Friday, September 17, 2021

Face/Off (1997)

If you were confused by my Evangelion critique, this film may offer low-brow thrills closer to your tastes. John Woo is the kind of filmmaker who makes art for the ignorant masses yet somehow manages to get near-universal acclaim. Hong Kong’s Tarantino.

In this film, John Woo pays homage to himself. It’s one of those movies that filmmakers say is “like a movie”, whatever that means. All movies are movies, but this one is stylish and self-gratifying enough to suggest its director knows he’s awesome. Then add Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, and your over-the-top schlock is guaranteed.

[Read more…]

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Evangelion 3.0+1.0 (2021)

The Evangelion franchise elevates itself above shonen anime through its well-written characters, philosophy, theory of mind, and metafiction. (Specifically, the notion that all of physics and human interactions exist in an entangled state dependent on perception, and that human will dictates the nature of the universe and everything that happens. Some call it quackery, some call it the power of love. Why not conflate science with religion? It’s called a world view. Deal with it.)

Nope, it’s a totally rational hard sci-fi franchise! Its departures from “mainstream” science are just satire. Absolutely….

[Read more…]

Monday, August 16, 2021

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

This film really stands out. It’s not pure action, it’s not a character study, it’s not beholden to a specific genre. I can be entertained by a number of things, but to be this entertained takes something beyond typical well-received cinema.

I can enjoy this film despite it having no personal significance to me. My appreciation of it does not depend on external circumstances. This is a mainstream popcorn flick, and it’s also culturally significant and a work of art. Peak Tarantino content.

[Read more…]

Monday, July 26, 2021

Heavy Metal (1981)

The Heavy Metal/Métal hurlant franchise is awesome, if you are familiar with the material then you probably love it. That is a testament to the fantastic work of French comic artists and the animators who made this first American film. The anthology format of this and subsequent adaptations lends itself well to stories of raw passion and violence.

What is perhaps most interesting about Heavy Metal is that it crosses time and space to tell stories of human triumph over enemies, society, and life in general. It does not falter in its unflinching awareness of how the universe really is. It doesn’t lie as much as the Disney shit.

[Read more…]

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Hard to Kill (1990)

Steven Seagal is immortal and omnipresent. This actually goes along with Shintoism, which he picked up as an aikido instructor in Japan before he got into movies. However, when he talks himself up in English (or rather sings himself up, if you listen to his Songs From the Crystal Cave album) it’s almost insulting. He’s a chocolate fiend who can’t hold back, and all those candy bars caught up with him in recent years. I’m sure he’s sensitive about that. Sorry.

[Read more…]