Movie A Day!: Kung Fu Scoundrels

I read this earlier today. Read it.

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2017/sep/17/choosing-to-be-on-your-own

This one is bigger than I was expecting. Wrapped up The Wire, which left me a little short to post when I usually do. Now it’s a long read. In a couple weeks I start the Scary Movie Challenge. there will be too many posts. Not that I have any idea if anyone actually subscribes to this.

Kung Fu, porno, and classic Hollywood. Pretty typical.


265 09/05 Whiplash (1974) 3/5   Pei-Pei Cheng is back this time capturing a gang of bandits and forcing them to show her where they found some items of her father. It’s a kung fu adventure flick in the mountains with a hidden treasure, played for laughs with a song about boners. It’s one of those awful films that end up being kind of unbelievable and likeable. Hard to recommend, but I’d be tempted to force it on friends.

266 09/08 Sunny (1979) 3.5/5   Candida Royalle takes the title role in this one about a young woman hired to influence a young man but sets out to get his money for herself. It’s classy adult fare from Shaun Costello who manages to slowly add in some sleazy aspects as it goes on to keep the Time’s Square crowd interested. It runs short, which means it never tests your patience and works better than most from the era.


267 09/09 The Wire Season 5 (2008) 4/5   The series wraps up with season, and it’s great. This one shifts focus once again, this time including the media in the tangled web of politics, police works and what not and how the least of anyone’s worries is the people the civil servants are supposed to serve. It also finds McNulty fully succumbing to his obsessions. It’s great stuff, and a perfect ending to the series. I give the whole series a 5/5. Highly recommended.


268 09/09 One-Armed Boxer (1972) 4/5   Jimmy Wang Yu writes, directs and stars in this one, about a boxer who’s master and group is pretty much wiped out by the evil Iron Claw Gang and the evil gangs hired martial arts masters of different disciplines. It’s near non-stop fights, and the whole gang war thing starts over a dudes pet finch. It’s shithouse bonkers, with the one-armed boxers training being the most bonkers of many bonkers moments. It makes for an absolute gem of a kung fu film that has everything you are looking for in an Golden Harvest oldie.    

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269 09/10 The Tattooed Dragon (1973) 2.5/5   This Kung Fu flick can best be described as “serviceable”. Jimmy Wang Yu is back, this time as the Tattooed Dragon, a Robin Hood like character who keeps the thugs at bay. It’s starts off strong, but then does a hard right dealing with a duck farmer and a town’s gambling problems that features far too little fighting to hold any interest. When Wang is kicking the shit out of folks, it’s great! There’s just not enough of it.


270 09/13 Beach Party (1963) 3/5   After all these years, I have finally seen a proper Frankie & Annette Beach Party movie. (I’m not counting the classic Back To The Beach as proper.) It wasn’t really worth it. A bunch of teens are hanging out at the beach, surfing, with an anthropologist studying their habits being the excuse for the whole thing. It’s not a good movie, but it is charming in it’s own way which never makes it super annoying or anything. Dick Dale is sadly wasted, but the self awareness that this film is pandering to teenagers keeps it going. It’s goofy enough that I’ll watch more of these.


271 09/13 Beach of the War Gods (1973) 3/5   Jimmy Wang Yu is back writing, directing and starring in this one about a Chinese town fighting to keep marauding Japanese at bay. For the most part it works, it’s a little draggy in the middle but the last third of non-stop bananas action makes up for it.


272 09/14 Alias Nick Beal (1949) 3/5   An interesting twist on a political corruption story with Thomas Mitchell taking the lead as a crime fighting D.A. that gets a push to being a Governor. Ray Milland is the pusher, and he may be the devil. Lots of noir touches in this one, but it I found dragged bit in the latter half despite how great the leads (and Audrey Totter in a showy support role) are.   


273 09/15 The Man Called Tiger (1973) 3/5   Jimmy Wang Yu is back in the final film in the set I have. This time he’s in a contemporary setting and playing a kind of cool “Steve McQueen” type, only he’s not up to the part like Bruce Lee was. It mostly drags until once again, things go bonkers in the last half with near nonstop fighting.


