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Archive for July, 2010

DVD Report – July 27th

Two great films accompany the not-so-great remake of Clash of the Titans onto DVD this week. Ip Man was released in China in 2008, but is just now making its way to stores in the States. It’s loosely based on the life of one of Bruce Lee’s first instructors, and a martial arts legend. The second highly praised film in stores this week is The Art of the Steal, a documentary about the fight to relocate the priceless art of Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation, against the instructions in the will of its now-deceased founder.

Clash of the TitansAverage Tier 3.00
The mortal son of the god Zeus embarks on a perilous journey to stop the underworld and its minions from spreading their evil to Earth as well as the heavens. Clash of the Titans @ Amazon

Criticker Pick!Ip ManAverage Tier 7.20
A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the first martial arts master to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun.Ip Man @ Amazon

Repo MenAverage Tier 3.78
Set in the near future when artificial organs can be bought on credit, it revolves around a man who struggles to make the payments on a heart he has purchased. He must therefore go on the run before said ticker is repossessed. Repo Men @ Amazon

VincereAverage Tier 6.68
The story of Mussolini’s secret lover, Ida Dalser, and their son Albino. Vincere @ Amazon

Criticker Pick!The Art of the StealAverage Tier 7.30
Documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes’ 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art. The Art of the Steal @ Amazon

35mm: The Distilled Essence of 35 Great Films

Here’s a really well-done little brain teaser for all you cinephiles. I wasn’t able to identify them all… can you?

»35mm« is a shortfilm about cinema itself. We picked 35 of our favorite movies and tried to simplifly them as far as possible. The outcome is a 2 minute journey through the history of film. Take a close look and tell us if you’ve recognized them all!

From Pascal Monaco on Vimeo

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DVD Report – July 20th

South Korea provides us with this week’s best new release on DVD, in Mother, a thriller about a woman who must prove the innocence of her son. The film snapped up a bunch of awards on the festival circuit and has totally bowled over the users of Criticker. Check it out!

Cop OutAverage Tier 3.40
Bruce Willis pairs with Tracy Morgan in this Kevin Smith-directed buddy flick about two cops trying to track down a stolen mint-condition (read valuable) baseball card from the 1950s. Along the way, the guys tangle with the mob, a Mexican beauty and countless other characters in this comedic action flick co-starring Adam Brody, Jason Lee, Michelle Trachtenberg and Seann William Scott. Cop Out @ Amazon

Criticker Pick!MotherAverage Tier 7.64
A mother lives quietly with her twenty-eight-year-old son, Do-joon, providing herbs and acupuncture to neighbors. One day, a girl is brutally murdered, and Do-joon is charged with the killing. Now, it’s his mother’s call whether to prove him innocent or to leave him imprisoned.Mother @ Amazon

The LosersAverage Tier 4.11
After learning that their handler (Jason Patric) has set them up, a group of disavowed CIA operatives led by Clay — aka the Colonel bands together to bring down their betrayers in this action thriller adapted from the comic book series by Andy Diggle and Jock. The Losers @ Amazon

The RunawaysAverage Tier 5.94
A coming-of-age biopic about ’70s band “The Runaways”. The Runaways @ Amazon

Rex Reed vs. Christopher Nolan – May the Smarter Man Win

Inception opened with a huge $60 million haul, finding critics and audiences nearly unanimous in its praise. “Nearly” being the key word. Take it away, Rex Reed:

Writer-director Nolan is an elegant Hollywood hack from London whose movies are a colossal waste of time, money and I.Q. points

The hilarious title of the review is “Can Someone Please Explain Inception to Me?”; a good tipoff that the reviewer is out of his depth. In his ensuing rant against Nolan, Reed goes on to describe Memento as “brainless”, Insomnia as “inert”, The Prestige as “contrived”, Batman Begins as “idiotic”, and The Dark Knight as “baffling”.

Can Someone Please Explain How Rex Reed Gets Paid to Write About Movies? What, exactly, was “baffling” about The Dark Knight? It has a straightforward, compelling plot. How “contrived” was The Prestige, one of the most enigmatic and original blockbusters since, perhaps, Memento? “Baffling” I would accept. The Prestige was kind of baffling! But contrived?

