Lightning doesn’t quite strike twice. I really had a fun time with Taken and was hoping that Taken 2 was going to better the original in terms of action. Instead, you basically get more (or less) the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, there was enjoyment to be had in Taken 2 but it just didn’t go above and beyond in upping the action for a sequel (you can read my full review of the film here). I’m interested in seeing the extended cut, which looks to be about an additional six minutes, in hopes that there’s a bit more Liam Neeson badassery in it. Fans of watching Neeson punch bad guys in the face will definitely want to get this.
To Rome with Love
Woody Allen’s latest feels more like fluff when compared to his vast filmography but it is still enjoyable fluff. I definitely appreciated seeing some of Allen’s earlier comedic sensibilities present in To Rome With Love which added a little Bananas-esque fun to the film. The movie may not stay with you the way some of Allen’s other works will but it’s worth a view.
Wake in Fright
Wake in Fright has had a long journey to its current release. It was released in Australia in 1971 and bombed at the box office, mainly due to the film appalling Australian audiences with its rather frank portrayal of the Australian outback. Wake in Fright was believed to be lost for decades and virtually unseen in America. The film’s editor began searching for elements of the film in 1996 and did not find what he was looking for until eight years later in a Pittsburgh facility, where the film elements had been marked for destruction. Then after years of legal entanglement and a few years of restorative work, the film was re-released at Cannes in 2009 and in Australia a month later, followed by a DVD and Blu-ray release there. Drafthouse films is now releasing it in America to give fans of cinema a chance to finally see the film that director Martin Scorsese has championed.
The film follows a schoolteacher as he descends into personal demoralization when he becomes stranded in a small town in the Australian outback. He gets involved with a group of drunken and deranged men that puts his life into a spiral of madness. Wake in Fright stars Gary Bond and Donald Pleasance and is as interesting and engrossing as it is disturbing and brutal. There is a segment of the film where the men hunt down kangaroos and brutally kill them, with footage used from an actual licensed kangaroo hunt. That mixed with the film’s descent into madness story will surely make it hard for some to watch the film but those who watch it should appreciate it for its thematic exploration of loss of morality and that it doesn’t offer an answer beyond what you make of it.
I may be one of the few people who actually enjoyed The Possession. It may have its generic exorcism movie qualities but there was enough in it for me to have a fun time with. I thought Natasha Calis did a pretty good job as the daughter who gets possessed and I liked director Ole Bornedal’s visual sense. It’s possible my second viewing of the film may show the movie’s seams more but I think I’ll still have a good time with it.
I haven’t seen this pulpy noir thriller yet but it’s on my radar. The reviews on it aren’t necessarily overwhelmingly positive but it sounds like there are some great elements to the film that are worth watching. Plus, the cast all looks good, even Nicole Kidman, who lately hasn’t seemed all that exciting to me.
I’ve been told that The Intouchables is a delightful film and that I should watch it. Seeing as how I’m an equal opportunity movie watcher, I will be doing just that and adding this to my Netflix queue. However, it will probably be awhile before I see it as my queue is backlogged with lots of other titles I want to see. The Intouchables broke box office records in France, its native country, and seems to have made a bit of a splash in the American independent film scene enough to say that it warrants a view for those on the lookout for a new foreign film to watch.
I’m so happy to see more classic Woody Allen being released on Blu-ray. We’ve already been given releases of Annie Hall and Manhattan and now we are treated to one of Allen’s more slapsticky comedies, Sleeper. This funny sci-fi story definitely shows off some of Allen’s sillier traits but still mixes in his brand of cerebral humor. I like both the serious and silly sides of Woody Allen and am quite anxious to add this to my shelf.
Hannah and Her Sisters
I’ve only seen this film once and it’s been quite some time since that I can’t remember too much about it to be honest. Being a really big fan of Woody Allen as a filmmaker, I will undoubtedly be watching this again at some point, especially since once I complete my collection of Allen’s films, of which I own about 80% of, I want to view his entire catalogue of films in order. I’m hoping the next batch of Blu-rays includes Bananas, Love & Death and/or Take the Money and Run.
More titles released today:
Being Human: Season Four (BBC)
Merlin: The Complete Fourth Season
The Notebook: Ultimate Collector’s Edition
The Man Who Knew Too Much
The Tin Drum
30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Won’t Back Down
Our Man Flint
Experiment in Terror
House of Cards Trilogy
I Am Bruce Lee
How Green Was My Valley
by Ben McBride