274 09/15 More Than Sisters (1979) 3/5   The second feature on the Shaun Costello disc that also featured Sunny, this one is the exact opposite. All the glossy style of Sunny is gone, replaced by an incredibly dark and seed psychological thriller that is closer to horror that porno usual gets. It makes for a nice surprise and speaks to Costello’s talent for using any budget to his advantage.

275 09/16 Farm Aid 2017 3.5/5   Spent the day watching this one. Margo Price continues to be a new favourite, but the real attraction for me is seeing what Neil Young is going to do. Young did a set with Promise of the Real and it was simply okay. Young didn’t seem to be into like he typically is. I’m hoping it’s road rust and not age. Willie Nelson wrapped the night up and it’s just a joy to see him out there.

276 09/16 Scoundrels (1982) 4/5   Since unexpectedly getting into porno chic thanks to the fiends at Vinegar Syndrome, Cecil Howard has been a name mentioned in the VS circles as one of the master of the genre. This is the first of his films that I have seen, and I have to say, they’re right. This one stars Ron Jeremy as a successful psychiatrist whose family is coming apart at the seams. Everyone knows Ron Jeremy, he’s a goof. In here he plays it pretty straight, and the film is quite serious in tone, and Jeremy is legit fantastic in this. Especially in the surreal clown bits. And it all works with the near constant sex scenes. A strong film that’s easy to recommend. The Blu-ray put out from Command Cinema with the help of Distribpix is a beauty. 

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Movie a Day! : 136-143 – A Letter Home

Right, no blog last week due to losing Dad. It’s sad, I might write a post about it all. I might not. I do have to keep the movie blog going though so here’s the first part of the month end post since I had too many titles to have only one post for the week. I’ll do the final recap for June later.

136 06-09 Breaking Bad Season 4 (2011) 4/5

Oddly enough, this continues to be great.

137 06-14 Jungle Blue (1978) 2.5/5
This one is by the director of the dreadful “Marilyn and the Senator.” It was also dreadful, but in the delightfully, gonzo way that is endlessly entertaining in its awfulness. It’s mostly a Tarzan spoof, but it’s edited so terribly it’s baffling-ly plotted. A strange mix of hardcore, crime plotting and wildlife footage that really has to be seen to be believed in that everyone of the above aspects seems to be thrown in all willy nilly. “We’ve shown too much hardcore, lets cut to the crime, now cut to animal footage, now back to crime. We forgot the hardcore, cut back to the orgy!” Yup, this one is a great, awful movie for sure!

138 06-15 Deadly Weapons (1974) 2/5
This one stars Chesty Morgan (not her real name), a Danish import notable only for her massive, freakish, 73” tits. Aside from the tits, she would be described as a “Handsome” woman. Anyway, basic plot here is a mobster gets whacked so his wife heads out to avenge his death by smothering his rivals with her massive boobage. It’s pretty terrible, Chesty is no actress and all her dialog is dubbed. It’s a holdout to the roughie days (directed by roughie legend Doris Wishman), so it doesn’t work as a softcore porn but is so odd it’s watchable and kind of fun. Porn legend Harry Reams is in it, and him and his amazing, almost fake in it’s awesomeness, mustache are about the best thing going performance wise. All the other guys in it are really gross and look like they have some kind of skin disease. In fact, nearly everyone in this is gross and unpleasant. Especially Chesty’s tits that just flop out and blurgh.

139 06-20 Breaking Bad Season 5 (2013) 4.5/5
So this is the final season and it’s about as perfect of a final season as you could hope for.

Series wise, it’s nice to have a show get massive raves and actually pay-off when you finally sit down to watch it. I didn’t think I’d power through the whole series in little over a month, you can blame mum for that since she was going out of her mind watching it. Anyway, everything you want in a show is here. Great performances, a plot that is consistently surprising without cheating, even with the cruel cliffhanger endings of most episodes. Humour that is derived naturally from the situations, not at the expense of plot or characters. It’s absolutely deserving of all the hype it gets. Like “The Wire”, I was ready to re-watch it immediately, but am holding off for now. (Though The Wire might get pulled from storage sooner than later…) Series get’s a 5/5 from me.

