Recent Reviews

Perfect Blue (Blu-ray)
Mima Kirigoe's career is at a crossroads. Her idol group, CHAM!, has amassed a modest following over the years but has never managed to crack the charts. Mima has flirted with acting along the way, but an excess of scheduling conflicts has forced a decision. The group's representation is split over which course to take – unsurprising, given that her manager Rumi was a pop idol herself in years past – but it's ultimately decided that there's more of a future for Mima as an actress.

It's not an easy transition. As comfortable as Mima is performing on the concert stage, acting on a soundstage proves to be a far more overwhelming proposition. Hard-working though she is, Mima is hardly a naturally gifted actress, nor is she taken all that seriously, given her idol past. As she dutifully delivers a handful of throwaway lines every week on a TV crime drama, the remaining members of CHAM! at long last begin their ascent on the pop charts. When the series' head writer at long last figures out what to do with Mima, her character's arc revolves around a graphic, gruelingly intense rape sequence – inexorably ending her life as a squeaky-clean pop idol.

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Up to this point unwaveringly optimistic and always beaming a confident smile, Mima just doesn't want to let anybody down. If she's told that this is the next step she must take to advance her career, then Mima's going to give it her all, regardless of what she herself desires. Nevermind that it's a simulated attack or the politeness of the actor who gropes her exposed breast and thrusts himself into her again and again and again – something within her shatters.

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The innocence that so long defined Mima continues to be ravaged. The lines separating illusion from reality blur. She can...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Perfect Blue]

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Blu-ray)
Hey, I know things don't look great right now. Rockwell Hunter (Tony Randall) is, after all, the lowest man on the totem pole at La Salle Jr., Raskin, Pooley, & Crocket, and with a corporate name that obnoxious, you probably don't need me to tell you that this Madison Ave. firm is in advertising. The big man in the corner office (John Williams) barely knows he exists. Rock's having a tough enough time as it is scraping together the cash he needs to offer his fiancée Jenny (Betsy Drake) the life she deserves. And it's about to get a whole lot tougher, since the word around the water cooler – or, well, the harder stuff that Henry (Henry Jones) is prone to drinking – is that the firm is on the brink of going under.

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Don't sweat it, though! It's not as if the movie's titled Will Crushing Failure Destroy Rock Hunter?. There's just enough time for one last Hail Mary play to save the firm. Thanks to a little bit of gossip his teenaged niece (Lili Gentle) overheard, Rock thinks he can pair Stay-Put Lipstick with the most legendarily kissable lips the world over: those of buxom starlet Rita Marlowe (Jayne Mansfield). I wouldn't call it "quid pro quo", exactly – a squeaky blonde stereotype like Rita would probably think that's a seafood dish at that Portuguese restaurant down the block – but she's game for a round of "you scratch my back, yadda yadda yadda". Rita is all too happy to endorse Stay-Put so long as Rock pretends to be her new Lover Doll: the perfect revenge against her unfaithful lunkhead of an ex (Mickey Hargitay).

What happens from there? Success, Rock Hunter, and the potential spoilage thereof. Rock's a widely celebrated bigshot, but keeping company like Rita Marlowe puts a strain on the real-life relationship he has to keep under wraps, the...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?]

Bedazzled (1967) (Blu-ray)

"Here, my ice lolly's melted. You really must be The Devil!"
"Incarnate. How do you do?"

Three wishes?! It's been quite a lot more than 1,001 Arabian nights since that was standard practice. Accounting for inflation, then converting to pounds sterling, your traditional soul divestment package circa 1967 stands at seven wishes strong.

And seven wishes ought to be plenty for painfully shy fry cook Stanley (Dudley Moore) to at long last win the heart of Margaret (Eleanor Bron) – the apple of his eye, the white cheddar to his quarter-pound hamburger patty, the Peter Cook to his Dudley Moore. But as the saying goes, the devil's in the details, especially when your wishes are being granted by the capital-D Devil (Peter Cook, of course), exploiting every conceivable loophole to ensure that his new pal Stanley remains as miserable as possible.

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Bedazzled very much plays to the strengths of the longtime comedy team of Moore and Cook. Building upon their background in improvisation and sketch comedy, every wish is more or less an episodic mash of the 'Reset' button: wildly different scenarios, different characters with almost unrecognizably different personalities, and, hell, different accents half the time. Stanley's struggling to find the words to tell Margaret how he feels...? Well, let's make him a hyperarticulate, insufferably pretentious professorial type. Oh, that ended with a chomp on the hand and cries of rape? Yikes. Combine a bunch of wishes into one: wealth, wedding bands, and whatever synonym for 'amorous' would keep this alliterative run going. It sounds like a winning idea on paper, but alas, Stanley didn't specify who Margaret would be hot for, exactly. The hits keep coming from there, from a quickly-upstaged stint at pop stardom to quite literally being...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Bedazzled (1967)]

More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 3/25: The Manitou (Blu-ray)
  • 3/23: Ralph Breaks the Internet (Uhd)
  • 3/22: Wreck-It Ralph (Uhd)
  • 3/21: Jurassic City (Hdtv)
  • 3/19: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Uhd)
  • 3/18: Perfect Blue (Blu-ray)
  • 3/13: The Predator (2018) (Uhd)
  • 3/10: The Cat Returns (Blu-ray)
  • 3/10: The Super Inframan (Hdtv)
  • 3/9: Crazy Rich Asians (Uhd)
  • 3/7: Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 3/6: Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Blu-ray)
  • 3/3: Bedazzled (1967) (Blu-ray)
  • 3/3: Mandy (Blu-ray)
  • 3/1: The Admirable Crichton (Blu-ray)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 3/25: Opera (Three Disc Limited Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • 3/23: Horror of Dracula (Blu-ray)
  • 3/23: The Giant Behemoth (Blu-ray)
  • 3/23: The Hidden (Blu-ray)
  • 3/23: Joe Versus the Volcano (Blu-ray)
  • 3/23: Out of the Past (Blu-ray)
  • 3/22: The Avengers (Uhd)
  • 3/20: The Iguana With the Tongue of Fire (Blu-ray)
  • 3/20: The Manitou (Blu-ray)
  • 3/19: Alien: 40th Anniversary (Uhd)
  • 3/13: Ralph Breaks the Internet (Uhd)
  • 3/13: Wreck-It Ralph (Uhd)
  • 3/5: Perfect Blue (Blu-ray)
  • 2/27: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Uhd)
  • 2/25: Bedazzled (1967) (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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