Streaming films of the Day : SORRY TO BOTHER YOU and BORDER!

Ali Abbasi and Boots Riley.

LaKeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Gräns (2018)

These are names you should remember.

They are Writer/Directors to seek out.

You know for the most part when we go to one of these Blockbuster films in the theater, whether AVENGERS ENDGAME or the latest MISSION IMPOSSIBLE or JAMES BOND , we know what we are going to get. If not the particulars, we know the formula, the genre, the broad beats of hero and villain and threat to resolve.

With films like SORRY TO BOTHER YOU and BORDER if you go in blind, without trailer, or forewarning, or spoilers, as I did, and as I suggest you do, you are in for what film used to be, in the early days of film. You are in for something strange, and beautiful, and horrible, and more than a little bit unsettling; you are in for something rare, something new under the sun.

You are in for a ride, that is unfathomable and twisting, and both harrowing and transformative.

These are arguably not films that do well in the theatrical setting, for the simple fact they do not cater to expectations, they live in the unfamiliar places. And can arguably leave us… thoughtful and conflicted about what we see.

And audiences these days like to leave the theater, with easy assumptions reinforced, rather than challenged.

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU and BORDER are both films that do not play to the usual. They are living room films, they are home theaters films, they are personal films, and they are films that will stay with you long after you see them.

Both films feature amazing performances. Lakeith Stanfield of SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, and coming off a show stealing performance in ATLANTA is quickly becoming one of the best young Actors working. And Eva Melander, an actress unknown to me, is nothing short of award material in BORDER.

Both are must own films on DVD/Blu-Ray. In the age of streaming, these are the type of films you do not trust to the ephemeral nature of streaming. You can try before you buy by viewing both movies courtesy of HULU. and once you do, you’ll want to add these films to your collection.

I consider them both, cinematic gems, that will only grow with subsequent viewings.

Get your copies here:

 

https://amzn.to/2Yn5doc

 

https://amzn.to/2E692GB

Great Television Analyzed : Boris Karloff’s THRILLER (1960-1962)

THRILLER is a tv series hosted by the late, great Boris Karloff, that even for fans and students of cinema and television, is more rumored of than actually seen. So imagine my happy surprise to come home from a hard day of work and find the first season of this perennially hard to find show, available on the Roku Streaming Channel for free.

Very much an attempt to ride the popularity of Rod Serling’s TWILIGHT ZONE (1959-1964), THRILLER ran only two seasons, starting out as a crime/thriller series before drifting into pure horror. The show never truly finding its footing or audience, but is remembered fondly by fans of classic television.

After watching the first episode “Twisted Image” I can see why. WoW! As someone watching this episode for the first time, 59 years after it was first aired, I was absolutely riveted. Everything here, works, the cinematography, the direction, the performances, the writing, the undercurrent of sex, dread and desperation… I mean we have seen variations on this theme, in the decades since, and yet this episode  still manages to own every single minute of its 48 minute run-time.

I can only imagine how powerful this episode must have seem in 1960. To a generation just coming off of shows like LEAVE IT TO BEAVER it must have felt nearly X-rated. And yet 60 years removed from that relatively simpler America, the show somehow magically still has power, and is still oddly relevant to our world now. A world of desperate people, doing desperate things, in an attempt to find someone to hold them through the night.

Directed by the esteemed Arthur Hiller, from a teleplay by James Cavanagh, from a novel by William O’Farrell, this is as good a 48 minutes of television as you will find.

And a quick aside about Arthur Hiller, while his cinematic filmography is impressive (see some of his movies below) it is filled mostly with comedies.

It is his little seen early television work that is imbued with this seedy, nightmarish intensity.

Tobruk (1967)The Out of Towners (1970)Miracle of the White Stallions (1963)Man of La Mancha (1972)

Al Pacino, Dyan Cannon, Tuesday Weld, Bob Dishy, and Alan King in Author! Author! (1982)

Liam Nielsen, long before becoming known to a younger generation as a comedic lead, cut his teeth doing serious, often mirthless roles. And this episode of THRILLER is one such role.  He is great here, as is the rest of the cast, but the real draw for me is actress Natalie Trundy, her beauty and fragile madness is the spark, that burns the whole world down.

