Showing posts from June 30, 2019

Review: American Teen

Documentary focusing on a small group of American teens in their final year of high school, offering several unique perspectives on American high school life, albeit white, Middle-American views. There’s Jake, the pimple-faced nerdy gamer and band geek who so much wants a girlfriend. On the opposite end we have uber-bitch Megan, a high-achiever with a nasty streak and some family secrets. In between we have Colin, who is a Basketballer with a lot of parental pressure on him, and artistically-inclined and neurotic Hannah, who wants to get the hell out of Warsaw, Indiana. Although some of the footage filmmaker Nanette Burstein captures is a tad suspiciously convenient for something labelled a documentary, there can be no doubt that this 2008 film is compelling, and occasionally shocking stuff. Yes, it’s a bit of a stretch to believe that ‘popular girl’ Megan would allow herself to be filmed vandalising someone’s house, but the fact is, Megan’s still an uber-bitch and she’s show

Review: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Lying dead at the bottom of Camp Crystal Lake, Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) is revived by electricity and sets about stalking and killing those aboard a yacht hosting a high school graduation. Scott Reeves and Jensen Daggett are our leads, the former plays the son of the ship’s captain, whilst Peter Mark Richman plays Daggett’s over-protective biology teacher uncle. One of the low points in an already dreadful series, this 1989 film from writer-director Rob Hedden (mostly a TV director- and especially- writer) should’ve been called “Jason Takes Manhattan…after dicking around on a boat for 70 minutes or so” . I guess that’s not quite as catchy, though. At any rate, the film is even more stupid than usual, and even the best members of the cast – soap actor Scott Reeves and veteran villain Peter Mark Richman – have been more effective on television than they are here. Richman plays an old prick decently enough, if a bit stiff. Lead actress Jensen Daggett is especially poor and c

Review: Terror of Mechagodzilla

Aliens have nasty plans in store for Tokyo, and enlist the aid of an embittered scientist who hates humanity (Akihiko Hirata). They still need to use force however, to get him to re-build Mechagodzilla, who in conjunction with the monster Titanosaurus, will be unleashed on Tokyo. Humanity’s only hope? Godzilla, of course. Tomoko Ai plays Hirata’s daughter, whom the aliens have rather bizarre plans for that need to be seen to be believed. Popular with quite a few franchise fans, this 1977 kaiju flick had Toho bringing back director Ishiro Honda at the helm. Surprisingly for someone who directed several of the best kaiju films ever made ( “Gojira” , “Destroy All Monsters” , “Godzilla vs. Monster Zero” ), I think the results are quite shoddy. The elements to make a fun film are actually here, they’re just not plentiful enough or assembled in overall working order. We start well with the Akira Ikufube ( “Gojira” ) theme over the credits featuring a series of images of th

Review: Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley

The story of Elizabeth Holmes, a Steve Jobs-wannabe who at just 19 was CEO and founder of Theranos, a blood-testing company. Unfortunately, it all went to hell for her and partner Sunny Balwani (then-company COO and president) when it was revealed that Theranos’ blood-testing technology failed to deliver the goods. The technology (aimed at preventing people from having to go to a clinic for blood tests) didn’t work, was apparently never going to work, and Holmes and Balwani were (and still are) in some very deep shit with investors and lady law. It seems as though everyone wanted to believe in Holmes, especially since her proposed invention would’ve helped save lives…had it worked. It would’ve made a helluva difference. It would’ve made Holmes’ legacy among the greats like Edison, Jobs, Gates, etc. But it didn’t, because Holmes and Theranos were full of shit. All show and no go. How in the hell did this happen? Surely it can’t just be that investors were intoxicated with and enc

Review: Halloween

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is still traumatised by the events from 1978 and now lives in a high-security compound. She’s estranged from her grown daughter (Judy Greer), but her granddaughter (Andi Matichak) has recently reached out. Meanwhile, killer Michael Myers is about to be transferred from the insane asylum he’s been institutionalised in for decades. Wouldn’t you know it, the bus he’s being transported on crashes and now Michael’s on the loose. But Laurie knew this day would come, and she’s been waiting…waiting for the chance to finally kill him. Haluk Bilginer plays Michael’s shrink, whilst Toby Huss plays Greer’s husband. John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is unquestionably one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Nope, won’t even hear any arguments against that very obvious fact. None of the subsequent sequels have been able to come anywhere near close to matching it in any way. In fact, while they are of variable quality, I wouldn’t give any of them an unequivo