Joker (2019)

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Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix, Gladiator, Walk the Line) is mentally ill loner living with his mother in Gotham City in the year of our Lord 1981. Joker chronicles his sliding into the titular infamous super villain in a claustrophobic, hilarious, and tragic character study that is clearly influenced by Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and King of Comedy. Continue reading

Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood (2019)

Once_Upon_a_Time_in_Hollywood_posterRick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio, Critters 3) and his stunt double/best friend Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt, Cutting Class) are reaching the end of their rope in their careers in Hollywood in 1969. Dalton, former star of the hit TV western Bounty Law is trying to find more work in Tinsel Town. Plagued by substance abuse and insecurities, Dalton takes a chance on restoring his career by working on spaghetti westerns. Meanwhile, Roman Polanski and his lovely wife Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie, Goodbye Christopher Robin) have moved in next door to Dalton. And bunch of damn hippies (The Manson Family) have come into town. Continue reading

Milwaukee Twisted Dreams Film Festival Presents: Joe Bob Briggs, “How Rednecks Saved Hollywood”

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The 2019 edition of the Milwaukee Twisted Dreams Film Festival sold out the historic Times Cinema this year by hosting legendary film critic Joe Bob Briggs and his road show “How Rednecks Saved Hollywood”. The nearly two hour show traces the history of southern culture all the way from pissed off Protestants immigrating from Scotland all the way to reality TV shows like Duck Dynasty and Lizard Lick Towing.

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Brain Damage (1988)

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Brain Damage, writer-director Frank Henenlotter’s follow-up to his cult-classic Basket Case, follows the misadventures of a young man named Brian after he begins a parasitic relationship with an alien creature named Elmer. Elmer is able to produce a drug that allows him to control people, and chose Brian as his current “caretaker”, forcing him to find him people to feed off. What follows is a struggle of wills as Brian tries to overcome his addiction and free himself of Elmer. Continue reading

Thoughts on Twin Peaks Season 3

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After twenty-five years, Twin Peaks made it back on the air. After having originally aired it’s first two seasons on CBS, the show has moved to that stations cable affiliate, Showtime. What this meant for the show is that Twin Peaks would be closer to David Lynch’s personal vision than it would resemble the TV show people loved. The break in fandoms happened after the release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and I think that film helped prepare people to be ready for what was in store. You can still never be ready for a Lynch project, and I still am trying to wrap my head around what I’ve witnessed. Here are some of my thoughts, in brief, about the new season. This article assumes the reader is caught up on season three, or in other words, there are spoilers below. Continue reading

Lost Highway (1997)

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Lost Highway is a fever dream of a film that concerns a jazz musician named Fred Madison (Bill Pullman, Independence Day, Spaceballs) who’s life spirals downhill after receiving a strange message telling him “Dick Laurent is dead”. Shortly thereafter he’s convicted for the murder of his wife Renee (Patricia Arquette, A Nightmare on Elm St. 3, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure). Somehow, while in prison, he transforms into a young man named Pete Dayton (Balthazar Getty, Natural Born Killers, Ladder 49) and is released. Pete falls in love with a mafioso’s dame (also played by Patricia Arquette) and the downward spiral begins a new.

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Killer Joe (2011)

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Based on a 1993 play by Tracy Letts (who’d later write August: Osage County), Killer Joe is a black comedy/southern gothic crime tale directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist). The plot concerns a trailer trash family whose son, Chris (Emilie Hirsch, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, The Girl Next Door) involves them in a murder for hire plot to take kill his estranged mother for her insurance policy to help pay off a drug related debt. He and his alcoholic father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church, Demon Knight, Don McKay) hire a police officer who also moonlights as a hit man named “Killer” Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey, True Detective, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation). Chris and Ansel plan to pay Joe his $25,000 fee after the life insurance policy is cashed in, but Joe wants the money up front and takes Chris’s younger sister Dottie (Juno Temple, Black Mass) as a “retainer”. Continue reading

“The Secret History of Twin Peaks”, A Novel by Mark Frost.

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The Secret History of Twin Peaks, written by Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost was released last Fall in anticipation for the show’s then upcoming triumphant return, which started this past May on cable network Showtime. The Secret History of Twin Peaks comes pre-packaged in the mythology of Twin Peaks. The forward, written by FBI director Gordon Cole, describes that this document was written by someone named “The Archivist”, who has taken it upon himself to compile a history of the mysterious events that have been happening in the town. Gordon has assigned the document to be investigated by a yet unnamed FBI agent. Continue reading

Willow Creek (2013)

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Kelly and Jim are a young couple who decide to document their attempt to film Bigfoot. The two travel to the site where the original Bigfoot footage was shot in their quest, and end up in the “Bigfoot capital of the world”, Willow Creek. What follows is eighty minutes of copied and pasted tropes that other found footage films have been doing over and over for the past twenty years. Continue reading

“Suffer the Children” by John Saul

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One hundred years ago in the town of Port Arbello, a terrible crime was committed. A young girl named Elizabeth Conger, the youngest daughter in a prominent family was murdered. Now, in the modern day (1977), the “Conger curse” still looms, and children are starting to disappear. Jack Conger and his wife Rose must find out what is happening to protect their own children, Sarah and Elizabeth — the latter of whom bears a striking resemblance to her murdered ancestor of the same name. Continue reading