Thursday, November 25, 2010

Short Movie Reviews

Get Him to the Greek is pretty damn funny. There are a lot of cheesy, fake rock songs that are deceptively filthy like Josie and the Pussycats, and then some that are outright filthy. I am a Russell Brand fan, so I liked it from the start, but almost surprisingly Sean "Puffy" Combs is hilarious. I was laughing like crazy quite often. From the advertisements, you would think it would be Russell Brand going all Robin Williams for two hours, but that is not the case. I think we have a hard time selling Brand to US audiences, despite having been in some successful stuff.

Netflix DVD / IMDb

Verdict: Tons of fun.

Black Samurai has martial arts soul brother Jim Kelly (Enter the Dragon, Black Belt Jones) as a James Bond type, out to save his girlfriend from an evil occultist. The movie is pretty bad, even for a Kung Fu film. The cinematography is awful, and the logic of the sequencing is bad. Kelly fans will likely enjoy it. The version I watched seemed to be edited, or the film was edited poorly. One thing that was odd was the number of midget (or dwarf?) assassins. There were at least five, which I dare say is a lot. They were not used in a comedic fashion either, so it was not purely for cheap laughs. The cast seems to have been built around Jim Kelly's stunt studio members, and there is a big demand for small stuntmen to replace children in dangerous shots. Marilyn Joi ("Cleopatra Schwartz") plays the evil priestess, though they don't really use her to good advantage. If nothing else, Jim Kelly has one of filmdom's great afros. Solid.


Verdict: Meh to fair.

The Phantom Empire from Fred Olen Ray is an homage to the Gene Autry sci-fi western serial of the 1930s. It has some big genre names in it, like Ross Hagen (Mini-Skirt Mob), Jeffrey Combs (The Re-Animator), and Sybil Danning (Their Playing with Fire). Also, Dawn Wildsmith of Star Slammer, who does a great job in playing a male role without it looking cartoon-ish. Overall, though, the movie is pretty stupid.

Netflix DVD / IMDb

Verdict: Not even bikini-clad cave-girls saved it.

Sex Galaxy - sounds dirty, doesn't it? Well, it is, but not so graphically as you might expect. It is done in the style of What's Up, Tiger Lily?, in that the film is pieced together from other films with a new script and overdubbing. It is built from old sci-fi films, personal hygiene films, stag reels of strippers (notably, Virginia "Ding-Dong" Bell), and other early Cold War advertising and propaganda. The premise is that the Earth has gone to hell, and to conserve resources, sex between unmarried people has been outlawed. What's a red-blooded man to do? Go out into space to find sex. While not as well done as WUTL? (which had the advantage of not having English for the source material), it is funny. There is some new footage featuring porn actress, Puma Swede.

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: Funny, in a dick and fart joke fashion.

Jawbreaker is one of my favorite movies. Rose McGowan, Pam Grier, Carol Kane, Marilyn Manson, The Donnas. Teenage murder and revenge. Cool music. I don't like a ton of high school movies, but I love Jawbreaker. The story? Three popular girls accidentally kill the most popular girl in school. When the mousy nerd girl Fern finds out, they fix things by making her popular. Unfortunately, that was not the great plan they thought it would be. This is an awesome, subversive film.

Read Yum-Yum's review at House of Self-Indulgence.

Netflix DVD / IMDb

Verdict: Excellent. Watch it. Do.

Cherry 2000 is a grim future story of a boy and his sex robot. Well, there is more than that, but that's the driving premise. It's funny and odd. Laurence Fishburne appears briefly as a sex lawyer. Melanie Griffith is a "tracker" hired to find the replacement sex robot, and there is a funny tribe of people who live by the 1950's ideal.

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: I have gone years without seeing this, and it probably could have been a few more.

Star Trek the Motion Picture is one I just barely remember from my childhood. This, in my opinion, the forgotten Star Trek film. It is pretty cool, in that it is very Star Trek. Not a bunch of dogfights or laser blasts. There is a problem to be solved, a menace to be avoided. Granted, there are better Star Trek films, but I like this one as well. A bit of trivia; the theme music was the same they eventually used for ST:TNG.

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: I really like it, but I like Star Trek.

V for Vendetta is a lovely subversive story, so I like it. Imagine Batman out to get the government. Natalie Portman is the real star, playing a young woman with a complicated past who gets involved with the wanted mystery man, "V." The action takes place in fascist England after America has fallen apart. Lots of conspiracy theory in play, but is done well.

