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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
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
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,
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.
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...
7 September 2014
29 March 2014
16 March 2014
24 February 2014
Crime, Drama, Biography
BD Release Date:
24th February 2014 (UK)
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.
12 February 2014
13 January 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.
- 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
14th October 2013
Steve Railsback, Mathilda May, Peter Firth
Buy Lifeforce: Blu-ray
11th November 2013
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.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
28 September 2013
DVD/BD Release Date:
30th September 2013 (UK)
Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, Ernest Borgnine , Walter Kelley
Convoy is in the surprisingly in the very long lineage of films based on songs which seem to go back almost as film itself. The film is based on the trucker anthem Convoy by C. W. McCall. It’s also directed by one of the finest directors of the 60s and 70s Sam Peckinpah but this is by far one of his worse films but that doesn’t mean it does have some merits.
The film is kinda like a tamer and cheesier version of Vanishing Point without the amphetamines or existentialism. It’s about a bunch of truck drivers led by Martin "Rubber Duck" Penwald (Kris Kristofferson) who are driving though Arizona. They group together in a many mile long convoy to protest police corruption (it also starts due to Duck and 2 truck driver friends who are forced to pay Sherriff Dirty Lyle) and shady political dealings. Duck is however adamant they are just driving and there is nothing more to it. Ali MacGraw rides along with The Duck after she flirts with him in the opening scene but her car breaks down and she needs a ride.
The film is a mildly funny comedic romp but the film is sadly really the film that ended the career of one of the great autuers Sam Peckinpah. He also had a serious drink and coke problem by this point, which didn’t help matters. The film was a surprise hit and was most the successful film of his career ironically. It was also clearly made so Peckinpah could have a hit. Despite it’s success Sam had became too much like Bennie in his masterpiece Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia and would sabotage anything that came his way. It’s also rumoured that Sam’s old buddy James Coburn directed a bulk of him because Sam was too messed up on booze and coke.
The film’s crowning achievement is this wonderful slow-motion fight in a dinner that is in the higher thresholds of cinematic food fights. Kris Kristofferson tries his best with the poor script he was given and he is always watchable. Ernest Borgnine who is also a great psychopath plays the evil Sheriff Dirty Lyle. Ali MacGraw is wasted but she was never that good of an actress in the first place. Seymour Cassel pops up as a the slimy governor who is only interested in how the public support for the convoy can help his own political career.
Overall it’s sad Peckinpah scooped this low but it’s perfectly watchable and I’ve seen much worst films by noted directors. It’s a mildly entertaining romp with a great food fight and good performance from Kristofferson who tries his best. It does however have a wonderful blu-ray with a documentary on the film that is over an hour along with some other features.
2 August 2013
26th August 2013 (UK)
Craig Warnock, David Warner, John Cleese, Ralph Richardson
Buy The Time Bandits:
DVD or Blu-ray
To millions he was one member of the iconic comedy team of Monty Python, but to the rest of us The Time Bandits was the film that established Terry Gilliam as more than the Python's resident animator. This month Arrow Video are releasing The Time Bandits digitally remastered on DVD & Blu-Ray chock full of extras too!
Time Bandits is a delightfully inventive children’s fantasy about young Kevin (Craig Warnock) who finds himself travelling through holes in the space-time continuum in the company of half a dozen fractious dwarfs.
Along the way, he encounters Agamemnon (Sean Connery), Robin Hood (John Cleese), Napoleon (Ian Holm) and winds up as a passenger on the Titanic, although not necessarily in that order. But is this just random entertainment laid on for history fan Kevin’s benefit, or part of a wider struggle between the forces of good (Ralph Richardson) and evil (David Warner)?
At the time, this was a rare example of a small-budget British film successfully taking on American blockbusters. Now, it's a much-loved fantasy classic bursting with inspired images and ideas: Gilliam and co-writer Michael Palin (who also appears) are clearly enjoying themselves as much as their audience.
Seeing this is about to get released has unleashed some nice childhood memories and yes kids I'm old enough to remember watching this.Whilst it was typical Gilliam style surreal, silly, fantastical it a Time Bandits essentially a kids film. Though it officially released July 1981 in UK depending where you lived it could take upto 2 years for it to arrive in your local cinema sometimes even longer for the home release! So kids and cinephiles of today you don't realise how lucky you are withing months cinema then home release!
Special Features- Brand new 2k-resolution restoration of the film from the original camera negative, approved by director and co-writer Terry Gilliam
- Original uncompressed PCM Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio options
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Chasing Time Bandits: A new interview with Terry Gilliam
- Writing the Film that Dares Not Speak its Name: A new interview in which Michael Palin discusses co-writing and acting in Time Bandits
- The Effects of Time Bandits: A new interview in which Kent Houston, founder of the Peerless Camera Company, discusses Time Bandits’ optical effects
- Playing Evil: A new featurette in which actor David Warner remembers producer George Harrison and playing Evil in Time Bandits
- The Costumes of Time Bandits: A new interview with costume designer James Acheson
- The Look of Time Bandits: A new interview with production designer Milly Burns
- From Script to Screen – A new animated featurette in which Milly Burns takes us through her production notebooks, locations photographs and storyboards revealing how twentieth century Morocco was transformed into Ancient Greece
- Original Trailer
- Restoration Demonstration
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver
The Time Bandits is also getting a limited cinema re-release on Friday 9th August, here's where you can catch it:
Prince Charles Leicester Square
Harbour Lights Picturehouse, Southampton
The Belmont Picturehouse, Aberdeen
Cameo Picturehouse, Edinburgh
Picturehouse at FACT, Liverpool
Ritzy Picturehouse, Brixton
Cinema City, Norwich
City Screen Picturehouse, York
Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge
Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
Curzon HMV Wimbledon
The Time Bandits will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on 26th August.
1 July 2013
Can't believe it's 15 years, but it is and on 12th August Lionsgate UK have announced for the films 15th anniversary they are re-releasing Darren Aronofsky’s PI on Blu Ray.
Surreal psychological thriller written and directed by Oscar® nominated director Darren Aronofsky.
In his stunning debut feature film, Aronofsky tells the story of Maximillian Cohen’s (Sean Gullette) obsession with numbers and his theory that they hold the key to the answers of the universe. His work causes him agonising migraines and his former teacher Sol (Mark Margolis) advises him to take a break from trying to discover patterns in the stock market. When Max's super computer crashes after spitting out a 216-digit number, Max initially dismisses it, until the prediction comes true, and he realises that the number which he consigned to the trash could be the key he has been searching for.
This Blu-ray celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of the Pi’s release, one of the most original examples of cult classic independent American cinema and the birth of a great filmmaker.
Commentary with Darren Aronofsky
Commentary with Sean Gullette
Behind The Scenes Montage
Original (Darren & Eric) trailer
Πr2 Music Video