Good Time Crime Flick : A-

The crime thriller “Good Time,” which just hit DVD and Blu-Ray, is easily one of the year’s best films. Starring the perennially underrated Robert Pattinson (who is also great in “Cosmopolis” and “The Rover”) as Connie,a smart criminal determined to protect his developmentally disabled brother, the film opens with the two brothers in a heist gone wrong. Connie had busted his brother out of the government’s care, and, as you might expect, the heist goes wrong and the brother ends up in police custody and gets sent to Rikers’ island. The rest of the film is about Connie’s desperate, all-night odyssey to save his brother from the horrors of prison. However, in trying to save his brother, Connie makes big mistakes and ends up getting himself in an astonishing amount of bad situations.

I thought I knew how “Good Time” would turn out, but I was wrong. The script is both serpentine and surprising as it refuses to cater to our expectations. This is not a mainstream film but it is exciting because it is so well executed. All of the actors are great, as are the music and cinematography. The portrayal of the disabled brother is convincing also and Jennifer Jason Leigh is brilliant in a small role. By the end we’ve been through quite a ride with characters and plot twists we haven’t seen before. Pattinson’s portrayal of the smart but misguided and dangerous Connie is indelible. “Good Time” is a must-see!

Birth of Dragon : Good Action / Bad Plot

I am reviewing this film as a martial artist and a fan of Bruce Lee’s. Having trained Kajukenbo 4 years or so, and having met grandmasters there who told first hand accounts of having trained with him, I can attest that this film has a somewhat inaccurate depiction of Lee. I also read Lee’s street fighting technique books and his book Tao of Jeet Kune Do. The martial arts kicked ass in this movie. There are killer stunts throughout, and awesome fight choreography. The actors deserve credit for their techniques. Lee was much more spiritual than what was depicted in the film. This film makes him look like megalomaniac. and a thug.

Nobody cares about the middle aged, abused white guy who wants to get with the human trafficked Chinese restaurant worker. Therein lies the problem with this film. Had it just relied on the story of Bruce Lee, and been more respectful to him, and would have been solid. But the subplot involving Lee’s annoying student kills the film’s credibility, and makes it not as watchable.

One bright spot of the film was the part where Lee’s challenger, a Shaolin monk from China, shows him a point about not knowing his own limitations and capabilities well enough. Know thyself, and know thy enemy is a concept the film embraces. The monk also brings a theme of humbleness to the film. There are some positive attributes to the film.

If you are a martial artist , see the film strictly for the action scenes involving the Lee and the monk character. You will see some really good Wing Chung and Jeet Kune Do. Their respective acting performances were pretty strong as well. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is a bit hokey.

Mr. No Legs Wrecks House

Tired of lame Hollywood action films? How about “feel-good” Hollywood films about disability? If you said yes to either of these questions, I’ve got a movie with you. “The Amazing Mr. No Legs,” aka “Mr. No Legs,” is a very low-budget but nevertheless satisfying film about a gritty, tough double-amputee crime boss who knows martial arts and gives the cops fits. Such actors as Richard Jaeckel and John Agar are helpless against our villain, played by Ron Slinker. Basically, the film is a showcase to show that a disabled guy can be just as badass as Bruce Lee.

In this film the star actually was a bi-amputee. That doesn’t stop him from doing flying jump kicks in slow motion from his wheelchair. The star takes the role seriously and seems to have tried to develop an actual martial arts fighting system which a bi-amputee can utilize. It is mostly based off of forearm strikes and blocks, while making Bruce Lee ‘waaa!’ type sounds. The lead is an inspiration to people everywhere, that there is never any excuse for not kicking complete ass! Sure, this guy could have stayed homed collecting disability. That would be way too easy though. Instead, our hero becomes a hit man for the mob. Even that is not a tough enough assignment for him. So he takes on the mob directly.

The production values are poverty row but it doesn’t matter. Quentin Tarantino needs to remake this film as soon as possible. Both the film and Ron Slinker are headed straight for the GROIN hall of fame, and this hard-to-find film is a must-watch. Go, Mr. No Legs, go!

The Magus : An Occult Film

Leonard Maltin gives it a BOMB and Michael Caine hates it. Nevertheless, “The Magus” is one of the most interesting films of the 1960’s. Caine plays a man who ends up on an island presided over by the great Anthony Quinn, an island where nothing is as it seems. Quinn’s character, who seems inspired by Alastair Crowley and Prospero from “The Tempest” in equal parts, puts Caine and the audience through a constant psychological and intellectual mind.

