The latest entry to the Outrunners soundtrack set… “Outrunning” by TCR, mean man of many talents indeed…take this one to the weekend, where’vr it may take you…

New page next Wednesday…

Io9 wrote up my favorite webcomic. So that’s awesome. 

Also everyone should be reading Outrunners. Seriously. 

I want to watch this movie so badly. 


Freaky art Friday…DEATHNAUT movie poster by Andrew Krahnke…click here for background information, will post pencils & inks later on…

FLESH & BLOOD (directed by Paul Verhoeven; written by Paul Verhoeven and Gerard Soeteman) 

This is a re-watch. I loved this movie the first time I saw it; loved it again this time. Maybe even more. 

This is totally how medieval and/or sword & sorcery movies should feel: gleefully horrible. 

The weapons and armor in this film alone make it worth the watch but then when you add in things like amazingly repulsive plague sores, Rutger Hauer as a smirking mercenary, and the most romantic scene to ever be filmed under the rotten bodies of hanged men… well… it pretty much makes the movie a must see. 

The rotten, plague ridden dog carcass scene is so memorable… 

This movie feels like a world. And I love that. 

The performances (though all ADR’d for some reason?) are all strong. Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh are both great but all the side characters and supporting cast is strong as well. 

Nobody makes movies like Paul Verhoeven. That’s the sad reality of it. This thing is so full-throated, so unflinching, and also so thematically multi-faceted. And yet it also has all of the board genre appeal you’d expect. Sword fights, sex, one-liners. It’s the whole package. 

Interesting that both Verhoeven and Polanski make movies where survival is valued over almost anything else. There are distinct echoes of this theme throughout Verhoeven’s work, it pops up in a huge way in BLACK BOOK.

FIRE AND ICE (directed by Ralph Bakshi; Written by Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway)

I’m on a big Bakshi kick right now for reasons pertaining to a new and hugely exciting project. 

I’d never seen this one before - everyone warned me it was pretty boring. To the point that I was prepared to sleep through most of it. 

But here’s the thing: I wasn’t bored once. Maybe that has to do with how I was watching it with a few other people, so conversation was lively. But maybe not. Maybe it just has a bad rap. 

Anyway, as far as sturdy pulp adventures go, I think you can do a lot worse than this. The characters are thin, and the story doesn’t have many (if any) surprises but it’s a fun ride. 

in particular, the background artwork really stood out. So many great set pieces, such a strong overall feel. Love the backgrounds that are just paint brush strokes.  

I had a few favorite sequences - the giant octopus, the witch who turns into a skeleton to ask for revenge, the family of Conans. Nekron’s bizarre and strangely sexual physicality.

I can’t help but think an extra week on the script might have yielded even greater results. They have screen space for the “relationship” between Teegra and Larn to blossom but it’s totally squandered. 

Further observations: Ralph Bakshi is a perv. Frank Frazetta had a great 1950’s greaser look. Darkwolf is pretty bad-ass but ultimately he is just wearing a big furry diaper. Interesting how little effect the ostensible hero (Larn) has on the final outcome of the film. 

FIRE AND ICE: I’ll be watching you again soon. 


MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (written & directed by Sean Durkin)

I’ve had this disc just lying around the house for months. Should have watched it months (probably years) ago. 

Strong stuff, well crafted. One of those movies that would probably never be referred to as a horror film but, to my mind, is absolutely a horror a film and the best kind, at that. 

It is troubling and questioning. It steps deftly around story decisions that a less intelligent film would step right into. For example: I was fearing that the sister’s husband would turn out be a rapist or somehow overtly scumbag-ish. But he never did - instead the film keeps him sympathetic, maybe a little douchey, but never cartoonish. 

Also it is a Manson movie, though it never announces itself as such. And that, to me, is fascinating. By removing the sensational “based on a true story!” proclamations and pitfalls that would, inevitably, come with making it about Manson himself, the movie frees itself to explore the incident in a deeper, and more satisfying way. 

Probably the best Manson movie I’ve seen.

And I’d say it’s about a thousand times better than the last movie about a cult I watched (it shall remain nameless here but suffice it to say that I hated it, vociferously). 

John Hawkes makes a surprisingly convincing Manson stand-in. Obviously, Elizabeth Olsen is the stand out here, but Hawkes has more than a few fantastic moments of his own. My favorite: in the bathroom after the murder. He goes from threatening to spewing nonsense philosophy about death. Hawkes delivers his speech in such a way that it seems both like he’s making it up on the spot and that he completely believes. 

What is this from?

STARGATE (written by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich; directed by Roland Emmerich)

I don’t have a lot to say about this movie. I saw it back in the ’90s and didn’t like it then - I still don’t like it now. 

Fun, though, to watch a blockbuster from the burgeoning years of the digital effects revolution. The opening scenes have such a great tangibility to them - the actors aren’t physically polished. Richard Kind is wearing a sweater that would never, ever be allowed into a movie these days. 

For a movie with such a wacky genre concept, the plot of this movie is incredibly thin and basically incomprehensible beyond its most surface level.

It doesn’t really even milk it’s core pulp-notions. It kind of just lays them out there and then putters along from strange beat, to strange beat until finally hopping into an action movie climax that wants desperately to be LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (IN SPACE EGYPT!!!!!). 

Vicki pointed out that it suffers a bit from PROMETHEUS-disease. These characters, upon making a HUGE discovery, do not act in a manner appropriate at all. 

Also, I wonder if anyone will ever make an “ancient aliens” movie that is any good at all? Maybe that concept is just toxic to screenwriters. It seems like such a great, heady idea to dig into - but where it leads a story (at least a screen story) is right into the bag of cheeseballs.