7 items from 2010
For the fifth year running, we tally up the Other Year's Best -- the films that made it to DVD (or onto U.S. home video in any format) but not to theatrical, which generally meant they posed too much of a marketing challenge. As in, the films were either too odd, too original, too archival, too subtle, too something. DVDs still stand as our go-to B-movie-distribution stream of choice, although as I've barked every year, video debuts are still not eligible for any year-end toasts or trophies. Except ours.
10. "Parking" (Chung Mong-hong, Taiwan) At first blush a Taiwanese riff on "After Hours," this measured little odyssey is more realistic, evoking those all-night odysseys we've all had, when time evaporates and tiny logistical dilemmas drive us insane and eventually it's morning and something about our lives is different. Chung doesn't spring for laughs when you think he will -- he holds back, »
- Michael Atkinson
Rejuvenated Hammer Films franchise launches publicity campaign as part of a summer of hair-raising new releases from UK directors and writers
Hammer Films are to launch a summer publicity campaign ahead of what is being billed as a full-blown revival of the alternative British horror genre. A welter of horror films are scheduled for release this summer, while Ghost Stories, the theatrical show whose programme carries a warning to those of a nervous disposition, is packing in audiences for its West End run.
Joe Cornish, of the comedy duo Adam and Joe, is to make his directorial debut with Attack the Block, a film produced by the team behind Shaun of the Dead, and a reborn Hammer Films, once the greatest film studio in British horror, is to make a 3D feature film based on Susan Hill's modern gothic novel The Woman in Black.
The ghostly thriller, which became a long-running West End hit, »
- Vanessa Thorpe
Low-key concepts and limited budgets have given British horror films a gritty realism that is the envy of the industry – but can they ever really compete with their Us rivals?
Unlike the western or the musical, the horror movie never seems to be under threat of extinction. The occasional phenomenon – a Blair Witch Project or a Paranormal Activity – helps to fortify its commercial appeal, as do hits like Scream or Hostel, which refresh the familiar conventions. But horror remains in perpetually good nick, not least in its UK outpost, from which some of the most inventive shockers of the last 10 years have emerged. Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later kicked off a new wave of Brit horror in 2002, but it fell to emerging film-makers to properly paint the town blood-red, from Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) to Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent), Michael J Bassett (Deathwatch, Wilderness) and Christopher Smith (Creep, »
- Ryan Gilbey
Movies are Saturday night-wasting entertainment and they're transcendent mega-art, but they're also history, living tissues of the past that overpower any other medium we have for preserving experience and retaining cultural memory. This is no small matter, despite the relatively slight influence that film's historical potential has in the consumer marketplace, which is virtually defined by its amnesia. "Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives" (1977), then, is a gift, not just a film preserved and sold as product, but a piece of the 20th century that will now never quite fade completely from view.
Shot and assembled by a six-person collective (including Rob Epstein, later director of "The Times of Harvey Milk" and "Common Threads"), this film is as simple as it is expansive: amidst the definitive stirrings of the gay rights movement, the filmmakers sat down with 26 gay men and women -- young and old, fat and skinny, »
- Michael Atkinson
DVD Playhouse—May 2010
Avatar (20th Century Fox) James Cameron beat his own title as box office champ, set with Titanic over a decade ago, with this eye-popping sci-fi epic about a paraplegic Marine name Sully (Sam Worthington), who takes the form of an “avatar,” or virtual being, to go undercover on the planet Pandora, attempting to infiltrate the native Na’vi to gather intelligence that will aid a joint corporate and military operation to rape the planet of its natural resources, destroying its indigenous population in the process. When Sully suddenly “goes native,” he locks horns with the company CEO (Giovanni Ribisi) and his gung-ho commanding officer (Stephen Lang, in a wonderful, scenery-chewing turn from a long-underrated actor). Thought of by many scholars and film buffs as a “game-changer” as much as the first Star Wars film was—and they may be right. While Cameron’s politically-correct »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
For the most part, when you hear about a low budget, direct-to-video horror film, expectations of either comic incompetence or extreme boredom fill your mind. However, here’s one that really isn’t too bad. While it isn’t exceptionally scary for the most part, it is an effective psychological thriller that keeps you interested, mostly due to the performances, which are far above average for the genre.
Directed by Johnny Kevorkian (Great name for a horror film director) the film traces the tormented emotional journey of a young man poisoned by guilt and tragedy. The script by Kevorkian and Neil Murphy works on two levels. We have the main plot about a missing child and we also have the psychological exploration of the angst ridden main character.
- Rob Young
IFC Films has picked up Johnny Kevorkian's The Disappeared and Southern Gothic for their Video on Demand feature (Horror). Both films also move to DVD May 18th and The Disappeared is about one boy's loss of a younger brother. Matthew wonders if his brother is still alive after his disappearance from the local playground, but hauntings say otherwise. Have a second look at The Disappeared inside »
- Michael Ross Allen
7 items from 2010
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