Category Archives: Historical

Sanjuro (1962)

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Book: Shūgorō Yamamoto novel Hibi Heian
Starring: Toshiro Mifune,Tatsuya Nakadai,Keiju Kobayashi,Yūzō Kayama. Japan. 1h 95m

After the raging success of  Yojimbo, Akira Kurosawa, adapted Hibi Heian,  to incorporate the lead character and developed Sanjuro. A sort of pseudo sequel,  while carrying on all of the comedy antics from Yojimbo, this film only has one classic full on Samurai scene and it’s very end,   but it’s generally entertaining throughout, if only a little off key from the original.

A group of young Samurai,  gather together the temple to discuss the Lord Chamberlain who they believe is corrupt,  one of them tells the superintendent and he agrees to intervene and meet the secretly at the Shrine to discuss the problem.  A Ronin (Mifune)  emerges from another room where he’s been resting,  overhearing the Summarise discussing their plan, he suggests that it’s the Chamberlain who is  corrupted, they feel insulted by his claims but soon find themselves surrounded by the superintendent men proving that in fact the Ronin was correct. He persuades the men to hide while he goes out at face the  superintendent Men full on, in this altercation he manages to save the young gullible Samurai, a manager’s to win rust on both sides. Continue reading Sanjuro (1962)

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Angel Heart (1987)

Director: Alan Parker.
Starring. Mickey Rourke, Lisa Bonet, Robert De Niro. USA. 1h 53m.

In the dark final scenes of Angel Heart, after you’ve picked your jaw up and shaken the last hour and 1 hour 53 minutes out of your system the sweat dries, the blood and dust settles and it’s all quite simple to understand but it certainly didn’t’ feel that way only moments before and you begin to feel silly for not seeing all the warning signs as the detective story turns into a dark occult nightmare. Continue reading Angel Heart (1987)

U-571 (2000)

Director: Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi. UK. 1h 46m

Now that Dunkirk is breaking records, it’s time to look back at all the occasions where they got things terribly wrong with war movies.  There have been a few films that tried to eradicate the British efforts and triumphs during the second world war. Continue reading U-571 (2000)

Gangster Land (2017)

Director: Timothy Woodward Jr.

Starring: Milo Gibson, Sean Faris, Jason Patric, Mark Rolston, Peter Facinelli, Jamie-Lynn Sigler USA 1h 28m

Every now and again we have a revival of the glorification of the prohibition era, usually involving Al Capone and other characters popular because if his notoriety, 2018 kicked off with Gangster Land, an underpowered translation of the induction of “Machine Gun” Jack McGrun a one time amateur boxer who quickly climbed the ranks as Capone’s second in command. Continue reading Gangster Land (2017)

Brimstone (2016)

Director: Martin Koolhoven
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Kit Harington, Carice van Houten  USA 2h 28m

Holymoly! I actually bothered to watch the trailer for this as Guy Pearce has actually become an amazingly versatile and seasoned actor who astounds me more and more as his career grows, and he has a particular edge to him when playing “the bad guy” and it was very evident that he is the ultimate bad ass in this film and continued to out do himself until the very end. Also there was a consolation prize that Datkoa is mute in the movie (sadly not all of it) but a majority and actually had to act which was a mad change. Continue reading Brimstone (2016)

Silence (2016)

Director: Martin Scorsese.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Tadanobu Asano, Ciarán Hinds, Liam Neeson. USA/Japan. 2h 41m.
Based on: Silence by Shūsaku Endō
Remake of : Os Olhos da Ásia (1996) and Silence (1971)

Probably something that should have been released closer to Easter there was a slightly early release for the Scorsese epic Silence that sees two young Portuguese Jesuit priests follow their beloved leader to Feudal Japan when news that he’s turned his back on his faith and is now living as a Japanese citizen. Sebastião Rodrigues (Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Driver) leave without much consideration for their safety as Christianity has been outlawed and all followers of the faith are  being punished/killed in Japan . After hellish introduction scenes, the torturing of christians continues throughout which is used a tool to pluck the heartstrings. The two priests are; at first harboured by a few loyal converts who live on the fringe of society, mostly to protect themselves as they secretly live as Christians, but not content with living in a communal shed (with a priest’s hide). Rodrigues is obsessed with leaving, finding Father Cristóvão Ferreira  (Neeson) and discovering the truth, could his teacher and personal hero really have denounced christ to save himself and now be living in Japan as a citizen? But on embarking out into the world they are soon captured and the truth isn’t quite what he was expecting. Continue reading Silence (2016)

Trolljegeren / Trollhunter (2010)

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Day 15 of 31

Director : Andre Ovredal
Starring : Otto Jespersen Hans Morten Hansen Tomas Alf Larsen Johanna Mørck Knut Nærum Robert Stoltenberg Glenn Erland Tosterud. Norway. 1h 49m.

From the moment I saw the bold blue and yellow poster I was immediately drawn to this strangely stylised movie. Looking like a special shiny rare card from a collection of Monster In My Pocket I knew that this was going to be a different kind of film, just literally from its approach to it’s advertising techniques… yeah I’m that finely tuned.

So after being astonished by a poster alone I was thrilled to find that this is a found footage horror.. With TROLLS! I was so psyched I was nearly ready to explode. Continue reading Trolljegeren / Trollhunter (2010)

Haxan (1922)

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Day 8 of 31

Director: Benjamin Christensen
Starring: Astrid Holm Anna Jean-Luc Ponty (William S. Burroughs 1966 version) Benjamin Christensen as Satan/The Doctor Elisabeth Christensen Karen Winther. Sweden. 1h 31m

haxan

After reading a copy of the Malleus Maleficarum Christensen spent two years researching the history of Witchcraft and the hellish witch trials and after securing the funding he produced the most expensive silent movie of all time. Haxan is split into 4 plays, the first play details the primitive concept of the cosmos and using ancient artifacts it depicts the solar system and hell. Continue reading Haxan (1922)

Frida (2002)

Frida

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A lavish biopic, half artistic masterpiece half Spanish soap opera, this historical account of the life of Frida Khalo is a stunning as her work. I’m a little bias here as I’ve always studied artist and art literally for my whole life. And i wish there were more artist movies like this when I was school as it would have saved me a lot of reading.

It’s never easy to try and sum up an entire life in one film, it’s hard enough to summarise in it in a book, and there is always more in the book than a movie.. but this film does a great job at detailing a lot of the great features in this unusual diva’s life. Continue reading Frida (2002)

The Witch (2015)

The-Witch2

Director: Robert Eggers.
Starring : Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Wahab Chaudhry. Canada. 1h 32m.

In this conscientious and terrifying horror, the age old concepts of witchcraft, magic and possession and brought together in this bleak forest folklore film. A family are exiled by the church and forced to scratch a living on the outskirts of an ominous forest where evil is believed to lurk. Strange and devastating things begin to happen. An infant goes missing, crops fail, and the livestock starts taking on strange personalities. The family are taken to the limits of their faith and sanity as they are starved and tormented on a daily basis, the mother (Kate Dickie) seems to become possessed by an evil spirit and suspicions fall upon the eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) who is suspected to be a witch but denies the charges. As loyalties become frayed and each family member is tested in unforgettable ways, the true nature of the haunting becomes apparent but at what costs to his pious family!?

A New England Folktale

Continue reading The Witch (2015)