Sunday, September 30, 2012

La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser (2012)

Italian director Davide Manuli takes the real old story of Kaspar Hauser and transforms it on its own unique way representing a rare and bizarre film. It's like nothing you have ever seen with its minimalistic form as Manuli explores the boundaries of cinematography and presents an unexpected and difficult gem that is dedicated to the alternative audiences. Kaspar Hauser was a mysterious young man who appeared in Nuremberg in 1828 with lots of physical and psychological problems and died without a reason a few years later. Manuli sets him on an deserted island in the Mediterranean sea, founded by the Sheriff who tries to understand and approach him. Soon the Duchess who rules the place wants to meet him and find out what happens with him and if he is a threat for her kingdom. What is the purpose of his arrival and is he someone special or just another impostor? You should better understand this film if you tried before the older film 'The enigma of Kaspar Hauser' by another great director, Werner Herzog. Manuli also explores the relationship between man and God and you can see some kind of relation between the path of Kaspar and Jesus. Just open your mind and eyes and enjoy a special experience. Can a dj be a God? Vincent Gallo also gives another great performance on a double role as the Sheriff and his brother, the Pusher.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chopper (2000)

Can a crazy legendary criminal be also a famous and best selling author in Australia at the same time? At the case of Mark "Chopper" Read, yes it can. This film delivers one of the best portrayals of a psychopath ruling the underground crime business. Chopper spent half of his life in prison for various crimes. He was fearless and had a special friendship with his mate Jimmy Loughnan even if the last one betrayed him several times as well. Chopper's intimate relationship with prostitute Tanya was another devastating part of his life. And of course his paranoia that Neville Bartos, an old enemy still wanted him dead. All these, led Chopper to an insane delirium that contained outbreaks of violence. Eric Bana gives a stunning performance and shows the real face of a man that could be understood only by himself.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Da xia Shen Sheng Yi aka The roving swordsman (1983)

Dugu Ngan is a professional assassin and the only one that has seen Tang's arsenal manual. This is the reason he is hired by the powerful Murung family. Gufang is the last member of it and a vicious mistress who wants to conquer the world. Master Chameleon and Zhi are her loyal assistants. They are all experts in explosives, martial arts and fake identifications. Gufang wants to steal the precious manual because there are written more ways to construct new weapons. Its owner Bai Bing with his friend hero Shen try to save it but Gufang manages to kidnap his daughter Bei in order to trade her with it. Shen with his comrade Yufei try to stop Gufang's evil plans. Another wuxia film from Shaw Brothers telling us about an interesting story of courage and heroic achievements. Check out the epic duel in the mirror maze, probably a tribute to Bruce Lee's classic 'Enter the dragon'.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hodejegerne aka Headhunters (2011)

It's all about reputation. On that basis, Roger Brown is working as a successful headhunter. He likes to live in style with his beautiful woman Diana on his side. His secret about his happiness is working as an art thief alongside with his partner in crime, Ove, a security officer who helps him deactivating the systems. Ove has two passions, his Russian girlfriend and guns. Everything is under control until one day Diana introduces Clas Greve to Roger at the celebration of the opening of her new gallery. Clas seems to be another charming gentleman but behind the mask you can find a former soldier and a really dangerous man. When Roger attempts to steal a rare painting from Clas's house, everything comes upside down and the chase is on. Impressive thriller from Norway with good cast, an excellent script that could have won a lot of prizes with its suspenseful story and fast cinematography.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The kick (2011)

A rare dagger that costs millions of dollars and is a national treasure for Thailand is kept at a museum. Sd company invites a family of tae kwo ndo experts to perform in order to celebrate the exhibition of the treasure. A mobster wants to steal it and plans a mission. The two teenagers of the family get involved accidentally and take it back. The mafia boss is frustrated and decides to pay back them. Moon, the father, send the youngsters into his brother camp to save some time until the police arrest the mafia. But the mobster follows the tae kwo ndo champions and a lot of fights are happening. A battle to the end for regaining back the dagger. Excellent co-production from Thailand and South Korea. Funny characters and great actions scenes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Carancho (2010)

"Carancho" is either a slang term or an expression, used in Argentina, to refer to an ambulance chaser, a lawyer who searches for potential clients around traffic accidents or emergency hospital corridors. Between misery and drugs two people try to come closer. Sosa works as an insurance advisor at Foundation, an illegal corporation that steals the money from the accidents that happen often at a small town in Argentina. Lujan is a young doctor, addicted to drugs, who tries the best for the people suffering on the road or the hospital. They meet after another accident and their fates connect them. But Sosa has to face competitors that want him out of game at any cost and things get messy. Dog the mobster tries to threat Sosa in various ways in order to take him out but the dramatic reality will drive everybody to the unexpected end. Argentinian films are always interesting to me and for one more time, this one is another great gem, with good performances and real characters.

