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villain's reviews view profile

Breaking Ground Again  
12345678910
on July 25, 2004 - 3:40 PM PDT
  of The Richard Pryor Show - Volume 1 (1977)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
 


As any fan of stand up comedy already knows, Richard Pryor (along with Rudy Ray Moore) was a ground breaker. He again broke ground with this short-lived, yet very funny TV series. The skits have either an underlying, or quite overt, social-political theme. There's certainly a '70s Black-consciousness "feel" to the show which I thought was great. It did make me wonder how this series ever got the green light to begin with. Hell, this show would have trouble staying on air today without an outcry of controversy. I can't wait to get the other volumes of this show.
Terrible  
12345678910
on July 25, 2004 - 3:30 PM PDT
  of Schramm (1994)
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
 


This is another gritty, yet campy, horror flick from the director of Nekromantik (1 & 2). Being a big fan of those films I was expecting another gruesome treat. Unfortunately, Schramm doesn't deliver the goods. The film opened with a great quote from Carl Panzram (one of the most quotable serial killers ever produced) which tickled my fancy, but it just got worse and worse after that. There's a few notable macabre scenes, but not enough of them. It's just too mild of a film that's supposed to be about the memories of a serial killer. Schramm is only 65 minutes long but seems to really drag for such a short flick. The only scene I thoroughly enjoyed is when Schramm takes care of a couple of religious door-to-door missionaries the way I'd like to. That was almost worth the rental.
Doesn't Get Much Better Than This  
12345678910
on July 25, 2004 - 3:19 PM PDT
  of City of God (2002)
4 out of 6 members found this review helpful
 


City Of God is simply about kids doing what they must to survive some of the worst slums on earth. Survive severe poverty. Survive severe ignorance. Brazil was/and is in serious trouble, and the directors do a superb job articulating its dire condition.

The story flows beautifully with superior editing, and a first class narrative. The film has a very stylish "look" that left me in awe more than once. Most importantly, the cast is as great as some of the best assembled since the likes of Goodfellas, Reservoir Dogs, or Menace To Society. The characters they portray are both deadly and hilarious in so many ways.

Basically, if I were stranded on a deserted island City Of God is one movie I'd like to have with me. This is about as perfect as a movie can get. There's not one criticism I can come up with. Very rarely can I say that.
Jack Lemmon at his finest.  
12345678910
on July 25, 2004 - 3:02 PM PDT
  of The Out-of-Towners (1970)
 


Jack Lemmon was truly one of the greatest comedic actors of our time. I can't recall any other actor who conveyed anger, disgust, and frustration in such a humorous way. Out of Towners, a movie where anything that can go wrong does, was the perfect vehicle for Lemmon. The combination of Neil Simon's writing and Lemmon's acting produced some real cinematic gems, but I think the Out of Towners was definitely their finest moment.

Please don't bother with the terrible re-make starring Steve Martin. Stick with the original.
Rock N Roll Jet Generation!!  
12345678910
on July 25, 2004 - 2:48 PM PDT
  of Wild Zero (2000)
9 out of 10 members found this review helpful
 


This movie has it all. Japanese zombies, old-school flying saucers, sleazy lo-fi trash rock supplied by the great Guitar Wolf, and the ever important message that "rock-n-roll knows no boundaries". This movie was easy for me to enjoy because I'm a fan of Guitar Wolf, and lo-fi rock in general. But the film is well made. It's all done with a very tongue-in-cheek, campy style that doesn't take itself too serious. A fun movie to watch with friends.

(The movie can also be watched as a drinking game. A beer mug will appear on the corner of the screen every time a zombie gets their head blown off, someone combs their hair, someone says rock-n-roll, or fire shoots out of something. This is the first time I've seen a DVD with that feature.)
A Yakuza Film Like No Other  
12345678910
on June 7, 2004 - 10:22 PM PDT
  of Full Metal Yakuza (1997)
8 out of 8 members found this review helpful
 


Takashi Miike delivers another great movie filled with absurdity, humor, and violence. This is a flick packed with scenes of gore, sword fighting, a well-hung robo-yakuza who eats metal dipped in sauce, and a decapitated head kicked across a city. I wouldn't expect anything less from Miike.

Oddly enough, Full Metal Yakuza reminded me a lot of The Toxic Avenger. And I'm not referring to Troma's low-budget "values" (no offense to Troma, because I do love ole' Toxie!). Maybe it was the ridiculous nature of the movie, or the humor. Either way, just the thought of a "robo-yakuza" should be enough to rent this flick!

(One warning: although this is listed as "not rated", there are some scenes with full-frontal nudity that are kinda "smudged out".)

Roots of Reservoir Dogs  
12345678910
on May 11, 2004 - 8:49 PM PDT
  of City on Fire (1987)
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
 


Since the synopsis is stated above by the fine folks at Greencine, I'll spare you the storyline.

I rented this title just to see if all the hype about Q. Tarantino "stealing" Reservoir Dogs from City on Fire was true. After watching City on Fire, I can't say if Tarantino did, or did not, (nor do I really care), "steal" the story. Some of the similarities are uncanny (warning: spoilers lie ahead), jewel thieves, an undercover cop who befriends the elder thief, a warehouse, and a "Mexican"-style standoff between the robbers. Okay, I have to admit, maybe Tarantino did borrow some ideas. (But I'm SO GLAD he did!!)

However, the similarities stop there. City on Fire is a decent movie, a bit boring at times, and the violence isn't as hardcore as I was hoping for. I'd recommend this to Tarantino fans who are interested in checking out some of the movies that influenced him. Just don't expect the witty dialogue or awesome soundtrack.

