Shikari (1963) [REVIEW] | Circus Cyclops Bollywood

Meant to get around this one last year, but this time i did manage to find a way to watch it with subtitle, as i don’t speak hindi, and what could be called “the Indian King Kong” – to no one’s surprise – was never dubbed or re-released westward. Still easier to find than the dreaded Bacalhau.

Yep, among the many King Kong knock-off, there’s an old Bollywood (kinda) version from 1963.

Gotta love the shit-not giving use of stock footage “ice skating ballet girls, chimps & clown” that a crowd in India it’s supposedly watching, sure it has a dissonant color that makes it more even obvious, but who cares. And it’s not just 1 minute or two of stock footage from a non-indian ice skating show, when the head of the circus and the sponsor set down to see it in order to understand why it’s supposedly taking away business from them… you’re gonna see a good chunk of the show.

Well, at least we start the movie with some ape action, but not of that kind.

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[EXPRESSO] The House (2022) | Trifecta Triumphant

New stopmotion animation film on Netflix with (also) animal people, you know i’m already in.

Even more since it’s a small anthology of 3 stories, one about a poor family meeting a miraculous proposal, one about an anxious ratman constructor trying to score estate success, and the last about an exhausted landlord, all tied together by revolving about the same house, while taking place in different epochs and with different kind of characters, going from humans to ratman and catmen.

The character models aren’t clay or the odd-papermaciè style seen in Mary Shelley’s Frankhole, but go for a very textured felt-wool look, with a very fuzzy feel juxtaposed to the horror atmosphere and visuals, even though just the first story has actual supernatural horror elements, there’s always a sinister or weird tone to most of the events, with some very stilish visuals to match.

Animation it’s top notch, the character models have very good designs and craft, and it’s a quite good trifecta of stories, with a balanced mix of horror, satire, drama and comedy, quite grabbing as you always wanna see where they’re going in exactly. I think the second one it’s arguably the best, as you never quite sure what direction it’s gonna go, gets weirder and has an even weirder ending.

And stuff like a trip-out insects & maggots musical sequence.

And free-roaming hippie catmen.

Honestly, i don’t really have much to complain about or add in general, if your ears peaked up like a fox at “animated stopmotion anthology film with lots of style and fun substance”, the chances are good you’re gonna like this one, easily. And it comes in a pretty good 90 minutes package, with everything in it feeling as long as it needs to be.

What a really great surprise, too. Excellent.

We made it to 2022

GOT TURRON?

Rejoice, o’ fellows, we actually made it to a new year. It will probably suck as much as 2021 since we’re gonna still have to deal with this fuckin pandemic shit, but if we actually try we can make it suck less and maybe even be done with this COVID crap.

Let’s try, why not?

Regardless, we made it so far, so give yourself a pat on the back, a tankard of whatever alcoholic beverage you prefer, and look forward to the EXPRESSO reviews of the new movies that are either NOW just dropping here in italian theathers (or are scheduled for months later, like Nightmare Alley won’t be seen here in cinemas until february or something, fuck’s sake), like Matrix Resurrections literally just released now here on January 1st 2022.

12 Days Of Dino Dicember are still going, after that full lenght reviews will be on a 1 week break or something, while EXPRESSO ones will release as soon as they are ready/i can see the films itself.

Also, just watched the Spielberg’s West Side Story remake on my free time, go see it, it’s pretty fucking good, definitely an excellent movie to end my 2021 cinema experience.

One Piece TV SP 3: Save! The Last Big Stage (2003) [REVIEW]

Director: Junji Shimizu

Writer: Junki Takegami

Runtime: 46 Minutes

While it’s not One Piece’s doing a community theather version of Rigoletto…. yeah, it’s not that, years and years later Toei they eventually tried to do some musical style episodes, but of course the most the Straw Hats could actually do is the circus, with or without amish clowns.

And before you ask, no, they didn’t stoop as low as having Buggy/Bagy involved.

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The Giant Gila Monster (1959) [REVIEW] | Knee Deep On The Box

In a way i really had to do this one, after tackling The Killer Shrews, it’s only fair i review The Giant Gila Monster, to complete the Ray Kellogg double-feature, and they do feel cut from the same cloth, down to the similar – but very typical of the genre – intros.

And if anything, this sounds less of a joke, compared to the concept of “killer shrews”, just your regular 50s B-movie drive-in fair with giant reptiles, small town sheriffs and white bread teens played by people in their 30s, with a touch of rock n roll… incredibly regional, white rock n roll, but still, that penchant for music that will carry over into the 60s is typical and they even advertised some tracks on the poster itself, without irony, as that was a genuine selling point at the time.

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The Disappeareance of Balan Wonderworld’s Demo [HANDS ON]

To be honest, while i knew of this title since it was announced… i also kinda forgot about it, knew was coming out, but i didn’t particularly care, even if did look like Nights Into Dreams platformer, fairly obvious since this was from Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima’s new company, formed specifically to make this new title, the aptly titled Balan Company. It looked a bit cheapish, but whatever, could be fun, though i wondered why we didn’t see reviews already out for it.

Then i saw people in the internet calling it a “dumpster fire”, the press giving it low scores (very low scores), the fact that the demo could accidentally cause seizures due to an unforeseen bug, that Square Enix (who published the title) didn’t actually give out review codes for it, and then this week Square Enix removed the demo with just a couple of days notice before doing it, so people that want to see for themselves if the game it’s as bad as they heard now will have to pay the full 60 bucks. Or pirate it.

Thankfully i downloaded the demo on PS4 (and Switch and PC just for kicks) long before, so i was able to play that… and even from that you can get a grip of many problems pointed out in reviews for the full game.

And i really feel like i should say SOMETHING, because this is kinda tragic.

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[EXPRESSO] Cats (2019) | IDW DA NYA

Cats 2019 poster.jpg

Yes, we didn’t get this till now, and i was honestly looking forward to see this, to witness how bad it was, for someone that never saw or cared about the play or Thomas Steams Elliot book upon which the musical was notoriously based on.

Maybe it’s because of this, but i was expecting a mountain of weird and baffling stuff, and i wasn’t disappointed, actually found myself quite enjoying it as a “so bad it’s good” experience.

What’s the plot? A group of cats calling themselves “Jellicle Cats” find an abandoned new cat in the streets, they present themselves to her in musical fashion (as you’d expect), tell of their annual dance communion, which culminates in a contest to determine which Jellicle Cat will be sent to the Heavyside Layer in order to be reborn. But an evil magical cat (that seems to have eaten the Sand Sand fruit) wants to sabotage the ritual in order to be chosen for the “cat rapture”.

Why the human-cats hybrids’ size and proportions are constantly changing and not quite matching the size of streets and interiors? Why are they both naked AND clothed at the same time? Why do they look so fuckin creepy and uncanny, being frankly unbelievable in every sense of the word, despite the CG being not cheap by any means? Why is Ian McKellen here to basically mutter and meow like he’s just minutes away from dying? Why Tom Hooper (definitely not the right choice) decided to direct it?

Why Judie Dench is so freaky as Old Deuteronomy, and becomes even more uncomfortable to watch when she lays in the cradle, splaying and spreading?
Really, she’s uncanny.

Not that you’re supposed to ask many (or preferably, any) of these questions.
It don’t matter anyway.

Some nice songs, though.

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