Not rated by the MPAA – contains violence, dead children, warnings against Sin and Communism
There are certain films that are so inexplicable that their mere existence is cause for appreciation and enjoyment. Films like Troll 2 [review here] are feature length examples of this phenomenon, and are utterly enjoyable in their ineptitude. Much of the running time is spent wondering how on earth such plot, acting, special effects and writing could ever be combined on the same piece of celluloid.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a wonderful and mysterious amalgam as the one presented in If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? The film is intended to be a stern warning for all Christians in America, and non-Christians, of the natural consequences if they continue their sinful ways: Communism will overrun the country and murder your children. The director is Ron Ormond, whose film The Monster and the Stripper is another perfect example of the inexplicable film. Unfortunately, as a fiction feature length film that combines hunting a giant monster with dreadfully boring scenes of strippers and dancers semi-stripping and semi-dancing, The Monster and the Stripper was less than amazing.
Rated PG-13 by the MPAA – contains some language, and violence
In twenty, thirty, maybe fifty years only the filmographies of a few contemporary directors will be regarded as classics. I would venture to say that Christopher Nolan’s output between 2000 and 2010 will be counted among those. Rarely has a filmmaker been so consistent throughout six of his first seven films; rarely has one been able to examine similar themes through so many different lenses. Starting with Memento [review here], dipping to the relative low point of Insomnia, itself a remake, and then continuing with the two best Batman movies and a stellar drama about magicians, The Prestige [review here] (and this doesn’t even count the capable Following, made in the late 1990’s). Inception is the culmination of those themes, told in a story Christopher and his brother Jonathan have been brooding over for many years.
Rated PG-13 by the MPAA – contains violence and some mild innuendo
The first Iron Man film was a pleasant surprise: it was sharply written, had a credible human element, and a popping performance from Robert Downy Jr. The sequel is now here, picking up exactly where the first film left off (with Tony Stark declaring that he is Iron Man). There is a new villain, even a couple of different villains, and some new supporting characters to go along with some cast replacements. Chief among these is Terrence Howard being replaced by Don Cheadle in the role of Colonel Rhodes.
Without having seen Iron Man recently, the switch is seamless. It takes some time for Rhodes and Stark to respark their chemistry, but when they succeed the payoff is quite enjoyable. Iron Man 2 introduces Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), a distressed Russian with a personal grudge against the self-made and self-proclaimed Tony Stark. His father used to work with Tony’s father, and some perceived injustices, in Ivan’s view, need to be corrected.
Rated R by the MPAA – contains violence, some nudity, and some disturbing babies
Note: Inseminoid contains some grotesque content and cautious readers should be advised against continuing with this review
Inseminoid is blessed with an amusing title and an even more hilarious poster. The swirling backdrop, the framing reminiscent of the poster for The Thing, the appearance of lasers (though they are merely flashlights attached to the helmets) shooting toward a bizarre, newly birthed alien baby, all while a mostly-naked woman screams in agony. It is strange and disturbing in equal measure, all the more so because someone thought it was appropriate imagery for a movie poster.
But this was 1981, just a couple years after Alien had spooked the movie-going world into believing that contact with outer-space rocks could impregnate a person. Inseminoid is clearly a British attempt to capitalize on the science fiction/horror genre. While a poster this extraordinary would generally portend a disappointingly bad film, Inseminoid is actually rather amusing and entertaining. It is not a good film, but certainly not deserving of the 2.8 user rating it has over at IMDb.
Not rated by the MPAA – contains profanity, violence, gore, ridiculously gratuitous nudity
Unfortunately, the title is one of the highlights of I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer. It is pretentious, trying to be self-aware of the movie’s status as a horror film, while adding a Commonwealth spin. Plus, the title is really long, and movies with long titles (like The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?), even though they generally suck, are sometimes worth watching because you can then say that you’ve seen a movie with a title that long.
I’m not sure I would recommend this one as a movie to watch just so you could say that. Horror fans will find some elements to enjoy, but the general poorness of the filmmaking process, from the script to the acting, from the lighting to the score, serve to make it a terrible film. Horror fans might appreciate the violence and gore served with an Aussie twist, but discerning or selective horror fans and everybody else will find it to be a painful viewing experience.
