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Billy’s Balloon (1998)
Director: Don Hertzfeldt
Animation
Comedy
Thriller

A balloon wraps itself around a young child's hand, bringing him higher and higher, much to the child's delight, but a sinister truth begins to unravel.

Inflated This is a replacement comment. The original bothered a diligent reader, so I have made some expansion. Animation is like any film type: artists ally to certain philosophies, perhaps without realising it. In the case of animation, it bumps up against that great American invention, noir....


Published August 27, 2023
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So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)
The honeymoon was killer.
Director: Thomas Schlamme
Comedy
Crime
Romance

Just after a bad breakup, Charlie MacKenzie falls for lovely butcher Harriet Michaels and introduces her to his parents. But, as voracious consumers of sensational tabloids, his parents soon come to suspect that Harriet is actually a notorious serial killer -- "Mrs. X" -- wanted in connection with a string of bizarre honeymoon killings. Thinking his parents foolish, Charlie proposes to Harriet. But while on his honeymoon with her, he begins to fear they were right.

Green Haggis Sometimes a movie only develops worth after a subsequent movie worked. I myself disliked “Shrek” because of the underhanded attempt to undermine the Disney/Pixar alliance, and the smarmy Bill Gates strategy. But some people did like it, largely because of the voices and key...


Published July 27, 2023
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Big Daddy (1999)
Nature called. Look who answered.
Director: Dennis Dugan
Comedy
Drama

A lazy law school grad adopts a kid to impress his girlfriend, but everything doesn't go as planned and he becomes the unlikely foster father.

The Goof It is always been an American film staple to have a simpleminded but purehearted hero. Chaplin invented the image. He would be appalled at how the notion has been appropriated by the US Republican party. An excellent character is all that matters, especially compared...


Published July 27, 2023
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Better Living Through Circuitry (1999)
A Digital Odyssey into Electronic Dance Culture
Director: Jon Reiss
Documentary
Music

A documentary about the Electronic Dance movement of the '90s. It is the first such full-length film on the topic. It was produced by Cleopatra Pictures and Entertainment Group, presided by Cleopatra Records founder Brian Perera. The film features interviews with BT, The Crystal Method, Electric Skychurch, Genesis P-Orridge, Frankie Bones, DJ Spooky, Roni Size, and DJ Keoki.

Honest Music, Dishonest Business Social trends are often shaped by strange overlaps in market forces. You have to have a steady stream of “artists” who are compelled to do their thing, driven primarily by an urge to express. We have that in this music, because the...


Published July 14, 2023
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Betsy’s Wedding (1990)
The wedding picture doesn't always tell the real story.
Director: Alan Alda
Comedy
Romance

Offbeat fashion student Betsy Hopper and her straight-laced investment-banker fiancé Jake Lovell just want an intimate little wedding reception, but Betsy's father Eddie, a Long Island construction contractor, feels so threatened by Jake's rich WASP parents that he blows the ceremony up into a bank-breaking showpiece, sending his wife Lola into a financial panic.

Pillow Fight This is a significant failure for interesting reasons. Situations can be funny. Worlds can be funny. People can be too, but not all at the same time. Alda comes from a tradition where people are funny. Situations are there, and worlds too, but only so that...


Published July 14, 2023
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Liar Liar (1997)
Trust me.
Director: Tom Shadyac
Comedy

Fletcher Reede is a fast-talking attorney and habitual liar. When his son Max blows out the candles on his fifth birthday he has just one wish - that his dad will stop lying for 24 hours. When Max's wish comes true, Fletcher discovers that his mouth has suddenly become his biggest liability.

Anti Vax Sometimes a film is just a wrapper for a broken person, who when unconstrained amuses us. Robin Williams, Peter Sellers, Jerry Lewis are examples. These are souls we accept because we find an endearing core around which the outrageous behaviour orbits. So far as...


Published July 2, 2023
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Before Sunrise (1995)
Can the greatest romance of your life last only one night?
Director: Richard Linklater
Drama
Romance

A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

The Movie Not Married I think the memory of this is better than the movie itself. I recently saw the sequel. It was one of the most delicate and perfect things I know so far as that shell of romance which is outside of intimacy. That was...


Published June 29, 2023
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Bettie Page: Bondage (1998)
Director: Irving Klaw
Documentary

Bettie Page - famous for her pin up modeling - and other glamour girls appear in bondage photos and short films. These unique classics are the first film sources of today's fetish and S&M scene and appear nowadays surreal, tender and joyful.

The Previous Edge In all things, there is an inside and an outside and that defines edges. Not edges between, but edges beyond which you can see the difference. There are, I suppose many domains of which this can be said of sex, and the various rituals...


Published June 17, 2023
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Bedhead (1991)
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Comedy
Fantasy

David defaces his sister's doll. In the fight that follows Rebecca falls and hits her head. When she comes to, she discovers that she has telekinetic powers, and uses them to take revenge on her brother David.

Good kids You know what is really fun? Choose a director you like, then trace the ideas you like about him back through two paths: the films by others that surely influenced him, and also back through his own earlier work. I like Rodriguez. I do. I...


Published May 21, 2023
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Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996)
Coming to a screen bigger than your TV.
Director: Mike Judge
Animation
Comedy

Slacker duo Beavis and Butt-Head wake to discover their TV has been stolen. Their search for a new one takes them on a clueless adventure across America, during which they manage to accidentally become America's most wanted.

Missed Baywatch I'm constantly amazed at how quickly some fresh, edgy cinematic ideas go stale. This was strange enough it its time to be noticed: the placement of the narrative stance within the sixth grade. Having played its small role in advancing the scope of narrative irony,...


Published May 21, 2023
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