Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Bourne Identity (2002)

Most everyone has seen The Bourne Identity. It’s pretty much required viewing. Still, the action-heavy studio-mandated reshoots are worth a quick mention.

“Additional photography” is a euphemism for some slob at the studio deciding a movie isn’t dumb enough. This could have been a near-perfect film, but there is so much indulgence in unrealistic situations that the movie must be appreciated piecemeal. Hopefully, the audience watches the good parts and forgets about the parts that drag.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Revenge (2017)

Revenge is a “revenge” film. It can be compared to the seminal I Spit on Your Grave (1978), but a more accurate comparison would be to Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003). With its stylish cinematography and unrelenting exploitation atmosphere, Revenge delivers the promised goods topped with a generous helping of blood.

The film builds its tension slowly and only becomes shoot-em-up schlock in the final sequence. This is perfect pacing for sci-fi fans, and it’s no surprise considering Fargeat previously made a sci-fi short called Reality+ (2014).

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Love & Pop (1998)

Love & Pop is a film about how a few aimless schoolgirls respond to escort clients. Contrary to certain beliefs, it’s not really about anything else.

Anno Hideaki’s first live-action feature, the film echoes the director’s prior experience with animated productions. The style is so striking that it almost prompts criticism for its frenetic editing and postmodernist shot-on-MiniDV camerawork. However, over the course of the film, the frenzy subsides into calm. It has the same emotional arc as most other Anno productions, something that feels authentic.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

It has been said that films are not timeless but timely. Bone Tomahawk knows exactly what it is and when it is, making it as timely as a Quentin Tarantino film.

S. Craig Zahler’s feature directorial debut is a dark film that dances around the edge of the “weird west” genre without going all the way in. It doesn’t have heavy doses of other genres. It does have Kurt Russell, tomahawks, and bones. It’s pretty good.

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Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Last Days on Mars (2013)

The Last Days on Mars is a mid-size action sci-fi film in the typical niche of such fare, a niche which this critic is no stranger to. We used to call them “summer movies”. Now they’re called historical artifacts.

Zombies are once again on Mars. Terraforming hasn’t happened yet, and the space suits actually look like they work. Space zombies presented as hard science may be a hard sell for some people, but if you want to see the details of the space zombie fungus, the Mars habitats, and all the other cool space visuals, this movie was made for you.

2013 was a strange year for film.

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