City of Lost Children

Film, 1995

If the idea of an intricately plotted, dark, whimsical sci-fi fairy tale sounds good to you, you’re not going to do much better than this. It’s actually a really sophisticated movie despite the extreme genre mixing involved (although it could have sacrificed some of it’s intricate plot for a little more humanity). High marks for astounding visuals across the board that give the movie a unique personality. 4


Videodrome

Film, 1983

Okay, do you see the name of the director up there, David Cronenberg? See the year this was released, 1983? If that doesn’t tell you exactly what this movie is going to be like, let me spell it out for you; gross. In the eighties David Cronenberg made a number of horror films that were repulsive on a visceral and psychological level more unique and intense than anyone else. Videodrome is no exception, although I’m not sure there’s much more than that going on behind it’s incomprehensible veil of a plot than that. But that doesn’t matter, watch it by yourself in the dark and you’ll be feeling uncomfortable about your disgusting body and frail mortality for days. 3


The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T

Film, 1953

It’s impossible to capture the personality of Dr Seuss’ books on film (as miserable adaptation after miserable adaptation have shown us) but this film, an original work by Seuss, comes very close. The energy, style and entertainment value are all clearly the work of the man himself, although it’s probably not what most people are looking for when they hear the words “Dr Seuss movie”. The sets are mind blowing, the costumes are great, the child actor is wonderful, and I even loved the musical numbers (particularly “Because We’re Kids”). It’s so simple I can’t think of any other way to say it; this is a great, great movie. 4


The Wicker Man

Film, 1975

Boy, I was not expecting Wicker Man to be like this. It’s bright and flamboyant, and has a surprising number of (pretty inspired) musical numbers. I really didn’t like the direction, and I was at no point scared (or even creeped out), but I enjoyed watching it. I didn’t like the direction- I felt the shifts in POV were disorienting. I suspect, however, that it, as a whole, will grow on me (at least a little) over time. I love some of the weirder scenes, but it definitely hits it’s themes harder than it needs to. 3


W.

Film, 2008

Despite the low rating, I think everyone should go see this movie. It’s exactly what I wanted it to be- a completely detached representation of our President. It’s completely passive in it’s depiction- the beauty of this is that people feel the same way about the movie as they did about Bush himself. People who thought he was great will think it’s a movie about a great president, and people who didn’t like him will think that it’s a movie about a bad president. All the movie does is say “This just happened.” With all the election hooplah right now, I think that people should take a moment to step back, realize that Bush is still the President right now, and remember what just happened.
So why the low rating? Well, besides the timeliness of it’s subject matter, there really was nothing to this movie. It’s a flavorless dish. And although that’s what I thought it should be, that doesn’t make it a quality film.
I also really enjoyed the experience of seeing an actionless character film in the theater. It’s been a long time since I had. There was something cool about seeing those big heads on screen, 40 feet tall, doing nothing but talking to each other. It’s a different experience than renting it and watching it at home, a point that I had forgotten. 2


Straight to Hell

I love Alex Cox films; the manic energy of them, the beauty of the cinematography, the offbeat performances, the rich themes- but mostly just how enjoyable they are. This one, however, never totally came together for me. It was fun to watch, but a bit drag-ass. It was fun to watch Strummer, Costello, , Richardson, Rude and Jarmuch play criminals in the desert. And it was pretty nuts, but not enough inspired moments to completely sustain it’s short running time. Although I get the impression that it probably ages well. 3/5


Serial Mom

This is one of those perfect little movies where every gesture, line of dialog and filmmaking choice work together in perfect harmony. It might run a little longer than it’s premise and content allow for, but that’s okay. I enjoy the thought of Waters proudly laughing to himself while writing the script, coming up with great lines like “Fashion has changed!” coming out of the lips of a woman being murdered for wearing white after labor day. 4/5


Walker

Film, 1987

Walker is a historical biography film about William Walker, the white, genocidal president of Nicaragua in the mid eighteen hundreds. It’s an intense and brutal portrait of a man driven to complete and utter madness by power. It’s also a zany slapstick comedy, as black as they come. If this sounds good to you, then get ready for a great time. If not, stay away. 4.5


Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse in Love

Really odd movie in that “Carnival of Souls” kind of way, with the same leery, uneasy feeling permeating throughout. Like walking down a dark street alone. 3.5/5