Monday, October 26, 2015

15 Minutes GO! Review for Tenement AKA Slaughter in the South Bronx: AKA Game of Survival

I am not sure why I cannot be a nice boy, man child who settles in nicely. I am just as confused as to why I enjoy uncomfortable movies that can be crass and gross. I don’t like horror or should I say I do not like gore for gores sake.

It’s Monday and I am writing this in 15 minutes, taking the time out for my dry computer blank eyes to be working on work to fuck off for 15 minutes while looking over my shoulder. I don’t want to tip my hand that not only am I watching a movie on the shot clock but I now write about them too. Opening a Costco size box of worms (Sam’s Whole Sale Club if you are in my homeland).

Sunday was a big day for some people I know. Maybe the biggest, earth shaking event. A nice old hotel with character housing a reasonable wedding but with a lot of window dressings and trimming for a second go around. 

For some reason I made an odd choice of viewing for a Sunday mid-morning, especially if I was going to be seeing my recent extended family. Maybe I created some one man performance art writing piece in my head to watch a grimy movie like Tenement and then go to an expensive shin dig. Maybe before having to put on a pleasant and well-mannered face I should watch a good 80s comedy. But this was the purchase draw of the amazing triple set I got from from reading a recommendation on Rupert Pumpkin Speaks blog (one of the best blogs around me thinks).

There are times when movies affect me in a negative way, not the go out drinking or crying jag but when I am uncomfortable and start to wonder what does this look like to the outside world if they happened to look in? I fancy myself a good guy who normally does the right thing but why am I watching a movie when an older lady not only gets her throat slashed with a straight razor but also gets a passionate kiss from a thug to boot? Why? 

Tenement kind of put me in an odd mood direction when I started it the night before. Some of the hoods played it very camp and Chaco’s broken English kind of took away some of the edge. It almost kind of lulls you into a false sense of security. This is just more of a NYC Gang that Couldn’t Shoot, Apple Dumpling group with leather right? Wrong. 

As I was clock watching to get prepared for a drive to a nice family wedding I started to fidget. I was kind of balking at the film and started wondering why I am watching this film that you can practically smell. The set location is no set and the super looks like he may actually be the super of the building. 

The story involves angel dust smoking (I wish they would have emphasized more of that is why the gang decided to go all in with the murdering of a whole group of struggling residents) and not just survival but some revenge. The acting is not great but has its own charm.

At some point I relaxed and I really got into the film. What brought me around was the gore surprisingly enough. Not that the effects were great but it showed this was true guerilla, small film making on a slight budget. There are many small nuances in the story that beg a discussion and I just wish I had a film friend who lived closer by who I could go out to a nice coffee with and discuss this grimy film in a nice location who would not question why the hell are you watching this filthy film?

Grade: Solid B+

Sunday, October 18, 2015



I once was on a down projection, a downhill slope running off my mouth (still ringing ears true)

I was told that reading books about downhill racers who eventually took their own lives in the course of many musical notes was not helping my case or cause

But that too tight drum sound with a snap and flare of the wrist reminds me of why I am happy to be around still

I don’t want to miss anything, no matter how slight 

I romanticize and speculate in droves, I think it is a warm forehead flush with blessing but some (mainly one voice) say I need to Map Quest GPS my way out of my head 

But I will take this filling in the gaps, rule of thirds to go:
That basement surely had not only a sound but a smell
One of damp drywall and wet concrete

That drum sound took some time to get it just right, moving the mics and trying not to hit too hard, no that is not what is needed in this piece

Plus it’s getting late and every creak of the floor boards upstairs made the spine tingle with anticipation of a tired roommate or possible neighbor who could not hear sports center at top volume

I imagine it was late, almost three not quiet four when he with a slight grin and feeling of accomplishment clicked the light off at the top of the stairs 

A personal celebration of a walk in the damp morning, pulling knit cap down a touch more

Stop off at a convenience store, soaking up a different unique kind of night life and just feeling like ‘Hey I get it, I really get it and life is pretty great right now’

A soda and a snack and another lap around the block, the warm bed will feel good with a slight breeze over the top of the covers

Tonight something happened and maybe it didn’t happen this way but that rim shot sound of beauty always talks volumes of “those” moments to me

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Flip of a Card:

Click for OptionsMy dad is a newspaper writer, he used to write a couple of editorials or columns a day. Somewhere, maybe? There is a column he wrote about his sickly son (me) who after another day of being sick was sitting in his room throwing cards into a hat looking like a convict on death row. 

