God’s Little Acre (1958 USA)

The characters in this film have hearts and dreams so unbelievably huge and ungodly, they appear other wordly. This all adds up to bigger than life, almost cartoonish characterizations that are very interesting, if not an outright laugh fest. They are all down home and funky, with a work ethic that stretches any bounds of reality. A crazed Southern patriarch spends all his time digging on his property for gold that he insists that his grandfather hid somewhere on their property and he gets his two dim sons to him on this never-ending quest. As a result, they really do no productive work–they just dig and dig. As for the women, they are all horny and trashy and spend most of their time writhing about like they are in heat. [Read more…]

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Around The World In 80 Days (USA 1989)

You should know the plot and shame on you if that’s not the case. A 3 part TV miniseries rendition with an all-star cast. There are many cameos and bit parts by so many top actors from back in the day. (Darren McGavin as Mudge was the most pleasing surprise for me) There are some scenes that are not in the book, but they didn’t bother me as they were just as entertaining as the ones that were. Filming on location in Germany, England, Yugoslavia, Macau, and Thailand, adds a lot of grandeur to the series that it otherwise would have lacked. [Read more…]

I Am Not Your Guru (2016)

Random Dude No.1: “If you don’t step up and be that person, she’s never going to find him…” Random Dude No.2: “F**k dat! f**k dat!” Both of these guys are in each others faces, in the free-for-all that is a Tony Robbins convention crowd. They don’t know each other from Adam, but its the last day of the seminar and they feel a need to impersonate the man on the stage who’s been in everyone’s face for the past few days. He stares into the eyes of strangers and demands they change for the better. F**k this! f**k that!..what is this f**king shit?![Read more…]

Holy Smoke (1999 Australia)

The bad news: That filthy old lecher Harvey Keitel is naked. A lot. (I thought I was in hell enduring root canal surgery when this was happening…telling myself this can’t be happening!) Now the good news: So is Kate Winslet. So don’t get me wrong, there is much to see that might arouse a smile in this motion picture. But if you are looking for any redeeming value, enjoyment or creativity, then don’t waste two hours out of your life on this crap fest. Despite commendable acting from the film’s main actress, Harvey Keitel looks embarrassingly like an amateur in a high school drama. Quite strange considering she was only 23 and he was a whopping 60. In fact, why don’t I just shine a light on many of the problems and just plain perversity contained within this flick from the land down under? [Read more…]

Pyramids Of Mars (1975 BBC)

It was really Tom Baker who epitomized the eccentricities, sharp-wit and extreme other-worldliness that one would expect from an extra-terrestrial master of  Time and Space who has inexplicably developed a keen interest (and insatiable curiosity) with regards to humanity. And in this story Tom Baker makes perhaps the most striking entrance in the show’s history, standing silently next to the Tardis’ control panel, head bowed, hands in pockets like a Western gunfighter before looking up to later utter the immortal lines: “The Earth isn’t my home, Sarah. I’m a Time Lord…I’m not a human being. I walk in eternity.” [Read more…]

Marc Maron: Too Real (Netflix)

He’s still the guy who prefers to sit onstage on the stool in a crouch, only with a more regular smile across his face. The change is most noticeable from one particular camera angle positioned about the third row. It’s also quite visible as Maron enjoys more physical act-outs of his material onstage. At 53, Maron is happier, nimbler, and stronger as a comedian. Not all comedians get better with age and experience. Some lose the hunger. Some lose touch with the audience. Some get sidetracked by other pursuits, personally or professionally. That’s not the case with Maron, who has delivered his best hour of stand-up to date. [Read more…]

The Making Of John Lennon (Francis Kenny)

Lennon’s legacy is a warm, fuzzy pacifism, a hedonistic refusal to commit yourself to anything. He’s the icon of escapism. There are millions of decrepit baby boomers who subscribe to his ethos (most of them Cosmopolitan readers), but he’s definitely not an icon for 2017. The ’causes’ he once espoused, planted in his head by a whispering Japanese con artistè: peace (in our time?), lurve (yucky orgies) & ball-busting feminism have mostly been discredited since Mark David Chapman bust a nut that night in front of the Dakota. I say it’s not “too soon” to take a pop at this champ: John lies on the slag heap of 20th century history. [Read more…]

A Voyage To Arcturus (David Lindsay)

“You may be sure that a question which requires music for an answer can’t be put into words.” Wish I’d written that! The Scottish writer David Lindsay died in 1945. He is usually regarded as a fantasy writer. While he wrote a great deal, most of his works have been hard to find, out-of-print, neglected. Voyage to Arcturus is the exception, having become a bit of a cult classic and reprinted again and again in paperback editions. Everything follows a dream-logic, which is to say no recognizable logic at all, but one that nevertheless begins to feel internally consistent. More than a parable, the entire novel feels like a transcribed dream.
[Read more…]

The Wine-Dark Sea (Robert Aickman)

Dipped into this short story collection as the mood struck me. Each story was 30-40 pages of horror, called more exactly supernatural or “strange”. Each concerns a character or characters who meet with a strange, otherworldly person, thing or events and their reactions to what they come upon. Endings are open-ended, not neatly tied up. The horror is subtle and creeps up on you. Aickman is a master in this genre; not for him the bloodfests of recent horror literature and movies. The writing conveys just the right amount of creepiness. [Read more…]

The Passenger (Lisa Lutz)

book cA fun 304 page romp. Tanya Pitts husband is dead at the bottom of the stairs. She assumes he fell down them, because she had nothing to do with his death. Instead of calling the police, she decides to “cut and run” as the Americans say. She packs a bag, grabs what money she can find and takes off into the night. It becomes apparent early on that this isn’t the first time Tanya has had to run. After making a phone call to a mysterious man, she requests a new name with credentials and some cash. Hair coloured, disposable phones in hand, Amelia Keen is born and off to find a new back roads town to start over in. The big question is why?
[Read more…]

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