We made it to 2022


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.

[EXPRESSO] The Hand Of God (2021) | Neapolitan Piece

The new movie from acclaimed italian director Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo, This Must Be The Place, The Great Beauty, Youth, The Young Pope, The New Pope), available worlwide on Netflix this 15th of December, but also having a limited theathrical release from the 24th of November, definitely here in Italy, likely somewhere else, check your local cinemas to be sure.

The Hand Of God it’s a drama set in 1980s Naples (the director’s hometown), about a young boy called Fabio, but more often “Fabietto”, that gets the chance to achieve one of the biggest dreams of a young soccer fan: meeting Diego Armando Maradona, that just happens to pass by Naples.

But this is soon followed by a tragic event that will change his life forever, and Fabio’s turmoil to cope with life ensemble of contradictions, disappointments, joy, all with a biographical bent, as it encompasses events from Sorrentino’s upbringing in Naples, his fascination with cinema that would eventually develop and be nurtured, etc.

It’s no secret that Sorrentino’s style it’s basically a “best hit” of the acclaimed italian directors of old, especially Fellini, he himself made no mystery of it, like, at all, but i reject the idea of him being just a mediocre copycat. There’s something to be said about his desire to emulate Fellini in its own peculiar way (and the deliberate display of reveling in his own stylistical bend), and kinda continue his legacy, despite the absurdity, impossibility and self-awareness at the futility of such a quest.

This movie it’s no different, a modern neorealism tale of real life, cinema and family, that display an incredible grasp on both comedy, drama, and cinema (regardless of your opinion on Sorrentino’s style, he’s definitely no slouch), and also serves as a powerful period piece as well.

Noteworthy stuff.

[EXPRESSO] Freaks Out (2021) | Freaks VS Nazis

I usually don’t feature italian movies here for fairly logical or obvious reason, but this is quite “the something”, as in it’s one of those batshit weird movies we’re still capable of putting out, like 2019’s Creators – The Past, but this has already quite the hook for italian viewers, as its from Gabriele Mainetti, the director of an italian superhero thriller called They Called Him Jeeg Robot, that yes, dips from the well of old mecha anime for its monicker and theme.

Not that it needed that to stand out, as this is about a group of circus freaks with various quirks (not quite that kind) and abilities that have become a dysfunctional family of sorts after they started living and working in Israel’s cirucs. But as this is set in 1943 Rome, as an explosion destroys the circus, so they find themselves without a home-refuge, thrown into the horrors WW II.

And yes, this means they’ll have to face the Nazis, as the ringmaster of the Berlin Zircus it’s looking for people with special abilities in order to weaponize them for the Fuhrer.

Even more amazing, it’s not billed as a tongue-in-cheek romp, but as a drama, which isn’t that surprising considering the director and this being “foreign cinema” for most of you, and isn’t exactly wrong, since it a movie about the frigging Holocaust, drama is important and has quite the punch, perfectly balanced with the superhero movie elements and the offbeat abundant comedy.

It’s a pretty funny movie when it wants to, same for when it indulges in its “exploitation cinema” side, like the random full nudity bits or the deliberately off-beat anachronisms, with some really fuckin wild and weird visuals, for sure.

It’s a bit long, but it’s pretty good, a blast even. Recommended.

Resting Them Bones a Bit

Sorry folks, no review today, it’s been hectic and there has been… well not a “lack” per se of new movie reviews, but a combination of the major releases getting dripfeed now, previous weeks having a lot of releases of italian movies that i just don’t imagine even having any appeal or significance on a international scale (with some exceptions, maybe) and a busy period.

I have some cinema catching up to do, indeed.

I’m almost done watching Squid Game on my own leasure pace, maybe i’ll write my own 2 cents on the matter, not that i really care too much to do so, as people have banged on about it and written about it in an obsessive manner, so i don’t think i can add much (or anything), but we’ll see, if need be i’ll just ramble on about in a non spoilery way.

Tomorrow we’ll get back to it by visiting an old, flesh-less friend…

The Spooktacular Eight #3: Evil Of Dracula (1974)

We gotta have a vampire film in here, but i’m not feeling like talking of Vampyros Lesbos, the old Hammer Dracula films have been done to death, and Yakuza Apocalypse is pretty well known, so let’s compromise and by that i mean feature something not quite from left field, but close enough.

So let’s take a look at a 70s japanese vampire movies clearly going after the western depiction and aesthetic, with Evil Of Dracula, which is actually the last piece of the so called “Bloodthirsty Trilogy” (later rereleased worlwide by Arrow Video) of vampire movies, beginning with Bloodsucking Doll/Vampire Doll, continuing with Lake Of Dracula, then Evil Of Dracula.

