The fifth Phantasm mostly revolves around Reggie’s sanity as he slips back and forth between different realities. The Tall Man returns mostly as a cameo (I think the actor died during production) along with a few gas mask dudes and a mortuary dwarf or two. Tall Man must also be shrinking the budgets on these movies because it’s very on-the-cheap with lots of of boring desert and forest locations and corny CGI spheres. The sphere vs. car chase could have been incredible if they had the budget to shoot it in San Francisco, but, alas, it’s back and forth down a straight desert road. I’ll admit that the Road Warrior ending made me very happy, but the rest of this feels like an uninspired fan film.
A very talky horror movie that works on the premise that sound and atmosphere are what brings tension. The end result is very effective albeit a bit hard to keep up with at the beginning. There are a lot of impressive long takes and an ending that pays off while still remaining mysterious.
The make it up as you go horror series continues. Feels much smaller than the last three installments, with limited locations and effects, but there are a few fun sequences involving Reggie. I also enjoyed the inclusion of previously unused Phantasm I footage to make it seem like they planned this bonkers storyline all along.
I love how the Phantasm sequels start off by completely negating the end of the previous film. Each film is not quite as good as the previous one but each manages to have something fun to latch on to. Early in this there’s a great sequence that’s a hilariously gory, R-rated version of Home Alone. These movies so want to be Evil Dead but don’t quite have the budget or talent to rise to that level.
Studio Ghibli animated film about a middle aged woman who apparently is obsessed with her year in fifth grade. During a country farm vacation she has many flashbacks to her time as a 10-year old. These are cute and fun but then the other half the movie is her boring, sad life as an adult.
I watched this immediately after reading the book and I can definitively say that the movie is better. The main beats are still there but the framing story has been completely tossed, the rivalry is far more personal, and the tone is more sinister. And also Michael Caine!
A tale of dueling magicians who go through ever more elaborate lengths to uncover each other’s secrets. It’s all told from various character’s perspectives and switches between journal entries and other literary devices. There’s a sci-fi/horror twist that I could see coming from a million miles away. I’ve heard the movie is much better, so I will probably watch that soon.
Horror movie character study about a “Video Nasties” censor who begins to mix the memories of losing her sister under mysterious circumstances with the graphic films she is viewing for her job. This one is slow moving but always engaging. The style becomes more and more Bava-esque as she descends further into her insanity.
My superhero movie epilogue has me finally watching the third Batman film (in the good trilogy). The Dark Knight is probably the best of all these superhero movies and it didn’t really need a continuation, but here we are. The opening sequence is on par with the best James Bond cold openings. That is until Bane talks. At first I thought that I was watching some sort of crappy fan edit in which they replaced Tom Hardy’s voice with Plankton from Spongebob. But, no. Bane’s voice is supposed to sound like that and be three times louder than everyone else. That aside, the rest of the movie was good, well-paced, but not quite at the level of its predecessor.
Okay, one last Marvel movie before end this diversion and get back to 70s sleaze (I’ve been told I have to watch WandaVision despite the fact that Vision and Wanda are the two dullest characters in the whole franchise). The second MCU Spider-Man movie is not nearly as good as the first. It leans a little too much into teen drama and cares very little about its villain. The most interesting aspect is the brief overview of the consequences of “post-Blip” Earth.