Monday Morning Movie Review: Nobody (2021)

I’ve been watching a lot of crappy movies lately, especially with the snowy weather we had in South Carolina this weekend, but each one has been more forgettable than the last.  Regular reader Ponty asked me to write a review of a really bad movie, but that requires a movie to be bad and memorable.  Most of the dreck I’ve watched lately has been bad and boring.  The vast majority of bad films—indeed, probably the vast majority of films, period—fall into this category.

My aunt, also a regular reader and subscriber has asked me to review 2021’s The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.  I plan on doing that soon, but I have to track down the film first.  It looks like it’s on Prime Video, so I’ll have to see if there are some credentials I can borrow to watch it (or I’ll just break down and get an Amazon Prime membership).

So I was in a bit of a bind going into Sunday, with no film rising to the level of reviewable (or, I should say, with the inability to remember any details of any films I’ve watched recently).  Then my younger brother mentioned that he and his wife were going to watch Nobody (2021) Saturday after their kids went to bed, and I remembered that I’d purchased the DVD from RedBox months ago, and had been meaning to watch it ever since.

Nobody was a film I wanted to see in theaters.  The premise—an everyday working stiff finally cracks and takes action against bad guys—is one I’ve always enjoyed in movies (probably as a form of wish-fulfillment), and Bob Odenkirk is a comedy legend.  Comedy, action, the little guy throwing punches?  That’s my kind of flick.

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Midweek Mad Scientist Movie Madness II: Metropolis (1927)

Since the first installment of Midweek Mad Scientist Movie Madness two weeks ago, I’ve watched several more films from Mad Scientist Theatre, a collection of mostly bad, mostly public domain films.  As with any such collection, the appeal is in the handful of renowned classics, and some of the hidden gems.

The first three flicks on the very first disc are all silent movie classics.  I’ve already reviewed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which both debuted in 1920.  I appreciated and enjoyed both films for different reasons, and both were very well done, although quite different, films.

The third film is 1927’s Metropolis, perhaps the greatest silent film of all time.  I took a modern German history course in college, and we were supposed to attend a screening of Metropolis for class.  For some reason, I did not attend, which was very out of character for me (I only missed class twice in college:  a session of Human Geography because my saxophone sextet had its recital that morning, and a rehearsal of the University Band so I could play The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion the night it was released).  I guess we were never tested on it, but when I found out there was a robot woman, I was kicking myself for missing the flick.

Now, some twenty years later, I’ve finally watched this classic of Weimar Germany’s wild cinematic scene.  I wish I’d gone to see it in college!

As with Jekyll and Caligari, you can watch Metropolis for free on YouTube (although, apparently, the film won’t be back in the public domain in the United States until the end of this year):

As you can see, it is a long film—depending on which cut you see.  Apparently, there are dozens of different cuts and restorations, and no one knows for certain which is the “definitive” version.  One of my readers asked me which cut I saw, and I have no earthly idea (sorry, cinephiles).  It’s whatever version Mill Creek Entertainment decided to put on this collection.  I do know the film felt long in parts—although I was glued to the screen for most of it—but it didn’t feel like it was two-and-a-half hours long.

What I can say is that Metropolis is worth seeing, not only because it is an important film in the history of cinema (and the height of German Expressionism), but because it is a good movie with an important message:  the head and the hands must work together through the heart.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: The Wicker Man (1973)

I watch quite a few movies, and most of them come and go without leaving much of a mark.  Indeed, I pretty much only watch movies now, with the exception of a few shows (like Bob’s Burgers).  Some of them probably deserve more attention than I give them, as I’m usually multitasking—poorly—while watching them.

But for every eight duds there is one film that will stick out.  These are usually the ones I write about.  Typically they stick out in a positive way, though Ponty has encouraged me to write some reviews of movies I don’t like (you can read one such review here).  This week’s selection really made an impact on me, and it’s one I heartily recommend.

The flick is 1973’s The Wicker Man, based on a 1967 novel by David Pinner called Ritual.  The film is, perhaps, one of the most Christian (and pro-Christian) movies I have seen in a long time.  I don’t think its creators intended it as a Christian film, but I’ll make the case for it in this review.

That said, if I’m correct, The Wicker Man probably has the most nudity of any Christian film ever made.

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Lazy Sunday CXLVII: More Movies, Part XIV: Movie Reviews, Part XIV

It’s another Lazy Sunday and I’m at a loss for a theme, so how about looking back at some more movie reviews?

Even with writing a review a week, I’m beginning to catch up to the present when it comes to these Lazy Sunday retrospectives.  As such, the day is coming where I won’t be able to rely on this “out” to avoid a modicum of creative thinking.

But that’s Future Port’s problem.  Here are three reviews from October 2021:

  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Lifeforce (1985)” – Outer space energy vampires invade London in the 1980s.  What’s not to love?  I really enjoyed this movie, with its great practical effects and its outrageous premise.  But the premise works.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: In the Earth (2021)” – In my review for this odd film, I noted that I would not recommend it to the vast majority of viewers.  I still wouldn’t recommend it, but I really enjoyed it.  The first half is much stronger than the psychedelic second half, as you’re trying to figure out what is going on in the world the filmmakers have created.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: House (1986) and House II: The Second Story (1987)” – I really enjoyed these horror-comedies, especially House, and admire their creature effects.  Regular reader Audre Myers watched them on my recommendation and hated them.  Well, there’s no accounting for taste, especially when my tastes run so low-brow.

