The Lost Men Series : Four GREAT films currently available on Streaming!

The Lost Men Series : Four GREAT films currently available on Streaming!

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These four films, which did not get theatrical releases, are far better than the vast majority of films that do reach the theaters. Disappointing films such as DEAD MAN DOWN and SPRING BREAKERS get screen time, when visually and thematically superior films such as Tim McCann’s brilliant ANOTHER ZERO IN THE SYSTEM and Dan Eberle’s enthralling, nearly wordless PRAYER TO A VENGEFUL GOD go unheralded.

And Michael Morrissey’s impressive BOY WONDER is the myth of masked vengeance done better than most big budget super-hero movies. Rounding out the quartet, director Brian A. Miller’s HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN is one of the best neo-noirs seen since the Coen Brother’s BLOOD SIMPLE or Craig Ross Jr’s frenetic and fantastic CAPPUCCINO. Dave Bautista delivering a surprisingly elegant and understated performance.

One of the common threads these four movies share is understated but brilliant performances, as well as a thematic conceit of men either at odds or abandoned by the judicial system, who must themselves find justice for those around them.

From Mike Simmons memorable turn as the protagonist in ANOTHER ZERO IN THE SYSTEM (A great film unfairly lambasted by the short-sighted crowd, there’s rumors of director Tim McCann and star Mike Simmons in talk to helm the new Luke Cage/Power-Man series from Marvel/Netflix — to which I say… heck yes!) to Director/Writer Dan Eberle, also doing triple duty as star in his PRAYER TO A VENGEFUL GOD. Together these four films create a new and refreshing phase of American cinema, a new wave if you will.

Sample them for yourself while they last on streaming services, and when you find yourself smitten with them… purchase your copies here:

Another Zero in the System

Prayer to a Vengeful God

Boy Wonder

House of the Rising Sun

Happy 20 April 2014!

Well Happy Holiday or non-Holiday to all my followers and random surfers!!

Hope you guys are having a stellar weekend so far, and a stellar Sunday to close it out!

I thought I would mention a few items, beyond the obvious, that occurred on this day that I found interesting:

1775 – British begin siege of Boston
1792 – France declares war on Austria, Prussia & Sardinia
1799 – Napoleon issues a decree calling for establishing Jerusalem for Jews
1828 – René Caillié is first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou.
1841 – 1st detective story (Edgar Allen Poe’s “Murders in Rue Morgue”) published
1862 – The first pasteurization test completed by Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard.
1888 – 246 reported killed by hail in Moradabad, India
1894 – 136,000 mine workers strike in Ohio for pay increase
1896 – 1st public film showing in US John Philip Sousa’s “El Capitan” premieres in NYC
1902 – Marie & Pierre Curie isolate the radioactive element radium chloride
1918 – Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.
1920 – Tornadoes kill 219 in Alabama & Mississippi
1941 – 100 German bombers attack Athens
1944 – Dutch Communist Party resistance fighter John Postma sentence to death
1945 – Soviet troops enter Berlin
1963 – All Africa Conferences of Churches opens in Kampala Uganda
1964 – 86% of Black students boycott Cleveland schools
1965 – People’s Republic China offers North Vietnam military aid
1967 – US Surveyor 3 lands on Moon
1968 – English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial Rivers of Blood speech
1986 – Michael Jordan sets NBA playoff record with 63 points in a game
1987 – US deports Karl Linnas to USSR, charged with Nazi war crimes
1988 – US accuses Renamo of killing 100,000 Mozambiquians
1998 – German terrorist group Red Army Faction announces their dissolution after 28 years
1999 – Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School located in Jefferson County, Colorado
2004 – In Iraq, 12 mortars are fired on Abu Ghraib Prison by insurgents, killing 22 detainees and wounding 92
2007 – Johnson Space Center Shooting: A man with a handgun barricades himself in NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas before killing a male hostage and himself
2008 – Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race
2010 – Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion kills 11 and causes rig to sink, initiating a massive oil discharge in the Gulf of Mexico
2013 – 193 people are killed and 11,826 are injured after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake strikes Lushan County, China

These statistics courtesy of History Orb.

