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Showing posts from September 8, 2013

Review: Freedomland

Julianne Moore plays a white woman who walks into an emergency room claiming to have been carjacked by a black man while coming home from the projects as a volunteer worker. Samuel L. Jackson is the police officer assigned to her case, and it’s not long before he learns that Moore’s young son was in the car at the time. Thus, the case becomes far more immediate. Meanwhile, the predominantly black local residents seem increasingly closer to revolting as the police presence in their community becomes greater. Greater, perhaps, than would be the case if it were a black child, and this sees the residents start to resent the previously well-regarded Moore for supposedly bringing this police presence to their community (the ‘hood is put on lockdown while the investigation is carried out). Jackson, who clearly has a foot in both camps (which both sides clearly resent him for) is uncomfortably forced to play piggy-in-the-middle, and occasionally becomes collateral damage in the scuffle. Altho…

Review: Dead Again

We get two timelines here; In 1940s LA, a bearded, slightly-accented Sir Kenneth Branagh stars as Roman Strauss, an expat-German composer/conductor who is arrested and convicted of the murder of his wife Margaret (Emma Thompson). He had apparently accused her of having an affair with an American reporter (a sleazy-looking Andy Garcia). Roman claims he’s innocent right up to his execution. In present day L.A., Branagh again appears as a slick PI given the task of identifying a woman (Emma Thompson yet again) who has no memory or voice. The investigation leads him to an eccentric antiques dealer and hypnotist (Derek Jacobi) who puts Thompson through hypnosis, thinking that a past trauma may be the key. Under hypnosis, Thompson (who eventually regains her voice) has visions of Roman and Margaret that she just can’t shake, making her suspect that Branagh (who looks like Roman, naturally) is going to kill her, despite the two getting closer together. Wayne Knight turns up as Branagh’s shon…

Review: Cannibal Holocaust

Robert Kerman stars as a professor venturing on the request of studio executives to the Amazon to retrace the steps of a documentary crew (Carl Gabriel Yorke and Francesca Ciardi among them) who have gone missing. He finds their documentary footage, and after getting back to the US, he views it. He becomes shocked at the gross violence and depravity by not just the native tribes, but the doco crew, who seem to have lost their minds out there in the jungle and pissed off the natives in the process. Things deteriorated to the point where the difference between the natives and the crew seems awfully murky at best.

Directed in 1980 by Ruggero Deodato (the not-bad “Cut and Run”) and scripted by Gianfranco Clerici, this is one of those infamously controversial films with such extreme content that a great many people will loathe it or might not even be able to finish watching it (Though with that title, what are you expecting?). In fact, of all those films (which include such infamous titles…