Streaming:: Trollhunter, Hobo, Red State & Vanishing

UNK SEZ: I wanted to do a “Best of the Year” list sort of thing but how could I possibly when I’m so hopelessly out of the loop? Part of it’s my fault because I’m trapped in the past but part of it I blame on the fact that many movies never hit my neck of the woods. During the Christmas break I realized that the least I could do was catch up with the recent flicks available on Netflix. This little four-car pileup represents only a fraction of my intake but hopefully we’ll get to some of those other flicks soon too.

TROLLHUNTER

To tell you the truth, knowing that TROLLHUNTER was a found footage flick didn’t make me run to it with open arms. Nothing against the concept, I just wasn’t in the mood for the usual song and dance. I threw all my trepidations in the garbage disposal though as soon as the first troll showed up. He was glorious. If this movie doesn’t convince you that CGI is not necessarily the devil’s plaything then nothing will. Fun, imaginative and crowned with a great character in troll hunter Hans (OTTO JESPERSEN), this movie easily leaped over my expectations and turned out to be quite the horror adventure.

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN

I probably found this movie only about half as funny as I think I was meant to. I was not too comfortable seeing RUTGER HAUER my hero, being treated poorly by Tromaville rejects. It reminded me of the awful day my dog followed me to school and all the other kids laughed at her running down the hall. Don’t laugh at my dog! Suddenly I understood that HOBO wanted me to feel that way so that I could fully enjoy my blue eyed champion RUTGER killing all the rat faced punks. Sadly that understanding came a little too late for me to get all I could have out of this. In any case, I loved all the nasty neon colors swirling around in this movie, the references to MAD MAX and HALLOWEEN 3 and the blippy soundtrack and excellent STREETS OF FIRE theme song at the end. I just don’t enjoy seeing people push RUTGER HAUER around, to me that’s like sacrilege or something.

RED STATE

Wait a minute. How is it possible I was so unimpressed with this movie? I like a good KEVIN SMITH rant and it shouldn’t be very difficult to get me on board with a movie that skewers religious zealots and features JOHN GOODMAN. I thought RED STATE jumped out of the gate fine but I fell off the back of the truck midway through. Maybe it says something about my lack of mettle that I could not adjust to RED STATE’s major shifts in tone of which there are several. There was one point toward the end where I thought perhaps it might redeem itself for me and then instead it went the opposite direction entirely. (Alas, an unfilmed original ending scrapped due to financial restraints sounds more my cup of tea.) As it stands, I felt like the subject matter deserved a far less flippant approach and I was let down by SMITH painting in such broad strokes. I give him much respect for working out of his comfort zone but I felt the wild-eyed caricatures sort of let the garden variety bigot too easily off the hook. I guess this is one of those divisive movies that you either love or hate and I can’t be more shocked that here I stand on this side of the fence!

VANISHING ON 7TH STREET

Don’t worry RED STATE, you are not my least favorite movie in this grouping! That honor belongs to VANISHING ON 7TH STREET! BRAD ANDERSON is a mega valuable and extraordinary director in my eyes. Not only do I dig his forays into horror, like the excellent SESSION 9, but I also think his HAPPY ACCIDENTS and NEXT STOP WONDERLAND are pretty awesome too. VANISHING has a wonderful plot as far as I’m concerned. It’s sort of like WHERE HAVE ALL THE PEOPLE GONE? with darkness itself starring as a malevolent force furiously erasing the world. Unfortunately even though this movie has more going for it than most with ANDERSON’s expertise, an involving concept, semi professional (albeit miscast) actors and I’m sure a reasonable budget of some sort it fails to gel into anything solid enough to cast a shadow itself. It’s just like a big glob of formless putty. It even has the nerve to have an annoying kid character in it and I was of the understanding that we as of a culture had a silent agreement to leave that pesky stock character to disaster movies from the seventies. I’m not telling you not to check this one out; in fact, do and tell me it’s just my imagination that it is as intolerable as I think it is. I don’t mind being wrong. I want to be wrong.

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Amanda By Night
9 years ago

I really want to see Trollhunter! I keep forgetting it’s around for some reason, so thanks for mentioning it.

The mancub saw Red State and didn’t really care for it either. I’m not sure I’ve heard anything particularly good about it. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a Kevin Smith movie (I know, I’m soooo behind!).

stevil1981
stevil1981
9 years ago

The only one on this list I haven’t seen yet is Vanishing. I was lucky enough to catch Trollhunter on the big screen and it was glorious. I was super excited for Hobo from the trailer and in my opinion it more than lived up to it. I know it wasn’t actually a Troma movie but Hobo just felt like the movie Troma has always wanted to make but have constantly fallen short due to not really caring about their scripts, just throwing in as much stupid self aware humor and gross out effects and hoping that it was enough to make a movie.It really seemed that Jason Eisner put everything he had into his film. I really enjoyed Red State which surprised me, I wasn’t expecting to. Doesn’t seem to be a popular opinion I know but there ya go.

bdwilcox
bdwilcox
9 years ago

Couple more Redbox winners, both starring Robert Duvall: Get Low and Broken Trail. Both are excellent, the first being a character study and the second a first-rate western. Highly recommended.

lottie_of_millhaven
lottie_of_millhaven
9 years ago

I’m happy to see some love for Burning Bright,it really surprised and impressed me.

Everything I hear about Red State makes me think I’m right for skipping it,so I think I will continue to do so.

Trollhunter looks amazing, must add to my queue right now.

I have been very excited about Hobo…but then again I am a Troma fan, so it might be right up my alley.

lottie_of_millhaven
lottie_of_millhaven
9 years ago

Unkle Lancifer- Yeah, I know what you mean about the homeless. I live in New Orleans, and I see a lot of people on the streets that just about break my heart. Hopefully, as long as Rutger gets to kill a lot of bad guys by the time the credits roll, it won’t leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Sam Harvey
9 years ago

‘Don’t laugh at my dog’!
Can completely see this painful situation. Bless you!

stevil1981
stevil1981
9 years ago

I will definitely check out Vanishing Unk, I remember thinking it looked interesting when it first came out but then it seemed to (pun totally intended) vanish. Also, I think I was way too hard on Troma movies in my last post. Just for the record I absolutely loved The Toxic Avenger, Class Of Nuke ‘Em High and Combat Shock. It was more so stuff like Monster In The Closet and the original Mothers Day that just bored me.

P.S.
I almost feel like I can see your dog running down that hallway and it melts my stone heart.

Pinchy
Pinchy
9 years ago

I have another film for the streaming list: Phase 7. It’s an Argentinian apocalyptic thriller/black comedy/siege film with a heavy John Carpenter vibe. I had low expectations going in but ended up really enjoying the movie. If you don’t mind subtitles or comedy infused with your doomsday scenarios, you’ll probably like it too.

Nates666
Nates666
9 years ago

All the talk of homeless made me just want to pop in and bring up one of my all time fave movies-Street Trash. If you havent seen it please do. it may be a step up from the troma trash but in the glory of the late 80’s splatter fest/black comedy that we should all have a soft spot in our hearts for…