It's about 20 minutes too long but this sequel to Westworld isn't bad. Peter Fonda is cool in it, Blythe Danner is cute, and the robots are rad.
                            The new US WESTWORLD Blu is on its way to me at the moment. Any news about this release yet?

                            Currently, I've got a couple of hours off work and am watching Cassavetes' FACES whilst imbibing Woodford Reserve (ie, polishing off the third of a bottle that I have left). Why is it this film makes so much more sense when you're sloshed? Hope I can sober up before I have to go back to work!
                            'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

                            http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
                            'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

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                            • And if the missus is reading, ignore what I said above: I'm really working hard all day long
                              'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

                              http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
                              'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

                              Comment


                              • DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN-This is the Al Adamson flick that was supposed to hit blu ray but didn't. The MGM hi-def transfer is used and have to admit the film looks great. The movie itself still blows chunks for the most part. I can only get through it while listening to the Sam Sherman commentary. I do have to catch Dracula talking which is a hoot. Instead of sounding menacing he sounds like he's in a men's room stall."I am the Lord of Darkness. I am the Prince of the manor of Carpathia....Fuck.There's no toilet paper".
                                "The popcorn you're eating has been pissed in. Film at 11".

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