Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hap Ki Do aka Lady kung fu (1972)

Another great production from Golden Harvest company. Although it has amazing martial art choreography and three great Kung fu stars, Carter Wong, Sammo Hung and Angela Mao staring it could have been a classic if there was a better story. But it is still a great film. And the story goes like this. Three Chinese students of Hap ki who were living in Korea, have to return back to China after a rival with Japanese gangsters. They want to set up a new school at their homeland but they will face the same problems as a Japanese like martial arts master want to vanish them. So our fellow masters who actually are a family, will try to save their school and help the innocent and the helpless who become victims of the thugs. One of the best martial marts films in my opinion always. Give it a try and you won't regret it!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Kaitei gunkan aka Atragon (1963)

Mu Empire, which disappeared 12,000 years earlier strikes back. They use solar power and the live under the sea at the bottom of the Pacific ocean. Their wish to conquer the world again will be thwarted by a team of Japanese people. Former admiral Kosumi with his goddaughter, Makoto, photographer Susumu and his assistant Yoshito will manage to find Captain Jinguji, Makoto's father who is the constructor of the bigger and greatest submarine that ever manufactured named Atragon (aka Gotengo). This is the only man who can save the world but he hides at a secret location as he is still stubborn about Japan's loss at the World War II and his plans were about to place Japan at the top of the world. Hopefully the team will change his mind and an epic battle between the Muans and the human kind is about to start. This film is quite entertaining but it is not Toho's best production as the 'Mysterians' or 'Battle in outer space'. You can still enjoy it though.

Der Todesking aka The death king (1990)

A strange story we can find here. This film is separated to seven short stories, each taking place on a different day of the week and dedicating to the cosmogony. In seven days God created Earth and beings and then he committed suicide. Even if the production is not very high, the result is a good movie full of violence and terror. At the beginning we see a man that seems desperate and commits suicide. In the meanwhile he has sent some letters with instructions to other people to do the same thing in order to find salvation. Because he thinks life is meaningless. Then we will witness various situations of suicides and people who are starting to act strange and kill others. It is not the ordinary horror film you will find out there but it is still worth seeing it.

Skhizein - Jérémy Clapin (2008)

This is one of the most weird animations I have ever seen. Henry is our hero. After an accident with a meteor that fell on his house, he starts having difficulties at his ordinary life. The reason is that his body seems to be moved ninety one centimeters from its physical position and now it will be extremely hard for him to live with that. But problems don't stop there. With a weird plot and beautiful design this animation is one to remember for sure.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A legy aka The fly - Ferenc Rofusz (1981)

This short animation is the Oscar winner for 1981. A great effort to view the world though the eyes of an insect and especially a fly. Maybe you will find the agony of survival as in a human being. Highly recommended for fans of animations!

Icarus drownings - Alain Escalle (1996)

This beautiful animation is about Icarus. The legend who wanted to escape from his land and fly away to freedom. But he finally found a tragic end due to his vanity approaching the sun. Enjoy his superb and surrealistic trip among life and death.

Pu-239 (2006)

A desperate man, Timofey who was working for twelve years at a nuclear factory, becomes a victim of a tragical accident. He loses his job and he tries to find another way to save his family instead of his coming end. He steals some plutonium and goes to Moscow trying to sale it to the black market. He will meet Shiv, another desperate man who thinks that he is a gangster but only in his own mind. So after a mess with his gang he owns to a mafia mobster. Now it is the chance to use Timofey and gain his reputation again and more money. But his plans seem so fantastic to get real. Timofey also has nothing to loose as he already exposed to radioactivity. A great story, strong to its simplicity with good performances and a bitter taste of hope.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Kaffa (2010)

Ruling a land based on a coffee plantation, a megalomanic leader is overcome by paranoïa as he often reads the future of his empire off the marks in his coffee cup. He is often shadowed by an illusory second self that visits him in warning of an exterior threat. Succumbing to his alter ego, he builds a fort around his people who finally rise up against their ruler. This is one of the darkest and best animations I have ever seen. A masterpiece so fluid that will haunt you!

