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Sci-Fi, Action, Comedy
BD Release Date:
3rd February 2013 (UK)
Donald G. Jackson, R.J. Kizer
roddy piper,Julius LeFlore, RCB, Sandahl Bergman
Buy: Hell Comes to Frogtown [Dual Format DVD & Blu-ray]
Hell Comes to Frogtown, the title kinda says it all. It’s a unabashedly b-movie in the way that makes the film truly awful in every way and not even in a so bad it’s mind kind of way. It has somehow over the years became something of a very minor cult classic and I guess this must be down to the presence of a certain wrestler turner actor Roddy Piper.
The “plot” of Hell Comes to Frogtown is in a nutshell is most men are infertile due to nuclear waste. There are also mutant frogs and Hell (Roddy Piper) must rescue women from Frogtown and put his seed in them so they can save the human race. The film really drags though it’s 80 minute running time, I fell asleep once but didn’t miss a thing. The depiction of women though out is ridiculously sexist and not even in an ironic campy way, it’s just very crude. I’m also pretty sure many of the actresses were porn stars.
Now we get to the director of this toxic oozing piece of turd Donald G. Jackson who is considered the Ed Wood of the video age. That’s so ridiculously unfair on the pioneering work of Ed Wood who was a visionary director in every way and made a pioneering film Glen or Glenda which was decades ahead of it’s time. Ed Wood had a distinctive style, the film may have been awful but they had something. Hell Comes to Frogtown has nothing to offer the viewer and it’s no wonder Roddy Piper though nobody saw it until years later.
Avoid Hell Comes to Frogtown and just see They Live, which is one of the greatest satires ever mad and stars Roddy Piper. Arrow Video as usual put some great love in this release but the film doesn’t live up to silly title or for fans of They Live. Arrow will be bringing out loads great releases soon so just invest in those.
16 December 2013
World Cinema, Drama
BD Release Date:
16th December 2013 (UK)
Enzo Cannavale, jacques perrin,Philippe Noiret, Salvatore Cascio,
Buy:Cinema Paradiso 25th Anniversary Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
When you look back to history of cinema there is very few films that bridge the gap between mainstream film, arthouse and world cinema loved worldwide.The Artist is probably the last film to bridge that gap, in 1998 a little unknown Italian film, Guiseppe Trnatore's Cinema Paradiso closed that gap delivering that charm and 25 years on that film is returning. Now fully restored Paradiso is unleashing it's nostalgic charm on a new generation of film fans not forgetting those who embraced it 25 years previously.
Set (& filmed) in the director's hometown in the Sicilian hills, Salvatore (Jacques Perrin) a successful film director who returns home due to a friend but most of all mentor's funeral. That man was Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) who was the town's projectionist at the 'Cinema Paradiso' which was the centre if Salvatore's imagination when he was a child. It's not just Salvatore's memories as the child he reminiscences on everything that shaped his life including his first love Elena (Agneso Nano) helping him reconnect to the people he left 30 years earlier.
When you look at cinemas nowdays it's hard to believe decades before the theatres played an integral part of peoples lives and like in Paradiso its was the townsfolk main source of entertainment.It brought the community together during a turbulent period of time (war), no arguing on what to watch, just pure escapism which is still relative these days. However it seems nowdays it's all about how expensive ticket, popcirn prices are, empty screens, a love affair many cinephiles will tell the relationship is stale.
Like I mention time and time again these reviews for old films are like that age old malt whiskey your Dad have gathering dust in your drinks cabinet. You may not appreciate the taste when you buy the bottle but give it time to mature the quality will come and 25 years on Cinema Paradiso is that fine malt that people are now cherishing. Winning the Best foreign feature in 1989 along with a host of other awards it was a sign this was a special film ironically it's to understand why the film was a box office flop when it was released.
Paradiso's power is it's ability to capture the power of film whilst celebrating the coming of age of Salvatore with great nostalgia. This is a fantasy film not in Slavatore's life but fantasy which captures the magic of film, mesmerizes you, gripping you into a magical adventure of escapism and why millions have a great affection for the silver screen.The first part of Paradiso is all about Salvatore's childhood years on how he discovers the magic that unravels in front of him on the big screen. It's also the introduction of Alfredo, who becomes the father figure that's been missing from Salvatore's life (his on father a soldier in the war).
Whilst capturing te friendship between Alfredo and Salvatore Paradiso gives us an insight into community togetherness during troubled times. We even get some funny moments and the influence the church had on peoples lives when they attempted to stop a film and what they got instead was a montage of kisses on the big screen. If only they where alive today they would probably suffer multiple heart attacks. From the innocence of childhood to the reality of becoming an adult nostalgia becomes reflection, Tornatore establishes himself a master storyteller something many of today's filmmakers seem to have forgotten about.
Cinema Paradiso maybe considered by some to over melodramatic but with good reasons, a simple sentimental whimsical journey of life, examining friendship and the romance of film. Life is hard , however the feelgood nature of the film reminds us the importance of community spirit and its escapism from lives troubles. With a fantastic score from Ennio morricone, glorious cinematography Cinema Paradiso is that love letter to film that you'll treasure in your heart until the end of days.