A strangely beautiful and violent thriller from cult classic director Miike, who, in recent years has slowed down and mellowed a little but swinging back with this sophisticated drama with slick fighting scenes and the odd touches of animation and quirkness really elevates an already brilliant story that’s acted out to perfection.
Miikes track record of outlandish movies really made a huge impact, and after a short stint of re rebooting iconic Japanese cinematic pieces such as Seven Samurai and Hara Kiri, his approach to bigger and bolder cinema has been fine tuned. This charming little piece follows Leo, an emerging boxer who is facing the darkest chapter of his life after he passes out in the ring and his doctor warns him that he might have a brain tumor. On his way home he rescues a screaming woman who’s being chased by an unknown man and the two catch feelings.
There’s a necessary moment near the end of Sabastian Lelios eye opening movie where the lead is jogging with her dog, a carefree run as her favourite track plays and she can finally take a deep breath and attempt to just live the best life, like anyone else. It’s at this moment where we, as an audience, can also take a breath as the entire film is just filled with small minded petty people who do nothing to wind up anyone with a rational thinking mind as the film zeroes in on intolerance and unbiased love.
A Fantastic Woman is a strangely lighthearted take on a pretty deep and complex story. And there was definitely a vibe going on at the time as it almost duped with Disobedience an equally challenging love struggle but with a heavy religious setting. This thought provoking movie will drag you to places that you wouldn’t imagine a person would need to go based purely on their choice of gender.
AKA Mortal Kombat, The Return of the Five Deadly Venoms
Director: Chang Cheh Starring: Philip Kwok, Chen Kuan Tai, Chiang Sheng, Kuo Chui, Lo Mang, Lu Feng, Wang Lung Wei .Hong Kong. 1h 40m
Just when I was positive that the Five Deadly Venoms was the best 70’s martial arts film, it turns out that the (lose) sequel actually outdoes the cult classic. In a similar vein the film runs through a deadly storyline featuring a diabolical jaded kung fu master and a group of unlikely heroes.
When a brilliant wealthy fighter’s family is brutally attacked, his wife left slaine and his son now armless, the Tiger expert finds a way to restore his son’s arms with mechanical extensions but now with a blackened heart he bullies and terrifies his hometown. Finding pleasure in crippling those to cross his pat, Four of his latest victis form a bond and seek revenge, A hawer, who has been blinded, a blacksmith, made mude and deaf and a drifter whose legs are cut off all attempt to band together with a fighter who is known as tier “idiot friend”. While finding ingenious ways to overcome their disabilities they conjure a cunning plan to take on the evil gang and the four are tested time and time again and demonstrate strengths and abilities.
Director: Adrian Lyne Starring: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer,Ellen Latzen, Stuart Pankin, Ellen Foley, Fred Gwynne, Meg Mundy, Lois Smith. USA. 1h 59m
“So Andrew’s new girlfriend is turning out to be a right bunny boiler” “A what?” “You know.. Fatal Attraction.. “
This was the conversation that made me realise how influential movies have been on the English language. The term Bunny Boiler, referring to a person, usually a woman who’s a bit psychotic and clingy, was born from this literal potboiler that, when it really gets going, is hard to look away from.
Adrian Lyne went straight from 9 1/2 weeks (1986) to Fatal Attraction and then straight into Jacob’s Ladder (1990). He’s often quoted to be intrigued to make moves that create a discussion, a movie that’s not forgotten by dinner time and still arguing about it the next day is a winner for him and it’s safe to stay that this run of movies all hold a powerful grip on their audiences many years later. His ability to pull the carpet on an unsuspecting audience and touch on surreal symbolism is quite masterful.
Director: Pedro C Alonso Starring: Eddie Marsan, Paul Anderson, Ivana Baquero, Richard Brake, Oliver Coppersmith, Alexis Rodney, Anthony Head. UK. 1h 37m
After a duo of short movies Pedro C Alonso was given free range for his first feature film. Seemingly going balls to the wall with his daring psychological thriller, it turns a night of work into a night of hell for one highly secretive and very questionable DJ. Alonso seems to enjoy throwing his characters into a vivid world maximised by raging colours sound and violence, chuck in a pair of leather gloves and more eyeliner and we’d have a semi decent Giallo.
Director: Bennett Miller Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michel Hall .USA. 2h 14m
My first viewing of Foxcatcher was quite surreal, I was more mesmerized by how different the cast looked, Carell’s beak nose and Ruffalo’s hairline are almost mystical, so much great effort went into the prosthetics and character development. This high level of glamour is only a part of a riveting tale of shocking depravity, orchestrated by a filthy rich individual pulling the strings in his own dangerous game, involving the USA Wrestling entry into the 1988 Olympic games. Continue reading Foxcatcher (2014)→
Director: Emilio Miraglia (as Hal Brady). Starring. Henry Silva, Beba Loncar, Keenan Wynn, Carlo Palmucci, Pier Paolo. USA. 1h 33m.
Emilio Miraglia has conjured up a vibrant Italian noir-crime thriller from a story co-written by Massimo De Rita who wrote the debut hit for Miraglia , Assassinsation (1967) which also stars Henry Silver who returns in this follow up as the heavy handed Inspector Sterling, a police inspector whose son has been brutally killed outside the family home in retaliation to his police work. Known for his brilliant Giallo and Poliziottesco movies such as The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972) and The Night Evelyn Came out of her Grave (1971), Miraglia’s successes came after these hard hitting Poliziottesco classics. Continue reading Quella carogna dell’ispettore Sterling / Frame Up / Falling Man (1968)→
Director: Andrew Currie. Starring. K’sun Ray, Billy Connolly, Carrie-Anne Moss, Henry Czerny, Tim Blake Nelson, Dylan Baker. Canada. 1h 33m.
For a while the Zombie revival was starting to get rather annoying, every Tom Dick and Harry were making a Zombie Vs [Insert Ludacris foe here] movie and for me it got to the level of almost being insulting to the craft of filmmaking. But every now and again somebody take the initiative to have a solid narrative before filming and thus we have Fido, for me one of the most unusual and genuinely funny comedy horrors for some time. Continue reading Fido (2006)→
Director: Don Leifert. Starring. Don Leifert, Richard Nelson, Elaine White, George Stover, Greg Dohler, USA. 1h 30m.
A gothic styled ghoul horror with a touch of mom and pa sleuths is the strange workable combination that Don Leifert had forged together for his follow up to the B Movie cult classic The Alien Factor (1978). Starring in his second feature but taking on an entirely different role is adaptability is certainly one of his strong points and I have to say despite all the limitations with budget, he seems constantly determined to develop wonderful psychotropic movies and I think I’m a bit of a fan already and I’m only 2 films in. Continue reading Fiend (1980)→
Director: Jack Cardiff Starring: Donald Pleasence, Tom Baker, Brad Harris, Julie Ege. UK. 1h 32m
I’d just like to give a heads up, that I mean no disrespect with my terminology in this review. I am utilizing a lot of the terminology used in the movie, purely to keep it synced.
This movie feels like a mashup between Andy Mulligansinsane indie horror Blood(1973) and the early cult classic The Freaks(1932) byTod Browning. Combining newfangled science fiction ideas with unthinkable genetic splicing with animals and plants. The film is spiced up with trippy psychedelics, a touch of nudity and fascinating stop motion visuals, and it makes for a very interesting psychotropic creature feature that has to be seen to be believed, and all from acclaimed academy awarding winning director Jack Cardiff who gave us such classics as The Red Shoes (1948) and Black Narcissus (1947). Continue reading Freakmaker / The Mutations (1970)→