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Tim Bradstreet

Non-Mainstream Film

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I watched A Christmas Tale, The Reader, Rachel Getting Married over the past week. All 3 of them were pretty awesome. I found myself liking Rachel Getting Married the most.

 

Excited to see Che this weekend. MN is getting the full roadshow edition.

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Henry Poole is Here

 

Director: Mark Pellington

 

Writer: Albert Torres

 

 

Plot: Henry Poole abandons his business to spend what he believes are his remaining days alone. The discovery of a "miracle" by a nosy neighbor ruptures his solitude and restores his faith in life.

 

 

Luke Wilson ... Henry Poole

 

Radha Mitchell ... Dawn

 

Adriana Barraza ... Esperanza

 

George Lopez ... Father Salazar

 

Cheryl Hines ... Meg

 

Richard Benjamin ... Dr. Fancher

 

 

Filming Locations: La Mirada, California

 

 

This, to me, is a character study of a man who has been told he is dying in a few weeks and wants to be left alone with that burden. Adriana Barraza is the nosy, caring, way-too-Catholic next-door neighbor who discovers an 'image' on Henry's wall that she believes is a miracle. This attracts far more attention than Henry wants. Henry is intent on ending his days with booze, Krispy Creme donuts, and pizza. I think Luke Wilson was well cast as Henry Poole. Radha Mitchell plays the other next-door neighbor with a young, troubled daughter. George Lopez has a straight role here as a priest.

 

This film was only out in theaters for about two minutes, so I doubt very many people saw it there. It just came out on DVD. It's a thoughtful, introspective film. In the featurette about the making of, the director talked about the film being about the power of hope. But I think it is also about the power of words, and the power of caring. Even if it's just a little bit. Something to make us all think, what are we here for.

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Paperhouse

 

1988, starring Charlotte Burke, Glenne Headley and Ben Cross

Director: Bernard Rose

 

Sickley pre-adolescent girl draws creepy little pictures of a spooky house, which start to come "alive" in her dreams and grow progressively darker and scarier as her condition deteriorates. A dark children's fantasy that is most definitely not meant for kids at all, this one still sends the same chills up the back of my neck now I'm in my thirties as it did when I was 12. And Bernard Rose went on to direct the brilliant and haunting Candyman, of course, which makes me proud that we exported him from our little island.

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Bubba Ho-Tep

2002, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis

Director: Don Coscarelli

 

Ash as Elvis. Need I say more?

 

Oh, okay then. Elvis, hacked off with fame, swaps places with one of his impersonators to get back a taste of freedom for a bit, but then loses his chance to swap back. Instead, decades later, he ends up a decripit old codger in a nursing home with the "real" JFK, Ossie Davis, who is still alive albeit with an identity radically altered for the purposes of National Security. An Egyptian life-sucking-zombie-mummy shows up and starts offing the other elderly residents, upon which all manner of creepy shenanigans and black humour ensue.

 

Dark, off-the-wall, totally original and pant-wettingly funny. And the Special Edition DVD has a commentary with Bruce Campbell in character as Elvis - that alone must surely be worth your hard-earned £ or $. Just try not to think about the fact that Coscarelli is the man who inflicted The Beastmaster upon an unsuspecting world.

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Warlock

1989, starring Lori Singer, Julian Sands, Richard E. Grant.

Director: Steve Miner

 

Julian Sands plays the titular magic-maker, but Harry Potter he ain't. Richard E. Grant is the medieval witch-hunter who captures him... until the devil transports them both 200 years into the future to downtown LA (as you do). If the Warlock can track down and re-form the three pieces of the Evil One's "anti-bible", the whole of creation will be destroyed. Which would be bad, I suppose. Lori Singer is the spunky modern LA chick whose 20th century habits clash with Grant's carcass-wearing, whip-totin' 1800s ways.

 

Not a fraction as hokey as my half-arsed description makes it sound - it's a solid, creepy horror thriller with some great interplay between Singer and Grant and some truly shockingly nasty moments - the "possession" scene is particularly skin-tingling. The Warlock himself is bleached-blonde, walking evil incarnate - charming on the surface; a seriously nasty piece of work underneath. The effects (and it's not overly burdened with them) are a little dated, but that's the only real duff note in a clever story (written by the same fella who came up with Pitch Black).

 

Ignore the piece of shit sequel, though. It's a piece of shit.

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Koma

2004, starring Karena Lam and Angelica Lee

Director: Law Chi-Leung

 

Brilliant, supertaut psychological thriller involving murder, sex, jealousy, illegal organ donation and the best play-on-your-fears-about-dodgy-urban-myths idea I think I've ever seen. Great performances all round - Karena Lam is particularly brilliant at keeping your sympathies guessing and moving from being on her side to wondering if she's a nutter: is she the wronged, put-upon party or is there something more going on? And the ending beats 20 little Japanese girls climbing out of the telly - it's just real enough to make you double-check you've locked your front door.

