What’s Hot and What’s Not STREAMING/VOD Guide Week 11 – AMAZON PRIME Edition

WORTH FINISHING/PRETTY DARN GOOD:

https://cdn.cinematerial.com/p/500x/86dedokx/mission-of-justice-movie-poster.jpghttps://cdn.cinematerial.com/p/500x/x3t64owb/martial-law-ii-undercover-movie-poster.jpg

Both movies from the early 90s are of course very dated. Martial Arts had only broken into  the main-stream American conscience barely 15 years earlier. And American Martial Arts/Fight Choreography was still finding itself. And we were still in that very formulaic 80s urban crime/ Deathwish style of filming. All those caveats aside the movies remain incredibly entertaining, with a few pretty awesome sequences. Jeff Wincott and Cynthia Rothrock were prolific 80s action stars for a reason. And that reason is on display in these movies. Along with movies such as SILENT RAGE and PERFECT WEAPON and THE LAST DRAGON these films are fun and fine examples of American Cinematic Martial Arts in its early days.

 

https://cdn.cinematerial.com/p/500x/zlny1ge3/the-hard-way-british-dvd-cover.jpg

I consider Patrick McGoohan one of the best actors ever. And his SECRET AGENT MAN/ DANGER MAN one of the best TV shows. His fight choreography in that show, which predated the James Bond films, elevated fight choreography. The same way that the first season of ARROW raised the bar. Then the first season of DAREDEVIL raised it even higher. Patrick McGoohan, former soldier, former boxer, brings all that to his roles. And here, a much older McGoohan past throwing punches, is no less, cinematic gold.

Richard Burton in a horror movie? SOLD!

https://cdn.cinematerial.com/p/500x/quedcqtx/the-witch-who-came-from-the-sea-blu-ray-cover.jpgThe late 60s and early 70s was such an interesting time for film. Just as borders were being changed and challenged in our world and ourselves, they were also being expressed in our fiction. Particularly our films. There is a malleability and ephemeral-ness to much of the best films from this period. They are not any one genre, or any one thing. Are like our night-scapes, daringly un-solid, and always changing, depending on the viewer, and the viewed. This film will stay with you, long after you have seen it, until you are not sure it was ever a film, but rather maybe a dream, you forgot to dream.  The sight of breaking bone, and spurting blood, is everywhere in this film, and no where. A haunting film.

This one does not start well. Took me a couple attempts to finish it. Much like GOATSUCKER  that started awful, it just gets better and better, culminating in an impressive ending.

INTERESTING / JURY IS OUT

https://cdn.cinematerial.com/p/500x/ecutw0mv/absolon-movie-poster.jpghttps://cdn.cinematerial.com/p/500x/hvwyr4oy/throwback-british-movie-cover.jpg

NOT WORTH YOUR TIME / AVOID

Nightshot (2016)https://i1.wp.com/www.dreadcentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/mortalremainsnew.jpgStarts interestingly, but like most failed horror films, loses any concept of common sense by the third act. Is this something any rational person would do? If the answer is no, then do not put such stupid actions in your darn movie. I wanted the time I spent watching it, back. Avoid.

 

New Zealand Attack/Tragedy

First my thoughts and hopes go out to the victims of this cowardly, reprehensible action.

To those who committed it, to those who enabled it, to those like our Resident in Chief who are making excuses for it… you are as guilty as the ones who pulled the trigger.

See, this blind yet supportive eye our resident in chief (and too many who voted for him) would turn toward intolerance, and step to power on the backs of stupidity, ignorance, greed and hate… this is the outcome of such a policy of hate. This is your ‘wall’ made manifest.

And in an increasingly connected global economy and global thought space, stupidity spreads. Especially when supported by fools in power.

America, has shown the world how to do mass murders of its own citizens by its own citizens, a genocidal and suicidal nation, that is infecting the rest of the world. The lack of laws to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of the deranged, and the addled, and the damned. A lack of laws to hold the firearm manufacturers and the estate of the culprit fiscally responsible for the lives and bodies destroyed, by a wanton act of cowardice.

