July has been one of the busiest months for me in a long time. Mostly this is due to the fact that I've been working overtime trying to get In the Shadow of Extinction ready for publication (I wanted it published in May this year but um, that didn't work out). But I also went to G-Fest, the kaiju/Godzilla convention in Chicago, and that was a big, fun event to be a part of. So I guess I just mean to say that I haven't watched as many movies this month as I usually do. But here's the best of em. (If any film strikes your interest, click one of my affiliate links to go to the Amazon listing)
The Emerald Forest
"When I was a boy, the Edge of the World was very far away. But every year it comes closer." I saw pieces of The Emerald Forest on cable many years ago, then spent a long time trying to figure out what it was called, and even longer waiting to get a chance to see it in full. Finally got to see the entire movie from beginning to end on DVD this month. It's pretty great. It starts off like it could be a Men's Adventure story with cannibals and assault rifles. But it settles into being more of a drama about culture and understanding, and is all the better for it. It's respectful, it observes instead of judging. I liked it a lot. Powers Boothe was such an underrated actor and John Boorman is a great director.
Very good, low tech horror/thriller from Steven Soderbergh. Upsetting but not exploitational. Knows how long it can let the right questions go unanswered. Great pace and performances. The award shows probably won't recognize Unsane for anything but the padded room scenes feature some of the best acting you'll see this year.
Love & Peace
Sion Sono is one my favorite madmen of modern cinema. He's a lunatic and God bless him for it. I particularly like his more comedic films, like Why Don't You Play in Hell?, Love Exposure, and now, Love & Peace. This is a rags to riches rockstar story about a nerd who loves his turtle and that turtle grows to gargantuan size and also it's a Christmas movie and holy shit all the animals are talking! The movie is just nuts. Caught this at G-Fest -- it still doesn't have a DVD/Blu release in the States -- and had a great time watching it. Some of the music will be stuck in your head for days, regardless of whether you understand the Japanese lyrics.
I think this time last year I hadn't seen a single Benson & Moorhead film. But some Twitter friends convinced me to check out Spring and Resolution and I became a fan right quick. The Endless is a sequel to Resolution. I know some folks say it's just set in the same universe but no -- this is a sequel. And it's a very cool sequel, too, expanding on the weirdo concepts of the original, explaining some mysteries and deepening others. It's some of the coolest sci-fi you'll see this year. But just make sure you see Resolution first.
And honorable mention for Blockers which was really funny and unexpectedly sweet.
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of fiction and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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