Friday, September 30, 2011
Director Brad Furman got his Hollywood breakthrough with effective thriller. A sleazy defense attorney finds his conscience after he meets a devious criminal who has outsmarted him and the system before. Matthew McConaughey stars along with a solid supporting cast that includes Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei and William H. Macy amongst others. What makes this formula thriller work is the talented cast who take it a notch above similar movies of its kind. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Prolific and versatile British writer and director Michael Winterbottom explored themes of loss and identity with this drama. A man relocates to Italy with his two young daughters to move on with life after an horrific accident. In Genoa each of them struggle to cope with their loss in different ways. Winterbottom applies his documentary style approach to give the film immediacy that works without losing quality. Colin Firth stars with newcomers Perla Haney-Jardine and Willa Holland along with Catherine Keener and Hope Davis in supporting roles. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Legendary Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci brought the classic novel by Paul Bowles to screen with this lavish adaptation. After the second world war, an American couple travel to North Africa to save their marriage but instead their journey ends in death and madness. Bertolucci and co writer Mark Peploe's interpretation of novel is a peculiar kind of a film that's not for everybody but great on visuals and mood which it does get right. Debra Winger and John Malkovich deliver outstanding performances as the doomed couple getting lost in the desert. Campbell Scott and Timothy Spall provide solid support while DP Vittorio Storaro delivers dazzling images along with Ryûichi Sakamoto's haunting score. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, September 26, 2011
French director Pierre Thoretton made his feature debut with compelling documentary about the relationship between fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his lover, Pierre Bergé. As Bergé prepares to auction their vast art collection, he reflects on their relationship and Saint-Laurent's rise in the fashion world. The presence of Bergé along with the archival footage works in Thoretton's favor to deliver a portrait of the two men. Those expecting to see more of creative process of Yves Saint-Laurent will be disappointed. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
French-Algerian writer and director Nadir Moknèche addresses the struggle of three women in Algeria where their modern life style conflicts with the Islamic tradition. An elderly dancer and her daughter who has an affair with a married man have a difficult time to adapt to the conservative society that seems to threaten their livelihood. Moknèche addresses an issue that concerns many moderate Arab countries where Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise. Lubna Azabal and Biyouna star with solid performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
British comedian, writer and director Richard Ayoade made his feature debut with this coming of age comedy. A British teenager struggling with school and sexual awakening finds out his mother might leave his father for a new-age evangelist that ruins his plans to woo a schoolmate. Ayoade has keen eye for quirky characters and striking visuals but it works to his advantage since the material itself is nothing new. His style over substance approach makes this comedy enjoyable with its over its eccentric characters. The stellar cast includes newcomers Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige along with veterans Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor and Paddy Considine. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Veteran Spanish writer and director Bigas Luna delivered one of his best films with this period drama. A French working class man wins a trip to England to watch the sailing of Titanic where he briefly meets a chambermaid of the ship. Upon his return he weaves tall tales that spreads through the town much to the dismay of his wife. Luna and his co-writers deliver a brilliant story that goes beyond cinema about the power of art, cinema and storytelling that captured the human imagination since the beginning of time. The stellar cast includes Olivier Martinez, Romane Bohringer and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón as the central characters in this romantic drama. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra delivered this effective thriller set in Berlin. After an accident a man wakes up to find out his identity stolen and nobody seems to recognize him including his wife. Collet-Serra manages to keep action and pace going without losing track of the story and characters. Liam Neeson stars as he seems to have found a niche in European set thrillers. The solid cast includes Diane Kruger, January Jones, Frank Langella, Bruno Ganz and Sebastian Koch amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
French writer Jérôme Salle made his directing debut with this thriller. The girl friend of a brilliant criminal picks up an innocent man to replace him while the police and Russian mafia are chasing him in the south of France. Salle's script has plenty of twist and turns for couple of films. While it's not entirely credible on the story side, it's an intriguing thriller with a talented cast and idyllic locations with themes worthy of Hitchcock. Sophie Marceau and Yvan Attal star with the solid support of Sami Frey and Gilles Lellouche. The film was remade and retitled as "The Tourist" with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