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Let the right one in -

 

letrightonepost.jpg

 

I watched this yesterday and to my surprise it had so much to offer in terms of cinematography and narrative then I had expected. It was quiet refreshing to see the vampire genre being taken into an innovative direction embodying rudiments of adolescent romance and horror.

 

The story revolves around a lonely 12 yr old boy named Oskar… with no friends he is easily singled out at school and bullied on a habitual basis. Upon meeting Eli, a young girl who moves in next to Oskar, a companionship is swiftly developed and consequently leading them both down a disconcerting path.

 

I really don’t want to giveaway to much information but I recommend this film.

 

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1139797/

 

We watched this on DVD a couple of nights ago. From netflix. An interesting story, and so different from typical vamp fare. It's dubbed into English and we also put the English subtitles on, which was funny because they often differed. One thing I appreciated about this film is that the "violent" scenes were not particularly graphic. A lot is left to the viewer's imagination. In other words, it didn't treat me like an unimaginative moron.

 

The ending can be considered a happy ending or a sad ending, depending on your point of view. My first impression was that it was a happy ending. But the more I thought about the characters afterward, the sadder it became to me.

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The subtitles for the DVD were apparently so shitty, that the movie is being released again with the original theatrical subtitles.

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The subtitles for the DVD were apparently so shitty, that the movie is being released again with the original theatrical subtitles.

 

I'm glad I did not buy the DVD yet. Doing some checking, but it looks like the company issued a statment on the 24th of March, give or take a few days, saying that they are aware and new DVD's and Blu Reys are being pressed. Bad news is that if you have the "butchered" disk they will not replace it for you (like Fox did with Slumdog) and that the they are not pulling the disks from circulation. That really sucks because I can not find a copy and will have to order it online, so who knows what will show up. The only way to tell the diffrence is by looking at the specs on the back of the box. re-issue will have subs for ENGLISH (Theatrical), SPANISH.

 

I guess the mix up was made when they wanted to cut word count on the subtitles, so they reinterpreted the film from the theatrical subs.

Who the hell gets paid to come up with these ideas? I guess a lot of the dark humor was lost. If a film is done right, and from all the reviews, this one was, everything on the screen has a purpose, including diologe.

 

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Ninja Terminator

 

Trailer -

 

What do you get when you combine a ninja with a toy robot and a Garfield phone -

 

 

ninja_terminator_poster_01.jpg

 

This review is by ba.harrison from IMDB -

 

An unbelievably daft effort from Godfrey Ho, the king of crap ninja movies, Ninja Terminator sees Ho's regular star Richard Harrison once again donning his natty camouflage suit to fight a variety of similarly garbed bad guys, all the while performing totally unnecessary cartwheels and back-flips.

 

This time, Harrison plays Harry, one of a trio of good ninjas who steal a precious, magical golden statue from their evil boss. When one of the trio is killed and part of the statue is taken back, Harry enlists the help of his friend Jaguar Wong (who is a cool-as-ice, high-kicking bad-ass) to protect his dead friend's sister and try and retrieve the missing piece.

 

Despite the story making little or no sense for most of the running time (which is what you get when you splice together footage from two different films, as is apparently the case here), Ninja Terminator is still well worth watching thanks to countless completely insane moments guaranteed to make you howl with laughter: watch in awe as Harry proves that no melon is a match for his ninja sword skills; be puzzled as a breakfast of live crabs suddenly turns nasty; wonder why the hell Hwang Jang Lee is wearing a bad blonde wig for most of the film; giggle uncontrollably as a toy robot menacingly delivers video tapes; and then check ebay to see if you too can get a cool Garfield phone like the one Harry uses.

 

Amongst all this unexplainable, but very entertaining silliness, there are also plenty of pretty good martial arts fights (Jack Lam, as Jaguar Wong, is excellent and displays loads of decent moves before his inevitable battle against super-kicker Lee). Throw in a couple of gratuitous sex scenes, and some awful dialogue, and what you have is one hell of a fun film.

 

 

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395px-Phantom_of_the_Paradise_movie_poster.jpg

 

 

 

Phantom of the paradise

 

I saw this musical horror comedy movie for the first time last week and coldnt believe i had never heard of it before. directed by brian de palma with music by paul williams and starring williamly finley and jessica harper this is one of those films that made no money or impact when it was originnaly released but is worth watching just because its so unique and suprisingly entertainig.

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Phantom of the paradise

 

I saw this musical horror comedy movie for the first time last week and coldnt believe i had never heard of it before. directed by brian de palma with music by paul williams and starring williamly finley and jessica harper this is one of those films that made no money or impact when it was originnaly released but is worth watching just because its so unique and suprisingly entertainig.