Look, Rex, just think about it for a second, switch your insults and slime The Prestige as “baffling” and The Dark Knight (a comic book movie) as “contrived”. Then you’ll have an argument slightly more difficult to refute. But apparently, you reach randomly into your bucketful of malicious index cards when intelligent arguments escape you. Who cares about the meaning of words like “contrived” or “inert”, when the purpose is simply to be spiteful?

Oh well, I’m biased. I consider Christopher Nolan to be the most visionary director working today, with films as interesting as they are exciting. I can’t wait to see Inception, and Rex Reed’s predictable attack only confirms that it’ll be great. But what do you all think?

DVD Report – July 13th

Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg is the strongest film new on DVD this week. It stars Ben Stiller in the kind of heartbreakingly awkward role he long ago perfected. Greenberg didn’t win universal approval from the Criticker gang, though… more than a few users found it pretentious and unfunny. But everyone can agree that The Bounty Hunter was terrible.

The Bounty HunterAverage Tier 2.64
Milo (Gerard Butler) is a bounty hunter whose latest gig is a doozy, as he finds out too late that the bail-skipper he must chase down is his own ex-wife, Cassidy (Jennifer Aniston), and she has no intention of coming in without a fight. Complicating matters, Cassidy’s wannabe-boyfriend joins the chase in this high-octane comedy from director Andy Tennant. The Bounty Hunter @ Amazon

GreenbergAverage Tier 6.65
A New Yorker moves to Los Angeles in order to figure out his life while he housesits for his brother, and he soon sparks with his brother’s assistant. Greenberg @ Amazon

ChloeAverage Tier 4.49
A doctor hires an escort to seduce her husband, whom she suspects of cheating, though unforeseen events put the family in danger (imdb) Chloe @ Amazon

Our Family WeddingAverage Tier 2.08
The weeks leading up to a young couple’s wedding is comic and stressful, especially as their respective fathers (Whitaker and Mencia) try to lay to rest their feud. Our Family Wedding @ Amazon

Saint John of Las VegasAverage Tier 1.67
An ex-gambler is lured back into the game by a veteran insurance-fraud investigator. Saint John of Las Vegas @ Amazon

The Norwegian Ninja

This is either incredibly awesome or it sucks bad enough to be cool again. Either way we win, with this promising-looking trailer and film poster.

Kommandør Treholt & Ninjatroppen is the true story of how Commander Arne Treholt and his Ninja Force saved Norway during the Cold War. The story takes place in the time right before Treholt’s arrest on espionage charges in 1984, and reveals a spectacularly different version of our recent past than has been previously known.

What do you think?

[via: Fuenf Film Freunde]

DVD Report – July 6th

Adrian Paul stars in a movie called Eyeborgs. I shit you not: Eyeborgs. Or if you’re too fancy to watch Highlander battle cyborg eyes, you might want to check out A Single Man, which despite its lack of eyeborgs is supposed to be pretty good.

Criticker Pick!A Single ManAverage Tier 7.14
A 52 year old British college professor is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his long time partner, Jim. A Single Man @ Amazon
Criticker Pick!The Girl with the Dragon TattooAverage Tier 7.00
A journalist gets tangled in the underworld when he is hired to write the saga of a powerful family. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo @ Amazon

Brooklyn’s FinestAverage Tier 4.66
Three unconnected Brooklyn cops wind up at the same deadly location after enduring vastly different career paths. (imdb) Brooklyn’s Finest @ Amazon

BittenAverage Tier 3.75
Relationships can be draining! A lovelorn paramedic rescues a woman left for dead after a deadly assault. When she refuses to go to the hospital, he takes her in, nurses her back to health and soon falls in love with her. Before long the mysterious woman suffers withdrawal symptoms, leaving the paramedic to believe his newfound love is a drug addict. Coming home to find a blood-drained corpse on his floor, he learns she does indeed have an addiction problem but it’s not to drugs… (jbhifionline) Bitten @ Amazon

EyeborgsAverage Tier 3.00
In the wake of a major terrorist attack, the U.S. government creates an all-seeing network of robotic cameras to monitor every American. But after some deadly hiccups in the system, Homeland Security agent Gunner Reynolds (Adrian Paul) gets suspicious. It isn’t long before Reynolds suspects that terrorists have hacked the system. Eyeborgs @ Amazon