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F–K (2010, R.E. Rodgers)
Recommended
All-star commercial for New York’s Labyrinth Theater Company is intense, weird, hostile, and often wonderful. Lots of awesome performances, particularly from Sam Rockwell and Christopher Meloni. Streaming.
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Crystal Lake (2016, Jennifer Reeder)
Recommended
Beautifully made short about teenager Marcela Okeke going to live with cousins. The dialogue is off and the brief subplot inserts don’t work, but Reeder’s direction is outstanding, the cast is appealing, and the plot is good. Streaming.
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Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971, Banno Yoshimitsu)
★★½
Fun, odd-ball Godzilla movie has the monster defending Japan from a giant radioactive sludge monster. Director Banno uses the film to make an impassioned environmental statement and, against the odds (and despite a terrible suit for the sludge monster, Hedorah), he succeeds. Great special effects otherwise. Banno goes all in on his Godzilla as Japan’s hero, Hedorah as its waste metaphor, delivering it packaged in a superior giant monster movie. English dubbed version released as GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER. Followed by GODZILLA VS. GIGAN. DVD, Blu-ray.
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The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1986, Jeannot Szwarc)
ⓏⒺⓇⓄ
Trying TV movie adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe short story stars George C. Scott as famous detective Auguste Dupin. Bad teleplay, lifeless direction, and a lifeless, grumpy old man performance from Scott do it in. Val Kilmer and Rebecca De Mornay are at least earnest support but they’re still not any good. Ian McShane is the only one who manages to get any life into their performance. At least no one attempts a French accent. So it could be worse. DVD.
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Missing (2008, Tsui Hark)
ⓏⒺⓇⓄ
Tedious and self-indulgent mystical-ish ghost story about psychologist Angelica Lee taking a hypnosis drug and seeing, you know, ghosts. Lots of underwear stuff because her dude (Guo Xiaodong) is an underwater photographer. (Writer-director Hark can’t shut up about the water in the bad narration). Okay time killer until the third act, when it all falls apart thanks to a litany of false endings. Lee’s a mediocre lead thanks to Hark’s script too. DVD (R3), Blu-ray.
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