Tag Archive

Encounter at Raven’s Gate/Red Hill

By Adam Lippe

When a movie is described as having “atmosphere for days,” it seems like the kind of backhanded compliment that would be the equivalent of describing a paraplegic as having “wheels for days.” Sure, technically it’s true, but it’s a purposeful way of ignoring the issue at hand. You mention the atmosphere because the rest of […]

The Adjustment Bureau/Unknown/The Eagle

By Adam Lippe

In 2004, there was a surprisingly competent thriller released to theaters. Unfortunately it had a title that was not all that memorable, The Forgotten, and it was amidst a glut of “my child is missing” films, one of which also starred Julianne Moore, Freedomland. It had a premise that sounded familiar, Moore remembers her child, […]

The Mechanic (2011)

By Adam Lippe

Oh straight-faced stupidity, how I adore thee! While you’ve recently taken a hit with the advent of ironic violence and such confused projects as The Green Hornet which can’t decide if it means business or is only kidding (how about a 9 minute fight between our heroes that’s preoccupied primarily with property destruction), I sense […]

The Expendables

By Adam Lippe

Do you remember 200 Cigarettes? You know, the ‘80s nostalgia-fest about the ultimate New Year’s Eve party being thrown by Martha Plimpton, and the various vignettes involving those who will end up at said party? The 1999 film where Kate Hudson spends a lot of the movie covered in dog poop, Christina Ricci and Gaby […]

Valhalla Rising

By Adam Lippe

It would make sense that creating a brutal, no-brainer medieval movie, with tons of clanking swords, stabbings, bludgeoning, grunting, and minimal dialogue would be simple and not require either a big budget or a level of acting above say, the Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle Cyborg. You’d be wrong of course; otherwise there would be much […]

Predators

By Adam Lippe

After learning that I disliked his horror movie, a director at a film festival spent two days trying to confront me. I tried to be nice about it, complimenting the things I did enjoy such as the cinematography and how much he was able to get out of his obviously limited budget. He pestered me […]

He Never Meta Film Reference He Didn’t Like: A Review of Cop Out

By Adam Lippe

The late, great film critic Pauline Kael wrote that “an homage is a plagiarism that your lawyer tells you is not actionable.” Where do you draw that line though? When does gentle chiding and affection turn into parody? Certainly a film like last year’s Black Dynamite made that difficult to determine; because, while it tried […]

From Paris With Love

By Adam Lippe

There’s a scene in one of my favorite movies, Kicking and Screaming (the one about post-college ennui, not Will Ferrell screaming at pee-wee soccer players) where one character, Otis, responds to a challenge to name eight movies where a monkey plays a key role. After a few titles, the character, played by Carlos Jacott, starts […]

Skeleton Crew

By Adam Lippe

The easiest way for filmmakers to get themselves out of being painted into the corner is with a deus ex machina. Sometimes that deus ex machina is a lapse of logic, like Samuel L. Jackson driving on the highway and looking out his window at the exact moment Bruce Willis flies out of a water […]

Shrivel Me Timber; Erotic Thrillers Vol. 1: Traces of Red

By Adam Lippe

If the idea of seeing Jim Belushi as a sex symbol isn’t appealing to you, then I don’t know what to say. Clearly Traces of Red is too good for you. As I detailed in the [Motor]Cycles of the Film Industry article, Hollywood does things in cycles. When the 1980’s teen sexploitation market dried up […]

Terminator Salvation

By Adam Lippe

They should remake Predator 2. Not because it’s a great movie, in fact, it is lousy 70% of the time, or any time someone opens their mouth. No, the reason to remake Predator 2 is because it is so flawed, but has some terrific hints of ideas near the conclusion, why the Predator does what […]

Death Race

By Adam Lippe

Watching a Paul W. S. Anderson movie is always a struggle. Gifted with one can’t miss big budget B movie after another, he does nothing with ideas like Alien vs. Predator, Soldier, Resident Evil, and the holy grail of overqualified actors picking up a paycheck, Event Horizon. How he screws these no-brainers up is not […]

Now on DVD and Blu-Ray

Roadracers

By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]


Veegie Awards

Winner: BEST ONLINE FILM CRITIC, 2010 National Veegie Awards (Vegan Themed Entertainment)

Nominee: BEST NEW PRODUCT, 2011 National Veegie Awards: The Vegan Condom

Archive

Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.