This Weekend’s ON-DEMAND, AMAZON PRIME, ROKU Hits & Misses!

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Some recent AMAZON PRIME hits and misses!

THE BLEEDING HOUSE is a slow burning but superb bit of venom, about an odd, isolated family and an odd stranger, that will linger long after you have seen it. There is the melancholy of Tennesse Williams gothic here, meets something all together darker and more horrific. In tone somewhat reminiscent of Jeff Goldblum’s excellent work in MISTER FROST. Recommended

APARTMENT 143 – Another in the spate of ‘footage’ films, a more intriguing premise, and better performances elevate this. Recommended.

THE PACT – Is not your average haunted house movie, and has an original script and solid direction to make it memorable.

AN OLD MAN’S GOLD – This tale of a dying gangster and his will that becomes a bone of contention with his fellow ex-gangsters. Solidly miss-able.

DETOUR- A guy stuck in his car after a mudslide. About as interesting as mud.

CAGE FIGHT – Incredibly low budget and cheap looking. Desperately needs a stunt coordinator, or just a director or a decent script. Mediocre is being kind. Awful is more accurate.

BALANCE OF POWER- Feels atrociously 80s. Stars Billy Blanks.

The Essential Films by the Essential Directors Vol I

Djibril Diop Mambety – People will expound that TOUKI BOUKI is this director’s best fiilm. They are in error, I don’ t even like TOUKI BOUKI. I understand its signifigance in terms of when it was made, the conditions it was made under, but it is too eastern to be successful just aping a western film. It suffers in comparison to all the films it alludes to.

However, the director, Djibril Diop Mambety (I love that name) managed, under always harrowing conditions, to produce two features and a few shorts before his unfortunate passing, and clearly the pinnacle of his work, where his grasp quite nearly met his reach, was the brilliant satire… HYENAS.

It is not just a great ‘African’ film, it is a great film… period. It is something substantially new and haunting under the sun, colonial critique mixed wiith magical realism. Bitingly witty married to blisteringly tragic, it is one of the films you save for posterity.

Price your copy here:

Roku Streaming Movie Oddity of the Day : THE HIKE

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Roku Streaming Movie Oddity of the Day is THE HIKE – This one got my interest, not because of quality, but scarcity. To get the Region 1 DVD of this film on Amazon would cost you (as of the date of this posting) over $40.

However through the magic of the Roku device (or your device of choice), and the channel POPCORNFLIX, you can watch this film for free and see if it’s remotely worth purchasing.

It sounds like a poor man’s DESCENT to me, and the reviews are lukewarm at best, but for the price of free I’m willing to check it out.

You can view it online here!
Or add the POPCORNFLIX channel to your Roku or other device by using the handy instructions found here to view it on your tv.


Addendum- The first 40 minutes of this film, you can be forgiven for wanting to turn off the movie, the acting is not good, the writing cringe worthy in places, however that said, it’s not completely without interest, and by the 42 minute mark, it actually becomes something of a more compelling movie than I thought it was going to be.

No one is going to confuse this with a great film, but for the genre it is a more thought out, and arguably impressive effort than you would expect. Let’s put it this way, it is far better than over-hyped films such as A LONELY PLACE TO DIE(2011) and TRIANGLE(2009). And whatever acting issues you have with the first half of the movie, are not there with the last half. Plus it boasts a throbbing, addictive score.

All in all, and while I just said no one is going to confuse this movie with a great film, I do think the 2nd half of this movie is pretty darn impressive. And I personally thought the ending was exceedingly good and lifts the whole movie up. Grade: B.

Plus this movie is available in a nice multi-region Blu-Ray for less than the price of the DVD that originally started this post. So if you determine after viewing, that this is a film you want to add to your collection, grab your copy here: The Hike [Blu-ray]. They have about 5 copies left as of this writing.