Well, that’s it for this Sunday!  Enjoy some tasteless viewing of your own this weekend.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Midweek Mad Scientist Movie Madness I: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920) & The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

For Christmas I received a couple of box sets, each containing fifty films from their respective genres.  The first collection I cracked open, Mad Scientist Theatre, consists of, well, fifty films about science and scientists gone wrong (or mad, I should say).

I’ve decided to write reviews of the films from these collections throughout the course of the year semiregularly.  Son of Sonnet is taking a bit of a hiatus from writing for the time being, so these midweek reviews seemed like a good way to fill the void his pen has left.  I don’t plan on writing these reviews every Wednesday, but maybe once or twice a month.

Also, I’ll be making the meat of these reviews for subscribers only.  That’s not to cut out my lovable band of regular readers, but to further sweeten the pot for existing subscribers.  I thought about doing these posts for $5 and up subscribers, but as of this past weekend, I finally have a subscriber at the $3 level.  Because I think she will enjoy these oddball film reviews, I’m going to make them available starting at that level.

That said, I will still provide a substantial portion of these reviews for non-paying readers, as their energy and enthusiasm in the comment sections really keep the blog alive and fresh.

So!  With that lengthy preamble out of the way, the first two flicks on the first disc of Mad Scientist Theatre are both silent films from 1920:  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.  You don’t need Mad Scientist Theatre to watch these films, either, as they’re both in the public domain (indeed, they’re both 102-years old, which is wild to contemplate—film is a young medium, but it was around and commercially viable a century ago).  You can view both on YouTube:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (with the original color tinting, which is not on the Mad Scientist Theatre collection):

These are quite different films, but each interesting in their own way.  The themes and situations explored in each are eerily prescient for those of us living through our own “Roaring Twenties,” with all this decade’s excesses, licentiousness, and absurdity.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Boys from County Hell (2020)

Today is my birthday.  I’m thirty-seven today, and am on the downward slide towards forty.

But even on my birthday, I must deliver the goods.  Since it’s Monday, that means a movie review, and this flick is really quite fun.

The film is Boys from County Hell (2020), a comedic vampire movie that takes place in rural Ireland.  My family and I had the opportunity to visit Ireland in 2006, and the film’s setting really reminded me of that trip.

The premise is straightforward:  in the small, dying town of Six Mile Hill, there is a stone cairn in the middle of a farmer’s field.  The cairn is said to be the grave of Abhartach, an ancient Irish vampire who is said to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

The cairn—indeed, the entire town—is threatened by a proposed new bypass.  The bypass will route so much traffic away from the town, it will kill the struggling local economy.  Naturally, the construction will also move directly through the cairn.

You can probably see where this is going.

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Monday Mega Movie Previews

After a very long Monday, I’m taking a moment to write a post I promised earlier today.  Instead of my usual Monday Morning Movie Review, I’m offering up a preview of 100 films.

For Christmas, I received two massive collections of films:  Mad Scientist Theatre and Horror Classics, both put out by low-budget distributor Mill Creek Entertainment:

100 Horror and Mad Scientist Movies

Just look at those glorious covers.  What is going on with that hairy dude holding up a syringe full of a mysterious green substance?  Why is there a woman’s head covered surrounded by tubes in a tub of liquid?  Perhaps Dr. Fauci can weigh in.

Regardless, I’m super excited to watch these films—all 100 of them.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: The Skin of the Wolf (Bajo la piel de lobo, 2018)

Christmas Break starts today, and I spent the opening weekend visiting my girlfriend in Athens, Georgia.  We spent a lot of time on the couch; naturally, we got in some movies.

One of them really stuck with me:  the 2018 Spanish film The Skin of the Wolf, or Bajo la piel de lobo.  It is a Spanish language film, but there is very little dialogue, so there are not many subtitles to read.  Indeed, much of the storytelling is visual, and the story is, in part, about the perils of not communicating.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Switchblade Sisters (1975)

I believe I am developing a reputation on this blog for reviewing some really bad movies, or at least lots of B movies.  I don’t resent that reputation; indeed, I embrace it.

Seriously, while playing Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon” at a Christmas gig Friday night (later in the evening John and I started having fun pulling out some incongruously non-Christmas tunes; I also covered “There’s a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place),” and he played John Denver’s “Calypso“), I caught myself thinking, “I really want to go home and watch a movie about a werewolf at Christmastime.”

I did not do that—I ended up watching Hell’s Kitchen (the television series) with my girlfriend while playing Civilization Revolution on the couch.  But that random little thought should give some insight into my attitude towards B movies:  I love ’em.  The wackier the concept, the better!

That said, today’s movie, 1975’s Switchblade Sisters, is not one I will recommend for anyone but the schlockiest lovers of schlock.  This film is the textbook definition of an exploitation film, as I gather it’s basically an excuse to portray teenage girls as alluringly violent criminals.

What I found compelling about that film, however, was that the world it portrayed—one in which a gang of girls takes on the established male gangs of a crumbling city—is so sad for the urban blight and desperation depicted.  There’s also a fascinating series of gang power struggles that raises the film slightly above its exploitative tone, as newcomer Maggie eventually takes control of the gang, changing their name from the “Dagger Debs” to “The Jezebels.”

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