Straining for psychological depth and taut suspense but reaching only a few notches higher than a Lifetime TV movie, Every Secret Thing squanders the talents of several excellent actresses - Diane Lane, Elizabeth Banks, Dakota Fanning, and a relative newcomer, Danielle Macdonald. This downbeat police procedural involves the kidnapping of a three-year-old girl in the economically depressed upstate New York town of Orangeburg. The crime eerily echoes a horrific baby-snatching and murder that took place there seven years before, committed by two 11-year-old girls who, tried as juveniles, were sent up the river. Anyone who has watched more than one
Twisty tale of monstrous mother love wastes talents of Diane Lane, Elizabeth Banks, and Dakota Fanning in downbeat police procedural.
"An exhilarating new adventure that boldly goes where no Star Trek has gone before."
Southern California Trek fans, and those beyond willing to travel, have the opportunity to see the world premiere of the new pilot / feature film Star Trek: Renegades, which features the Federation's Section 31, led by Commander Tuvok, Voyager’s former security officer, putting together a new covert, renegade crew when space and time becomes folded around planets that are the main suppliers of dilithium crystals. Press release: Star Trek: Renegades World PremiereSaturday, August 1, 2015 The Crest Theater: 1262 Westwood Blvd; Los Angeles, CA 90024Red Carpet at 7 p.m. Premiere at 8 p.m.There will be a special fan screening at
Every dog has his day… (And cult movie collectors will have theirs this week!)
As a certain Italian schlockumentary once reminded us many moons ago, it's a dog's world out there. And some distant cousins of the Italians - the Hungarians - have seen fit to impress that old adage upon us once more, with their multiple award-winning 2014 hit Fehér isten, better known in the English-speaking parts of the world as White God. Here, writer/director Kornél Mundruczó paints his audiences an ugly reminder that - despite our alleged progress when it comes to being humane towards everyone, animal or human alike - we're still just a bunch of stinkin' savages. Ignoring another timeless
The two-night marathon with fan-favorite episodes airs on July 28 and 29.
The Law & Order franchise is currently ubiquitous on the television landscape with its various programs airing on various broadcast and cable channels, including Sundance, TNT, USA, WGN. September 13 marks Law & Order's 25th anniversary and WE tv is planning an early celebration. Read on to learn more. Press release: WE tv is getting a jump start on the milestone 25th anniversary of Law & Order, the popular criminal procedural that paved the way for the drama genre with a month-long celebration in August. The festivities begin with a two-night marathon on Tuesday, July 28 and Wednesday, July 29,
A few intriguing new releases for the fan of variety.
As an extreme film lover, I'm always torn between variety. Sometimes, there is too much to choose from, and it also depends upon the price. There isn't any doubt that I do like to have choices, it's that I like to choose from films that I would find interesting. When I'm not taking online classes, or doing horrible yard work, I only have a limited time to watch the newest releases. This week, there isn't a lot of choices, but these are some releases I found to be quite interesting and worth checking out. Yes, some of them sound strange,
"Naked bodies and politics is an explosive combination."
The first time I heard of the half-naked female activism group FEMEN back in 2013, it was largely by accident, a link in a comment on some loosely related Reddit post or something like that. I assumed it was a flash in a pan, something that stopped almost as soon as it started, given the hostile reception the girls received outside the Georgian embassy in July 2011. Sitting comfortably behind a desk (and the First Amendment) here in the United States, it's strange to think that protestors can just be assaulted in broad daylight for trying to spread a message.
The notorious cash-in of a craze beget by the cash-in of a cash-in makes its much-needed (?) High-Definition debut courtesy the finely deranged folks at Grindhouse Releasing.
In 1970, with the entire world in a state of change, Elliot Silverstein's A Man Called Horse was released to cinemas. Like the environment that spawned it, the film was about a transformation: a white man named John Morgan (as played by the late Richard Harris) - captured and enslaved by a group of Native Americans - soon becomes one with the very tribe that had previously seized and humiliated him. Of course, no groundbreaking work of art goes unnoticed abroad - especially in Italy, where filmmakers were keen to cash-in on anything that generated so much as a dollar-fifty
If you are the kind of person who watches a Dante movie waiting for the Dick Miller appearance, and then get excited when you see him, this is for you.
