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The Bottom Shelf: Willard, Ben, Street Trash and The Wonderful Worlds of Ray Harryhausen

Nick Aldwinckle Oct 30, 2017

This month's round up of genre DVDs and Blu-rays features Ray Harryhausen, Willard, rats on the rampage and more...

The underappreciated ‘nature gone wild’ porn horror movie subgenre has a somewhat patchy history, with a viewer’s search more likely to end up in some SyFy channel Megapterranoshark Versus Crocosaur cul-de-sac than something of the calibre of a Jaws or Arachnophobia. Sharks, spiders and gators are all well served, though (alongside the glaring lack of a movie adaptation of Guy N. Smith’s glorious Night Of The Crabs books) rodents have had something of a raw deal.

See related 26 new TV shows to watch in 2017

Fear not, though, faithful readers: we’re not going to drift off into Stuart Little territory just yet (that’ll be next month’s Stuart Little IV: The Rattening), as this month brings with it not one but two seventies rat-themed monster movie classics (well,
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘I Am Another You’ Uncovers an American Dreamer From the Inside Out — SXSW 2017 Review

‘I Am Another You’ Uncovers an American Dreamer From the Inside Out — SXSW 2017 Review
When Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang discovers a nomadic 22-year-old American homeless man in the first chapter of her documentary “I Am Another You,” he’s living the dream; the rest of the movie is a gradual wakeup call. With time, Nanfu comes to understand that rejecting society isn’t such a simple proposition. By bringing an outsider perspective to the Western world, Nanfu pulls apart the American dream from the inside out. Shot over the course of several years, the movie blends an intimate perspective with trenchant investigative chops, uncovering a transitory figure whose romantic ideals give way to a harsh reality check.

The documentarian’s feature-length debut “Hooligan Sparrow,” a shortlist for the Oscar in 2016, dealt with institutional dysfunction in her native country. With “I Am Another You,” she takes a more personal approach, exploring the mythology of the American dream as a naive interloper subject to conflicting points of view.
See full article at Indiewire »

Film Review: ‘Above and Below’

“Some of us fall by the wayside, and some of us soar to the stars.” So goes the circle-of-life wisdom from a certain pop Disney hit, but it could just as well be the mantra of Swiss helmer Nicolas Steiner’s poignantly down-to-earth graduation film, “Above and Beyond” — a mesmerizing plunge into the damaged psyches of five characters floating by on the margins of American society, from a couple scraping by in a Las Vegas drainage tunnel to the young woman determined to be among the first crew to colonize Mars. A perfect companion piece to the wave of post-apocalyptic stories flooding television and megaplexes, Steiner’s docu concentrates on five individuals who simply don’t fit into the modern world as we know it — a festival treasure that treats its subjects with a dignity that transcends judgment and a poetic sensibility that ranks it among the year’s most remarkable cinematic discoveries.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

"Arrow" Targets The "Creature Commandos"

  • SneakPeek
Vancouver-based genre actor Marc Singer ("V") has been cast as 'General Matthew Shrieve', the former leader of DC Comics "Creature Commandos".

In the comics, Shrieve is a soldier and team leader of a war-time squad, known as the "Creature Commandos", including superhuman monsters that wrought carnage during WWII against the Third Reich, then updated to reflect modern scenarios.

The "Creature Commandos" debuted in DC's "Weird War Tales" #93 (November 1980), then appeared in their own mini-series "Creature Commandos" #1 May 2000.

Click the images to enlarge...
See full article at SneakPeek »

The HeyUGuys Interview: Marc Singer talks Dark Days

  • HeyUGuys
Marc Singer’s groundbreaking documentary Dark Days is available on DVD and download from February 10th. It shines a light on a largely forgotten sect of homeless people living in the railway tunnels of New York City in the nineties; living away from harshness of the street, the ‘Tunnel People’ of NYC built their own rudimentary houses and even had electricity, creating a community with its own personality (and fair share of troubles).

