Anyone who knows me knows that I watch a lot of movies... and my favorites tend to be surreal and weird cult films that no one I know has ever heard of, so I tend to just keep them to myself. But I've decided to post mini movie reviews of movies I've watched recently... One of the things I want to do is get through my ~90 item folder of movies that I need to watch that have been sitting there for a looong while. So maybe even more for myself to keep track of all the movies I've been watching, I'm going to start putting up mini movie reviews on this blog. :) My goal is to watch ~ 5 movies a week, one every day if possible, so at most 7 movies a week. I'll be posting these little reviews along with my weekly art updates. Anyway, here are some movies that I recall watching fairly recently, in the last two weeks or so. :D
Strange Circus (2005) - 4.5 / 5
Pretty awesome movie. Strange Circus teeters between moments of shock and insanity. The film's subject matter and themes in themselves make for a dark, lurid atmosphere, but Sion Sono knows when to push it and when to step back. Though the unraveling of the story at the conclusion was a bit too literal, frenzied and over-the-top for my taste, Strange Circus holds it together with a great acting cast that makes even the most exploitative points of the movie compelling and believable. There is a carnival metaphor that stretches throughout the movie that I thought was unnecessary, but other than that this movie had me glued to the screen; I was never was bored. Definitely recommend.
Time Bandits (1981) - 4.5 / 5
Like 'The Goonies', which I reviewed below, Time Bandits is a vaguely campy kid's adventure film. Probably the most accessible of Terry Gilliam's work, Time Bandits is a charming movie and very, very funny in its own right. I've always been a fan of Terry Gilliam's brand of humor, and Time Bandits is no exception. It is a flight of fantasy that caters to both adults and children alike.
Cold Fish (2010) - 4 / 5
After watching Strange Circus and loving it, I decided to tackle another one of Sion Sono's films. Just like Strange Circus, Cold Fish was a movie that never got boring. This film was a little more straightforward, dealing with a meek fish shop owner who gets mixed up with a serial killer and his wife. This film is not up to the level of Strange Circus in my opinion, but still provides some extreme and shocking physical as well as psychological moments. The conclusion to the film is also just as suspenseful and exciting.
Altered States (1980) - 4 / 5
Altered States boasts a very fascinating premise that it uses fairly successfully to its advantage. The surreal moments in this movie were the star moments in the film, and that's when I felt that Altered States really hit its stride. In some other areas, though, it was less successful. The main character's twenty minute rampage through the city was one of those moments where I felt like it was a bit oversimplified. That moment in Altered States is vaguely reminiscent of David Cronenberg's The Fly, but it its other areas is unique enough in its own right and for that matter, enjoyable enough, to stand alone as an iconic movie - I finally understand the South Park reference.
The Goonies (1985) 4 / 5
The Goonies is a classic campy, corny, cliche 80's adventure comedy movie (yee alliteration). Everything from the cast of characters, each with different "traits" - Chunk being the fat kid, Mikey as the cute main character/leader who rallies the others, Data as the kid with all the gadgets - and the silly "booby traps" they encounter on their journey, from falling boulders to spiky pits and sticks of dynamite, screams cliche. But inexplicably, this movie is charming and enjoyable. Though the movie gets a bit loud in some places, with all of the characters constantly arguing and speaking incoherently, there is a sort of base sense of glee that comes about when the Chunk and Sloth save the day, or when Data narrowly avoids death thanks to his inventions, not to mention the very satisfying end of the film. The Goonies is one of those rare films that truly harkens back to childhood, and it does it with unabashed energy and glee.
Szamanka (1996) 2.5 / 5
There are a few things I can say about this movie. They are: Sex, talking shaman corpse, and she eats his brain. But mostly sex. And a crazy woman. But there is just.. a lot of sex in the film. There is so much and it all just follows the same routine that eventually it gets grueling and boring. To be fair, I downloaded a subtitle track to this movie that was pretty inferior, so only half of the movie's dialogue made sense to me, which is why I'm giving it an extra half star here. I can tell that the director was trying to get at something with this movie; it really feels like he is trying. However, this movie was just not enjoyable for me, and did not sit well after I finished watching. I must say though that the soundtrack to this film is pretty amazing, though the director's use of the sound in the film gets grating and annoying - the music will start getting really loud and then just complete disappear. After about an hour of this though, it gets tiring to watch. At two hours, it is lengthy and frustratingly repetitive.
Ohh, also, an obligatory still life tomato. Here you go.