Chappaquiddick : Get Away with Murder

With sex scandals in the news, especially the one where Trump paid
some bitch to shut up, but she won’t, it is time to examine how to get
away with murder. Ted Kennedy did just that.

There’s a new, refreshingly unbiased film out about Ted Kennedy
called “Chappaquiddick.” It is about the infamous 1969 incident where
Kennedy drove his car off a bridge, which led to a lovely campaign
strategist named Mary Jo Kopechne dying either of drowning or
suffocation. It is not clear exactly how Ted escaped drowning, since
Mary Jo was locked in the car. Instead of rescuing Mary Jo or
reporting the incident when it happened, Ted sat on it for 10 hours
(for reasons no one really understands) before finally calling it in.
By the time he did, Mary Jo was dead and the cover-up begins.

The depiction of the accident is heart-wrenching and sad, but
where the new movie gets really interesting is in its depiction of the
cover-up. Half-brother Joe Gargan, played by Ed Helms, tries to help
Kennedy but disapproves of his actions, and father Joe Kennedy played
by Bruce Dern, can barely speak or write but is furious at Ted and
says only one word: alibi. Robert McNamara is also involved, and the
film ultimately involves a choice on Ted’s part: his career or
(perhaps) his soul.

This is a surprisingly good movie. All the actors are great
in their roles, especially Jason Clarke as Ted, a man with good
intentions who never wanted to be President but must carry on the
family’s legacy. Ed Helms is great in a serious role and Bruce Dern
is a force of nature as the elderly Joe. Kate Mara is able to show a
great deal of humanity in her brief role as Mary Jo. Scenes of Ted
manipulating the press by pretending to be the victim and wearing a
phony neck brace stick in the mind, as does the final scene, real
footage of Massachusetts voters from 1969, most of whom still love Ted
despite the fact that he apparently caused this young woman’s death.
It got me to thinking that maybe Trump should have driven Stormy
Daniels off a bridge; he could then claim to be broken up or in shock
about her death, as Ted did. Problem solved! Anyway, “Chappaquiddick”
kicks ass and you should go see it!

Go See Prey at Night

“The Strangers: Prey At Night” is a well-crafted sequel in the
John Carpenter tradition, but what’s really interesting about it is
the way it reflects contemporary concerns and anxieties. The
“Strangers” films play on fear of The Other. What is the Other?
Anything that will come, motivated or not, and destroy a couple (in
“The Strangers”) or a family (the new film). You can see these
anxieties also in “The Purge” films (the fourth of which is coming
this summer) and the new “Death Wish” remake. The basic thrust of all
these films is that not only will the government not protect you, but
also that they will force you to take matters into your own hands.

Even though crime has supposedly been falling the last few years,
paranoia is up and people don’t feel safe. The message of these
movies is simple: kill or be killed. You can certainly argue with
this message, but you can’t argue that these films bluntly and
effectively present it. Horror films like these show us what we fear
and also how little we can do to avoid crime. “The Strangers: Prey at
Night” is a terrifying mirror of where we are right now, and as such
is more illuminating than exploitative. It’s unfortunate that horror
films are reflecting current problems, but don’t blame the messenger
for the message. The second installment of “The Strangers” is
recommended and don’t go alone!

Star Wars: The Last SJW

The case for A+:

Mark Hamill made a great performance in his return to the role of Luke. Though not given totally logical material, Hamill made the very most of this role, and gave the film the brevity it needed. The plot about him being torn between whether or not to be an active part of society or a recluse was surprisingly powerful, though flawed. I say it was flawed because Luke abruptly decides to rejoin the Rebellion for little to no reason, after having abandoned it for strong reasons.

The space ship battle scenes, as well as the film score, were both quite riveting. Adam Driver also gave a solid performance as Han Solo’s evil son. There was some great dialogue by him about ‘destroying the past’ to control the future (an Illuminati and Nietzsche-like view).  Benecio Del Torro also had a strong screen presence as a Han Solo type grafter, and was charming.

 

The case for F:

Social Justice BS pervaded this film . The cast was so multiethnic that it looked like a bad Sesame Street episode. There is even a big-headed chubby Japanese girl in one of the lead roles for some reason???

The ethic people have no personality, save social justice background stories, and a bunch of yelling ‘Ya!” Apparently, in the future only multiethnic new cast mems do anything (with the exception of Luke). So you will never get to know if any of the minorities in the film can really act, since they are just there to ‘play the role of that minority SJW’ instead of an ‘actual character’. The black guy character has now been in two or three of the films, but has not one character trait thus-far. I cannot even remember the names of most of the characters in these films due to lack of personality, though some have been in multiple films. A very bad sign!

