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All reviews - DVDs (151)

my parents could sell that

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 29 August 2011 04:27 (A review of My Kid Could Paint That)

this film is worth seeing because it creates all kinds of questions. however don't expect it to answer any. most of the issues addressed are left for you "to decide for yourself". which is in its benefit because in fact when they do take on an attempt at an answer they're not wise enough to manage it. take their rather childish harping on charlie rose as "unfair".

as with any documentary, you are getting a constructed story and a distinct message. it is not as balanced as they'd like to think because they are inherently embedded with the subject.

the story her is a kid likes or liked to paint and with encouragement or perhaps demands she actually does more than a typical kid. the parents are involved in pushing the kid into the art market. a local gallery dealer/artist decides he wants to stick it to the art world by proving a kid can paint abstract art. (he is a strict photo-realist and views abstract art as a "scam"). he gives her a show, uses inside people in a local paper to get a story written on her, at the same time has an inside person in the new york times who eventually manages to get a story published there as well. the problem arises when 60 minutes (charlie rose) picks up on the story and does their own story about this questionable child prodigy. and when they do they can't get her to paint on camera, so they set up a hidden camera and get a painting after months which is perhaps different and perhaps not as good as others she supposedly painted. a child expert (not an artist nor art historian) hired by 60 mins says she sees nothing different about how the child works/plays other than the dad prompting her over an over. this raises a question about whether the dad had a hand in making the art. now the controversy blows up. and the question becomes is this girl being exploited. the parents go out of their way to say their kid is an innocent and oblivious little girls and that the dad has no part in anything she does other than taking care of her and encouraging her. but then the filmmakers can't get her on film painting either. when they do she doesn't do much and mostly makes a muddy (over mixing of too many colors) mess and the paints miraculously get finished while they happen to be off camera.

the parents themselves make a film where she...over a 5 hour period...makes a painting. which looks similar to the 60 minutes one and isn't convincingly shown in this film to be adequate to judge by. but this is were the film is interesting but also falls apart. it becomes clear the filmmaker didn't get what they wanted, weren't able to rethink how this should come out, and leave us with almost no one who adequately assess what has transpired.

some of this is better perceived by watching the extras on the dvd. for one they tie it in better to the way art became less about the object and more about the story of the object and its creator. and another little clip that they cut from the movie shows an interview with a woman involved in a "woman's art" show. this few minute clip blows a hole through the documentary's portrayal of the mother's "innocent motherly fear" that her child might get exploited. in fact what this little interview proves is that the whole marketing of this child was started by the mother. it was aided by the father, and brought into working order by the friends of the gallery dealer, but the mother had a clear hand in it all too.

whats sad is we may never know the truth about this situation. the work is scribbles and doodles, which while they may be interesting will never become fine art. maybe she'll continue and become an artist...she clearly has some learning to do and some experience to gain. whats even more sad is, if we can believe this documentary, the body language of the parents seems to suggest this fame is a strain on their family. lets hope the money they made helps them fade away and work on living happily.

what the film never answers, was "is the girl's work art". is it art because someone finds it interesting? is it art because its shown in an art gallery? is it art because someone buys it as art? all could be said to be true. however the bigger question may be "is it relevant art?" and strangely "can a documentary about it make it so?"

(8/10)


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frog people...need i say more?

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 27 August 2011 08:18 (A review of Hell Comes to Frogtown)

sam hell is a fertile male. a rarity in this post apocalyptic world. now he's government property too. he's sent into rebel territory to find and impregnate a group of fertile women (which supposedly isn't a rarity but some how is at the same time??) soooo. rebel territory is run by mutants....the mutants are frog people with a sort've mobster slant. add to this rowdy roddy piper and you can sure as hell expect awful cheesy comedy. imagine my surprise then when there is more of an action drama and less comedy. and its not as cheesy as one would expect either. dare i say its almost serious.

this is honestly not that bad of a film. i'm surprised i hadn't seen nor heard of it before. and i'm even more surprised by how much i liked it. sure it has its comic moments and it has its campy cheese aspect too. but it was nothing like i expected and is a surprisingly enjoyable film

a gem of sorts...for old school 80's sci-fi fans

(8/10)


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yeah what you expect

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 27 August 2011 08:11 (A review of Urban Legends - Bloody Mary)

history repeats when a ghost is unleashed. people die in purposefully cliche ways. like one guy who burns to death in a tanning bed....please!

its better than i expected to be fair but its nothing terrible memorable or good.

(5/10)


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dated campy horror

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 27 August 2011 08:08 (A review of Breeders)

well this is dated now for sure. its unfortunately funny at this point. extremely 80's stereotypical right down to the "shocker" ending thats neither shocking nor makes any sense.

bad acting, bad monsters, some nice cheap gore, breasts,...i don't know...

its aliens impregnating humans and the alien looks like a more cartoonish superhero version of the fly.

if you're into some cheesy campy fun its worth a watch. don't expect profound though. nor serious, nor scary....nor anything of that sort.