Netflix DVD / IMDb

Verdict: Very good.

Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned has a group of mid-tier douche bags heading to the Hamptons for a bachelor party. Their weird, nerdy friend owns the house they are going to, and does not want any women there. When the strippers show up, he is pissed, and in horror movie fashion he has good reason. It took me a while to warm up to this one, but the last thirty minutes were pretty good. Despite many flaws (mostly due to the low budget) it was a pretty endearing movie. The Brits rate this "18" which would be an "X" in the States, but aside from titties, gore, and some deviant sexual references it is not that filthy.

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: Not bad. If you watch it, be sure to watch the credits. They sold me on the filmmakers.

Zombie Strippers! has Robert Englund and Jenna Jameson in a near future where George W. Bush is entering his fourth term as President. How's that for scary? Because of the ten wars going on, "W Corp" has created a zombie virus to create soldiers. When the virus escapes, and a zombie bites a stripper (Jameson), she returns as a zombie. Females retain their consciousness, while men become the more typical flesh-eaters. When the zombie strippers prove more popular than the live ones, they all begin to turn. The strip club owner (Englund) decides he could make a fortune; who cares if the girls eat a few patrons? Jenna Jameson does not do much for me, but she's surprisingly good in this. Englund is funny and creepy, and Tito Ortiz plays a wimpy bouncer who runs and hides whenever there is trouble.

Netflix / IMDb

Verdict: A pretty good comedy/horror.

Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers is one of the more odd Russ Meyer films. Not so much that the story is odd. Paul owns a successful strip club and whores around. His wife, Kelly, can't stand him. A conspiracy of seedy elements has arisen to rob his club, but everything goes wrong. Simple. The weird part is that there are so few noticeable Russ Meyer regulars, and Uncle Russ did not do his own camera work. It is definitely one of his films though. Pretty underrated, if you ask me.


Verdict: Pretty good. Anne Chapman is awesome.

The Immoral Mr. Teas is an early Russ Meyer film; one of his "nudie cuties." It has a lot of classic Meyer elements, like the narrator berating the ills of modern society, while plying flesh like a Ralph Bakshi cartoon. The story is of Mr. Teas going through a few days where he is beset by beautiful women. He begins having day dreams about the women he sees everyday. No real conclusion or moral, just a chance to perv on chicks by proxy.


Verdict: Cute and nostalgic.


Kal said...

I love V For Vendetta and think it is better than the graphic novel that inspired it. (and yes I know it is heresy to say that but I love LEAGE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN too.) V has flair and a dramatic sense of theatricallity that is missing from most all superhero movies. He knows it's a dance of death that he does and he does it very well. He knows he isn't going to live to see the brave new world his actions will create and the idea that there must always be a V out there to keep the governments honest is a nice concept. V training his/her successor. Plus you can`t beat Stephen Rhea as the police inspector who has to ask the really hard questions. He also played an investigator in Citizen X about the greatest serial killer in Soviet History. That is a powerful film you should check out.

Lisa K. said...

Fuck yes, Jawbreaker.
Probably the most watched DVD in my collection. I was 10 when I first watched it on TV and I am still amazed how I just ignored all the sexual content in the film :D
Right now they are selling the DVD for 3 € at the local store... I was seriously considering to buy another one. Just in case...

I enjoyed Vendetta, too and it is also part of my collection, but somehow I was bothered by Natalie Portman's performance. But I guess that's just personal preference.
I watched it before I've read the comics... and while the comic has an appeal to its own, I would not say the one thing is 'better' than the other.

I watched Zombie Strippers and Finder Keepers, Lovers Weepers a while ago. Although I can't really remember my opinion on them :D

Get him to the Greek is really damn funny. Despite to my a hate-love relationship with Russel Brand. Have you read the first part of his autobiography? He's a great, witty writer.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Kal - I'll have to check out Citizen X, Danke.

@Lisa - I read part of the Booky Wook. I think Brand is funny an smart. I love his bit about the Jonas Brothers' faux virginity ploy. I am actually looking forward to Arthur, though Helen Mirren ups the ante ;-) Jawbreaker is one of my favorite movies ever. Zombie Strippers is worth another watch, if you get the chance.

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