The movie of the week this time is one that I’m maybe just a little late in seeing. Chinatown is an old-timey detective noir story that was filmed in 1974, but takes place in the 1930’s, and it still looks really good for its age. It’s a very solid and enjoyable mystery in general, and there’s some great writing here, with a story full of clever twists and all the weird, creative little tricks Jack Nicholson’s character has to resort to to carry out his detective duties back in a time before most familiar technology existed.
Things begin to take some unexpected dark turns near the end though, all leading up to probably one of the most impactful endings I’ve ever seen in a movie. I can’t really talk about any of that stuff without giving things away, but trust me when I say that if you watch this movie, you will almost certainly never forget it.
Time to revisit some old ninja classics. I don’t remember being a huge fan of the first American Ninja, I saw the second one first back in the day and liked it a lot more. Looking back on it again after all these years, I still agree with that sentiment. It’s an old Cannon action movie, so it’s a given that it’s cheap and ridiculous all around, but that can still be quite entertaining sometimes. This one isn’t entirely lacking in entertainment value, but it’s not great. This serves more as an origin story to the American Ninja, and so it spends a lot of time on build up and not as much on the outlandish martial arts action.
No, American Ninja 2 was much better, with a lot more sweet 80’s ninja action and what seems to be a slightly bigger budget behind it all. The much improved soundtrack goes a long way towards selling it all too. The George Clinton score is so incredibly 80’s action, feeling almost like you’re playing some old Sega Genesis Shinobi game or something. It’s still a lot shoddier and ridiculous than I remember it being back in the day, but it’s also still a great guilty pleasure from the 80’s. If you like cheesy 80’s ninja action, this is one worth seeing. Now I’m kind of tempted to try some of the other sequels to see how far I can get, though I don’t remember liking any of them after this one.
This was a fun action-comedy movie about an extremely competitive couple who’ll do anything it takes to win. It’s well-written and consistently paced and has a lot of good laughs. There’s not much else to say about it!
I still don’t know what to think about this one. Cemetery Man, a.k.a. Dellamore Dellamorte, is a movie that doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense on the surface. It’s made up of a bunch of surreal sequences that often seem to have little to no relation to each other, as if this whole movie was just one long dream sequence, and according to internet theories, that’s pretty much exactly what it is. Yes, it’s one of those movies that you watch and try to make sense of all the crazy shit that’s going on, and then when it ends and you realize you have no fucking clue what just happened, you have to go search online to find the answer.
This approach can be interesting sometimes, but I don’t know, this one just didn’t grab me in a way that made me crave the answer to its mystery. There are some relatively good effects for an old Italian horror movie, and some scenes that are memorable for how uniquely bizarre they are, but I just never seemed to really care about the main character or his incredibly inconsistent motivations. Maybe I’d have to see it again now that I know the secret to be able to appreciate it more, but not today thank you…
Black Demons is notable only for it sometimes being referred to as Demoni 3, or Demons 3. Yes, it’s another one of those Demons sequels that isn’t actually a Demons sequel at all, or even about demons of any kind (It’s also not the only movie that claims to be Demons 3…). It’s actually about voodoo zombies and it’s fucking awful. Just another typical trash horror movie that’s mostly made up of pointless filler. This one does at least bother to throw in some trashy gore near the end, but nothing that’s even remotely worth the painfully uninteresting wait. Completely forgettable garbage.
Eh. This movie was not for me. Ingrid Goes West is supposed to be a black comedy/drama that satirizes the modern subculture of the social media-obsessed, but it never seems to go far enough in either direction. The drama isn’t very dramatic or compelling and there are almost no laughs to be had either. Instead it’s just a long, very slowly-paced story about a mentally ill woman who stalks people online and the completely unbearable hipsters that she’s so desperate to be friends with. Aubrey Plaza does a good job of selling the role, but I just didn’t find anything to enjoy about watching her be painfully awkward and disturbed or any of the disgustingly vapid and deluded people she befriends. I feel like this was kind of the whole point of this movie, to highlight the fact that people and situations like this actually exist and to make you feel depressed and uncomfortable about that, and well, I guess they succeeded in that, but it’s not something I find enjoyable to watch.