Assumptions are continually uprooted, as Candice Bergen and Anna Karina romance and bedevil Caine. By the end, both Caine and the audience have been on quite a journey. This little-seen gem, written by John Fowles from his famous novel, comes from 1968, when it was considered OK to challenge an audience. This film is strange enough to rival “The Prisoner” and David Lynch. If you enjoy the cast and Bizarro Cinema, by all means rent or buy the DVD and give it a go!

It Comes at Night : C+


Looking for an edge-of-your-seat horror winner? Look elsewhere. However, if you’re looking for a little food for thought, then “It Comes at Night” is not a total failure. The film deals with an outbreak of a deadly virus, possibly smallpox. Nobody seems to really know what it is or how it spreads, but fear and mistrust runs rampant. The film deals with two families whose paths cross in a desolate, apocalyptic future.

There are some good things about this film. The actor playing the 17-year old son is real good. Also, the atmosphere and tension are palpable. The problem is that the film refuses to give the audience information that it needs. Without knowing if the characters’ fears are baseless or valid, it becomes impossible to know how to react to the characters’ decisions. Also, the film concludes with an irritating non-ending that, judging by a sudden change in aspect ratio, may be the young, sick protagonist’s dream.

While I would definitely hesitate to call this a bad horror film, it’s just not a very entertaining one. Also the star, the edgy Joel Edgerton, is wasted here in an unsympathetic role. This film could have really amounted to something. However, in its current form, it’s kind of a waste. Go see something else more uplifting, like almost any film ever made. By the way, the title is meaningless

A Decent Circle

The new movie “The Circle” has the unearned reputation from critics and audiences of being a bomb. It’s a smart thriller that plays against audience expectations. Going in, we know that Emma Watson has to be the heroine and Tom Hanks, as a Steve Jobs-type guru, must be the villain. However, neither character behaves according to type, which has caused many people to say the film makes no sense. I urge people to reconsider. This movie is about people who are in the public limelight 24/7. Because the main characters are in the limelight all the time, there is no way they can tip off that their modus operandi may be masking deeper motivations and secrets. As a result, it is a genuine surprise when the characters are unmasked at the end as not being what they seem. If the director had played everything straight and square, with characters behaving in a more understandable way, the point of the movie would have been lost. The film is about how technology forces us to react in unnatural ways.

That established, this is a good movie, much better than “Fate of the Furious” and “Beauty and the Beast.” It asks important questions about technology, privacy, and where we are today and where we are headed. The music, directing, performances, and cinematography are first-rate. Most importantly, it tells you that if a company asks you to be monitored by millions 24 hours a day without big pay, just say no. See “The Circle” to see that the future is now.

No Cure For Wellness

No doubt you’ve heard a lot about the new movie “Split” with James McAvoy and how scary it is, and that is indeed an excellent film. But what about the OTHER great horror film out right now, “A Cure For Wellness”? The title is so strange and the marketing is so inept that I had no idea that it was even a horror film. But it is, and despite a plethora of Stupid Horror Film Decisions made by the protagonist, it is one of the best of the last few years.

The film follows a New York stockbroker (played by Dane DaHaan) who is sent by a top corporation to find out what happened to an executive who is at a wellness center in the Swiss Alps. This place is so secluded and so ornate that it seems weirdly inviting, but there are many problems with it, the most significant being that once you are there, you can never leave. Other problems include: 1. Dentistry that makes “Marathon Man” look progressive. 2. Septic tank therapy (remember “Altered States”?) 3. Eels everywhere, including the bathtub… Basically, this 146-minute film by Gore Verbinski (“The Ring,” “The Lone Ranger,” the first 3 “Pirates” films) is a cross between “The Wicker Man,” “Shutter Island,” “The Shining,” “Eyes Wide Shut,” “Crimson Peak,” and Stuart Gordon’s “Castle Freak.” Don’t leave early or you’ll miss an ending that might make Clive Barker and the late Ken Russell blush.

Jason Isaacs is serviceable as the villain, but Mia Goth (from “The Nymphomaniac Vol. 1”) steals the show as the fragile and frail but emotional and extremely sexy damsel in distress. Like last year’s “The Witch,” this film takes standard horror tropes in exciting new directions. Don’t miss it if you like intense horror; this film really scared me! –A.C.