French writer and director François Ozon's character study of a woman who finds a second chance in life through pregnancy. A young woman survives a drug overdose while her boyfriend does not and leaves her pregnant. After learning that his family doesn't want her to have the baby, she hides away in small town. Ozon stays away from any formula or cliches to deliver a genuine portrait of a woman who discovers herself through the pregnancy. Isabelle Carré gives a brave performance as the enigmatic and distant woman who comes to terms with her life after a near death experience. The cast includes Melvil Poupaud and Louis-Ronan Choisy in supporting roles. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Director Rob Reiner delivered a classic with his feature debut that gets better with time. A documentarian chronicles the rock band Spinal Tap as they prepare for a fateful tour. An hilarious and outstanding mockumentary that hits the nail on every aspect of Heavy Metal bands with terrific writing and pitch perfect performances that has to be seen to be believed. Reiner wrote the screenplay with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer who all appear as the members of Spinal Tap while Reiner appropriately is the documentarian. There's plenty of cameos that are part of the pleasure of discovering. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
French writer and director Patrice Chéreau made his English debut with this controversial film set in London. A failed musician and a married woman have anonymous sexual encounters that gets them away from realities of life. When the man tries to inquire about her, he runs into her husband that puts their relationships at risk. Based of the stories of Hanif Kureishi, Chéreau and writer Anne-Louise Trividic explore the nature of intimacy, sex, love and relationship in this character study of a man and woman whose sexual encounters have different meaning and motivation. Chéreau created a mature film for adults that goes beyond the surface with a courageous cast. Mark Rylance and Kerry Fox bare their bodies and souls with fearless performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Director D.J. Caruso's career does not seem to improve as this disaster of a movie proves. A young man of alien origin finds out he's next on the list to be eliminated while he tries to blend in at a high school which brings him teenage problems. The movie tries hard to blend action, sci-fi and and thriller elements with drama but fails to succeed at any which explains the involvement of the multiple writers involved. The cast that includes Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant and Dianna Agron seems lost in the material as well. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Writer Matthew Chapman returned to directing after a long absence with this thriller. A young man on the ledge of a high rise reflects on his life with a married woman while the police officer tries to decipher his motives. While Chapman has the right intentions to use the thriller device to reflect on themes of love, adultery and religion amongst others, he only succeeds partially in his ambitious attempt. While the talented cast is more than capable for the material, the casting of some of the key characters are questionable. The cast includes Charlie Hunnam, Terrence Howard, Liv Tyler and Patrick Wilson. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Writer and director Thomas McCarthy delivered another terrific film with his third feature that proves he's a talent to be reckon with. A struggling lawyer and volunteer wrestling coach's attempt to take advantage of an elderly comes back to haunt him when the grandson shows up with unexpected consequences. Terrific writing and directing with flawless performances by a terrific cast makes this gem of a film a joy. The outstanding cast includes Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Burt Young and newcomer Alex Shaffer. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Writer and director Lee Fulkerson makes a compelling case against animal-based and processed foods in this informative documentary. You may have heard that fat, salt, sugar and corn syrup are bad for you but never believed it to be true, here's your chance to get the facts from experts with proof from actual case and scientific studies that backs their facts. It's the most comprehensive take on health and that most diseases stem from animal products. If you can avoid animal product, you already improve your chances against most disease. Nothing in this world comes for free including good health. Live and learn or continue with your bliss that comes from ignorance and suffer the consequences. It's all up to the individual. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Director Bennett Miller returns after a six year absence with another terrific film. The true story of Billy Beane, the general manager of Oakland's A's who changed the business of baseball after successfully using computer generated analysis to draft players. Miller and his ace writers Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin successfully crack the book by Michael Lewis by focusing on Beane. Brad Pitt stars and shines as Beane with another terrific character study. Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright provide solid support amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Director Steven Soderbergh returns in top form with another terrific thriller. After an American woman returns from a trip to Asia and dies of a mysterious deadly virus. Doctors and governments race against time for cure and prevention as the virus kills millions. Soderbergh's no nonsense attitude infuses a breathtaking pace in this riveting thriller that has the urgency and credibility that something like this could actually happen. It shows how fragile and unprepared our world is against unknown viruses despite all the progress and technology. The stellar cast includes Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard and Laurence Fishburne. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
The swan song of Douglas Sirk's career is another melodrama that stands the test of time with a unique twist. A struggling actress and single mother gives shelter to a homeless black woman who has her own issues with her light skinned daughter. Even though the film's focus is on the white women and its star Lana Turner, the film belongs to Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner who steal the film from Turner and Sandra Dee. Their struggles are the real ones which is heartbreaking as they fight racial injustice that tears them apart. Turner's character is rather negative as an ambitious and self-centered actress who wants fame and fortune instead of love and family. John Gavin is the male center and support in this classic tearjerker. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