Not rated by the MPAA – contains silly violence, some mild language, Weng Weng, and some nudity
In this foray into the crazy world of Agent 00 (played by 2’9″ Filipino actor Weng Weng), director Eddie Nicart appears to have learned some lessons from making For Y’ur Height Only [review here]. It is unfortunate he would go on to forget all these lessons in the Weng Weng western D’Wild Wild Weng [review here].
Rated PG-13 by the MPAA – contains some language and sexual dialogue
I love Ricky Gervais. Ever since he and Stephen Merchant created “The Office” (there’s only one version, I don’t know what you’re talking about) I’ve been a fan of his self-deprecating humor. “Extras” showed that it is possible to have celebrities skewer themselves and be funny, while also scathingly attacking the Hollywood system. For the same reason I laugh particularly hard whenever Gervais presents an award at one of the big awards shows.
When Ghost Town was announced I was afraid that Gervais’ cynicism would be neutered, but I found the film to be engaging and generally enjoyable. So, when the opportunity arose to see The Invention of Lying I didn’t turn it down. Perhaps I should have.
Not rated by the MPAA – contains graphic violence and scissors
I was asked recently why I would like a movie like Inside, a film that is bleak and depressing and brutally violent. The question made me pause for a minute, because it is a hard movie to like.
Sarah (Alysson Paradis) is several months pregnant when she is involved in a terrible car accident. She is left bloody, but, while she and the baby survive, her husband does not. Fast forward a couple months and it is Christmas Eve. She visits the doctor and we learn that she is due to have labor induced the following morning. She’s dropped off at home to wait out the night.
There are a couple problems. The first is the nightmares she has while drifting to sleep. These, though, aren’t real. What is real is the woman knocking at her door late at night. She knows more about Sarah than a stranger ought to and is rather tenacious.
Rated R by the MPAA – contains violence, some of it rather graphic, swearing (like usual for Tarantino), and a slight bit of sex
I should probably begin by explaining a little about my (one-sided) relationship with Quentin Tarantino. I have always loved Pulp Fiction. Jackie Brown and Reservoir Dogs I enjoyed but haven’t seen for a while. I also had fun with From Dusk Till Dawn. Then came Kill Bill Vol. 1. I loved it at the time, but as Vol. 2 came and went I wasn’t as excited. In the meantime I had discovered the rich plethora of films he had ripped off to make them. I knew Pulp Fiction wasn’t original, but rather an original mash-up of snippets of movie-dom. But it was fun. In the years after Kill Bill he seemed (from my unknowledgeable perspective) to spend most of his time directing TV episodes and attaching his name to a bunch of movies from China and Japan. Then came the Death Proof part of Grindhouse, which is hardly worth mentioning when watched right after Planet Terror.
Then, when Inglourious Basterds was rumored a few years back, I watched the Italian film of the similar name. It was enjoyable as an Italian war movie, but didn’t have much going for it. I was, however, disappointed to see he was remaking another old film; not even just ripping off a variety of films, but remaking one.
Rated PG by the MPAA – contains violence and some blood and a scary baby
I feel like this movie should have an exclamation point after the title, like Them! It’s Alive! That sounds so much better. In any case, the movie should be better than it is. Or maybe not. The basic plot just screams suckiness. And, for some reason, it was recently remade. The original stars almost no one, is directed by Larry Cohen, a guy who did a few horror movies and a Masters of Horror episode, and the effects are by Rick Baker, who is pretty cool.
In any case, the movie is about a young family who is pregnant with a second child. They go to give birth, but one of the orderlies runs out of the room all bloody. By the time they make it to the delivery room, everyone except the mother is slaughtered bloodily. Pretty fantastic, actually. But the rest of the movie follows the baby serial killer as it tracks down the family and kills folks along the way. Pretty ridiculous. The baby doesn’t look that bad, but its attacks mostly consist of quick cut of baby being thrown at someone, cut away to body lying with blood around the neck.