Genre: Science Fiction
Directed by: Seth Ickerman
Run time: 50 minutes
Format: Exclusive to Shudder’s streaming service
The Lowdown: Blood Machines is a stunning feast for the senses, propelled by an incredible synth-heavy soundtrack from Carpenter Brut and a fantastic mix of live action and CGI-animation.
The story, while unnecessarily convoluted and heavy-handed at times, basically reimagines the universe from a feminist perspective, which I enjoyed, but Blood Machines plays it too safe by making almost every male character a complete and total stereotypical tool.
And despite its magnificent visuals and transcendent score, Blood Machines feels sleight at just 50 minutes, especially considering that the story is told in three chapters. You just want more.
However, for many people, like me, who still remember the pure escapist joy of watching Heavy Metal almost 40 years ago, there’s a thrill and deep appreciation for how dynamic Blood Machines’ visuals are and for how perfectly Carpenter Brut’s instrumental and vocal tracks meld with those images to create the closest we’ve come to a companion film to bookend with that true cult classic.
The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – Yes.
Nudity – Yes.
Gore – Yes.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – Toxic masculinity.
Buy/Rent – Worth the subscription price.
Brahms: The Boy II (Lakeshore Entertainment, 86 minutes, PG-13, Blu-Ray): If you’ve ever wondered why Brahms, the boy doll that anchors this franchise, is so creepy, I have two words to help explain it: Jared Kushner.
That’s right, once you see the resemblance, and it is chilling, you simply cannot watch Brahms: The Boy II in the same way ever again.
The Way Back (Warner Bros., 108 minutes, R, Blu-Ray): One thing’s for sure, no one can ever accuse Ben Affleck of shying away from material that cuts to the quick in a way that completely blurs the line between reality and entertainment.
With The Way Back, Affleck attempts a mid-career comeback following years of alcohol addiction and tabloid rumors, by playing a former basketball phenom turned washed-up alcoholic who gets one last chance to redeem himself by coaching a high school squad that lacks focus and confidence.
The Way Back could have been a rousing crowd-pleaser. The Way Back could have delivered the kind of redemption story on-screen and off that Hollywood craves.
But in terms of classic basketball-centric entertainment, it’s neither The White Shadow nor Hoosiers. It’s more of a painful rehash of Leaving Las Vegas infused with a dollop of scholastic hoops, and poor Affleck can’t help but lurch across the screen toward salvation that doesn’t feel organic or remotely earned.
Top Gun: 4K Ultra High-Definition
War of the Worlds: 4K Ultra High-Definition
Days of Thunder: 4K Ultra High-Definition
The Good Place: The Complete Series