Now Showing: Netflix Streaming On-Demand Film of the Day — THE ROBBER (Der Rauber)

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I wouldn’t agree with the quote on the above poster by an overly excited VILLAGE VOICE reviewer, this is more an intense case study/drama… rather than a white knuckled thrill ride; however it is an extremely tight and engaging case study/drama.

Plumbing the actions of a particular robber, the film never tries to explain those actions, but is satisfied in the unfolding of them, and in that way the main character of Johann Rettenberger (played almost wordlessly, and very impressively by Andreas Lust) remains an enigma and his actions inexplicable… to the end.

Director Benjamin Heisenberg, has crafted a fascinating and easily re-watchable puzzle of a film. The puzzle being the vagaries of the human heart. Strongly Recommended. B+.

You can view on streaming here (while it lasts), and when ready to own the movie you can get the Bluray here:

The Robber [Blu-ray]

Five FAVORITE AVENGERS Posters!!

So I was at the post office flirting hard, with the fetching postal worker behind the counter. And to her credit she was throwing it back pretty capably, and we got on the subject of the AVENGERS movie. She has no interest in the AVENGERS movie or any superhero or action flick.

She was much more psyched by THINK LIKE A MAN and WOMEN THOU ART LOOSED and other relationship tinged flicks. I must admit I died inside a little to know my future wife has no interest in slam, bam action flicks, but oh well. Diversity they say makes a happy home. :)

On a serious note, taking a page from her book, I’m glad the AVENGERS movie is finally here, and I’m glad Joss Whedon is helming it, but I’m not really that wowed by the trailer I’ve seen, or the poster.

Of course I’m going to go see it, and I hope it’s great as everyone thinks it’s going to be, but I’ll be happy with good. Let’s put it this way, on anticipation level, not crazy about the default AVENGERS poster, this one:

The poster just bothers me, because it’s so un-artfully done, if you take my meaning. I can’t quite define what grabs me the wrong way about it, but it does. It definitely puts me off. It is so bad it actually has me worried about the movie. :)

If you can’t take the effort to make a decent poster it just hints at sloppiness or laziness somewhere else in the film. I’m hoping that’s incorrect and the buck stops with a lazy marketing department (which is far from an isolated thing in Hollywood, unfortunately.)

So I went searching for AVENGERS posters that did look good, and found these top 5! (Some of the best ones are fan created) Enjoy!

First the honorable mentions. The solo posters with Scarlett Johansson for obvious reasons :) :

Now counting down to the best, #5:

#4

#3

#2 A great poster from Australia!

And my #1 favorite AVENGERS poster, is this simple but sumptuous use of open space and duality in this Japanese poster. I show the logo and logo free posters. It’s great!

Well I don’t know about you, but I feel better for having seen those nice looking posters! Easily pleased aren’t I? :)

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Free Movie of the Day! THE HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND!

Occasionally I’ll bring you items, freely accessible online, that I think are worth a look.

HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND, available at Archive.org, is one such item. No one is going to confuse this German production from 1960 for a good film. A softcore exploitation-horror flick, originally titled ‘Toter hing im Netz’, by relatively unknown director Fritz Bottger, and sporting a largely German cast, it was first released in the states as a luke-warm Adult Flick in 1962 called IT’S HOT IN PARADISE, and sank like a stone. A few years later it was cut to try to appeal to the Drive In Crowd, and released as THE HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND and fared no better under that name.

All that said, it’s a harmless enough bit of pap, the dub/voice Actors do a good job, it’s well performed for an exploitation flick, it’s full of pleasant sights and plentiful female form (which happen to be the same thing :)), And the cheesy spiders and monster makeup, is kooky and endearing in a crazy way. Again I’m not arguing with its low IMDB rating, it’s completely brain-dead (One example: the male lead says ‘there’s nothing to worry about’ after they just find a dead body stuck in a huge spiderweb), that said I fast forwarded some of it, but mostly it was kooky, dumb fun and I enjoyed the time it took to watch.

A guy stranded on an Island, with a boatload of beautiful women. What is not to like? :) Well maybe the man-killing spiders mutated by Uranium could be a worry. :)

The version on Archive.Org clocks in at only 74 minutes, a full 15 minutes less than its official time as listed on IMDB (more than likely for the original German version with nude scenes, etc, intact. It’s more than long enough at 74 minutes). And the picture quality is very dark, but is watchable, and again for a way to view the movie without having to buy or rent, you can’t argue with the quality.

So to sample it for yourself, View it here!

(And I always recommend downloading/supporting the OGG format which is a free/open format, unlike mpeg/mp4/mp3 and its derivatives… which one day, if I know greedy companies as well as I think I do, the MPEG rights holders are going to start charging people licensing fees to continue using their compression algorithm. They would be already but thankfully the alternative of OGG keeps them honest. So let’s keep supporting OGG.)

Thanks for looking!

Images of the Day: Art to make you go WoW!! Paintings from the Masters!

Title says it all, enjoy:

Beksinski has been called, and rightly, the master of the Aftermath, check out my previous posts on him.

Now a landscape painter I was introduced to just today, who was born nearly two centuries before Zdislaw Beksinski, and does not deal in Beksinski’s fantastic/visionary imagery, however in mood, in languid foreboding and beauty, he is very much a kindred spirit to Beksinski. I speak of German landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich.

However where Caspar David Friedrich was the greatest painter of German Romanticism, the American Romantic movement would broaden that movements intimate, small scope, and improve upon it, introducing the world to the grandeur and beauty of the landscape en masse. There was and is no better representative of American Romanticism/Landscape Painter, than the criminally neglected Robert Scott Duncanson, Abolitionist, Painter, World traveler. Born in Cincinati to a Scottish Father and African Mother, Duncanson’s work unfortunately remains underseen and underdocumented (unlike Beksinski and Friedrich, we still await the beautiful over-sized art book on Duncanson) . Where Beksinski is the master of the Aftermath, Duncanson is the master of the Grandeur.