• Saved!

    Saved!

    ★★★½

    Mandy Moore yelling “I am FILLED with Christ’s love!” while throwing a Bible at Jena Malone is still one of the funniest things in any movie. This isn’t a raging success in terms of resonance or memorability, but it IS still pretty funny in spots, and I have very fond memories of keeping it in heavy rotation in response to the outsized political influence and visibility of evangelical Christians during the Bush II years.

  • PCU

    PCU

    ★★★★

    “A casual shoe for yachting?”

    On left wing populism and the political utility of being cool.

  • Kill Switch

    Kill Switch

    ★★

    You might have a hard time believing this, but this movie is not particularly good.

  • Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

    Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

    ★★★★½

    I have fond memories of watching this by myself, but last night I had the immense privilege of hosting a screening for about 30 people, many of whom had never seen it, and I must say that nothing beats having an audience to laugh, groan, and wince with. An all-time feel-good crowd pleaser with blood geysers and head crushings. I love you, Riki-Oh.

    Programmed as part of the farewell festivities for my favorite place in the world, Viva Video.

  • Men from the Gutter

    Men from the Gutter

    ★★★½

    Ass-kicking underbelly thriller from the god Lam Nai Choi. The color temperatures, rocking soundtrack, and detached nihilism are highly reminiscent of Mann’s “Thief.” Would have liked it even more if I knew what was happening during the first hour, so I imagine this is even better on re-watch.

  • Bloodmoon

    Bloodmoon

    ★★★

    The fight scenes rock, Gary Daniels’ haircut does not, and the villain is a longhaired cyberpunk who sends threatening Amiga computer animations as e-mail attachments. Really quite good, but I still struggle with the DTV production values of this era: canned sound effects, canned music, lots of wide shots of people standing in what looks like a Raymour and Flanagan showroom, etc.

  • The Peacock King

    The Peacock King

    ★★★★

    Lam Nai Choi bringing his patented insanity to a big budget fantasy/horror/comedy focused on black magic and esoteric Buddhism. So good from jump that my eyes were watering for the first 20 minutes.

  • The Buttercream Gang

    The Buttercream Gang

    Dad simply doesn’t care.

  • Hard to Kill

    Hard to Kill

    ★★★

    “Now is the time. We’re out-gunned and under-manned, but you know something? We’re gonna win. And I’ll tell you why. Superior attitude, superior state of mind. We’ll get ‘em, buddy. Believe me. Every fucking one of them.”

    Just for future reference: If I ever start a hardcore band, this sample will be used to kick off the demo.

  • Mannequin Two: On the Move

    Mannequin Two: On the Move

    ★★★

    Up there with “Trading Places” as far as Philly-centric opening credits sequences go. Just want to drive recklessly down Boathouse Row in a Jeep wearing sunglasses while brushing my teeth.

    Also: the second Stewart Rafill film I’ve watched and the second to include a gay character in Afrocentric clothing. This never reaches the heights of “Tammy and the T-Rex” but the lighthearted stupidity never grates, and elicited a few laughs.

  • Righting Wrongs

    Righting Wrongs

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I’m going to have to up my rating for “Yes, Madam!” as that’s the more upbeat and satisfying mid-80’s Corey Yuen HK actioner I’ve seen, plus I remember the fight scenes being a bit more bountiful. Like in that film, the stunts, choreography, and decadent 80’s atmosphere are all exceptional in “Righting Wrongs,” but damn, EVERYBODY dies horribly in this movie: the good guys, the bad guys, women, children, the elderly, etc. While I commend it for being a more…

  • Better Off Dead...

    Better Off Dead...

    ★★★★½

    Mark my words. One day I’m going to park my Camaro at home plate in Dodgers stadium and kiss my girl while holding a saxophone.