The director was kind enough to speak to HeyUGuys in time for the film’s newest home release, concerning what it was like living in the tunnels, tips for making a quick buck, and the movie’s long and arduous road to eventual acclaim at Sundance.

Would you like to detail how you first started, or got into making Dark Days? Because you’d never made a film before then.

I was living in New York in
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Dark Days: going underground with New York's tunnel-dwellers

In the 1990s, a New York model turned his back on the high life – and threw his lot in with homeless people living in tunnels. He eventually turned their lives into an extraordinary film. Marc Singer tells Sukhdev Sandhu how he did it

'I was a handsome young man at the age of 20," says Marc Singer with a grin. Today, still far from unhandsome, he's sitting in a SoHo bar recalling the early 1990s, when he was living the high life, working as a model in New York. Raised in London, he'd left school without finishing his GCSEs and moved to Miami. A girlfriend suggested he try modelling and, before long, he found himself in New York. "I was a kid in the big city partying my ass off. I loved everything that went with that. I loved all the bright lights and making loads of money."

The only snag was the modelling.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Inside Llewyn Davis, August: Osage County, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: this week's new films

Inside Llewyn Davis | August: Osage County | Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit | Teenage | Fonzy | Grudge Match | The General | Dark Days | Jai Ho

Inside Llewyn Davis (15)

(Joel & Ethan Coen, 2013, Us) Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Adam Driver, Garret Hedlund, John Goodman. 105 mins

Bob Dylan hadn't written Like A Rolling Stone when this is set (New York, 1961), but Isaac's eponymous hero could almost be the inspiration. He's the archetypal drifter: a complete unknown with no direction home and little prospect of realising his folk-star dream, despite, or perhaps because of, his artistic integrity. The Coens let us know exactly how it feels. This is their most mature drama to date: subdued, sincere, bleakly funny, and as finely crafted as we've come to expect.

August: Osage County (15)

(John Wells, 2013, Us) Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts. 121 mins

Heavy acting artillery is positioned for a full-on awards assault, with Streep's malign matriarch marshalling her fractured family for some mourning and bloodletting.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Dark Days – review

Marc Singer's classic documentary about lost souls who live in New York's tunnels still has the power to shock

• The director on spending seven years with the 'mole men'

Marc Singer's 2000 documentary Dark Days has been rereleased, and it still has the power to shock and to deject. Those certainly were its effects on me when I saw the film on its first UK showing 13 years ago.

Singer's subject is the community of lost souls living in the underground tunnels beneath Penn Station, in New York. They have erected plasterboard partitions, and ingeniously managed to reroute electricity to their homemade shacks, though there is no running water. They can be very houseproud. It is safer down in their subterranean shantytown than being homeless on ground level, but for me a second viewing disclosed even more clearly the un-bohemian horror of actually existing down there, having almost literally fallen through the cracks.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Rerelease: Dark Days Review

  • HeyUGuys
In Marc Singer’s award-winning documentary, it’s not just the film that’s black and white. In New York City near the turn of the millennium, for a small amount of people life is very much one or the other; it’s eat or starve, live or die. But those kind of fates never needed to be dealt on the streets, for a portion of the NY homeless had found new abodes in the tunnel system beneath the sprawling city, an effective refuge from the urban dangers of being robbed while sleeping rough or finding trouble with the police, or natural hazards such as exposure. In the tunnels, where ‘even in the daytime it’s dark’ according to one of its myriad residents, you could never feel truly disconnected; rudimentary plasterboard houses, electricity, and a closely-knit society – family, even – exist down here.

