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The Magician (Review)

Criterion Collection, 1958, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The Magician (originally released as The Face) is an unjustly overlooked Ingmar Bergman film, sandwiched between cinema monoliths The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries and early-’60s classics The Virgin Spring and Through a Glass Darkly. It’s as vibrant as any work in his oeuvre — an odd mix of drama, bedroom farce and horror deep with critical, religious and existential symbolisms.  

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Review)

20th Century Fox, 2010, Rated PG-13

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Oliver Stone’s Wall Street is entirely of its time: a note-perfect portrait of 1980s superficiality and money-lust appropriately channeled through a world where wealth and class can be bought and sold daily. It made a true star of Michael Douglas, who delivered an iconic performance as Gordon Gekko, the cold-hearted, crazy-rich corporate raider who takes a young trader under his wings.  

Twisted Visions

A look at 2010's best off-the-wall DVDs

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I love the year's end. As a writer who delves into the wonders of cinema on DVD, December turns thoughts to the mountains of films consumed over the past 12 months. Believe me, it's a lot. Sussing out the best is an awesome task, but it can lead to hair-pulling conundrums. Where to begin?  

Colin (Review)

Walking Shadows, 2009, Unrated

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Low-budget zombie films are dime-a-dozen. For the most part, they reflect their cash-strapped status in form and function. Refusing to use their deficiencies to their advantage, they become dumbed-down affairs that pump gore effects, cheap scares and violence at the expense of smart narrative and plot. This sad fact makes Colin all the more precious and important.  

Nollywood Babylon (Review)

Kino, 2008, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Nicknamed Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry churns out 2,500 films per year — most at budgets under $15,000. Quick-dash, self-financed B-movie affairs primarily shot on video, the productions have created a booming insulated economy for the poverty-stricken nation. The themes are insular, as well, eschewing stories and narratives popularized by cinematic imports in favor of relatable themes. In short, Nollywood creates African films for Africans. And the people of Nigeria prefer it that way.  

Is This the Real Life, or Is This Just Fantasy?

Mock-doc horror movies brings scares closer to home

0 Comments · Thursday, October 28, 2010
Despite its successes, 'Paranormal Activity 2' is still standard fare familiar to fans of "things that go bump-in-the-night" cinema. Objects mysteriously fly off the walls and chairs creak while dark shadows and off-screen noises amp atmosphere. Simply put, it's a good old-fashioned ghost story. So why the massive response? It's all in the delivery. The 'Paranormal Activity 2' modus operandi follows the original film, with the events unfolding on shaky hand-held camcorders and hidden cameras operated by the characters in the film.  

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? (Review)

First Look Studios, 2010, Rated R

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 29, 2010
It’s a battle of the iconoclasts when Werner Herzog (Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Grizzly Man) and David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks) come together for a fascinating, often frustrating crime-drama/horror amalgam packed with the quirks, oddball characters and creepiness that imbue each filmmaker’s respective works.  

Survival of the Dead (Review)

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 25, 2010
George A. Romero’s return to zombiedom with 2005’s 'Land of the Dead' was a cause célbre. The inventor of the game was back after a 20-year drought and ready to deliver more walking dead hungry for human flesh.'Diary of the Dead' (2007), a rough gem followed. If only the same could be said of 'Survival of the Dead.' Grade: C.   

Word Is Out (Review)

Oscilloscope Laboratories, 1977, Unrated

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 14, 2010
When it was released in 1977, the documentary Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives was touted as one of the first films about gay life made by gay filmmakers. This wasn’t entirely true, of course. Jean Genet, Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol, Rosa von Praunheim, Curt McDowell and many others had been dealing with such subjects for decades.  

City of the Living Dead (Review)

Blue Underground, 1980, Unrated

1 Comments · Wednesday, June 23, 2010
George A. Romero is cinema's point man when it comes to zombie horror, and rightfully so. His groundbreaker, 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968), and its sequels set the rules and regulations for the subgenre: The dead have come back to life, they move slowly and they want to eat you. However, another director must be credited for some of contemporary zombiedom's successes, too: Lucio Fulci.