 

I never saw this one either, but remember it profoundly from my young subconscious trying to figure out what it was all about. Thanks for pointing it out.

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Resurrection

 

resurrection-locandina.gif

 

Plot summary from IMDB: Chicago homicide detectives John Prudhome and Andrew "Andy" Hollingsworth are assigned to investigate a gruesome murder, and both become entangled in the plot of a serial killer whose goal is to recreate the body of Christ.

 

It's certainly no Se7en or Silence of the Lambs, but still a very good thriller and one of the best Russell Mulcahy films, who brings a solid visual style and atmosphere to the piece. It was a reunion with Christopher Lambert, who gives one of his good performances and gets supported by Leland Orser. David Cronenberg has a small part as a priest ;)

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Shallow Grave (1994)- directed by Danny Boyle. Starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, and Kerry Fox

It's an awesome character study of 3 roommates who suddenly come into a large sum of money. I wont tell you how they got it, or anything else, cause I think the less you know, the more you'll enjoy it. Needless to say, its amazing what the human psyche can handle.

 

shallow_grave.jpg

 

 

I 'second' the "REC" nod. Its out on US dvd next week (July 14th). Seriously, go check this one out. And watch the subtitles dammit!

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Black Snake Moan

 

blacksnakemoan.jpg

 

From IMDB: A God-fearing bluesman takes to a wild young woman who, as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, looks everywhere for love, never quite finding it.

 

 

It's a very cool Blues movie, although it's not so much about the music (featuring Black Snake Moan, Stackolee, Just Like A Bird Without A Feather...) as it is about the dramatic relationship between the characters, especially Samuel L. Jackson's and Christina Ricci's. Great performances!

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The Wilby Conspiracy (1975)

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073901/

 

An unwitting Michael Caine gets caught up in his lawyer girlfriend's (Prunella Gee) attempt to reunite a recently released Poiter w/ a stash of hidden diamonds. The rapport b/w Caine & Poiter is fabulous. Great airplane chase scene w/ Rutger Hauer as the pilot and Excalibur's Merlin as the evil Afrikaner police chief. This is one of the first American movies to come out squarely against S. African apartheid.

 

 

Wilby_conspiracy.jpg

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The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073341/

 

Another Michael Caine film that I adore. An exquisite example of the perfect Bro-mance.

 

Adapted f/ a Rudyard Kipling story by John Huston, Sean Connery & Michael Caine are ex-British Officer's who travel deep into the mountains of Central Asia, by way of India, to the fictional land of Kafiristan. They become gods b/c the locals think Connery is the reincarnation of Alexander the Great. Great witty banter in lush locations. Got 4 Academy nominations, second to last time Edith Head was nominated for Costume Design. Music by Maurice Jarre.

 

Even back in '75 they said they didn't make 'em like this anymore!

 

 

269366.1020.A.jpg

 

 

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I just watched this Canadian flick:

 

Adoration

 

I found it interesting, the way it delved into things like, motivations, guilt, family function and dysfunction, what we choose to keep and what should be left behind, and how we humans communicate, or not.

 

This is a snip from a review on Netflix:

 

"The story moves seamlessly back and forth in time as events are revealed to be fiction or reality, and complex characters are fully developed. The script leaves you guessing where the story is going next right down to the last scene. I loved some of the modern touches - internet video split screen chat rooms (Simon's laptop) to discuss heavy ethical/moral/cultural issues of the essay in virtual discussion groups. The use of video functions of Simon's digital camera in many key scenes. This is a complex challenging story that requires you stick with it, and notice the details, to fully appreciate the ideas being presented."

 

 

Judging from the reviews I scanned through, this is a film folks either enjoy very much or can't stand. You do have to stay engaged while watching it because the time line skips all over the place as the characters are revealed. But it was easy for me to follow. It's rated R for a few spatters of the ubiquitous F-word. No nudity or guns blowing holes in people.

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Electra Glide in BLue

 

electraglideinblue1973.jpg

 

Directed by: James William Guercio

 

Written by:Robert Boris and Rupert Hitzig

 

Starring: Robert Blake, Billy (Green) Bush, Mitchell Ryan, Jeannine Riley, Elisha Cook

 

This is a cool little movie right here, it's kinda like the anti-Easy Rider, beautifully shot by Conrad Hall I might add. Robert Blake plays a motorcycle riding highway patrol officer who is straight laced and by the book, and seeming finds himself sympathizing with the hippies that everyone else around him detest. It really is a great under seen film from the '70s.

 

Interesting little facts about this. It is the only film directed by James William Guercio who was the producer for Chicago, and the band actually pops up all through the movie.

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