Director Marc Singer first became fascinated by
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Film Review: 'Dark Days' (rerelease)

  • CineVue
★★★★☆The perspective afforded by Dogwoof's tenth anniversary rerelease of Marc Singer's Dark Days (2000) reveals it to be a profound film about both a city and a medium in flux. A portrait of a homeless community living in a disused Amtrak tunnel beneath New York's Penn Station, the doc was celebrated on its initial release for its unobtrusively compassionate portrait of the subterranean denizens as well as for Singer's unwavering dedication to his material. The intervening decade - which has seen great changes to the city as well as to the indie filmmaking processes - actually enriches the pictures.
See full article at CineVue »

The Mark – The DVD Review

By Anna Weaver

The ultimate fight for good and evil begins…

The Mark is one of the latest movies from Pure Flix Entertainment. Craig Scheffer stars as Chad Turner, a former soldier whose faith in humanity is seriously in doubt from fighting the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Chad.s brother, the epitome of .faith through all things., tells him to stay strong, God has a plan and to look for the signs, good and bad.

As an adrenaline junkie, I was excited to see this movie. The storyline sounded like a re-write of Airforce One from a Christian perspective. My understanding is that faith-based movies are designed promote a more intimate relationship with God and that our faith shouldn.t be reserved just for Sundays, it.s to be lived out every day. That being said, from the beginning I was left with more questions than answers. After watching this movie,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Interview: Phil Lord and Chris Miller Talk 21 Jump Street and the Lego Movie as ‘Inception for Kids’

To celebrate the release of 21 Jump Street on DVD and Blu-ray, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak to the directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, about the film and their upcoming projects.

Touching on everything from Channing Tatum’s love for improvising stunts to Tom Selleck’s moustache, it’s fair to say our interview covered rather a lot of ground! Every inch as charming and entertaining as you’d expect, the pair gave a brilliant insight into the funniest film of the year.

HeyUGuys: Congratulations to you both for delivering the best comedy we’ve had this year.

Chris: That’s crazy – we’ll take that!

You must have absolutely jumped at the chance to direct a script from Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall. After focusing so much on animation, how did you end up getting the job?

Phil: We had Michael Bacall’s script
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Blu-Ray Review: ‘V: The Complete Second Season’ Fails to Save Sci-Fi Reboot

Chicago – After two increasingly rocky seasons, ABC’s soulless reboot of Kenneth Johnson’s ’80s miniseries and subsequent TV show “V” was finally cancelled. It ended the sci-fi serial on a tragic cliffhanger that was very much in keeping with the show’s status as a muddled downer. Though some fans have signed petitions to get the show renewed on a different network, it’s doubtful that “V” will garner a large audience outside of Comic Con conventions.

With its morose ensemble and cheap anti-Obama fearmongering, there was very little here to keep viewers engaged, aside from the loud rises in music that sound before every commercial break (and, in some cases, after every scene change). Leading ladies Elizabeth Mitchell and Morena Baccarin had ample screen time to perfect the art of the pensive, simmering stare, yet as good as the actresses were, the writers gave them little to do but engage in hour-long stare-offs.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

The Beastmaster

A warrior with a psychic connection to animals fights against an evil sorcerer.

There was a time when sword and sorcery seemed like a shortcut to box office gold. It was just after Star Wars and everybody wanted to see films about heroes and princesses, battles and destiny. Space opera required costly effects but anybody could slum it in the desert. Marc Singer made a passable low-rent Luke with sufficient muscle for the semi-naked swordplay, and Rip Torn could always be relied upon to ham it up in a villainous role. With Tanya Roberts to...
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

This Week on DVD: Limitless, Take Me Home Tonight, Dark Days: 10th Anniversary Edition

This week on DVD and Blu-ray we've got smart pills, video games and uh... Topher Grace. Major releases hitting stores today include the Bradley Cooper thriller Limitless, '80s party comedy Take Me Home Tonight starring Topher Grace and Anna Faris, and the direct-to-dvd action flick Tekken, based on the popular fighting game. Digging a little deeper, some of the week's smaller releases include indie comedy Peep World starring Michael C. Hall and Sarah Silverman, a thriller called Cracks directed by Ridley Scott's daughter Jordan, and the 10th Anniversary Edition of Dark Days, Marc Singer's documentary about the homeless population living in New York City's subway system. Also, new to Blu-ray we have Amelie, Boyz N The Hood, and the Criterion release of Jean Cocteau's original 1946 Beauty and the Beast. What will you be buying or renting? Check out the full list of relevant releases after the jump.
See full article at FilmJunk »

