Saturday, May 29, 2021

Trancers 4: Jack of Swords (1994)

The first three Trancers show a fall from greatness as legendary hero Jack Deth moves into retirement. Trancers 4 and 5 were shot back-to-back and pick up where the trilogy left off. I divide the series like so because of the radical shift the latter films represent, not just in Trancers but in moving pictures on the whole.

The whole outsourcing situation with lower budgets and broken dreams is par for the course with Chuck Band’s later work. This was the start of that. With Trancers 4, the audience got an interesting medieval experience. Whether or not it was good for business, I don’t know.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Adderall Diaries (2015)

I can hardly fault Hans Reiser for what is a common, almost mundane crime. I can fault the filmmakers for missing the opportunity for a crazy Christian Slater performance. Slater is at least 15 years ahead of Nicolas Cage in terms of career decay, despite them being the same age. When Slater gives a fuck his performance can reach the edge of Cage, but that did not happen here. The worst thing a movie can be is boring, and due to bad casting and bad writing, this movie stinks like a corpse.

It could have been due to fear of lawsuits or plain old apathy. It’s less like a rogue journalist reporting on the OJ trial and more like James Franco writing for a college newspaper.

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Friday, May 7, 2021

Jobs (2013)

Steve Jobs wanted no part of the Internet, if one of his biopics is to be believed. I don’t know which one, because they’re both the same and my brain melts them into a ball of catchphrases. Computing is personal! Everything is a priority! Computers aren’t fucking paintings! No, they fucking are paintings! I don’t know what these people are talking about half of the time, but it probably sounded fresh to screenwriter Matt Whitely. If you find Steve Jobs interesting, both movies are decent. This is the one that tried to be the fun Kutcher one.

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Monday, May 3, 2021

Groundhog Day (1993)

In moving pictures, dark fantasy usually sucks. (With the exception of Hellraiser and The Witcher.) “Evil is good” is a tough sell for American Christian audiences, who have historically made up the bulk of Hollywood’s market. Anime can get away with a lot more, but in terms of American movies, there is not much to pick from.

Let’s consider for a moment that Groundhog Day is dark fantasy in disguise. It’s a “what if?” movie, and such movies are usually explainable if you assume the protagonist has demonic powers. Bill Murray is the spirit of Satan, doing ritual suicides and resurrecting repeatedly. He lusts after his naive muse, bending time to subjugate her to his will. The man is unstoppable, and at the climax he takes the titular pagan sacrificial animal with him to the grave, only to resurrect and claim vengeance again.

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