Showing posts with label cult film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cult film. Show all posts

20 August 2017

13 March 2015

Mubi Selects - Friday 13th March 2015

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Something for the Weekend? The weekend is now upon us as many cinephiles worldwide head to their local cinema to watch the latest releases. However sometimes you just want to get the weekend papers and have a lazy weekend watch something on the box or online and our new weekly section we may just have your answer.

In our new weekly post 'Mubi Selects' we've teamed with MUBI the purveyors of great cinema online curating a great selection of cult, classic, independent, and award-winning movies. It's an international community discovering wonderful intelligent thought provoking films MUBI is your passport to those great films.

MUBI unleash great new films every week and in our MUBI Selects we'll deliver a taster with our weekly picks of what's playing and help you enjoy that lazy weekend you desire...

Hiroshima Mon Amour


Alain Resnais a cornerstone of French New Wave cinema with his landmark 1959  starring Emmanuelle Riva Eiji Okada star as a French woman and Japanese man  engage in a brief, intense affair set in post war  Hiroshima, Japan Their impels the couple  to exorcise their own scarred memories of love and suffering. A beautiful, slow paced film ideal for that lazy Sunday afternoon


Planet Terror


If your looking for that nonsensical brainless escapism Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror will do the trick. Zombies, gore and hot girl's with machine gun leg Planet Terror will deliver that B-Movie exploitation with a capital B. Thanks to a nerve escaping accident thanks to a remote U.S military turning those effected by the gas into flesh eating zombies


Deathproof


If your going to watch Planet Terror you have to watch Deathproof. This an continuation second part of Grindhouse Project this time Quentin Tarrantino in the director's chair with a homage the car action exploitation films of the 1960s and 1970s. Like many Tarrantino films the platform for comeback performances, this time Kurt Russell when a DJ offers  an opportunity for her friends to unwind but when night fall heads turn,


Chico&Rita


When it comes to adult and animation it can be a hard sell but over the years there's been a number of great animations that prove animation is for all and Chico & Rita is one of those films. Fernando Trueba's film captures magic and sounds of Cuba, a melancholic, vibrant journey of a young piano player with big dreams who falls in love with a beautiful singer Rita, a love story set during the pre-Cuban revolution.


Undertow


David Gordon Green maybe unfortunately maybe known by mainstream film fans for his  certain Stoner comedy, however there was a life in independent film. In 2004 Undertow starring Jamie Bell in a gritty Southern gothic noir-ish film based around a family untouched by time. When the arrival of their violent greedy uncle arrives on the scene a tragic event forces the brothers go on the run with the uncle on the pursuit.


For a price of a coffee from one of those chains what better way to enjoy the weekend and every day great films at MUBI? click below to get more info on the other fantastic films on offer...

24 February 2014

Masters Of Cinema Blu-ray Review - Serpico (1973)

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Genre:
Crime, Drama, Biography
Distributor:
Eureka! Entertainment
Rating: 18
BD Release Date:
24th February 2014 (UK)
Director:
Sidney Lumet
Cast:
Al Pacion, Jack Keghoe, John Randolph, Barbara Eda-Young
Buy: SERPICO (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray)


Serpico is one of the crowning achievements in two careers, which had plenty the director Sidney Lumet, and the film’s star Al Pacino. It came off the heels of Sidney Lumet’s little seen but brilliant Sean Connery cop film The Offence and Pacino’s star making role in The Godfather and his equally great performance in Scarecrow.

Al Pacino shines as the title character of Frank Serpico, who starts life out as a uniformed police officer. He gradually discovers a world of police corruption and plans to blow it open. Serpico becomes increasingly idiosyncratic such as read literature not associated with a police officer and basically becomes a hippie. His behaviour makes his partners, superiors to be suspicious of him cause he refuses to take any payoffs. They eventually start to threaten his life.

Sidney Lumet was the undisputedly the king of gritty New York realism and Serpico was the beginning of what would make his name despite working since the 1950s and making many great films by this time. It’s both a pioneering cop film and a brilliant examination of a man who is a flawed moral crusader. Serpico along with The French Connection became the blueprint for the gritty realistic cop film we now know and love today.

