Jaws: The Revenge (Blu-ray Review)

12 – 90mins – 1987


 

THIS TIME IT’S PERISHABLE

My overriding takeaway from watching this great white four-quel in my youth was one of complete astonishment: astonishment at how poor the shark looked despite being made 12years after Spielberg’s Oscar-winning original; astonishment at the laughable number of movie magic-ruining continuity errors; astonishment that original star Lorraine Gary and megastar Michael Caine were happy to have their names attributed to such a sorry production. Even as a child I knew this was so-bad-it’s-hilarious.

… Keep Scuttling!

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (Blu-ray Review)

15 – 97mins – 2013


 

HECTIC DANGER DAY

From accidentally shooting a guest on his BBC chat show to pulping thousands of unsold copies of his ironically titled self-published autobiography, Bouncing Back, it is fair to say that Norwich’s very own Alan Gordon Partridge (Steve Coogan) has had a tumultuous career. But where many lesser regional TV personalities would long ago have thrown in the towel (probably around the time he became “clinically fed up” on a Toblerone-fuelled trip to Dundee), this chap of steel carries on regardless, determined to have the last laugh.

… Keep Scuttling!

Willie Dynamite (Blu-ray Review)

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15 – 102mins – 1974


DIG IT?

“Seven women in the palm of his hand…”

I open-handedly own up to the fact that I laughed when the check disc for Arrow Video’s recent high-definition restoration of this forgotten Blaxploitation classic turned up in the post unannounced. I’d never heard of amoral pimp Willie D, so my expectations were low for a film to rival Shaft, Super Fly or Sweet Sweetback.

… Keep Scuttling!

Ley Lines (Blu-ray Review)

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18 – 105mins – 1999


 

HALF-BREED HEROES

“Go home if you don’t like it!”

Two years after Rainy Dog, Takashi Miike closed out his uneven and indecent Black Society Trilogy with another hard-hitting drama exposing the disreputable underbelly of his home country. Sick of being bullied and treated like outsiders, three optimistic Japanese youths of Chinese decent (among them Kazuki Kitamura, who would go on to star in Hollywood action sequel The Raid 2) move from the countryside to seek their fortune in Tokyo… and end up falling foul of the trigger-happy boss (Naoto Takenaka) of a city crime syndicate.

… Keep Scuttling!

Rainy Dog (Blu-ray Review)

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18 – 95mins – 1997


DAMP BOILED

Two years after his theatrical debut with the ultra-icky shock-fest Shinjuku Triad Society, Takashi Miike returned to his thematically-connected Black Society Trilogy with this precipitation-lashed middle segment, shot entirely in a washed-out Taiwan and with star Tomorowo Taguchi returning, albeit in a new and unrelated antagonist role.

… Keep Scuttling!

Shinjuku Triad Society (Blu-ray Review)

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18 – 102mins – 1995


 

PEARLS BEFORE SWINE

Perhaps now best known for the gruesome 1999 torture porn paragon Audition or 2001’s iconic crime thriller Ichi the Killer, before his Western exposure and box office success, Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike was highly prolific in Japan’s straight-to-video “V-cinema” market. 1995’s Shinjuku kuroshakai: Chaina mafia sensô (to give it its homegrown title) marked a major stepping stone in the outlandish director’s career: his first release for a major studio and his first release to receive a theatrical run.

… Keep Scuttling!

Smokey and the Bandit III (Blu-ray Review)