Although it had its moments, this film feels like it's trying too hard to be hip and cool. It reminded me of one of those recent on-the-cheap Japanese splatter films like Tokyo Gore Police. Like those films, this movie could have used a little stronger grounding in reality. The only person playing it straight was Hauer and that wasn't enough.
Having recently watched the very good Super, I thought I would skip right through Supers 2 - 7 and go right to 8. But, lo and behold this is actually not part of the Super franchise. It actually is a monster movie set in the 1980's that attempts to mimic an early 80's Spielberg production like Goonies or E.T.. I liked this one for the most part, clichés and all. But, the last act, when the monster is finally revealed, lacks any of the excitement that the first two-thirds of the film foreshadowed.
As I have noted many times on this site, I am a bit sick of super hero movies. Super could have been a in-joke laden parody of the genre but it avoided most of that in favor of dark comedy. Really, this is basically a retelling of Taxi Driver with tights instead of a mowhawk. At times it just screams, "Indy film!" but, nonetheless, it enjoyed the characters and story quite a bit.
One of the best releases from Planet Pimp Records is this Star Trek themed collection of surf music. A rare benefit of being the guy who has a Planet Pimp tribute web site is that, a few years ago, a fellow PPR fan (thanks Forrest!) just up and decided to send me this on CD (I already had the vinyl). The music is loose and fun and filled with samples that feel like they came from the a read-a-long with Star Trek children's book. The twenty-three minute "Mystery Track" is almost worth the price of the record on its own.
Something must have happened to Lucio Fulci around 1982-83. That seems to be about the time he decided his movies needed to be filled with annoying teenagers and pastel sweatshirts. These mid to late 80's films are just dripping with cheese and bad narrative decisions. Aenigma contains an aerobicizing scene, awkward zoom-ins on dorm room movie posters (Top Gun and Rocky IV) and a "retarded" cleaning woman who smells of garlic. The only thing creepy about this horror film is our hero–a middle-aged doctor who dates the young college girls he is treating.
An adequate conclusion to the Potter movies. If part one was all just brooding, this one was all just action. By this point, all the character development has been developed and we are just waiting for that final confrontation. The movie doesn't disappoint and all the key moments from the book are here. Still, film 3 remains the best film in the series.
Does look and feel matter? That's one of the questions posed in this book about the ever increasing emphasis on visual style in our modern society. This isn't quite a continuation of The Future and its Enemies, but some of the same ideas about dynamism are applied to aesthetics. One of the main points I got from this was that even seemingly frivolous design elements add value and that aesthetics shouldn't be taken lightly. Comforting words for someone like me who works in the design industry.
As a horror director, Sam Raimi is best known for the oft quoted but overrated Army of Darkness and the much better Evil Dead II. Although it was put to great use in his first two Spiderman movies, his frantic, comic-book style of filming has been adapted by just about every big budget summer filmmaker most of the time with horrible results. I was glad to see him return to horror on a smaller scale and, for the most part, liked the film.
What a pretty movie about characters which I couldn't care less about. I wanted so bad to like this movie but it is just so riddled with horrible plot holes that even a non-nitpickers would be annoyed. The entire time I was just wondering, "Why?" Why are these scientists so dumb and unscientific? Why is no one amazed that they just discovered we are not alone in the universe? Why is the android trying to kill that guy? It felt like a shinier version of a Lost in Space episode but even that 50 year old TV series for kids as deeper characters (and a cooler robot).
The Twisted Ones was another 1950's pulp novel reprinted as an eBook by Prologue Books and available for free download. I rather liked this one. It tells the dark story of three disenfranchised youths' Memorial Day weekend. The three characters' are only tangentially linked via news reports and a quiz show, but the separate plots fit nicely together as their lives spiral out of control. I would have hoped that the stories would have intermingled a bit more deeply in the end.