“Dark Days” — A Hammer To Nail Review

(The 10th anniversary of Dark Days will be re-released through Oscilloscope Laboratories beginning Friday.) Things keep happening that make me feel old. No I don’t have any major age-related illnesses. I haven’t been getting copies of Aarp magazine in the mail. “Are you even 30 yet?” is still a legitimate question to ask me upon any encounter. For the record, I’m not (yet) 30, but still I can’t help getting the creeping sense that, in the words of LCD Soundsystem, “I’m losing my edge.” Upon learning that the Cinema Village was going to open British documentarian Marc Singer’s seminal 2000 documentary Dark Days for a week-long run to mark its 10th anniversary reissue, this creeping feeling of age’s unceasing forward progression returned. Not that Dark Days was particularly important to me as a film, although I spent a fair amount of time watching it, in theaters,
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Tribeca Takes: Marc Singer on Dark Days

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Marc Singer's seminal documentary Dark Days is an eye-opening experience that shatters the myths of homelessness by revealing a thriving community living in tunnels beneath New York City, honestly capturing their resilience and strength in their struggle to survive. Dark Days will open once again at Cinema Village this Friday (July 1), in advance of the Special Edition DVD release on July 19. Last year, we asked Singer to revisit his film, its impetus, and how making the film has changed him. Tribeca: What led you down into the tunnels? Marc Singer: My journey began after a chance meeting with a man by the name of John Murphy, a part-time poet and full-time heroin addict. John had been living homeless on the streets of New York City for a little over six years, and he was tired. He was tired of being tired. With my
See full article at Tribeca Film »

If Only V's Finale Could've Saved The Series

  • TV.com
ABC's V struggled from the beginning. A product of remake-happy executives, V instantly jogged our memories back to a time when Marc Singer ran around in cheesy sci-fi uniforms blasting lizards with his ray gun. But let's be honest here: The remake never lived up to our unfair expectations, failing to take advantage of a solid cast and high-tech effects.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself giddy with delight over "Mother's Day," the series finale of V, which aired last night. With the show's fate all but laid out before it, the producers shrugged and said, "To...  More >>
See full article at TV.com »

V (2009): Canceled by ABC: Morena Baccarin, Elizabeth Mitchell

V (2009) has been canceled by ABC. The V remake TV series starring Morena Baccarin, Elizabeth Mitchell had been met with praise and dismay since its outset. V was about “an extraterrestrial race [who arrive] on Earth with seemingly good intentions, only to slowly reveal their true machinations the more ingrained into society they become.” The great season 2 finale, written about here: TV Review: V (2009): Season 2, Ep. 10: Mother’s Day and pictured here: V (2009): Mother’s Day: High Resolution Photos, spoke of the science fiction TV series that could have been, maybe not as great as Bablyon 5, Fringe, Space: Above and Beyond, the new Battlestar Galactica series, Firefly or Farscape but there was geek sustenance to be had. I have to give V writers Gregg Hurwitz and Scott Rosenbaum credit for the last episode, as I did in its review. They threw everything they had into the last episode and it showed.
See full article at Film-Book »

Exclusive Interview: ‘V’ Showrunner Scott Rosenbaum Dishes on Season 3 Expectations

If you’re like us, you’re anxiously awaiting news on if V will get another season from the powers that be at ABC.

We recently got the opportunity to rap with V Showrunner (Executive Producer and writer) Scott Rosenbaum about the show and what we saw in that crazy season finale and in Season 2 in general. With the network shortening the season order from 13 episodes to 10, Rosenbaum and the team of writers had to scramble to shift around plotlines, which resulted in a rush to close some threads and leave others completely dropped. If you thought Hobbes complete disappearance was random, then he explains just what happened there.

In addition to explaining some of the shortcomings of the second season, Rosenbaum gives us some points on what he believes the third season is going to be like. Expect more action, more bloodshed, more war between the humans and the visitors.
See full article at BuzzFocus.com »
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