But of course it goes without saying all the Empire bad guys are white males, and most often Anglo-Saxon. Like society itself in many ways, the Rebel fleet was run by a band of five wimpy white dykes, headed by Lara Dern as the Admiral. Pretty much like if Hilary had won the election. The dykes look like they were just at the mall, and they refuse to do anything actionable, until one character mutinies them for being do-nothings. It makes you wonder if you wouldn’t rather join the dark side than work for a bunch of beauty parlor dykes with ugly facial features and no boobs. I’d rather go read an old Playboy instead.

This brings us to Princess Leah, played by Carrie Fisher, who is really really bad in this flick, and should get a post-humus Razzie Award. She at one point floats into space (afte.r the ship gets attacked) and defies all physics. Even Vader and Luke would have died in outer space without breathing apparatus. Fisher is really high in the ‘chain of command’ (something the dykes rub in through the whole film). Yet, she looks barely fit to guard a slot machine in Reno. And she keeled over and died from partying after the film was released. She had really hunchy shoulders, and turkey neck veins, to go with the smoker’s voice. Not sure why they didn’t just kill her off early in this movie or the last (instead of Han!). I also didn’t mention the porgs, or whatever they are called. Porgs are some dumb creature meant to sell action figures and furry stuffed animals, and makes the movies seem dumb.

Also, I would add that the young British Jedi girl is boring (actress-wise). And the Chewy and Yoda look like the kid-friendly Dollar Store version of their former selves. Another thing is that people really don’t like the part where Adam Driver takes his shirt off trying to seduce the young Jedi girl. It makes guys feel gay, I was told at Jiu Jitsu class (ironically).

There was also a lot subversive of class warfare and (animal rights) propaganda against rich people, as evidenced by the demonization of casinos and horse-racing type events in the film. Finally, C3PO should have had more screen time with Luke, instead of one lousy thankless line.

Overall:

This film gets a pass. Though I admit it was choppy. I say this because even though the social justice warriors dominate the film’s screen time, Luke comes back at the end to show them that all their PC crap is just that. When the shit hits the fan, even the PC crowd realizes it wouldn’t have survived without that older knowledgeable white guy (Luke), who is willing to fight for virtue. And also I like that the dyke squad had to face mutiny to get them to do anything.

If you go to see this movie, be sure to go to the matinee in order to save money – since this is such a mixed bag. I recommend the drive-in, so you can make fun of the social justice warriors, as well as the parts that make no sense – like where Leah flies out to space and back with no suit on, and is just fine nevertheless. Its important to be able to yell, “Bullshit!”, really loud at certain points in the film. The ending redeems itself though.

 

Chainsaw Still Makes the Cut

A new “Chainsaw” called “Leatherface” has quietly snuck onto Blu-ray, DVD, and Direct TV. It claims to tell the real story of how Leatherface came to be. We begin at the Sawyer house, where Lili Taylor holds sway over the degenerate Sawyer family and young Jeb is being encouraged to kill. He refuses, so the family kills for him. The family makes the mistake of killing the sheriff’s (played by Stephen Dorff) daughter, and as punishment he sends Jed, the only innocent man in the family, to an institution filled with violent inmates. Ten years later, Jed (whose name has changed so the audience doesn’t know his identity) breaks out with the other inmates and a killing spree ensues.

Basically, this is the goriest movie of the year. It has stabbings, a head explosion, necrophilia, and, of course, chainsaw deaths. It is the last film of executive producer and GROIN Hall of Famer Tobe Hooper, one of the greatest horror directors who ever lived. It is refreshing to see such a politically incorrect film in this day and age, and the cast throws themselves into their roles with heedless abandon. Is this a great movie? No. Is it a lot of fun? Hell yeah! The “Texas Chainsaw” series rules, and this is the best one in a long time.Be sure to catch it before the commies take it off the shelves!

I love this series. In this new PC touchy feely age, sometimes society needs a bit of savage realism to knock some sense into it. At a time where half the country is upset about having their hiney touched thirty years ago, I choose to spend my time watching films about those people getting chopped in half because they made a wrong turn in the country-side and ran out of gas. Too bad they couldn’t have cast Judge Roy Moore in a cameo as the cannibal dad.

