Uzumaki

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Two stars

Dad’s obsessed with spirals.  The camera spirals.  There’re spiral edits and other edits which call attention to themselves.  There’s a murky green filter over everything.  You wait a long time for people to turn into snail monsters.

D & E by: Akihiro Higuchi; W by: Kengo Kaji, Junji Ito, Takao Nitta, & Chika Yasuo; P by: Gen Kobayashi; M by: Tetsuo Kashibuchi & Keiichi Suzuki; w/Eriko Hatsune, Ren Ôsugi, Keiko Takahashi, Taro Suwa, Hinako Saeki, Fhi Fan, Sadao Abe,Masami Horiuchi, etc..90 min, Japan, 2000

Weiner-Dog

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Two stars

Sometimes the loneliness catches up, the void inside.  Your own stupid voice.  You lie down in your fat and blood and wait for the call.  American brand names enter and exit your windshield.  The old lady up the block calls for Cancer.  There are other, funnier Solondz pictures.

D & W by: Todd Solondz, P by: Edward Lachman, E by: Kevin Messman, M by: James Lavino, w/Greta Gerwig, Ellen Burstyn, Danny DeVito, Julie Delpy, Zosia Mamet, Tracy Letts, Kieran Culkin, etc…88 min, USA, 2016

Finding Dory

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Four stars

All the ocean’s fauna (save one squid) rally behind the eponymous blue tang.  When beset by doubt they ask what she would do, “WWDD?”  Dory herself utilizes this trick, the guiding principle larger than the fish it represents.  Larger than the Christ it recalls, though come to think of it he, too, is symbolized by a fish.  Am I saying Ellen DeGeneres is Jesus?  No I am not.

D & W: Andrew Stanton & Angus MacLane, More W: Victoria Strouse & Bob Peterson, A by: Bert Barry, Don Shank, James W. Brown, Catherine Hicks, Kishan Ramjas, Leo Santos, Sikand Srinivas, Tsung-Yin Hsieh, etc..P: Jeremy Lasky, E: Axel Geddes, M: Thomas Newman w/Ellen DeGeneres,  Ed O’Neill, Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Kaitlin Olson, Idris Elba, Sigourney Weaver, etc…97 min, USA, 2016

Slime City

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Four stars

Men’s-Rights-activist, young-Republican, Travis-Bickle-wannabe, motherfucker moves to skid row.  Drinks ghost sludge.  Continues to be whiny,self-righteous asshole.  Murders the downtrodden.  Tries to cheat on his girlfriend.  Morphs into pulsating goop monster.  Finally gets his in gleeful gory glory.  It’s a mean-spirited, right-wing, reactionary romp through exploitation splatter in the vein of Street Trash but played a little more straight.  Charmingly “flawed”, offensive, & original.  There’s a cheapo Ingmar Bergman pastiche.  There’s a squirting vagina-dentata chest wound.  I had a lot of fun hating the protagonist, hooting at the politics, and waiting for the DIY gore FX.  I recommend it.

D,W & E by: Greg Lamberson; P: Peter Clark, M: Robert Tomaro, More E: Briton J. Petrucelly, w/Craig Sabin, Mary Hunter, Bunny Levine, T. Clay Dickinson, Dick Beil, T.J. Merrick, Marylin Oran, Dennis Embry, etc…81 min, USA, 1988

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

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Three stars

A winter wind billows down Chicago’s back-alley’s and a man appears.  A teacher of Hamlet, long-haired, handsome; his best friend’s bald.  He courts Greek Cinderella and her large wacky family.  His parents are squares.  That dude from N’sync is in this.  The lyra wails.

D by: Joel Zwick; W by: Nia Vardalos; P by: Jeff Jur; E by: Mia Goldman; M by: Alexander Janko & Chris Wilson, w/Nia Vardalos, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, John Corbett, Louis Mandylor, Gerry Mendocino, Joey Fatone, 95 min, USA, 2002

  

Teenage Turtles 6: Shadowlands

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Three stars

According to Eckhart Tolle our slavish devotion to the mind robs us of the deep divine stillness of being.  Turtle brothers battle a brain.  Taoist, hormonal, subterranean, CGI New Yorkers in the latest filmic entry of an ip with an awesome/grotesque toy-line from my youth.  Megan Fox symbolically strips onscreen out of old April into new.  Will Arnett does a comedy bit with a wall cable.  There’s a pop punk cover of the 80’s cartoon theme.  Tyler Perry is wonderfully unrestrained here, he never turns into a fly though.  Not even post-credits.