The film is also very much a product of the time. It’s a film made at the climax of the Vietnam War, Watergate and the death of the Hippie dream. Lumet was always a political director even though his politics never made his films inaccessible to people of the left or the right is evident in the right leaning Tea Party appropriation of the “I’m not gonna take it anymore” line from his later 70s masterpiece Network despite his liberal politics. It could also just be there were fewer films then and people of all political persuasions would see what was new.

Lumet would return to the topic of police corrupt in the New York police force in later films such as Prince of the City and Q & A but he never bettered Serpico on the subject. Pacino and Lumet really were at the top of the game; both star and actor rarely put a put a foot wrong in the 70s. The most amazing thing about the film is that Pacino and Lumet topped it with their next collaboration Dog Day Afternoon but that’s a different story altogether.

★★★★½

Ian Schultz


13 January 2014

Sam Fuller's White Dog Joining The Masters Of Cinema Family In A March Re-Release

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Eureka! Entertainment have announced the first UK release of the long-awaited classic White Dog, directed by iconic director Samuel Fuller (The Big Red One, Shock Corridor, Pickup on South Street) and featuring Kristy McNichol, Burl Ives, Paul Winfield, and cameos from Dick Miller, Paul Bartel, Marshall Thompson and Samuel Fuller himself. One of the most controversial films of its era - released briefly in the UK at cinemas and on VHS in the 1980s and rarely seen since, White Dog is a tragic portrait of the evil done by that most corruptible of all animals: the human being! White Dog will be released in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of Eureka! Entertainment's award-winning The Masters of Cinema Series on 24 March 2014.



One of the most controversial American films of the 1980s, Samuel Fuller's White Dog was originally withheld from release in the USA and has been rarely seen since. This head-on examination of racism remains a riveting and startlingly powerful film experience, with superb performances and a brilliant score by the great Ennio Morricone.

When a young actress (Kristy McNichol) adopts a stray white Alsatian she hit with her car, she soon discovers that the dog has been conditioned to attack any black person on sight. Its only chance is Keys (Paul Winfield), an animal trainer focused on breaking the dog's behaviour and finding a way to eradicate its vicious instincts.

An acclaimed and daring late-career highlight for its director, White Dog amply demonstrates Fuller's clear-eyed intelligence, impassioned humanity and filmmaking dynamism. Unavailable in the UK for decades, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present its premiere in a new Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

- New high-definition 1080p uncut presentation, supervised by producer Jon Davison
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired
- More to be announced!
- A booklet featuring the words of Samuel Fuller, rare imagery and more!

We will review  Sam Fuller's White Dog near the time, when it's released on Dual format (blu-ray & DVD) on 24th March.

Pre-order/Buy WHITE DOG (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD) [Amazon]

23 October 2013

Tobe Hooper Double Bill - Lifeforce & Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Blu-Ray Reviews

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Rating:
18
Release Date:
14th October 2013
Director:
Tobe Hopper
Cast:
Steve Railsback, Mathilda May, Peter Firth
Buy Lifeforce: Blu-ray



Rating:
18
Release Date:
11th November 2013
Director:
Tobe Hooper
Cast:
Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow
Buy Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: Blu-ray


The great Arrow Video has re-released two mid 80s Tobe Hopper films, both were part of his 3 picture deal with Cannon films. The films in question are Lifeforce and the unthinkable sequel to his masterpiece The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He got the deal after the massive success of the overrated Poltergeist, which we all know Steven Spielberg really directed anyway.

Noted British occult, sci-fi and crime writer Colin Wilson novel The Space Vampires is the basis for Lifeforce. When he saw the finished film he famously called up John Fowles who cited his the adaptation of his book The Magus as the worst film adaptation ever, he told him there was a new one Lifeforce. I have never read Wilson’s source novel so I can’t comment if that’s the case.

Anyhow the film is a pretty naff bit of horror sci-fi, it was suppose to be a big budget franchise starter but it bombed quite badly. It’s about a group of astronauts who discover some space vampires in this spaceship hidden in the corona of Hailey’s Comet. Everything goes to shit and a rescue mission is launched and the 3 bodies they found in the spaceship but they look human.

