Yet another blog! I’m sure my ones of readers thought that I had abandoned the project or died due to it’s lateness. Both being perfectly valid reasons based on my history of blogs. Abandoning them, not dying. I’m not some weirdo who’s constantly killing myself for short periods of time like those goofs in “Flatliners”. Anyway, last week really shit the bed on a personal level, I decided to wait until April was over before posting, then work completely blocked my blog due to the title. So I changed the title as a compromise. Don’t let it be thought that I am precious or have any principles with this blog. I CAN BE BOUGHT! BUY ME PLEASE! Next week will probably be a short blog since it will cover May 1st to 4th.
So here’s the last films I watched in April. There are some amazingly good ones here. In that I watched another Zatoichi film and I just love those goddamn Samurai!
094 04-23 Adventures of Zatoichi (1964) 3.5/5
Plot wise, this isn’t much different from the previous films. Zatoichi arrives in a town to celebrate New Years, only to get mixed up with corrupt officials and the Yakuza. That said, I could watch these movies all day. There’s a subplot that elaborates more on Zatoichi’s childhood that is interesting, but the main draw is still Katsu in the leading role who is perfect as the blind swordsman. The subtlety of going from childlike naivete to threatening, scary killer primarily through body language never fails to send chills down my spine.
095 04-26 Game of Thrones Season 3 (2013) 2.5/5
***Why can I not copy and paste an image of a poster for this fucking series and have the link remain unbroken? How does this image stuff work? I’ve had it happen on other images too. But this GOT bullshit is ridiculous. Anyway, enough May 2nd bitching about WordPress/internet/my ignorance.****
Decided to get caught up on Game of Thrones since on social media people are creaming their jeans right off their bodies over whatever is currently happening in the currently airing season 4. I still don’t like this show! Season 3 was supposed to be amazing with a capital “A”, but after season 2, I didn’t quite believe it hence I never watched it until now. Ends up Season 3 is better than season 2, but it’s still a lot of walking and talking with little action. Which is actually an odd complaint since one of my favourite shows is “The Wire” which is very walking/talking over action heavy. I guess it’s a case that when it comes to medieval fantasy, I don’t give a shit about the Kings banking situation (a stirring conversation featured in episode 3). I do like the performances (periodic nudity and gore), so I will keep on watching. Is Dinklage’s accent the worst or the best? It’s not real right? Discuss.
096 04-27 Ginger (1971) 2/5
097 04-27 The Abductors (1972) 3.5/5
098 04-27 Girls Are For Loving (1973) 3/5
So once upon a time Cheri Caffaro married Don Schain and Don loved Cheri so much he decided that he had to make her a big movie star. It was decided that she should be a female “James Bond”, and this trio of films were the result. Where James Bond is the epitome of male fantasy and class (IE: a classy asshole), “Ginger” is decidedly not that. Schain chose to feature his wife in nearly constant situations of nudity with her either being the aggressor or the victim. This is total sleaze-ville.
The first film, “Ginger”, introduces the character, obviously, with the plot being that she’s needed to infiltrate a Jersey Shore gang (of at least 6 people) that is running drugs and prostitutes during the tourist season. So already the series is starting out cheap and sleazy compared to the Bonds. “The Abductors” is a similar plot, except this time it’s a white slavery ring abducting women and forcing them into sex slaves. This one was the grimiest of the bunch, which means it was the most entertaining. The last film, “Girls Are For Loving” was unashamedly shot in the Philippines, which means it kind of looks like a Bond film with an international flavour. The plot is similar, Ginger has to fuck her way through a gang. The head of this gang though is another women, so it’s like Ginger is going against someone similar to herself except bad. So that’s interesting? Ginger also starts off undercover as a lounge singer/stripper, and if Caffaro is actually singing, it’s truly sad because she is not a good singer. Anyway, the third film is still sleazy as hell, but has better production values than the first film so I’m rating it higher.
