Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Howling (1981)

Here's another werewolf gem from the 80s, that has it all: There's violence, there's sex, fantastic special effects and a lot of awesome mustaches.

Directed by Joe Dante, the film has a wonderful sleaziness to it, while at the same time making harsh judgment on exactly the kind images put forth on the screen. Dante would later go on to double up on the meta-aspect in Matinee and Gremlins 2, but in this film he played it with a straighter face.

The Howling spawned no less than 7 sequels (and counting), but I have yet to watch any of them. If anyone reading this have seen them, please let me know if I'm missing out, or if I shouldn't waste my time?


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Life is Beautiful (1997)

La vita รจ bella is one of those movies everyone just has to see. It's funny, it's charming, romantic and a perfect date movie which will have lovers cling closer in the night.

And it's also about the holocaust.

That's right, this sweet and beautiful film is about nazis and concentration camps and all the terrible things in the second world war. And the fact that it's possible to make such a wonderful movie about something so horrible, is probably the reason why the film was crowned best foreign film at the Oscars, and Roberto Benigni won best male actor, as well as being nominated for best director and screenwriter.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Dave Chappelle: Killin' Them Softly (2000)

Dave Chappelle recently came out of hiding after a decade of living off the grid, and dropped two brand new comedy specials on Netflix. And as exciting as it was to finally get not one, but two whole hours of Chappelle doing his thing, the sad truth of the matter was that neither was very good.

Especially when looking back at how great he once was, his new ventures comes off as lackluster money grabs.

However, part of his deal with Netflix includes a third special, not yet filmed, but if the two others are anything to go by, it's not looking good.

So instead of being disappointed once again, why not go back and see the man at the top of his game, in what is arguably one of the greatest stand-up specials ever filmed.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Full Moon High (1981)

The 80s was a good time for werewolf movies, with An American Werewolf in London, The Howling, Teen Wolf, The Company of Wolves, and Silver Bullet to name a few highlights.

But somehow, this little gem of a film seems to have slipped between the cracks, and is still ridiculously underappreciated. And it's really a shame, as it's truly a funny movie.

Directed by the great Larry Cohen, the film leaves all attempts of scariness in the grave, in favor of straight out silliness akin to Airplane and other Zucker brother classics.

Sometimes the gags work, and others you laugh at them being so bad it's good. But as a whole, the film is sure to entertain, especially with a few beers at hand.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Synechdoche, New York (2009)

If I asked you to describe everything, as in absolutely everything in human life, what would your answer be?

This movie might be director and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's answer to that question, as his protagonist is a director and screenwriter who tries to recreate everything in his whole life, inside a giant warehouse. However, the ambitions  performance artist soon finds that inside his perfect depiction of everything, is another replica of himself, also trying to fit his own everything inside a somewhat smaller warehouse. And so it goes, like a Russian babushka doll, the universe keeps imploding into a vortex of interpretations.

And if this all sounds like the blabbering nonsense of a madman, then know that I haven't even begun to describe a fraction of all the wonderful weirdness inside this film.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Dead Man (1995)

Dead Man is a poem.

A monochrome poem,
of still rivers
and barren hope,
flowing through encrusted veins.

Where cowboys and indians,
bullets and arrows,
stomp the beat
of a steam engine train.

Bony letters
spell out the ending.
Acting surprised,
is all in vain.

But a poem read twice
reveals new merit,
so maybe this film,
is a dead man's refrain.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Factotum (2005)

Have you ever lost a job? Gotten wasted and woken up in a strange place? Been in a fight? Or spent a whole day drinking alone?

Then this film is for you.

Based on one of the greatest novels ever written, the film packs more truth than what most people like to hear. But this tough loving, is also what makes it delectable.

Matt Dillon does a very good job of portraying the drunk poet, in a role that's like a spiritual successor to the great Drugstore Cowboy.

It also work very well as a companion piece to the equally fantastic Barfly (also written by Charles Bukowski) with some scenes even overlapping.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Mosquito Coast (1986)

Have you ever dreamed of leaving the busy hustle of modern civilization behind, to venture into in a perfect paradise of the amazonian jungle? That's the idea of the romantic lead character in this film, who gets his family to pack up their stuff and start their own little utopia on the foreboding Mosquito Coast. As the title subtly suggests, their new home turns out to be less hospitable than imagined, and reality soon strikes back with a vicious sting.

Legendary director Peter Weir (The Cars That Ate Paris & Picnic at Hanging Rock) conjures up a magical tale, that is part adventure, part social commentary. And even though this is not the role which Harrison Ford will be remembered by, it is still probably the finest acting he has ever done.

The film is sure to entertain both young and old, and challenge the viewer to rethink the value of both nature and modern society.