Reviewing the Reviews

There are a few essential truths of the world wide web (which turned 25 this year. The internet turned 44 this year) one being that most of us use the WWW to find reviews or recommendations of new things, new joys, to consume.

Whether that’s a restaurant review, hotel review, auto repair review, book review, or as in this case movie review; the hunt for reliable reviews and reviewers can be a daunting experience. Separating viable, intelligent opinions on a movie from just caustic rants (whether overly combative or overly defensive of a viewpoint) , separating the signal from the noise can be a daunting experience; weeding out the howling mob, from the reasoned review.

Well my friends, I was doing just that today over at IMDB, a site that is unfortunately very high in the noise department, filled as it is with immature reviewers who want to grade everything either 1 or 10, the best or the worst; not realizing the truth is usually somewhere removed from those two extremes. Well I sifted through quite a few reviewers to come up with the below list of movies that sound interesting and/or stylish enough to try.

Here they go… Enjoy!

Night of Fear (1972 Australian Horror)
Ritual of Death (1990)
Night Visitor (1971)
Burning Bright (2010)
The Pack (2010)
Outcast (2010)
Wound (2010)
Buried (2010)
Amer (2009)
The Dead (2010)
In the Line of Duty 4 (1989)
The Lost Missle (1958)
Dead of Night (1945)
Angst (1983)??
Arcana (1972)
Pensione Paura (1977)
Sennentuntschi (2010)
Devil’s Business (2011)
The Dead Don’t Die (1975)
Robowar (1988)
The Card Player (2004)
Demonwarp (1988)
Ths Abomination (1986)
Manipulator (1971)
Sei Mong Se Jun / Abnormal Beauty (2004)

The Raid 2 (2014)
Under The Skin (2013)

Stranger by the Lake (2013)

TWO-MINUTE WARNING (1976)
THE MANIPULATOR (1971- The late, great Mickey Rooney in a horror movie?! I have to see it. :) )
PLEASE MURDER ME (1956)
FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE (1970- Joseph Losey is one of the great unheralded noir and crime directors, so add the names Shaw and McDowell to this film’s description, and consider me intrigued)

Movies on my to Rent and/or to Purchase List!

Movies on my to Rent and/or to Purchase List!

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Book and DVD of the day: CASSAVETES ON CASSAVETES and JOHNNY STACCATO

Ray Carney has written quite a few books on iconoclast, maverick actor/filmmaker John Cassavetes, and the one I’m currently reading is CASSAVETES ON CASSAVETES.

Cassavetes on Cassavetes

I am also currently watching the 1959/1960 private eye show JOHNNY STACCATO starring the inexplicable John Cassavetes. It was researching the show that led me to a mention of Carney’s CASSAVTES ON CASSAVETES.

Through the book I wanted to get a better handle on the show, why it didn’t last, and what Cassavetes thought of it.

The book covers all these bases and more. It’s an elucidating look at a gifted, driven man for whom confusion and consternation and rabble-rousing, was part of what he did. In search of truths maybe, perhaps simpler… perhaps in search of feelings.

Johnny Staccato starring John Cassavetes – 3 DVD Box Set!

A good book that I recommend, particularly in context of the short lived JOHNNY STACCATO, which is, failings aside and Cassavetes dislike aside, at times great, and never less than interesting.