5 items from 2015
Kino Lorber resurrects the obscure and fascinating 1974 Blaxploitation gem Truck Turner this month for the first time on Blu-ray. One of Isaac Hayes’ most notable acting performances, it’s a head above the general trend of similar genre titles of the period, even though the film features a familiar narrative already well re-tread by the time of its release. Hayes fashions his own soundtrack for this retro classic, an oddity begging to be rediscovered.
Truck Turner (Hayes) is a football star turned bounty hunter, in the midst of hunting down a vicious, sadistic pimp named Gator (Paul Harris) with the help of his sidekick, Jerry (Alan Weeks). But Gator proves a hard target to pin down, leading up to a dramatic showdown where Truck is forced to kill the pimp in self-defense. His death causes a ripple in the criminal community of Los Angeles and forces the aggressively violent Madame »
- Nicholas Bell
Cinema’s Hidden Pearls – Part I
By Alex Simon
One of nature’s rarest items, a pearl is produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. Truly flawless pearls are infrequently produced in nature, and as a result, the pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable. Hidden pearls exist in the world of movies, as well: films that, in spite of being brilliantly crafted and executed, never got the audience they deserved beyond a cult following.
Here are a few of our favorite hidden pearls in the world of film:
1. Night Moves (1975)
- The Hollywood Interview.com
The 1994 film Blue Sky is something of an anomaly from the mid-90s. Filmed in 1991, it would be the last film feature of British auteur Tony Richardson’s career, who had been working in television for several years prior, ever since his coolly received 1984 adaptation of John Irvine’s The Hotel New Hampshire. Then, due to the bankruptcy of Orion Pictures, the film’s distributor, the final product was shelved for three years, at long last released in the autumn of 1994, going on to snag actress Jessica Lange her second Academy Award. Now, twenty years later, it’s a prestige that would seem near impossible to attain for a feature treated to the same fate in today’s market. This distinction potentially sets the film up for failure, which perhaps explains the lack of continued enthusiasm surrounding it.
Nuclear engineer Hank Marshall (Tommy Lee Jones) is forced to uproot his »
- Nicholas Bell
By the 1990s, studios were waking up to movie marketing, and the era of the blockbuster. Tim Burton's Batman, released in summer 1989, had introduced the idea of a big opening weekend, and modern movies now target their promotional work to get just that. As such, it's harder and harder for smaller films to snare the top slot at the Us box office, even for one weekend.
In the 1990s, particularly the first half of the 1990s, that wasn't so much the case though. In fact, many films that have long since fallen from the public conscious topped the chart. And in this piece, I've tried to capture some of them.
Inevitably, you're going to have heard of some of them, and what a UK dweller sees as a »
2015 is increasingly looking like a really great year for Blu-ray DVD releases. First there was the news I reported a few weeks ago (Here) that the classic film "Coffy," with Pam Grier, was coming out, for the first time on Blu-ray DVD. And now comes news that another classic will be coming out this summer on Blu-ray as well. Anyone who has followed this site knows that I deeply love me some Blaxploitation films. I was raised on Blaxploitation movies. They are the films that made me - for better and (mainly) for worse. These were the films that made me want to make movies. So when Kino Studio Classics announced today that they would be releasing Jonathan Kaplan’s »
5 items from 2015
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