Action

Review of Orca, The Killer Whale

Action, Drama, Horror, Scifi, Thriller Comments Off on Review of Orca, The Killer Whale

Orca, the Killer Whale movie poster

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Orca, the Killer Whale is a heartwarming tale of a killer whale and the captain that killed his mate. A new spin on Moby Dick, it features Richard Harris (known as the first Dumbledore to Harry Potter fans) trying to outsmart a pissed off killer whale.

Reason to Watch

The fine acting by the killer whale, squawking in horror as his dying mate gives premature birth to a rubber whale fetus, is a performance for the ages, and was sadly ignored by the Academy that year.

Context

In the great Hollywood tradition, this scientific travesty of a movie was green lit in an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Jaws. The human acting is questionable, effects are decent, and you can tell when they are shooting captive whales in tanks. Produced by one of the high kings of 70’s and 80’s cheese, Dino De Laurentis, this is a pungent offering for fans of animal horror.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • It is known that they have great memory and, even after many years, they will always remember the human being who has tried to harm them.
  • But you’ll murder him – you’ll sit here safe on the jetty, and shoot him through the eye? You’re not a man, you’re an animal! Its creatures like you science should be observing!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

I did just fine with a bottle of spiced rum. Taking a shot every time they show a closeup of the whale’s mournful eye will get you loaded within an hour.

Trivia

In the mid-80s, Dino De Laurentiis considered a sequel to King Kong that would have had him going head-to-head with an Orca.

Educational Content
  • Killer whales are vengeful dicks, who will eat Bo Derek’s leg to teach you a lesson.
Justification for Rating

Vague references to Native American mysticism, vengeful sea mammals and a score by Ennio Morricone make for an entertaining, one-time experience. Sadly, as in most cases, the movie is nowhere near as epic as the poster.

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Action

Review of Fight Club

Action, Comedy, Drama Comments Off on Review of Fight Club
Fight Club Movie PosterRating: ★★★★★★★★★☆
Review

In this extremely dark and violent comic drama, the “Narrator” a depressed, angst ridden young man is dissatisfied with the world around him. He hates his work and has attempted to mask his emptiness by assembling his “perfect” apartment. In order to relieve his insomnia he’s taken to visiting support groups for patients with terminal diseases. His path changes radically when, on a business flight, he meets Tyler Durden, a charming soap salesman. Tyler doesn’t value a world driven by consumerism and he believes that men can learn through pain, misfortune and chaos. Tyler cheerfully challenges his new friend to a fight. The Narrator finds that bare-knuckle fighting makes him feel alive and soon the two become friends and roommates, meeting to fight once a week. As more men join in, the “fight club” becomes a sinister underground movement that spreads across the country, even though it’s meant to be a closely guarded secret among the participants. As the Narrator and Tyler continue to bond, a strange situation becomes further complicated when Tyler becomes involved with Marla, whom the Narrator became infatuated with when they were both gate-crashing the support-group circuit. As the “fight club” movement progressively darkens where will it all end?

Lots of violence, plenty of shocks, plot twists and a great ending what more could you want?

Reason to Watch

Any film that has a leading British film critic describing it as “an inadmissible assault on personal decency” has got to go straight onto the “must watch” list I reckon. Oh and Brad Pitt with his shirt off, if thats the sort of thing that floats your boat.

Context

Some people apparently saw the film as dangerous and a promotion Nazism, which seems rather overly-dramatic and suggests that these people need to get out more.

Most Memorable Quotes

“The things you own end up owning you.”

“The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club….”

“With a long enough timeline, the probability of survival is zero.”

What You Need To Get Through This Movie

Just in case the urge to re-enact fight scenes takes hold ensure that you only invite round your weediest and most feeble of friends. Smelling salts, first aid kit and route to nearest Emergency Room should all be kept close at hand. Plenty of booze should be made available for Dutch courage before and to mask the pain after the fighting.

Trivia

The home-made recipe for Napalm provided by Tyler was incorrect, for obvious safety reasons. Some sources state that the recipe was accurate in the book upon which the film was based but, in fact, that too was false (at the insistence of the books publishers). If I had known this sooner I would not have wasted a great deal of tasty orange juice in attempting a reenactment of scenes from Apocalypse Now last summer.

Educational Content
  1. You can make soap from the fat of humans.
  2. Misuse of steroids can land you with a nasty pair of breasts.
  3. Messing around with lye is a bad idea, that shit burns!
  4. Exercise helps you get healthy, natural sleep.
  5. Ikea do some nice furniture.
Justification for Rating

The film is challenging and controversial but is hugely watchable, quotable and enjoyable.

