Entries Tagged as 'Independent'

‘Appropriate Adult’ (2011)

'Appropriate Adult' 2011 Appropriate Adult (2011) is a two-part dramatization of the life of  Fred West (1941–1995) a rural. British serial killer that operated in the British Midlands for over 30 years.

The twist is that the filmmakers concentrate upon the relationship between West and his Social Worker, Janet Leach, when he she is brought in to assist West in the mid-90s.

In the UK, the term ‘Appropriate Adult’ has been given to the advocates of mentally deficient citizens and children, much like a Social Worker.

Fred West was a piece of work — blue collar, illiterate and mentally impaired. West had been brought up in an abusive household where he was likely the victim of the sexual predations of both his parents. West also suffered numerous non-fatal head injuries that may have contributed to his disposition. [Read more →]

‘Return of the Living Dead III’ (1993)

Zombie girlfriends, rebellious teens, fast cars, motorcycles and gunplay. To spell it out that way, it almost sounds like some other movie. Some other, equally improbable movie.

Of course, it’s just the 3nd sequel to George Romero and John Russo’s Night of the Living Dead (1968)  but this film belongs to the dramedy fork of the franchise that Russo took when he and Romero went their separate ways.

Of course, RothLD 3 was written, directed and produced by ’80s low-budget schlockmeister and H.P. Lovecraft aficionado, Brian Yuzna . Unlike it’s predecessors, it abandons the full-on campy excesses of predecessors Dan O’Bannon ( Alien, Lifeforce, Total Recall )  and Ken Wiederhorn to inject the tragic pathos of teenage romance into the mix, and somehow it works marvelously. [Read more →]

‘The Notorious Bettie Page’ (2005)

 The Notorious Bettie Page' (2005) The Notorious Bettie Page is  good in an intellectually satisfying way, bringing order to the typically messy subject of art, pornography and when, where and how one crosses  into the other. Typically, a film like this would be done as a straight biopic, but what Mary Harron and Guinivere Turner have crafted here is no less complicated than Rashamon (1950). No, seriously.

Listen up — Turner and Harron have carefully constructed a four-dimensional portrait of a woman who was, initially, a rather innocent studio model. She was good at what she did, attractive and at ease with her body in a way that made nudity easy. She was many things to many people, even as those fantasies and figments overlapped and contradicted on another.The modelling was so easy, that distortions such as S&M, Fetishism and role-playing were a bit of a joke to her, even as she posed for pictures by the notorious Irving and Paula Klaw . [Read more →]

John Byrne’s ‘Next Men’ (1991)

Re-reading this right now. My memory could be awful or I could have missed an issue or two back in ’91-’93 (me:DC-Chicago-DC-Paris). But, WOW! Byrne’s been keeping me guessing here, down to the last 2 chapters: I have a notion about where it’ll end up, but things are proceeding in a good, unpredictable pace.

The series is only about 35 issues long (#0-#30, plus the graphic novel 2112 ), but Byrne does a very good job of turning it from a Clonus Horror tribute comic into a story that eats time-travel, holodeck incidents and alternate-reality tropes alive. In fact, it’s elegant in a way that I wish ‘Inception’ (2010) had been. [Read more →]

‘The Fifth Patient’ (2007)

While I watched The Fifth Patient , I couldn’t help but think that the gamesmanship of writer/director Amir Mann resembled that of  Memento (Christopher Nolan , 2000).  Both films use amnesia as a plot-point and in both films there’s a point at which overthinking gets in the way of understanding the movie.

Nick Chinlund is John Reilly (a ‘ Reilly, Ace of Spies ‘ reference?) involved in some double-agentry that the audience hasn’t been informed of, and the character goes through several changes about what he knows and what he may or may not know. Malheuresement , I feel that Amir Mann hasn’t done enough to win my sympathy for Reilly and his predicament.

Why has Mann chosen Africa as the site of Reilly’s imprisonment? The Middle East would have been a more timely place for the story to occur,  with the subtext of extraordinary rendition. Mann gave away currency and revelence when he chose to site his drama in Africa. [Read more →]

Short Cuts:’The Honeymoon Killers’ (1969)

Freaky. They refer to Albany N.Y. as ‘the big city’ here.

If you aren’t aware of the plot, it’s a late, experimental variation on noir , about 2 grifters in the Hustler-Older Woman game. For reasons that seem to make no amount of sense, real life con-artists/lovers Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez posed as brother and sister during their scams, their schemes allowing the 200-lb. Beck to accompany Hernandez and their target on ‘dates’ as a chaperone up to and after the ‘wedding’.

It’s an odd film, with primitive camera movements, clumsy direction and stilted dialogue. Conversation and character interaction seem to be second-thought here — almost every line is exposition. describing things that are going on off-screen. [Read more →]