A touching animated ode to the cycle of life.
Accentuate the negative.
Il Blobbo. Back in 1959 the Italians gave to us a nasty little black and white treat (with a fantastic name): Caltiki: The Immortal Monster. The story is simple enough: a group of archaeologists are excavating an ancient Mayan ruin and over the course of their exploration they run across a terrifying discovery. Something is lurking in the lake and it’s hungry. That something is–you guessed it–Caltiki the Immortal Monster. What is Caltiki? Hard to figure that out considering the budget limitations but as far as I can tell, it’s a giant velour blob with insides that look like the oral cavity of a Muppet. Regardless, once Caltiki gets cranking there’s no stopping him. He takes a bite out of one hapless archaeologist, instantly dissolving his arm into a gross melange of goopy 1950s practical effects. Eventually the good guys nuke the monster with some fire but make the mistake of bringing back a sample to civilization. You can probably surmise what happens next (hint: it’s in the monster’s name). 76 minutes later you’ll be back to your normal life, but you won’t forget Caltiki. Or maybe you will. It’s a fairly forgettable movie, made relevant primarily because of its vintage chops and a few cute little scenes were some dudes get digested by the monster. It’s definitely worth scoping our if you consider yourself a creature feature completionist (Arrow’s tricked-out special edition Blu-ray will more than satisfy you!), but all other potential viewers probably could find something more productive to do with their time. THE VERDICT Decente.
Infiltrate and deceive.
The Motorcycle Boy’s Never Coming Back.
“I’ve been a soldier, ’til I ran out of wars.”
The picture of the year!
To stop this mutha takes one bad brutha.
Exciting loveliness and rhythm in a star-spangled army musical!
Veni, vidi, vici.
“A king cannot give scandal.”
“A loose trilogy united by their radical politics and an even more radical shooting style.”
“Surreal and mysterious, in a career that was dominated by surrealism and mystery.”
“Anyone who loves movies is likely to love Cinema Paradiso.”
The long and winding roads.
Terror Beyond Belief!
Love does strange things to people. And Charlie is a little strange to begin with..
Proto-SPEED. Before there was Keanu Reeves lopping the head off of Dennis Hopper, there was this, the original “keep the public transportation conveyance going above XX miles an hour or something’s blowing up real good” movie. Bullet Train raced through Japanese theaters in 1975 and forever allowed the people at Amtrak to point in its direction and say “Hey, it could be worse!” Ken Takakura pays the madman who plants a bomb on one of Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train expresses. If the train drops below 80 kph, it’s KABLOOIE for the train and the hundreds of passengers. Fighting against his malevolent devices is a bad-ass train engineer played by legendary Sonny Chiba. That’s your movie–the train rockets forward and a bunch of people scream their heads off and back at home base, the nerds scramble to save lives and the cops spring their manhunt to find the bad guy. All in all, Bullet Train is an okay 70s-era disaster, but a pair of sizable demerits drop the rating: It’s too long. This bad boy runs a whopping 152 minutes, which is just too hefty for a simple thriller/actioner like this. The nature of a train, limited by the tracks, kind of short circuits the number of cool, death-defying scenarios that can happen, versus, say, a bus. See, at the end of the day that’s what the upshot of Bullet Train is for me–it made we want to watch Speed immediately. And that’s just what I did when this movie ended. Thank you Bullet Train! The Twilight disc (that you probably won’t find in stores): 1080p, 2.35:1, a 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio (Japanese), an isolated music and effects track (for some reason, and a featurette. THE VERDICT Guilty of taking it’s sweet-balls time getting to the destination.