50 Shades Crummier

 (lame lead actor)

So I went to see 50 Shades Darker for a laugh yesterday. If you see this film, be sure to bring a basket of rotten tomatoes with you to throw at the screen. You would think these movies would have a clue how to be fun and sexy. There are plenty of quality guilty pleasures from the 90s in film, such as Wild Orchid, 9 1/2 Weeks, Full Moon Junction, and Showgirls. And bondage is a topic that should be easy to make interesting, since many people do not know much about that lifestyle. However, this movie was a total fail on all fronts.

 (lead actress is flat-assed)

Lets start with the fact that you are probably at this film with a date, and yet the movie begins with the male actor’s dad opening a can of whoop-ass on the mom – (in a black and white flashback from childhood), before heading towards the little boy with questionable intentions. At this point I was prompted to yell aloud: NOT HOT!!!

And so the plot begins… The control freak exec max-kinky dude shows up asking this flat-assed vanilla chick for a 2nd chance. On a side note one weird thing is I briefly dated and shot scenes with a low level porn star named Santina Marie who was dead look-alike for this girl’s bland personality and good looks, but with way incredibly nicer (and bigger) ass and tits. And the girl I knew was amazing at deep-throat and stuff. I think that is one reason this lead actress was disappointing to me. Also in terms of the lead actor I think someone like porn actor James Dean,  who I was in a pissing scene with (where we pissed on some chicks), would have more believable.

Here is a link to a few shoots she did. I brought Santina into the industry for a month or two and we did private shoots together and went to a masked ball at where I got mad and threw garbage cans ha. Kinda looks like a doppelganger of the girl in this film. Would have been better than the girl they cast.

(actress continually lies on bed like a dead fish in most of the sex scenes)

He does the standard thing sending her flowers first ( which she falls for), and then shows up. Though he fails to give him a half decent reason, “the terms will be different this time!”, she goes for it. The two also seem to have no chemistry, or personality, so maybe they are a match anyhow or something. I guess that’s how society is these days! There’s nothing better going on in their lives unfortunately than to focus on their very un-hot sex life together.

Next, we learn that the dude has stalkers, as well as former abusive mistress, played by Kim Bassinger. And he has to run this “Anastasia” chick by her and get her OK. Wasn’t that a Disney film title before?? Anyhow, all of this is not hot and any chick in real life would get the hell outta there. I will say that Bassinger’s role is amusing. It is a bright spot.

One more thing : ad nauseum Apple ad after Apple ad through the film . He buys her an Iphone as a gift even . Everyone keeps showing off their Imacs constantly. and there also a trailer for a movie about Apple showing prior to the film . Fuck Apple.

As far as the sex scenes here are my objections:

1) those vagina balls either need more lube ( lots of KY), or he needs to warm her pussy up before putting something that big in, unless she is taking big black cocks everyday or something.

2) I don’t get why is he supposedly so dom, yet he never pulls her hair while fucking her or slaps her in the face, or makes her drink his cum or anything. Very disappointing! Instead she stands there (flat-assed and small-breasted) in a way that is not seductive and anatomically incorrect, while he eats her pussy. She doesn’t barely moan or talk dirty or anything.

3) The chick in the film can’t even walk or talk in a way that’s sexy besides being flat assed. Any latina or black girl would have been sexier. White girls like this have no flavor. She has a bland personality.

4) Terrible R and B music comes on during every single sex scene. That is a crime when you consider that Danny Elfman was scoring this film, and they put on crappy R and B instead of his score throughout the film .

5) Movies like this need a love triangle or a manage le trois. Not a sexually harassing boss with no personality. Men like the main character need to stop acting so pussy whipped over a flat-assed bitch.

I could go on but I think you get the point about this film. It could very well sweep the Razzie Awards this year, due to its abundant futility.

Mickey Rourke knew how to treat a woman, unlike these putzes. If you want to be the man go study his early films. He doesn’t spoil the women, he treats them kinda poorly actually. Far from flying them around in a jet, or sailing them in a fancy yacht, Mickey would have them crawling on all fours to suck some strangers dick or fool around with some super hot chick in front of him in some seedy motel. Maybe it was to degrade them , or perhaps to fuel their passion via jealousy , like in a Tinto Brass Italian film. If you are not familiar with Brass I recommend his classic called “Cheeky”.


