Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Gate (1987)

The latest Night Drop Box selection is this 80's unsees movie, been on my watch list for longer than I care to remember.

For starters I have no idea how this movie remained a 15 rating, it must have been terrifying to watch as a kid. Face melts and all sorts, that phone call early on got me, I thought that was genuinely creepy. You can conly applaud a low budget film in the late 80's that can muster up effects like that, truly old school.

I really did enjoy this one, I can see where Joe Dante got most of his ideas from for The Hole. It borrows elements from certain movies like The Pit while also managing the tough task of coming up with it's own ideas. I really enjoyed this one, a real creepy movie.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Dance Academy (1988)

Wow! Another dance movie that I hadn't seen! Could this be true? It is!

I thought I had seen all dance movies the world had to offer but then along comes Dance Academy, a low budget movie based around the Fame, Flashdance and Breakin' scenarios.
This movie is like a wet dream for me, the dance scenes are phenomenal and the soundtrack is incredible. Yeah, so the acting is awful at times but what do you expect? In my opinion it only adds to the awesome feel of the movie.

This is no Heavenly Bodies or Girls Just Wanna Have Fun but it's pretty damn close. Next up on the screening list is War Dancing.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

China O'Brien (1990)

After my recent craze on all things martial arts I came across the trailer for this movie, I have been unable to think of much else since. The VHS tape was delivered this morning.

I love it when movies decide to abandon all the rules of great filmmaking and go straight for the throat. In this movie you will find no acting skills, it's practically No Retreat No Surrender in that sense. But what it lacks in acting it more than makes up for in action. The fighting is spectacular, rigid as hell but most definitely spectacular nonetheless. I loved the bad guys too, they had me so worked up for a cheesy movie it's unreal, I was almost punching my projector screen they got me so mad.

This film is simply magical. If you like no holds barred all out action with very little sense of direction, this is the movie for you. Cynthia Rothrock is an angel sent down from heaven to entertain and kick some ass. She does both with a huge smile on her face. Seek it out now! I'm on the hunt for the sequel.

Dudes (1987)

This screening is part of the Night Drop Box and was chosen at random by the world of Twitter.

I'm not a massive fan of Jon Cryer let that be said, and I never thought i'd find him slightly charming again since Pretty In Pink but I have to say he sort of won me over in this one. I love my cross-country road trip movies and this is no different. It has a dumb but fun plot and features some ridiculous acting and characters. Elvis singing at a Rodeo? Cowboy and Indian ghosts? Flea in another acting role? Weird to say the least but it oddly comes together to make for a very fun ride.

Like most of the CBS/FOX titles i've rented and purchased over the years this one has not let me down. Thanks for choosing it for me Twitter!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Christine (1983)

One of the very few Carpenter movies that passed me by, this and Dark Star were the only two that I missed. You couldn't touch him in the late 70's to early 80's, the guy was on fire.

This movie is fantastic. Following on from the likes of Duel and The Car, Carpenter has made his very own killer car movie but with a twist, there is a face to the car. It's menacing in it's prey and relentless too, I love the fact that as it's speechless it uses the radio by way of warning, playing a tune with you in mind. It's genius!

I also loved the score too, besides the Dreamboats and Petticoats tunes that play throughout, you also get a slice of Carpenter's personal synth touch and it works wonders for the scenes.

It's an amazing piece of work and one which I benefited from holding on to. It's just got me craving for Dark Star now.

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Witches (1990)

This movie used to terrify me as a kid yet I would seem to watch it every other weekend.

Thankfully it still holds up marvellously, the acting really is top notch. As soon as the film started the memories came flooding back. The convention scene is key to the plot and I find it quite amusing that they would use bald men instead of women, it's so blatantly obvious that you have to wonder if it was intentional.

The is a family fun movie and one which will always hold a very special place in my heart. Superb stuff!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The Jerk (1979)

Again, it was time to educate my wife and what could be the funniest movie I have ever seen.

