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    Makins gamez and reviewin' stuff for SFX Mag.

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  1. It’s by Álex de la Iglesia, who’s sort of like the Spanish Peter Jackson (circa Bad Taste/Meet the Feebles era.) His 1995 film Day of the Beast is still quite fun (a priest foretells the coming of the antichrist, and dedicates himself to evil, so that he’ll be in a position to meet and stop the beast and save the world). It’s basically just an excuse to have a priest do lots of naughty things like push nuns down stairs and listen to death metal. If they remade it now, it’d probably just be called Bad Priest.
  2. You know that sort of fourth wall breaking gag they sometimes have in movies where they say something like “Who would be sad enough to watch a movie about some old men trying recapture former glory?”, and then they all look directly into the lens of the camera? This movie does that exact same joke in almost every single scene.
  3. WARNING: INCOMING HOT TAKE Just watched this. Holy shit it was embarrassing. A couple of moments worked, but mostly it was incredibly lazy writing. Weed is a helluva drug, kids. I was definitely a Smith fan as a teenager, even met him, but his films have not aged well. Chasing Amy in particular is pretty cringe now, even though I enjoyed it at the time. I guess we’re all a bit more evolved now. Ironically I think Jersey Girl has probably aged the best, I think that movie is much better than it gets credit for.
  4. I really enjoyed Gloria. Haven’t seen the recent US remake but I heard that was decent too. Worried the Hollywood sheen might make it feel less authenticity real though, which I thought the original’s biggest strength. It was reassuringly down to earth. Human drama is a genre foreign films seem to excel at; some of my favourites: Intouchables (2011) - France A young man from the projects becomes an unlikely occupational therapist for a paralysed rich guy. Really sticks the landing. The Apple of My Eye (2011) - Taiwan A childish schoolboy tries to win the affections of his tutor. Has an American Pie vibe without the nudity (although does feature the following warning in the closing credits: "The plotline of masturbating in the classroom depicted in the film has been performed by professionally trained actors; please do not imitate or attempt it.") Let Me Eat Your Pancreas (2017) - Japan A young man reflects back on his time spent as a student with a terminally ill class mate. Matterhorn (2013) - Netherlands A strict Puritan worshipper takes on the care of a man with learning difficulties to fill the void left by his departed wife. Acquired taste, but I thought the ending was wonderful. Klown (2010) - Denmark Two idiots go on a road trip with a young boy, chaos ensues. Funny, but not for the feint of heart. Heartbreaker (2010) - France The Romcom reimagined as a heist movie. Amazed this one hasn’t been remade by Hollywood. We Are The Best (2013) - Sweden A trio of girls form a punk band. Very sweet movie about female friendships and their ups and downs. Would make a good double bill with... Swing Girls (2004) - Japan Inept school girls form a brass band. A bit like Brassed Off set in a Japanese high school, but better than that sounds. University of Laughs (2004) - Japan Brilliant two-hander set mostly in one room. A young playwright engages with a stern censor during the war, as he tries to get his play approved for public performance. A great battle of wits ensues, and ending has all the feels. All recommended and generally heartwarming!
  5. It’s a clear reference to Horror of Dracula. Especially given Gatis’ love of Hammer:
  6. There’s a Criterion BluRay collection of the Three Colors Trilogy that’s just *chef kiss* I love Beat Takeshi movies too. I think Hana Bi is my fave. Essential viewing for anyone who loves the Yakuza games.
  7. I like the idea of Bale playing Beta Ray Bill. Can’t imagine him signing up for the traditional Marvel multi-film contract though, so I’d imagine he’s more likely to be a one and done villain.