French writer and director François Ozon returns to his favorite decade, the 70's with this whimsical comedy. When a strike pushes a factor owner to the hospital, his trophy wife must step in to cover for him where she succeeds surprisingly and opens her horizons beyond her and every one's imagination. Ozon delivers another original film with a perfect balance of style and substance with an stellar cast that includes Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Karin Viard, Jérémie Renier and Judith Godrèche. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Writer and director Craig Teper makes his feature debut with this documentary about the legendary hair stylist. The incredible life of Vidal Sassoon who defined the modern woman with his groundbreaking haircuts. Through interviews with the still active Sassoon and archival footage, Teper looks back and traces how Sassoon at a crucial time in history helped changing the world in the 60's. A great time capsule for anybody interested in history. Sassoon's signature style hasn't lost its power and remains modern five decades later. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Director Robert Redford returned with another politically themed drama. After the assassination of President Lincoln, the widow Mary Surrat is charged as a co-conspirator. Her young and idealistic lawyer finds out that she might be damned despite her innocence because some powerful politicians are willing to step on the Constitution to bring closure for a traumatized nation. As Redford points out the Constitution is always in danger to be abused that tarnishes the whole nation. It's clear that by looking at the past, Redford is criticizing the Bush Administration for its abuses that still haunts the United States. Robin Wright and James McAvoy deliver powerful performances as the leads with the solid supporting cast that includes Tom Wilkinson, Kevin Kline and Evan Rachel Wood. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
British actor turned director Kenneth Branagh jumped on the superhero wagon with this adaptation of the Marvel comic. An arrogant prince is cast out and sent to Earth by his father to find himself before he can defend Earth and his home Asgard from the powers of evil. Branagh hits the right notes and finds the right angle to focus on performances to tackle the Nordic superhero with the magic hammer that could have easily misfired in the wrong hands. Newcomer Chris Hemsworth stars as the title hero while veterans Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman provide solid support. Tom Hiddleston shines in a pivotal role. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Legendary director Terrence Malick delivered another stunning masterpiece with his second feature before taking a twenty year break from cinema. Set before the WWI, a tragic love triangle is witnessed by a teenage girl. After killing his supervisor in Chicago, a hot tempered man flees with his teenage sister and girlfriend to Texas where he forces his girlfriend to marry a rich farmer which ends in tragedy. Poetic and heartbreaking with dazzling cinematography and haunting score established Malick as one of the great poets of cinema whose films stand the test of time. The stellar cast includes Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard and Linda Manz in iconic performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Director Cary Fukunaga turned 180 degrees for his sophomore project which is another adaptation of the classic novel Charlotte Brontë. After a traumatic childhood and abusive years, a young woman finds a respectable job as a governess where she meets her enigmatic employer who may provide her with happiness and love. Fukunaga and writer Moira Buffini keep the Gothic romance of the Victorian novel with its brooding atmosphere that keeps the film alive along with perfect casting of Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender as Jane and Rochester with solid support of Judi Dench and Jamie Bell. This adaptation remains the best of the films until another one comes along since the beloved novel is one of the few that will get remade again and again. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Danish director Susanne Bier returned home and top form after a brief detour to Hollywood with this terrific drama about fathers and sons. The path of two families cross each other when their teenage sons develop a friendship with dangerous consequences that leads their fathers to question their priorities and roles as parents. Utterly original and heartbreaking, Bier created a complex world with real problems and characters while examining the roles of manhood between the primitive and modern world. The stellar cast and crew includes actors Ulrich Thomsen, Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, William Jøhnk Nielsen and Markus Rygaard, as well as cinematographer Morten Søborg and composer Johan Söderqvist amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Dutch writer and director Martin Koolhoven delivered a riveting thriller with this coming of age drama set at the end of WW II. A teenager who sees his father as a Nazi collaborator becomes involved with the resistance when he finds a wound British soldier which puts him and his family in danger. Based on the novel by Jan Terlouw, Koolhoven and his co-writers managed to deliver a breathtaking thriller with fully developed complex characters conflicted at a dangerous time during the war. The talented cast includes Martijn Lakemeier, Jamie Campbell Bower and Yorick van Wageningen amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Veteran British TV director Tim Fywell made his feature debut with this poignant family drama. A eccentric family move to a rundown castle where the father hopes to write a masterpiece while his young daughters fall in love with two wealthy American men in the 1930's England. Based on the novel by Dodie Smith, the film keeps the romantic and idyllic tone that fits its eccentric characters rather well. Fywell also got the right cast which shine across the board including Romola Garai, Rose Byrne and Bill Nighy amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.