140 06-20 Vice Season 2 (2014) 4/5
This is an HBO news show based on the magazine of the same name, and every episode has me wondering “Why the fuck is the normal news not reporting this stuff?” I don’t always agree with their political views, and the completely disagree with their some of their corporate decisions/policies. None the less, the stories presented on this show, and their Youtube channel, are constantly interesting and thought provoking. Recommended, almost mandatory viewing in our current media stage where hollow entertainment rules.

141 06-21 The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) 4/5
This one was Orson Welles’ follow up to his groundbreaking film “Citizen Kane.” Of course, “groundbreaking” means “complete flop on initial release”, so RKO took this one away from Welles and cut a bunch out. So like all of Welles directorial efforts post “Citizen Kane” you can’t help but wonder “What could of this film been?” What is here is very good. This is basically a generational melodrama about the effect of the industrial age (personified by the automobile) on a proud family. Perfect performances and direction that feels modern even today, it’s a masterful. surprisingly dark 84 minutes of movie that’s well worth watching. What would the original, 148 min cut that Welles prepared be like? We’ll likely never know, RKO destroyed the footage. That’s why film preservation is important. Please click the link to SAVE THE ALAMO from rotting away in MGM’s vault.

142 06-21 Andy (1969) 3/5
This is a short film directed by Wakefield Poole of an Andy Warhol art show. Shot handheld on I think 8mm film, it’s pretty great with Poole doing some pretty fancy “in camera” editing. Poole presented the film to Warhol as a birthday gift. Later he would screen it prior to showings of his feature film debut, the first mainstream hardcore gay porn “Boys in the Sand”. We’ll get to that one later.

143 06-22 Neil Young – A Letter Home (2014) 4/5
This is a companion DVD to the deluxe edition of the album of the same name. I’m including it since it’s a proper film in it’s own right. The album was recorded in a 1940’s arcade recording booth direct to disc. This film has the video of each performance as it was recorded, as well as some extra bits with Young and Jack White between songs. So aside from presenting the music in a lossless format, it’s a cool document on the making of a record that gimmicks aside ended up being really good in it’s own right.

That’s it for now, the rest of June in a recap to follow.

The End

 

The Broken Record

No movie blog this week. I just haven’t had a chance to sit down to any movies. I’ve been watching “Breaking Bad” at a frantic pace, and the rest of my free time isn’t very free at the moment. Most evenings and chunks of the weekend is spent visiting my dad in the hospital where he is slowly being whittled down by cancer after fighting it for 8-9 years. It’s tough stuff and exhausting. Mum and I are doing our best. At any rate, I only have two titles in the can from last week, so I’ll blog them when I get up to five. I felt I should still post something so as not to feel like I’ve abandoned the blog, so here it is. Here’s some of the non-movie stuff I’m enjoying.

Podcasts:

I pretty much listen to podcasts exclusively now when out and about instead of music. I have a lot of favourites, but a recent one I find insanely funny. It’s “The Dollop” hosted by Dave Anthony of my beloved podcast “Walking the Room” and this episode, “Competitive Endurance Tickling“, is a must listen although they are all worth your while. Feel free to click the “Walking the Room” link and buy yourself a t-shirt. They’re good eggs, and the shirts are nice. It should go without saying that it’s NSFW due to language.

Music:

I pretty much exclusively listen to music at home now on my snooty record player. My most recent favourite is “Neil Young – A Letter Home”. The gimmick is that it was recorded in Jack White’s 1940’s arcade recording booth. Ends up that it’s the perfect venue for recording cover songs about the past. There’s a sense of loss to the whole thing, which is probably why it’s tweaking my brain so well at the moment. Check out this song, the haunting “Needle of Death” that I can’t stop listening to.

Books:

Please Kill Me” by Legs McNeil is a must read if you have any interest in the history of punk. Nuff said.

That’s about it for this one I guess. This week I turned forty and it had very little meaning to me. I mean, you’re supposed to go crazy with a midlife crisis at forty right? I’m just not feeling it though. Who knows, I got a year to go batshit crazy right?

The End