Silver Emulsion

Film Reviews

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Starring Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Dylan Baker, Olivia Burnette, Larry Hankin, Richard Herd, Matthew Lawrence, Edie McClurg, Ben Stein, Michael McKean, Kevin Bacon

Directed by John Hughes

Expectations: One of my favorite films. I relish the chance to watch it again.


John Candy is Del Griffith. Traveling shower curtain ring salesman.

Steve Martin is Neal Page. Uptight advertising executive.

Two guys who never would have given a passing thought to each other are thrown together by chance amidst the holiday rush to get home for Thanksgiving. Without a doubt, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is one of my favorite comedies of all time. It hits all the right notes and even in adulthood it remains funny and solid throughout, perhaps even moreso. It has been my go-to Thanksgiving movie for a number of years and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. What makes it so endearing and memorable, in addition to its clever situations and jokes, are the rewarding, heartfelt characters played by two wonderful actors.

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November 24, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Rating: 3 & 1/2 Stars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Mini-Review: Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Starring Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, Jeb Stuart Adams, Ben Ryan Ganger, Lindsay Parker, Marshall Colt, Nathan Davis, Brooke Fries, Alex Koba

Directed by Jeffrey Bloom

Expectations: Low. It’s some girly kid book, right?


 

Wow! I did not expect to like this so much. For years I had disregarded anything even remotely connected to V.C. Andrews. In my mind, they have always been “some girl book” that I knew nothing about. I didn’t want to read about flowers! The story is deceptively simple, but it builds really well to a big finish. I can’t comment on how good of an adaptation it is, I can only say that if the movie was this fun and twisted, I can imagine the book is that much better. By the end of this one, I was hurling insults at the characters, yelling “Oh shit!” at all the correct moments and even doing a bit of the old Arsenio Hall Show fist circle as retribution finally came around. This story is seriously fucked up and wickedly fun to watch.

A loving set of parents live with their four children in the suburbs. One day, the father gets into an auto accident and dies, leaving the family without money or a suitable place to live. The mother does the only thing she can think to do, she takes them to her wealthy parents home. The only catch is that her father disowned her twenty years ago, after an unnamed transgression. The film might start a little slow and the child acting is bad, but as each piece of family history is revealed, the excitement ratchets up and you can only respond by inching even closer to your TV screen. Don’t miss Louise Fletcher of Nurse Ratched fame doing her best stern grandmother act. Recommended.

October 9, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Horror, Mini-Reviews, Movie Reviews, Rating: 2 & 1/2 Stars, Thriller | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rawhead Rex (1987)

Rawhead Rex (1987)

Starring David Dukes, Niall Tóibín, Cora Venus Lunny, Ronan Wilmot, Donal McCann, Heinrich von Schellendorf

Directed by George Pavlou

Expectations: Moderate.


Like The Quiet Man before it, Rawhead Rex takes us on location to the green hills of the Emerald Isle, bonny old Ireland. Unlike The Quiet Man, Rawhead Rex is about an ancient god/devil buried deep underground that is resurrected and takes out his revenge on anyone that happens upon his path. There is seemingly so rhyme or reason to his rampage, but if you’re watching a movie called Rawhead Rex, I’m sure you’re more concerned with good horror fun and gore than character motivations and realistic storytelling.

As with Tuesday’s film Underworld, Rawhead Rex is written by Clive Barker (from his short story) and directed by George Pavlou. This film is a marked step up from Underworld in every area, but it still doesn’t achieve greatness. They even refer to the shittiness of the previous film, as a man watches it on television and sleeps soundly from the boredom of it all. Rawhead Rex has the distinct feel of a great 80s horror short story, part Universal monster horror and part gruesome violence, but the pacing is once again pretty poor. There just isn’t enough to hold together an entire movie here.

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October 1, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Horror, Movie Reviews, Rating: 2 Stars | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Uncle Jasper reviews: Rage of Honor (1987)

Rage of Honor (1987)

Starring Sho Kosugi, Lewis Van Bergen, Robin Evans, Gerry Gibson, Charles Lucia, Richard Wiley, Carlos Estrada, Ulises Dumont

Directed By Gordon Hessler


Like a sneak attack from the shadows, I bring you another stealthy actioneer from Sho Kosugi: Master Ninja™!

