Ep. 57 – The Alchemist Cookbook

Taking ancient riddles and recipes for the dark arts seriously. I saw it recently in “A Dark Song” now we have it again in “Alchemist Cookbook.” This one is quite a thrill and certainly a recommended watch. Listen to my short review and see what you think about this mysterious yet simplified horror film. Comments are always welcomed.

The Alchemist Cookbook (2016)
1h 22min | Drama, Horror | 7 October 2016 (USA)

Suffering from delusions of fortune, a young hermit hides out in the forest hoping to crack an ancient mystery, but pays a price for his mania.
Director: Joel Potrykus
Writer: Joel Potrykus
Stars: Ty Hickson, Amari Cheatom, Fiji

Ep. 56 – High Fidelity

This is before Jack Black was huge. He’s quite funny here in a supporting role. John Cusack’s character is the consummate “cool dude” managing a record store. He is also the narrator of a quirky, hosted, cult-status film that takes the viewer through museum tour of failed relationships

High Fidelity (2000)
R | 1h 53min | Comedy, Drama, Music | 31 March 2000 (USA)

Rob, a record store owner and compulsive list maker, recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress.
Director: Stephen Frears
Writers: Nick Hornby (book), D.V. DeVincentis (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Stars: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso

This is a hip movie for hipsters. In other words, the jokes are subtle and righteously understood by students of pop culture circa 2000. It has a simple setting: a record store and we watch Cusack’s character travel to the edge and back again not being able to keep a girl around to save his life.

While not a romantic comedy per se, this film could be recommended as a great date movie. It conjures up the lessons of falling in love in your teens through your twenties. Cusack definitely has his shit together in terms of having a pad and a job but he falls way short of what these women need. Caught in the middle: any guy whose gone through dating segments will likely relate, I know I did.

There is a scene when Jack Black and his friends go gangsta on “Rob” (Tim Robbins) the current dating interest of his late girlfriend. It’s quite a sight to see. The whole “bros before hoes” idea played out. But that scenes ends up different. Most of the film is a bit different, I guess that’s why it resonates so much with me.

FINAL THOUGHTS
In a similar tone to “Office Space,” this film is quirky hilarious. You have excellent actors, a dynamite script, beautiful women, and of course JACK BLACK! I recommend to all but especially those with a quirky and dark sense of humor.

10/10

Ep. 55 – Black Panther

This film is estimated to make 200M this 4 day weekend at its box office opening. It has a star studded cast and a very well liked director. So, is it worth all the hype? Have a listen to my words as I discuss my reactions to “Black Panther.” Leave me a comment.

Black Panther (2018)
PG-13 | 2h 14min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 16 February 2018 (USA)
Black Panther Poster
T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.
Director: Ryan Coogler
Writers: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole | 2 more credits »
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o

Ep. 54 Movie Review of M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Village’

In this show Damien covers one of his favorite psychological horror films. The Village is a film that starts out like a lamb and roars like a lion about 2/3 of the way through to the end. Listen to Damien discuss this controversial film and why he took every friend and family member to go see it. Its psychological horror is that powerful! Though it didn’t do well at the box office, it stands as an incredible piece of thought-provoking cinema! Leave us a comment! First 2 commenters get a personalized signed photo of Damien mailed or emailed! This is the contest we do not speak of.

The Village (2004)
PG-13 | 1h 48min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 30 July 2004 (USA)
A series of events tests the beliefs of a small isolated countryside village.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix

Ep. 53 Movie Review of ‘Most Beautiful Island’

This is a last minute surprise for thriller/horror of 2017. I watched it in utter delight, a really great film. Of course, I decided to share my enthusiasm with my voice, here on the podcast. I hope you enjoy. Comments are welcomed!

Most Beautiful Island (2017)
1h 20min | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 3 November 2017 (USA)
Most Beautiful Island is a chilling portrait of an undocumented young woman’s struggle for survival as she finds redemption from a tortured past in a dangerous game.
Director: Ana Asensio
Writer: Ana Asensio
Stars: Ana Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little

Film Review of ‘The Ritual’ & ‘Evolution’ – Ep. 52

First, “The Ritual”

I’d been waiting for this film to come into theaters and once again: we have a Netflix movie that never made it there. Is that bad? This is the first real horror film of 2018 and it certainly watches like one. Unlike some movies that have come down the pike in a forest that really weren’t horror like “The Witch” and “It Comes at Night,” this one has the elements of a horror and delivers as such.

The director is David Bruckner, known for “V/H/S,” “Southbound,” and “The Signal.” Looking at these titles makes me realize he has a solid background in horror and “The Ritual” is his foray into the big time. This one will probably be enjoyed by more than the others. It’s an “on location” piece meaning it is filmed in the woods. This must have proved challenging. I found some pparts of it to be a little misguided but as a whole, this is a directorial accomplishment.

