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Reviews by Morg [2018] FILM

 

A Ghost Story [2017] * * * *

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"If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them." - Hemingway

This is what J.J. Abrams thinks he's talking about when lecturing on the "mystery box". So much in the way of scale, complexity, and substance is communicated through restraint and minimalism, even to the point of a compressed aspect ratio that served to make me feel nostalgic for something I've never even seen before. Of course, this is only a projection from myself onto the canvas of the film, which is exactly the response something of this reserved nature would hope for from any viewer. The simplicity of the characters and the small seemingly meaningless notes of background information make meaning and theme clay in the hands of the viewer.

Each moment could serve to leave one breathless, all the while testing patience and creating curiosity in between. Lowery understands visual language more than most, and his style here is not for the average everyday moviegoer, or the faint of heart. By the end of the film, I was eerily aware of how quiet my house is most of the time.


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Isaak von Seggern [2018] TV

 

Brideshead Revisited [11 episodes, 1981] * * * *

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"Action film fans have been left out in the cold as of late. Force-fed with the dreadfully boring 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and the insipidly stupid 'Escape from New York', they have been left to watch obscure religious British dramas for 'entertainment'. One shines through though, 'Brideshead Revisited', an all-out orgy of violence and erotic filth. Featuring the most amount of circumcisions in any one film to date and a balls to the wall sequence involving an angry housewife, a diamond studded toilet plunger, and an unlucky raccoon, 'Brideshead Revisited' is the cinematic equivalent to mixing heroin with cocaine that action junkies and just normal junkies in general have been fixing for. So pick off that heroin scab and needle up, because 'Brideshead Revisited' is one bad life choice you won't want to miss." - Roger Ebert in his 1981 review for "Brideshead Revisited"


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Biscoito18 [2018] FILM

 

Still/Born [2017] * * *

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[*Spoilers*]

Fuck this movie.

I can see why it only got 18% public approval at RT while 90% of critics liked it. It's so sadistic.

Christie Burke does an excellent job in the role of a mother suffering with the loss of one of her twins who was born dead. It's a character who suffers, from the beginning to the end, all kinds of psychological abuse until "losing her mind".

It's impossible not to hope for her and her young family.

Director Brandon Christensen, in his feature film debut, knows this and punishes the audience by slowly destroying every ounce of hope for a happy ending.

It's a horror felt with the soul.

Some fake scares should've been avoided. The film doesn't need them to transmit tension. The ambiance of the house is beautifully filmed and the nightly exploration scenes are really scary.

In addition, the entity that pursues Mary (Burke) is well presented, has a common but frightening appearance and, above all, is loyal to its own rules. No easy exits. Do it or do it!

I love it. It's like a less commercial, less fanciful (and less polished) Babadook.

Of all the chilling and tense scenes, the most horrifying moment happens in the form of a simple phrase near the end, when the entity reveals why he chose Mary's son. Just diabolical.

"Still/Born" is a complete "feel bad movie". Tense and frustrating until the final moment. A simple yet unique experience in horror to those who want to suffer.


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Biscoito18 [2018] FILM

 

Muse [2017] * *

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Beautiful, brainy, bloody and boring.

"Muse", the new film by Spanish horror director Jaume Balagueró, has a strong mythology that blends art with the occult and engages the pair of protagonists (and the audience) in a long and slow investigation with predictable results after a sea of twists.

Does it remind you of another movie? Yeah, "The Da Vinci Code". However here, instead of paintings, the characters analyze classic poems. And instead of a secret society here we have, behind the mysterious murder, a mixture of a witches' coven with female book club.

In addition, both films are based on famous novels. But the greatest similarity between the two is how boring and monotonous the unfolding of the mystery is.

The acting is very good, especially from Stella McCusker and Joanne Whalley. Unfortunately both have little screen time.

A shame because, by far, the most interesting aspect of the plot is obviously the cult of the muses, however the film seems more concerned about surprising the audience with twists (some new evidences, many boring explanations...) than spending time with the more interesting characters.

It has some good scenes of violence, though. Especially a brutal murder involving multiple stab wounds in the neck. All very well done with practical effects.

Unfortunately, the most disturbing death scene is only teased by an expression of horror. A strange choice in a movie that until that moment had no problem in showing explicit violence.

Franka Potente almost doesn't appear during the film which makes her character's fate much less shocking. This is another problem of the crowded script.

"Muse" has a very interesting mythology, great acting, production and directing, but unfortunately it also has a serious problem with a crowded script. There are so many revelations and so little time to care about them...


