Movie A Day! 096-100: Walking Hazard

Last Friday I had a rare night out, went to a show with the boss to see White Buffalo. He’s a folk singer. I don’t know if that’s his birth name, he was good. In an even rarer event, I ran into someone I know but haven’t seen in at least a couple of years. Someone who really helped me out over the really rough years while I was helping to care for Dad as he fought cancer, someone who probably knows more about me than anyone in my current, hermit life. Circumstances changed, and well, we were unable to see each other anymore. It was cool though. And catching up with her, albeit briefly was really nice. She married, has a kid, a nice career. I’ve lost all my friends the past couple years, my fault, and while she left my life for completely different reasons than the others, it was great to see her and felt good to know she was doing good. Typically bump ins like this throw me into a jealous loop and my ego rages for days. I guess I’m finally getting my shit together emotionally. I’ll probably never see her again, and that’s okay, it’s the deal. She was incredibly kind to me, and it’s nice that I wasn’t my usual dick-self bumping into her at the show.

Another late blog, I didn’t realize I had hit five titles due to some of them being TV shows wrapping up.

096 03-28 Comic Book Men Season 4 (2014, 16 Episodes) 2/5
Possibly the most scripted “Reality” show of them all, it’s gotten even worse. The storylines/celeb guests are all annoying, and the PAWN STAR bit is so insanely seeded it’s ridiculous. The real problem is the men of the title are a bunch of assholes, and in many ways personify everything wrong with comic book shops. But it’s a Kevin Smith show, so I doubt it will go away anytime soon. I’m basically watching it out of laziness, it’s become a habit after watching Walking/Talking Dead.

097 03-29 The Young Marrieds (1972) 3/5
The last film directed by Ed Wood Jr., and he goes out in a bit of a whimper. This porno is the last film he wrote and directed. As a porn, there’s not much here to recommend, but as an Ed Wood Jr. film, it’s got many of the touches that made him famous. Manly a wonky, self righteous narration that’s similar to GLEN & GLENDA, and a hilarious plot twist to challenge homophobes. Not entirely fun and doesn’t hold a candle to his 50’s period, but it’s good enough.

098 03-30 Dark Hazard (1934) 3/5
Edward G. Robinson plays a degenerate gambler trying to play it straight to please his fuddy dud wife who rescued him from the gutter. It’s pretty standard early thirties fair that rises above the typical preachy due to Robinson’s exuberance, and quite possibly the greatest twist ending* I’ve seen outside of a TWILIGHT ZONE EPISODE.

099 03-30 The Walking Dead Season 5 (2014) 3/5
100 03-30 The Talking Dead Season 4 (2014) 2.5/5
Quite possibly the weakest season of the Walking Dead finds the majority of the characters behaving completely against they way they have in previous seasons. The best example being the story of leader Rick who has spent the past four seasons trying to keep his family together and safe becoming obsessed with wanting to fuck a married woman at a compound they find to the point of wanting to kill her husband. Yeah, that sounds about right for a guy who has valued family about everything else. All for visceral “shocks” intended to keep the audience guessing. It’s stuff like this that undermined the whole series, and while the season finale helped to right some of the wrongs, I get a feeling this one is going to suffer the fate of most US television by going on too long and getting increasingly shitty. Of course, they’re planning a second series which means there will be two shit series to follow.

That’s it! Below is a spoiler for DARK HAZARD, since none of you will watch it anyway, and it really is a great ending. So skip this next bit if you think you might actually see it (you know you wont).


So the great ending is this, Robinson has started looking after a dog racing track, and loses all his money gambling so his wife takes the last of it and moves back to Idaho. Robinson spends the next couple years trying to win back his fortune to pay back the wife and goes completely bust, having to hobo to Idaho on trains to get back to his wife. Unknown to him, the wife has had his child, and has been rekindling an affair with some local geek. Robinson tries to turn his life around a second time, and the wife goes along with it for the kids sake. So he’s working a legit job, and manages to get a way to by his favourite racing dog, Dark Hazard of the title. This sets his wife in another tizzy, and Robinson has a blow out with the geek, dropping him with one punch like the fucking hulk. The wife freaks, tells him it’s not going to work out. So what happens? Robinson fucks off with his dog, and in a montage starts hitting the tracks, winning huge pots, and rekindling a romance with a hot blond in which he ends up traveling the globe, blonde and dog in hand, betting at the best horse tracks in the world. Completely dumping the killjoy wife and kid! THE BEST “FUCK YOU” ENDING IN FILM! They don’t make ’em like they used to, kids.

Movie a Day!: Second Week of April!

Alright, here’s last weeks viewing. With this post we are completely caught up so next week will be what I watched this week (the third week of April). Phew, this is confusing stuff! This batch is a good one, featuring a couple of films that remind you how great movies can be.

