it was quite a year for films, it really was. by wanking dismissively at what the Marvel Movie Monopoly was selling and fully embracing the ruthlessly despised Kick Ass 2, i truly found myself on the outs with the tiresome "geek" community, and i really don't mind to be honest. i'll take guys and girls in flea market fetish gear chopping each other up over some worn out "WAR ON TERROR IS GOOD NO WAIT IT ISN'T YAH IS SO" allegory.
anyway, i've come to really hate writing movie reviews, even small ones, cause it's just exhausting and counter productive. but i still watch tons of shit, and get excited about tons of shit to come. i widdled it all down to these 10 films that came out on DVD this year. in alphabetical order;
ABCs OF DEATH
this just covered so much ground with so many amazing talents. even if a segment sucked, it would only be like 2 minutes long, so who cares? one of the great delights i had in talking films this year was "trading favorites" with regards to this movie. great party stuff. something for everyone... if everyone likes people getting killed.
the mighty Soskas (Dead Hooker in a Trunk) step it up in terms of visual sensibilities and character drama with this charmingly grisly study of all the colors of modification.
experience and personality shift with costume changes, coalescing into a narrative that's too stream of conscious to be called a mash-up.
if you're around my age, you might remember walking through the genre sections of your local video store, imagining with playtime detail what sort of toyetic insanity lies beyond the gloriously colorful artwork on the VHS box covers. more often then not, the movies themselves never even came close to matching the promise of the promotional art. MANBORG actually does. pure joy.
it's not just a startlingly respectful update of the undeniable grindhouse classic from William Lusting and Joe Spinell, it's a startlingly respectful update of the genre that spawned the original and everything that came after. it's all here; the lush cinematography, the gorgeous people, the sadistic violence, the perverse voyeurism, the beautifully sinister score, the artful misanthropy... everything i love in 1970s/80s horror that went missing in all but a few since the 90s. bring it all back now.
ONLY GOD FORGIVES
pretty much everything i said above can be applied to Nicolas Winding Refn's latest, taking all that i find good and true to even greater depths of a-narration and bewitching surrealism (even going as far as to thank Alejandro Jodorowsky before the final credits roll).
the Korean master of unbridled human misery Kim Ki Duk (the Isle, Bad Guy) hits our shores with this bizarre slice of family dysfunction. one of the many winners from DRAFTHOUSE FILMS.
Calvin Reeder (he of the equally strange Oregonian) makes his semi-mainstream debut with what may be the weirdest damn thing i've seen all year. somewhere between Refn's Bronson and Quentin Duplex's Wrong maybe? i dunno... just don't compare it to David Lynch or the Cohen Bros. please.
i think this one made a lot "most pretentious film of the year" lists, but what the fuck do any of you know? you made Grown Ups 2 one of the highest grossing movies of the year. you think the Hannibal tv show is thought provoking. anyway, i found a lot to like about Shane Carruth's slippery mind game. needs another viewing soon.
this Lithuanian curiosity from Kristina Buozyte draws such visual, emotional, and narrative breaths from a single focus, that focus being obsession. it's amazing to think about, when so many other films are packed with various themes that often lead to nothing even close to resembling depth. one of the many gems from the incomparable ARTSPLOITATION.