So why did I watch all these Ginger films? A year or more ago I bought a DVD set that featured Caffaro in the last film she made with her husband, “Too Hot To Handle”, and I couldn’t bring myself to start that DVD set of 3 films (all unrelated) until I watched her in the unconnected Ginger movies. It’s a special movie loving sickness that I have…
099 04-27 Thief (1981) 3.5/5
This one is director Michael Mann’s feature film debut. It stars James Caan as an asshole, ex-con safe-cracker who gets mixed up with the mob while trying to do that last heist so he can retire to the family life he always wanted. It has a nice balance of 70’s character piece while setting the stage for the 80’s stylish gloss that Mann will become known for with “Miami Vice” and what not. So in the end it works, the heist stuff is pretty cool, and it’s got James Belushi in it from before he someone transmogrified into a total dick.
100 04-28 Masterchef Canada Season 1 (2014) 3/5
So this cooking show finally wrapped up. I had sworn off the Masterchef series last year, but then they announced a Canadian version so I had to watch it to see how they did it. I was curious if the judges would be total assholes like the American one, or polite and Canadian. They were mostly assholes, and the sad thing was you could tell they were TRYING to be assholes but were actually good guys, as opposed to being total, true assholes. So that’s it. Some guy won and no one cares.
101 04-29 99 and 44/100% Dead (1975) 2/5
This is the second half of a double feature DVD set I have, paired with “The Nickel Ride” which I watched I think last year but forgot to list. How many lost films have I watched and forgotten to list due to laziness? Anyway, this one I remember hearing about for ages and thought it was maybe a cult classic. It features Richard Harris as a hit-man who is hired out by gangster Edmond O’Brien to help quell a gang war. The problem with the film is that it plays like a dopey, slapstick satire at first, but then tries to get a bit serious and action film-y. So it never really works as a spoof or a satire or an action film, it’s just annoying and bad. So watch “The Nickel Ride” and skip this one.
102 04-29 Too Hot To Handle (1977) 3/5
So having watched all the “Ginger” films, it was time to watch this one. Produced by Roger Corman, this is a pretty typical 70’s cheap action film shot in the Philippines. It might as well be a Ginger movie since Caffaro is essentially playing the same character. Instead of a secret agent, she’s an assassin who’s hired to take out some guys. That’s really all you need to know. It’s not as sleazy as the “Ginger” pictures, but still pretty good since the assassination set-ups are a nice change of pace (though she still fucks her way through most of it). Plus there is a remarkably shit Kung-Fu fight on a boat that is worth the $5 this cost seeing as the set of three films was $15. I’ll review the other two next month.
103 04-30 Louis Theroux’s LA Stories (2014) 4/5
Been a fan of Theroux since discovering him on the old “TV Nation” series. Anyone remember that show? Remember when Michael Moore used to be fun instead of a self righteous asshole? No? It was a long time ago. Anyway, this is Thoureux’s latest series and it was as good as any of his other stuff. It’s 3 episodes, the first one is on stray dogs in LA, the second about end of life care and the last about registered sex offenders. So these ones are more serious than some of Thoureux’s shows. So while they may not be as fun as watching him wrestle or act in a gay porn, they are interesting and well worth your time. Theroux has really mastered his journalism style of appearing kind of idiotic in order to get people to open up.
So there it is, April all done! Let’s look at my numbers.
31 Watched 31 First Timers 0 In Theaters
So for the first time since January, I watched more movies than days in a month. I also broke the 100 film mark, but sadly with a stupid cooking show since I never plan my viewing properly to make it special. I believe this is also the first month since I started keeping track where I had no repeat viewings. Everything watched was a first timer. That said, I’m still down from last year where at this point I had watched 135 movies. So I’m 32 films behind from last year. I need to get bed ridden for a week! Is that wrong to hope to be bed ridden so you have an excuse to do nothing but watch movies?
We shall see what next week brings, so far it’s not much. I realized I should probably do a “Best/Worst of the month type of thing. Maybe I’ll do that next time.