7 items from 2014
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts: my favorite of the five films is the British “The Voorman Problem,” starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander in a hilarious and provocative bit of speculative fantasy [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] After Tiller: documentary portrait of abortion doctors in America looks at those who do important, compassionate work, but isn’t as engaging as it should be [at Amazon Instant Video] The Book Thief: the tone is oddly uneven, but this is a mostly charming story about the power of books and an unforgettable young girl who loves to read [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Homefront: Jason Statham teams up with another badass little girl… which makes him almost warm and charming as he kicks the crap out of villains [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Thor: The Dark World: think heavy-metal Lord of the Rings, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Late last night on The Super Channel, Reel One unleashed its new pitch black comedy, 24 Hour Rental upon an unsuspecting world. Described as a “no-holds-barred, deviant gangster satire” the series is produced and directed by George Mihalka, and stars Romano Orzari as Tracker, a gangster heavily in debt to the Russian Mob trying to make ends meet. He runs a seedy video store that serves as a front for petty crimes and soon gets caught up in a series of increasingly bizarre events involving drug addicts, surly video store clerks, mobsters, Satanists, rude customers and Black Magic murderers. 24 Hour Rental was written by former Sound on Sight contributor, Al Kratina, who just may have been inspired by his time working at the very same video store that gave birth to this website. I talked to Al recently and demanded that he explain himself.
For the benefit of some of our »
- Derek Gladu
So in this game of Bravely Default, you may be wondering, “If there are a whopping 24 jobs in this game, how might one get more of them?” So I will answer the question you may or may not be wondering.
In the beginning of the game, you have one class; Freelancer. A Freelancer is the jack-of-all trades class. They can learn helpful dungeoneering skills, and are pretty good with whatever weapon you can give them. They learn stuff like Examine, giving you the ability to look at how much health an enemy has (even works on bosses), what element, if any, they are weak to, and what family they are in (might have miscellaneous effects). The other classes you get by killing most bosses. I will list the class, then the name of the boss, and what the class specializes in. This will be in the order they show up on the job menu. »
- Gunnar Eastman
Here is a striking but flawed documentary by Alex Gibney, famous for his studies of financial fraud in Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) and America's use of rendition in Taxi to the Dark Side (2007). He paints a portrait of the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who admits to drug use with the same calm, clear-eyed candour he once displayed while denying it. Yet the slippery doper hedges his general admission with all sorts of hints that this matter wasn't quite what his accusers have said, and Gibney circles around his man, never quite going in for the kill.
The film is a lesson in the perils of getting caught in the middle of a story – and creating and believing in a "story" in the first place. »
- Peter Bradshaw
It is the first time in Writers Guild Awards history that a documentary has received the Selvin Award. The honor will be presented on Feb. 1 at the Jw Marriott in Los Angeles.
The award is named after the late WGA counsel and given to a WGA member whose script best embodies the spirit of constitutional and civil rights and liberties.
“Alex Gibney is one of the foremost documentary filmmakers of this generation,” said WGA West president Christopher Keyser. “His work has been a filmic conscience for our times. In ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks,’ Mr. Gibney tackles issues arising out of us living, increasingly, in a surveillance state – from the public’s right to know and the press’ right to publish, »
- Dave McNary
Alex Gibney, the prolific documentary filmmaker behind We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, will be honored with the Paul Selvin Award at the 2014 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Feb. 1. Gibney, whose other films include Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and The Armstrong Lie, will receive the award at the event at the Jw Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live. Named after the late Paul Selvin, who served as counsel to the Wgaw, the award is given to a WGA member whose script best embodies the spirit of constitutional and civil rights and liberties.
- Rebecca Ford
We look back at the key films from the long career of the Hong Kong studio mogul credited with triggering the worldwide craze for kung fu
• Run Run Shaw, godfather of kung fu film-making, dies aged 106
Along with his brother Runme, Run Run Shaw set up shop in the south-east Asian film business, first experiencing success before the second world war by founding a chain of cinemas in Malaya. In 1957 the brothers moved their activities to Hong Kong, and they put themselves firmly on the map when their elaborate costume drama, The Magnificent Concubine, won a technical prize at the 1962 Cannes film festival, the first Chinese film to do so. It stars Li Li-hua as a senior emperor's concubine, whose position is threatened when a younger concubine appears on the scene. There's Li warbling a ditty in the clip above.
A decade later, along came The One-Armed Swordsman, which »
- Andrew Pulver
7 items from 2014
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