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jmunky [2018] PERFUME

 

Issey Miyake L'eau D'issey Pour Homme * *

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This one has magical properties. Spray it on, and you think, "Wow this smells pretty good." But then, five minutes later, it's gone.


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Curtis Loves Movies [2018] FILM

 

Wolves at the Door [2016] * * *

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I read some reviews to see if I should watch this, and the consensus was pretty bad. I decided to give it a shot anyway because I've been creeped out by the Manson murders ever since seeing Helter Skelter (at far too early an age). And I'm glad I did.

It was a different take on events I'm already very familiar with from all I've watched, read, and heard over the years. Sure it was derivative of other home invasion horror, but as someone who's watched essentially the same slasher movie like fifty times or the same found footage movie like twenty times, who am I to suddenly have standards?

I really liked getting to see the victims fight back. And I even found myself hoping they'd survive, despite knowing how it all ends.

The fireworks were a nice touch. I actually twitched (as close as I get to a jump-scare jump) when the firework lit up Tex Watson at the driveway gate.

I don't really understand the hate for this movie. It's nothing groundbreaking, but I'd happily trade five generic ghost/demon movies for something like this.


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Swartacus [2018] FILM

 

Sign o' the Times [1987] * * * *

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The story goes that the purple dwarf wanted this to be a concert pic from a show he did in Europe. However, the audio was fucked and not up to his standards... so the P man reshot about 80-90% of it at his then brand new palace - Paisley Park. He supposedly directed it, but I think the Purple Rain director ghost directed a bunch of it. It was released to theaters and bombed hardcore... then never saw the light of day again.

Taken as a concert film, it is pretty damn exhilarating. This is Prince in his prime and he was a sensational performer and band leader. It has the usual Prince '80s tone as he performs in front of a bunch of weird neon signs of people fucking and bizarre dancers wandering in and out of frame behind him. They also splice in wide shots of the European audience to make the audience seem bigger and the party vibe seem more epic.

Watching this you really get a sense of the talent that was lost (or wasted) when he died. He could really rock. Like James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Axl Rose wrapped up in one tiny package. No Revolution backing him here except Dr. Fink. But you get the rare treat of Sheila E. pummeling a gigantor '80s drum kit behind him... and that minx can flat-out pound!

Most of the songs are off the "Sign o' the Times " double album (arguably his greatest and most diverse musically). The title track is funky as hell and "Housequake" is thunderous. I also dug the stripped down "Little Red Corvette" on piano and the massively cathartic show capper "The Cross" (quite possibly my favorite prince song). How that little devil wrings so much raw emotion, soul, and pure RAWK out of two chords I will never know.

Now the bad news...

Because this was at the height of Prince's lunacy, he apparently decided that he needed one of his tambourine players and one of his dancer/stripper/back-up singers to do little wordless skits matching up the lyrics with horrible miming. This definitely is hackneyed and buffoonish even for Prince... yet I have to admire how no matter what is going on around him he always seems to look like a total badass. So if you can tolerate a big burly dude in a coonskin Davy Crockett hat having lovers' quarrels with a stripper (not as cool as it sounds) then you will be rewarded with some of the best '80s era Prince you will probably ever see.

Unintentional comedy is off the charts late in the film when Prince is doing some acapella vamping and all the band members are playing tambourine behind him including the immortal Dr. Fink. For those of you who don't know, Dr. Fink plays keys in The Revolution and is the whitest person in the history of planet Earth. Seeing Fink doing his tambourine white-man dance is my spirit animal. He looks like one of the dads on "My Two Dads". He is wearing all white with a plastic red stethoscope and a pair of Max Headroom sunglasses. His hair is pure '80s glory. You know the look... tightly coiffed '80s fro mullet in the style of Tom Berenger. I want a GIF of this. Someone make a goddamn GIF of this. I want it on my driver's license, work badge and passport. This rad sauce look infiltrates the Paisley audience as well... I imagine 50 lily white dudes from Chanhassen coiffing up, chugging a couple Lowenbraus with their ladies, and going down HWY 5 to watch Prince dry hump one of his dancers. Imagine the coke flying around that place... it had to be like 4am, right?

Anyhooo... This is a pure piece of '80s Americana that should be cherished by all. I hope they clean it up and make a 4K blu-ray version. I've heard that most of "the hits" that he played were cut and still exist (perhaps in the recently opened vault?)... They should stitch those in there like they do the random "U Got the Look" video.

They'd make a zillion dollars and I could secretly dance like Fink in my man cave.


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