Don’t call it a comeback. I always like stumbling on a biopic of a person I never herd of whose story is unbelievably awesome. Hacksaw Ridge springs to mind. Also, The Karate Kid Part III. When it comes to boxing, a sport I have only a fleeting knowledge of thanks mostly to Mike Tyson’s Punch-out, there are a metric ton of amazing true-life sagas out there to discover (at least for me to discover). So here we have Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller). Bleed for This tells his story. In the early ’80s Vinny Pazienza (also known as Vinny Paz) was a legit fighter, winning the junior middleweight world title in 1991. But then a brutal head-on car collision derailed his career–and almost ended his life. Unwilling to relinquish boxing, Vinny embarked on an on-its-face ludicrous comeback attempt, even thought he was spending every day in a neck stabilizer. Despite everyone’s best (sane) efforts to convince him to just retire and try to recapture a normal life that didn’t have a pervasive threat of forever paralysis, Vinny worked at achieving his goal: getting back into the ring for a shot at boxing immortality. This is a pretty good one. I’m not the biggest Miles Teller fan in the world, but the guy brings it in Bleed for This. He’s just a ball of obnoxious defiance and smugness and his Vinny Paz becomes a fascinating on-screen sight to behold. Thankfully, the film has more going for it than just a bad-ass performance. The story of this comeback is insane, especially as you see Miles Teller decked out in the “Halo” neck stabilizer, the real-life apparatus that screwed directly into Vinny’s skull. What makes Bleed for This worth chasing down, especially if you’ve got “boxing movie fatigue,” is the true-life nature of t his comeback. It’s simply incomprehensible the ambition it takes for a human being to climb back into a the ring to get his brains bashed in just a few months after suffering such a gruesome accident. You get that whole trajectory here, anchored by Teller’s great performance, and capped with an exciting final boot with WBC World Jr. Middleweight Champion Luis Santana. Soup to nuts, Bleed for This works, both as a straight-up sports movie and an examination of what the human spirit is capable of, screws and all. THE VERDICT Not Guilty.Seriously, this guy is crazy.
Gold + Guano + Grand Canyon. From Twilight Time, a remastered version of the 1959 thriller that, because it’s Twilight Time, you won’t be able to buy. But, hey, that’s your problem. Anyway: it’s Arizona, specifically the Grand Canyon, and some dead bodies are starting to turn up. Enterprising–and smoldering!–Deputy Les Martin (Cornel Wilde) sticks his nose into the mystery and begins to uncover a hive of corruption and betrayal. At center of it? You guess it: gold. Apparently, there’s some gold to be had an old mine and someone has got the glitter-eye so bad, he’s been offing locals. As Martin investigates he meets the lovely Janice Kendon (Victoria Shaw), a kindred spirit and teammate in mayhem. Eventually, the investigation culminated with a legit-impressive done-for-real fight on a U.S. Guano bucket hauler that’s crossing the Grand Canyon (mixed with some bodaciously awful rear-projection effects). I don’t get the title–“Edge of Eternity” strikes me more as a 30 Seconds to Mars B-side–but this little film is a fun slice of cinematic action history. In these days of Bayhem and whatnot, where your senses are so thoroughly pulverized by two and a half hours worth of gonzo action, a film with a modest runtime (77 minutes), an uncomplicated plot (bad guy wants gold, kills people, gets dropped into the Grand Canyon), and an absolutely gorgeous female lead (seriously, Victoria Shaw, in all her flamboyant Technicolor glory is a stunner) is a welcome retreat. That’s what Edge of Eternity is: a short, simple, streamlined throwback thriller (throwback is wrong of course as this was already thrown back at the time of its production). It won’t remain in your thoughts for long, but if you want a nicely staged, decently-acted (have I mentioned how beautiful Victoria Shaw is??) mystery film with a stand-out stunt sequence and a buttload of aerial photography of the Grand Canyon, here you go. Good disc from Twilight Team, starting with the rich 1080p. 2.35:1 transfer, a 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio mix, and extras including an isolated music score and audio commentary with a pair of film historians. That said, good luck trying to find it! THE VERDICT Not Guilty. Add this to your bucket list.
The spotlight’s not for everyone.
Don’t Tell Anyone What Happened In The Summer House!
Party Like a Mother
We had twenty years to prepare. So did they.
WARNING: This motion picture contains explicit portrayals of violence; sex; violent sex; sexual violence; clowns and violent scenes of violent excess, which are definitely not suitable for all audiences.