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Drama

Review of The Mack

Drama Comments Off on Review of The Mack

The MackRating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

There was a time where Richard Pryor was the best comedian in the world, and he was, unapologetic and the shit. Now it’s Dane Cook or that chubby Spanish guy. It’s a sad sad world. Yet during Pryor’s reign as master of comedy, he and Max Julien helped put together an exploitation film called The Mack. the Mack is essentially a character study of drug dealing in the late 60’s. You would be surprised at how unfunny the film is, considering it’s lead, being more of a drama than anything else. This isn’t wrong exactly, but it does come from left field as a drama about black men in California, and less a comedy tripe.

Reason to Watch

Richard Pryor is playing someone relatively serious, something Pryor teased through his long career as an actor. Lots of street hustling, pimping, and dope as well for the hidden pimpmaster in us all.

Context

The Mack is for the times and is solidified in history as being such. After Pryor’s death, The Mack stands as one of the best things he’s ever been a part of, and an intriguing take on a counter-culture revolution in the seedy underbelly of drug culture.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Goldie: Listen to me and listen good. I don’t give a shit what happened to you, you hear me? Now get yourself together, get out there, and get me my money!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Richard Pryor’s comedy set fresh in your mind. It’ll be all the better when he calls everyone a mother fucker non-ironically.

Trivia

According to director Michael Campus, screenwriter Robert J. Poole started developing the treatment and script on toilet paper while he was in prison. 

“The Mack” entered the non-competitive category of The Cannes Film Festival on May 11, 1983, 10 years after its release. 

The Mack was a direct influence on Oliver Stone‘s script for Scarface.  The Mack has been sampled in hundreds of songs (rap, R&B, hip hop, etc), including Dr. Dre‘s “The Chronic”. Max Julien also played Nelly‘s father in the video for “Pimp Juice.” 

Educational Content

Black culture is CRAZY

Scarface would have been The Mack if Richard Pryor or Max Julien replaced Al Pacino, and the setting moved to California

Justification for Rating

The Mack is only truly entertaining if you have some background understanding of the events and characters. Otherwise, you’re left sort of stranded.

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkgz1FR9TO4

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Drama

Review of Happiness

Drama Comments Off on Review of Happiness

Happiness DVD CoverRating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Review

Unlike many cult films that have that status because they’re just flat-out terrible, Happiness is legitimately engrossing. It touches on a slew of untouchable topics, including childhood rape, empty sex, suicide, and just about any other topic that could disturb and shock in a meaningful way. The success of Happiness comes from how director Todd Solondz collects these ideas into a cohesive and intriguing plot line, without it coming across as shocking for the sake of shock.

Reason to Watch

Happiness has a few key scenes that take it from a good movie to an existential borderline-life changing film. One in particular comes to mind that is so outrageous and yet so touching, it deserves a watch just for it.

Context

The film tries something new. It balances the offensive with the message so well, a position many films have failed at. The content of the film puts it in cult status be default, but the amount of substantial interest her is actually quite riveting. All the actors seem believable in these offensive scenarios, giving them a grim reality that is rarely touched upon in film.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Helen Jordan: Y’know, people are always putting New Jersey down. None of my friends can believe I live here. But that’s because they don’t get it: I’m living in a state of irony. 
  • Trish: How come no matter how much you treat me like shit, I can’t help loving you even more? 
  • Helen Jordan: If only I had been raped as a child! *Then* I would know authenticity! 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

You need to hide your depressants, lock them up, throw away the key. Find a place where you can be blissfully happy to counter the overbearing weight of sadness you’ll probably feel after completing this film.

Trivia
  • noted as one of the 25 most dangerous films by Premiere
Educational Content

Calling girls on the phone for sexual pleasure can get you in trouble. Raping your own son is tacky.

Justification for Rating

Unlike many films that are noted for their awfulness, Happiness manages to do a lot of what many cult films fail to capture. the embodied spirit of the sad and depraved has never been held in a more intriguing light. It’s brilliantly paced and is an exercise in open-mindedness and understanding.

Clip

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDLnwS8JE2k

Action

Review of Breakout from Oppression

Action, Drama Comments Off on Review of Breakout from Oppression

Breakout from OppressionRating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Fonda Chu is a young woman who was just released from prison and is looking to make a fresh start. Things begin to look promising when a letter arrives offering her work at a newspaper in small town. Inquiring minds want to know who she is and where she came from. But it seems that no matter how hard she tries someone will not let her forget her past. Strange and awful things begin to happen to those around her and all fingers point straight to her. Fonda must figure out who is responsible and answer questions to her past before it is too late. Read the rest of this entry »

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