Archive for Screener

COLD SWEAT aka SUDOR FRIO (2010)

Posted in 2011 New, Movies (2011) with tags , , on March 3, 2011 by btsjunkie

Watched: 3/3/2011

I watched this at home in preparation for a SXSW interview with director Adrián García Bogliano. The story is simple, a man goes to look for his girlfriend who has been lured into a strange home. Inside, things gets weird and explosive. It’s a simple film filled with simple, primal pleasures. I knew as soon as I finished watching this I absolutely had to watch it again on the big screen at the fest. Fortunately, I had a great interview with Adrián and was afforded the opportunity to intro his film and lead Q&A with him. After the fest he gave me some of his earlier works. Look for some write-ups on those later.

Read my full review of COLD SWEAT over at GordonandtheWhale.com!

  • 2011 New: 75
  • 2011 Re-see: 32
  • 2010 TOTAL: 107

Secret Movie (2011)

Posted in 2011 New, 2011 Release, Movies (2011) with tags , on January 7, 2011 by btsjunkie

Can’t talk about this movie but I need to tally it! A review will be coming in the next couple of weeks, though. 🙂

  • 2011 New: 8
  • 2011 Re-see: 4
  • 2010 TOTAL: 12

FROZEN (2010)

Posted in 2010 New, 2010 Release, Age 29 New, Movies (2010), Movies (Age 29) with tags , , , on April 21, 2010 by btsjunkie

Watched: 4/21/2010

I love Adam Green. I love HATCHET. I love SPIRAL. I love his shorts. I really think he “gets” horror and I hold out hope that he will continue churning out fun pieces like FROZEN.

Simple setup: Three skiers (including a grown up Shawn Ashmore) are having an impromptu getaway and, through a bizarre series of events, end up trapped on a ski lift, far up the mountain and high off the ground, on a Sunday night. The park will not reopen until Friday.

That’s all that should really be said about FROZEN. You shouldn’t even watch the trailer. This is a great movie to watch in the dark not because it’s scary but because it is cold and brutal. You can feel the frost as it forms. The characters do make some dicey situations but that’s easy to judge from our warm seats. There is a level of desperation clouding judgment here.

I hear a lot of people saying they don’t like the movie because they didn’t really like the characters. I don’t understand that at all, though. No, I wasn’t in love with each of them, but their faults made them feel real. They were flawed (maybe very so) but they weren’t BAD people. So when the horror begins and we see what they go through, even if we don’t LIKE them as much as we do some characters in other movies, aren’t we questioning whether they really do deserve what they are going through? Tell me one thing any of the characters did for which they deserve to suffer and die? I will fight this point until I’m out of breath, there’s nothing wrong with these characters and the movie wouldn’t have worked if it was a couple of douchefaucets from HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL prude-ing their way up the mountain. Fuck that movie that doesn’t exist because if it did it would SUCK.

Oh, I love Adam Green. No CG. ❤

🙂

  • 2010 New: 127
  • 2010 Re-see: 48
  • 2010 TOTAL: 175
  • Age 29 New: 133
  • Age 29 Re-see: 51
  • Age 29 TOTAL: 184

POPATOPOLIS (2009)

Posted in 2010 New, Age 29 New, Movies (2010), Movies (Age 29) with tags , , , on April 1, 2010 by btsjunkie

Watched: 4/1/2010

I grew up on 80s VHS shlock and, as such, my path crossed several times with that of Jim Wynorski. In movies like SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE II, TRANSYLVANIA TWIST, MUNCHIE, 976-EVIL II, RETURN OF SWAMP THING, NOT OF THIS EARTH, BEASTMASTER II and (of course!) CHOPPING MALL. Even back in his early days there was a healthy layer of sexuality to everything he did but there were enough genre elements to make some of his movies minor classics. Sadly, I haven’t kept up with his work as he descended into a routine of releasing micro-budget “horror” films that server better as soft-cores than shockers. Still, imagine my excitement when I learned there was a documentary recently put together about Jim. Imagine my even greater surprise when I finally got my hands on a copy!

POPATOPOLIS is of interest to any who enjoys film, even if on just a casual basis. While the beginning focuses on Wynorski and a bit of his history, this is just a setup for the real meat of the film where Jim takes on the challenge of filming a movie in 3 days. This is the catalyst for the rest of film. Everyone (as in Jim, the handful of actors, a sound guy, the DP and a production assistant) gather at a house and shoot the WITCHES OF BREASTWICK. Through the production we see many sides of Jim, everyone describes him as a gentle giant off-set but as a grizzly at times on-set. Even in these micr-budget skin flicks, Jim has a vision.

What struck me as very genuine about this documentary is that it’s not a 90-minute handjob for Wynorski. Some of his longtime actresses lament the direction Jim has stayed on for so long, wishing for the older days where, yes there was plenty of boob action, but there was also some creativity as well. This leads into some interviews where some interesting points are raised about the absence of a real B-movie world anymore. It would appear there’s Z level and the Hollywood stuff. Some very interesting discussions here, all stemming from a man who really could have been a B-movie legend but somewhere got sidetracked (for better or worse, POPATOPOLIS wisely passes no judgment).

Again, you do not need to be a Wynorski fan to enjoy POPATOPOLIS. You just need to have an appreciation for film, filmmaking, B-movies… anything related to movies. Highly recommended, keep checking out the official site for details on the DVD release!

Some Wynorski movies you should definitely check out: CHOPPING MALL, RETURN OF SWAMP THING, and more!

