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"Does what horror does best, and does it damn well."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2015 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Is it wrong to kind of hope that a pretty great horror movie perhaps stalls out at cult favorite? "Some Kind of Hate" is a strong, smart, bloody example of what the genre can do when its aims are greater than just churning out product, and it introduces what could be an iconic horror villain as great as the ones spawned in the 1980s. That's the rub, though - I really, really don't want to see Moira Karp reduced to what the likes of Freddy Kruger, Jason Vorhees, and Michael Myers became in pop culture." (more)
"No Escape"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Faithful readers will recall that I spent a good deal of time and space excoriating Noah Baumbach's "Mistress America," an attempt to do a modern-day variation of the classic screwball farces of old that was as strident, annoying and desperately unfunny as a film could be without inspiring a class action lawsuit against its distributor for falsely claiming that it was indeed a comedy. Staggering out of that one, I could have hardly believed that another film might come out in the foreseeable future that could possibly further defame the good name of the genre that gave us such effortless masterpieces as "Libeled Lady" and "His Girl Friday." And yet, no more than a week after it was released comes Peter Bogdanovich's "She's Funny That Way," another neo-screwball screw-up that is so awful that while watching it, I felt as if I should apologize to Baumbach for some of the things I said since his film at least flirts with a basic competence in its intriguing opening scenes that this one never manages to approximate. As it turns out, Baumbach actually gets a credit on this film as well for serving as a co-presenter along with occasional collaborator Wes Anderson. The only possible explanation for this is that perhaps he decided to throw what trace amount of weight he has behind the release of this one because its sheer crumminess might force some otherwise right-minded people to look back and decide that maybe his film wasn't that bad after all." (more)
"Lily In The Valley"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Lily Tomlin is, of course, one of the great comedians of our time, regardless of gender, but she has never quite been able to fully transpose her unparalleled talents from the stage to the screen. Oh sure, she has had great success as a supporting player in films like "I Heart Huckabees" and her collaborations with Robert Altman--including her Oscar-nominated turn in the classic "Nashville"--and she did wonderful work opposite Art Carney in "The Late Show" and Steve Martin in "All of Me," but for the most part, Hollywood just has had no idea of what to do with someone with her undeniably quirky appeal and the few times when she was afforded an unabashed lead role, as was the case with "Moment by Moment" and "The Incredible Shrinking Woman," the results were pretty dire. With her new film, "Grandma," she has finally been given a screenplay that knows how to make use of her gifts and while the film as a whole may have some rough patches here and there, Tomlin more than makes up for it with a spectacular lead performance that is one of the funniest and most surprisingly heartfelt things that she has every done." (more)
"Needs A Better Hook"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Imagine a cross between a lesser episode of "House of Cards" and one of those semi-tawdry direct-to-video "erotic thrillers" that kept the likes of Tanya Roberts and Shannon Whirry in cigarette money during the early 90s and you might come up with something along the lines of "Zipper," a borderline embarrassing tale of political ambition and sexual addiction that is too tawdry to work as a serious film and way too self-serious to make it as camp." (more)
"A.K.A. BMX Bandits: Armageddon"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Imagine what "Fury Road" might have been like if the apocalypse had occurred before the characters were old enough to get their drivers licenses. It might have turned out like "Turbo Kid," a cheerfully silly and goofily gory homage to 80's-era cheapo action films whose boxes always promised more than they ever came close to delivering." (more)
"Never falters as noir, horror, or dark comedy."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2015 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Somehow, when I was looking at this movie's description, the idea that it was a deadpan comedy (although the blackest you can imagine) never came through, which made it an extremely pleasant surprise. Or perhaps it's not "a deadpan comedy", but a supernatural noir that happens to be full of the stuff. It's the rare movie that is both what you would and would not expect." (more)
"If you're like the characters, it may indeed be 'wonderful'."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2015 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: As soon as I saw this one, I figured that it may need some mulling over, although more for its downright peculiar ending than the occasional sense that as someone who is not a teenage Japanese girl, this film is mostly - and fairly - indifferent to me. "Wonderful World End" gets outright weird in its last act, although I'm sure that a fair number of adults will find it difficult to relate to well before that. It's at least interesting for that and gets the bulk of its ideas across, which isn't always the case." (more)
"You ever feel like you're not accomplishing anything at all?"
1 stars
Jaycie says... "You can tell how big a shit the makers of this abomination did not give just by listening to its theme song. John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" has absolutely nothing to do with what's happening on the screen; the poor man was forced to shoehorn the phrase "St. Elmo's fire" into a song about a Canadian Paralympian who, if he had use of his legs, would give everyone involved the swift kick in the ass they deserve. (Actually, Rick Hansen is probably a very nice guy with much better things to think about. But I refuse to believe this movie would not seriously test his patience.)" (more)
"On the one hand, some well-executed horror; on the other, a lot of rape."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2015 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Even given some time to think on it, I'm still not really sure where I stand with "Bunny the Killer Thing". There is a lot more sexual violence than usual, and that aspect of it is a tough nut to swallow, with those scenes right on the line between being a legitimate extension of horror movie violence and something that is really uncomfortable considering the tone that they were going for. I mean, there's a rape scene right in the middle of this movie that involves running from a guy in a bunny suit with a ridiculous giant prosthetic penis, and the repulsive bad taste of one pretty much cancels out the entertaining bad taste of the other." (more)
"A First-Rate Action Thriller"
4 stars
Jack Sommersby says... "(Note: This is a review of the theatrical cut, not the director's cut that Albert Pyun has since compiled. It seems the movie was the victim of severe post-production interference by Dimension Pictures' Bob Weinstein, so it's amazing the movie came out as well as it did.)" (more)

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