Well years later I am sitting on the edge of a tub in California throwing cards into a minor league baseball hat to help me choose what movie to tackle next. I “borrowed” portions of the idea from Jeremy Gardner writer/director/ star of The Battery (seriously go buy that film and add it to your permanent collection). He was creating a movie suggestion deck of cards from folks on Twitter. He posted his first ten, well I liked this idea and added some of my own stipulations to it. 

See, I may have more movies than I will ever be able to watch in my lifetime. I need help from something or someone to get some of these puppies watched. My time is limited as I work and commute and some days work some more and often get handed an itinerary of sorts that can change multiple times throughout a day. I was having a shit day taking a whomping at work and the only little bright spot I was thinking of was stopping at the Rite Aid and picking up some cards and going through unwatched movies and defacing the front of those playing cards (yeah I am a simple man).

My evening took a few twists and turns and once again I took solace in ideas, films and odd projects that may only be seen by two or three sets of eyes. I turned on the exhaust fan in the bathroom and sat up my Surprise Rafters ball cap and began to flip away. I decided on starting with five films and also made the rule to write a bit about each one.

I picked this DVD up in a Rasputins 3 for $10 deal. It had a lot of intrigue and promise; nice painted odd cover, Dodge City’s own Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento as a stripper, about three bucks and did I mention Asia?

Card 1: Seven of Diamonds/ The Keeper:
Image result for helen shaver the keeperClick for Options

Ah Asia she scares me at times and I yet she may be in the top three of attractive women (to me my taste runs a bit…odd). I remember her Rolling Stone Cover well. Nothing like vacuuming the YA section at 6AM and occasionally looking at the odd tattoo peeking over her jeans, oh man waaaay too early. At some point I read the article and I remember feeling like my theory of her smelling like perfume and smoke being accurate and also how she very openly talked about hooking up with some random dude to the writer. I have watched a lot of her films since then and after cannon balling into the odd horror film pool no understand a little more about her and her pops and the context of her. 
Image result for the keeper 2004 
So I jotted down some notes on this film. I kind of waffled back and forth on it and I am not sure if I was giving it more credit and leeway due to Dennis Hopper and Asia being in it. 

Summing it up it was a mediocre film, I could imagine watching it on USA after Wings re runs were done while home on a sick day. Or maybe if I could not sleep turning it on around 2AM on a Saturday morning. 

I am pretty sure this will go into the mental to sell pile for the next purge session. From the way my last selling went I may owe them money next times, $25 come on you sold that Comic Book movie Collection for $12 I saw it fuckers.

High spot: Asia Argento, really interesting to watch and she was not overly sleazy even though she was playing the role of stripper drifter (wait that may be a good title for a new script, copyright JSB@)
Image result for the keeper 2004

Dennis Hopper looks like Rudy Giuliani. He seemed very flat and wooden which is disappointing. This was not the same PBR drinking and huffing guy, right? Occasionally you would see flashes but I am pretty sure he knew this films was bland. **Footnote: Which begs the question is it better to be in a movie that is an outright turd? Be great or suck an egg but if you’re putting the time into it crash and burn people.***
Image result for the keeper 2004

Older odd TV producer played crazy well, very erratic. First you thought sexual, then no career goals for TV back to no she wants old wiener. **Footnote 2: Holy crap older lady is Helen Shaver, she has been in a ton of stuff. Including Tremors 2 which is on my to watch list via Blu Ray*** 

Image result for helen shaver the keeper

I hate the washed out Showtime look, not sure what they use but it does have a distinctive feel but that is not a compliment. Good example is the few Masters of Horror I have seen, big stories told by big creative names but that wash out look makes it feel bush league. 
Image result for the keeper 2004
Kid from American Pie type movies was ok. I feel bad as he has been typecast in that role, he’ll probably never land a serious role. He has that kind of head bobbing Jason Harvey delivery and you are always waiting for some smart ass remark and a “Huh Huh” from him after even a serious line of dialog. Still could be worse for him, he could be only getting roles as overweight grease ball biker in commercials and failed pilots.  

Best scene was Asia getting out of cage and Hopper firing shots hitting paint cans. The only time Hopper really shined, asking her if she could make it up steps without him shooting her. Kind of a play on how many bullets did I fire but that’s ok. The paint cans leaking red blood was a bit ham fisted but I can forgive as we finally had a little bit of tension in the film (except for the tension of hoping for nudity).

I may have to go back and re watch end as I am often drowsy and have to make several attempts at completing a movie. I cannot really recommend it or say to seek it out but you could stumble upon a lot more awful things to watch. I think the initial attack guy is caught and it was just random and Hopper just seized opportunity. I would watch the end again but it may just be easier to Wiki look it up, my time is very limited. 

“Oh good a made for Showtime movie!” was never said by anyone…
Grade C plus