Scott Douglas Brown’s “Stadium Anthems” is a movie that is just fine when all is said and done. The direction and production values are very good, and most of the cast keeps the film afloat with their charisma. It’s an okay movie that ultimately feels like with a bit of alterations it could have been great. I am always a fan of mock documentaries about rock bands, and varying shades of egos, et al. It’s just that “Stadium Anthems” suffers from feeling like there are just too many ideas struggling to rise to the surface, and it drags it down big time.
Director Ryan Nicholson’s slasher throwback is thankfully a horror film that, while imperfect, has managed to appreciate in value since its release in 2008. While we may be well past the age of the eighties revival in horror cinema, “Gutterballs” is a nice look at the fad done well and with some semblance of substance over style. It’s still not a masterpiece, but it’s definitely midnight movie fodder that should be appreciated with its cinematic contemporaries. Frankly I’m surprised slasher BBK’s signature look never caught on with the horror community, but I digress.
Despite the title which weirdly made me think this was an homage to “Plan 9,” Lance Polland’s science fiction thriller is quite an impressive survival film. Director Polland obviously has great affection for and knowledge of classic science fiction television, thus he creates an interesting character study that feels like a more sophisticated take on the original “Star Trek.” In many cases, so much of the scenes feel like something directly ripped out of “Star Trek” (and I mean that as a compliment).
How do you deliver an action comedy filled with gun fights and car chases on a 30K budget? You be as clever as humanly possible, and add in a bit of suspension of disbelief. “In Action” is a shockingly clever action comedy that takes a unique premise and puts it on film, come hell or high water. Working simultaneously as a proof of concept, directors Eric Silvera, Sean Kenealy, and Jon Warren’s bring to life a premise with potential to be pretty damn good, and they do whatever they can to bring their concepts to life.
John Hughes was considered the master of teen oriented cinema in the 1980’s, often depicting somewhat lower middle class kids on the verge of adult hood. While the movies were raunchy and funny, they were also intent on building characters centered on self reflection and facing potentially dead end adult hoods. While “Weird Science” has mostly been lambasted as Hughes’ worst, I think I’d choose his debut “Sixteen Candles” as the weakest of his eighties outputs.
Critically maligned when it was first unleashed on the world and was bashed for years by fans, “Freddy’s Revenge” is a movie that caught the fan base by surprise. With the advent of the internet, fans have been able to appreciate the sequel to one of the most influential horror movies as a classic in its own right. It’s a sentiment that’s managed to spread along the entire horror community as more queer horror fans have found “Freddy’s Revenge,” allowing Freddy Krueger to reach a part of society that reached beyond dreams and in to the sub-conscious in to ideas about self acceptance and repressed sexuality.
Danny Wolf’s documentary series is something of a contradiction in that it’s a series about cult movies that were or continue to be unappreciated. And yet, every movie that’s covered all has rabid fan bases. Some of them even have conventions and social gatherings celebrating them. While the “Time Warp” movie series doesn’t re-invent the wheel, if you’re in the mood to celebrate some fun cult films and just lose yourself in mainly American cult classics, then Volume 3 is right up your alley.
Approaching Stan Laurel’s 130th Birthday, from Kit Parker Films comes another in a vast library of shorts from Laurel and Hardy. For folks that love the pair of comedic performers and actors, “The Definitive Restorations” is a great set with some of the best shorts from the legendary duo. I love Laurel and Hardy, and digging through this set allowed me some great laughs, and a glimpse in to a very talented pair of comedians that brought fun to the big screen. The shorts and two features included were remastered and further restored for this set, allowing them to clean up a lot of debris and imperfections and preserve a lot of the integrity of the original masters and reels. It’s stunning to say the least, and contributes to an already worthwhile experience for comedy buffs and film collectors alike.