Joe Dante is an American treasure. He’s made some tremendous films that are iconic pieces of pop culture. He’s one of the foremost pop-culture commenters and recontexualizers in cinema. Beloved modern filmmakers such as Edgar Wright are following in Dante’s footsteps. However, while he was a major cinematic contributor in the '80s and '90s, his presence in filmmaking these days is marginal at best. After Looney Tunes: Back in Action flopped in 2003, that was about it for him. He’s made one film since then, and it was called The Hole, and it came out in 2009, and you haven’t
The Warner Archive Collection releases an excellent, atmospheric, innovative, and gritty crime drama from yesteryear. A definite must-see.
Filmmaker Ralph Nelson was always up for something different. While the late director is best known today for bringing the world acclaimed (and often groundbreaking) classics such as Requiem for a Heavyweight, Charly, tick... tick... tick…, and Lilies of the Field, it's some of the movies he's not known for today that perhaps deserve the most attention. And one such motion picture outing is his 1965 masterpiece Once a Thief: a spectacularly gritty black-and-white crime drama written by an actual ex-convict set in San Francisco during that precariously precocious period that bridged the gap between the beatnik era and the
The Good, The Bad, and the Boring.
About the time the western genre was growing stale in America, European filmmakers picked it right back up. More than 600 different Westerns were made in Europe between 1960 and 1980. While they were made in just about every country on that continent, the majority came from Italians. The most famous and arguably best examples of European Westerns come from the Italian Sergio Leone and his Dollars Trilogy. While the Spaghetti Western may have ruled they day, a great many other European countries got into the western game as well. Cemetery Without Crosses is one such film. Made in 1969
The Warner Archive Collection brings us a seldom seen psychological thriller that has trouble finding its own direction.
In Hollywood, it doesn't take long to become typecast. Take, for example, the early career of one Stuart Whitman. Following a breakout performance as a recently released child molester attempting to exorcise his personal demons in 1961's The Mark, the recently new to the limelight Mr. Whitman found himself earning an Oscar nomination and a few meaty parts alongside John Wayne in big studio productions. But the shadow of his most famous role (of the time) remained, and in 1962, Whitman was a supporting cast member in a prison drama entitled Convicts 4. In 1964, Stuart appeared in a psychological
German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender stars and co-produces this New Zealand-made tale from the American West, which features many a Scotsman and Aussie. How's that for diversity?
With the American western genre all but dead, this is as good of a time as any for filmmakers from other corners of the globe to try their hand at something the Italians once perfected in the 1960s: revamping it. In 2005, Australian musician Nick Cave (our deepest of condolences to you and yours, good sir) penned a screenplay for The Proposition. In 2010, the Aussies brought us a great contemporary western entitled Red Hill. Sadly, neither film really garnered enough attention stateside in order to reignite the flame of passion for the cowboy movie. Well, here we are in
The Warner Archive Collection brings us three classic catalogue titles out of the Standard and into the realms of High-Definition.
In continuing their fine tradition of reviving the occasional catalogue title for today's HD-savvy generations, the Warner Archive Collection has been releasing more vintage titles to Blu-ray than ever before. Recently, three classic titles from one end of yesteryear or another - the 1933 musical 42nd Street, the oddball 1986 magical fantasy/comedy/adventure Ladyhawke, and the mythical 1981 urban horror flick Wolfen - landed on my doorstep; each as far removed from the other as can be. My trio of diversity begins with the 1933 musical 42nd Street, as choreographed by the great Busby Berkeley and directed by the one and
A 24-hour salute each day of the month including tributes to first-timers Ann-Margret and Alan Arkin as well as returning legends Fred Astaire and Katharine Hepburn.
Press release: Turner Classic Movies' (TCM) ultimate movie star showcase, Summer Under the Stars, returns August 1 for its 13th year as TCM pays tribute to 31 different stars in 31 days. This year’s Summer Under the Stars will feature a premiere interview, filmed at the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival, with iconic actress Ann-Margret and TCM host Ben Mankiewicz on Aug. 13, as well as a salute to Ingrid Bergman for her 100th birthday including a showing of Casablanca (1942). This year, 15 stars will receive their first Summer Under the Stars salutes, including Oscar winners: Alan Arkin (Aug.
Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.
The official synopsis: A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine
It's a great pleasure seeing classic films on the big screen.
