Movie a Day! 045-051 The End Of February

It’s Friday and time for another blog! Let’s wrap up my watching from February eh? This one features everything from porn to classic television. Genre and taste be damned! When it comes to movies, YOU GOTTA WATCH ‘EM ALL!

045 02-15 Devil on a Chain (2013) 3/5
Kimberly Kane, takes a stab at porno exploitation as opposed to her usual Alt/Gonzo work. It mostly works with a plot that moves the picture forward despite trying a bit too hard to be “exploitation” campy with vengeance genre tropes instead of playing it straight. Seeing as Kane is the director, there is a certain “girl power” element to this where even the female victim characters are better than the doofy guys. So that’s interesting. The only problem is the one that all modern non-gonzo porn has; and that’s the 20-30 minute sex scenes that grind everything to a halt. I’m guessing this is so that they can be cut out of the film and sold online individually. Shorter sex scenes to balance the plot and this could of been a real winner. Then again, most people probably aren’t watching this for the plot….

046 02-16 Wakefield Poole’s Bible! (1973) 3/5
Here’s a weird one, hardcore gay porn pioneer Wakefield Poole does a softcore tribute to Disney’s “Fantasia”, using 3 stories from the bible. It starts off a bit slow with the Adam & Eve opener, but then Georgina Spelvin steals the show in the slapstick Bath Seba segment and the final Samson & Delila is straight up beautiful. It’s cheap and looks it, but it works. Another case of directorial passion overwhelming the meager means. Vinegar Syndrome out did themselves as usual with a feature packed disc and I doubt the film will ever look better.

047 02-16 Salome (1943) 3/5
The last film in my Rita Hayworth set is the classic style of Bible picture that Hollywood is no longer known for: the Bible picture that uses religion as a background to push sleaze and sex past the censors. It all comes to a froth with Rita’s dance of the seven veils which is an astounding set piece that’s worth sitting through all the religious bullshit to get to.

That’s the set above, picked up via an Amazon sale. Seeing as I paid the price that “Gilda” would of been on it’s own, it was a hell of a deal. Being more critical, “Gilda” was by far the best film, with the rest being merely okay musical/melodramas with musical bits in them. All the transfers look fine for DVD, the extras are practically non-existent. I give it 3/5.

048 02-22 Ditto (1937) 2.5/5
049 02-22 Love Nest on Wheels (1937) 2.5/5
The last of Buster Keaton’s Educational Pictures shorts go out with a bit of a whimper. They feel like he was going through the paces to finish up a contract, but each still have a bit or two in them to keep you interested.

That FINALLY finishes the massive Buster Keaton blu-ray set from Kino that I started in May 2013. Featuring, as far as I know, his complete independent silent output before signing with MGM. It’s pretty much essential viewing if you’re interested in silent comedy. I give it a 5/5 despite not having any particularly great extras like a documentary to put the films in context.

050 02-22 Side Effects ( 2013 ) 4/5
Revisited this one on Blu-ray. It holds up really well on a second viewing. A pharmaceutical noir that gets really twisty but stays believable despite getting a bit out there plot wise. Man, I’m really going to miss getting new Soderbergh films if his retirement is real.

051 02-27 I Love Lucy Season 1 (1951) 4/5
The first hit sitcom! I think, “The Honeymooners” might actually be first. At any rate, this was certainly one of the first. Mums other favourite show (the other favourite being “All in the Family”), so seeing as Dad isn’t doing too great in hospital I spin a couple of these a week to brighten her spirits. It’s a bit weird watching these in that they are pretty much the template for every sitcom that followed. So they seem familiar even though they are first time viewings for me, outside of clip shows of course. That said, they are on the whole deadly funny. Lucille Ball was one of the all time great comedians and clowns, and she really goes to town. Dezi and the supporting cast were no slouches either. Some of it, particularly gender rolls, will seem hopelessly outdated to modern viewers so best not to worry about it and just enjoy the comedy.

So there it is, February is at an end and we will march into March. Here’s my total viewing tally for February 2014:

17 Watched  15 First Timers  00 In Theaters 

So I have fallen behind my movie a day. Panic! Here’s where I was at last February:

29 Watched, 25 First Timers, 1 In Theaters

My overall total by the end of February in 2013 was 60 films. I’m 9 films off from last year and 8 films off for “A Move A Day”. I should be able to make that up. I hope. Let’s not panic yet.

Next week we should be able to wrap up all of march in a couple of posts. Then we’ll see if/how this blog will continue. Please share with your movie loving friends, “like” and do all that other social media stuff. My ego demand constant petting!

