Of the many traits that a film (or TV show, for that matter) can possess that really strikes a chord with me, it’s mystery. I don’t mean in a textbook Murder She Wrote kind of way, I mean mystery in the way that, even after the conclusion of the film, you still don’t quite know exactly what happened. David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows is a perfect example of that, and even with a few shortcomings, it’s a huge part of why I love this film. You have the main event, if you will, which is the mystery of whatever IT is, but there’s so many layers to that, that I think a lot of it is easy to miss.
Continue reading “Lost Weekend III: It Follows”
I love films that inspire discussion, debate, contemplation…films that give you something to chew on. Anyone that has seen A Field in England knows full well that if there’s only one thing that this film clearly provides, it’s a chance for discussion about what the hell it was that you just saw. Outside of that, there’s really not a whole lot to easily grasp, but before I delve into some of that, let’s begin as close as possible to the beginning of the story as we can, shall we?
Continue reading “Lost Weekend I: A Field in England”
Last summer, I had the chance to do a little Q&A session with James Shapiro from Drafthouse Films, during which we discussed some previous releases, a release which we were on the verge of watching (The Tribe), and some recent releases (The Keeping Room and World of Kanako). There was one other upcoming film that wasn’t brought up called The Invitation, but at the time that was 9 months off, well after the other two were to be released. Fast forward a couple of months, and we get word that James will be visiting our little hamlet and bringing with him a “secret” film. All we knew was that it was an upcoming Drafthouse Films release, and we were going to see it before anyone. Knowing what the rough release schedule was, I assumed that it was probably World of Kanako, which was something like 2 months away from release. Turns out that in the briefcase he brought with him (like, a no shit, honest to goodness briefcase containing a secret), was The Invitation. Six months before it was to be released. As much as I wanted to see World of Kanako, I wanted to see The Invitation quite a bit more. Imagine me at this point as Buddy the Elf, when they announce that Santa will be visiting.
Continue reading “Seriously, Roxanne, Don’t Put On The Red Light: A Return to THE INVITATION”
As long as I can remember, I’ve always had a fascination with witchcraft. I can’t pinpoint any one thing that caught my interest (maybe it was all of the time that I spent in New England growing up), but something about the art of witchcraft has always grabbed me. From the moment I first heard about and began seeing teasers for The Witch, I knew that this was going to be a special film. It’s witchy and a period piece? I’m in.
Continue reading “Black Phillip’s Guide to Living Deliciously – A Review of The Witch”
Throughout the history of film, there have been countless movies that have never seen the light of day for one reason or another. Some are too controversial, some are scrapped either before or during production, and then others… well, they just suck. In 1985, Michael J. Murphy wrote and directed a film called Bloodstream (not to be confused with the 2000 film Bloodstream, also unreleased), which falls directly into that last category. I love low-budget, cheesy, “bad” movies, I really do, but this is taking it to a level of bad that escapes the quotations. The storyline, the characters, the acting, it’s all rubbish. Obviously I’m not expecting anything life changing when I watch something like this, in any way, but I hope to at least enjoy it on some level.
Continue reading “Damning The Film, Not The Filmmaker: A BLOODSTREAM Review”
It’s kind of tough to try and review a film that you’ve seen more times than you can remember and attempt to stay even slightly objective, so let me just say right off the bat that this will be juuuuust a tad biased. In fact, the year that The Crow came out, I decided that, even though I was 15 years old, I was going trick or treating as Eric Draven. Sure, there were a lot of “Aren’t you a little old for this?” comments, and even one guy who thought I was Alice Cooper, but damn it, I loved the movie too much to not don a pair of pleather pants,a tight black shirt, and a black wig. Now, even though I’m a fan, I won’t sit here and argue that the movie is absolutely perfect. There are a few performances that I’m not super fond of, most notably Bai Ling as Myca. Luckily she’s not in the film very much, but even to this day, her performance makes me cringe a little.
Continue reading “Abashed The Devil Stood: A Review of THE CROW”
At first glance, and based solely on the brief description widely given to this film (“A skateboarder named Orpheus and friends go to Hell to stop television signals that are brainwashing America”), you’d think that this was a low-budget, skateboard version of They Live. You’re kinda right (after all, this movie did come out just two years later), but that’s too limiting of a description for this mythologically based skate punk rock opera. Yeah, you read that last sentence correctly.
Continue reading “Love, Death, and Skateboards – A review of SHREDDER ORPHEUS”
Last month, From the Projection Room revealed a new feature, in which Russ delves into his Criterion collection and brings us some reviews of truly fantastic films from around the world. While I love Mulholland Drive, Hunger, and Rashomon as much as the next cinephile, there are those amongst us, like myself, who grew up more on 976-Evil, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, and Fraternity Vacation. So with that in mind, allow me to present another new feature, the yin to Criterion’s yang if you will, for everyone who spent a good chunk of Friday and Saturday night watching USA Up All Night.
What I love most about b (or c… or z) movies is not only that they’re just flat-out ridiculous fun, but they can serve as a great example of just grabbing a camera, some friends, and shooting a damn movie. No huge budget, not-so-special effects, no acting classes… just write a story (or not, who cares) and make it happen! Is it going to be good? I mean, no, but who’s counting? Case in point, the first movie that I’m going to tackle – The Revenge of the Teenage Vixens from Outer Space. By all appearances, this movie looks to have had a budget of about $15, maybe $20 if they splurged for lunch from Wendy’s one day. The vast majority of the cast have no other acting credits to their names, and I’m sure most of them would prefer to not have this one tied to them.
Continue reading “Are You a Squash, or Are You Just Happy to See Me? The Revenge of Teenage Vixens From Outer Space”
Let’s get one thing out of the way, right off the bat. This movie is a mess. A total and absolute mess. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but I’d venture to guess that nearly everyone that enjoys it does not enjoy it in the way that the film makers intended. I mean, I don’t think it was supposed to be a comedy, let alone a comedy in which the few one-liners delivered didn’t solicit any laughter at all. There is literally no way that my review could impart upon your brain the level of confusion that you feel from actually watching, but I’ll do my best. So take a seat by the fire, children, and let me tell you a story of scene theft, rock karate, awkward smiles, and a wizard named Nimrod (I swear I’m not making that name up).
Continue reading “Stop Smiling, Crazy Lady: A Turkish STAR WARS Review”
As a music fan in today’s world, where even the most minute detail of a celebrity’s life is drawn out for the world to see, it’s easy to forget that there was a time when it wasn’t like that. Sure, you’d probably hear something on the radio if someone was arrested or something, but nothing near what it is now (we get it, Lindsay Lohan is making poor life choices). With that said, I went into Janis: Little Girl Blue as a fan of her music, but realizing that I didn’t know all that much about her beyond the primary – Texas girl lands in San Francisco, makes some kickass music, then sadly joined the 27 Club. Fortunately, director Amy Berg (West of Memphis, Deliver Us from Evil) did a magnificent job of elaborating on the story of Janis’ life, and connecting the dots for those of us who didn’t know the full story.
Continue reading “Emotional Honesty and Not Being Emotionally Honest: A Review of JANIS: LITTLE GIRL BLUE”