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The Master

Every film you've watched in 2016

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Grroaarrggll!!: short for the fest

Howling V: The Rebirth

Howling VI: The Freaks

Features: 31

Shorts: 13

Documentaries: 3

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The Passion of Joan of Arc - Everything that's said about it is true. It looks like no other film, and Renée Falconetti's performance is one of the most powerful you can ever watch. It's a genuine masterpiece.  

High Noon - A retired marshal stays in town to face a gang seeking revenge when he could have escaped, only to discover that the townspeople don't care about honor or him. Surprisingly cynical for a 50s western; Lon Chaney Jr. has probably one of his best acting moments giving a monologue about how being a sheriff was pointless. It takes place in approximate real time, so you really feel the tension in each shot of a clock ticking closer to noon. It also does the trick of re-purposing the theme song for most of the score, which I always find interesting. 

Django - The opening of Django dragging the coffin behind him with the theme song blasting is a top tier introduction to a film. In a lot of films, you'd find out what's in the coffin at the end; not in Django, you find out about 35 minutes in. After that, it twists and turns to the showdown it was destined to end with. Ten people die within the first five minutes, and the violence doesn't let up an inch. The last shot is beautiful. 

The Hellbenders - A Confederate colonel and his three sons massacre a Union outfit transporting $1 million. They steal the money and hide it in a coffin, planning to use it to reignite the Confederate cause. The film follows them trying to navigate various obstacles on the way home, with a woman playing a military widow giving them a cover (they end up needing another widow). It's not as violent as Django, with more thematic concerns such as using causes to justify evil, nature vs. nurture, and the racism that still existed in the Union. Joseph Cotten gets a great late career role as the colonel, showcasing a hard edge that he rarely got to exhibit in Hollywood.

Films: 38

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Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: Still a really fun movie and it deserves it's status as a classic. Alex Winter and Keanu are both very charismatic.

Outcast. Oh boy. Hayden Christensen. Nicholas Cage. One walks around with the haircut that's not even remotely period incorrect while putting as much effort into the role as most Star Wars fans remember without seeing one of them in a few years. The other puts in one of his most Nicholas Cage roles ever.

Then we have the really uncomfortable parts of the movie. Christensen and Cage fought in the Crusades and they do get some of the horrible things that happened to the Arab people during but then we get to the main movie which involves them in China, being the white people saving the native people. It doesn't help that most of the Asian actors obviously don't have English as their first language and everyone speaks English here. The main villain is your standard puppy kicker who all of his scenes involve him murdering a person, attempting to murder a person, or demonstrating his ability to murder a person. The Chinese protagonists are a brother, who can't act, and his sister who is inexplicably his bodyguard despite being a largely useless walking pile of sad.

Films: 14

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You know, I can't really argue the fact that the face of God may be one of the most accurate portrayals of an acid trip ever put to film.

Dark Star: For a no-budget student film, it was actually really good.

Films Watched: 21

 

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You know, I can't really argue the fact that the face of God may be one of the most accurate portrayals of an acid trip ever put to film.

 

As someone who's done a bunch of acid, I have to refute that. 

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The Howling Reborn: Finishing the Howling retrospective has given me a final filmin the series, so laden with Dread media continuity, tat I have to call in a cohost to review this one with me. This Monday. Watch for it.

Features: 35

Shorts: 13

Documentaries: 3

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All Things Must Pass: Colin Hanks directed this documentary about Tower Records. I fucking lived at Tower Records in my early twenties, and even worked there briefly. This was a great look back at a company that seemed to do nothing but succeed at everything it tried for decades, until it very suddenly didn't. It was kind of amazing how fast the end happened; a sudden confluence of credit overextension, the opening of WAY too many stores, and the decision (which they fully own up to) of ending the practice of selling singles so you would have no choice but to buy an $18 CD to get that one song you wanted biting them in the ass when Napster became a thing that happened ended the company virtually overnight. Really interesting stuff.

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Batman: Bad Blood: Probably my favorite yet of the post-James Tucker DC DTVs I've seen, as they've gotten progressively better since Justice League War which from what I saw was wretched. I liked how they did Luke Fox, and seeing Batwoman induced in the Bat-Family in the way that they did was cool too. These Batman movies really half-ass much of the Snyder and Morrison runs, but it's cool seeing these more recent characters get some play.

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Space Cop (2015): The most recent effort from the guys at Red Letter Media, telling the story of a cop from the future teaming up with a cop from the past to foil an alien invasion or some shit. I'm a huge fan of these guys, from the Plinkett reviews to their current efforts with Half in the Bag and Best of the Worst. From time to time, they come out with original movies, and Feeding Frenzy was halfway decent. This, however, was weak. Intentional schlock is incredibly difficult to pull off well, and they almost manage to pull it off, but on the whole things get pretty tedious. There's one scene where Space Cop is having trouble with his helmet computer or something that legitimately had me laughing so hard my sides hurt, and that's because for those few minutes they go back to their usual goofy, over the top mode of letting Rich Evans scream and crash into things, but otherwise there's not a lot to recommend here. Unfortunately, it would appear that RLM is much, much better at critiquing other peoples' films than making their own.

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The Indestructible/Die! Sitter! Die!: Rupert/The Herd/Dickproof 2/Larry Gone Demon/Portal To Hell!!!/Heir: final shorts for the fest

Features: 35

Shorts: 19

Documentaries: 3

Edited by Dread

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Highway to Hell: it's been 25 years since I've seen this. What a weird little film with an insane cast. Gilbert Gottfried as Hitler...the entire Stiller family...CJ Graham as an intimidating heavy...LITA FORD! Rob Lowe's brother's not the greatest actor, but Kristy Swanson makes it all better

Features: 37

Shorts: 19

Documentaries: 3

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