Director: Takeshi Kitano.
Starring. Takeshi Kitano,Omar Epps,Claude Maki,Tetsuya Watari USA/Japan/France/UK. 1h 44m.
I’ll start my review by saying that I adore everything about this quirky film, even the bad bits, so buckle up for a fangirl review of what is commonly thought of as a bad movie.
It’s never easy when a foreign director attempts to break into different cinematic style, for me John Woo totally struggled with his western movies, Jean-Pierre Jeunet didn’t get much applause for Alien Resurrection but was made a god for any of his French movies, (it goes both ways) and Kitano seemed to have been lost in translation while still maintaining his signature cool style, and I think he made a wise choice in starring in the movie to try and hold on to whatever he could from his previous great titles. One of Kitano’s strong facets is that you can kinda link his character throughout his movies, growing and becoming tougher and cooler each time, if you thought he reached his peak, you’ll be mistaken he’ll level up forever. Continue reading Brother (2000)
Director: Paul Maslansky
Starring:Marki Bey, Robert Quarry, Don Pedro Colley, Betty Anne Rees, Richard Lawson, Zara Cully, Charles Robinson .USA. 1h 31m
For me this Blaxploitation thriller is a testament to Fulci’s zombie culture, with a strong vibe from a more authentic hoodoo background mixed with a strong black female lead this could be a damned near perfect blend of real gore horror but it just falls short but doesn’t fail to entertain.
Paul Maslansky managed to recreate the pure essence of a woman scorned, by killing Sugar’s lover in the opening scenes, this spurting her on the road to bitter revenge. Spicing the story up with a Fulci’s zombie hoard, the amalgamation almost works but if he had only added a bit more of a dangerous woman about town a la Pam Grier, gun fights and blades this would have been absolutely perfect. However despite its reputation of being a bit of a joke it’s still a wonderful film, just lacking some bite. Let me explain… Continue reading Sugar Hill (1974)
Director: Jurgen Roland.
Starring: Henry Silva, Herbert Fleischmann, Patrizia Gori, Horst Janson, Denes Torza. Italy/Germany. 1h 23m.
Two mobster godfathers walk into a bar, shoot the place up and try to assassinate each others children. It’s not a great joke but it’s the basis of this tough guy action movie with lashings of black comedy, overall it’s well plotted and there are some great scenes and a high body count but is it really such a classic?
A feisty Luca Messina (Silva) arrives in the stunning city of Hamburg, Germany with his gorgeous sculptured wife and family, looking to take over this ripe province with his henchmen and goons with the aim of establishing himself as the new top dog. Instantly his family settle into their new mansion while his gang start their mission to intimidate the locals and bully them into promising their allegiance. Most of the other Don’s back down apart from Otto Westermann (Fleischmann) he’s not going to let anyone crush his status and muscle in on his territory and the “Battle” commences as a tit for tat skirmishes break out all over the city as each gang tries to wear down the other. Continue reading Zinksarge Fur Die Goldjungen / Battle of the Godfathers (1973)
Director: Michael R Roskam
Starring: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Barbara Sarafian. Belgium. 2h 8m.
There is something majestically beautiful about Roskam’s savage mafia drama. That sees a man fight against his own nature using the same tools that he applies to nature for his own gains. Usually Belgium is seen as a boring country where nothing really exciting happens, but even with the crime connections in this film, they aren’t peddling class a drugs or trafficking humans, nothing that dangerous or “glamorous” instead this mafioso gang are pedding steroid laden beef, typical farmer stuff but filled with meaty treats. Continue reading Rundskop / Bullhead (2011)
Director : J C Chandor
Starring : Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Elyes Gabel .USA. 2h 5m
This film kicks off with an amazing intro song Inner City Blues by Marvin Gaye as Abel (Oscar Isaac), possibly the only carefree scene in the movie, but it good vibes dwindle rapidly but are replaced by the smooth sounds of 1981 new york, and we’re treated to a rare intense movie that mimics the smooth ruthlessness of any classic crime drama. The grit of the movie is all to do with the business transactions, keeping on the straight and narrow while in a dog eat dog world.
Continue reading A Most Violent Year (2014)