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Joaquim De Almeida
Sean Patrick Flanery
R. Lee Ermey
Benicio Del Toro
Clifton Collins Jr.
Raymond J. Barry
Lenny Von Dohlen
Daniel Von Bargen
David O Hara
Joseph Gordon Levitt
Jimmy F. Skaggs
John P. Ryan
Deborah Kara Unger
Jennifer Jason Leigh
The Coen Brothers
Guillermo Del Toro
Nicholas Winding Refn
The Boondock Saints
Once Upon A Time In Mexico
End Of Days
Shoot Em Up
Let The Right One In
The Fog (John Carpenter)
The Thing (John Carpenter
A Nightmare On Elm Street
The Devil's Rejects
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Masters Of Horror (tv)
-We All Scream For Ice Scream-
-Pick Me Up-
From Dusk Till Dawn
Land Of The Dead
Brain Dead (aka Dead Alive)
Jeepers Creepers 2
Renegade (aka Blueberry)
Once Upon A Time In The West
The Quick & The Dead
Dead Man's Bounty
Natural Born Killers
Romeo Is Bleeding
State Of Grace
The Pope Of Greenwich Village
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
King Of New York
At Close Range
Mad Dog Time
A Clockwork Orange
Blue Hill Avenue
Year Of The Dragon
Man On Fire
The Salton Sea
Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead
The Usual Suspects
Lucky Number Slevin
The Lord Of The Rings
The Prophecy 2
The Prophecy 3
The Lost World: Jurassic Park 2
The Seventh Sign
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Faust: Love Of The Damned
V For Vendetta
The Dark Knight
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Nick Of TimeBlue Velvet
The Silence Of The Lambs
The Phantom Of The Opera
Wild At Heart
The Killing Gene
A Little Princess
A Broken Life
The Journey Of Natty Gann
Escape From Sobibor
The Thin Red Line
Saving Private Ryan
Black Hawk Down
Tears Of The Sun
Up In Smoke
Sons Of Anarchy
Masters Of Horror
Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)
Excellent, eerie, beautifully made genre throwback
I was blown away by the uncanny authenticity of the attempt to recreate a certain atmosphere from sci-fi horror films of the seventies and early eighties. The droning, yet hauntingly melodic score by Jeremy Schmidt is a highlight, as well as the dazzling visuals, shot in a blown out, deliberately grainy fashion that is very "of a bygone era".
The plot is somewhat murky, but therein lies the fun of figuring out the mystery of what is actually going on, much of which is left open to interpretation, which personally I love in films, and reminds me somewhat of David Lynch's work. There is a surreal, disconcerting vibe running through the entire film, and a few genuinely terrifying and disturbing moments, punctuated by gorgeous musical interludes, eye popping psychedelic colour and some very enigmatic, intense acting.
The film is set inside Arboria, a gigantic, hyper stylized facility advertising "is practical application of an abstract ideal" via "sensory stimulation and benign pharmacology", which is more than a little foreboding. The chief executive, Dr. Barry Nyle (Michael Rogers, channelling a combination of Billy Drago and a snake in a performance so scary i almost hid behind the couch), strolls through the buildings desolate halls and leers at mute female patient Lena through a glass enclosure. Lena is a clairvoyant with astonishing powers who longs for freedom.
The film is less a intellectual treatise and more of an emotional and visual ride that you experience more than watch critically. It is definitely not for everyone, but those who have a love for off the wall, bizarre yet beautiful, midnite style movies will just love it. I know I did. :)
Catch .44 (2011)
An interesting, slightly unfocused, yet entertaining movie
It seems these days that megastar Bruce Willis has been somewhat relagated to direct to video releases, his hey day rapidly fading into the distance, not unlike other once big names (Val Kilmer, Eric Roberts). Some might see this. Unfortunate, but I think it gives him the opportunity to exercise his character acting talent, instead of purely playing the sarcastic, action hero template he has been set in. Here he plays the dodgy Mel, crime boss and Charlie to Deborah Ann Wolls, Nikki Reed, and Malin Ackerman's three angels.
The story itself is very unfocused, and very much like a less complex version of many other pulpy noir yarns, yet tries to a bit more intricate than it really is. But the story is only half of it, as the main thing we focus on here is Forest Whitaker's absolutely maniacally awesome performance as a demented, delusional scarface emulating psycho. He really steals the movie, but the three girls are just as good, and all have an excellent handle and delivery on the dialogue, sounding as natural and realistic as any of the babes from the acclaimed Death Proof.
One of the films strongest points is it's soundtrack, composed of eclectic, catchy and very unique tracks, by everyone from Bowie, to the raveonettes, to Willis himself.