(5/10)


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tedious

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 27 August 2011 07:31 (A review of Brotherhood of Blood)

its like they didn't have enough to film so they elongated every single scene. its not stylish, if that was the intent, its just slow. frankly if i had to say it has any style i'd say its under-produced and a bit roughly made. this is easily one of the worst films from this series. what it has as a story isn't bad but by the time they get done with it its hard to care. a 30 minute episode here is drug out into a feature length film. it does seem this way; a TV short that all too much footage was left in to fill time and it went way too far.

vampires, vampire hunters, and a monster/devil. the monster/devil is the mythica Keyser Soze from "the usual suspects" (ok not really, but its absolutely clear that is were this ideal came from). he's out to kill his brother but he, for some reason, has to have someone else do it....ok sure whatever.

this film would've made a better comedy than whatever this is. something didn't stick here.

(3/10)


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run of the mill

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 27 August 2011 07:23 (A review of Tower Of Blood)

tower of blood is an amateur film. i hope at least. its cliche after cliche...and nothing more. that being said, its not bad. its well tread material with nothing new to offer and its mediocre in every respect.

if this is a first film for these film makers than its a fine effort. no major mistakes. hopefully they'll accomplish better work in the future.

3 couples and a stoner have a party in an empty apartment building. they get killed by a crazy bag lady's masked son whom she somehow has control over.
the box says 30 floors, 500 tenants, 0 survivors. but all we see is maybe 4 floors, the only tenants are the bag lady and her son, and someone does survive. its not that its just misleading its poor writing.


this is unnecessary viewing. watch if its on tv but don't seek it out.

(4/10)


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ghost in mirror is creepy, rest of the film is bad

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 27 August 2011 07:17 (A review of Room 205)

i felt lost through most of this film and while after a long while the stroy becomes known theres simply too much time used and too much left unexplained to bring it all together into something enjoyable.

it drags, its confusing, its stiff. i can't for the life of me figure out these people. they are not believable as characters. its just a frustrating film to get to the plot: ghost of a raped girl is stuck in a mirror. she's been let loose and now the mirror has to be put together again to stop her (one of the worst foretelling devices is used to try to make sense of this...it could almost be missed entirely).
mean while theres a huge "you're either in or you're out" cliche which is bland amateur simplification. its more appropriate to highschool than a college dorm. awkward and meaningless. not to mention this dorm seems to exist outside of any actual college or for that matter any actual world. except for a few instances when other people are shown. even the dad in this story is a person who shows up and then is dropped altogether from the plot.

its bad, frustrating, and not enough here to make it a reasonable film to watch.

(3/10)


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near silent past

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 27 August 2011 07:07 (A review of Quest for Fire)

an excellent more or less silent film.

a group/tribe of prehistoric people keep fire going in a lantern made of bones. this fire they use to start fire for cooking and keeping warm. when it accidentally is extinguished they send 3 members out to find or steal fire again and bring it back. along the way we meet 3 more distinctly different groups including a cannibal group and a group that seems mostly interested in sex and laughter. this last group they meet through a girl that had been captured by the cannibals and set free in a failed attempt to get fire from the cannibals. this ultimately leads to a love story and interestingly 'new technologies'. its a cute and clever movie and considering all of this is done with no dialog its somewhat of a monumental feat. the tribes do communicate in their own dialects but as a view this is not translated. it is by no means a problem, rather its remains interesting throughout.

a truly great film. excellent way to spend hours watching.

(10/10)


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prom zombies

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 27 August 2011 06:55 (A review of Dance of the Dead)

this film wants to be one part comedy and one part horror. instead it comes off more as a parody of zombie films. truthfully it comes off more conflicted than anything. the shifts between teen drama, gore, jokes, and action are stiff and disjointed.

the first thing you notice about the film is that most of its "teen" characters are played by people that are clearly not young.
its tone is somewhat lazy jokingly mundane. that style is carried through but doesn't seem so much as a style as it does seem like a half-hearted attempt. or worse a failed attempt.

its prom time. teen dramas play out. the 'kids' are blatant and mundane stereotypes. the jokes are old too. the dead come back to life via toxic waste being dumped by the local nuclear plant. now the sci-fi club will have to work with band members, cheerleaders and other cliche's to save the prom. or not...since by the time they make it there they simply have to kill them all. the rest of the town's people only show up if they are part of a surprise...otherwise the population seems surprisingly almost exclusively prom aged kids.

there are some surprises. most of which are pasted by in a ho-hum attitude.

ultimately its just not heart felt. even the moments that are intended to be, fall seriously short. you don't really feel for these people and i don't think you're intended to. but its a shame. there was a lot of potential here, its simply handled wrong.

see maybe...or not.
(5/10)


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voodoo and witchcraft in a small town

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 21 August 2011 12:58 (A review of Dead & Buried (Limited Numbered Edition - 50,000 copies))

a good older horror film. 1981 isn't terribly old but it does have an old feel to it now. its not a quick cut, ultimate gore excess flick. theres good gore for sure, and a plot thats not entirely unique now but different enough to stand out.

from the start a group of towns people kill a drifter photographer from st. louis. then the kill a family passing through. then other people start showing up dead. theres a whole 'texas chainsaw massacre' vibe going through this...until we start to see the dead people again...!!! and then theres than oddly quaint but somewhat disturbing coroner. things clearly aren't what they seem.

its creepy, gory at points, surprising here and there, but all in all just a good level horror flick.

i do have to say that unfortunately the main character's acting is sub-par and he ruins the shock ending. its a crying shame because some of the other acting in the film is quite nice.

all in all well worth catching once although its 'cult' status is somewhat questionable.

(7/10)


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