Dog soldiers (2002)

Professional soldier Cooper fails to enter the elite squad of captain Ryan after denying to follow a non sense order. Some weeks later, he participates into another squad that is sent on a training mission in the Highlands of Scotland. Something strange happens there though and soon they realize that the rumors about freaking deaths and disappears have real motivations. They soon face a menace that they can't even imagine and when the soldiers fall one by one, they try to escape into the woods. Megan, a zoologist finds them and takes them into her house. She seems to know a lot about the murders and Cooper doubts about her motivations. His agreements with Ryan also don't help the situation. Another thrilling film from U.K. with great horror atmosphere and working plot. You can find some 80s direction style on it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Juan of the Dead (2011)

Zombies in Cuba? Can it be? Oh yeah. And the solution is one. Juan and his mates, Lazaro and his lazy son California and La China, a fabulous trans with his huge black bodyguard. The team sees zombie's arrival and transformation as a business opportunity. And their moto is simple as that : "Juan of the dead, we kill your loved ones." They try to survive and kill as many zombies as the customer's calls increase each day. But the casualties are often and the company splits. The political issues are here blended with humor and action. The fight scenes are sometimes hilarious and the hopes for a better future look like a dream sometimes. Because this is the point. To dream without thinking and make your best as well. And Juan knows a lot about it. For sure.

Midnight son (2011)

Jacob lives on his own and works as a security guard. His life is going to change soon as he suffers from a disorder that keeps him hungry and make his skin extremely sensitive to the sun light. When he meets Mary, a young junkie, they fall in love. But their relationship has black outs because they both face problems and try to keep them for themselves. Jacob's metabolism makes him thirsty for human blood and the idea of being a vampire freaks him out. But he can't control it any more and he gets into troubles in order to find new portions. Interesting idea that keeps adrenaline high and a really cool film with a different view on the life of the night keepers. The ones that seek for the different and the dark side. 

Backyard aka El traspatio (2009)

A thrilling story based on the real incidents that happened at the city of Juarez in Mexico several years ago. A number of mysterious deaths and rapes and a society that knows but doesn't care. Police officer Blanca Bravo dedicates her job in order to find the solution and discover the real purpose of the macabre killings. Women continue to be found in the desert abused and straggled to death. The police chief knows about it but he doesn't help her and the governor has established serious business with the corporations where the lost women used to work. Blanca's cooperation with the radio producer Peralta make the situation more difficult for her. Things are not obvious and a conspiracy is on the air. An astonishing thriller and a series of murders that never been found at their complete number.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Valhalla rising (2009)

The One Eye, a mysterious warrior. What is his fate and what his past? We can find him in chains as a prisoner at the cold mountains of Norway. His rage is tremendous and his thirst for blood endless. When he manages to escape, he slaughters everybody except a small blond kid who follows him at his lonely path. Soon One Eye finds back some others knights from his place and joins them at a journey to nowhere. Some of them are superstitious and believe that he is cursed and soon problems will come onto surface. They find the promised land but it doesn't look like actually as they thought at first. Really violent film with dark atmosphere and great fight scenes. The cinematography is good but sometimes a bit slower than it should. Another watchable action film that you should try.

Black Venus (2010)

This is another incredible film about the human rights of the black people and the way they were been fronted by the society of Europe two centuries ago. Saartjes Baartman was a domestic who left Southern Africa, following her boss Hendrick Caesar as she believed his fake promises for fame and money if she worked with him at the exhibition. A woman with many psychological problems who was living in fear as well, she tried to survive through the humiliation and the disgrace. All this led her to alcoholism and made her health worst. Caesar meets Reaux, a disgusting guy who tries to persuade to follow him in France and continue the show there. The situation gets bad for the black woman and her life becomes pointless as she ends up being a prostitute. Actually this is a real story and a powerful gem, respectable and stunning. The performances are great and the dramatic sequence is extraordinary.

Everything is illuminated (2005)

A sensitive movie about memories and the remarkable attempt of a young American guy to collect all the things of his family that will keep the past alive and the the thoughts of his ancestors untouchable.  Jonathan Safran Foer plans a trip into Ukraine, with a photograph of his grandfather in his pocket and the name of a village in his mind. He arrives at Odessa and hires a funny group of Heritage Tours, compiled by a gruff old man, his English-speaking grandson and their deranged dog. The trip is interesting through the beautiful countryside of Ukraine and the quest for the lost village continues. What happened there, will change the lives of the three men for sure and will give them a bittersweet taste of life. Elijah Wood performs with his unique style and the results are really well. Liev Schreiber proved for another more time that actors can sometimes surprise the audience at the same way as directors.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Last caress (2010)

Ventura sisters have hidden a precious painting of their ancestor at a mansion. The person on the canvas used to be a terrible witch who was living in Czech. A strange assassin invades in the house and starts killing all the guests one by one in order to find the lost and rare painting. But he doesn't know about the curse. There is blood and there is also fun. And sexy nude scenes as well. And that's the point to make an interesting tribute to the Italian 70s horror films. Plus the incredible soundtrack from Double Dragon that takes the gem into a higher level with its 80s electro style. French directors are feeling closer into making good and stylish horror flicks even these with low budget and low performance acting. I am really looking forward to check the other work of the package dvd, known as 'Blackaria' and I hope it will be a nice surprise too.