New Amityville Flick

The new Amityville flick, The Awakening, hit Blu-ray this month. We picked up a copy, and were happy to get to see it, since the Weinstein scandal prevented its wide release. Amityville showed in only a handful of theatres, and grossed a total of 800 bucks. My underground metal albums made almost that much last year. So I feel good!

The question regarding any Amityville flick is always, “How do you make a decent 90 minute movie about some guy wasting his family with a shotgun?” In reality wasting everyone probably took five minutes and wasn’t that interesting. Normally the answer is to have a bunch of gratuitous dead kid ghosts, as well as boring family scenes to build a sense of (boring) characters. And there is some of that in this film. However, what made this film interesting  is the neurologically impaired crippled character who is getting possessed by the house to kill his family. This all happened because the (stupid!) mom has moved the family to that house specifically to harness evil powers to heal his ass, since God failed. This backfires (obviously). The crippled character is played by Cameron Monaghan, and he does a splendid job in the role. I had a client with a similar condition to his when I was a caregiver, and this character he portrayed was unusually believable. The house heals him so he can kill his family. When he does have control of himself , he uses the power-chair wheel imprints in the mud to put a protective voodoo circle around the house. Isn’t that heartwarming?

Bella Thorne, famous from God knows what, also excels in her role as the dumb teen girl who moves with her family to this Godforsaken house. Normally I don’t like those super skinny white girls, but this girls hot, and she does a great job of prancing around in her underwear throughout the film. In light of the Weinstein sex scandal I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but if she is over 18 and had shown her tits (small tits have their fans too!) I would add a whole star .  And her acting isn’t half bad.

Downsizing Works

Between the mixed reviews, weak box office, and online media hate focused on Matt Damon, the average person is ready to assume that the new film “Downsizing” is a disappointment. Imagine my surprise because “Downsizing” is one of the best films of the year. Damon plays a man who agrees, along with his wife, to be shrunk because of the high cost of living. As a small person, he can live like a king. Unfortunately, life while shrunk is much more complicated than he imagined.

This move starts as a high-concept science fiction comedy and gradually turns into something much greater. When the film slows down and becomes a comedic love story between Damon and Hong Chau (who deserves an Oscar for her performance as a small disabled Vietnamese political activist) as well as being about the possible end of the world, then we are really in uncharted territory for a big budget sci-fi film. The film deserves praise for its weird but plausible premise as well as a great cast (including, Cristoph Waltz, Kristen Wiig, and Udo Kier) and uncannily good special effects. When it was over, I felt like I had seen a truly original futuristic movie. For once, as well, I had seen a film with characters and situations worth caring about. “Downsizing” is the best sci-fi film of the year.

Media is the Pied Piper

One can learn a lot about current events from watching material from the past; that’s what I learned when I watched 1972’s “The Pied Piper.” Starring singer/composer Donovan in the title role and with Donald Pleasance in support, the film impresses far more than it should. The director, Jacques Demy, is obviously a great artist and maybe that’s why the film works so well. Set in Germany during the plaque, the film is realistically done yet has present-day applications. Donovan is great both acting and music-wise in the film.

I’ll say that the equivalent of The Pied Piper today is the media. Both left and right-wing media are at fault; it doesn’t matter. Promising to lead us out of the plague, they instead lead us off the fiscal cliff. Because we haven’t given them enough money, they send us to our doom. This nation is 60k per man, woman, and child in debt. That is morally wrong!

Like Franklin said, it was all over once the public realized they can vote themselves gains from the public trough. Now neither side has any intention of stopping the car before the cliff. They want to hold hands and drive straight over it together straight down into the Grand Canyon.

The media divides along every line, rather than bring people together. The only thing we are brought together for is to line up for our own long term financial insolvency: “Ladies and gentleman, step right up! You can be the next Venezuela!” How do you tell a country so eager to go broke from debt to stop it? Perot tried hard by showing large graphs showing US long term trends towards being a broke banana republic. He actually led that election for a while by making Americans aware of their impending doom.

Democrats march to the music by supporting the welfare state, social justice shinola, and income redistribution. GOP overspends our way to oblivion through excessive military spending, and by allowing corporations to have larger (unenforced) tax cuts than individuals. The media cheerleads all the misguided avarice and steers everyone towards the pipers.