In college I had one of those special, "make an inspirational movie about him" kind of professors. He was also the theatre director, and for most of my collegiate life, I did work study under him. He was a brilliant teacher, capable of making even the dullest plays seem utterly fascinating, and a great director. It was a small college and he had a minuscule budget but he somehow managed to put up productions that rivaled the nearby million-dollar Shakespeare Festival. He helped further my academic education and schooled me in life. He was also a good friend. Sadly, he
A groundbreakingly potent depiction of bleak social commentary
When discussing some of the most influential LGBT films, Stephen Frears' 1985 modern classic My Beautiful Laundrette usually is one of the most talked about, because it doesn't just address the unforunate issues of homophobia, but also the brutal, sometimes tragic aspects of racism, social status, and cultural differences. One of the reasons why it remains such an influential film is because it showcases a same-sex relationship that is both tender and unusual. It is no wonder why this is considered, along side The Grifters and Dangerous Liaisons, one of his very best cinematic creations. The story centers on Omar
A slow-burn examination of drugs and police corruption is revealed in Kino's recent Blu-ray release.
Reflecting the times, the cinematic landscape of the 1990s found itself awash in drugs (on-screen, at least). On the heels of films like Goodfellas and New Jack City, director Lili Fini Zanuck directed Rush. Despite a setting in 1975, Rush is very 1990s in its actors - popular stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jason Patric - as well as starring roles for Gregg Allman and a soundtrack by Eric Clapton in his somber phase. Dated, to be sure, Rush is a slow burn that, had the budget and script gone bigger, could have presented some intriguing socio-political examinations regarding police
Age must pass as youth enters.
My Chaplin journey hasn't been linear. I didn't start with the silent shorts and work my way through The Kid (1921) and onto A Countess From Hong Kong (1967). It was a rambling journey that went forwards and backwards through highlights of his spectacular career with Criterion including Modern Times, The Great Dictator, City Lights, and The Gold Rush. In many ways the other films were reflections and parables of the times Chaplin was living in. The newest Criterion Blu-ray release is Limelight from 1952. It's subtitled "in his human drama" and this film is his most personal story. The
The tribute to include Doctor Zhivago and Funny Girl.
Omar Sharif (born Michel Demitri Chalhoub) died from a heart attack in a Cairo hospital on July 10. He was an Egyptian actor who became an international sensation when he garnerd a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his first English-language role as Sharif Ali in David Lean's historical epic Lawrence of Arabia (1962). In addition to his long career as actor, which began with Devil of the Sahara (1954) and concluded with voice work in 1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham (2015), Sharif was also a world-class contract bridge players. Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will be paying
Its a great week to be a horror fan.
It's a good week to be a horror fan. I’ve no doubt complained in these pages before how I rarely get to watch horror films anymore. The wife doesn’t like them; the daughter is too young for them. I only get a slight sliver of time between the family going to bed and me not knocking off myself to watch the sort of things only I want to watch. There is a long list of those things and most of them beat out horror in the desire department so it is a real rarity that I actually watch any sort
For any Bat collector who doesn't already have them, this is a must-own.
On the off chance someone doesn't know about the iconic Batman TV series from the 1960s (there must be at least one person at any given moment), let me offer a brief explanation of the show. In the city of Gotham, millionaire Bruce Wayne (Adam West) and his young ward, Dick Grayson (Burt Ward), protect the citizenry as costumed superheroes, Batman and Robin, against a colorful collection of criminals as they had done in the pages of DC Comics. With an emphasis on "comic," the show has a silly sensibility from Bruce/Batman's uberserious goodness to the wacky crimes and traps
You won't need four rows of teeth to chew through this delicious Planet Earth appetizer.
Fresh off reviewing BBC's Planet Ant, I find myself confronted with a series about a much larger, deadlier animal up for investigation -- the timeless predators who rule the seas detailed in Shark, another new chapter in the BBC Earth series. From scary Ragged-Tooths to Makos that could outrun Usain Bolt, Paul McGann narrates four one-hour segments that cover everything from what sharks eat to how they interact and socialize, and how these creatures who've barely evolved since the age of the dinosaurs are paving the way for scientific breakthroughs. Spinning up the disk reveals two "parts" in the episode
The first feature film from Swedish filmmaker Jan Troell has its visual merits, but it's bogged down by a leaden narrative.
A film that’s both engrossing and enervating at turns, Here is Your Life kicked off the feature-film career of Swedish director Jan Troell, an art house sensation in the ’70s with breakthrough duo The Emigrants and The New Land. The multi-talented Troell directed, shot, edited, and co-wrote the screenplay for Here is Your Life, based on one of a series of semi-autobiographical novels by Eyvind Johnson, and though Troell’s camerawork and editing are often inventive, the film never really breaks free from its novelistic shackles. After his father falls ill, teenager Olof (Eddie Axberg) is forced to leave his sickness-ridden
Based on Andy Summers' memoir, the documentary reveals the rise and demise of the defining 1980s band.
