Hunt for the Wilderpeople

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Three stars

Sincere if ambling children’s adventure movie.  The episodic structure of the film makes for good trailer cutting but robs momentum and ultimately payoff.  There’s a bit of forced Wes Andersony whimsy but the lead kid is pretty awesome.  Good characters.  Decent silly movie.

D & W: TaikiaWaititi, More W: Barry Crump, P by: Lachlan Milne, E by: Tom Eagles, Yana Gorskaya, & Luke Haigh, M by: Lukasz Pawel Buda, Samuel Scott & Conrad Wedde, w/ Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Tiorere Ngatai-Melbourne, Oscar Knightley, Stan Walker, Mike Minogue, etc…101 min, New Zealand, 2016

Suspiria

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Three stars

Take Staudingerstraße to Langackerwerg.  Weiter rechts gehen.  Follow the river to the house that witchcraft built.  Meander it’s deco halls, it’s swaths of Technicolor.  Count the footsteps in the night, past the hall of maggots, the Olympic swimming pool, the den of razor wire.  Past the long mirrored rehearsal studios, the maid’s quarters.  Peel back the curtain and breathe in the decay that is death transforming itself to life.  The sleep apnea of the witch.

D, W & M by: Dario Argento; More M: Goblin; More W: Daria Nicolodi; P by: Luciano Tovoli; FX by: Germano Natali & Fabio Traversari; E by: Franco Fraticelli; thnx: Mario Bava & Thomas De Quincey; w/Jessica Harper, Joan Bennett, Alida Valli, Udo Kier, Margherita Horowitz, Susana Javicoli, Flavio Bucci, Stefania Casini, 92 min, Italy, 1977

The Lobster

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Four stars

Dad bod Farrell by tooth, by claw.  There’s a lot of talk of stabbing stomachs at the Last Chance Hotel.  Verdant bracken, the bay laps the shore.  Feral singles in the turgid wood.  A brutal film, richly imagined.  John C. Reilly would like to be a macaw when the torture’s over.

D & W by: Yorgos Lanthimos; More W: Efthimis Filippou; P by: Thimios Bakatakis; E by: Yorgos Mavropsaridis; w/Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux, Angeliki Papoulia, Ariane Lebed, Olivia Colman, John C. Reilly, Michael Smiley, etc…119 min, Ireland, 2016

Team America: World Police

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Four stars

Fuck the Arc de Triomph, the sphinx, the eiffel.  Ditto Mount Rushmore, the Louvre, the Panama Canal.  An America with a shit ton of collateral damage.  Let my strings entwine with yours lover.  Let me taste your cock, your cunt, the contours of your perineum.  I’ll puke all night in the alleys of forgotten Nebraska and be gone by dawn.  Theres a lot of splendid stupid here.  Marionettes messed up by house-cats and dogfish.

D, W & M by: Trey Parker; More W: Matt Stone & Pam Brady; More M: Harry Gregson-Williams & Kubat; P by: Bill Pope, A by: Chiodo Bros.; E by: Thomas M. Vogt; w/Matt Stone, Trey Parker, Kristen Miller, Masasa Moyo, Daran Norris, Phil Hendrie, Maurice LaMarche, Elle Russ, etc..98 min, USA, 2004

3 Women

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Four stars

“I’m trying to reach toward a picture that’s totally emotional, not narrative or intellectual, where an audience walks out and they can’t say anything but what they feel” – Robert Altman

A mechanical witch cackles in the dusty saloon.  The 1st woman spies the 3rd through a fish tank.  Primordial figures etched in secret on the bottom of the swimming pool.  A picture like a puzzle with pieces missing.  Duvall’s dress hem jammed in the car door.  The mojave leers over the balcony.  Nothing here is strictly extraordinary rather realistic life reveals it’s eerie smiling ghoul face.  Altman dreamed the script, the cast, the setting and turned his dreams to cinema.  Proclaimed witch and soothsayer Angeliska assembles some dope-ass stills, behind the scenes photos, & impressions over here on her site.

D & W by: Robert Altman, More W by: Patricia Resnick, P by: Chuck Rosher, E by: Dennis Hill, M by: Gerald Busby, A by: Bodhi Wind, w/Shelly Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Janice Rule, Robert Fortier, Ruth Nelson, John Cromwell, Sierra Pecheur, Belita Moreno, etc…124 min, USA, 1977

Indepence Day: Resurgence

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Three stars

I liked the elderly boat mensch adopts alotta orphans subplot. I thought Brent Spiner’s husband was Mandy Patinkin the whole movie and was really excited about that. I dug all the cgi destruction and definitely did a couple gettin-pumped, tense, inhalations of breath while I held my fist against my teeth and chin. Saw it in a full theatre. Somebody’s grandpa was sitting next to me and every time the aliens gained ground he said, “That’s not good,” out loud to his wife. It was really fun. Missed Will Smith.

