Friday, October 18, 2019

Trash Humpers (2009)

Nobody really cares about boring films released decades ago. Certain films of the 20th century pride themselves in being different and detached from the nucleus of the Hollywood market, for all the self-congratulatory puff independent thought is worth.

In contrast, Trash Humpers is a relatively recent and poignant contribution to the postmodernist genre. Unlike Cassavetes, Korine held nothing back in delivering a spectacular mess of a film that knows what it is and speaks to its core audience. This one is good because it’s exactly what it says on the tin.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Love Streams (1984)

Love Streams is an autobiographical documentary about John Cassavetes drinking himself to death. Financed by the esteemed Cannon Films, Cassavetes was given free rein to do whatever the hell he wanted, and the result is one of the greatest independent films to ever come out of Los Angeles.

Works of postmodernism such as this were unusual in America before the ’90s, so the support of a studio accustomed to producing overcooked Hollywood schlock makes the flick doubly unusual.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

Amazon founder and space entrepreneur Jeff Bezos recently tweeted about the upcoming second season of Jack Ryan. Jeff is a pretty cool guy; I like what he does and it’s always interesting to hear him speak. Amazon has also nailed the CIA subgenre with Patriot, one of the best shows on streaming. But Jack Ryan? Give me a break.

The filmmakers behind Jack Ryan have strayed far from their roots; The Hunt for Red October is about solving mysteries and making peace rather than blowing shit up. Rather than Jim from The Office, it stars a (relatively) young Alec Baldwin. It’s a sharper and more masterful film than every subsequent work that has beared the Jack Ryan name.

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Monday, September 2, 2019

Zardoz (1974)

Fresh from directing Deliverance (1972), John Boorman wrote, directed, and produced a sci-fi classic that is without a doubt his most unconventional film.

The movie takes place so far in the future that the location could only be described as specifically as that it’s in a temperate zone. There seem to be parallel realities, and a giant flying head travels between dimensions and orders around Sean Connery until Connery hitches a ride across the dimensional divide and ends up in a high-tech hippie commune. If that sounds like your thing, you may have a few screws loose.

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

A Perfect Getaway (2009)

A certain auteur has made so many masterpieces, none of them particularly obscure, that it’s hard to pick just one to cover. The choice was made for me when Adam Nayman posted a 10-year anniversary retrospective of David Twohy’s A Perfect Getaway. They don’t make ‘em like they used to, and this twister of an action thriller certainly helps one to appreciate the good old days.

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

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