July 30

White Angel (1994, d. Chris Jones)

Criminally unknown English thriller about the ethics of true crime writing. I vividly remember reading the script for this film online around the time it was made. I’ve wanted to see it ever since. The filmmakers, Chris Jones and Genevieve Jolliffe, are the authors of The Guerilla Filmmaker’s Handbook, an enterprise that I suspect has been more rewarding than their short ’90s feature filmmaking career (this, Urban Ghost Story, The Runner), but for their abilities as makers, this film is proof against the old anti-pedagogical claim that “those who can’t do, teach.”

July 29

Live Wire (1992, d. Christian Duguay)

Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.

Lone Wolf McQuade (1983, d. Steve Carver)

Apparently David Carradine was really rough in the final fight scene with Chuck Norris. He’s lucky he didn’t hurt Chuck Norris, or the sequel might have been called Lone Wolf McQuad.

Top Dog (1995, d. Aaron Norris)

He likes it ruff.

July 28

Supernova (2000, d. Walter Hill, Francis Ford Coppola and Jack Sholder, under the name Thomas Lee)

Films like Supernova get a lot of unwarranted flack; I myself was tempted to sarcastically declare that it was not only the greatest film of all time, but perhaps the single-most emblematic art object of the 20th Century (while posting an image of a robot giving Peter Facinelli the finger). But I am interested, having recently read about the similar fate of The Fantasticks (again, Coppola was hired to re-edit), that any major Hollywood studio would consider Francis Ford Coppola a go-to guy for ‘fixing’ doomed productions. Perhaps it’s believed that he has some special insight into the psychology of doomed films for having made Apocalypse Now and One From the Heart. It is bizarre, after his 1982 bankruptcy, that any executive would give Coppola any power over an expensive film.

And that his supposed talent for rescuing doomed films would be directed toward a Walter Hill film is made even more questionable by the fact that anyone had ever appointed Hill to a 60-million dollar ‘buddy-less’ space yarn after a string of box office failures. If the IMDB listings for budgets and box office are anything to go on, he hadn’t had a financially successful film since 1990’s Another 48 Hrs. That’s not to speak ill of Hill – who I would offer may be the greatest American action filmmaker of the past three decades, and is certainly the greatest American Western filmmaker since John Ford – but the story, which Hill apparently had nothing to do with, has no continuity with those themes common to his films, which tend to focus on revenge, journeying and the trials and rivalries of male friendship.

So, all I’m saying is that the arrangement of talent on this film is perplexing, which presumes that the film, or more accurately the audience, has in some way suffered from this.

But what is the film itself like? I was howling with laughter for the first half hour. It’s funny, I would assume intentionally. There is no possible way that anyone involved thought that they were making a serious film, or even the kind of ‘business’-serious film that the budget would suggest (meaning, a film that would actually find a large, appreciative audience). It feels like an episode of the terrible 90s edition of The Outer Limits.

July 27

A Perfect Getaway (2009, d. David Twohy)

July 26

Captain Applejack (1931, d. Hobart Henley)

Warlock: The Armageddon (1993, d. Anthony Hickox)

Humorless sequel to a hilarious movie. A lot of imagination, but some of the worst faked deep focus shots I’ve ever seen.

Warlock (1989, d. Steve Miner)

This is one of the funniest horror movies I’ve ever seen. From the director of House.

July 25

Dreamscape (1984, d. Joseph Ruben)

“It’s like he’s raping the saxophone.”

July 24

Raw Deal (1986, d. John Irvin)

What do I look like, Dirty Harry?

The Deadly Affair (1966, d. Sidney Lumet)