A Kaffa from A KAFFA on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lightning - Paul & Marlene Kos (1976)

Going back to the roots of experimental cinema we will find Paul and Marlene Kos. This interesting short video focuses on observation of natural phenomena, presenting the obverse of the "If a tree falls in the woods..." conundrum. A simple idea that leads to a stunning experimental short film!

Nature's way (2006)

This is a cool horror film I found on a dvd of Cannes Film festival including short films. It is about complete for its time. Nice photography, minimal direction and suspense it's all about it. Enjoy it here:

Nature's Way

Blackadder - Back and forth (1999)

This was the last episode of Blackadder BBC series on the television. And the best way to end these marvelous productions who were been lasted for almost twenty years. Rowan Atkinson is a great comedian and I think this was his opportunity to start a great career as an author. So for once more he plays Blackadder, this cynical and wise guy whose ancestors had a great role in British political and historical past. He organizes a dinner party to celebrate the Millenium Eve and have his fellows friends as guests. While chatting he shows them his assistant's new invention, a time machine. Baldrick as always did its best in order to construct it. So Blackadder will bet on that he will can go to the past and select some historical items and con money from his friends. But they don't know that he already owns them. But fate plays games and their trip back to time shall face difficulties. So will be they capable to return back in one piece? And what will be happen if they change history? A clever story that keeps humor in high levels and a plot that it is quite entertaining!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Throwaway - Brian James Fitzpatrick & Dennis Widmyer (2008)

This is a very amusing horror short film. Even is budget is low, it is really interesting though. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

La dama y la muerte aka The lady and the reaper (2009)

This amusing animation was nominated for the 2010 Best Animated film. A perfect choice for lots of fun. A sweet old lady is living alone in her farm, waiting for the arrival of death to meet her beloved husband again. One night, while sleeping, her life fades out and she is invited to cross death's door. Bue when she is about to do so, the old lady wakes up inside a hospital's ward: and arrogant doctor has taken her back to life and he will fight hard against death to recover the old lady's life at any cost. We will witness an epic battle between life and death. Who is going to win at last?

Zhong gui aka Seeding of a ghost (1983)

Another great production for the legendary Hong Kong Shaw Brothers back in 1983. It is a story of black magic with some erotic scenes and a violent end. Zhou is a taxi driver and he is being in love with his wife, Irene who works as an assistant in the casino. She will meet Ming, a playboy who can have whoever he wants. After they will spend some time together into a secret relationship, Irene will ask him to divorce his wife but he will deny. Then he will leave her alone on the road and two rascals who will want to rape her, they will accidentally kill her. Before this situation, Zhou met a weird guy who told him that he was a wizard of black magic and suggest him to forget all about this. But when the police can't help Zhou take revenge for his dead beloved, he will find him again and ask for help. The cost will be his life but his targets, the three guys will start to experience terror! A cool example of gore Hong Kong productions of the early 80s!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Invention of Love - Andrey Shushkov (2010)

An inventor falls in love with a young woman. He tries to impress her and finally he wins her heart. But can love survive through a mechanical world where steam rules? Excellent animation with dramatic inspiration and great handwork. Enjoy it as well!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Alien vs. Ninja (2010)

Just another low budget film you know. The story is simple. An group of aliens arrive on medieval Japan. They are hungry so they kill everyone. Only some ninjas from the Inga clan will be ready to confront them. Yamata and his pals are also a group of mighty assassins and they will try to survive at any cost. The battle will be horrific and the bloodbath will be tremendous. Don't expect too much from this cheap production. Only fun, some acting, and lots of sword fighting. It is not the best action film you will ever try but it is worth seeing.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kuro-obi aka Black belt (2007)