D by: Dave Green, W by: Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec, P by: Lula Carvalho, E by: Bob Ducsay & Jim May, M by: Steve Jablonsky, A by: Ryan Bradley, Oz Gani, Wong Joe, Kai-Hu Lan, etc…thnx Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman, Michael Bay; w/Laura Linney, Tyler Perry, Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Farrelly, Gary Anthony Williams, Brain Tee, Tony Shalhoub, etc..112 min, USA, 2016

The Babysitter

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Two stars

The thrilling wrongness of being outside peering in.  Men breaking boundaries, burdening budding sexuality.  Men fantasizing about giving Alicia Silverstone a bath.  Soapin’ up her back, oh yeah.  A #yesallwomen picture.  A classical piano score.  If this movie were made today the quarterback in the diner besot by patriarchal temptation would be reading the Robert Coover source material as a sorta meta nod or easter egg rather than Catcher in the Rye, the go-to text of Hollywood for symbolizing white male angst.

D & W: Guy Ferland; P: Rick Bota; E: Jim Prior & Victoria T. Thompson; M: Loek Dikker, thnx Robert Coover & Joel Shumacher, w/Alicia Silverstone, J.T.Walsh, Lee Garlington, George Segal, Lois Chiles, Jeremy London, Nicky Katt, Tuesday Knight, etc…90 min, USA, 1995

Primer

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Four stars

Whiteshirt Redtie shoots some hoops.  Whiteshirt Blacktie orders  the steak.  Whiteshirts Redandblackties cradled in coffins of aluminum, flooded in magnetic fields, await the hour of emergence.  Travel back in time to stop themselves from traveling back in time to stop themselves to stop.  It is quiet in the box where eardrums burst and blood dribbles.  They share a dream of oceans.

 D,W,M & E by: Shane Carruth, P by: Troy Dick, w/Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Carrie Crawford, Anand Upadhyaya, Samantha Thomson, Jay Butler, John Carruth, Chip Carruth, etc…77 min, USA, 2004

Heaven Knows What

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Three stars

Cinematic beacon on highway underpasses.  New York smells like cold old garbage.  That stink wriggles into the exposed arteries of the romantic street cutter.  There’s no cover from wind and rain but a needle’s fill of junk.  Headlights interrupt the night and she stands there indifferent to your “good intentions”.  Proselytizing on love she throws it all away again.  She lives aboard an ancient pizza box.  Her kiss a breath of rot from a cracked casket.  Her friends play French New Wave bikers for the camera.  Sexy crust punk spangers.  The ultimate freedom of addiction.  The real walking dead.  Hardstyle beatz & halfway houses.

D, W & E by: Josh & Ben Safdie, More W: Arielle Holmes & Ronald Bronstein, More E: Ronald Bronstein, P by: Sean Prince Williams, M by: Ariel Pink, Paul Grimstad, Isao Tomita & Headhunterz, w/Arielle Holmes, Caleb Landry Jones, Buddy Duress, Necro, Yuri Pleskun, Elenore Hendricks, Robert Shulman, Manny Aguila, etc..97 min, USA, 2014

Akira

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Three starsTwo stars

Roadside Billy pulled up to the grocery store.  “Hell yes, Syphillis!” he thought.  He was there to buy parsley & half & half.  This is a good anime.  Really good animation.  Nice gross stuff.  Real fluid motorcycle chases and ballooning flesh monsters.  A++

D,W & A by: Katsuhiro Ôtomo, More W: Izô Hashimoto, More A: Toshiharu Mizutani, Toyoaki Emura, Atsuko Fukushima, Yasihiro Seo, Tatsuyuki Tanaka, etc…, P by: Katsuji Misawa, M by: Shôji Yamashiro, E by: Takeshi Seyama, w/Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda, Hiroshi Ôtake, Masaaki Ôkura, Kôichi Kitamura, Michihiro Ikemizu, etc…124 min, Japan, 1988