Carl Reiner and Steve Martin are a match made in heaven and you'll rarely see a better example of such magic than in The Jerk. It's a one man stand-up show in live action. Martin is hilarious and the lines just keep on coming. The hotel scene where he's in the bath is one of my all-time favourites, followed closely by the 'Cans' scene at the gas station. "And who's my favourite Gal?" - "Woof, woof!" - "That's right."

I hadn't seen this movie in over 8 years or more but it's still as funny now as it was back then, I was in stitches.

I'd find it hard to believe that anyone other than my wife hasn't seen this one so I won't even go there. This is just a timeless classic that in my opinion gets better with age. Perfect comedy.

Stand By Me (1986)

After seeing Super 8 at the pictures yesterday it had me itching to rewatch this movie, it's such a childhood favourite of mine and one my wife had yet to see.

The cast in this movie is just simply incredible as is the plot, perfectly executed too. It captures youth like no other film. I was exactly the same at that age, my friends were the best and i'll never experience that feeling again. The Goonies, The Monster Squad are two very different movies to this one although that feel good experience remains. I love all sorts of coming-of-age films, stuff like The War and My Dog Skip, but there is one that stands out above the rest that i'd say is this films equal and that is Hearts in Atlantis.

It's sad to think that River Phoenix is no longer with us either, such a talented actor. What a wonderful story this film is and it's one i'll shpw my kids one day and hope they like it too, I know my wife did. Even if she prefers Super 8 to it.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Super 8 (2011)

Hands down my most anticipated movie of 2011. Ever since that trailer hit the net I have been unable to think of much else.

This movie ticked all the right boxes, pulled all the right strings and most definitely lived up to the hype. I adored it. I wanted to make out with it. I came out feeling like i'd just seen a mash-up of The Monster Squad and Stand By Me. It's a classic 50's B-movie plot, retold in a late 70's fashion, modernised (sort of) to suit.
I loved the kids, every one of them were perfect for each role. You just sometimes have to sit back and admire talent like that, it was a pleasure to see.
I know this movie won't hit home with most as the expectation levels were set too high but talking as a guy who has talked little else about upcoming movies, I absolutely loved it.

I might just go and see it on the big screen again, I know i'll be buying the Blu as soon as it's released, and i'm a VHS fanatic! Amazing movie that made me feel like a big kid again.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Too Much (1987)

Screened as part od the Night Drop Box.

The box art for this movie is fantastic, my mind instantly thinks Short Circuit and I am quickly transported back to my early rental days. The cover however overpowers the movie, it just never lives up to the promise.

I hated the girls face, felt the music was all over the place and the film very ordinary. I thought we were going to hear the girls narration the whole way through the movie but thankfully for my sanity she belted up, it was getting too much.

The movie starts rushed but towards the end of the movie it does start to level itself out and become genuinely intriguing. One major plus pointis the fact that I got to see alot of Japan, a place i'm dying to visit one day soon. Very creepy when the 'WE ARE FOR TOO MUCH!" starts to riot. - That needs to be seen to be believed. I was properly freaked out when that theme kept playing.

A lesson to parents everywhere, don't give your kids everything.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Submarine (2010)

I love Ayoade and his acting work so I was very much looking forward to seeing him direct, especially considering Paddy Considine was on board too.

This has a fantastc feel to it, reminded me a lot of my other favourite British movies like A Room For Romeo Brass and Cemetery Junction (I know most hated that one). I loved the relationship between Oliver and his parents, the way he communicated with his mom was hilarious. Using quotes from her books and spying on her from the stairs. Genius!
I also loved the sweet relationship between him and Jordana, again it reminded me of other favourites like Nick and Norah and also 500 Days of Summer. I also tip my complimentary cap to Ayoade for the use of VHS, I wanna know where I can get my hands on one of Graham's tapes.

Beautiful story, well written and perfectly executed. I can't praise this one enough. Ayoade, i'm on board!

Super (2010)

I'm not a huge comic book reader but I do quite like my super hero movies, or even anti-super hero for that matter. I wasn't even aware that this film was in the planning stages let alone been made, Ellen Page always makes me want to part with money.

