Unarmed Man

Drugs as a Weapon Against Us

Strawberry Flavored Plastic

Avengement

Barbara Rubin and The Exploding New York Underground

Aladdin

Echo In the Canyon

The Bastards’ Fig Tree

Game Girls

Saint Bernard

Unarmed Man

Passion projects are almost always some of the most interesting movies to watch. That same intangible force that drives someone to tell a specific story can leap off the screen and captivate an audience; although, sometimes it is not in the manner the filmmakers intend. There is a reason why even terrible films whose every … Continued

Drugs as a Weapon Against Us

Unwatchable. Amateurish in the extreme and containing almost no primary sources, this is less a documentary than a metadata analysis of fringe ideas. It is less a documentary and more a loose collection of vague suppositions unsupported by anything even resembling a fact. It is less a documentary and more a hazing for new reviewers. … Continued

Strawberry Flavored Plastic

What is it about serial killers that fascinate the public at large? Is it the need to understand what makes someone like that tick? Is it a morbid fascination with death? Whatever the reason, there is no shortage of media about serial killers. Books, shows, and movies have well documented the exploits of real-life and … Continued

Avengement

There are two types of prison-escape movies: the elegant escapism type and the ones you want to escape yourself. Jesse V. Johnson’s white-knuckled thriller falls in the latter category. Caged by negligent cliches, flabby logic, and expressionless characters, this British Gangster enterprise is a bloody mess that will make you want to leave the gun, … Continued

Barbara Rubin and The Exploding New York Underground

When I was growing up around Boston in the 1960s, I remember seeing newspaper ads for screenings of “underground films.” That’s as close as I came to see any of them. This was during a brief moment when these controversial products of the big, bad city appeared in my backwaters community. New York was, of … Continued

Aladdin

Is it me or did I just see a live-action re-creation of a Disney animated classic just two months ago? Oh, I did… Dumbo. I think I asked that same question then and will probably again when The Lion King comes out in a few months. At the risk of repeating myself…why are they messing … Continued

Echo In the Canyon

In the mid-60s big changes were afoot in the US, culturally, politically, and musically. The British invasion brought The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and others to America, and rock music was in its formative years.  It was still coming together and mutating from its roots in the blues, country, and folk. The watershed moment was … Continued

The Bastards’ Fig Tree

Ana Murugarren’s The Bastards’ Fig Tree tells the story of Rogelio (Karra Elejalde), a soldier who’s fighting on the side of the fascist Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. One night, he and several colleagues raid a house and execute a man whom they believe to be a Republican, namely an anti-Nationalist. Before the execution, … Continued

Game Girls

This is a difficult documentary to watch, let alone review. Focusing on Tia and Tiahna, a lesbian couple in the skid row neighborhood of Los Angeles, Game Girls tells the story of their daily struggles. Trying to make money, trying to get the mental health services they need, and just trying to survive. Told without … Continued

Saint Bernard

Syndrome, the antagonist from Pixar’s masterpiece The Incredibles, rationalizes his behavior and general scheming with one succulent phrase- “And when everyone’s super, no one will be.” This quote popped into my head during the first 10-minutes of the surreal descent into madness that is Saint Bernard, but with a slight variation—when everything is off-the-wall weird … Continued