America, steered by madmen, shows the rest of the world how to go mad.

The answer?

The answer to blood?

The answer to horror?

The answer to deranged madmen calling for insane walls rather than real gun control?

The answer to too many of you who actually voted for such lunacy?

The answer is simple.

The answer is to admit you have been wrong.

Wrong as an American, or a Brit, or a New Zealander or a South African.

Wrong as a Democrat.

Wrong as a Republican.

Wrong as someone who believes in hate.

Wrong as someone who believes in love.

Wrong as a Christian.

Wrong as a Muslim.

Wrong as a Jew.

Wrong as a Buddhist.

Wrong as a Nazi.

You have to question everything you believe is right, and everything you believe is wrong, and only then can you see clearly.

Because a fool and a zealot do not question.

And we live in a world of fools and zealots, who do not challenge the absolute good and the absolute evil they have mistaken for the world.

Monologues, Alan Moore said.

Monologues we have mistaken for the world.

A man walked into a holy place, and destroyed lives, for a monologue he had mistaken for the world.

For a fiction, a fabrication, that with but a moments thought to question, the absolutes of his insane plan, people dead would now be alive, and families broken would be whole.

We all want to be on the side of the angels.

Whatever angels we bend our knee to.

But the magic of the world, is it is constantly changing. And every day, every single day, we have to get up, and ask ourselves, are we good men, or bad ones. And every single day, the answer to that question, should be in doubt.

We should never wake up assuming we are on the side of the angels. Because that is the quickest way… to do the devils work.

The man who walked into that Mosque in New Zealand was absolute in his conviction, and that is what damned him. And that is what will damn us all.

Absolutes whether the quest for a wall, or the quest for lives, absolutes… fail. They fail, especially when the price is paid not by you, but by some one else.

I end where I begin.

My thoughts go out to the victims of the latest man, the latest system, of absolutes. You want to really make a difference, really stop these massacres? This is what you do.

If you are a staunch supporter of NRA, question it. If you are a staunch opponent of NRA, question it. Question your absolutes, honestly, because I believe reason, all effing evidence to the contrary, I believe reason ultimately wins.

I believe a man on a path of hate or a man on a path of love, can be the same horrible man, for lack of questioning.

The humility of doubt can save their souls. Can define their souls. Accepting nothing as absolute.

Wake up every morning asking yourself if you are a good person or a bad one, and answering it honestly. And that is how you stay out of… true evil. Avoiding Absolutism.

I’m not preaching anything to you, that I don’t do myself.

Everyday I wake up, I ask myself if I am a good man or a bad one, and the act of questioning, and the striving to be a better man, is a great way to stop from, gleefully, being… the worst of men.

That’s all I have right now.

Be well.

Magnificent Podcast of the Day : INSIDE OF YOU WITH MICHAEL ROSENBAUM Episode 21 Stephen Amell

Magnificent Podcast of the Day : INSIDE OF YOU WITH MICHAEL ROSENBAUM Episode 21 Stephen Amell

What a fantastic podcast. Just discovered this show. This Stephen Amell episode from August of 2018 is FANTASTIC.

https://cdn.simplecast.com/audio/dc4a82/dc4a82c6-2617-472d-b06f-6aad5a8a48a4/eef823df-a136-42e4-a064-4099650159f9/ca07705d_tc.mp3?aid=rss_feed

I fell off of ARROW after the 4th or 5th season, Just due I think to The show being a victim of its own popularity. The fight and action scenes that were ground-breaking in the first few seasons, spurred a rash of other shows, superhero shows (most notably the Marvel/Netflix shows), to evolve and be better.

The CW shows with the exception of BLACK LIGHTNING, becoming too formulaic and soap operaish (the LOST flashback storytelling, outstaying its welcome by a few seasons), and failing to evolve with their competition.

