Week 33

Here Along

Here Alone- Like It Comes at Night this is less about the monsters than it is the survivors. A woman and her husband drive up into the woods after an outbreak. He dies, she survives and then meets other survivors who complicate and challenge her situation. It’s a realistic (probably) depiction of post-outbreak life and therefore boring. Well done and boring.

C6 A6



Hitman: Agent 47- I’m not sure what compelled me to watch this. I think I’m a glutton for video game movies which, if you’re paying attention, never pans out. My theory is that video game tropes and craziness work in the medium because of the agency that players have. In movies, you don’t have that control so the absurdity stands out. Prove me wrong, anyone.

One Good Thing: There’s some cool stylish things in Hitman but you don’t need to see it. Nothing amazing. Except maybe a non-Spock Zachary Quinto getting his Jason Bourne on. That’s okay.

Watch Instead: Bourne Identity, American Ultra

C3 A4


Jailhouse Rock

Jailhouse Rock- You would think by the title that this takes place primarily in a jail. Or at least I thought it did. It actually doesn’t have a lot to do with it other than it sets the starting point for the rest of the events. Presley is basically a dick with a dream who succeeds and he has a sort of long standing will they/won’t they/but-you-know-they-will relationship with a woman who is inexplicably drawn to him. Presley’s song “You’re So Square (Baby I don’t Care) is the shit though.

C6 A6


Whitney Can I

Whitney Houston: Can I Be Me?– This was pretty enlightening if not morbid and sad. There’s something fatalistic about watching a story you know the end to. Wait, I might be spoiling this. Some people may not know how it ends. I watch documentaries on some early 20th century actors and musicians and it’s intriguing because I’m totally unfamiliar with them. Are they still alive? No idea. Houston had a good life, then a rough time, then a bad life kind of then may or may not have died.

C7 A7


Kill Team

Kill Team- Documentaries don’t often fair well by being wholly balanced. There is an element of style involved that means the documentarian is making choices, which then skews the balance. This film is heavily weighed and edited in favor of the accused and I left with similar feelings. Is it the full truth? Probably not but it’s the only truth I have available so with that being said, “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck the Army.”

C7 A6


HIgh Noon

Rio Bravo

High Noon/Rio Bravo- I have to do these together for a few reasons. One, their stories are similar. A lone man must do battle against a familiar enemy who is coming to town. Two, Bravo was made with High Noon in mind and almost in response to it as Hawks and Wayne felt Cooper’s actions were cowardly in the way he sought help from others. It was un-American to ask for help or even admit you needed it. But even though Wayne never asks for help he does receive it many times often to the benefit of him not losing his life. Bravo is more entertaining for sure. Between one of Wayne’s best performances, Dean Martin as a recovering alcoholic deputy and Walter Brennan as the archetypal “Stumpy” is consistently fun. Yet, it lacks the realism and conflict of High Noon which is taking the medium and asking bigger questions. In High Noon, the threat feels more real as well.  Cooper is indeed alone with no one to help him against men the whole town fears. Wayne already has four people helping and feels comfortable throwing jabs at Cooper’s character for needing assistance.  They’re both good in their own way with High Noon being slower paced while Rio Bravo packs a lot of events into a longer span.

High Noon: C8 A6

Rio Bravo C8 A7



Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance- Continuing with the Vengeance trilogy, we see more familiar faces here occupying different roles. This and Lady Vengeance almost occupy the same space with the kidnapping that occurs but it has enough offbeat characters and elements to set it apart. There is less style involved but no less color and confidence here. A young Doona Bae plays an anti-corporate crusader girlfriend. The usual humor is on display but the main thing you may notice, and then subsequently forget, is that the main character uses sign language. Since it’s a foreign language movie (unless you speak Korean) you’re reading subtitles anyway so sign language is no different. The main actor predominantly conveyed intent through his physicality and it was wonderful.

C8 A6



Dark Star- This was on a list somewhere of weird movies you’ve never seen but should. Can anyone name Spielberg’s student film? What about Nolan’s or Bigelow’s? The reason most of us can’t is because they are not required viewing even if you love a certain director. This is an indie film directed by John Carpenter (The Thing) and writer Dan O’ Bannon (Alien) and its fine but you don’t need to watch it. Both their legacies are secure without this being seen unless you want to see how far they’ve come.

One Good Thing: The special effect for the time and budget are pretty good.

Watch Instead: G.G. Allin and the Murder Junkies by Todd Phillips. Highest grossing student film at the time. No pun intended.

C5 A2

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