10 items from 2009
In the spirit of Halloween '09, we're breaking out reviews (some new, some old) of some Fall Frights you may want to work into your monthly viewing.
Originally published, 04/01/2007
In the Robert Rodriguez-scripted/directed first of its two conjoined movies, Grindhouse is the ultimate sugar rush for horror fans, a high-calorie, low-nutrition blast of cheap thrills wrought on a big budget. In the second, Quentin Tarantino upends the framework and traditions of exploitation fare to craft a film that’s just as much a showcase for his gift of (writing) gab as it is for action. And in both Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Tarantino’s Death Proof, a love and respect shines through for the B-movie tradition that too many others “homage” with snarky irony. The wholeheartedness with which they express their devotion to the form almost amounts to a kind of innocence, and for all the explicit mayhem on screen, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Gingold)
Every day, I get up and I wonder why the movie gods have never seen fit to grant us a Nicolas Cage movie in 3D. I can think of no flaw in The Wicker Man that a 3D bear suit punch couldn't fix altogether, and I know I'd be ten times more interested in The Sorcerer's Apprentice if we got some 3D trenchcoat swishing. But at last, my wish has been granted, though it probably won't be until 2010, 2011 or something, as The Hollywood Reporter has announced Cage will Drive Angry in three-freaking-d!
Directed by Patrick Lussier, who co-wrote the script with Todd Farmer, Drive Angry centers on a man who is driven literally and figuratively by rage. What has filled him with such unquenchable anger? Why, a gang that killed his daughter and kidnapped her baby. He's hunting them down, one by one, and mile by mile. I'm just going »
- Elisabeth Rappe
In case your wondering I'm talking about the 1971 classic and Viggo Mortensen made for TV re-make which I have not seen and pretty much have no interest in seeing either. Having just watched Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (A film which I like), it was time to throw on Vanishing Point (A film I love). Vanishing Point is another film with a simple premise, but one which is given a near perfect execution. Barry Newman (City on Fire, The Limey) stars as "Kowalski" (No first name is ever used). Kowalski is a man who has had a varied career from military service in Vietnam, a cop, a speedway motorcycle rider, a Nascar driver and now he delivers cars across the states.
Arriving in Denver with a car to drop off "Kowalski" decides against the advice of the guy at the depot to pick up another car and drive right back to San Francisco. »
A few years ago I picked up a book called Trash: The Graphic Genius of Xploitation Movie Posters. On page 42 and 43 are the posters for Dirty Mary Crazy Larry and Vanishing point. Also on page 42 is a flyer for a 1975 (Drive-in I assume) double bill of with both films. The flyer / poster bears the slogan "3 1/2 hours of high performance action as two of the great chase films return ... together". Now I've seen both films over the years (Vanishing Point more, because its the better movie), but ever since I picked up the book I have wanted to watch them back to back as a double bill. With cult movie magpie Quentin Tarantino referencing both films in his "Grindhouse" movie Death Proof it reminded me of this, love or hate Qt he does have the effect of putting older movies back in the public consciousness. Anyway you have obviously figured out where this is leading, »
The late icon's heroics at the wheel turned the 1968 film into an instant classic - and now Bullitt has beaten 1998's Ronin and the original Italian Job (1969) as the best action-packed motor movie of all time on AOL Autos new list.
Kowalski (Barry Newman) is a driver. He takes cars from one location to another. They might be hot. He gets a 1970’s Dodge Charger, the fuck me running ultimate car movie car. Some cops see him but he decides to gun it, and the car chase begins, and it doesn’t end until the movie’s over. The cops get a boner for him, and only the radio DJ Super Soul (Cleavon Little) is egging him on, with some listeners in support. On his drive he meets people who either help him or hinder him, including the film’s most dated bit of business, when he picks up two men who are homosexuals (when he tells them he’s headed for San Francisco, they couldn’t be happier) and robbers. That’s the movie. That’s it. It’s about driving. Kowalski’s backstory comes into play, he was a cop, »
When referring to a movie that nabbed a second life, typically home video is the savior. There are countless movies that didn’t fare well in their original theatrical runs but have earned a so-called second life thanks to profitable video sales and rentals that make them much stronger than they ever were when they first arrived. Examples of this trend vary greatly, whether you’re referring to genre, era, proliferation (or magnitude of the “second life”) and, of course, how deserving it is. Most that get a boost long after its premiere got where it is now slowly, spread wide by word of mouth and critical re-analysis. Most of them were not well received during the initial run, and many are re-evaluated, and mistakes are mended. Among them: 2001, The Princess Bride, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Big Lebowski, Fight Club, Office Space and Dazed and Confused. These »
- Matt Medlock
DVD Playhouse—March 2009
Let The Right One In (Magnolia) An awkward 12 year-old boy, ignored by his mother and the target of bullies, finds himself drawn to his new neighbor: a girl his own age who only appears at night, and seems herself to be as lonely an outcast as he. Haunting film from Sweden is best described as The 400 Blows meets Nosferatu, and contains some of the most haunting imagery of any film in recent memory. Truly a unique and memorable work. Bonuses: Deleted scenes; Featurette; Photo and poster gallery. Widescreen. Dolby 5.1 surround.
Paramount Centennial Collection Paramount offers two more classic titles, restored, remastered and loaded with extras. Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief stars Cary Grant as a retired jewel thief trying to enjoy his sunset years on the French Riviera with a minimum of drama, until he catches the eye of a high-maintenance heiress (Grace Kelly, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
A white car—to be specific, a white 1970 Dodge Challenger—speeds down a desert highway toward a roadblock so forbidding that it looks as if even the Challenger’s (possibly) supercharged engine won’t be able to muscle through it. Along the way, it passes a black car headed in the opposite direction. The film pauses and lets the white Challenger fade away. With it fades a few hours of time. We’re with the black car now, speeding toward a destination that will bring its driver (Barry Newman, playing a character named simply “Kowalski”) to Denver. There, he »
Chicago – Still trying to get over an Oscar hangover? There’s no better way to deflate the pomposity of awards season than with a wicked car chase. Of course, one of the best of all time hit Blu-Ray this week in the controversial Blu-Ray release of “The French Connection,” but the same studio also released another pair of movies dedicated to automobile aficionados and an animated sci-fi comedy when all the metal destruction gets too much to take.
Two of the best car movies of all time - 1971’s “Vanishing Point” and 1998’s “Ronin” - hit Blu-Ray for the first time this week and the final “Futurama” movie, “Into the Wild Green Yonder” also hit the format. All three of these titles were released on February 24th, 2009.
Photo credit: Fox I was as excited about the “Futurama” movies as much as anyone, but now »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
10 items from 2009
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