However after listening to this podcast I want to revisit those overlooked seasons and catch up with ARROW. And I have a newfound respect for Stephen Amell, who I always thought was a solid actor. But this candid talk on his process and his life and his work ethic and his humanity, just marks him as an actor and a creative force to watch.

Easily one of the best podcasts I have listened to in 2019, so far.

Highly Recommended.

Must Own DVDs and BluRays in the age of Streaming!

With some circles ringing the death knell for physical media, I still proclaim the value of the films and movies you love… in a format that will not disappear, or be altered, or changed for the vagaries of scandal or politics or financial concerns.

So much of our favorite movies and tv shows are under the auspices of a very few global players, all of whom see these films first and foremost not as art, but product.And if that product ceases to be of value to them, historically companies have no qualms about destroying or changing or repurposing product.

In the early days of cinema, companies ordered destroyed films after their initial theatrical release. The same with television and radio shows.. Companies could not conceive of this idea of films or comics or tv shows having a life beyond their original run.

So films were burnt, radio shows and tv shows master tapes recorded over, golden age comics and original, pulped and recycled. Companies not thinking beyond profit destroyed irreplaceable product as a mater of policy.

The reason early, brilliant radio shows like THE SHADOW, or JOHNNY DOLLAR, or SUSPENSE survive, is not because of the companies, but because of this crazy batch of humanity that were fans and, more importantly,  collectors. Those who preserved things the very companies that owned them were trying to destroy. That is why we still have films from METROPOLIS to GREED to GONE WITH THE WIND. Or TV shows like HONEYMOONERS or DR. WHO or TWILIGHT ZONE. Because people did not leave the preservation of the things they love, to companies that see them as nothing more than product.

Fast forward many decades, and companies now know the value of these things on the secondary market. But I would argue at heart, while the writers and directors and stars may view the work as art, to the upper echelon of the respective companies… it is still product.Only of value to them as long as they can milk it. And product they will be happy to change or alter or edit based on political or societal pressure. To the companies it is ultimately always very dispoisable and changeable.

The movie you buy digitally can be edited to remove a scene that in the future is deemed offensive. So suddenly the movie you loved and paid for, is no longer the movie you can get.

This has already happened with certain movies. And I see it happening more as streaming becomes the only game in town.

Hence the need to still, in this age of digital, to be this stone age thing called a collector. And trust to yourself to preserve the things you call art, and would have… endure.

This is a new segment, and in future posts I will be highlighting a movie you should be buying NOW while it still is available. And movies that do not have physical versions that need them.

If you like this post, give a like, shop using the links below, and subscribe.

 

https://amzn.to/2NUgU1H

Currently Watching : DEAD SQUAD TEMPLE OF THE UNDEAD

DEAD SQUAD: TEMPLE OF THE UNDEAD

25 minutes in and the jury is out on this one. I find it intriguing despite the annoying nature of most of the characters. The annoying, brain dead westerner character is one I can definitely do without. The film so far has not been great, a bit too campy and annoying, but I find myself interested in where the film is going. Interested in the shape of the doom they are getting closer to. And the Antagonist equally wears out his welcome.

However the practical effects and makeup are impressive, and how badass one of the characters is around the 40 minute mark keeps me watching when I was ready to write this one off.

I do not like Zombie/Ghoul films as a rule, but this one is different enough (especially the head monster) and truly deranged and yes campy enough, that you just have to be impressed by the absurd weirdness of it.

It becomes far more intriguing than I was initially thinking. Definitely not for everyone but for fans of Peter Jackson’s early horror films like BAD TASTE and DEAD ALIVE, despite my early doubts, Dominik Hauser’s DEAD SQUAD (his debut film) by the end, becomes an absolutely tremendous and fitting homage and evolution of those campy horror classics.

Try it yourself courtesy of Amazon Prime streaming. It is unfortunate movies like this are not getting a DVD/Blu-ray release with Director’s commentary. That’s how B films like this traditionally have endured. Preserved by collectors and fans. In the ephemeral world of streaming,controlled by cold dollars and cents, films like this can disappear without a whisper.