7 items from 2015
Quentin Tarantino is possibly the most prolific writer/director working in film today. His first feature-length film, Reservoir Dogs, came out back in 1993, and yet the man still manages to surprise us with his hard-hitting dialogue, unconventional humor, and radical social and political commentary. This is a man who serves as a prime example of succeeding as a result of respecting one's elders, as he learns from those great filmmakers who came before him, while still managing to thread his own style through his intricately woven, homage-heavy film résumé.
While the rest of the world toned down its violence and opted for bigger box office, PG-13 sure-things, Tarantino stuck to his guns, consistently making movies for adults and constantly pushing the envelope as to what is allowed onscreen and how to go about displaying such graphic material. Tarantino doesn't give a damn what you think, and that's the reason why »
- Kalyn Corrigan
Although it seems they are synonymous with found-footage horror, low budget movies that will still be financial successes if audiences stop turning out in droves to see them, Blumhouse Productions are arguably something far more interesting. Their prolific output can easily be read as an updating of Roger Corman’s low budget exploitation aesthetic for the 21st century, albeit one that reflects pop culture’s increasingly low standards when it comes to genre filmmaking. After all, Corman-produced films helped launch the filmmaking careers of Scorsese, Cameron and Coppola, among dozens more, whereas Blumhouse acts as a low-budget home for directors whose bigger budget movies have critically and commercially underwhelmed.
It is the rare studio that can take successful auteurs like Barry Levinson or M. Night Shymalan and reduce them to directing found footage horror, rather then working the other way round and using these projects to give them their initial big break. »
- Alistair Ryder
Special Mention: Death Proof
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
The obvious reference points of Death Proof are such movies as Vanishing Point, Roadgames, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, and even Spielberg’s Duel – but Death Proof is influenced by more than just vehicular horror. Tarantino’s homage to the road-fury genre is really two movies in one, offering two versions of the same story about two separate groups of beautiful women who are stalked by a homicidal maniac who uses his car (his weapon of choice) to terrorize and eventually kill his victims. Death Proof can easily be viewed as two slasher films, with the second half acting as a sequel, offering new, beautiful victims for the murderous Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) to terrorize. It’s a grim stalk-and-slash picture with a blaring commentary of female empowerment. Replace the typical sharp edged blade with a car, and »
- Ricky Fernandes
Zoe Bell has proven that she’s up to the challenge of getting her hands dirty in films like Raze, Bitch Slap, and her career igniting role in Death Proof. Her physicality is without question. She more than holds her own in Camino as she rumbles in the jungle with a bunch of Columbian thugs. There’s a stark realism to her maneuvers, punches, and kicks, but the stunt woman turned actress from New Zealand doesn’t quite have the strength to carry this 70’s and 80’s throwback action film. Camino suffers from a case of being both monotonous and feeling like a film you’ve seen done better before.
Avery Taggert (Zoe Bell) is an award-winning photojournalist. Her new assignment is to venture into the jungles of Colombia and document a group of religious freedom fighters led by Fantastic Fest mainstay and all-around wild man Nacho Vigalondo – an inspired bit of casting. »
- Michael Haffner
This is one that we’re Very excited about. Director William Butler’s upcoming “The Mist meets The Walking Dead” monster film, Hellstorm now has a cast and it’s led by the three-time WWE Divas champion Aj Brooks, as well as quite an impressive supporting cast. Everyone from Leatherface: TCM III‘s Kate Hodge (who co-starred with Butler in TCM III ), Cabin Fever‘s Jordan Ladd and Clue‘s Colleen Camp to former WWE champ Phil “Cm Punk” Brooks is on board in what looks to be a return to the practical monster fx movies that we all know and love. We’ve got the official press release for you fright fanatics, and we’ll keep you updated on the film, when more news arrives. Read on!
Los Angeles, CA –Three-Time WWE Divas Champion Aj Brooks has been cast as the lead in her feature film debut. The »
- Jerry Smith
Meet some of the best directors working today, who haven't gone down the blockbuster movie route...
Ever find it a bit lame when the same big name directors get kicked around for every high profile project? Christopher Nolan, Jj Abrams, maybe the Russo Brothers? With so much focus on blockbuster films these days, getting a major franchise job seems like the main acknowledgement of success for a filmmaker. And yes, both the financial and creative rewards can be great. But there are plenty of other directors out there, doing their own thing, from art house auteurs to Dtv action specialists.
Here are 25 examples.
Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve probably seen Lee Hardcastle’s ultraviolent claymations shared on social media. He first started getting noticed for his two-minute remake of The Thing, starring the famous stop motion penguin Pingu. Far from just a cheap one-joke mash-up, »
As a heavy metal-loving youngster, few films were initially as appealing to me as John Carpenter’s campy, brilliant, darkly funny sci-fi/action landmark “Escape from New York.” That movie’s hero, Snake Plissken — played memorably by Kurt Russell in one of his most iconic performances — was, quite simply, the biggest badass in the galaxy. He was a punk-rock Robin Hood armed with little more than a sneer, a shotgun, and his trademark eye patch, with which he was meant to dispatch a whole metropolis’ worth of psychotic goons. In many of his subsequent parts (Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” comes to mind), we’ve seen Russell doffing his cap to the role that made him a star, and it’s not hard to see why. To a whole generation of movie-lovers, Kurt Russell simply is Snake Plissken. Carpenter’s vividly realized, eye-popping vision of an apocalyptic New York City, »
- Nicholas Laskin
7 items from 2015
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