Tag Archives: dvd

Exit – Starring Mads Mikkelsen – Out Now

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My review of tense Swedish big business crime film Exit is over at Flickering Myth now… go go go Mads!

Hell is a City – Out Now On DVD

My Review of flawed yet intriguing curiosity Brit noir Hell is a City is over at Flickering Myth now….

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The Raid – Out Now on DVD and Blu-ray

My review of the excellent martial arts thriller ‘The Raid’ from writer/director Gareth Evans is over at Flickering Myth now…

[REC] Genesis Released Today (3 September)

This review also appears over at Memorable TV...

A veritable car-wreck of a movie, REC Genesis systematically subverts everything that made the first two Spanish zombie virus films so compelling and leaves us with a stinking, putrid, ill-conceived mess. And that should definitely not be viewed as any kind of a recommendation!

Directed and written by Paco Plaza – notably without Jaume Balagueró, with whom he shared creative duties on REC 1 and 2 – the film shambles through a graveyard of unfunny jokes, non-existent scares and puny acting. Dispensing early on with the handheld camera approach of the first two instalments, the clear intention (summed up by a top of the range camera getting smashed to bits by a blander than bland hero figure) is to put the action into a more Hollywood-like setting. This as it turns out is a minor mistake. The real villains of the piece are a lame setting, a horrible mish-mash of styles and a confused, badly arranged script. Seemingly attempting to channel Tarantino, The Evil Dead films and the worst excesses of the Romero imitators, what’s left is a boring, uninspired, festering corpse of undead-waste.

The film begins with the wedding of Koldo and Clara, presented in familiar camcorder fashion and as it turns out, the only reasonably worked out segment of the film. What follows is infected (see what I did there?) by a terminal incompetence and dismal production. Aside from the dreadful acting and written on a fag packet script, this travesty also includes a shockingly bad soundtrack, summed up by cheese-ball symphonic strings mixed with flamenco renditions of The Damned’s Eloise. Torture horror certainly…

Apparently Balagueró is returning for the fourth instalment, but how much damage he can repair to the wounded franchise remains to be seen. Probably best to pretend that this one never happened…

This Must Be The Place – Out now on DVD and Blu-ray

 

This review also appears over at Memorable TV

Paolo Sorrentino’s (Il Divo, The Consequences of Love) intriguing and poignant American debut arrives on DVD and Blu-ray after a largely successful theatrical run earlier this year.

Focusing on Sean Penn’s retired goth-rocker Cheyanne, the movie plots a rambling course from the weary Dublin home he shares with his life-partner Frances McDormand to America, in search of the Nazi war criminal that tormented his father in Auschwitz. Along the way the kohl-eyed, child-like Cheyanne encounters a variety of weird and wonderful characters, while the majesty of the American countryside is beautifully captured by Sorrentino and his team.

A soundtrack largely conducted by David Byrne, Will Oldham and the Irish vocalist Michael Brunnock – performing as the amusingly named, and completely untrue – The Pieces of Shit – adds a serene, stoned lilt to proceedings, and marvellously matches the mood of the subject matter. Byrne himself makes a gloriously odd cameo, performing the title song and then offering Cheyanne some sage-like advice, appearing angel-like bathed in light. It’s a scene that reminds the audience of Sorrentino’s strengths in subverting the supposed reality of a situation and blurring it in dreamlike fashion.  It is also featured in extended form on the extra features.

The discs come with a good supply of extra features which cast further light onto this fascinating film. Interviews with Byrne, Sorrentino and various crew members (but sadly not Penn) are informative and entertaining but it is with the deleted scenes that fans of the movie truly strike gold. These – particularly the scenes showing Penn’s Cheyanne watching an 80′s music video of him and his band performing ‘Every Single Day is a Weary Wait’ (by Italian band Nino Bruno e le 8 tracce) in full youthful Cure/-style glory – give a better background to the character of the lead and help to clear up some of the motivation and emotional frailty of the character. All in all, a worthy home release for a memorable and truly unusual film.

This Must Be The Place is out now on DVD and Blu-ray

 

Dark Mirror Out Now on DVD

 

The following review also appears over at www.memorabletv.com

Seemingly buried since 2008, the psychological horror film Dark Mirror finally gets a proper release on DVD. Starring E.R.’s Lisa Vidal as photographer Debbie, the film follows a neat line linking haunting, possession and mental instability with light and dark camera action. Not nearly as scary as it should be, it nevertheless provides a couple of jumps and a reasonable amount of food for thought.

Independently produced and helmed by writer/director Pablo Proenza, Dark Mirror at times suffers from a somewhat confused and convoluted script, but this seems apt as the central character herself spends much of the film in an advanced state of delirium! Taken for what it is, a light horror story with some imaginative touches, Dark Mirror has more than enough to warrant 82 minutes of your time.

Solid performances from Vidal and David Chisum as Debbie’s career driven hubby Jim plus an effective ambiguity help Dark Mirror to shine ever so darkly…

 

I.D. Remastered DVD and Blu-ray Released 14th May

My review of hooligan classic I.D. is over at Memorable TV… go Shadwell!

Cell 211 – Out Now on DVD…

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It’s been out on DVD since Jan – but it’s well worth a look. Review follows…

On its limited release back in July of last year, Daniel Monzon’s Cell 211, a gritty, disturbing look at the Spanish penal system, may have passed many potential audience members by. This would have been a great shame, because it is a taut, effective and grimly compelling prison drama.

Based around a wonderfully inventive concept – an inexperienced guard trapped in a riot has to pretend to be a convict to avoid being killed. It is a beautifully simple idea – and one that has enough twists and turns in it to keep every kind of audience on its toes.

Central to the drama is the relationship between the guard Juan (Alberto Ammann) and the leader of the riotous prison mob, Malamadre – literally ‘bad mother’ in English (Luis Toser). Juan must win his trust if he is going to survive, and the two performances are intense, believable, and even strangely likeable.

The action, when it hits is brutal, uncompromising and bleak.  No doubt some will find some of it a bit too much but for fans of realistic prison dramas this is a sure fire winner.

Extras include an interview with the director and a making of documentary.