Monday, June 18, 2018

200 Items Or Less: Angel Heart (1987)

A few thoughts: Since I only write about specific genre films on here (check out my 200 items or less page on that), I feel like I'm cheating a little bit by writing about this one. But since it's so good, I don't mind bending the rules to include it. A psychological neo-noir horror mystery thriller with heavy religious themes and symbolism, this is the kind of film that's hard to box into a corner -- and that's one of the many things I love about it. Although one might find the twist ending a bit gimmicky, predictable, and/or lame, the way it's handled and functions to cap off the story is terrific, making every piece of the puzzle suddenly fit into its respective place. Mickey Rourke gives one of the best performances of his career here, fully letting the time and place absorb into him. He feels like a sleazier version of a Bruce Willis character from the 1950s. Robert De Niro does a solid job with his mysterious supporting role but never immerses himself like Rourke did. This is a dark film, with great cinematography, editing, and a cool plot.

Friday, June 15, 2018

TV Alley: V

V

Created by Kenneth Johnson
1984 - 1985


Following two different miniseries covering the alien invasion, hostile takeover of Earth, and the revolution(s) that take place to battle the invaders, V is a sci-fi series that didn't last long enough to tell a really interesting story, and by halfway through its 19 episode run, fell flat with the realization that the story it tells didn't need to be told to begin with.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

200 Items Or Less: Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark (1973)

A few thoughts: A cheesy and accidentally funny horror movie about a bunch of people dressed as tiny imp gorillas that live in the walls of a house and terrorize the residents. This is the kind of garbage I watch, for some reason. The running time being roughly 75 minutes makes this an easy sort of thing to put on without having to make any sort of investment, and honestly that's one of the best things about it. This is a dumb movie with dumb characters who do dumb things while being tormented by dumb looking monsters. One thing that isn't dumb about it is the indoor lighting (the stuff that takes place outside at "night" is bad though), which is very reminiscent of Italian horror, skillfully implementing natural light with unnatural greens, reds, and blues. Not spooky in the least, thanks to the monstrous monster design (which is oddly adorable, I might add), but there is a sort of atmosphere that could have worked had they shrouded their villains in shadow and not given them as much face time. It's funny, pretty bad, and very easy to watch. So don't expect much.

Friday, June 8, 2018

200 Items Or Less: From A Whisper To A Scream (1987)

A few thoughts: I got this movie in a two-pack with the wonderful 'Theatre Of Blood', so decided to plug it in and give it a whirl. I expected virtually nothing from it, and the result was an anthology that hasn't stood the test of time, but is still reasonably enjoyable. Vincent Price appears in the wraparound story, telling tales about the evils of his town, Oldfield. There are 4 segments within this framework, and while none are particularly great or terribly original, I enjoyed them all for what they were. The first one was easily my favorite, thanks to a hilarious and somewhat creepy performance by Clu Gulager. The second and third segments fly by pretty quickly (both involving voodoo), and then the fourth and final segment shows up. Basically, this particular story would suck if it weren't for the always-drunk-and-often-seated Cameron Mitchell, who always brings a sort of sweaty charm to films he appears in. This is one of Vincent Price's last movies, and while it isn't on par with his best work, is still a testament to how solid he always was. What a sport.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

TV Alley: Firefly

Firefly

Created by Joss Whedon
2002


The roguish captain of a space vessel and his crew take on several passengers and travel from planet to planet for jobs while trying to evade authorities. A major cult success cancelled after just over a dozen episodes, Firefly has carved out of space for itself as one of the most popular science fiction shows of the 21st century.