Tag Archives: Just Plain Odd

mother!

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Release Date: September 15, 2017
Screened: September 11, 2017 (Toronto International Film Festival)
Runtime: 121 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence; Javier Bardem; Ed Harris; Michelle Pfeiffer; Brian Gleeson; Domhnall Gleeson; Kristen Wiig

I can’t think of a contemporary director who brings the “WTF?!?!” better than Darren Aronofsky, and he proves as much with his latest: the maternal insanity that is mother! Continue reading

The 4th Man

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Release Date: March 24, 1983
Runtime: 102 minutes
Rating: Unrated (closer to R)
Studio: International Spectrafilm / Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Jeroen Krabbé; Renée Soutendijk; Thom Hoffman; Dolf de Vries; Geert de Jong

It’s only fitting that a movie review site called The 4th Reel review a movie called “The 4th Man,” so here goes!

A virtual blueprint for his later, more mainstream potboiler “Basic Instinct,” “The 4th Man” exhibits all of the elements of director Paul Verhoeven’s mode of outrageous storytelling that has made him one of the most audacious film directors working today.

This one is stamped Verhoeven all-around: the icy blonde, the tortured author, the lethal dagger, the bisexuality, the fast cars….there are so many parallels to “Basic Instinct” (one of my all-time favorite movies, by the way) that they’re difficult to count. It’s almost as though he saw in “BI” an opportunity to make an even more outlandish version of “The 4th Man.” I loved it…loved every twisted, depraved minute of it. Continue reading

Naked Lunch

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Release Date: December 27, 1991 (screened June 20, 2014 – 16th Annual Provincetown Film Festival)
Runtime: 115 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Peter Weller; Judy Davis; Ian Holm; Julian Sands; Monique Mercure; Roy Scheider

OK, full disclosure: this is one weird fuckin’ movie. David Cronenberg has never been the most mainstream of directors, but this one is truly odd. Talking cockroaches that masquerade as typewriters; horny centipedes; Judy Davis shooting up roach killer…it’s all here. Welcome to “Naked Lunch.” Continue reading

Her

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Release Date: December 18, 2013 (limited); January 10, 2014 (wide)
Runtime: 126 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Spike Jonze
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix; Scarlett Johansson (voice); Amy Adams; Chris Pratt; Rooney Mara

This one was a total surprise! My expectations were low: another self-consciously quirky Spike Jonze movie with resident Hollywood oddball, Joaquin Phoenix. And while this movie is definitely left-of-center, it is also quite possibly, the most heartfelt and truly tender movies I’ve seen in ages. Continue reading

Endless Love

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Release Date: July 17, 1981
Runtime: 116 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Cast: Brooke Shields; Martin Hewitt; Shirley Knight; Don Murray; James Spader; Richard Kiley; Beatrice Straight

Watching this movie, I had an overwhelming feeling of “I get it.” Let me explain. I get how this movie could have been seen as a good career move for Brooke Shields. It was based on a phenomenally popular (at the time) young adult novel, it was a classy production all around with a well-respected director (Franco Zeffirelli), and was mounted as a serious drama about young, obsessive love. No subtle winks to the audience, no flagrant comic relief characters, no cheesy filmmaking tactics engineered to appeal to the short attention spans of pre-teens. In its day, this movie was probably much like what the “Twilight” movies are to today’s pre-teen audiences. Coupled with “The Blue Lagoon” having been released a year earlier, I get how Brooke Shields was the poster child for angsty adolescent girls everywhere. Continue reading

Southland Tales

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Release Date: November 14, 2007
Runtime: 145 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Richard Kelly
Cast: Dwayne Johnson; Sarah Michelle Gellar; Seann William Scott; Justin Timberlake; Nora Dunn; John Larroquette; Bai Ling; Mandy Moore; Jon Lovitz; Cheri Oteri…many others!

Whoa, is this one boondoggle of a movie! Sporting a cast and a scope that would make Cecil B. DeMille salivate, Richard Kelly’s follow up to his cult classic “Donnie Darko” is one of those not-too-distant futuristic commentaries, but it is so all over the place you almost need an org chart. Continue reading

Motel Hell

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Motel-Hell

 

 

Release Date: October 18, 1980
Runtime: 101 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: United Artists (MGM)
Director: Kevin Connor
Cast: Rory Calhoun; Nancy Parsons; Paul Linke; Nina Axelrod; Wolfman Jack

[POSSIBLE SPOILERS]

This is one fun, albeit totally demented movie!!

I love it when movies don’t take themselves too seriously.  This one has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek, understanding its own warped sense of the macabre. As a result, it makes for quite a twisted hour and forty minutes. Continue reading