Just a phenomenal episode. I would buy the boxset of THRILLER on Dvd/BLU-RAY  just to own this episode. It is that good. I put it right up there with the first episode of the original ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS. Now as I mentioned not every episode is a hit. Every great episode seems to be followed up with two mediocre ones, but the series is worth having for the great ones. Try it for free courtesy of Roku, and if as impressed as I, use the link below to get the box-set, while you can.

 

https://amzn.to/2IjIrsF

 

 

 

What’s Hot and What’s Not STREAMING/VOD Guide Week 11 – AMAZON PRIME Edition

WORTH FINISHING/PRETTY DARN GOOD:

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Both movies from the early 90s are of course very dated. Martial Arts had only broken into  the main-stream American conscience barely 15 years earlier. And American Martial Arts/Fight Choreography was still finding itself. And we were still in that very formulaic 80s urban crime/ Deathwish style of filming. All those caveats aside the movies remain incredibly entertaining, with a few pretty awesome sequences. Jeff Wincott and Cynthia Rothrock were prolific 80s action stars for a reason. And that reason is on display in these movies. Along with movies such as SILENT RAGE and PERFECT WEAPON and THE LAST DRAGON these films are fun and fine examples of American Cinematic Martial Arts in its early days.

 

https://cdn.cinematerial.com/p/500x/zlny1ge3/the-hard-way-british-dvd-cover.jpg

I consider Patrick McGoohan one of the best actors ever. And his SECRET AGENT MAN/ DANGER MAN one of the best TV shows. His fight choreography in that show, which predated the James Bond films, elevated fight choreography. The same way that the first season of ARROW raised the bar. Then the first season of DAREDEVIL raised it even higher. Patrick McGoohan, former soldier, former boxer, brings all that to his roles. And here, a much older McGoohan past throwing punches, is no less, cinematic gold.

Richard Burton in a horror movie? SOLD!

https://cdn.cinematerial.com/p/500x/quedcqtx/the-witch-who-came-from-the-sea-blu-ray-cover.jpgThe late 60s and early 70s was such an interesting time for film. Just as borders were being changed and challenged in our world and ourselves, they were also being expressed in our fiction. Particularly our films. There is a malleability and ephemeral-ness to much of the best films from this period. They are not any one genre, or any one thing. Are like our night-scapes, daringly un-solid, and always changing, depending on the viewer, and the viewed. This film will stay with you, long after you have seen it, until you are not sure it was ever a film, but rather maybe a dream, you forgot to dream.  The sight of breaking bone, and spurting blood, is everywhere in this film, and no where. A haunting film.

This one does not start well. Took me a couple attempts to finish it. Much like GOATSUCKER  that started awful, it just gets better and better, culminating in an impressive ending.

INTERESTING / JURY IS OUT

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NOT WORTH YOUR TIME / AVOID

Nightshot (2016)https://i1.wp.com/www.dreadcentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/mortalremainsnew.jpgStarts interestingly, but like most failed horror films, loses any concept of common sense by the third act. Is this something any rational person would do? If the answer is no, then do not put such stupid actions in your darn movie. I wanted the time I spent watching it, back. Avoid.

 

Best Short Horror Films of 2019 Week 8!

Best Short Horror Films of 2019 Week 8!

 

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/mPtCeemqdE0/hqdefault.jpg?sqp=-oaymwEjCPYBEIoBSFryq4qpAxUIARUAAAAAGAElAADIQj0AgKJDeAE=&rs=AOn4CLDh_UfxcZNe5u6425f8IB_xRSS0rgCLAP, CLAP– A 2017 short film according to youtube, I just became aware of this one tonight. Directed by Brandon Piskorik and starring Aaron Burt it is everything you want from a 5 minute horror film. A setting, a narrative, a looming dread, and a payoff. It is a fantastic short film, so I was a bit surprised to see even IMDB has no entry for it. And there is seemingly no webpage or online poster image promoting the short. To go to the effort to make a quality film, then to spend no effort to publicize it seems to me a missed opportunity.

