by Anthony King
My movie goals have been front and center in my head lately, and I feel good about them. Not only because I'm keeping up with said goals, but also because I'm avoiding becoming a “that guy” guy. But before I go deeper, here's a quick recap of what I've been watching lately.
As promised I watched the second film in the Lone Wolf and Cub series, Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972). Having already seen Shogun Assassin (1980), I'd seen probably 75% of this movie. Like the first, I was treated to another stunning performance from Tomisaburo Wakayama. Unlike the first, though, I was treated to a hundred times more blood. The opening scene finds Ogami up against fellow assassins. Driving his sword directly down the middle of his opponent's skull, opening the dam to a reservoir full of bright red blood caused my wife to turn towards me bitterly and ask, “Is this whole movie going to be like this?” To which I responded gleefully, “Oh yeah!” Which brought forth the response, “Yeah. No thanks.” before she left the room. This opening sequence only ushered in more of the same, which my eyes ingested with reckless abandon. At one point Ogami kicks the titular baby cart, jockeyed by the titular Cub, toward a row of assassins. With a push of a button, the kid unleashes blades from the wheels which amputate the feet of the killers. The movie ends in a Jodorowski-esque sequence of Lone Wolf and Cub continuing their journey through a barren desert where they encounter more assassins. If this is what the remaining four films have in store for me, I will be the happiest of campers.
Thus, my 2023 movie goals. And really, these goals fall under the umbrella of “I'm not too good for any piece of art or entertainment.” I didn't watch Ambulance last year because everyone said it was great. Then I watched it last week, and guess what? It's fucking great. I only punished myself by choosing not to see it on the big screen. Infinity Pool seems like it'll be one of the most divisive movies of the year. Old Anthony would've hopped on his high horse and shouted, “You simps go on an argue over your new movie. I'm going to go watch this adult film from the Golden Age of Porn that was made for $12.” New Anthony? I already bought my tickets and will be sitting in row six, seats four and five, Friday night at 7:30. I'm the weirdo that makes a calendar spreadsheet for what movies I'm going to watch and when. Each week I need to tick each of these four boxes at least once: one John Woo movie, one Geraldine Chaplin movie, one non-English speaking movie, and one new release. This holds me accountable so I don't get lost up my own ass like I do every year.
I LOVE action movies and explosions and punching and guns (in movies).
If I put down my God-forsaken phone, Japanese cinema is spectacular.
While there are still shitty movies being made, there are some really great movies being made in the year of our Lord 2023.
Again, these are obvious things most people already know and/or love. Apparently I was not most people.