The only thing I can think of is that they held this film back due to the increasing amount of anti-superhero movies coming out on the back of the Kick-Ass success. Take Defendor for instance with Woody Harrelson, this is exactly the same type of movie as that but with a better script and better executed.

I'd say that if you like Ghost World and Defendor you'll like this movie. I can't think of a time when I would ever rewatch this which makes it sound like I didn't like it, that's not true, it does have a good feel to it and it was quite graphic in parts but it just didn't blow me a away like I thought it was going to. Both Ellen Page and Rainn Wilson were excellent, the Bacon was quite good too but I thought Liv Tyler was a little miscast.

Good but not great, with the cast on show I was expecting a little more.

Unknown (2011)

Billed up to be the next Taken, I was a little more than excited to see this movie.

First off, Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger are really great and without those two this would be a gigantic waste of anybody's time, because I thought January Jones was dreadful. Frank Langella weirdly pops up, similar to how Neeson shows up in The Next Three Days, and I thought he was quite flat too.
Apart from the acting of a select few, this is a pretty decent thriller and like Taken it gets going straight into the plot from the get go. I was intrigued by the story and was genuinely interested in how it was all going to pan out.

This film is sadly no Taken, or Taken 2. It's just a decent thriller that's fit to watch on a Sunday night when there's nothing better on TV. You won't leave thinking you've just seen something great but you won't feel bored or even agry that you watched it. Mainly for Neeson though, a major coup for the director to get him on bored.

Limitless (2011)

The trailer had intrigued me with this film but other than that I was pretty clueless to it in terms of the reception and reviews. I quite like Bradley Cooper, he seems like a pretty likeable guy and has a good enough screen presence to carry a film.

Like many of my must-see's this year, this one didn't disappoint. It kept me entertained and gripped from the moment go. I was a little let down by the ending but it didn't affect my overall opinion of the movie. Bradley Cooper is superb in the role and Robert De Niro can actually hold his head up high for slecting a decent script, his talent has been left wanting with his previous efforts.

This one was never going to break down the walls of cinema but like a Tony Scott movie, it definitely delivered the thrills for me.

Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)

For some strange reason I had forgotten that this film was based on a fake trailer for Grindhouse, it was just completely erased from my memory. I did however manage to find out about the making of this movie while doing some random searching on imdb, and my mind was completely blown. I wanted to watch it like no other film in pre or post-production.

Fortunately unlike Machete this one absolutely lived up to the hype for me in the same way that it has for everbody else. I think the last 25 minutes of the film are it's most strongest scenes and definitely worth waiting for, the soundtrack is also incredible, so fitting. I loved the opening credit sequence on the train, it reminded me a hell of a lot of Ti West's House of the Devil, such a throwback. Rutger is immense throughout and normally I can forgive the bad acting as it's intentional, but the two brothers in this were just downright silly to the point of annoyance. It's very quotable though and don't be surprised if you're at work the next morning saying "I'd eat the peanuts out of her shit".
This movie was made with us home video loves in mind, I couldn't be happier to tell you that it works.

The latter half of the film is where my like turns to pure love, you can't help but not love it. I just can't wait to see what Eisener does next, the world finally has some raw talent to unleash on the rest of us.

Best of the Best (1989)

This movie started very strongly, that opening credit track was sensational. Sadly the movie took a bit of a nose dive right after and never recovered.

Now I love my martial arts movies, Bloodsport, Kickboxer, No Retreat No Surrender etc. but for the life of me I just could not get into this one like I should have. The characters were pretty lifeless, which is more than I can say for Eric Roberts's hair, gorgeous is how I would describe that. The acting isn't too bad and the fighting scenes are superbly and violently executed, especially the ones involving Tommy. I thought Penn's character was an asshole, the intention I know, but seriously? Come on.

The nail in the coffin for me was the final scene, the big fight off. I won't name names because it would spoil it for some but basically it's the dialogue and acting in those final few moments that sealed it's fate.
 James Early Jones was also very annoying, I wanted to drop kick his miserable ass throughout.

A very average martial arts movie that tries to pull above it's weight but just can't seem to break through. See Kickboxer instead, or any other Van Damme movie for that matter.