New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week
Jul 17, 2012 / 10:00 am
New out on DVD/Blu-ray for Tuesday July 17.
Directed by the filmmaking team that brought us the shark thriller Open Water, this new horror movie deals with a young woman, who upon being trapped inside her family's lakeside retreat, finds that she is unable to contact the outside world as events become increasingly ominous in and around the house.
The gimmick of this film is that it is supposedly shot in a single uninterrupted take in order to give it a real time feel. Elizabeth Olsen - who wowed audiences with her fabulous performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene - is the star of this creepy and at times unsettling fright flick. There is some really genuine tension and atmosphere on display here as well as some definite make you jump moments of terror that will keep horror fans satisfied. Unfortunately, I found the twist ending a little too telegraphed and predictable and it took away some of the impact of the film for me. It wasn't terrible though and Olsen gives another riveting performance.
I would recommend it for those of you who want to turn the lights off at night and get spooked.
Get the Gringo
Mel Gibson stars as Driver, who upon being apprehended by the Mexican authorities, is sent to a hardcore prison where he enters the strange and dangerous world of "El Pueblito". Not an easy place for an outsider, unless it's with the help of someone who knows the ropes - a 10-year-old kid.
Get the Gringo is the directorial debut of Adrian Grünberg, who co-wrote the screenplay along with Mel Gibson. It's a gritty and unrelentingly violent action film that is full of twists and turns and a lot of bad people. It barely made a blip on the radar upon its release and went unnoticed by many, probably due to Mel Gibson's personal problems that have seemingly soured the studios on promoting him. I happen to think that Mel is a really solid actor though and this hard-nosed role harkens back to his early days as an action icon.
I was thoroughly entertained by it and I would suggest that everyone go out and "Get the Gringo".
The Three Stooges
Left on a nun's doorstep, Larry, Curly and Moe grow up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuking and woo-woo-wooing their way to uncharted levels of knuckleheaded misadventure. Out to save their childhood home, only The Three Stooges could become embroiled in an oddball murder plot... while also stumbling into starring in a phenomenally successful TV reality show. This film is directed by the Farrelly Brothers (Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary) and stars Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos as the stooges.
It is with deep regret and sadness that I must report I was unable to see this surefire masterpiece in time to inform you all of its no doubt intellectually stimulating quality and depth. Alas, I fear that this nuanced and subtle piece of comedic genius will forever be remembered as the one that got away. For those of you planning to see it, please I beg of you, do not ruin it for me... I couldn't bear the thought of that.
Also out this jam-packed week is the sci-fi action thriller Lockout with Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace that looks like Taken set in outer space, the charming romantic drama Salmon Fishing in the Yemen with Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, the heartfelt ensemble dramedy Friends with Kids, the Spanish language Will Ferrell comedy Casa di Mi Padre, and Intruders, a suspense film starring Clive Owen.
Blast From the Past
Continuing on from last week, here are my top ten films of 1987.
10. Fatal Attraction - This potboiler of a thriller probably scared men off of having extra marital affairs for a little while anyways. Glenn Close is terrifying as an obsessed woman out to get Michael Douglas after the two have an illicit affair. Nominated for 6 Academy Awards, Fatal Attraction was the highest grossing film of 1987 and spawned many knockoff thrillers over the years. This was one of the best of its kind though.
9. Roxanne - This sweet and charming comedy starring Steve Martin and Darryl Hannah was a modern retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. Shot in Nelson, B.C., Roxanne is a light and funny film that is thoroughly enjoyable and witty. Just a nice movie that is suitable for the whole family.
8. The Lost Boys - You kids can keep your Twilight films, I'll take The Lost Boys any day for fun teenage vampire thrills. Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric and the dynamic 80's duo of Corey Haim and Corey Feldman star in this exciting and scary horror film that made vampires cool long before Twilight fans were even born.
7. The Last Emperor - The winner of 9 Oscars, this is a beautiful and sweeping epic about the life of Pu Yi the last Emperor of China. Stunningly directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, it is a sumptuous visual feast full of emotion and poignancy. While quite long and languidly paced it is still a wonderful achievement in filmmaking.
6. Planes, Trains and Automobiles - This John Hughes directed gem is one of the funniest movies from the 80's period. Steve Martin and John Candy are hilarious and superb in this great holiday time road trip comedy. It's one of those that demands repeated viewings.
5. Predator - Arnold Schwarzenegger at his sci-fi action best, battling a scary species of alien sent down to the jungles of Guatemala in order to hunt humans. It may be thinly plotted but it provides plenty of slam bang action and cool creature effects. A really fun thrill ride that spawned multiple sequels and offshoots.
4. Evil Dead 2 - This is a cult classic. The second film in Sam Raimi's trilogy is a hilarious and gory horror film that is hyper-kinetic and endlessly entertaining. Bruce Campbell reprises his brilliant role as the shotgun and chainsaw wielding "Ash" battling evil forces in the woods. I've seen it multiple times and I love this series. So much fun!
3. The Princess Bride - A wonderful blend of fantasy, romance, adventure and comedy, The Princess Bride is one of those films to just cherish. Even though it seemingly strikes a chord more with the female members of our species, I know just as many guys that dig the heck out of this picture. From its whimsical tone to its adventurous spirit it strikes the perfect balance to become one of the greatest family films out there. Finding someone out there who doesn't like it seems "inconceivable".
2. Lethal Weapon - One of the best action films out there and the one that typified the buddy cop genre. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are great as Riggs and Murtaugh the reluctant partners thrust together in a homicide investigation. Tons of action, stunts and excitement make Lethal Weapon one of my favourite thrill rides of the 80's.
1. Full Metal Jacket - Directed by the genius Stanley Kubrick, this film follows a group of U.S. Marines through their boot camp training and the experiences of two Marines in particular during the Vietnam War. Starring Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio and R. Lee Ermey (who is just fabulous as the viciously insulting drill sergeant), this is probably my favourite film about the Vietnam War. An intensely powerful portrait of what soldiers must endure, Kubrick once again fashioned a masterpiece to go along with all of his other brilliant work. I am a huge Kubrick fan and Full Metal Jacket delivers the goods in spades.
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