Most of all, they imply that there is no hope. In a way, things are much worse now than they were in the Dark Ages, because instead of beautiful music or at least Donovan, we get Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, street gangs, and prescription drugs. And there’s probably more homeless now than there were during the Middle Ages. The movie does an excellent job of showing how people react to a crisis. It really is excellent cinema. Gorgeous sets permeate the film like a 17th century painting. Between the period detail and the applications that can be made to today (such as the youth being lead away to their doom) it really is a must-watch. Basically anything from the ’70’s with Donald Pleasance is awesome anyway. Buy “The Pied Piper” (1972) on DVD and you’ll have plenty to rant and rave about. It’s one of the great unseen movies!

Another thing to mention is that there is a parallel between the Pied Piper and Christ that no one wants to confront. The Apostles of Jesus were also led toward their own physical and financial doom on Earth. Because as a society we have ruled and voted based on morality of doing what’s right we have failed. Rather than bleeding hearts for every goody two shoe cause known to man. Rather than trying to vote ourselves a Utopian retirement scheme in SSI. Rather than trying to save every threatened nation in the world. We need to save ourselves first! We can do this by only voting for and spending on what is absolutely necessary for the nation’s survival. By voting ourselves so many frills, based on hubris, we have assured the demise of our nation. Its time to return to rugged individualism.

Cut government spending in half! The Leviathan must be cut down like a dying tree.

Death Wish 4: Just Say No. Or Else!

One of the most underrated film series, the “Death Wish” series, triumphs again with “Death Wish 4: The Crackdown.” A 1987 Cannon film starring Charles Bronson, it finds legendary vigilante Paul Kersey (Bronson) EXTREMELY angry when his live-in girlfriend’s daughter dies as a result of a drug overdose. Rather than letting the authorities handle it, Bronson becomes a one-man army again and kills off anyone with any connection to drugs. Apparently a fan of “Yojimbo” and “A Fistful of Dollars,” Bronson pits two drug cartels against each other resulting in MASSIVE casualties.

This film features a woman saying about her sleazy date “I wish he’d drop dead!” right before he gets thrown off a building and onto her taxi. It also features this classic dialogue exchange: “I can be real nasty when I want to be.” Bronson: “So can I!” This film has a shootout at the end in a roller-skating rink/video games. It has Bronson watching the gangs in partially open doors in hotel rooms and NOT BEING NOTICED! It has Bronson killing people with bazookas and grenade launchers. It has a completely gratuitous dream sequence. It even has Danny Trejo in it! This flick doesn’t seem like much at first but then it surprises. I love the extreme anti-drug message; apparently you’re likely to die from your first hit of cocaine! Available for $10 on Blu-ray as part of a “Death Wish Triple Feature” with “Death Wish 2” and “Death Wish 3,” this is an exploitative delight and not to be missed by fans of good trash!

 

For a Bloody Good Samurai Flick Try…

“Blade of the Immortal,” a fantastic, gory supernatural Japanese samurai movie from master of horror Takashi Miike, is one of the year’s most entertaining films. Based on a hit manga series in Japan, the plot has many similarities to this year’s hit “Logan” but this movie is actually better! It concerns a little girl who must convince a world-weary, immortal samurai to avenge her family. And so he does, in one of the goriest, craziest, and most epic action films in a long time. The director, whose 100th film this is, may be familiar to American audiences through “Audition,” “Ichi the Killer,” the original “One Missed Call,” and “13 Assassins.” This time he tops himself, giving us a film that is a cross between Akira Kurosawa and Quentin Tarantino. It’s longish but never dull, and is now playing in select theaters and Amazon Prime streaming.

Harry Dean Stanton’s Last Film Reviewed

Film buffs should take note that a new film called “Lucky” is making the rounds starring the late, great Harry Dean Stanton. The film is about a 90-year old free spirit who is very eccentric and interesting. Du ring the course of the film, we find out about him and his beliefs and we meet other residents of the small town he lives in. The cast also includes Tom Skerritt and Ed Begley Jr., but it’s David Lynch who steals the film as a charming, home-spun oldster who has an unusual bond with his pet turtle Columbus. This is a solid, sometimes hilarious, well-made film that shows conservative people in a good light. Stanton’s and Skerritt’s character are war veterans and it’s nice to see a positive depiction of American veterans for a change. Be sure to stick around for a great gag at the very end! Stanton (from “Repo Man,” “Paris. Texas,” “Christine,” and “Escape from New York”) is incredibly affecting and deserves an Oscar. Don’t miss this excellent, bittersweet comedy!