Karate is one of the most traditional Japanese martial arts. This film is dedicated to its true soul. It is about the story of a specific Karate school and the knowledge of  self defense. Three students will be alone after their Sensei's death. They will rediscover themselves as they will all be entrants for the Kuro Obi, the Black belt that leads to the replacement of their lost master. Giryu is not confident enough until he will find a young girl and try to save her from a gang. Taikan from the other side is selfish and arrogant and thinks that a Karate-ka has to be agressive and always ready to fight in order to find the perfect opponent. Choei the third student will be useless after he will be wounded as a result of a quarrel. He will accompany Kaiten and try to change his mind but it will be very difficult. So the day Giryu and Kaiten will meet again shall arrive soon. A poetic touch of an era full of dramatic and realistic fight contacts.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Upír z Feratu aka Ferat Vampire (1982)

Do you remember Carpenter's 'Christine'? It used to kill people who drove it or not. Here we have a similar story directed by Czech Juraj Herz. At the roads of Prague a menace appears. What about a car that runs on blood and should need passengers to feed off? Ferat racing car is an invention of Ferat industries and Mr. Cross is an ex race driver who controls it. After an accident that costs Luisa's life, doctor Marek is trying to investigate the mysterious incidents that led this young woman to death while driving it. Mima is his colleague in the ambulance and her dream will come true when she will be offered a contract to race with this superb car. But what are the evil plans of Mr. Cross and what can do Marek to save her? A scientist named Kaplan will help Marek in the investigation but things are not always what they seem to be. An interesting horror film blended with mystery. I loved its end.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chopping Mall aka Killbots (1986)

Oh my God, this movie was so cheesy. All the action takes place in a shopping mall where three robot guards malfunction and start killing everyone. Some teenagers who work there, decide to spend some time and have fun with their beloved but soon their joy will disappear. They will be hunted and eliminated one by one by the metallic monsters. The only weapons the kids can use are the supplies in other stores. And the battle for their lives will start. Among the cast we will find Barbara Crampton from "Re-Animator" and "From Beyond". The effects are cheap and the production is low. So this is just to spend some time having fun especially if you liked energetic horror films as a teenager. Don't forget the receipt and have a nice day!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dom - Jan Lenica & Walerian Borowczyk (1958)

Polish filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk joined forces with renowned illustrator Jan Lenica and together presented 'Dom', a surrealistic film that comprised of hand-drawn images, shots of inanimate objects, and live-action footage, all of which reference disparate motifs: an orange, a glass of milk, a conductor leading an inanimate symphony, and various abstract shapes. 'Dom' was awarded the Grand Prix at the 1958 Brussels Experimental Film festival.

The fighter (2010)

I am not a real fan of box actually. But I think this is the best film dedicated to this sport for sure. Christian Bale won the Oscar for the supporting role due to his perfect acting. Wahlberg was also very good. So the story goes like this and it is based on the true story of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward. He was trained by his older half brother Dicky Eklund, a former boxer who once won the legendary 'Sugar' Ray Leonard. But then he spent his life into drugs and he became irresponsible to his family and especially to his brother Micky. Their mother manages Micky for her personal reasons but she doesn't understand her son's needs. He will be in love with Sharlene, a young and passionable woman who will help him build his carreer. In the meantime, Dick will mess with crime and crack and he will be arrested. So Mick will have to choose between his relationship with his family who actually don't really help him and his girlfriend and new companions who will lead him to victory. A great story with excellent performances that lead into a specific atmosphere directed with simplicity and pure energy.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Lord is my shotgun - Gabriel Dowrick (2006)

After a very violent gun fighting, a vengeful cop is trying to stop some criminals but the results will be catastrophic. And the damnation will give place to the salvation. A good work that keeps action in high levels!

Anemic cinema - Marcel Duchamp (1926)

Here we have Marcel Duchamp, an artist from France who directed this film about surrealism back in the mid 20s. He filmed a spinning spiral design intercut with a spinning disc containing French phrases. I just put an attempt to translate these phrases in English:

Baths of big tea for grains of beauty without surplus of bengué.
The child who suckles a prompter of hot flesh is and does not like the cauliflower of hothouse.
If I give you a penny, you will give me a pair of scissors.
They ask for domestic mosquitoes (half supply) for the remedy of nitrogen on the quotation of azure.
Incest or passion of family, in too much drawn blows.

I know that it will be difficult to make any sense but don't think so much of it. Just enjoy it!