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

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

The Care Bears Movie

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Two stars

Christian orphans ask Mickey Rooney for a bedtime commercial.  Outer space angels of the Ursidae family keep tabs on sad earth kids.  A magician is named after pasta.  Eventually the bears face off against a dark carnival run by murderous toddler sociopaths.  Some of the bears are bears and some of the bears are penguins, lions, raccoons, monkeys and pigs.

D by: Arna Selznick, W by: Pater Sauder, A by: Anne Marie Bardwell, Charlie Bonifacio, David Brewster, John Collins, etc… E by: Stephen Mitchell, Jim Erickson, Shelia Murray, Gordon Kidd, etc…, w/ Mickey Rooney, Jayne Eastwood, Cree Summer, Sunny Besen Thrasher, Bobby Dermer, Brian George, Janet-Laine Green etc…, 77 min, Canada, 1985

Nostalghia

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Three starsTwo stars

Smoke-made men, shadows in the steam, God’s orphaned bastards abandon child and country.  Besieged by earth.  Buried in water.  Engulfed in flames.  A father chases his little wonder towards apocalypse.  At the edge of the steps is the cliff and the valley and the far-off castle.  Did you do the candle magic?  Do emo kids read Pushkin?  The sounds are raindrops and footfalls.  Songbirds live in the cathedral, in the blouse, in the womb, of the Madonna.  There’s a white horse by a lake.  This is Tuscany.  This is Moscow.  Nobody beats Tarkovsky.

D & W by: Andrei Tarkovsky, More W: Tonino Guerra, P by: Giuseppe Lanci, E by: Erminia Marini & Amedeo Salfa, w/Oleg Yankovskiy, Domiziana Giordano, Erland Josephson, Patrizia Terreno, Laura De Marchi, Delia Boccardo, Milena Vukotic, Raffaele Di Mario, etc…, 125 min, Italy, 1983

9 to 5

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Three stars

In dreams Dolly’s office opens on the Mojave.  She steps away from staplers and collating machines and enters that hot home of the desert tortoise.  The sun is very bright out here, the air dry.  The trees are named Joshua and aren’t trees at all.  Cartoon birds flit down from the mountain and whisper memories into her Cinderella shoulders.  They take pratfalls and scream “guh-guh-guh-ghost!”  This is a cheerful reminder to be militantly feminist.  By evening she’s on top of a gulch looking down.  The moon is a glowing sliver of thumb nail behind her and the stars are manifold.  She sits.  She breathes.

D & W by: Colin Higgins, More W: Patricia Resnick, P by: Reynaldo Villalobos, E by: Pembroke J. Herring, M by: Charles Fox & Dolly Parton, A by: Nicholas Eliopoulos & Fred Lucky,  w/Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Dabney Coleman, Peggy Pope, Elizabeth Wilson, Marian Mercer, Sterling Hayden, etc…, 110 min, USA, 1980

Blind Chance

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Three stars

This is east bloc Sliding Doors.  The colors are moss, wood and jaundice.  Our protagonist has three different shitty lives depending on whether he chooses, rejects, or is indifferent to communism.  No matter what he gets laid.  He finds a message in a bottle, he stands in line for hours for bread.  The sun peeks sickly out of clouds in train stations and airports.  We are all the mutable results of fate and action.

D & W by: Krzysztof Kieślowski, P by: Krzysztof Pakulski, E by: Elżbieta Kurkowska, M by Wojciech Kilar, w/Bogusław Linda, Bogusława Paweler, Tadeusz Łomnicki, Marzena Trybala, Jacek Borkowski, Adam Ferency, Monika Gozdzik, Zygmunt Hubner, etc.., 114 min, Poland, 1981

The Mosquito Coast

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One star

An uncomfortable, unrelenting movie about an uncomfortable, unrelenting man.  Allie Fox just wants to bring the power of ice to the tropics, that and assert his dominance over everyone and everything.  A lush, alien Belize stands in for a lush, alien Nicaragua.  There’s not really a lot to recommend here, it sort of rings true and has a cool Swiss Family Robison vibe but it’s mostly just two hours of Harrison Ford being a big ol’ dick fart.

D by: Peter Weir, W by: Paul Schrader & Paul Theroux, P by: John Seale, E by: Thom Noble, M by: Maurice Jarre w/Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, Conrad Roberts, River Phoenix, Martha Plimpton, Andre Gregory, Butterfly McQueen, Jason Alexander, etc…, 117 min, USA, 1986

Escape From New York

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Three stars

New York’s skyscrapers like silent sentinels, it’s dark and cold in the valleys of abandoned progress.  You walk amongst this history and your footsteps echo off canyons of cement and you truly feel what it’s like to be Godforsaken.  I know this isn’t really the place to say it, but I’m deeply terrified of a Trump presidency.

D, W, & M by: John Carpenter, More W: Nick Castle, More M: Alan Howarth, P by: Dean Cundey, E by: Todd Ramsay, FX: Roy Arbogast, James Cameron, Brian Chin, Jenna Holman, etc…, S by: Buff Brady, Tony Brubaker, Glory Fioramanti, etc…, w/Kurt Russell, Isaac Hayes, Ernest Borgnine, Adrienne Barbeau, Harry Dean Stanton, Lee Van Cleef, Tom Atkins, Frank Doubleday, etc…, 99 min, USA, 1981

RoboCop

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Four stars

RoboJesus shoots rapists in the dick, battles irradiated mutant gangsters and giant robots in post apocalyptic Detroit.  There’s some pretty prescient satire of media and capitalism in here.  It kind of feels like the smartest Troma movie ever made.  I miss practical FX.

D by: Paul Verhoeven, W by: Edward Neumeier & Michael Miner, P by: Jost Vacano & Sol Negrin, FX: Craig Davies, Phil Tippett, Lawrence A. Aeschlimann, Dennis Pawlik, Bill Purcell, Don Baker, Randy Dutra, Rob Bottin, Erica Edell Phillips, etc…, S by: Jamie Bunch, Vickie Creach, Randy Fife, etc…, E by: Jim Rodnunsky, Danny Retz, etc…, M by: Basil Poledouris, w/Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Robert DoQui, Paul McCrane, Ray Wise, etc…, 102 min, USA, 1987

The Brain

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Two stars

This is a great movie for 11 year olds.  Goopy alien monsters infest adults and the principal gets chewing gum on his butt.  A woman chainsaws her husband.  A toilet explodes.  It leans patriarchal and tries to make you think Ontario is America but just remember that Canada is awesome and your Mommy and Daddy love you however you are and you should have fun with some mild extraterrestrial bloodshed.

D by: Ed Hunt, W by: Barry Pearson, FX: Mark Williams, P by: Gilles Corbeil, M by: Paul Zaza, w/David Gale, Tom Bresnahan, George Buza, Cynthia Preston, Ken McGregor, Bernice Quiggan, Carol Lazare, Vinetta Strombergs, etc…, 94 min, Canada, 1988