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Showing posts from September 25, 2016

Review: The Lodger (2009)

Set in modern day Hollywood, with volatile, Ripper-obsessed detective Alfred Molina and his new partner Shane West (whom Molina treats like less than shit) investigating a series of murders of hookers, seemingly modelled on the Ripper murders of 1800s London, England. Molina is especially focussed on the case because it has implications on a previous case that saw Molina arrest a potentially innocent man (who was eventually convicted and executed). He’s also a workaholic with an estranged and bitter daughter (Rachel Leigh Cook, looking a lot older, hippier and blonde), and mentally unbalanced wife whom he has been asked not to visit in hospital. Meanwhile, a seemingly loving but unhappy couple (Donal Logue and Hope Davis) have just taken in a new lodger, the extremely handsome, but guarded and intensely private Simon Baker. Bored housewife Davis becomes intrigued and aroused by her handsome, but aloof boarder, whilst the audience is meant to be wondering just where the guy goes late a…

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Thomas Mann plays the first of the title trio, Greg. He’s a high school senior whose mission is to be just cordial enough with all social groups so as to safely navigate his way through school without incident. Earl (R.J. Cyler) is Greg’s best friend (though Greg calls him a ‘co-worker’ so as to be detached from firm social bonds), whom he has been making low-budget spoof films (of mostly arthouse fare) with since they were kids, with such amusing titles as “Senior Citizen Kane” and “The 49th Parallelogram”. Greg’s pushy, but loving mother (Connie Britton) urges- guilt trips, that is- him one day to call Rachel (Olivia Cooke), after learning that she has stage four leukaemia. Greg and Rachel barely know one another (they haven’t spoken in years), but his mother being pushy, he has little choice but to call Rachel. He then goes to visit her, and it’s even more awkward. However, as they start to spend more time together, something happens: They start to bond, albeit not romantically. Jo…

Review: X Files: I Want to Believe

‘Believer’ Mulder (David Duchovny) and sceptic Scully (Gillian Anderson), formerly professional partners and now romantic partners are no longer with the FBI. In fact, Scully has become a surgeon in a Catholic hospital where she is attempting to save the life of a young boy with a fatal disease, but her pleas of trying stem cell treatment are ignored by the hospital’s bible-thumping administrators. How is any of this relevant to the film’s main plot? Barely at all, but shhhh! Don’t tell the filmmaker that! Anyway, Scully and her disgraced former FBI agent lover Mulder are brought back into the fold to assist FBI agents Amanda Peet and Xzibit, after another FBI agent has mysteriously disappeared. Also assisting the FBI is Father Joe (Billy Connolly), a paedophile former priest, supposedly repentant, who claims to have psychic visions about the agent’s disappearance. Scully is repulsed and unconvinced by Father Joe in any way at all, wanting nothing to with the case. After all, she only…

Review: The Siege of Pinchgut

Mostly set in and around Fort Denison (AKA Pinchgut) on Sydney harbour, the film concerns a group of prison escapees led by American-accented Matt (Aldo Ray) and including his nice guy brother Johnny (Neil McCallum). When their escape boat conks out, the gang is forced to hole up in the home of a local family on Pinchgut (which is otherwise kind of a tourist spot). Matt is eager to prove his innocence to the authorities who soon turn up, led by copper Alan Tilvern (A Brit who actually fooled me into thinking he’s one of my own. Terrific accent).

Also known as “Four Desperate Men”, this Sydney-set 1959 British crime flick from director Harry Watt (“Eureka Stockade”, “The Overlanders”) and Aussie screenwriter Jon Cleary (who wrote the novel that became the film “The Sundowners”) is solid B-grade stuff. It’s a bit long, but you get some nice Sydneyside scenery, and although there’s far more British actors in the film than Australians (plus American Aldo Ray and Canadian-born Neil McCallu…

Review: Soul Vengeance/Welcome Home, Brother Charles

Get ready folks, it’s gonna be one of those reviews. That is, it’s gonna get really, really weird.

A blaxploitation film concerning recently released con Marlo Monte who wants to stay legit, but becomes frustrated by his inability to get a job. Meanwhile, his ex (Jackie Ziegler) has hooked up with his former crony (Jake Carter) and is dancing topless, and his little bro is pretty much a pimp-in-waiting, further pushing him over the edge. He does, however, have the lovely Reatha Grey in his life, a former hooker. He also learned a special trick in prison, and no it doesn’t involve dropping the soap. You see, Monte realised that his one-eyed trouser snake can reach super-human lengths and has hypnotic powers over women. Dude don’t need no Viagra, lemme tell ‘ya! So he comes up with a dastardly plan to hypnotise the wives of the corrupt officials who sent him to prison (including a sexually frustrated cop who tried unsuccessfully to castrate him!) to get inside their houses so he can exa…

Review: Hard Rock Zombies

Promising young hair band led by preening E.J. Curse head for the Conservative town of Grand Guignol to perform a gig, just around the same time that said town is planning on outlawing rock music. The band had previously been warned not to travel to the town by a hot chick, but they ignore the advice (hey, she’s just a chick, man!) because they’ve heard a record exec is going to be at the show. On the road, the band runs into another hot chick who lives in Grand Guignol and offers the band a place to stay at her family’s big ‘ol house. Turns out that her family are a bunch of whackos, murderers, Nazis (including a Hitler substitute), ‘little people’, and even a werewolf who may or may not be a still-living Eva Braun (!). People are murdered, resurrected as zombies, yadda yadda. You get the picture.

This 1985 zombie comedy from Krishna Shah (an Indian-American writer, director, and producer mostly on the stage) appears to have been schlock producer Cannon’s attempt at a Troma flick. Th…

Review: A Dirty Shame

Sexually repressed Tracey Ullman takes a bump to the head one day, and after what can be only described as ‘sexual healing’ by a sleazy-looking guy named Ray-Ray (Johnny Knoxville), she becomes a seriously aggressive sex addict. Soon, the entire town seems to have gotten outrageously horny. Her mother, named Big Ethel (the astonishing Suzanne Shepherd, who is like Bea Arthur mixed with Bill O’Reilly) is sickened by all of the smut and tries to put a stop to it, along with Ullman’s meek (but secretly horny) husband Chris Isaak (very funny). Selma Blair is a hoot as Ullman’s daughter, a woman with massive mammaries whom her parents have been keeping locked up from the randy locals who used to enjoy her ‘act’ under the name Ursula Udders (if you thought Russ Meyer’s girls had some gigantic norks…) The infamous Patricia Hearst (Stockholm Syndrome, anyone?) is once again given a role by Waters, seen here as a sex addict. Meanwhile, Ray-Ray explains to Ullman that it is now her job to find …

Review: Bobby

A day in the life of several staff and inhabitants of the Ambassador Hotel in LA. But this is no ordinary day. It is the day that Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Among the characters we meet (whose stories sometimes intertwine) are; former doorman Sir Anthony Hopkins who still hangs around so he can play chess with old friend Harry Belafonte. Shrill, drunk lounge singer Demi Moore and her long-suffering husband Emilio Estevez. Hotel manager William H. married to manicurist Sharon Stone (one of her better performances, though not saying much), but schtupping switchboard operator Heather Graham. Hispanic dishwasher Freddy Rodriguez has tickets to an important Dodgers game but can’t go because his racist boss Christian Slater has him working a double shift, so he gives the tickets to wise and friendly chef Laurence Fishburne. Shia LaBeouf is a Kennedy campaign worker who buys LSD from Ashton Kutcher (!). A far too contemporary Lindsay Lohan plays a young woman who agrees to marry long-t…