They start to operate on them but they are actually still alive. Despite everything going to shit and the rest of the crew dying, one escape pod gets back to earth (it all seems to be a matter of days) with Colonel Tom Carlson. The Colonel is flown to London (which seems to be only a matter of hours) and warms them of what happened and has a psychic connection to the girl who is one of the bodies. The Space vampire girl breaks free and sucks the souls out of people for energy and England brings in Martial law. It’s called Space Vampires but they more resemble Zombies than vampires.

It’s a passable bit of sci-fi/horror fluff. It has some nice matte paintings and special effects, some terrible acting but it’s about 30 minutes too long for it’s good and is quite a chore at times to get though. The end space vamp zombie apocalypse is gleefully batshit crazy which it gets some props for that. It’s one of many misfires in Tobe Hopper’s career every since his made such a splash with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which brings us too…



The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is one of the strangest sequels ever made. It is much in tune with something like Evil Dead 2 than its almost cinema vérité style of the source material. It takes place 13 years after the events of the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It starts with almost parody voice over of the first film which gets increasing fast telling you what has happened in the 13 years. It many ways like Evil Dead 2, it’s a retread of the first film. The family having a chainsaw killing spree across Texas and it even has a redo the famous dinner scene from the original.

The film starts with Leatherface killing a bunch of yuppies on the freeway an obvious political statement. The yuppies are harassing a local female radio dj called Strech (Caroline Williams) who records their death on tape. Dennis Hopper than shows up in probably one of his most unhinged performances ever and this is a guy who made a career out of them. He is Lieutenant Boude "Lefty" Enright who is the uncle of Sally and her brother (the guy in the wheelchair) from the original film. The police have been incompetent in bringing the Sawyer family so he is on a mission to find the killers of his niece and nephew.

Strech plays the tape on air so the police are forced to listen to it but the Sawyers hear it and Leatherface and his acid casualty Nam’ veteran Chop Top comes to kill her at the radio station. The film becomes a total bloodbath from this point onwards. She survives and teams up Lefty to finish the Sawyer family for once and for all. Lefty brings a lot of chainsaws.

The film is fascinating mess of a film in the best possible way. It’s a deliberately surreal film from the get-go, which is as different as you can from the original. This may be one of the many reasons why the film was probably panned when it first came out. It has a great 80s aesthetic, which is partly inspired by his previous film The Funhouse, The Sawyers live a disused theme pack out in the desert. It’s all day-glow and obvious a good chunk of the budget when on the almost German expressionist esq. design of their underground home.

TCM2 is a deciding more political film as well even though the original is very much a post-Nam/Watergate film as much as any other 70s film. It is damning on everything from the treatment of veterans, 80s greed, consumerism and so on. In an interview with Tobe Hooper says he considers it one of the finest political films of the 80s and the guy has a point. Horror a genre not known for being particularly political if not somewhat dodgy politically it’s refreshing for a film of this kind to be so political. The award winning human chilli scene definitely brings back memories of Soylent Green.

Dennis Hopper is so insanely unhinged it’s almost mindblowing he was directed if at all. It’s also worth noting this was after he got “sober” he seems to have had a cocktail of blow and Frank Booth’s helium. It’s kind of a glorious bit of over acting to other side and then some. This was after all the same year as Blue Velvet.

It’s misfires often with it’s zany but extremely black humour. It often does Felliniesq retrends of scenes from the original film but it has a certain bizarre 80s charm that make it worth while and it’s only like 90 minutes. It’s probably his best film since the original film as well.

Both discs include loads of bonus material including feature length docs on Lifeforce and TCM2, numerous interviews, 2 different cuts of Lifeforce (theatrical and director’s), commentaries. TCM2 also includes early films made by Hooper including a rare bland comedic short and feature length film on hippies. I recommend TCM2 but if you’re a fan of Lifeforce you will be overjoyed with it’s blu-ray.

Ian Schultz


Lifeforce


★★½☆☆



Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2


★★★½