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Movie a day! 035-044 First Half of February

And the blog keeps rolling along! So Far I’ve kept up with my three posts a week that was my usual norm way back in the Benrik days. That said, I’ll be caught up soon, and then not so sure on what to blog about. Feel free to post suggestions in the comments!

Right, this is the first half of February. Before you get scared that it will be too long to read at your work, please remember that February is the short month and that it’s only ten or so titles long. We can get through this together guys, it’s will be fun!

035 02-01 Justice League: WAR (2014) 2/5
This one’s the latest in the line of what are typically decent direct to video cartoons based on DC Comics. This one though was a bust. Maybe I’m suffering from DC overload and carrying too much baggage from their mostly shit “New 52” comic book launch. The plot of this one is basically the first 6 issue arc of their relaunched “Justice League” comic, which wasn’t the greatest thing ever published, but better than this adaptation. I think the main problem I have with this is that despite the animation quality being really good, the voice acting and character designs are overall so terrible that I can’t get into it. They have to bring back the voice team behind the original Batman/Superman cartoons. They’re’ still the best superhero adaptations to date. DC’s constant attempts to improve things that don’t need to be improved continue to hobble their properties.,%20The/blingRingDVD_poster.jpg

036 02-02 The Bling Ring (2013) 2.5/5
I’ve always considered myself a fan of Sofia Coppola’s work, but this film has me thinking I’m more wanting to be a fan, instead of an actual fan. Aside from “The Virgin Suicides” and “Lost in Translation”, I find that I want to like her work more than I do. This one is no exception. It’s inspired by the true events of some rich shithead teenagers who get the idea to bust into celebrities homes and rob them. I don’t know what I was expecting, but this movie just kind of flops out without ever really accomplishing anything. If it’s supposed to be as empty and vapid as the people who did the crimes, then I guess it’s a success. Just not a very engaging one.

037 02-05 Miss Sadie Thompson (1953) 2.5/5
This was one of Rita Hayworth’s come back films after taking time off to be a Princess or something. Anyway, it’s a weird one. She plays a dance hall girl (1950’s speak for “whore”) who’s looking for redemption and finds it from a miserable missionary in American Samoa. Throw in a couple of numbers for Rita to sing and a rape, and you get a trashy little film that should be more fun than it is.

038 02-08 Three on a Limb (1936) 2.5/5
039 02-08 Grand Slam Opera (1936) 4/5
040 02-08 Blue Blazes (1936) 2.5/5
041 02-08 The Chemist (1936) 2.5/5
042 02-08 Mixed Magic (1936) 3/5
Another mixed bag of Buster Keaton shorts from Kino’s “Lost Keaton” set. Some good gags, but none of the films really do much for you. The exception being “Grand Slam Opera” that features Keaton’s “Elmer” character desperate to win an amateur radio competition. Packed to the gills with nearly non-stop gags and stunts, this one is right up there with the best of his silent work.

043 02-14 The Conjuring (2013) 4/5
Revisited this one by showing it to mum. It holds up just fine on a second viewing, and it’s fun to scare the shit out of your mother when they believes in ghosts.

044 02-14 Jail Bait (1937) 3.5/5
Another of Buster Keaton’s Educational Pictures shorts, and it was another really good one that’s right up there with his better work.

See? That was a pretty quick one right? Kind of a blah first half of the month. Those Keaton shorts were getting to be a bit of a slog at this point, so I have not much to say about them. I still think I’m behind this year from last year by this point, so in my next blog I’ll compare end of February totals and keep that as a trend. Won’t that be fun? Maybe?

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Movie a Day! : 024-034 – The End of January

Howdy film fans! Welcome back to the blog! 10 big films in this one to finish off the month of January. Don’t be scared, the comments are as short as ever so it wont take you all day to read. I figured since at this point my movie watching dipped I would compile more films in here. My movie watching continues to be rather slow, so I’m thinking by next week we should all be caught up.

Let’s get on with it, here’s the last films I watched in January!

024 01-24 Cover Girl (1944) 2.5/5
B-Level Musical starring Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. It’s well done and notable for being more serious and psychological than a typical musical, but it kind of plods along as well. Many of the numbers with Kelly will be sort of revisited later (and done to perfection) in “Singing in the Rain”. The standout number is of course a Gene Kelly ballet featuring him confronting a spectral image of himself, and dancing both parts. Also notable for Phil Silvers in a supporting roll as a song and dance man.

025 01-25 Hayseed Romance (1935) 2/5
026 01-25 Tars & Stripes (1935) 2/5
027 01-25 The E-Flat Man (1935) 2/5
These are 3 more of Buster Keaton’s sound films for Educational, and none of them are very notable so I don’t have much to say. The best gags in each of them where done better in his silent pictures.

