Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Recent movie notes

Ok, I'm a little behind, so each of these may be more brief than they should be.

John Waters's A Dirty Shame may very well be his funniest movie since Pink Flamingos. Tracey Ullman, Chris Isaak, Johnny Knoxville and the whole cast are just well-proven comedy stars and this is just so wonderfully outrageous and gleeful, I was thrilled. I am perversely curious how the "R" rated "Neuter Version" plays.

I have no excuse why its taken me so long to see Sideways. Yes, I really admired Citizen Ruth, Election and About Schmidt. Yes, that's a cast of four actors I've traditionally not just liked but loved. I'm a dork. It's everything a person should hope for from that. Virginia Madsen's speech about why she loves wine is particularly wonderful.

Mannaja: A Man Called Blade by Sergio Martino is a fun and twisted little Spaghetti. Ax-wielding hero leads Euro-communist allegory. Yummy!

Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough was disappointing. Now, I know it would be almost impossible to fully recapture the magic of John McNaughton's Wild Things, especially on a smaller budget with smaller stars... But really all I wanted was a sexy movie with fun twists and while that's what it shot for, the sex is kind of boring and the twists are incredibly predictable. I may watch Wild Things again soon, though.

If you're like me, and you're probably not, you've spent a lot of time at your local chain video looking at cheap indie movies, thinking, "One of these is actually good. If only I knew which one..." I remember having success with Dead Creatures, which is kind of British zombie, well, drama. But usually the results of renting them are excruciating.

Shallow Ground is one of those finds. It's got some really wonderful visuals, solid acting and creepy mood that doesn't quit for anything. If you're of a mind, it's worth renting, one way or the other. If you haven't seen it and one day you're wandering up and down the shelf looking at indie horror flicks that might be good and might be the worst way to spend 90 minutes in the world... Try to remember this. It's at least good enough to keep in mind for that day... I do wonder who designed the cover, though. Really, the striking imagery is the key selling point of this movie - and it is wonderfully striking - and they replace it with something generic and not very interesting.

So, that's the update for today. On another day, I may write more about any or all of these, of I'm of a mind.

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