Monday, December 31, 2012

TOP 10 of 2012

TOP 10 Films & Directors
01. Amour, Michael Haneke
02. Life of Pi, Ang Lee
03. Skyfall, Sam Mendes
04. The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan
05. The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson
06. Rust & Bone, Jacques Audiard
07. Lawrence Anyways, Xavier Dolan
08. Argo, Ben Affleck
09. Anna Karenina, Joe Wright
10. Les Misérables, Tom Hooper

TOP 10 Performances, Female
01. Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
02. Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone
03. Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
04. Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea
05. Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
06. Anne Hathway, Les Misérables
07. Suzanne Clément, Lawrence Anyways
08. Judi Dench, Skyfall
09. Helen Hunt, The Sessions
10. Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

TOP 10 Performances, Male
01. Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour
02. Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
03. Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
04. Matthias Schoenaerts, Rust & Bone
05. John Hawkes, The Sessions
06. Melvil Poupaud, Lawrence Anyways
07. Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
08. Javier Bardem, Skyfall
09. Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
10. Jude Law, Anna Karenina

TOP 10

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Writer turned director Lorene Scafaria made her feature debut with this unique and charming film that blends comedy and drama with plenty of heart and humor. A man finds himself alone as the end of the world nears where he embarks on a road trip with his beautiful neighbor. Scafaria hits the right notes with an original but tricky concept thanks to the perfect casting and clever script. Steve Carell and Keira Knightley star as the unlikely couple who find love and each other with solid and charming performances. The supporting cast includes Connie Britton, William Petersen and Martin Sheen amongst many other familiar faces. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo returned with this third feature, a psychological thriller that blends horror and drama into one. Two children are haunted by a similar nightmare in different countries that endangers them and their families. Fresnadillo and his talented cast and crew delivered an effective film that thrills with suspense until the end. The international cast includes Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Daniel Brühl and Pilar López de Ayala amongst others. 1001 Films coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Les Misérables

British director Tom Hooper returns with the smashing adaptation of the beloved musical based on the monumental novel by Victor Hugo. The path of a convict who wants to redeem himself and the lawman who doesn't believe in redemption crosses several times as both try to prove the opposite has tragic consequences. Hooper took on a bigger challenge by taking on the musical than going to the novel pays off and proves he was the right director for the challenge. A surprisingly gritty and emotional film for a wall to wall musical in a groundbreaking way by having the actors to perform the songs instead of lip-syncing that's quiet an achievement whether you like musicals or not. Despite all the songs, Hooper stays true to the novel's themes of faith, redemption, love and hope which is the heart and soul of the film. The stellar cast more than deliver by bringing emotion and honesty to the their performances. Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe star along with Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Monday, December 24, 2012

RIP: Richard Rodney Bennett 1936 - 2012

Django Unchained

Writer and director Quentin Tarantino returns with another genre bending film that explores new ground while paying homage to the films that inspired him. With the help of his German mentor, a slave turned bounty hunter tries to save his wife from a ruthless plantation owner. The way he rewrote history in his previous film that allowed the Jews to take cinematic revenge on the Nazis, Tarantino does the same with the slaves taking vengeance on the racist white men that will cause controversy. Tarantino excels by finding the right tone between style and substance. While he seamlessly blends the classic American and Italian spaghetti western, he also provides an unflinching look into the world of slavery in all its glory which would be unwatchable without the humor and style. While Jamie Foxx stars as the title hero, the best performances come from Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson who steal scene after scene with their terrific performances. The supporting cast includes Kerry Washington, Franco Nero, Don Johnson amongst many other familiar faces. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Rum Diary

British writer and director Bruce Robinson returned with his fourth feature after almost two decades for the adaptation of a lost novel by the late Hunter S. Thompson. An American journalist finds himself between alcohol and shady politics in the turbulent Puerto Rico of early the 60's. Robinson's vivid film excels with a stellar cast to recreate a bygone era whose themes still resonate today. Johnny Depp stars and produced the film which allowed him to step out from the weirdo world of Tim Burton which is quite refreshing for a change. The solid supporting cast includes Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, Amber Heard, Richard Jenkins and Giovanni Ribisi. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Avengers

Director Joss Whedon's second feature unites several superheros trying to save the earth. Several superheros including Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and Thor amongst others are called upon to save the earth. Whedon's winning formula builds on the success of several blockbusters that established the superheros in their own rights along with most of the actors including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson who reprise their roles. The new additions are Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner who excel in their roles as do the most of the cast. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Silver Linings Playbook

Writer and director David O. Russell continues his revived career with another solid drama. After a mental break down, a man tries to rebuild his life with the help of his parents and an attractive woman with plans of her own. Based on the novel by Matthew Quick, Russell found another solid story with terrific characters that attracted another stellar cast who deliver outstanding performances. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence shine in the leads with the strong support of Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Anupam Kher amongst others. The films is best enjoyed without the hype of the award season. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Magic Mike

Prolific director Steven Soderbergh continues to impress with his genre hopping that revived his career with this drama set in the world of male strippers. A teenager is drawn into the world of male strippers where finds easy access to money, women and drugs. Based on the experiences of actor Channing Tatum who stars and produced the film, Soderbergh found another genre to explore. The cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer and Cody Horn amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Cat in Paris

French directing team of Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol made their feature debut with this original animated film. The double life of a cat get her young owner in trouble when they get involved in the world of adults. Original story with refreshing animation makes this film stand out in the world domination of Disney and Pixar. French actresses Dominic Blanc and Bernadette Lafont star in the original version while Anjelica Huston and Marcia Gay Harden take on English version. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Director Oliver Stone returns with another crime drama that proves he's past his prime. Two Californian drug dealers find themselves targeted by a Mexican drug cartel when their girlfriend is kidnapped. Unfortunately there's nothing new about the story and the film that hasn't been already explored in better films despite a talented cast. Newcomers Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson star along with Blake Lively in the leads while veterans Benicio del Toro, John Travolta and Salma Hayek appear in the supporting roles. 1001 Films' coverage o films on DVD.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Take the Waltz

