The “Deep Blue Sea” movie series seems to be veering slowly away from the campy nonsense that was the original and headed more in to Peter Benchley lite fare. For a movie that followed the silly shark fest with Sam Jackson, this is a surprisingly straight faced and dull second sequel. There’s nothing really here, save for the usual riffs on “The Deep,” “Aliens,” “The Abyss,” and only a very small connection to the sequel, which had a very small thread tied to the original Renny Harlin cult classic. It’s all fairly standard killer shark fare.
In 1996, John Carpenter essentially pulled a Sam Raimi with one of his key creations, Snake Plissken. While “Escape from New York” is a great scifi action film, Carpenter is this time given a bigger budget and decides to cover a wider field of his mythology, cramming in as much as he could with this sequel/remake. While I wouldn’t call “Escape from LA,” it manages to rise above the rest in Carpenter’s ouevre with some very good concepts, and Kurt Russell doing a bang up job, as always.
“Legion of Superheroes” arrived during that darker time where “Teen Titans” and “Justice League” had ended their excellent runs and DC was embroiled in a lawsuit over the Superman name. Around this time DC and Warner were attempting to create series less about critical acclaim and more about making merchandise money. “Legion of Super Heroes: The Complete Series” (now on Blu-Ray with all 26 episodes) isn’t a bad series per se, it’s just as grand as “Justice League” or as entertaining as “Teen Titans” was. Even during its entire run, the best episodes were just okay.
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.
It’s too bad when you go in to a Troma movie and know that this isn’t them at their best. While you can kind of blame it on lack of funding, “Volume 2” of the “Nuke Em High” movie series leaves a lot to be desired and never quite sticks the landing in regards to its slew of sub-plots and sidebars. Director Kaufman spends a lot of the first twenty minutes of the movie catching us up to what went down in volume 1 (with the help of narration by the late Stan Lee) and this gives the movie a chaotic pacing that’s tough to focus on.
The idea of the cult movie and the birth of the cult phenomenon is a tricky concept that can’t be answered in one shot. While Danny Wolf approaches film fans with a three part feature length look at some of the best and most controversial cult films of all time, there isn’t a lot of examination of the cult film. Despite a round table of people like host Joe Dante, and guests John Waters, Kevin Pollak, and Illeana Douglas, “Time Warp” is a lot more a celebration of cult and indie films. If you want something more cerebral that discusses the whole idea and anomaly of cult films then you may probably want to look elsewhere.
I was an ardent supporter and fan of the “Paranormal Activity” films for a while there. Parts one to three are a pretty great trilogy on their own, discussing Katie’s family, and how their entire lives were fated to become prey to the demonic entity known simply as “Tobi.” With the release of “Paranormal Activity 7” being announced for a potential 2021 date, I’m hoping the new movie bothers to create some sense of cogency by bringing back characters, introducing heroes, and answering so many lingering questions they never bothered to answer.
Without further ado…
Harley Quinn has been one of the most popular DC Comics anti-heroes of the last twenty years, and for good reason. She went from an abused spouse who served her partner thanks to years of mental abuse, gas lighting and Stockholm Syndrome, to someone who cast off the shadow of the Joker to carve out her own niche. Harley Quinn should be an easy adaptation but DC and Warner haven’t quite mastered it yet. After stealing the show in “Suicide Squad,” she steals the show again in “Birds of Prey” but still never quite comes out unscathed thanks to what is an imperfect and brutally flawed, albeit balls to the wall entertaining action movie.