42nd Street Blues: Waiting for the Second Revival

The “Grindhouse Review Fest” originally began back in 2007, when, to ring in the arrival of the much anticipated “Grind House,” we spent an entire month reviewing grindhouse flicks of old and new. And we had a blast. And so did our readers apparently, since the hits on Cinema Crazed jumped considerably around this period. So this year, we decided to do it again. With more movies, a small time crunch, and much better planning, we’ve gathered classic Grindhouse and Neo-Grindhouse from independent filmmakers, and brought to you the 2nd Annual Grindhouse Review Fest. And just to show you that we’re not fucking around with this occasion, we posed a survey to ourselves and to our gracious contributors to show that we absolutely adore grindhouse and all of its sub-genres from sexploitaiton, to nazisploitation. And we hope you love what contributors Lillian Patterson, William Garcia, and I, Felix Vasquez, have to say about Grindhouse movies, and why it’s one of our favorite hobbies as movie lovers.

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Grindhouse (2007)

grindhouse-2007Let’s face it fair readers, I was born in the wrong era. While I’m living in the time of cell phones and reality television, I should be living in the time of grind houses, and porno theaters. While I’m in a time of Kelly Clarkson, I should be in a time of Donna Summer. Simply put, I wish I was born during another time. But, you have to admit, Tarantino and Rodriguez got what they wanted. They wanted to create the grind house experience, and that’s exactly what I received. A double feature, scratchy film, and an empty theater. It’s me and my family, and about four other people, and no one got the joke. Continue reading

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005)

thumb_EB20050609REVIEWS50605001ARThe words Robert Rodriguez would come to regret saying for years to his son: “This would make a cool movie”. Oy. It’s difficult to just outright cut this movie a new one, especially since the intentions behind it are admirable. Whether or not Rodriguez’ son thought of the story, dreamt of these characters, and or co-wrote this screenplay, it’s hard to completely rip it apart. It sucks, that’s a given, and its Rodriguez’ worst, but I’m still trying to figure out why this was made. I remember kids movies being bad, especially when I was a kid. I had to suffer through “Rock a Doodle”, “Ferngully”, and “Mom and Dad Save the World”, but I believe it’s possible to make a very good kids film.

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Sin City (2005)

Cannibal teens, psychotic hookers, talking dead bodies, yellow skinned child rapists, and a disfigured psycho with an affinity for trench coats. The third corner of hell? No, it’s all mundane in Sin City, thus is the oddities presented in the Frank Miller created series of graphic novels. Miller set forth a legacy in 1991 when he created a series of incomparable visionary graphic novels called “Sin City” which had no superheroes, no intergalactic madmen, and no demonic entities, only the horror of mankind and the back alleys of the worst city in the world.

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

once2“Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” an obvious homage to the westerns of Sergio Leone in every respect would be such a good movie, were it not so utterly ridiculous and laden with sheer stupidity and nonsense. I’m just so disappointed because I’m not sure what happened to Robert Rodriguez or what he was on at the time he wrote this but this is not his usual satisfactory storytelling, a note that left me asking “What happened?” I wasn’t sure whether this would be described as a sequel or a prequel and if this even left off from “Desperado” storyline continuity, because it stars Antonio Banderas re-claiming his role as el mariachi, but other than that, I was lost.

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Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)

spy_kids_3_d_game_overWell, it’s clear by this series that Robert Rodriguez has had his influences. The first film was a throwback to the old spy movies, the second was a throwback to Ray Harryhausen and Indiana Jones, while this is more of a throwback to that amusing science fiction yarn “Tron”, that other yarn “Running Man”, and the unknown gem “Star Wars” (har har). This has been just an adorable exciting fun series with adorable stories and adorable kid actors, and this is no exception.

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Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002)

spykids2After a raid by armed soldiers during a party with the world’s top agents and their kids, Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara), the youngest of the Cortez spy family is accused of stealing the high powered super weapon The Transmooker Device. Now Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni Cortez must travel to the island of lost dreams and face off against monsters, soldiers, and rival agents Girti (Emily Osment) and Gary Giggles and find the real transmooker device before the evil Donnagon (Mike Judge) gets a hold of it and prove Juni’s innocence. But their parents and meddlesome grandparents are on the hunt for the kids before they’re killed. I tend to easily grow tired of family movies if they’re either too hokey or corny; most of the time, they’re both.

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Spy Kids (2001)

spykidsTwo kids discover their supposedly uncool parents are famous secret spies. When the parents get caught by an evil genius, they must band together and rescue their parents. This is such a nice movie. Not for its action or acting, but for its simplicity. It makes so many attempts at being nonviolent even though there is a lot of martial-arts scenes, and no guns. James Bond would be proud of these kids. The two offspring of enemy secret spies turned lovers obtain the elements of being a spy, though they don’t know it yet. Alexa Vega’s character is the oldest sister and contains the physical abilities and ferocity of a spy, and Daryl Sabara’s character obtains the mental and technological abilities it takes to be a spy.

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