Neither a chain of spice stores nor a Food Network program, The Seasoning House is a bleak-as-nuclear-winter thriller set during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. A deaf girl named Angel (Brit teen Rosie Day) is taken from her home by soldiers who shoot her mother dead.
Paul Schrader’s The Canyons opens and closes with a montage of abandoned movie theaters. For this film in particular, that choice strikes one as symbolic in several ways: not only as a comment on the state of the industry, but on the state of The Canyons itself. You’re unlikely to find many 2013 films this empty.
What's a director of classic musicals doing in science fiction? Making Saturn 3, one of the worst of the genre Hollywood made in the immediate post-Star Wars / Alien era. Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) takes to it about as well as you'd expect; he's in over his head.
Military marksman Col. Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines, Running Scared) is called into top-secret duty to neutralize a surveillance robot gone haywire in San Francisco. It won't be easy, because for one thing, the android is undetectable from a human. For another, it has a built-in nuclear bomb that will detonate upon imminent threat.
I plead guilty: My friends and I have goofed around with a camcorder before and made stupid movies, but we were smart enough to know that no one outside ourselves would think they were funny. If only the makers of Caesar and Otto's Deadly Xmas realized the same.
Many a restless night, I’ve wondered what would happen if I were wearing a Batman T-shirt and awakened by a whispered line from “Field of Dreams,” and then while I was brushing my teeth, a floating head would appear, but I’d go about my business anyway and finish installing that stripper pole in the bedroom.
Now that we were tipped to local rock band Dr. Smith’s eight-minute, gotta-watch-it-all-twice video for “The Time Is Right,” I have the answer: A bespectacled man with a gray beard that splits into two would start playing his flute, whose notes would magically transport you to a dream world otherwise known as Teaze Dance & Fitness, 1112 N. Broadway, where the lithe, scantily clad ladies would perform around me in provocative slow motion and sometimes using boas, all of which the teenage me would have been totally into.
And then I’d probably have a pizza delivered. —Rod Lott