D by: Roland Emmerich; W by: Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, Dean Devlin & James Vanderbilt; P by: Markus Förderer; E by: Adam Wolfe; M by: Harald Kloser & Thomas Wanker; A by: Derrick Ballard, Jonathan Burdeshaw, Pyrokinesis, Alex Auriol, etc…w/Jeff Goldblum, Brent Spiner, Bill Pullman, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Judd Hirsch, Deobia Oparei, Robert Loggia, Vivica A. Fox, etc..120min, USA, 2016

The Perfect Nanny

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Three stars

Delicious trash!  We lounged in twin beds, a hotel room’s fill of homies and flipped between this glorious garbage and Nick Jr.  Outside San Fran was getting started, inside we nurtured hangovers, took turns taking showers, flipped on our backs giggling and screaming and kicking air.  We goofed, we improved, we pillow fought, we cuddled.  I prayed “get it gurl” as Tracy Nelson shot one liners, clubbed exes, stabbed CEO’s.  Awestricken by harlequin romance dream sequences.  Buy the slow burn buildup of TV transgression.  Oh the soapy, campy, filth of it all!  During commercial breaks we were offered make-up and cleaning products.

D: Robert Malenfant; W: Mark Castaldo, Christine Conradt, Richard Gilbert-Hill, & Victor Shiller; P by: Don E. FauntLeRoy, M by: Richard Bowers, E by: Gregg London & Robert Pergament; w/Tracy Nelson, Bruce Boxleitner, Dana Barron, Scott Terra, Susan Blakely, Katherine Helmond, Darren Gray Ward, Cindy Guyer, etc…90 min, USA, 2000

My Mother’s Castle

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Four stars

A picture like a walk on a breezy, sunny day.  Submissive, girl-crazy, young boy, early 20th century, French country summer.  Bittersweet memories, the ghost of your childhood.  A family uses a secret key to shortcut through the canals in the backyards of Marseilles’ wealthy elites.  Most everyone is full of love and help but there are a few dickheads (just like life).  Pages turn to dust, families turn to death.  World War 1 looms, casts a shadow.  Novelists cast a spell.  This movie is a spell.  This movie is sweet, sunny insects buzzing and river water lapping in concrete sluice.

D & W: Yves Robert, More W: Marcel Pagnol & Jérôme Tonnerre, P by: Robert Alazraki, E by: Pierre Gillette, M by: Vladimir Cosma, w/Nathalie Roussel, Phillippe Caubère, Julian Ciamanca, Phillipe Uchan, Didier Paine, Thérèse Liotard, Julie Timmerman, jean Rochefort, etc…98 min, France, 1991

Turbo Kid

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One star

There’s nothing surprising in Turbo Kid, you’ll know going in whether it’s your bag or not.  It’s ambitions are meager and it executes them with aplomb.  A penchant for gore & commercial 80’s youth nostalgia above all will get you into this robot girlfriend movie.  It is tired and thoughtless and niche but it has heart.  It’s somehow both sweet and mean.  It’s unfunny and boring.  Shares DNA with the inferior Hobo with a Shotgun and the superior (slightly) Beyond the Black Rainbow.  I watched it with people who loved it and you might too, I dunno man.  Pffffttt.

D & W by: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, & Yoann-Karl Whissell, M & P by: Jean-Phillipe Bernier, More M: Jean-Nicolas Leupi Le Matos, E by: Luke Haigh, FX by: Eric Thivierge, Olivier Xavier, Jean-Mathieu ‘Jib’ Bérubé, etc… S by: Marcello Bezina, Alex Stines, Jean-Francois Robitaile, etc..w/Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Aaron Jeffery, Anouk Whissell, Edwin Wright, Romano Ozari, Orphée Ladouceur etc..93 min, Canada, 2015

Strictly Ballroom

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Four stars

Sweet soaring hullabaloo!  For the love of the dance!  An Ugly Duckling picture, an Aussie adventure.  There’s sexy jazzy Cyndi Lauper covers, and scenery chewing caricatures.  I watched this movie and stomped my feet, shook my hips, grabbed the dog and improvised some bossa nova steps.

D & W: Baz Luhrmann, More W: Andrew Bovell & Craig Pearce, P by: Steve Mason, E by: Jill Bilcock, M by: David Hirschfelder, w/Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter, Pat Thomson, Barry Hunter, Todd McKenney, John Hanan, Gia Carides, etc…94 min, Australia, 1992