Monday, April 13, 2009

Quickie Film Reviews - 4/13/09

Since I don't have all the time, patience and energy to write detailed film reviews of all the films I watch, I've decided to return to giving one to two (sometimes more) paragraph recaps and reviews of films I've watched. I probably won't do all, just the ones I feel like doing. Here we go.

Fast Company:
David Cronenberg's worst film? Well, okay, but that's only because it's a rather typical film about drag racing and not your typical Cronenberg fare. Not a bad film by any means though, just not his personal best. Not even close to it, really. Most Cronenberg films are easily distinguishable as being his, but this one just seems to be of common fare. Nothing special, and only a must see for Cronenberg completests like myself. I mean the film does feature a "shocking" ending and some cult named actors like John Saxon and William Smith. 7/10, but only because I'm a Cronie fanboy.

Observe and Report:
Jody Hill's been on my radar ever since I fell in love with Eastbound & Down last month. To hear that he had a new film coming out in April made me very happy. After watching his directorial debut The Foot Fist Way I was set for this film. And boy was I not disappointed. In no way is this film akin to everybody's taste and sense of humor, that's for sure. It's an in your face, toxic and crude blend of humor with a story that plays out like Taxi Driver, had Travis Bickle been a bi-polar mall cop and if the great Paul Schraeder had written the film with lots of black comedy. I had a gut-busting time with this film but I'm aware that many others might only laugh a few times. This isn't Judd Apatow. It's better. 9.5/10.

Shock Waves:
This 1977 horror film is a cult classic, and for good reason. In a world where Nazi zombies exist on a tropical island is where this one takes place. The film is kind of lacking in terms of gore as it doesn't actually show many of the kills, but it's a deliciously creepy and satisfying 70's horror film. Absurd but very, very awesome. A strong 8/10.

In the Line of Fire:
An extremely underrated thriller. With John Malkovich going head to head with Clint Eastwood it doesn't get any better. Malkovich got an Oscar nod for his supremely creepy performance as a threat to the president and a constant reminder of personal problems to Eastwood's character. It's not exactly deep, but there's some neat character development and subtext in the film to check out. Plus, it's a mighty fine and exciting thriller. 8.5/10

Another underrated film. This one is from director James Cox and is the telling of John Holmes' involvement with the Wonderland murders. The film tries to tell the story in a Rashomon like way but is ultimately the only negative I could pull from the film. It wasn't quite as tightly wound narrative-wise as it could have been. Val Kilmer was such an obvious and excellent choice for this film after his work in The Salton Sea and The Doors and he proves it. Another 8.5/10. It's so close to being excellent. It sits at great for me.

That's all for now. If you've seen any of these films, let me know what you think!

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