Nightmare Detective 2: Shinya/Tsukamoto
Weirder, sadder, and more internally compelling than its comic book battle predecessor, Tsukamoto put more of his signature stamp on this one, exploring the themes of isolation and subversive psychological renewal rather than a battle between good and evil. Incredible atmosphere and some jarringly poetic imagery that has made me the faggot for Tsukamoto that i am. I sense something of a backlash from the online cinematic underground when comes to the great Shinya... but what the fuck do any of you assholes know? you told me House of the Devil and Last House on the Left 2009 were good (/foreshadow/). Save your bile for truly shitty filmmakers instead of a perpetual mastermaker who you've decided sucks now because someone on Twitch saw an unfinished cut of Tetsuo 3 and didn't like it, thus Tsukamoto's perfect body of work is now erased from the annals of "Better than anything you'll ever do in your fucking non-life". but i digress...
Thirst - 8/10:
this got a lot of mixed reviews, and might be my least favorite thing Chan Wook has done, but i still really dug it. i can see where people may have pulled away from it, but i like the twisted arthouse vibe he's got going here. beautiful cinematography and some really amazing writing. great soundtrack, too.
Watchmen - no/10:
finally made myself watch this shitbomb (HBO on Demand). fucking awful in almost every conceivable way. I've waxed the angry carrot about this one for the last 2 years, so i won't rehash my initial apprehensions (all of which were proven to be valid), but i'll say that anyone who gives this a pass is fucking daft.
Friday the 13th (2009) - 3/10:
too much time spent with pretty people being jerk-offs, not enough Jason (who was pretty cool in this). i dig the idea of making him some demented survivalist living in the woods... but there wasn't enough of him. I do like that they didn't explain too much about him ala Rob Zombie's Halloween, but more of Jason and the Vorhees clan would have been awesome. and the "teenagers" were just too god damn beautiful. the kids from the original weren't bad looking, but they looked like they could be your babysitter... there was a realness about them which made it all the more spectacular when they were skewed at the eyeball by a towering water zombie.
Love Object - 8/10:
Nice but socially awkward office worker meets a cutie at work and decides to purchase a Real Doll made in her image. Things go awry as they often do, and so on. Creepy little gem that for some reason isn't readily available stateside. sort of male counterpoint to the film May. It'll surprise you.
Necromentia - 8/10:
Well this movie is fucking metal. A cinematic grenade of toxic LSD that blends Clive Barker, fucked up video game monsters, and hellish industrial S&M into one bizarre cocktail of twisted nervosa. Like the above, this one doesn't seem to have a decent stateside release.
Orphan - dude... wait / ...what?:
How do you make a movie about a 33 year old criminally insane proportional dwarf hooker who turned tricks for wealthy pedophiles and dresses like a Trevor Brown painting boring? well, you spend the whole movie pretending she's an evil nine year old and go on to exploit every horror cliche imaginable while ignoring the fact that a bad-ass concept worthy of the best/worst/worst/best of Something Weird video has been buried under an avalanche of phoned in thriller nonsense. good use of Jimmy Durante's "Glory of Love", though.
Last House on the Left 2009 - fuck/you
where do i begin? This is everything the original isn't. It breaks no new ground, introduces no new genre touchstones, and lacks anything even approaching audience engagement. The original compelled you to experience. This one inquires that you witness. It doesn't demand anything from the viewer but the most minimal of attention you would grant any other Saturday afternoon time waster of a horror film. The original nailed you to the chair, pried your eyes open with fish hooks, and didn't stop to placate your sensitivity. It's iconic; a monument to a kid of cathartic terrorism that a bulk of today's genre films and film makers is totally lacking. We are disproportionately disconnected from what's happening in front of us. In the original, we had to tell ourselves it was "only a movie". In the remake, the film is saying it for us. It's calculating, callow, generic, mindless, unmoving, and worst of all - says nothing. The original was about revealing (not reveling) in the ugliness of humanity. The remake is all about the gloss. The rain hits at just the right moment. the power goes out when its supposed to. Everyone, including the villains, is movie-star gorgeous instead of tangible. the music and the lighting cues the menace rather the characters or the actions. Bland, thoughtless, completely bereft of vision and/or imagination. To compensate for a lack of almost everything, it falls back on the worn out and the drawn-out, stretching what should have been a brisk, blunt script with sawdust and needless melodrama. The original was blunt force trauma; a near-relentless assault. oh... but the remake doesn't have "the bumbling cops". Yeah... guess you little twerps got me there. It also doesn't have a strong villain, memorable kills, atmosphere, a unique soundtrack, personality, or any ideas behind it. It's a boring, useless film that has already been erased from the public's memory. No dicks bitten off. No chainsaw duel. The road really does lead to nowhere. again though... good choice on end credits tunage.
House of the Devil - 1/10
A girl is tricked into house sitting for moon cultists who drug her with poison pizza, then proceed to have their matriarch vomit demon embryos into her mouth so the anti-christ can incubate in her belly. And that's the part of the movie that makes sense. A fucking miserable chore of a movie who entire basis of appeal is rooted in some sort of misguided attempt at an 80s revival (no cellphones, no mapquest, walkman instead of i-pods, feathered hair, dancing around an empty house while listening to the Fixx , poison pizza that will leave you victim to possessed Satan ladies and their toxic abortion puke... you know... 80S!). for like 85 minutes nothing happens except the girl walking up and down stairs, looking around corners, eating pizza, watching TV. then all of a sudden she passes out and is tied to a pentagram getting raped in the throat by regurgitated blood. then she runs through a graveyard, shoots herself directly in the brain, but some how survives with both her and her hellspawn moon baby in tact. pretty fucking stupid.... oh wait i'm sorry... pretty fucking 80s!
King of Comedy - 10/10
One of Scorsese's best, and DeNiro's most unsettling role ever. It's amazing with all the violent psychopath's he's played, that this role of Rupert Pupkin; an obsessive mental defective with delusions of being a stand-up comedian, is the one that makes your skin crawl the most. his days in his basement, made up to look like a talk-show stage, imagining himself being the centerpiece of an interview, talking to himself and laughing loudly... are the stuff of vomit fits. it's behavior we all probably do, but it nauseating to watch others engage in said behavior.
Bronson - absolute/magic
A lot has been said of Tom Hardy's performance (which is every bit as awesome as you've heard), but few has been said about what a great, unique film this truly is. It's brutal.. overflowing with machismo and violence, yet it's theatrical.. almost jovial in its nature. It blends the real with the surreal and the hyper-real, perfectly capturing the celebratory tumult of Bronson's psyche. Prison is his theater. Punching is his performance... his art... his drama and his comedy. totally awesome.