Sweet and endearing film that gets all the big-picture high concept material right on the money. John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman are a couple of perfect odd-couple outsiders. What the film lacks in nuance it makes up for with heart, Loaded with video-game references that thoroughly went over my head, noted thanks to my boyfriend consistently guffawing at my lack of basic knowledge. There were a couple of wrenches thrown into the plot that pleasantly surprised me. There’s an undefinable feeling that some of the film’s run time could have been put to better utilized but I’m not sure how, and the score felt irritatingly ‘now’. All in all an endearing enjoyable animated feature.
#62. Stoker (2013, Park) Full Review: https://cinenthusiast.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/review-stoker-2013-park/
#63. Jewel Robbery (1932, Dieterle)
Full Review: https://cinenthusiast.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/review-jewel-robbery-1932-dieterle/
#64. Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964, Forbes)
My God, what an underappreciated film. I had been wanting to see this for several years, never getting around to it, and even had seen Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s reworking of it, simply called Seance. This did not disappoint at all. The peculiar and attention-grabbing synopsis draws you in, but it’s the intertwining psychosis of the husband and wife that drive the film. Kim Stanley gives one for the ages as the wife whose conviction remains unmovable but whose stability inches closer to oblivion. We try to parse out where that conviction belongs in her world, which Stanley uses to chilling effect as her conviction disguises her stability throughout. Her adamant and soul-cutting demeanor are often targeted at her husband, the weak-willed Attenborough whose dedication and empathy for his wife and her current mental state have driven him to constant reluctant commitment to their plan. Every time he questions, she cuts him down. He can’t get around her. Living in their world of accommodated delusion is a haunting experience.
As great as Stanley is, and it’s hard to put into words just how great, Attenborough captivated me even more. His cold frightened stare, off-putting prosthetic nose and penchant for looking down or away at Stanley make his internal will-he-or-won’t-he-of-course-he-will debate compelling. The focus is often on his reluctance and not on her stability, smartly cementing the necessary balance between the couple into place.
You know this scheme will go wrong. The question is when and how. The answers aren’t quite what I expected and the film is all the better for it. The direction of the story keeps character first, suspense second and uses this prioritization right up to the end. That final scene will stay with you. So will the whole film, a psychological drama that tests the devotion of marriage to its limits.
#65. Class of Nuke ‘Em High (1986, Haines & Kaufman)
So this weekend I got to appear as an extra in a music video for Troma’s upcoming Return to Nuke ‘Em High. Lloyd Kaufman appeared in the video and was on-set all day. I figured since I’ve only seen 3 Troma films, I should probably see more. So last night my boyfriend and I sat down and had ourselves a Troma double feature of 2 films I’d been meaning to see for a while. Class of Nuke ‘Em High and The Toxic Avenger.
Class of Nuke ‘Em High is a lot of fun, excelling at that Troma brand of low budget self-aware horror badness. A lot of the comedy in these films comes from the acting. A main Troma trait are reliably awful performances, but I’d actually argue the opposite in many cases. It’s a brand of acting that focuses on self-aware comedy, an art to the bad performance. So many of these actors are able to milk every line for more than their worth. So much enjoyment just comes from this. Fun b-movie schlock, that starts out a lot stronger than it finishes, but still manages to mostly live up to its cult status.
#66. The Toxic Avenger (1984, Herz & Kaufman)
The picture above is of Bozo, aka the greatest character ever. He is a prime example of a performance in which every single line delivery had me in stitches, working within the Troma brand to exaggerate every moment to its fullest potential. This was even more fun, what with the Avenger’s straight-laced superhero voice, the fitness center setting and the extreme moments of gore. Bozo forever.