Rage of Honor is definitely a low point in the Sho Kosugi arsenal. Taken as a straight 80’s actioneer it will definitely satisfy. The film not only contains genre staples such as jungle warfare, shirtless dudes with machine guns, and slick-haired assholes in bright suits and aviator sunglasses, but it also seems to stem from that holy trifecta of all great action films of the era: Heroin, Uzis, and Organized Criminals.

That’s great if your name is Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Sylvester Stallone. But if you are Sho Kosugi, purveyor of all things ninja, you come to expect a little more. Don’t get me wrong, Sho does a lot of ninja-like things this time around. You’ll get your shurikens, grappling hooks, and exploding smoke bombs. Unlike previous films however, he decides to ditch the ninja costume and Japanese mysticism for a more Americanized, guerrilla warfare approach. The result is not a ninja film, by any stretch. It’s more like a ninja-tinged, loosely tossed together version of First Blood, Part II.

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September 30, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Action, Martial Arts, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncle Jasper reviews: Violent Shit (1987)

Violent Shit (1987)

Starring Andreas Schnaas, Gabi Bäzner, Wolfgang Hinz, Volker Mechter, Christian Biallas, Uwe Boldt

Directed by Andreas Schnaas


We at Silver Emulsion occasionally circle the globe in order to bring you only the best in classy, foreign entertainment. We find that sometimes it takes a different cultural approach to the human condition in order to broaden perspectives and break down social barriers. Sometimes we also feel that breast dismemberment and rape by kitchen knife are criminally underrepresented in contemporary cinema. Which is why we have braved the frosty woods of Germany to bring you today’s exercise in cinematic subtlety, Andreas Schnaas’ 1987 direct to video classic, Violent Shit.

Violent Shit is definitely a film that lives up to its namesake. It’s not so much a movie as it is a string of outrageously brutal scenes featuring… well, violent shit. The amusing opening credits contain such nuanced gems as “Starring K. The Butcher Shitter” and “Produced By the Violent Shitters”. Yes sir, from the moment it begins Schnaas isn’t afraid to let you know that his movie is indeed full of shit.

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July 29, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Foreign, Horror, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dolls (1987)

Dolls (1987)

Starring Stephen Lee, Guy Rolfe, Hilary Mason, Ian Patrick Williams, Carolyn Purdy Gordon, Cassie Stuart, Bunty Bailey, Carrie Lorraine

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Expectations: Low. I didn’t know this was Empire International before I started watching it, otherwise I would have expected more initially.


With Dolls, I’m continuing my trek through the Empire International/Full Moon catalog. My girlfriend, after watching Ghoulies with me, felt a strong urge to re-watch this film which she had seen as a kid. As the credits began to roll and I saw Empire and Charles Band’s name, I immediately knew why she was compelled to re-watch Dolls. The power of the Full Moon had struck once again and she was powerless to do anything but watch this again. On the strength of Ghoulies I knew that I wanted to watch more of these films, but I had not expected Dolls to be one of them. I love it when a plan comes together. I happened to post my review of Ghoulies last Tuesday and now with this on Tuesday, I’m thinking of making every Tuesday for a while dedicated to Empire International or Full Moon films. I was trying to think of a snappy name for the day, but all I could come up with was Terror Tuesdays or Tuesday Trash. If anyone can think of something cool, let me know. Anyway, look forward to more of Charles Band’s brand of horror.

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June 15, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Comedy, Good Trash, Horror, Movie Reviews, Rating: 2 Stars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mini Review: Seasons (1987)

Seasons (1987)

Narrated by William Shatner

Directed by Ben Shedd


An IMAX movie on the small screen is always going to be a downgrade, but sometimes the film is good enough to transcend the transition and remain entertaining. Seasons is one such film. It features beautiful nature sequences intermixed with human activities during each season. There’s also some killer vector graphics of the Sun and the Earth. You can’t go wrong with vector graphics in my opinion and these are top-notch. It also features a few sequences of time-lapse photography. William Shatner’s narration is perfect and matches the images well. The script might be a little over-the-top but who better to handle overly serious dialogue than Shatner? Also, the film only runs thirty minutes so it makes for a quick viewing.

All of these elements add up to a film that plays out similar to a narrated version of Koyaanisqatsi. Can’t say that I learned anything, but I was definitely entertained. Check it out if you like both Shatner and the seasons, as I’ve heard a lot of negative feedback from people who don’t like Shatner.

May 15, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Documentary, Mini-Reviews, Movie Reviews, Short | , , , , | Leave a comment