Catch .44 may not be all that great composition wise or in terms of orifinality, but it packs a visceral punch and the atmosphere remains in your thoughts for a little while after, which is for sure what I look out for when assessing films. Not bad at all.
Sinners and Saints (2010)
Kickass old school action with a phenomenal cast
In an age where prudish, greedy studio heads push for pussy ass PG-13 action movies, it's refreshing to see an old school, badass, bone cruncher with an edge to it and plenty of hardcore action to spare. The story takes place in gritty New Orleans, post hurricane Katrina. But it's not so much about the story as it is the action, soundtrack and spectacle. The story itself has been done a million times over, but the difference is that here it's done with a unique flair for good dialogue and realistic, well rounded characters. Johnny Strong is appropriately tough and hard-nosed as the lead, and the always awesome Costas Mandylor is just so cool as the nasty, sadistic lead merc. Sean Patrick Flanery gives a mournful, spot on performance as the unlucky antihero who's made mistakes and has regrets. The supporting cast is nicely populated by great performances, from Tom Berenger, Method Man, Jolene Blalock and others. The only big mistake the filmmakers made was casting such excellent actors in tiny throwaway roles. Jurgen Prochnow is good as the shady tycoon pulling the strings, but is only in two minuscule scenes and his character is underdeveloped. Also Kim Coates dies in the opening scene of the movie, which is an utter waste of his talent and an insult to him. He should have been given the Kevin Philips role, because Philips is sorely lacking in the acting department. Other than those mistakes, Sinners And Saints is a great entry in the action genre.
Good Day for It (2011)
excellent modern western/family drama with fine performances
Good Day For It probably won't be seen by many people, except for the die hard fans of the actors involved (like myself), and the occasional casual viewer who stumbles upon it on a shelf of an obscure rental store, or perhaps an obscure corner of netflix. This is too bad, because it is an excellent, moody, emotional and tense tale of a man facing the fears of his past and reconciling with his family.
The always awesome Robert Patrick stars as this man, Luke Cain, a tortured soul who once made a dangerous but necessary decision to rob a lot of money from his employer, nasty and sadistic crime kingpin Lyle Tyrus (the terrifyingly intense Lance Henriksen) , to save his baby daughter's life. He leaves his family after this, and does not return for fifteen years, when his daughter is older. When Lyle's gang spots him in town, things get violent and past emotions rise.
Everyone in the cast is great, from Mika Boorem as Luke's hurt but hopeful daughter, Samantha Mathis as her mother, Richard Brake as Lyle's slimy brother Norman, and Hal Holbrook as a kindly Diner cook. But performance wise, the show belongs to Robert Patrick, a tremendous actor who had yet to be given a lead role until now, and plays it with a forlorn melencholy, and a stoic toughness that proves he is an actor to be reckoned with, and should be given far more roles such as this.
Good Day For It is a great little indie feature with all the right touches of subtlety, beautiful rural cinematography, and smoldering danger. Highly recommended.
The Emerald Forest (1985)
Breathtakingly beautiful film!
The Emerald Forest is a beautiful, textured, emotional, extremely well made film with a traditional archetypal story, and some of the most gorgeous cinematography I have ever seen. The story and ecological undertones are similar to that of Avatar, yet more subtle, restrained and tender.
Powers Boothe gives a terrific performance as an influential land developer who loses his son on the edge of a vast, mysterious south American jungle, and Goes on a decade long search for the boy, who has been taken in by a peaceful tribe of natives, and raised as one of the.
The story itself somewhat takes a backseat to the stunning, nature world visuals and the haunting, hypnotic score, which combined, envelop the film in an ambient, mournful yet breathtakingly beautiful and atmospheric aura.
An unfairly forgotten masterpiece and vastly underrated film.
Extreme Prejudice (1987)
Kickass ultraviolent adventure from the great Walter Hill
Walter Hill is amazingly consistent when it comes to making great films that pack a visceral punch, and this is no exception. Extreme Prejudice is a gritty, glorious, sun saturated larger than life shoot em up western, with a cast that is absolutely to die for.
Nick Nolte is tough as he'll as the ranger who is doing his best to rid his county of the influence of a powerful, dangerous drug kingpin. Powers Boothe gives the performance of a lifetime as the kingpin, Cash Bailey. He plays him with a snakelike, silver-tongued demeanor and a volatile glint in his eye, creating a sandpaper voiced, white suited slimy bastard villain that ya just can't help but love.
Michael Ironside, always reliable, is awesome as a corrupt, shady merc heading up a team of even shadier soldiers of fortune, including two more great actors, William Forsythe and Clancy Brown. Hill has always had a knack for impeccable, interesting casting decisions, and the lineup here is a huge testament to that, with Maria Conchita Alonso, Rip Torn and Marco Rodriguez fleshing out the supporting cast even further.