  • 2010 New: 111
  • 2010 Re-see: 38
  • 2010 TOTAL: 149
  • Age 29 New: 117
  • Age 29 Re-see: 41
  • Age 29 TOTAL: 158

SXSW 2010: THE RIDE (2010)

Posted in 2010 New, Age 29 New, Movies (2010), Movies (Age 29), SXSW 2010 with tags , , , , on March 7, 2010 by btsjunkie

Watched: 3/7/2010

Meredith Danluck’s documentary chronicling the people behind and the tour of the Professional Bull Riding (PBR) circuit is as straightforward as they come. In the case of THE RIDE that is definitely a bonus. Something could be said about the leisurely pace as a counterpoint to the speed and spontaneity of the bull rides themselves. The film chronicles several people involved with the PBR including the owner, the young up-and-comers who live life like rockstars, and the show entertainer (don’t call him a rodeo clown). Not only do they go through their functions at the PBR, the film documents their life away and how the dangers, pressures and rushes of life in the rodeo effect they way they choose to relax (or not). It’s all beautifully shot and is extremely interesting. The amount of talent, training, money and, ultimately, heart that goes into each seconds-long bullride is astonishing and something that many will never think to explore. A simple, beautiful, fascinating documentary, THE RIDE is a great feature-length beginning to what promises to be a fine career for Danluck if she can continue to explore such subjects with as much tenderness.

  • 2010 New: 72
  • 2010 Re-see: 31
  • 2010 TOTAL: 103
  • Age 29 New: 78
  • Age 29 Re-see: 34
  • Age 29 TOTAL: 112

BEST WORST MOVIE (2009)

Posted in 2010 New, Age 29 New, Movies (2010), Movies (Age 29) with tags , , , on January 19, 2010 by btsjunkie

Watched: 1/17/2010

Another movie I missed my golden opportunity to see this time at SXSW. It wasn’t until almost a year later I was able to watch this via screener.

This documentary, as you should know, is about the phenomenon that is TROLL 2. If you haven’t seen TROLL 2 it’s not required viewing before this documentary but it is required viewing sometime in your life. TROLL 2 is FAR from the worst movie ever made but it is one of the most entertainingly bad. I’ve never been part of the TROLL 2 cult, I like watching it with a big group of people but I would never sit down and watch it by myself. I would rather whip out something by Juan Piquer Simon to cheer myself up on a lonely day.

This documentary is really more about George Hardy (who plays the dad in TROLL 2) and how he discovers that there is this large following behind the movie, gets involved, has some fun and then gets a bit tired of it. It’s a character arc, sure, but it relegates many of the other actors to the background. There are some brief appearances from people I know (Scott Weinberg, Zack Carlson, etc.) that were hilarious. There was some good background info on the movie but I felt it was a bit lacking in talking about the movie itself. I know it was all about the fandom that has been built around it, but some more inside information on TROLL 2 would feed to the very fan base that the documentary is exploring. It was hilarious to see the director, Claudio Fragasso (who used the pseudonym Drake Floyd on TROLL 2), still defending the movie. And by defending I mean to say he tried to say everything was intentional and anyone who didn’t like it (especially the actors who he constantly refers to as “dogs”) is an idiot.

All in all, this is a good documentary just shy of great. It’s just not focused enough to make a solid, unified point in the end. I do love everything to do with George Hardy but it’s at the expense of the other actors (and there’s some inexplicably missing and not even mentioned like the main witch lady…). I also love the stuff with the TROLL 2 fans but we don’t get enough behind the scenes stuff about product over which they are going ape shit crazy. Still, BEST WORST MOVIE absolutely deserves wide distribution and I hope to see that happen very very soon.

  • 2010 New: 16
  • 2010 Re-see: 11
  • 2010 TOTAL: 27
  • Age 29 New: 22
  • Age 29 Re-see: 14
  • Age 29 TOTAL: 36

FANTASTIC MR. FOX (2009)

Posted in Age 29 New, Movies (Age 29) with tags , on January 7, 2010 by btsjunkie

I have to admit when I first saw the trailer for FANTASTIC MR. FOX I wasn’t all that impressed. Sure I was intrigued by the Anderson-ness of the dialogue but the animation looked stiff, dry and boring. I really should have learned my lesson at Fantastic Fest because just as with A TOWN CALLED PANIC I found my initial trailer impressions to be dead wrong. I’m no diehard Anderson fan. There are a few of his films that I absolutely love (BOTTLE ROCKET, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, THE LIFE AQUATIC), but I simply didn’t “get” RUSHMORE and I thought THE DARJEELING LIMITED was Anderson doing a poor Anderson impression. After seeing this on a few best of lists (and a few people such as Scott Weinberg calling it the BEST of the year) I gave it a shot.  I absolutely loved it.

I’m not familiar with the book on which this is based. And the joy of this film isn’t so much in the plot as it is in the characters. The thing I loved most about this film is the incredibly witty anthropomorphic qualities to many of the jokes. Such jokes can fall flat very easily, but here it is done very, very well. These animated creatures are very aware of their animal natures. And it never once clashes with the fact that they are talking and acting very humanlike. In fact, that’s pretty much the point of the entire feature. It would be a disservice to the movie to ruin any of the jokes but they come fast and they almost always hit their mark. The animation is simplistic but works for this film perfectly. It’s a fantasy world full of talking animals but, like the script, it’s grounded in a sort of reality. It all meshes to make for what I found to be the most solidly entertaining film of 2009!

  • Age 29 New: 4
  • Age 29 Re-see: 1
  • Age 29 Total: 5