There is a house the hikers happen upon in the film. Upstairs there is an odd piece of ritual like art. It looks rustic and religious in form. I found not much was explained there and it never really added up for me what was happening there. It was if it was just being blamed on the supernatural when the scenes could have held better clues.

Other than the house scene, the film develops well throughout. The ending is a massive crescendo and it’s nothing you’d expected up to that point. By saying less, he says more. By suggesting the size and shape of creatures, he makes them all that more scary. Because it’s supernatural, we can’t really argue logic here which is good for the director because it’s lacking a bit there. Having said that, I found this horror film scary and full of suspense. There are many roads to Rome and this one definitely finds its way there. I give it a 8/10

Evolution

A quite odd sci-fi horror. It’s foreign and there are subs, you’ve been warned. Anyway, I didn’t properly review this one in writing. You’ll have to tune in to see if I liked it or not.

Brief Film Review of ‘Phantom Thread’ and ‘Mudbound’ – Ep. 51

In this episode, I talk about two films: ‘Phantom Thread’ and ‘Mudbound.’ Both are Academy Award nominees and I introduce their concepts so you can decide better whether to see them and/or comment about what you think about them if you have already seen them.

I hope you enjoy the show. I started this podcast with idea of keeping them short and hopefully sweet, to the point. I also give each my rating. Listen and please let me know what you think in the comments about anything that comes to mind. Enjoy the day.

Brief Film Review of ‘All the President’s Men’ – Ep. 50

A friend who lives in England told me there isn’t much interest in American political scandal. I hope that’s true because some of our stories here in the US are embarrassing. The conservatives wiretapping the liberals. It sounds like a cartoon movie, a joke if you will. Folks, lest we forget Watergate, it happened. This films gives a solid background of how it was discovered, reported, and used to take the president out of office.

All the President’s Men (1976)
PG | 2h 18min | Biography, Drama, History | 9 April 1976 (USA)

“The Washington Post” reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Writers: Carl Bernstein (book), Bob Woodward (book) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden

Director Alan J. Pakula gave us “Sophie’s Choice,” an incredible piece of film. How would YOU choose? That’s what the world keeps asking wherever it’s shown. I don’t usually pay attention to the producer’s name but they do provide the money and they have some input as far as that goes. So, having said that, he produced “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1962. If you haven’t seen this classic movie you must. If you have, I’ll just let that sink in a minute.

Okay, back to the review:

There’s a new movie out called “The Post” that people are saying is a sequel to this. It isn’t but both are based on real life events. “The Post” is also an excellent film that details the way the press uncovered a government coverup of the atrocities and losses in Vietnam. It’s similar in the way it depicts the government trying to pull the wool over the eyes of its citizens. I don’t think it’s too far off to compare the themes of these films to what’s going on with the sitting president now. “The Post” is up for best picture and I really enjoyed it but this review is about a film that came long before it. Log live the press I say!

Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford play in “All the President’s Men” the two reporters that broke Watergate. They act out their lines among many actors you know nd love now though they looked a lot younger then. The way these two men play these roles makes this film a feat and something to study for future generations. Whether you like American scandal history or not, this is an incredibly engaging film. I give it a 10/10.

Brief Film Review of ‘The Red Turtle’ – Ep. 49

This film brings the tide of humanity into the shore. I put ocean sounds as the bed for my review because they are so peaceful and run throughout the entire film. Without speaking these few characters deliver peace and relaxation while at the same time conveying a powerful story about the passing seasons of life. I hope you enjoy listening. Please, if you have time leave me a review on itunes of other service you listened at. Those reviews help get the word out on my project. This is episode 49.

The Red Turtle (2016)
La tortue rouge (original title)
PG | 1h 20min | Animation, Fantasy | 20 January 2017 (USA)
The Red Turtle Poster
A man is shipwrecked on a deserted island and encounters a red turtle, which changes his life.
Director: Michael Dudok de Wit
Writers: Michael Dudok de Wit (story), Pascale Ferran (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Emmanuel Garijo, Tom Hudson, Baptiste Goy

Brief Film Review of ‘The Big Blue’ – TDRP048

This is about a rival between professional athletic deep divers. It’s also a tale of one athlete who is thought to be a fish, he can hold his breath longer than any human. I find this film to be tranquil and serene. In fact, it puts me in a trance every time I see it. I picture myself floating, thinking while not thinking, enjoying it without trying. I warmly invite you to enter the world of this film by listening to my 5 min film review. Then please leave me a comment. They are my lifeblood that keep me going as I do this.

The Big Blue (1988)
Le grand bleu (original title)
R | 2h 48min | Adventure, Drama, Sport | 19 August 1988 (USA)

The rivalry between Enzo and Jacques, two childhood friends and now world-renowned free divers, becomes a beautiful and perilous journey into oneself and the unknown.
Director: Luc Besson
Writers: Luc Besson (story), Luc Besson (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Stars: Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno, Rosanna Arquette