Friday, January 30, 2009


France/West Germany 1981

In this controversial epic of obsessive love and sexual psychosis, Isabelle Adjani (Nosferatu, The Tampyre, The Story of Adele H.) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) star as married couple torn by emotional instability and carnal infidelity.

In this off the wall psychological horror, theatrics are full swing. Intensely executed dialog keeps this slow burner boiling until the film overflows with completely twisted interpretive perverseness.
Isabelle Adjani is absolutely incredible as a woman gone completely insane. Sam Neill is genuinely creepy and concerned. As well, over the top.
Once the script establishes that the wife has left the husband and child for promiscuous ambitions,
Sam Neil's character, very determined, sets out to uncover his rampant wife's secrecy. As the unimaginable truth becomes apparent, he then begins
to spiral into madness to appease his wife's neurotic sexual instability and carnal interbreeding indecency with a shocking revelation that entails. Full of dancing cinematography, twisted scenes of perverse innuendos, an amazing and original storyline, superb special effects, brutal kill scenes, perplexed dialog and an effectively exhausting amount of epileptic fits,
POSSESSION places itself on my top 10 list of all time. It has aged so well.

Friday, January 23, 2009

White Dog

USA 1982

After hitting a German shepherd with her car, young actress Julie (Kristy McNichol) adopts it and nurses it back to health. When she discovers that her pet has been trained to viciously attack black people, she convinces dog trainer Keys (Paul Winfield) to try to cure the animal. Samuel Fuller directs this controversial, chilling drama based on Romain Gary's 1970 memoir, Chien Blanc. Burl Ives co-stars.

Ha, PG rating. Hilariously erroneous according to the MPAA's standards not only now mostly, but even then. This film is great. The director really knows how to shoot. Samuel Fuller's ability to envision such transitions places a smooth current of tension right down your back. Simply controversially nerve racking, especially if you have ever been attacked by a dog. The film is based off of true events, but of course as an elaboration. There is a blatant and very strong racial social commentary of imprinting prejudice beliefs on attack dogs. The lead actor, is the woman who hits the dog and takes it in as her pet unbeknown to her that the dog is a "White Dog". Which is a coined colloquial term for a dog trained to attack African-Americans. Once the dog attacks one of her co workers whom is a black woman she is forced to consider her options of either killing the dog or reconditioning the dog. She then finds a man who trains exotic animals and who has a past with trying to recondition "white dogs". Yeah, he's black and hella awesome. Failing to recondition his past attempts at previous "white dogs", he then takes the matter of resetting the conditioning of hatred in the abused domesticated animal, very personally and passionately. The controversial premise is really showing how ignorant and vain the ego of humankind can be. How our species cruelly molds an animal to their prejudices. And how you can't take the bite out of an afflicted killer. And the price others pay, merely being innocent bystanders caught in the unflinchingly ferocious grips of an emotionless monster bent on destroying them.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fist of Legend

Hong Kong 1994

Before the outbreak of World War II, Japanese troops occupying Shanghai threaten the city's most revered martial arts teacher. When the master is killed, star pupil Chen Zhen (Jet Li) returns to avenge his teacher's death and set things right. With blistering action and old-fashioned fight scenes (with minimal use of wires), this remake of Bruce Lee's classic Fist of Fury from director Gordon Chan highlights Li's timing and acrobatic ability.

Fist of Legend is one of the best Kung Fu/Martial Arts films ever made. The fight scenes are kinetically shot creating emphasis on intensely fast fight choreography. Jet Li in his prime, just gets right up in his opponent's faces with a blank expression. Li is really the ultimate bad arse in this. Nearly unstoppable with a refined coolness, Chen(Li) is in love with a Japanese girl Mitsuko. With the film's setting being 1937 there was Japanese and Chinese conflict. A social commentary on the racism, corruption in Military and Government as well as deep family ties and tradition, set an undertone of very human, unbiased resonance of life during those times. INCREDIBLE fight scenes! I can not stress this enough.

