Movie Review: Retreat

IMDB, Retreat“Retreat” on IMDB

Thirller, 90 Minutes, 2011

This one screams “INDIE!” louder than Marion Ravenwood in a basket. It’s a very small, tight cast: only five people total, two of which you barely see. It’s shot in, essentially, a single location: a lonely house on a deserted island. It has a good, but not quite “A” list, cast that probably brings more effort to the material than it really deserves. It also, by law, has a healthy collection of twist endings.

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Movie Review: Dirty Girl

IMDB, Dirty Girl“Dirty Girl” on IMDB

Comedy/Drama, 90 Minutes, 2010

Danielle (Juno Temple [IMDB]) is the titular “Dirty Girl”. She doesn’t play well with others, is rebelling both at school and at home and tends to look out for number one. When she’s placed in the “Special Education” class as punishment for her behavior, she’s paired with Clarke (Jeremy Dozier [IMDB]), a closeted teen with a troubled home, on a parenting exercise. They’re to take care of a “baby”, a fragile bag of flour they name “Joan”, together to see how difficult raising a baby can be.

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Movie Review: The Pyramid

IMDB, The Pyramid“The Pyramid” on IMDB

Horror/Thirller, 89 Minutes, 2014

This is one of the new breed of hybrid found-footage movies. In the past filmmakers invented all new classes of mental gymnastics to explain why somebody would continue filming while a monster gnawed away at their ankle. Here, as in other recent offerings, “found” footage is intermixed with traditional cinematography to provide flavor without tying the whole production  down.

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Movie Review: Freezer

IMDB, Freezer“Freezer” on IMDB

Thriller, 91 Minutes, 2014

Call them what you like – bottle movies, gimmick flicks or just plain “single location films” – they are an inherently mixed bag. Completely dependent upon the audience being intrigued enough by the single location and the few characters, they have to grab your attention early and hold it to the end. This one does pass that test, but only barely.

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Remember When Gaming Used to be Sexist?

This is the May, 1982, cover of “Electronic Gaming Monthly”. This was a very popular magazine (kids: think “paper internet”) and told my 11 year-old self what to think about pretty much everything important. I was born in late April, so I had plenty of convertable-to-quarters birthday money when this particular issue came in.

Good thing, too, or I might not have been properly warned to “move over” at the arcade because here-was-coming the “gals”. Even more inclusive, the gal in the picture is clearly disabled by some terrible spinal condition as well. I assume those are orthopedic fuck-me boots.

This began, for me, nearly 35 years of playing video games with “gals” but being periodically told that that they had just started doing so a few short minutes prior.

Electonic Gaming Monthly, May 1982

I’m just thankful that the fine journalists of the day were looking out for me. Without them, I may have fallen victim to some kind of systemic sexism!

Mega Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

IMDB, Mad Max, Fury Road“Mad Max: Fury Road” on IMDB

Action/Sci-Fi, 120 Minutes, 2015

George Miller’s [IMDB] original Mad Max trilogy is an enigmatic classic. 1979’s “Mad Max” [IMDB] told the story of a vengeful cop losing his humanity against the backdrop of civilization on the brink of collapse. It was the only offering not set in a desert wasteland and, more importantly, the only story about Max, himself.

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Movie Review: The Cobblestone Corridor

IMDB, The Cobblestone Corridor“The Cobblestone Corridor” on IMDB

Crime/Mystery, 25 Minutes, 2015

[This review was completed at the request of the filmmaker. No other consideration was given.]

Written, Directed, Produced, Edited and Starring Erik C. Bloomquist [IMDB], this is an enjoyable experiment in genre storytelling. Set in a posh New England prep school (thus the “cobblestones”) it follows Archer, the hard-boiled, no-nonsense editor of the school newspaper in his single-minded pursuit of the truth.

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Movie Review: St. Vincent

IMDB, St Vincent“St. Vincent” on IMDB

Drama/Comedy, 102 Minutes, 2014

This is a good, if utterly formulaic, feel-good movie. Bill Murray [IMDB] plays Vincent, a classic Hollywood curmudgeon. He’s a gambler, thief and racist. Seemingly an altogether horrible human being. Jaeden Lieberher [IMDB] is Oliver, a lonely kid with an overworked mom, Maggie (Melissa McCarthy [IMDB]), who just moved in next door. Struggling to pay for his enfeebled wife’s nursing home, medical care for the prostitute, Daka (Naomi Watts [IMDB]), that he’s knocked up and, of course, gambling debts, Vincent agrees to watch Oliver.

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