  8. I don’t think it’s explained, but given what a narcissist he was, he probably did it himself.
  9. Rambo-3PO would have redeemed that character’s entire arc through all 9 films. Such a missed opportunity.
  10. Lesser known foreign films - Midnight madness gonzo edition: Ex-Drummer - based on a novel by the Belgium Irving Welsh this is a visually striking but deeply unpleasant movie about an entitled author who agrees to start a punk band with three disabled men. It is probably the only film I’ve ever seen that features people with disabilities acting like complete bastards to each other and everyone else. Definitely a unique experience, though not for the feint of heart. Martyrs - This one’s actually pretty well known, but I think it belongs in this list anyway. I don’t really like this film much as it’s mostly quite repugnant, but I thought the last few minutes of this twisted revenge thriller managed to transcend the whole ordeal into something that’s more than the sum of its bloody parts. Your mileage may vary. The Vanishing (the original, not the crap Kiefer Sutherland remake) - A dissertation on the nature of evil, there’s something incredibly chilling about the mater-of-fact way this film portrays its dark acts. Proof that some of the scariest things happen not in the dead of the night, but in broad daylight. The Posession - Along with Jacob’s Ladder, this must have been one of the biggest influences on the Silent Hill series, with much of the action taking in place in rooms with peeling wallpaper and rusted fittings. The subway scene (you’ll know it when you see it) freaked me the fuck out. Also, like Audition, it’s weirdly boring for long stretches, as Sam Neil and Isabelle Adjani’s marriage slowly self-destructs. Volere Volare - An Italian foley artist for porn films suddenly finds himself turning into a cartoon. Think Who Framed Roger Rabbit only 200% hornier. Adele Hasn’t Had Her Dinner Yet - Nick Carter (America’s greatest detective) heads to Czechoslovakia to solve a case involving a missing dog, an heiress, and a carnivorous plant called Adele. Carter is a master of disguise and has a vast array of inspector gadget-style inventions at his disposal. As a bonus it also features animated segments from Jan Svankmajer.
  11. You forgot Revolver, which is the best and should definitely be remade. And Danger: Diabolik, which is actual genius.
  12. I watch a lot of foreign cinema - I think reading the subtitles forces me to watch them properly, and the acting always seems more believable when the actors aren’t household names. Far too many Great movies to mention, but rather than name the classics that everyone knows (Three Colours, La Haine, City of God etc.), here are some of my lesser known faves: Liza the Fox Fairy - A young woman is convinced that she is cursed and responsible for the deaths of all her suitors - the truth is far stranger. It’s a sweet and funny film that’s essentially the Hungarian Amelié, if Amilé did a bunch of gruesome murders. Love Exposure - A four hour dissertation on Christianity and upskirt photography, this bonkers movie manages to has all the pace and pop culture snappiness of a Tarantino movie, married to the Catholic guilt of a Scorsese pic. All of Japanese Director Sion Sono’s films are great (or at least interesting), but this is my favourite. The Lure - That Polish Mermaid Murder (mermurder?) movie you’ve heard so much about. I mentioned it was a musical too, right? Marathon - amazing Korean movie about a special needs kid training for, you guessed it, a marathon. I defy you to watch this and not cry. My Sassy Girl - One of the biggest Korean box office smashes of all time, still never officially released in the West. Possibly my fave rom-com ever. Intouchables - I found this French occupational therapy comedy heartwarming and hilarious. Much better than the awful remake. Matterhorn - Dutch comedy about a widow who takes it upon himself to look after a brain-damaged man who turns up on his doorstep one day. Just love this film. Wild Tales - Argentinian anthology film that really lives up to its title. The first story is only a few minutes long - watch that, and if you’re not hooked then you’re probably clinically dead. Jacky in the Kingdom of Women - The closest thing I’ve ever seen to a modern version of a Monty Python film, this bonkers satire takes place in a fictional matriarchal society where men have to wear veils. It also has its own made up language, and features a very strange performance from Charlotte Rampling. Quite unique. Goodnight Mommy - This German film is one of the very few horror films of the last few years that got under my skin. Genuinely creepy and wrong. 100 Yen Love - An obese female shut-in reluctantly decides to take control of her life and become a boxer. The actress actually put on and then lost the weight, in one of the most impressive bits of method acting I’ve ever seen.
  13. Believe it or not, Saints Row IV has the best ever game narration gag, when it’s revealed right at the end of the game that the narrator is The sheer nerve of it made me laugh for nearly three minutes. True story.
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