House of Fools

Russia 2002

A true story about the patients of a Russian psychiatric asylum (in Caucasus, on the Chechnyan border) who become involved with the Chechen War after their doctors, nurses and attendants abandon them. Amidst the turmoil, a young woman, Janna, falls in love with a Chechen soldier. Canadian pop singer Bryan Adams (playing himself) appears to Janna as a hallucination singing his hit, "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"

A rich, distraught, quirky, emotional ride embedded with grit, blood and the insane or physically challenged. The cast of House of Fools are of both great actors and real life people with mental and/or physical illnesses. The institution's faculty are scarce but prevalent subsidies of the main cast of mental patients. At the beginning and quite often throughout the film, Bryan Adams pops in looking like a Willem Dafoe/Jeremy Irons hybrid, into the imagination and dreams of the lead actress. During which the feel of the film turns from the rugged cold stain, to a light and warm lather. The film really just goes on and on in a great way. It's a war film. But as you watch it, you wouldn't even know it. The lead actress is intentionally easy on the eyes but absolutely insane. She seems to maintain a distinction of sanity over the other patients, being creative, interactive and kind to all of them. However, as the film unravels more into the war going on around them, she becomes more displaced and unstable than perhaps all of the fools. This film can be really funny at times as well as really despairing.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Why are there no new reviews?

Well, I am purposely a late bloomer on watching television shows.
I do not watch anything current, because being strung a long is for
people with no lives and need a weekly activity to keep them sane.
So I watch shows after they end. So I can just pound them out
from one episode to the next.

Which is the case for the last month with SIX FEET UNDER.
it's running my life and I'm only watching a movie like, once a week...
I average about 5-6 normally. So, that's my reason. Reviews will be
back in full swing once I finish the last 2 seasons of Six Feet Under.
Fuck, that show is amazing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Unborn

Thailand 2003

After waking up in a hospital to discover she's been brutally beaten and is pregnant, Por is understandably confused, unable to make sense of her surroundings. For one thing, she can't stop hearing the strange voice of a disembodied child, which seems to have something to do with an animated doll. And for another, she's forced to interact with a mysterious woman she's never met before. Intira Jaroenpura stars in this hallucinatory horror flick.

This film could not hold my attention.
There are good qualities about the film in mere instances. Such as it's production quality and acting and some fairly original ideas. Ultimately though, as a whole, there is no real character substance or identity. The entire film is soaked in a wrongfully scored soundtrack. The story just completely becomes gooey and loses all it's foundation by trying to redeem the fact that long black haired ghost girl stories are a dime a dozen by adding some ritualistic occult ideology to the plot. For which is teeters into another underdeveloped portion of a movie just becoming a seemingly long, uninteresting drawn out, and unsatisfying pretentious mess.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Citizen Dog

2004 Thailand

Ignoring his grandmother's warning that he'll grow a tail if he moves to Bangkok, Pod leaves the safety of his village for a job in a big-city factory that produces canned sardines. He accidentally loses his finger, but he ultimately finds true love. Wisit Sasanatieng directs this surrealistic Thai romance with fanciful visuals and elaborate special effects that has drawn comparisons to the French film Amélie.

I can definitely see the comparisons to Jeunet 's Amelie. I have even heard that this was better. I couldn't disagree more. On many notes this film does pull out a thorough imaginative set of cards but I absolutely could not stand the lead actress in this. As hard as Wisit pushed to make her character intriguing and/or compelling it was an epic fail. I completely despised her autistic-esque naivety, which for me was one of the FEW flaws of the movie. Another issue I had with the film was the constant music video pacing and editing however the attention to detail through sequences with extensive lush colors made up for the forced quirky characters. You know in all Disney movies there is just this one character by Disney default that is super corny and funny but also irritating? If you know what I mean, well this film's cast was filled with them. Hit and miss at that. But it really is a great film and I was satisfied and I think a lot of people that have yet seen it, will love it.

The Edge of Heaven

2007 Turkey/Germany/Italy

When his father (Tuncel Kurtiz) accidentally kills a prostitute (Nursel Koese), Nejat (Baki Davrak) seeks out the woman's 27-year-old daughter, Ayten (Nurgul Yesilcay), to make amends. Nejat focuses his search in Turkey, but Ayten, part of a closely scrutinized activist group, has already fled to Germany. Lives intersect in unexpected ways in writer-director Fatih Akin's multilayered drama.

A perfectly knitted sociopolitical commentary on 3 families intersecting lives. In vein of Alejandro González Iñárritu's style of connecting people together in interesting ways through dramatic story telling, Akin definitely has cast searing talent who really bring realistic human interaction to a film.
How the camera dances and the direction of each scene is set up aesthetically pleasing to the eye, from The Black Sea and it's beaches to Istanbul and/or Hamburg's charming cultural backdrops. The film is told in three portions, the first two parts are the deaths of two characters explaining how the 3rd part begins and comes to be. Just over two hours, the movie's pace is reset as each story ends and the next chapter begins. That technique really keeps a movie interesting where it's strength is dialog acted right. Tragedy turns to enlightenment as each separate character comes together teaching one another some very subtle yet vital lesson about one another and their lives.