While pushing them to their limits and beyond sexually, he would test their psychology. Scenes like the body-food scene from 9 1/2 Weeks or the hotel scene and also the scene at the Brazil festival in Rio in Wild Orchid  – those scenes had strong sensuality from them clearly missing in recent films. Last Tango in Paris kinda started this genre back in the day. It peaked with Mickey Rourke in 90s, and its been pretty downhill from there. Mickey had the personality to pull these roles off. He was Brando-esque. A bad boy with good looks and personality. The key was that he was unpredictable, which the 50 Shades guy is not. Shows like True Blood (which is pretty good) are where people turn to for quality sleaze these days I guess, instead of the big screen. I think 50 Shades mostly does well because of the timing of releasing it near V-day, which is the worst of all holidays for men.

I think a better movie would be one about a dom sex-bot who keeps her slave man locked in a cage to serve her every need. She rewards him by occasionally letting him fuck her other hot sexbot friends. Now that would be a quality movie!

Ring Around Blair Witch

Sometimes I just can’t stand today’s generation. Whether it’s the shit that passes for music or selfies or”Duck Dynasty,” sometimes I just want to enter a time machine and go back in time to 2002, or, if I’m really drunk, 1999. That desire brought me to watch and review “Rings,” which just came out, and “The Blair Witch,” which is new to Bluray and DVD. Both are the third installment in their respective series, and both received rather negative reviews. Are they really that bad?

I dunno. They both deliver about what you’d expect from their respective series. “Rings,” for example, has a college professor who passes the curse of the deadly videotape onto his students, in the hope of blunting the effect of the curse. Two of the infected decide to investigate further into the curse, which <SPOILER!> leads them to a blind murderer pedophile priest, played by Vincent D’Onfrio from “Full Metal Jacket.” Can they stop the curse? Will there be another sequel? Do we get to vote twice?

Look, I know this isn’t a good movie. But it does give you what you’d expect from a “Ring” movie. It’s creepy, it’s claustrophobic, it’s ridiculous, and it’s fun. Except for D’Onfrio, the acting sucks, but that doesn’t prevent it from being entertaining.

“The Blair Witch,” the sequel to the 1999 found footage classic and, theoretically at least, the botched first sequel, is another story altogether. In fact, I am willing to call it a good movie, and that’s because I do find it scary. It follows a group of student filmmakers who decide to go back into those Godforsaken woods in the hope of finding out what happened to Heather, the Final Girl from “The Blair Witch Project.” Since one of the characters is Heather’s brother, I have to congratulate the filmmakers for finding a good reason for why anyone would go back into those woods. Anyway, it starts slow, then turns into “The Twilight Zone,” then gets really scary in the last 20 minutes, Anyway, this is the best Found Footage movie since “District 9.” It should make people scream and jump a lot, and it has some interesting speculations on What is Really Going On. Plus <SPOILER!> everybody dies, so that’s always good entertainment, much better, I’m sure, than “Hidden Figures” or “La La Land.”

Basically, if you have refined, sophisticated taste, you’re probably not reading this. But if you want to watch a bunch of annoying people bite the dust in spectacularly gruesome fashion, you’re in luck. Now I’m just waiting for the upcoming 2-film remake of Stephen King’s “It” so I can party like it’s 1986! –CoolAC

Fool’s Gold

The new film ‘Gold’, starring Mathew McConaughey, proves that not all that glitters is gold. His company Washoe Mining skyrocketed and became the darlings of Wall Street after striking gold in Indonesia. Unforeseeable events occur which complicate things, such as the mines being taken over by the Indonesian government. Meanwhile other big companies, like Newmont Mining, are trying to buy them out on the cheap or shut them down through any means necessary.

Much of the film makes McConaughey look like an impulsive lush. He has some positive attributes also. He is hard working and visionary. Tenacious too. He has a loyal girlfriend, well played by Bryce Dallas Howard. And part of the main character’s drive is his dream of supporting her on a big ranch. So it is revealed his vision is not entirely greedy.

I can’t give the plot twists away. However, the films plot lends credibility to some age old adages. Namely, one in the hand is worth two in the bush. And also that physical assets trump paper assets. This film gives useful insights into the mining industry. It shows that the miners themselves take large financial risks, while the shareholders are seeking safety and secure investments. This creates friction and inherent instability in the mining industry. This film also boasts great cinematographic shots of the river and jungle in Indonesia. And McConaughey’s performance was Oscar worthy – though he got stiffed. His performance as a balding, overweight, partier (yet at the same time charismatic, relentless, adventuress, visionary and business-oriented was worth the ticket price alone. –Steve