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  • Anna and the Apocalypse

    Anna and the Apocalypse

    A Scottish-made Xmas musical horror, hey (reason 4 season, dashing thru snow, ho ho ho, gay apparel, etc.!) -- half adorable, half not so good. The songs are very schlocky, and they love themselves so, even over and above the film's whole crazy satire. But Ella Hunt's majorly cute and you can't go wrong with some quirky zombie entertainment. More along the lines of RED SNOW and SHAUN OF THE DEAD than SING STREET but past all of them. Some celeb-popping scripting, like KICK-ASS 2, annoys me at times; and of course ridiculously ramped-up emotive stereotyping. But it's not too bad an entertainment.

  • Hellraiser

    Hellraiser

    Ebert-panned but otherwise critically respected. It's somewhat like CANDYMAN in my own limited experience, though sexuality (and sadomasochism) rather than race (and gentrification) figure most significantly. Somewhat a "golly shucks" swallowing thing -- gallons of blood, synth splashy, wowee -- but usually not too bad.

    "not a gesture: something I need to do": well, do it already then, Jesus Christ, and stop bothering me! Haha. Something like Żuławski's POSSESSION or De Palma's DRESSED TO KILL -- but better! Like Roeg's…

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  • Fanny and Alexander

    Fanny and Alexander

    Maybe it's because I watched the 3-hour version and not the 5-hour one, but it surprises me that Fanny hardly appears in the film at all... and Alexander is central, but not dominant in the least. Odd that something titled with two characters' names would hardly feature those characters at all. Regardless, this is a great piece of art, hefty and extensive but never overwhelming.

    It surveys a privileged Swedish family, the Ekdahls, as they work through the unhappiness following…

  • Big Trouble in Little China

    Big Trouble in Little China

    Satirizing busy but shallow Asian stereotypes of all queer, magical-thinking, silly fighting nuttiness? Better not make your satire a dippy, weak-scripted crap thing itself. Kurt Russell's a mulleted, unfunny hick (he's supposed to be crackly and John Wayne cowboy, but nothing is smart enough to oxygenate the performance), and he's surrounded by nothing that charms/amuses and everything that offends/annoys.