I should have done the entire trilogy, i guess that’s what happens when you pick a movie for a random Halloween selection without doing any proper research on it beforehand.

That’ll learn me.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight #3: Evil Of Dracula (1974)”

Drive In Massacre (1976) [REVIEW] | Get Out Of The Car

September, perfect time for looking at some slasher movies, even lesser known (but not quite obscure) ones, like today’s Drive In Massacre.

It’s basically Targets, as in both movies have a drive-in as the central scenario of the action, and as a motif. IF Targets was directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis instead of Peter Bogdanovich.

Yeah, this one has a cult status and was quite popular at the time, i’m willing to guess in the drive-in circuits, which i always wondered about, but since that type of cinema experience never took foot here in Italy, i will just have to witness its depiction in american movies. Oh well.

Continua a leggere “Drive In Massacre (1976) [REVIEW] | Get Out Of The Car”

The Cinema Show Experience Debate Cycle

So, we’re yet again having that conversation on social media, about the sanctity of seeing movies in theathers and how it’s the only true way to see them?

Ok, let’s indulge in some fruitless arguing, as the issues are decades old and the industry won’t actually do anything about fixing them, because they won’t until there’s a distinct financial incentive to provide good movie watching experiences.

And this is just indulging, let’s be honest.

Because most people don’t care, won’t really care, ever.

Continua a leggere “The Cinema Show Experience Debate Cycle”

[EXPRESSO] Free Guy (2021) | Life Service

So while we wait for the multiple movie projects spawned from that time online users deliberately made Gamestop’s share value drop (IF they happen at all), another thing that felt already dated the moment it was announced it’s finally out, Free Guy.

While it’s surprisingly not that out of touch as i expected (the fake in-game graphics looking like those crappy mobile ads for free-to-play games is a nice touch), i won’t deny it does sound like something that shouldn’t work as anything more than a sketch on Mega64.

So, what’s the plot? Ryan Reynolds lives his routine of bank teller nicely, until he decides to break it (inspired by a new woman player that he falls in love at first sight), gets They Live-style glasses, and learns that he’s just a random, generic NPC in a open world game called “Free City”. Or he was, at least. Guy then decides to become a hero for the city and its fellow virtual inhabitants, and becomes essential to the other protagonists, a couple of indie game developers trying to prove that a big videogame company CEO ripped off their work for his Free City game.

For a movie that takes many elements from other movies, ending like a weird amalgamation of Wreck It Ralph, The Truman Show, and The Lego Movie, it’s nice that is not as cynical conceived and executed as it may sounds, there’s actually some heart to it.. when the movie manages to focus and stop itself from doing weird “references-corporate pop culture flexes”, pandering to stereotypes, or trying to reach for super-safe narrative and emotional appeal.

It’s a decent movie, bit of a mixed bag, one that includes a slightly miscast Ryan Reynolds doing a Jim Carrey style character and a really overacting Taika Waititi.

Not bad.

Mad Max PS4 [REVIEW] | Down Undah

Yeah, remember the debacle and the case of divisive reception on this title?

I do, but it feels like it happened so long ago, despite this being a 2015 release. Such is nature of online discourse on social media, after all, doesn’t matter what the subject is.

I will keep that in mind, but since 6 years are a lot for videogames, i’d say it’s the time to revisit the Avalanche Software’s interpretation of George Miller’s australian apocalyptic world of holy motors and highly stilized weirdos, while i think of the burning coast sands during this city bound and holiday-less summer season.

Let’s see exactly how chrome this game is!

Continua a leggere “Mad Max PS4 [REVIEW] | Down Undah”

Happy Easter

I guess, here in Italy we’re still knee deep in quarantine, so much theathers didn’t even re-open, and we still have no dates for when some of the hot new movies will hit streaming services here, so that’s why i haven’t posted a review of Godzilla Vs King Kong, i simply have yet to see. And boy i do wanna see it BADLY, even if i really wanted to see in theathers…. it’s not gonna happen this year where i live.

So look forward to some more anime reviews from last season (i do plan to see and review Godzilla Singularity Point, though), and MAYBE an EXPRESSO review of the Snyder Cut of Justice League. MAYBE because i really don’t care about it to be honest, but i did watch the theathrical cut back then, which gives somewhat of a limp excuse and – regardless – is more than i can say for Man Of Steel.

I probably won’t, because it’s 4 frigging hours, but who knows.