Horror while a popular genre, is a hard genre to get right. Get the editing wrong, the timing wrong, the pacing wrong, and it becomes dreary rather than dreadful (in the horrific, hoped for tone, you want your horror film to hit). Piskorik gets it right here. A solid B+. Worth a look.

 

Another worth a look short is DOOR TO PURGATORY, also from 2017 this one is written and directed by Alexandra Balda. There are no surprises here, from frame one this is a pretty straight forward horror tale, but it is told and photographed well, with a protagonist you find likable and want to keep following.

At 13 minutes it is longer than most shorts but is 13 minutes well spent. There are minor things that distract, showing too clearly and too long the horror element, and too much of the mustache twirling villain at the end. But beyond that it is a solid first short film. A solid C+.

And the things the film CLAP, CLAP failed to do to publicize that movie, is not repeated here. As this movie is on IMDB, is a festival circuit participant (and winner) and has a poster. Alexandra Balda is a filmmaker I look forward to seeing more from.

 

Now films that did not make the cut and why:

STICKS- while arguably more professionally assembled than others on this list, what hurts this is what hurts most horror films, whether short or long. People reacting without any commonsense. Seemingly the protagonist is a caretaker. Why she is cleaning the house at night, well people get busy no biggie. So i’ll ignore that. However, why on earth would any sane person go up those stairs given the circumstances of the short? Why would any sane person open a door given those circumstances? they wouldn’t. It is bad, lazy writing, and a waste of everyone’s time. And the movie is an insult to the viewer’s intelligence.

TOOTH MAN- Not as slickly made suffers from the same issue. Characters acting completely braindead. With reason and commonsense seemingly a foreign language. You are babysitting and discover a bag of bloody teeth after a noise, and the possibility of an intruder, any sane person gets the kid and you get out of the house, and call the police/parents from a neighbors house. But no, not in this movie. I understand you need to create a situation of isolation for protagonist and threat, but you do that through smart writing, not lazy writing. On top of that I hate movies where adults lie to kids. Or husbands patronize wives about the obvious crazy stuff that happens in these movies. When those scenes happen they take me completely out of the movie.

 

 

T-Shirt of the Day : Mario Bava’s DIABOLIK

For the movie fans among you, here is one of the coolest T-shirts of one of the best directed cult movies of all time!

 

In an age far removed from billion dollar Comic Book movies, cinematographer turned Director Mario Bava, best known for his primary colors drenched horror films, gave us this European take, on a superhero. Somewhere between James Bond and Batman, his Diabolik just riveted and impressed, and remains…. impressive.

Definitely light-hearted, and zany, and cartoony in the best sense of the word, this film is a MASTER CLINIC on crafting film. This film, like upcoming films represented in my T-shirt series, deserves to be owned as tactile DVDs/Blurays. Go ahead and sample them via streaming, but own them via DVD/Bluray, because these are films, and special features, and Director’s commentaries that any true fan of cinema, will come back to often. And now you can do it while wearing the coolest t-shirt!

 

 

Danger: Diabolik/DVD

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Danger: Diabolik

USA

Diabolikdvd.jpg
  • Region 1
  • STUDIO: Paramount
  • SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary by Bava Expert/Biographer Tim Lucas and Star John Phillip Law. A nicely put together commentary featuring lots of really great information from Tim. John Phillip Law tells us all about what it was like working with Mario Bava and the beautiful Marissa Mell on the film. | “Body Movin'” video by The Beastie Boys with Audio Commentary by Adam Yauch (MCA) the director of the video which was inspired by Danger Diabolik. | Danger Diabolik: From Fumetti to Film: Interviews with Diabolik fans featuring comic book artist Stephen Bisette, Director Roman Coppola, Composer Ennio Morricone, Musician Adam Yauch, Producer Dino DeLaurentiis and Diabolik himself: John Phillip Law! | Also included on this DVD: Diabolik Teaser and Theatrical Trailers.
  • PICTURE: Ratio: (1:85:1) / 16 X 9 Anamorphic Widescreen. This new transfer is simply beautiful. Diabolik looks the best its ever looked. Mario Bava’s super colorful cinematography and set designs are at the forefront of the film.
  • SOUND: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English). Ennio Morricone’s incredible psychedelic score comes through like a dream. Turn this up on your home stereo system and feel the vibe deep deep down.

