It’s pretty safe to say… no, it’s very safe to say that Chow Yun-Fat is one of the biggest badasses ever to grace a movie screen. The man has well over 100 films to his credit going back to the ’70s. From his work in John Woo’s Hong Kong pictures, to more recent Hollywood blockbusters, he’s shown an international appeal that few actors are able to achieve, much less maintain. For this reason alone, Mr. Chow must have been the only choice to star in Wong Jing’s new film “The Last Tycoon”, available on Blu-Ray 9/17. Part “Casablanca”, part “Grand Theft Auto”, he plays a gangster in 1930′s Shanghai at the top of his game, exuding a ruthless calm that only comes from years of being the baddest around. This is far from Chow Yun-Fat’s first rodeo, but he’s still riding hard. Read more
Tag Archive for drama
There’s a danger in adapting a true story for the screen. For an audience that’s been weened on the traditional, three-act Hollywood film, it would be a frustrating, fruitless experience to watch a literal adaptation of someone’s life. Real lives don’t have neat dramatic arcs. Real people tend not to learn their lessons. Somewhere along the line, liberties must be taken. Events are shuffled and condensed. Characters are cut and composited. All in an effort to give structure to what seems like chaos. So, how much of that story stays true? It’s an intriguing question. Fortunately, The Iceman is so engrossing, you won’t have time to think of it. Read more
It’s been pretty hot around these parts lately and to cool off, Cinema Judgement Day and Millennium Entertainment are giving away 2 copies of “The Iceman” on Blu-Ray! Following the career of real life mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, the film is a gritty, star-studded event that you won’t want to miss. Entering is easy: Just send an email here with “Iceman” in the subject line and the address you’d like the prize sent to in the body. The contest runs 9/1/13 through 9/8/13. At the close, two winners will be randomly selected and notified via email, then announced on the CJD website. As always, only one entry is allowed per person and the contest is only open to US residents.
Best of luck and stay cool!
Back in college, I took a beginner’s Japanese class. I remember learning that a white collar businessman is called a “Salary Man”. I guess it’s similar to calling someone a “businessman,” but in my mind, I always thought that Asians regard this class of worker differently than Americans. In reality, I think we both look at them as the drones that keep the economy running… only one seems to hide their discontent better than the other. In any case, when I watched Lim Sang-Yun’s “A Company Man“, I kept hearing the word “Sarariman” over and over in my mind. While most cubicle-bound businesspeople doing the 9-to-5 may claim that the job is killing them, I don’t think many have meant it literally. Here, it is quite literal… and quite exciting. Read more
There’s an old adage in the screenwriting business: “Show, don’t tell.” On that front, director Ramin Bahrani’s “At Any Price“ opens beautifully. Home movies capture the backyard barbeques and birthdays of the Whipple family, who live and work in the cornfields of Iowa. We end up seeing 20 years of exposition in a little more than two minutes. It’s a smart, effective way of handling backstory. Unfortunately, it’s about the only thing the movie does well. Read more
When I think of a “Floating City“, the first thing that pops into mind is Cloud City on the planet Bespin. On planet Earth, I immediately think of Venice, Italy. Well, the titular city in director Yim Ho’s comeback film actually refers to Hong Kong, floating off the southern coast of China. As I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to world history, you can just about squeeze what I don’t know into the Grand Canyon. I do know that Hong Kong used to be controlled by the Brits and that Christianity is big there, but if you were to ask me anything about the “Egg People”, I’d think you were referencing something from “Sgt. Pepper“. On 8/20, “Floating City” hits Blu-Ray and DVD, providing a snapshot of Hong Kong in the final years of British rule and sheds a bit of light on the struggles of these oddly named people. Read more
Chances are, if you saunter into the local multiplex on any given weekend, you’ll find a schmaltzy romance engineered to raise the expectations of women everywhere. Films where young, good-looking couples overcome the odds to find their “happily ever after”. Of course, every now and then, a filmmaker might throw a wrinkle into the formula to keep things fresh. But sometimes, if you’re a director like Michael Haneke, you obliterate the formula, fast-forward 50 years and take a hard, unflinching look at that couple’s unhappy ending. You might even christen the film something ironically generic, like Amour. Read more
Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about world history. I mean, I know a few things but I wish I knew more. For example, I knew that America and the Vietnamese were both in the Vietnam War, but I didn’t know that Australia was fighting along side us. I just sort of thought it was only our debacle. Honestly, most everything I know about ‘nam is either from “Platoon“, “Apocalypse Now” or my older co-worker Ron who occasionally brings up hotboxing in a tank or smoking joints with a monkey he picked up somewhere in the jungle. In any event, I learned something new and it’s all because of Synapse Films’ new release of “The Odd Angry Shot“, coming to Blu-Ray and DVD on 8/13. The movie is quite different from American films dealing with the same conflict, in that it has nothing really to say politically… and that made it pretty controversial in Australia.
Lots of movies coming out today seem to be more about spectacle than about people. Look no further than most of this summer’s offerings; it’s easy to wipe out an entire city block, but it’s not so easy to create characters anybody cares about. That’s kind of the thing about road trip movies, they can be really offbeat and bizarre, but at the end of the day, if they’re going to succeed they have to be about people you want to be around. Seriously, who really wants to be stuck on a two hour journey with Paul Walker as he struggles to read dialogue off of his palm? It also helps if the characters are fun, quirky and (most importantly) have great chemistry with each other. ”Cloudburst“, coming to DVD July 30 from Wolfe Video, manages to hit many of the right notes, but doesn’t reach it’s destination without hitting a few speed bumps. Read more