When the Police ceased recording in 1984, rumors swirled as to the cause. Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland became infamous for their constant fighting, sometimes ending up in fisticuffs (such as during a 1983 MTV interview with Martha Quinn). Summers and Copeland’s intense jealousy of Sting’s notoriety was cited as another factor. The new documentary Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police presents Summers’ side of the story, suggesting that the Police’s dissolution resulted from a multitude of complicated reasons. As hard on himself as on the other band members, Summers provides narration while archival footage as well as
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Blu-ray Review: Not As Exotic As the First, but Still Charming
Were it not for those remarkable actors even Liftime would be embarrassed by this.
God bless the Brits. Or at least British actors of a certain age. They can rescue even the most tiresome of films and make it a thousand times better. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a surprise hit in 2012 earning some $136 million which was quite a bit more than its meager $10 million budget. It was about a random group of British seniors who decide to spend their golden years living inexpensively in India. They come to the titular hotel based upon its fancy webpage, but find out that it is quite less than they expected save for
Bravo for Alex Toth!
Legendary artist and noted curmudgeon Alex Toth never made a secret of his continued frustrations with editorial interference, bad scripts, and the continued trend toward gritty anti-heroes in mainstream comics. So when given the opportunity to create his own comic series, he took a look back in time to the halcyon days when dashing film heroes like Errol Flynn and comic adventurers such as Terry and the Pirates buckled swash and took part in all manner of high adventure and derring-do. The end result was Bravo for Adventure, a throwback adventure that many consider to be Toth's seminal work -
It's a book to be savored, yet it's so good one may rush through to discover all it offers.
The first thing I thought when I got a hold of this book was that if there was any filmmaker who would quickly make a book like this incomplete because of how fast he works it would be Woody Allen. Author Jason Bailey obviously had the same thought because the Prologue offers a link to a website "for a discussion of Magic in the Moonlight and other future Woody Allen projects...for updates and new essays." Seeing as we had similar concerns, I figured I was in good hands as a reader and I was right. Each film (from What's Up,
A month of classics featuring the Howard Hawks' hit His Girl Friday and Grant's final film Walk, Don't Run, Thursdays in August.
Want to spend the evening with Cary Grant? getTV offers everyone the opportunity for a few nights during the month of August. Read on to learn all about it Press release: getTV pays tribute to the incomparable Cary Grant in eight unforgettable classics, airing every Thursday in August at 7 p.m. ET. The month kicks off on August 6 with 1937’s THE AWFUL TRUTH, the film that established Grant both as a leading man and comedic genius, starring alongside Irene Dunne as a soon-to-be-divorced couple who go to extremes to undermine each other’s romantic prospects. The 1938 George Cukor romance
Twilight Time releases this underseen 1990s noir.
Unlike some niche Blu-ray distributors, Twilight Time doesn't just release classic films. Oftentimes their release output includes underrated or little seen gems that wouldn't immediately warrant an HD disc. In the case of their latest, the 1990 crime thriller State of Grace, rewatching this on Blu was a great way to re-familiarize myself with a film that I'd forgotten I enjoyed. After a decade-long absence, Terry Noonan (Sean Penn) returns to his hometown of Hell's Kitchen, immediately getting back into the good graces of small-time hood Jackie Flannery (Gary Oldman). As Terry becomes more comfortable with his old friend, he
Two amazing Stray Cats concerts from 1981 and 1983 recorded live in Germany.
The American Rockabilly scene would not be what it is today without the influential music of the Stray Cats. Their rocking sound introduced a new generation to the sounds of the 1950s while helping change the 1980's music scene with their original sounds and songs. Stray Cats: Live at Rockpalast features two early Stray Cats concerts, both recorded in Germany in the early 1980s. The earlier concert footage is from Satrory-Sale Cologne on July 16th, 1981, and the later concert is from Open Air Loreley on August 20th,1983. This is the first time in over 30 years this concert footage
As Halloween approaches, Criterion offers a slate of films filled with various scares.
In October, Criterion offers five releases. New to the collection are David Cronenberg's The Brood, Ettore Scola’s A Special Day, and David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. Also available are new digital restorations of Masaki Kobayashi’s original cut of Kwaidan and Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho. Read on to learn more about them. My Own Private Idaho (#277) out Oct 6 River Phoenix (Stand by Me) and Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) star in this haunting tale from Gus Van Sant (Mala Noche), about two young street hustlers: Mike Waters, a sensitive narcoleptic who dreams of the mother who abandoned him,
In tackling the divisive topic of The Troubles in Northern Ireland director Yann Demange blurs the boundaries of loyalty and highlights humanity.