Unfortunately there is no Bluray of this film available, but the nearly out of print DVD, is top of the line and a must own for any fan/collector.Get it here:

https://amzn.to/2syKpfF

As far as the T-shirt… get yours here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Diabolik-movie-poster-1968-T-SHIRT-BLACK-all-sizes-S-to-5XL-PP/132448305023?hash=item1ed688bf7f:m:mZ4jd_tJhV8HzQpgO5bc_AQ

 

Tell em HT sent ya!

Today’s MUST SEE YouTube Video… RIGHT NOW!!!!!

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd5J5t4XcyLveOK6aNMpI0g

 

Don Kaart’s ALL THAT JAZZ is one of my favorite channels that I am subscribed to. The below video shows why. See my post,  a few days ago, on collectors, people who preserve and promote culture by not letting things die or be locked away, simply because the venal overlords don’t know how to, monetize it.

Collectors preserve the soul of  culture, not for money or praise, but because they, in the words of Alan Moore, are compelled to. I am not a particularly religious person, but in my mind Collectors like Don Kaart are doing essential, hallowed work. That often goes either uncommented on or villified by the venal, the stupd and the ignorant.

The below video, shows music back when it was pure. Undefined by racist labels, and even more racist gatekeepers. Max Roach earning in this video, in his patient and perfect use of call and response, his reputation as one of the Gods of Jazz and Drumming.

Go subscribe to this channel asap. And more than that, like the video and comment with your praise.

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd5J5t4XcyLveOK6aNMpI0g

The channel deserves it!

Tell em HT sent Ya!

AMAZON PRIME WatchList ITEM/GIFT of the Day : Accident MAN Movie and Book!

Accident Man Movie Poster ACCIDENT MAN- Ease of browsing. This is one of the reasons I canceled Netflix in favor of Amazon Prime. That and the fact I am not paying for more than two streaming services, and my other choice is HULU.

Searching Amazon Prime is a lot like the old days of the giant video stores, only it is a lot better. You have the greatest movie library in the world at your fingertips, and ratings and trailers for almost all the movies to help you make your selection. And also they have a CUSTOMERS ALSO WATCHED recommendation queue to turn you on to other films you might otherwise not have known about.

That and the trailers have helped me discover a lot of great and obscure films I otherwise would have never know about. This film starring two of my favorite Martial Arts actors of the 21st century, Michael Jai White and Scott Adkins, is an adaption of a great, little known British comic magazine character, ACCIDENT MAN. He originally appeared in the UK’s excellent, but short lived, TOXIC magazine.

And that was followed up with a mini-series  from DARK HORSE COMICS.

I didn’t realize until doing the research for this post, there is a hardcover ACCIDENT MAN, that collects all of his appearances in TOXIC magazine, as well as the Dark horse Comics. That is so a MUST BUY! I have the Toxic issues, and I’m keeping them because it is great to see the artwork at full, magazine size, but having all his work collected in one spot on quality paper… sign me up!

Here’s the link to the hardcover. I would recommend buying two copies, one to keep and one to resell when it goes out of print, because it will. Thank me later. 🙂

https://amzn.to/2P7kRzg

Cover Image

If the movie is half as insane as the comic strip, it is going to be a whole lot of fun. And looking at the trailer… it is.

You can get the movie either via streaming or DVD/Blu-Ray:

Accident Man [Blu-ray]

https://amzn.to/2BQaiPA

Considering the Blu-Ray comes with an audio commentary and making of features that reward multiple viewings, I would spring for the Blu-ray/DVD over the streaming version. Especially considering you can get the disc a bit cheaper. You can use the link above to order your copy today.

Thanks to Alien Bee of Alien Bee Dot Net for providing the special features details that even Amazon did not have. Go check out the Alien Bee site for more great reviews:

http://www.alienbee.net/blu-ray-review-accident-man/

Subscribe and like if you found the post informative, and please spread the word. And  email or comment with what your purchase, recommendation of the day was. Till next time!