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Showing posts from June, 2014

Dreams (1990) ****

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) ****1/2

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40th anniversary restoration looks pristine and even cleaned up, the film loses none of its unease.


A Bay Of Blood (aka Twitch Of The Death Nerve) (1971) ***1/2

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Beyond The Darkness (Buio Omega) (1979) **

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Pretty dumb. The best part of this film is Goblin's score.

Broken Flowers (2005) ***1/2

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I finally got around to seeing this. I think I avoided it for a long time because I figured it was going to be another LOST IN TRANSLATION (based on the bland advertising), but it's not. The tone is different (it definitely feels like a Jarmusch film) and it's funnier (and better).

I was worried about Murray just doing his "older Bill Murray emotionless except for extremely subtle facial expressions" thing and he does, but I wasn't bothered by it. But it's actually the other characters (and actors) that interested me more - Jeffrey Wright steals the scenes that he's in,Christopher McDonaldis hilarious, Sharon Stone is great, Alexis Dzienais just...wow, and Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange and Tilda Swinton all round out the film nicely. Very pleasantly surprised.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) **** [Vincent Price Double Feature 3 Pt. 2]

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Witchfinder General (1968) ***1/2 [Vincent Price Double Feature 3 Pt. 1]

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The Straight Story (1999) ****

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Focus On Film: Episode 18 - September 2014 Criterion Titles

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Focus On FilmEpisode 18 is up!
Download the MP3 HERE.

In this episode: September 2014 Criterion CollectionTitles AnnouncementBest/Worst Of The Month MYSTIC RIVER(2003), THE DANCE OF REALITY (2013), 22 JUMP STREET(2014),I DRINK YOUR BLOOD(1970)"Criterion Most Wanted"
"Focus On Film Theme" & other music: Daniel Sardella

Criss Cross (1949) ***1/2

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A Cat In Paris - English Dub (2010) ***1/2

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1/2 * less, just because I prefer the original French version.

Original post.

The Masque Of The Red Death (1964) **** [Roger Corman Edgar Allan Poe Vincent Price Double Feature 2 Pt. 2]

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The Haunted Palace (1963) **** [Roger Corman Edgar Allan Poe Vincent Price Double Feature 2 Pt. 1]

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The Pit And The Pendulum (1961) **** [Roger Corman Edgar Allan Poe Vincent Price Double Feature Pt. 2]

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The Fall Of The House Of Usher (1960) **** [Roger Corman Edgar Allan Poe Vincent Price Double Feature Pt. 1]

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Touch (1997) **1/2

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I finished reading the book recently and wasn't aware that there was a film version until then. Despite Paul Schraderwriting the screenplay and directing and a decent cast (Bridget Fonda, Christopher Walken, Tom Arnold), this one really fails to capture that Elmore Leonard feel the way that GET SHORTY, JACKIE BROWNand OUT OF SIGHT(still the best Elmore adaptation IMO)did so well in the 90s. Which might have been hard to do anyway, as the book is quite different from most of Leonard's typical fare. Regardless, the tone of this film is scattershot, most of the actors were miscast and/or poorly adapted and the score (by Dave Grohl) is all wrong for a Leonard adaptation.
Some fun facts: Schrader originally wanted to adapt Leonard's'Rum Punch', but when Tarantinogot the rights and made JACKIE BROWN, Schrader decided to adapt 'Touch' instead. AND Fonda had roles in both films, both released in 1997!

Possession (1981) ****1/2

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Another winner from Zulawski, a director of many unsettling, inexplicable, yet fascinating and intriguing films. I haven't regretted blind buying a single one of his films from Mondo Visionand at this point I will buy any movie with his name on it.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014) ***1/2

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Solid. Better than, a lot of the time. One flat-out movie-stealing sequence with Quicksilver. But a bunch of wasted characters/actors (Bishop, Storm, Colossus, Kitty Pryde), a few dodgy CG sequences, some filler, some eye-rolling stuff. And if I can just be nit-picky, it STILL bothers me that Wolvie's chops practically touch. It just doesn't look right. Not as good as FIRST CLASS, but about on par with X2.

Cat People (1982) ***

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A very uneven film, but certainly interesting and not a lazy remake.

Forbidden Zone (1980) ****

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Movie Matters [Music] Vol. 4 - Welcome Dan, the Man with The Fitted Shirt

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We bring you the latest instalment of the Movie Matters [Music] podcast -- the spin-off series where soaring, bombastic, introspective and timeless film scores reverberate. If you've an avid appreciation of film scores or perhaps more simply a passing interest in the art of film music, hopefully this fourth volume of Movie Matters [Music], consisting of another eclectic mix of composers' work, will offer something of interest for you.

Lee is thrilled to welcome friend of the Movie Matters podcast, and recurring guest host, the musical maestro himself, Mr. Daniel Sardella (Focus On FilmThe Fitted Shirt) onto the show for his Movie Matters [Music] debut. We kick off proceedings by hearing more about Dan and his podcasting and musical endeavours. We then reveal more of our tastes in film scores by sharing and discussing a mixture of chosen tracks from a variety of composers.

As is our custom, we've deliberately omitted the track listing from this post in an attempt to keep th…

Coup de Torchon (1981) ***1/2

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An interesting but completely different take on Jim Thompson's novel 'Pop. 1280'.

The Dance Of Reality (2013) ****

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Another indescribable, mind-boggling, thought-provoking, beautiful and gruesome, poetic and unique film from Jodo. An early scene featuring some dodgy CGI had me slightly worried, but my fears were quickly absolved. None of his films are easy to digest and many may not know how to react to them. I'm glad that there are still some filmmakers making strange and deeply personal cinema out there.

Watch this clip. If it bothers you in any way, you have no business watching a Jodorowsky film.


Nosferatu The Vampyre - German Version (1979) ****1/2

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Used Cars (1980) ***1/2

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Time Bandits (1981) ****

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Val Lewton: The Man In The Shadows (2007) ***1/2

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Ravenous (1999) ****

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Hard Times (1975) ***1/2

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Elmore Leonard 'Touch' (1987) ***1/2

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Another solid Leonard novel. Actually, this one is a bit different - the characters, the action - than the typical Elmore novel. And I had NO idea that a film version was made, directed by Paul Schrader, starring Christopher Walkenand Bridget Fondaand with a score by Dave Grohlno less!! I have a feeling it's probably not that great, but I added it to my Netflix queue regardless.

Thunderbolt And Lightfoot (1974) ***1/2

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Jim Thompson 'Pop. 1280' (1964) ***1/2

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The fourth Jim Thompson book I've read and my least favorite so far, but still very good. I hope to see the film version, COUP DE TOURCHON, soon.