On Monday, rioting broke out amid a Protestant Orange Order parade in Belfast after it reached a stretch of road inhabited mostly by Catholics, republicans, and nationalists; at least eight people were injured. This, nearly 44 years after the Ballymurphy Massacre, which occurred in Belfast in early August 1971 and today remains a dark spot in the hearts of the Irish. At surface level, it can be easy to pick sides when reviewing history or current resurgences of turmoil. But what director Yann Demange asks in the extremely gripping and often gut-wrenching ’71 is: Can you always trust your loyalties?
Five loosely connected Japanese exploitation movies capture the spirit, and looseness of their age.
On an interview on this disc, director Yasuharu Hasebe talks about how ephemeral the movies he made were. “I expected it to last a week,” he says about one of the three movies he made on this box set. They were not made with posterity in mind, but were very much of their time and in their time. This is true of any movie, of course - however carefully constructed or intentionally contrived, a movie cannot help but be made in the time when it is made and by the people who make it. And there are movements and trends
The Warner Archive Collection brings us two more titles from the early days of DVD in widescreen for the first time.
As they had done in the latter part of 2014 with several titles that truly deserved it, the folks at the Warner Archive Collection have once more taken two completely different catalog titles from the earliest days of DVD and given them the widescreen treatment they should have had back in 1998. Alas, these two titles are not on the same level as The Black Scorpion or a couple of classic Steve Martin comedies. Instead, this batch of newly widened screenings consists of movies that even I didn't rent on video when I was a teenager. And mind you, I
The first and only post-fame feature-length film from the classic sketch comedy hosts is a mostly dreadful horror spoof.
During a time when five crazy Britons and one expatriate American were producing bizarre sketch comedy for the BBC, two US-born contemporaries on the other side of The Pond were running amok on national television. Thus, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (complete with a soon-to-be-dated title about the hippie revolution) amassed a huge following, launching its hosts, comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, to success status for a brief period. Naturally, no one in the motion picture business was about to let a hot commodity like Rowan and Martin slip past them; because, as anyone who has ever seen any Saturday
This week brings us sexy artificial intelligence, sexually transmitted haunting, boys with horses, exotic sequels and more.
At work today, I was listening to the Invisibilia podcast, specifically the one entitled “Our Computers, Ourselves.” It was all about how computers and technology have changed us as a society, culturally, and individually. I was especially fascinated with the segment on Thad Starner who has essentially been wearing a computer (kind of a prototype of Google Glass - which he helped invent actually) for the last couple of decades. He swears it has been nothing but helpful, with no downside at all. He constantly types information into his hard drive about what he’s thinking, what he’s doing, and the
From the hormonally-charged historical wrongdoings of King Henry VIII to David Mamet's acclaimed verbal diarrhea, this batch of flicks has all bases covered.
Once more, the folks at Twilight Time have resurrected five photoplays from yesteryear - and this time, they're not holding back on the dramatics one bit. We begin our line-up with perhaps the most epic motion pictures of epic motion pictures ever; the fact that A Man for All Seasons features a supporting performance by the one and only Orson Welles himself doesn't even enter into it, believe it or not! Rather, Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons focuses on the charisma and talents of the late Paul Scofield, cast here as Sir Thomas More. Now, for my fellow
The series from original filmmakers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell is set to premiere Saturday, October 31 at 9 PM.
Press release: STARZ announced the highly anticipated premiere of original series Ash vs Evil Dead on Saturday, October 31 at 9 PM ET/PT and released the first live action trailer during the series’ Comic Con panel in San Diego. The 10-episode first season of the half-hour series is executive produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers of the franchise, and Craig DiGregorio who serves as executive producer and showrunner. Ash vs Evil Dead, which is currently in production in New Zealand, is the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead. Campbell reprises
While not as raunchy as The Room, Sharknado 2 has the Rifftrax guys doing what they do best.
The Rifftrax gang is back with the second of four films set to receive the live riff treatment in 2014. Dubbed "The Crappening," Rifftrax Live recently did the first of two shows around the Syfy "masterpiece," Sharknado 2, a continuation of the magical story of a tornado with sharks taking over New York City. As a standalone movie, Sharknado 2 lacks the campy humor of the first film, acknowleding its self-awareness and loading the film with cameos, and the Riff guys aren't as sharp as they were with the R-rated The Room, but it's hard not to love being seduced