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The holidays have allowed me to watch a few things, but not much time to elaborate on them.  Nothing really blew me away but I don’t want to get in the habit of skipping stuff.  Next thing you know I’ll have abandoned this whole endeavor.

Fantastic Voyage (1966) – Well known 60’s sci-fier about a bunch of scientist shrunk down to microscopic size and put in the body of an important guy that can’t be operated on with traditional means.  They have 60 minutes to fix his ailment before they start to grow back to normal size.  Some well known heads are here, Raquel Welsh, Donald Pleasance, but the screenplay is pretty cut and dry.  There’s a nice touch here and there and the special effects are kind of a hoot, the human inside often resembles a boundless lava lamp, but there’s just old fashion dryness to most of it.  If anachronistic special effects are your thing, you might enjoy it.

Vengeance is Mine (1979) (Japanese) – True story of an anarchy loving Japanese man who killed 5 people for minimal reasons and expressed little regret about any of his actions.  Its an oddly paced creation with a non-traditional feel.  After he kills his first two victims he takes to the road, creating false identities for himself. It has a fixation on repetitive sex scenes and secondary characters which prolong things more than they need to be.  Had it been a little less drawn out it would’ve worked better.  Still interesting.

Angel Heart (1987) – Made shortly before Mickey Rourke took a nosedive into career suicide, it’s a not bad showcase for his substantial abilities as an actor.  A 50’s set noir piece about Rourke’s gumshoe digging into the past of a lost man at the behest of a creepy Robert Deniro.  It amounts to not much more than a grand “Twilight Zone” episode and the mystery becomes pretty visible well before it’s revealed, but those interested in Rourke before be crashed and burned might enjoy it for his formidable screen presence.  It courted controversy upon its release because of a lurid, blood soaked sex scene that involved then Cosby kid Lisa Bonet.

Overlord (1975) – A little known British WWII film about a sensitive type fellow who is packed off for the war against the Germans.  Odd in that about half of its 80 minute runtime consist of stock footage from the war.  The footage is all fascinating stuff, but it consistently gets in the way of what little actual film there is.  The small bits of movie which exists in between the archival footage work quite well and there’s probably a great movie there if it had been expanded on, but as it is there’s only the sparsest of stories.

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