028 01-25 The Timid Young Man (1935) 3.5/5
Just when I’m ready to write off the rest of Keaton’s sound shorts, Mack Sennett shows up to produce and direct one and saves the day. So far this is the best one yet, with some more inspired gags and a big push in the pacing. So i guess I’ll watch disc 2.


029 01-25 The Act of Killing (2012) 4/5
This is the type of documentary that sits beside “Shoah” and has a depressing chat. It’s not pleasant by any means, but still a brilliant, disturbing and fascinating film. It tells the tale of the mass killings that happened in Indonesia in 1965 by having the military enforcers responsible re-enact their crimes in different film styles. Watch it.

030 01-26 Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore (2010) 3.5/5
Pretty damned fine documentary by Something Weird Video on HG Lewis. Lewis is notorious in film for two reasons; introducing extreme gore to the “Nudie Cutie” exploitation circuit, and being horrendously cheap and borderline inept at making movies. This doc  pretty much sticks to the films as opposed to personal stories, with lots of interviews and clips, including some fun outtakes. I thought it odd that they skipped some titles, but ends up they’re on the hour or so of outtakes. Also included on the disc is a pretty fun additional short film. Basically, if you ever wondered about Lewis and the invention of the gore film, this is $20 very well spent.

031 01-26 Hot Night at the Go-Go Lounge (?) 2.5/57
This is the short featured on the “Godfather of Gore” disc, a nudie running about 10 minutes featuring a couple of topless dancers dancing for a handful of guys in a basement made to look like a club. So rare I can’t find a release date for the thing (I’m guessing 1964), it’s pretty fun in the wacky dumb way these things typically are. Notable for an extended version of “The Monkey” and a pretty good twerk. I think, I might not know what twerking is.

032 01-28 Tonight and Every Night (1945) 2.5/5
Another Rita Hayworth musical, this one telling the true story of a music hall show in Britain that never missed a performance during the blitz. Surprisingly serious in tone for a musical, and not as “Rah-RAH!” on the propaganda front as you would suspect. Hayworth is absolutely gorgeous to watch in this one, but the end result with a forced romance is a little flat.

033 01-29 Lord of the Flies (1963) 4/5
The first adaptation of the William Golding’s book continues to the best one. Natural acting kids, all shot on location, it feels as much like a documentary than it does a fiction.

034 01-31 Gilda (1946) 4/5
This one is a really well done film noir starring Glenn Ford as a down on his luck schlub trying to escape the memory of a woman, and Rita Hayworth as the woman. Beautifully filmed with a plot that isn’t afraid to take it’s time to tell it’s story. Rita’s striptease doesn’t hurt the film either.

So my final totals for January are as follows:

34 Watched, 29 First Timers, 0 In Theaters.

So off to a strong start in the challenge. With the ongoing cancer dad situation though. we’ll have to see if I can keep the numbers up. Suspense! Let me know if 10 films is too much. I plan once caught up to do a “Weekly” round up.

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Movie a Day! 011-016

Busy day at work today, so my intro shall be brief! Thanks to those who have been following so far, even the robots! Do you delete the robot followers on here, or do we care enough to bother? Anyway, tell your friends and what not about this blog and spread the movie love!  This installment finds us finishing the second week of January.

011 01-07 Palooka From Paducah (1935) 2.5/5
The next Keaton in the set, this one relies on typical Hillbilly gags about moonshine. Notable for having some players return from his independent silent days, but the whole thing falls pretty flat.


012 01-09 One Run Elmer (1935) 2.5/5
Another Keaton, in this one he’s a gas station attendant out to impress a girl from a rival. Not particularly memorable.

013 01-10 Galaxy of Terror (1981) 2.5/5
This one is part of “Roger Corman’s Cult Classics” so you know going in it’s going to be goofy. It’s basically an Alien/Fantastic Planet mash-up about a crew going to a planet to investigate a base that has lost communications due to an alien attack. The Alien is kind of clever in that it appears to be a manifestation of each individuals fear so it’s appearance is constantly changing. Now the weird thing is that this plays out a bit like a low rent “Aliens”, except it’s before “Aliens” came out and James Cameron worked on this one in the art department. Kind of neat. Plus the obligatory nude scene is a rape via a giant maggot and Sid Haig plays his part silent, so there you go.

