Monday, July 2, 2012

LIE #23: The Index of June 2012

Perhaps more for me than you, here’s the index of films screened by LERNER INTERNATIONAL in June.
Movies listed in order that they were seen….

Liquid Sky (1982; Slava Tsukerman) New Wave weirdness as aliens come to steal our endorphins!
Review forthcoming HERE

The Year of the Sexual Olympics (1968; Michael Elliott) BBC, written by Nigel Kneale, with Leonard Rossiter. With this telefilm, Kneale shows he’s more than a good writer, he’s a god-damn prophet!
Review forthcoming

The Stone Tape (1972) [DVD MIA]—another excellent Kneale script, reviewed HERE

The Bedford Incident (1965; James B. Harris) Kubrick’s former partner enters the Cold War sweepstakes with this underappreciated naval thriller.
Review forthcoming

Island of Terror (1968; Terrence Fisher), starring Peter Cushing, who’s fighting bone-eating giant cancer cells. Very fun. DVD MIA, but snoop around the intertubes, it can be found.

Inferno (1953; Roy Ward Baker) [DVD MIA] My new favorite film!—reviewed HERE

Missing in MIG Alley (2007; Emily Roe) Straightforward and calm NOVA PBS documentary on pilots lost during the “police action” in Korea in the 1950s. Of most interest to those aficionados of military jets.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3-D Christmas (2011; Todd Strauss-Schulson) Laughed my ass off: smart, rude, perverted, and surprising comedy. How many flicks are willing to give a baby cocaine?
Danny Trejo is awesome as an angry father-in-law. Lots of boobs!
My fave line: “Yes, Santa Claus exists, and I shot him in the face.”

The Sugarland Express (1974; Steven Spielberg) Technically perfect, but stupider than dirt. Spielberg ain’t hot shit: he’s a hired hand who got lucky. He wasn't born, he was created in a lab under the Universal Studios lot. 

Prometheus (2012; Ridley Scott)—reviewed HERE

Such Good Friends (1971; Otto Preminger) Magical surrealism about a woman’s marriage breaking down as her husband dies in the hospital. Pretty darn good, often moving. Preminger is not as sharp as he used to be, but this is a valiant effort to make sense of society’s changes in the early-1970s.

Papillon (1973; Franklin J. Schaffner) Classic flick about Steve McQueen on Devil’s Island: a real man’s man’s movie—that’s often introspective, quiet and experimental (for an H’wood blockbuster), and a film in which McQueen shows he really can act. One of these days I may write up a retrospective on director Schaffner: he made two unquestionable classics, Patton and The Planet of the Apes, but he seems almost forgotten by both the mainstream and the intelligentsia/hipsters.

The Abominable Snowman (1957; Val Guest; written by Nigel Kneale) –more Kneale; the man’s a genius! Maybe the Yeti are smarter than we think. Maybe the Yeti are smarter than us.
Review forthcoming

I Come In Peace (1994; Craig R. Baxley) A mash-up of The Hidden and Liquid Sky, where bad-ass Dolph Lundgren goes after endorphin stealing aliens. Not as insane and action-packed as director Baxley’s truly bonkers Stone Cold, but fun nonetheless.

Salvadore Allende (2004; Patricio Guzman) Great documentary on the utopianist Allende, whom the CIA helped overthrow. A sad film that will make you angry, especially at cynical and cruel US policies.

Hard Times (1975; Walter Hill) Watched on-line because that’s the only way to see this flick widescreen. The DVD is pan-&-scan, and director Hill’s compositions turn out to be essential to the feel of this film. Set in Depression-era New Orleans, starring Charles Bronson, James Coburn and a wonderfully loopy Strother Martin, Hard Times deserves a better home viewing option.

Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011; Alex Stapleton) Fun clipshow, and not as hagiographical as other docs of this nature. Not an essential for “normals,” but if you love Corman—and you better!—this is a must-see.

Watchmen (2009; Zach Snyder) Much better now that the hype has died down, especially if you can divorce yourself from the comic books.
Review forthcoming

Chronicle (2012; Josh Trank)—Reviewed HERE

Three Days of the Condor (1975; Sydney Pollack) Decent, but dated spy-thriller that maintains relevance only due to its MacGuffin: the oil fields of the Middle East. However, Max Von Sydow is perfect in all his scenes as a humble, quiet assassin.


  1. Yeah... the lack of a DVD release for "Island of Terror" is one of the great crimes against the movie-loving public!

  2. Steve, thanks for dropping by!
    Regarding "Island of Terror" (and so many more flicks that are DVD MIA), what's really confusing to me is that these movies were on TV all the time when I was a kid! It's almost like someone's trying to drop them down the "memory hole."
    Thankfully, the interwebs are here to help us!