My co-writer blogs for Amoeba Music! Movie reviews of Dust Devil, Bloodsport, Morgan!, and Herzog's latest!

Gillian Horvat, co-writer of the GILLIAN'S HEART comic with me, recently began to write movie reviews for the AMOEBA MUSIC Blog.

What's Amoeba Music? Simply the biggest independent music and DVD retail seller in the nation, and by far the "hippest" (certainly it's the most liked and renowned).

Here's her latest:

Werner Herzogs Encounters at the End of the World


It’s an uncontestable fact that Werner Herzog is the greatest living director. His latest documentary Encounters at the End of the World may not be as cathartic or controversial as his dramatic features, but it validates Herzog’s ability to personalize every film that he directs with the creation of hypnotic, surreal images, images that despite their otherworldliness symbolize a litany of urgent, undeniable truths. The most famous of these are the 360-ton steamship being pulled over a hill in the Amazon rainforest in Fitzcarraldo, as well as the dancing chicken and interminable ski-lift ride in the finale of Stroszek. People who have seen multiple Herzog films walk away with images they hold personally to them, like amulets; for me it’s Kaspar Hauser standing immobile in the village square clutching a letter that he can’t read. Only a director like Herzog could go to edge of the planet and make a film that is idiosyncratic. READ THE FULL REVIEW

Bloodsport review by Gillian Horvat


There are some who would say that Bloodsport was the film Ingmar Bergman intended to make when he directed Wild Strawberries. And to be perfectly serious Bloodsport is the better film.

When Frank Dux’s childhood friend and the son of his martial arts mentor is killed in a Kumite, a bloody underground mixed martial arts championship, Dux (Jean-Claude van Damme) goes AWOL from his army post to travel to Hong Kong to compete in the next Kumite and avenge his fallen friend’s honor. Hot on his trail, two military agents (one played by Forest Whitaker) follow him to protect the army’s investment in Dux’s amazing martial arts talents. With the help of a wrestler with a huge forehead (Donald Gibb from Revenge of the Nerds) also competing in the tournament and a plucky and attractive female journalist, Dux enters the brutal Kumite and displays his excellent fighting skills. But can he beat the man-killing, pec-flexing Chong Li or will he end up like his boyhood buddy? READ THE FULL REVIEW

DUst Devil: The Final Cut review - a cult classic that deserves its rep.


Dust Devil has suffered from a bad reputation ever since Harvey and somebody Weinstein eviscerated Richard Stanley’s cut of the film from 108 minutes to 87 for its ill-fated theatrical release. Stanley’s previous feature was the cult hit Hardware, which was noted for having made back its micro budget many times over as a video store hit. Why the Weinsteins chose to lop off 20 minutes and remove all the sense from the film is a bit of a mystery. Hopefully, Dust Devil: The Final Cut will redeem the film in the eyes of those who had seen it previously and introduce this gem to a new generation of horror fans.

Set in an arid, remote region of South Africa, Dust Devil follows an enigmatic serial killer (Robert John Burke), half man-half demon who follows the lonely highway, making love to and then killing depressed women. The killer uses ritual magic, attempting through his murders to transcend the earthly plane so he can return to the spiritual world.... READ WHY THIS IS A CULT CLASSIC THAT DESERVES ITS REP!

Morgan!: A Suitable Case for Treatment - David Warner is a god, yes, yes he is.


I volunteer, in an unofficial capacity, that David Warner could play with intelligence and wit any part offered to him. Misogynistic art film buffs will fondly remember his uncredited role in Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, 80s comedy fans know him best as vampire hunting Professor McCarthy in My Best Friend is a Vampire, and a certain blog writer can’t choose between his best performances, as Evil Genius in Time Bandits and Jack the Ripper in Time after Time. Warner’s rugged, sculpted features and his Royal Shakespeare Company training have made him one of the most versatile and charismatic film actors, on par with other distinctive, powerful talents like Stephen Rea and Harvey Keitel. Warner gives his leading man performance in Morgan! with such ease and virtuosity, it’s incredible that he’s so often been relegated to smaller roles. His is a rather unlikeable character: a juvenile underproductive artist with a complex involving gorillas and Communism, financially supported by his soon to be ex-wife. Vanessa Redgrave does a lot with a thin role as his rich, unappreciated spouse who has transferred her affections to Morgan’s oleaginous art dealer. Already suffering from (or in Morgan’s case thoroughly enjoying) delusions and fantasies, his wife’s ambivalent reaction to his attempts to win her back makes him lose his grasp of reality. READ WHY DAVID WARNER IS A MAN AMONG MEN

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1 Comment:

Donna Barr said...

Got to see Herzog in Seattle at the premier of one of his productions. Like all Germans (and you KNOW YOU DO THIS), after studiously and seriously discussing the subject, he just HAD to go over into that Warner Brothers comedy bit (imagine with his accent): "And we will go on to better films and bigger films and bigger audiences and we will invade Hollywood!" (or words to that effect.) "Today Seattle, Tomorrow the WORLD!!!" And of course we were all horrified and laughing our fool butts off, because he did it so over-the-top funny. Go ahead, get a German friend drunk or delighted -- they WILL do this routine, I think because they know Been There, Done That, Don't Want To Do THAT Any More (but they know everybody is still scared of them and it's hard to resist making gullible people jump, because no human CAN).

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