078 04-07 Walking Dead Season 4 (2013) 3/5
079 04-07 Talking Dead Season 3 (2013) 3/5
Caught up and finished the season over the weekend. While still pretty good, I found this season of Walking Dead to be a bit of a let down over the previous couple of seasons. The first half seemed rushed to finish up some loose ends from Season 3 that probably would of been better served story-wise in later seasons. The second half, while fine for character building, seemed to be stalling for time. The final episode completely works until the very end were the last line that’s supposed to get you all hyped like a cliffhanger just undoes the whole thing and almost makes it a joke. Don’t get me wrong, I’m liking the show and hope that season 5 has a better consistency. Everything is in place for a great season, it just seems to be at a cost of this one. Sort of like how Back to the Future 2 had some good stuff in it, but felt like bridge to get to part 3 in the old west instead of a proper, stand alone movie.

Talking Dead continues to entertain, but this season seemed to be missing a lot of comedian guests, so it seemed a bit too serious. There’s only so much of watching actors seriously talking about their characters like they are real people in charge of their situations before it gets a bit much to swallow.

080 04-08 The Lady From Shanghai (1947) 4.5/5
When you watch a lot of movies like I do, you tend to take them for granted a little bit. So when you sit down to watch a 67 year old Orson Welles film noir, you get your socks knocked off. Completely fresh in approach, featuring staggeringly modern yet classic performances for a studio picture of the time and perfect camera placement and movement, to editing and pacing, this is what all film should strive to be. Add in a dead solid noir plot of a simple Irishman knocking about who gets hooked up and enthralled with the elite and you have an amazing 90 minutes of movie to burn into your brain. It’s a real shame that after Citizen Kane, Welles never got a chance to make the films he really wanted to make. We are all the poorer for it.

081 04-11 Comic Book Men Season 3 (2013) 3/5
This is, as far as I know, Kevin Smith’s latest venture outside of his podcast. I used to be a huge Smith fan but the past few years he’s seems to have gone from “Kevin Smith: Filmmaker” to “Kevin Smith: KEVIN SMITH!”. Which is fine and more power to him, but I’d rather see his movies than HIM. Anyway, you combine a pawn shop show with comics and I’m pretty much going to have to watch it. I’m not going to say this is great television, but it’s good enough. The guys in the shop are fun to watch, and I can look past the very obvious misogyny without accepting it. It’s on with Walking Dead/Talking Dead, if it was outside of that I wouldn’t seek it out.

082 04-11 Deep Roots (1978) 3/5
This is another “Porno Chic” era film that Vinegar Syndrome are obsessed with putting out, and as you can tell by the title, it’s a porn version of “Roots”, the acclaimed mini-series about the slave trade. Thankfully, the title is a rip-off, no one wants to see a porn version of Roots! Shame on you if you do! The basic plot is the story of a Native American who decides to live off the reservation and move to LA to experience life. Life and the women of Los Angeles are pretty fast, so the overwhelmed Billy returns back to the simple reservation life. It’s basically “A Star is Born” with porn in it. It’s quite humourous in that at no point does it appear that Billy isn’t loving city life. Add in a weird striptease with John Waters starlet Liz Renay and this is a fun little watch.

083 04-12 Judy! (1969) 3/5
This one is a sleazy little gem of a roughie telling the story of a rogue ex-detective on the hunt for a sex killer. It’s a cheap sexploitation that is at parts inept yet hilarious. Vinegar Syndrome has paired it “The Night Hustlers”, an even cheaper sexploitation film that features a greased pole contest that has to be seen to be believe. I watched it last year (2.5/5 since it’s slow as paint drying despite being so gonzo ridiculous), so I wont review it separately, it’s currently available as a free download! Get it!

084 04-12 The Swimmer (1968) 4/5
This one has Burt Lancaster playing a man who comes upon the idea to “swim home”, via the swimming pools in his neighbourhood. To say any more would be telling, but this plays like a lost episode of the “Twilight Zone. There’s a sense of dread and mystery that constantly builds, and the film never plays you for stupid so there’s lots to discover. I plan on revisiting this one sooner than later.

085 04-13 The Story of the Swimmer (2014) 3.5/5
This is the incredibly thorough documentary that tells the story of how the film was made. This blu-ray, put out by Grindhouse Releasing of all people, is an absolute must own if you like cult type films.

086 04-13 Foreign Correspondent (1940) 3.5/5
This one is the second film Alfred Hitchcock made when he came to the states. I think. basic plot is a newspaper man gets promoted to be a foreign correspondent and gets mixed up in a spy plot on the eve to World War 2. It starts a little slow, but once it get’s rolling, it rolls fast with a typically amazing mystery/suspense plot that Hitch is known for. It’s also not over the top in the propaganda front. Like everything Hitchcock, it’s recommended viewing, especially the beautiful Criterion Collection Blu-Ray I watched.

Hitchcock! Welles! Weird, somewhat racist Indian porn! What more do you want from a stupid movie blog people?!?! Come on!

Next week will be more movies! Maybe. Things really shit the bed this week on a personal level so who knows what the post will be.

Enjoy the long weekend if you get one!

The End