Black Leather Jacket Yakuza  
12345678910
on April 29, 2004 - 6:18 PM PDT
  of Afraid to Die (1960)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
 


If you like '60s era gangster films, you'll like this. Afraid to Die has the great '60s visual style. The wardrobes are cool and the soundtrack is fantastic.
It's a different Yakuza-type flick.

I have to admit that I only rented this to watch Yukio Mishima, a writer/actor/director/warrior, who had a very interesting history. And he doesn't disappoint. He's a very cool cat with a knack for overacting. However, his overacting skills don't ruin but rather enhance his campy character, "Takeo". A reluctant, and cowardly, Yakuza underboss/playboy. To which Mishima adds a certain James Dean-flair.

The biography section on the disc explains that Mishima, after turning down various scripts, stated that he would only play a character who wears a black leather jacket, and is a gangster. Need I say more?

Child-Soldier/Child-Guerilla  
12345678910
on April 27, 2004 - 9:44 PM PDT
  of Killer Kid (1994)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
 


Killer Kid is a movie driven by a strong story and supported by a couple of excellent child-actors. Teufik Jallab, as "Djitali", totally kills (in more ways than one). And is able to convey the inner struggle his character is suffering. He's convincing as both a well-trained soldier and a naive, scared little boy.

This movie is a tiny glimpse into a world most of us, in America at least, know nothing about. The story is told, thankfully, without judging.

Unfortunately, this movie does have subtitles that seem to skip a lot of the dialogue. And towards the second half of the film the dialogue was a bit off with the editing. Luckily, I was busy reading the subtitles so it didn't distract me that much.

(One word of note: This movie came about before 9/11 so it's not a hype-vehicle. However, it is a precursor in the sense that it showed the extent these groups will go to.)

Brutality At Its Finest  
12345678910
on April 17, 2004 - 11:35 PM PDT
  of Menace II Society (1993)
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
 


Of all the "gangsta" films I've seen, this is by far the best. The violence is incredible and extremely honest. The character you're supposed to care for, the "good" guy, is a thief, killer, and drug dealer. Yet the performance put forth is so sincere that you'll forget about his crimes. And in the end, you'll find yourself actually rooting for him.

The cast of characters have a great chemistry and are fun to watch. But the actor that truly stands out, and creates one of the most memorable villains you'll ever see, "Ol' Dog", is played by Larenz Tate. His brutality is an incredible thing to witness. A line in the movie describes him best as, "America's nightmare. Young. Black. And don't give a f*#k."

A Great Movie About Setting & Accomplishing Goals  
12345678910
on April 12, 2004 - 4:48 PM PDT
  of Vision Quest (1985)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
 


In my humble opinion, Matthew Modine is one of the most underrated actors out of the '80s. He's starred in some fantastic movies with oddball characters, e.g., "Orphans", "Birdy", (and of course...)"Full Metal Jacket." And Vision Quest is right up there along those other quality movies but somehow got totally forgotten.

Vision Quest is basically about, Lauden (Modine), an awkward high school wrestler who decides to challenge the baddest wrestler in the county (who also happens to wrestle in the toughest weight class). Although everyone in Lauden's life questions his sanity and reasoning (even Lauden himself questions it) he goes forth with vigorous and obsessive training.
That's until he meets the possible wrench (or wench)in the system played by the sexy femme fatale Linda Fiorintino. Being an 18 year old boy his head is thrown into a spiral of testosterone-induced confusion that threatens to destroy his desire to achieve a nearly-impossible goal. (A goal Lauden describes as a life-defining moment.)

Don't be fooled by the wrestling, this isn't a jock flick. It's anything but, and Lauden is an anti-jock.
Vision Quest is simply about living for today and the sheer determination it takes for one to accomplish a goal that might seem completely out of reach. Very inspiring movie.

(Cool soundtrack too. And the movie features an obscure Madonna performance way before she reached cult-like fame.)

Don't Pass on This One!  
12345678910
on April 11, 2004 - 9:38 PM PDT
  of Audition (1999)
4 out of 7 members found this review helpful
 


First off, be patient with the first thirty minutes or so because Takashi Miike does a fantastic job developing the characters. So it may seem slow to some. But after that it's all systems go! Chaos and mayhem is unleashed in such a sick but beautiful way. Takashi Miike is so great at communicating horror, fear, and violence in a non-traditional manner.

Auditon is pure quality. A must see for any Japanese movie fans....or any movie buffs for that matter.

Not Worth The Effort  
12345678910
on April 10, 2004 - 2:40 AM PDT
  of Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
2 out of 5 members found this review helpful
 


Complete disappointment! Not enough of Salma Hayek first of all. Boring script. And Enrique Iglesias as a "tough guy" Mariachi! Give me a damn break.

The only saving grace is Johnny Depp who kicks butt as always.

Better Than What I Thought It Would Be  
12345678910
on April 10, 2004 - 2:22 AM PDT
  of Vampire Effect (2003)
0 out of 3 members found this review helpful
 


A cutesy Vampire flick. Awesome fight scenes which make the movie well-worth watching! Hot Japanese babes. Jackie Chan cameo...what else would you want?
Ridiculous Sex Comedy Starring a Few Notable Actors  
12345678910
on April 10, 2004 - 1:33 AM PDT
  of Fraternity Vacation (1985)
 


Out of all the '80s teensploitation-sex comedies, this isn't one of the best...or sleaziest, with very little nudity. However, it is worth a view because of a few notable actors whom went on to both success and infamy.

The (fairly typical) story revolves around a trio of college-horndogs doing what they can, telling a lie or two, to get laid during spring vacation. Not much else.

The lead role of "Mother" is played by none other than oscar-winner Tim Robbins. Other supporting actors include Amanda Bearse, who played "Marcy" in Married With Children, and Stephen Geoffreys who played "Evil" in Frightnight (and also starred in various Gay Porn features...don't believe me? Check it out on IMDB.com).

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