Empire of Passion (1978)

Directed By – Nagisa Ôshima

Screenplay By – Nagisa Ôshima

Cinematography By – Yoshio Miyajima

Starring Tatsuya Fuji & Kazuko Yoshiyuki

105 min.

Another powerhouse film by Nagisa Ôshima, Empire of Passion is a tale of adultery and the subsequent murder it leads to.

It is brilliantly acted and directed with Tatsuya Fuji having a captivating screen presence.

Definitely worth watching!

God Bless America

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Starry Eyes (2014)

Directed By – Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer

Screenplay By – Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer

Cinematography By – Adam Bricker

Starring Alex Essoe

98 min.

An original and horrific film, Starry Eyes is a solid addition to the horror repertoire. Is it all the scary? Not really, but it is clever and fucked up enough to make you shiver every now and then.

I’ll take something like Starry Eyes over a remake or sequel any day of the week.

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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

Directed By – Ana Lily Amirpour

Screenplay By – Ana Lily Amirpour

Cinematography By – Lyle Vincent

Starring Sheila Vand & Arash Marandi

101 min.

And best foreign film of the year award goes to…!

Thank you thank you thank you Ana Lily Amirpour. This original beautiful piece of cinema gives me hope that there are good things to come for all of us filmgoers. She makes originality look so simple and fun. Maybe, just maybe, Hollywood will realize that incredible pieces of work can be done, with great performances given, that audiences will respond to, that aren’t huge tentpole previously established properties.

I implore everyone to see this movie.

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The Babadook (2014)

Directed By – Jennifer Kent

Screenplay By – Jennifer Kent

Cinematography By – Radoslaw Ladczuk

Starring Essie Davis & Noah Wiseman

93 min.

This movie is fucking scary! And ORIGINAL! The Babadook is the whole package set with acting, costume, production design, a brilliant screenplay and terrifically executed. This a horror movie that deserves the praise. Thank you Jennifer Kent for you hard work, and keep it coming!

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Let the Right One In (2008)

Directed By – Tomas Alfredson

Screenplay By – John Ajvide Lindqvist

Cinematography By – Hoyte Van Hoytema

Starring Kåre Hedebrant & Lina Leandersson

115 min.

Having already seen the American remake and this being my first viewing of the original, all I can really say is that this is an amazing story. I like both versions a lot, with the original Swedish film definitely being more gritty. Just a great story, with great young actors, in a great landscape of a northern tundra. A terrific story and a great film.

Really, an excellent film.

God Bless America

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Directed By – Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi

Screenplay By – Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi

Cinematography By – Richard Bluck & D.J. Stipsen

Starring Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford & Ben Fransham

86 min.

What We Do in the Shadows, a mocumentary about vampire flatmats, opens with full on hilarity. The bloody opening credits sequence is even hilarious. Unfortunately they let plot get in the way of the jokes. While I don’t want to give this movie too tough of a time, because at least they are being original and doing a lot of good things, I do think they went in the wrong direction when they introduce the character Nick, a newly turned vampire into their crew.

Nick becomes an asshole whom the flatmates all hate. Well, hate isn’t funny. Being an asshole isn’t funny. Nick, just doesn’t add humor to this film. The movie does end on a high note, but that is because they go back to making it less plot driven and more just small funny gags.

I think the premise is fantastic and I love the cast, but again I think they added a plot which is ultimately a detriment to this movie. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have had a plot, but why add a new vampire to the crew when we don’t even know the crew? We are just meeting these characters for the first time, why introduce another, less funny character (unless this is an already established TV show that’s getting a feature treatment? But I don’t think that’s the case).

I do recommend seeing this movie and I will support Jemaine Clement in whatever he makes, but this definitely isn’t a perfect comedy.

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It Follows (2014)

Directed By – David Robert Mitchell

Screenplay By – David Robert Mitchell

Cinematography By – Mike Gioulakis

Starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi & Lili Sepe

100 min.

Hype. Hype. Hype. (Fart Noises)

It Follows isn’t a good movie. I don’t get why everyone’s going ape shit for this mediocre movie. The cinematography is very very cool and the acting is fine, but Jesus people what the hell do you see in this story?!?!? It’s like a terrible, unfunny episode of Tom & Jerry, i.e. Tom chases Jerry, over and over again. However what makes Tom & Jerry funny and timeless is that they ways in which Tom tries to catch Jerry escalates in complexity, not to mention that they’re adorable lovable hilarious characters . And each episode is only a few minutes long, not a feature film.

*Spoilers*

After the first 25 minutes of the movie you’ve already gotten the greatest scares in and the movie doesn’t change. Nothing happens in this movie. Only two deaths? In a horror movie about a mystery “It” following and killing people, how are you going to have only two deaths?

How many times do I have to watch her drive away and “It” following her and catching up to her eventually, until she drives away somewhere else. I mean, alright already I get it! “It” is a persistent mother fucker, now let’s move on.

Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, these movies are scary because the monster kills off the protagonist’s support group. Picking them off one by one until the protagonist is left all alone. Because no one dies in this film (except the arrogant boy next door) the girl’s support group doesn’t diminish. She ends with the same friends she starts with at the beginning. Oooo, alive friends, so scary.

BOOOOOO. This movie sucked. I just watched The Babadook and that movie kicks ass, go do yourself a favor and watch that over this overhyped drama.

*Disclaimer* – If this movie was promoted as a psychological teenage drama I would probably have liked it ten fold more than I did. This is not a good horror film and watching it as a horror film will disappoint you. Watching it as the psychological effects of losing one’s virginity is way more interesting.

God Bless America