‘Three…Extremes’: Quality Stuff (review)

Three short films by acclaimed Asian directors. “Dumplings” by Fruit Chan concerns an aging actress who finds a disturbing way to look more youthful. Park Chan-Wook’s “Cut” shows a director taken hostage in his own home; he’s given the option to either choke a child to death or watch as his wife’s fingers are beingContinue reading “‘Three…Extremes’: Quality Stuff (review)”

The Stepford Wives (2004): Riddled with Plot Holes, but Still Pretty Socially Relevant (review)

Harried television executive Joanna (Nicole Kidman) moves to a Connecticut suburb with her husband Walter (Matthew Broderick) and their two children. Once there, she finds the women a little…strange. They’re happy, they love to cook and clean, and they’re just a little personality-deficient. When her new friends Roger (Roger Bart) and Bobbie (Bette Midler) surrenderContinue reading “The Stepford Wives (2004): Riddled with Plot Holes, but Still Pretty Socially Relevant (review)”

‘Marronnier’: Compelling, Creepy, and Campy (review)

Japanese movie, based on the manga by Junji Ito. Marino (Mayu) is a young woman who’s “hooked on dolls,” particularly those made by famous doll maker Iwata (Ochyazukenori). Her passion is ultimately detrimental, as Iwata’s loony assistant Numai (Hiroto Nakayama) becomes fixated on her. He eventually kidnaps her and reveals Iwata’s secret: the dolls areContinue reading “‘Marronnier’: Compelling, Creepy, and Campy (review)”

Takashi Shimizu’s ‘Marebito’: Vampires, Kinda, and also Social Commentary (review)

Japanese movie, whose title Google Translate assures me means “rare”. Masuoka (Shin’ya Tsukamoto) is a cameraman who feels disconnected from daily life. After filming a stranger committing suicide by stabbing himself in the eye, Masuoka longs to see what the man saw, thinking that his terror opened him up to seeing “things both strange andContinue reading “Takashi Shimizu’s ‘Marebito’: Vampires, Kinda, and also Social Commentary (review)”

‘Hellbent’: A Gay Slasher You Can Get Behind (review)

Lonely wannabe cop Eddie and his buddies: bisexual bed-hopper Chas, awkward Joey, and studly Tony head out to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival to get some bootie. Eddie is especially interested in Jake, a hottie he met earlier. They catch the attention of a masked killer, and not all of them live to see NovemberContinue reading “‘Hellbent’: A Gay Slasher You Can Get Behind (review)”

‘Dead Friend’: A Nifty Korean Ghost Story (review)

Korean movie, AKA The Ghost, AKA Ryeong. Ji-won is a college student with amnesia. She starts having visions of an angry spirit coming to get her, but doesn’t remember what she did to cause it. She’s approached by Yu-jung, one of her old friends from high school, who helps her gradually recall that she, Yu-jung, and their twoContinue reading “‘Dead Friend’: A Nifty Korean Ghost Story (review)”

‘Club Dread’ is a Sly Slasher Spoof (review)

Sun. Sand. Fruity drinks. Murder! Pleasure Island, Costa Rica, is home to Coconut Pete’s Coconut Beach Resort, which is dedicated to decadence. Unfortunately, someone is running around killing off the staff. Further unfortunately, there are no boats, phones, or radios, so everyone is trapped. It’s up masseur Lars (co-writer Kevin Heffernan), aerobics instructor Jenny (BrittanyContinue reading “‘Club Dread’ is a Sly Slasher Spoof (review)”