Ireland isn’t all blarney stones and shamrocks. It had long been plagued with violence between Irish Roman-Catholics and British Protestants during a 30 year period commonly known as “The Troubles”. Our 4th day of St. Patrick’s week, we look at Canadian director Kari Skogland’s “Fifty Dead Men Walking” – available now to stream on Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video. Based on a true story, the film depicts a darker side of the Emerald Isle at the worst of The Troubles. Forgoing shots of rolling green hills in favor of the gritty streets of Belfast, this urban crime drama reminds us, for better or worse, of the very complex history of St. Paddy’s homeland.
Archive for March 2013
The greatest American movie genre is easily the Western. Italy may have made them cool, but some of the best came from the good ol’ U.S. of A. where John Ford ruled the roost. When John Wayne starred as his leading man, not only were some of the great Westerns made (“Fort Apache”, “The Searchers”), but some of Hollywood’s most classic films. Day 3 of our St. Patrick’s week, might be a little surprising at first glance. It’s a classic John Ford film, but one that’s as far from the West as the Atlantic is wide. “The Quiet Man” is as Irish as a Guiness and despite not having a single leprechaun or a glowing pot of gold, shows the Emerald Isle in all her beauty with every exterior shot. Read more
Sadly, 2D animation has mostly gone the way of the dodo. Well, here in the United States, anyway. Yet foreign animators show us time and time again that fancy computer drawn graphics don’t necessarily make a great movie. “The Triplets of Bellville”, “Persepolis” and pretty much anything done by Hayao Miyazaki make it easy to remember the art behind the drawings. We continue St. Patrick’s week with another 2 dimensional modern classic: Tomm Moore’s “The Secret of Kells”. The film, inspired by “The Thief and the Cobbler” and Disney’s “Mulan”, both of which were drawn in the styles of the culture and era they were representing, is one of the most beautiful movies you’ll ever watch. The story, rich with Irish mythology, is pretty damn good too. Read more
In 1979, “Alien” redifined the horror genre. It’s tag line: “In space no one can hear you scream.” For nearly 35 years, it’s been the gold standard for I’m-trapped-with-a-monster-in-closed-spaces movies; often imitated and never duplicated. Films like “Deepstar Six” and “Jason X” obviously ripped off the idea, while everything from “Spaceballs” to the “Space Quest” game series have included nods to the classic. To kick off our St. Patrick’s Week, Cinema Judgement Day takes a look at yet another “Alien” knockoff: “Leprechaun 4: In Space”. ***PLEASE NOTE: This film is most enjoyable with copious amounts of green beer and a frontal lobotomy.***
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all! All this week, we’ll be posting reviews for St. Patty’s Day/Irish/Drinking themed films. But in the meantime, let’s start the holiday off right! Take a shot of Jameson and enjoy this little classic:
Available on Looney Tunes: Golden Collection, Vol. 1
In 2009, French writer-director Jacques Audiard made “A Prophet”, a prison drama about an incarcerated Arab man who becomes a crime boss. The film was well received the world over, even getting nominated for “Best Foreign Language Film” at the 2010 Academy Awards. His follow up film, “Rust and Bone”, based on a collection of short stories by Canadian author Craig Davidson was equally adored. The film won two BAFTAS and nine Cesar’s and has helped to cement Audiard’s reputation as a filmmaker with cross-Atlantic appeal. On March 19th, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings “Rust and Bone” to DVD and Blu-Ray. Just don’t expect the feel-good movie of the season; this is a pretty twisted tale. Read more
I’m in my early 30′s and like most of you I’m sure, grew up guiding Mario (and Luigi if you were unlucky enough to get controller 2) through a world full of pipes and blocks that gave you coins if you punched them. ***DISCLAIMER: Cinema Judgement Day and I are in no way endorsing this behavior and are not responsible if you go around punching bricks hoping to get a quarter*** If you’re an adult or a kid or an adult with kids or an adult who is still a kid, Wreck-It-Ralph is a nice nostalgic trip back to your childhood of “wasting” sunny days inside (if you asked your parents) trying to master the Zangief 360 Spinning Pile Driver or guiding a cracked-out frog across a busy highway. Read more
“The Ghastly Love of Johnny X” starring Will Keenan (“Tromeo and Juliet”) and The Grass Roots’ Creed Bratton, will be coming out June 2013 courtesy of Strand Releasing. Paul Bunnell’s story of interstellar juvenile delinquency has been on the festival circuit for some time now and has one of the best trailers I’ve seen in… forever.
*Click “Read More” to see the preview in all of it’s retro black and white glory!* Read more
Cinema Judgement Day loves taking a dip on the Hellicious side and more often than not, we do so with a title from Full Moon Features. Last week, I was cordially invited to a studio screening of Charles Band’s 260th Full Moon picture: “Ooga Booga”. The film, an exploitation pic about a killer African doll (Tagline: “He’s 16 inches with an attitude”), will be the first film to premiere on Full Moon’s Grindhouseflix.com streaming service on March 12th. But how does it stand against classics like “Puppet Master” and “The Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust”?
Well, 16″ tall of course!
Ok, bad joke. Click “Read More” to find out the real answer! Read more
Pretty much every red-blooded American child has seen the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz”. It’s almost like going Trick or Treating or drinking a Coke. It’s unforgettable music and unbridled imagination has made it a cultural staple for young and old. Maybe that’s why anything in the form of a prequel, a sequel, a reboot or a “reimagining” would be met with harsh skepticism. I mean, remember “New Coke”? Well on March 8, Disney, a company very familiar with retelling classic children’s tales, treads on hallowed ground with “Oz the Great and Powerful”. Flush with mouse money, this prequel comes loaded with special effects and big names, but can director Sam Raimi (“The Evil Dead”, “Spiderman”) deliver a quality story to win over the tiny hearts and boundless minds of children everywhere? Read more