014 01-10 Oriental Babysitter (1976) 2.5/5
This is the second film of a porno double feature put out by Vinegar Syndrome’s “Drive-In Collection” series. It’s basically a loop carrier with Linda Wong, the “Oriental Babysitter”  narrator of the title, telling stories of her adventures in babysitting. It’s pretty fun, mainly because she sounds completely stoned and the dialog is ridiculous. Sadly, after a whirlwind 20 minutes they kind of drop the plot and narration leaving a rather dragging final 50 minutes to wade through. The first film in the set (The First Time) was the better picture, and at $12 not a bad deal.

015 01-11 Tales From The Lumberyard: The Making of “Galaxy of Terror” (2010) 3.5/5
Another case where the making of is better than the movie. Lot’s of great stories by most of the principal cast and crew for the film and some cool behind the scene shots. James Cameron is absent, which is good since there are some pretty good tales of what a dick he was being told.

016 01-11 Corman’s World : Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) 4/ 5
Dad had a few questions about Roger Corman after “Galaxy of Terror”, so I spun him this documentary. It was as fun the second time around, and I can’t come out of it not thinking that Corman is the most influential filmmaker, period.

A pretty trashy week huh? That Roger Corman documentary though is a must see. After this week (in January when these movies got watched as opposed to the week in mark I posted this) the wheels really fall off as my dad goes into the hospital with a broken neck caused by cancer. So some things like the Zatoichi and Bowery Boys movies fall to the wayside, to be watched if he gets out (future still pending). So the upcoming posts will feature more films covering longer periods than these initial posts. Until I catch up, then I don’t know what’s going to happen with this blog. I’ll try to keep it regular folks!

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Movie a Day: 005-010

Hey look! The new blog made it to two posts! Very exciting stuff! In this one we see my comments on Buster Keaton films and Zatoichi. I have been slowly going through both Keaton’s filmography, and received the Criterion collection set of Zatoichi films in 2013, so a lot of those films were previously discussed in 2013s list, that isn’t featured in this blog. If there is demand I can repost the odd bit from last year, but at this point I’m going to skip it and keep playing catch up. At any rate, as can be seen here, the post silent era of Keaton had been mostly miss for me by this point.

That’s about it for this recap. Yay movies! Enjoy! Feel free to discuss films in detail in the comments!

005 01-04 The Passionate Plumber (1932) 1.5/5
Another one of Busters talkies from MGM. None of them have been particularly good, and this one really suffers since Buster seems handcuffed in the dialog and gets no chance to do the pantomime that made him famous. Typically, Jimmy Durante steals the show in these, but even he falls flat. Thankfully, this is the last of the MGM pictures that I own and I don’t plan to seek out anymore so I can move on with my Buster Keaton watching.

006 01-04 The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) 2.5/5
I was expecting this one to be a typical crime drama, and was surprised it’s actually a generational family drama with a crime background. Basically it’s about fathers and sons and how one affects the other. Frankly it tries too hard and ends up being a bit of a mess by the end despite being full of good performances.

007 01-04 The Gold Ghost (1934) 3/5
By 1934 Buster Keaton had hit the booze fueled skids at MGM, who dumped his contract after bleeding his career dry by reusing his classic gags in films by Red Skelton and the Marx Brothers. Keaton found himself without a career, and joined up with skid row movie producers “Educational Films” to restart his career by doing the short comedies that made him famous in the first place, only now with sound. This is the first one, and it’s pretty solid. Keaton seems to be in control, and the gag of a rich socialite running away to a ghost town only to get bombarded by a new gold rush is a lot of fun. On par with his silent work at any rate.,0,214,317_.jpg

008 01-05 Hated: GG Allin & The Murder Junkies (1993) 3.5/5
Stumbled upon this one on YouTube of all places and since I always meant to watch it, I did! Absolutely fascinating look at Allin. Forget Marilyn Manson, GG was truly dangerous, his shows being literal criminal assaults on the paying audience. I’m not going to pretend that he was some amazing talent. His music is pretty much the most base, shitty hardcore going. His absolute fearlessness though is, well, truly fascinating and strangely admiral in light of the horrid phoniness of all things mainstream that seems to be trying to reach new heights these days. He absolutely lived the life he preached, and it of course ended up killing him. It had too, and this documentary is a must see.

009 01-05 Allez Oop (1934) 2/5
The second of Keaton’s shorts for Educational, and it’s a bit of a step down. A pretty basic romance plot that has it’s moments. Sadly, most of the moments are gags he did better in previous movies.

010 01-06 Zatoichi’s Flashing Sword (1964) 4.5/5
Holy shit was this one good! A woman is killed after her litter is mistaken by Ronin to be that of Zatoichi’s, leaving an orphan baby. Zatoichi vows to return the little guy to his father and in typical fashion, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Really good action with genuinely heartwarming interactions with the baby, balanced by a gloomy sadness and desperation for redemption, this movie has everything.

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