Extreme Prejudice is a sadly underrated, for reasons unknown to me, as it is a rip roaring, sun and blood drenched ode to the extreme action movie as only Hill can make em.
Meticulously composed, surreal , excellent film
Every so often there is an indie film that is not only far better than most of what Hollywood makes, but surpasses everything in Hollywood a hundred-fold. Nobody is a dark, foreboding psychological shocker with gorgeous, haunting cinematography, and explosive performances from its leads, Costas Mandylor and Ed O' Ross.
The story takes place in a nameless, virtually empty urban hell hole of a city, where it seems to be perpetually nighttime. (kind of like the city in The Crow, but almost deserted. The hit-man Mortemain (Mandylor) navigates the cluttered alleyways and dank, dimly lit streets looking for his target, contracted out to him by the ruthless crime figure Rolo Towles (O' Ross). Things get murky and surreal when time seems to elipse upon itself like a snake eating its own tale, and Mortemain seems to be stuck in a hellish twilight zone crossed with a rabbit hole in the fabric existence. Events repeat themselves, a mysterious doppleganger of Mortemain appears, time doubles back on itself, and mysterious phenomena plagues the characters, leaving us challenged, freaked out and giddily entertained (well, me anyway).
The films composition is strikingly beautiful for a low budget indie, from the blood red sky along a lonely country road to desolate, snowy streets.
This film is like a mashup of Sin City, Memento, and The Twilight Zone, with its own special and unique flavor. Highly recommended.
Fear X (2003)
very intriguing, highly underrated experimental film
These days, unique director Nicholas Winding Refn is acclaimed for his different, haunting films such as Drive, Valhalla Rising and Bronson. But before all that he made this curious experimental film that is admittedly not for everyone, but is nonetheless a unique, beautifully composed piece that deserves a way higher rating and more praise than it has gotten.
The plot in itself is somewhat threadbare, seeing security guard John Turturro plagued by the grief ridden memories of his murdered wife, and consumed by a need to not necessarily find who did it, but simply why. His search takes him to a small snowy town, and thats where things take a turn for the weirder.
Some people write off the stranger aspects of Fear X as 'faux artsy' or 'pretentious', but I see it as a director trying out various tools of his trade that he is still somewhat a novice in, and I would much rather see these experimental meanderings manifested by surreal, dream like imagery and eerie visual shots, then a lot of the mainstream Hollywood cookie cutter movies that are jammed into the forefront of cinema.
The supporting cast of Fear X is brilliant, with the beautiful Deborah Kara Unger giving the film just the right moody ambiance with her role, and the vastly underrated James Remar in a fantastic performance as the towns conflicted, unstable police captain.
One Point O (2004)
Atmospheric, enigmatic, and well worth a thinking man's time
One Point O is a strange, beautiful film, with a script so curious and engaging it stays in your thoughts and dreams long after the credits roll. Many of the questions asked by the film remain unanswered and concepts left ambiguous at the film's conclusion, and although this is not for everyone's tastes, I for one love this type of storytelling most out of all the narrative templates. There's nothing I love more than a difficult, surreal and challenging film that let's the viewer ponder what has actually happened.
Jeremy Sisto is restrained and vague as Simon, the paranoid computer programmer who is having troubles with his fellow residents in the dank, dimly lit, creepy apartment complex in which he lives. Bruce Payne is hilariously weird as his rambunctious, kooky neighbor, and the always lovely and talented Deborah Kara Unger is great as a moody, messed up girl he has relations with. Lance Henriksen steaks the show however, as a philosophical bum/caretaker of the building. He is positively dynamic and electric in his role, and the very last scene with benevolent monologue is the kicker of the whole film.
If you enjoy cryptic, open ended storytelling, unconventional casting and cinematography and an eerie, unsettling atmosphere to rival anything by David Lynch or similar filmmakers.
The kind of science fiction film we should see more of
This film is unusual in the realm of science fiction, in the sense that it is not primarily about extra terrestrials, spaceships, intergalactic wars or explosions. It is a subtle drama that explores aspects of the human soul by testing the emotions of the characters to the limit of the psyche, and touching on the intangible and eerily mysterious nature of the realms beyond our own world, physical and metaphysical.
It is never really clarified whether the forces which toy with the characters are ghosts, gods, ehereal entities or hallucinogenic phenomena, but it part of the films seductive allure and is what pulls us in. George Clooney and Natasha Mcelhone are just phenomenal in the leads, and have chemistry, presence and emotion like I thought neither of them were capable of.
Before you think tomtell me of the supposedly superior original version of the Solaris book, I will tell you that I've seen it and really did not like it, and consider this to be the definitive version.
This remains my favorite space film in the science fiction genre.