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Showing posts from January 18, 2015

The 10 Best Movies You've (Probably) Never Heard Of

Haven't done one of these in a while, they seem to get lots of hits. What can I say, I'm an attention whore, OK? Oh, and spare me the 'Well, I'veheard of all of these films' messages. Obviously it won't apply to everyone, some of you out there are just as sad as I am and have likely seen some, if not all of these films. The operative word here is 'probably'. I think I've come up with a pretty decent list of ten that is far more obscure than other lists I've read. Enjoy!

10. The Incident (1967) - Now here's a startling, starkly-photographed film. The situation is simple and the characters are a bit stock, but this is strong, disturbing stuff. Martin Sheen (in a remarkable film debut) and wild-eyed Tony Musante are memorable as a couple of psychos who board a NY train and spend the night terrorising the passengers, basically breaking them down. For kicks, it seems. Whilst we all know the story of the passengers on board the fateful flight on 9/…

Review: Saving Mr. Banks

A film that details the tug-of-war between Australian-born author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) and Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) over plans to bring Travers’ Mary Poppins character to the silver screen. Travers is a humourless, crotchety snob of a woman, who is fiercely protective of her work, worried that the House of Mouse will try and turn it into a cartoon. However, financial difficulties see her nonetheless make the journey to California to meet with avuncular Disney, and his team which include screenwriter Don DaGradi and songwriters Richard (Jason Schwartzman) and Robert Sherman (B.J. Novak). Even as she agrees to come to California, she has yet to actually sign on the dotted line, and makes everyone’s lives a living hell. At one point she even argues against the colour red being used in the film. However, flashbacks to her unhappy childhood in rural Australia with a well-meaning but deeply troubled father (Colin Farrell) and mentally unstable mother (Ruth Wilson), show there’s much …

Review: Metallica: Through the Never

A Metallica concert plays as a young roadie (Dane DeHaan) has a hellish, almost “Mad Max”-like adventure outside the arena, running an errand.

How the hell am I supposed to review this 2013 film from “Predators” director Nimrod Antal? For the most part, it’s a stylishly staged and photographed Metallica concert, and a damn good one, something akin to the brilliant Rolling Stones/Martin Scorsese “Shine a Light” at times, minus the grainy interview footage. I’m a fan of their music, well aside from “Reload” and especially the cheap knock-off “St. Anger”, an album I’ll never fork out the money for to add to my collection (Metallica seem to know the album sucks, there’s no song on that amateurish album played here). But this film wants to be more than a mere concert film, as it tries to tell a fictional story (penned by Antal and the band members themselves, apparently) happening concurrently to the concert. And told really badly, and so intermittently and half-arsed, so as to make one wo…

Review: Knock-Off

This embarrassing actioner is the worst thing that Belgian spin-kicker Jean Claude Van Damme and Hong Kong director Tsui Hark (the wildly imaginative “Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain” and “Double Team”, a previous Van Damme film of dubious merit) have ever been involved in, and it also proves to be the second dud screenplay the normally reliable Steven E. de Souza (“Commando”, “The Running Man”, “Die Hard”) has written for a Van Damme movie. He was previously the writer-director of the terrible “Street Fighter”, about which the less said, the better. Apparently Van Damme (whose other turkeys include “Derailed”, “Black Eagle”, “The Quest”, and “The Order”) had kicked the drug habit by this stage, but after watching this, I have to question if anyone at all was working sober on this ridiculous, insultingly awful film. Drugs are bad, people. Drugs are very, very bad. I mean, this film finds some truly spectacular ways to be thoroughly dreadful from its opening moment to the very end…

Review: The Bling Ring

Young Israel Broussard is brought into the fold of a group of vacuous teenage girls (Katie Chang, Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga, Claire Julien) who go online to read the whereabouts of various celebutants (Paris, Lindsay, Rachel Bilson, etc.), and turn up at their houses when they are out of town. There they hang out, goof off, and steal. The cops seem awfully slow on the uptake here, but you know it won’t be long before their larcenous exploits see them in a world of trouble. Leslie Mann plays the spaced-out mother of one of the girls.

This true story could’ve made for an interesting and enjoyable motion picture. Instead, writer-director Sofia Coppola (whose “The Virgin Suicides” and “Lost in Translation” underwhelmed me) gives us a vacuous film about vacuous people. That’s not clever, it’s stupid and entirely pointless. Welcome to the emptiest film of 2013. Aside from the fact that one of them is a bloke, one of them is Asian, and one of them is Emma Watson, the characters are empty, …

Review: Getaway

Ethan Hawke stars as a former professional race car driver who left the industry after being branded too dangerous. Now he is being forced by a mostly unseen mystery man (the decidedly un-mysterious Jon Voight, with an “Anaconda”-level bad Germanic accent), to take a heavily-armoured Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake and drive it wherever the hell he tells him to, in as reckless and destructive manner as need be. You see, Voight (who communicates with Hawke through the car’s speakers and has cameras all over the car’s interior) has nabbed Hawke’s wife and will kill her if Hawke does not do exactly what he tells him to do. Car chases and vehicular homicides en masse ensue. In Bulgaria, I might add. Meanwhile, there’s also the little matter of the car’s young owner (Selena Gomez), who hops into the passenger seat demanding Hawke give her the car back. Girl, you just walked into something you have no idea about. No worries, though, Voight lets the girl come along for the fun and games too. J…