Canadian actress Sarah Polley turned writer and director returns with a romantic comedy. A happily married woman falls for her handsome neighbor which leads her to reevaluate her life. The extremely talented Polley delivers an original story that tries to dig deeper into relationships with honesty and humor but fails to find the right tone. Michelle Williams stars as the insecure woman afraid to take chances along with comedians Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman whose presence disturb the delicate balance of the story. Luke Kirby as the lovestruck neighbor holds his own against the star cast. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Batman Begins

British director Christopher Nolan took the superhero genre to new cinematic heights with the first film in the epic trilogy. The origin story of billionaire Bruce Wayne and his transformation into the dark knight as he fights crime in Gotham City. Nolan and co-writer David S. Goyer took the comic book and gave it a serious tone and rooted in realism improving the source material. Christian Bale stars and leads a stellar cast that includes Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Tom Wilkinson, Cillian Murphy and Katie Holmes amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Killing Bono

Irish director Nick Hamm brings the story of former classmates of U2 and their struggle to achieve stardom.  The story of two brothers and aspiring musicians who miss a chance to become part of a band that becomes later U2 which causes them a lifelong of missed opportunities. Based on the book by Neil McCormick, this comedy has a bitter taste since it focuses on a loser who's arrogance and betrayal prevents his brother's potential to a great career which is heartbreaking. The scenes with U2 founder Bono who tries several times to reach over to the brothers are the best in the film which gives perspective to the story. Ben Barnes stars along with Robert Sheehan, Martin McCann and Krysten Ritter. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Crook

French writer and director Claude Lelouch reunited with Jean-Louis Trintignant for his first crime thriller. The rise and fall of a smart crook as he plans to seek revenge and outsmart the cops. Lelouch succeeds with the inventive and non-linear approach that adds suspense to a familiar story.  The film is dated but holds up due to the time capsule aspect of an bygone era. Francis Lai's score adds the third element to the Lelouch and Trintignant reunion.  1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


German director Robert Schwentke returned with another Hollywood formula film, alas from another era. A retired CIA agent and his team get back to action to find out why they are being targeted and killed. Based on a graphic novel, the film is a throw back on films from 60's and 70's that reunited familiar faces that were the attraction than the story itself. Bruce Willis stars along with Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich and Brian Cox who all have done better films which justifies their presence in this one. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Promised Land

Writer and director Michael Hoffman's breakthrough film was the first film to be commissioned by the Sundance Film Festival which explores the dark side of the American Dream. Two high school students dream of a bright future after they graduate but find themselves trapped in the small town and struggling as drifter years later when their paths crosses again. Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Gedrick star along with Meg Ryan and Tracy Pollan. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Queen of Versailles

Director Lauren Greenfield returned with a timely documentary that shows an intimate story behind the economic meltdown. The film follows the wife of real estate billionaire David Siegel as she's trying to build the biggest mansion in the US inspired by Versailles and the follow up of the financial crisis that forces them back to reality. Greenfield could not have found a better subject for her fascinating documentary that shows American greed and excess. The Siegels are shallow and superficial couple who seem to have little or no knowledge of what happened to the owners of Versailles in a twist of irony. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

CRITICS AWARDS 3: LA Film Critics Association

Best Film


Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Actor
Joaquin Phoenix

Best Actress
Emmanuelle Riva, AMOUR

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Documentary

Best Animated Feature

Best Screenplay
Chris Terrio, ARGO

Best Cinematography 
Roger Deakins, SKYFALL

Best Production Design 
David Crank, Jack Fisk, THE MASTER

Best Score
Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin, BEASTS OF SOUTHERN WILD



For more info:

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Icelandic writer and director Baltasar Kormákur took charge of the Hollywood remake of his own film "Reykjavik-Rotterdam" with a bigger budget and stars. A former smuggler is forced back on a dangerous mission to settle a debt that could puts him and his family in danger. While the story remains mostly the same, it doesn't survive the make over to the US setting with one major flaw that derails the film. Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale star along with Giovanni Ribisi, Lukas Haas and Ben Foster. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Snowtown Murders

Australian director Justin Kurzel and writer Shaun Grant made their feature debut with this gritty and unflinching film about Australia's worst serial killer. A teenager falls under the spell of his mother's new boyfriend which takes him on a nightmarish journey of torture and murders. Kurzel and Grant take no prisoners with this nightmare of a film which is hard to watch most of the time which is how it should be. Daniel Henshall gives a terrifying performance as John Bunting while Lucas Pittaway holds his own as the teenager and forced accomplice. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Writer and director Wes Anderson's seventh film features all his signature elements from the whimsical story with an all star cast to the impeccable style that covers every aspect of the film. After two teenagers disappear, a search party discovers their secret plan to flee to a remote beach causing for panic as a storm gathers. Anderson's films are appreciated for their style and A-list cast than its stories which has granted him a respectable career. While his stylized films are beautiful to watch, his characters and their emotions are compromised. The cast includes Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CRITICS AWARDS 2: National Board of Review

Best Film

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, ZERO DARK THIRTY

Best Actor

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain, ZERO DARK THIRTY

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress 

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Documentary

Best Animated Feature

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Original Screenplay

Rian Johnson, LOOPER


For more info:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sexual Chronicles of a French Family

Directing team of Pascal Arnold and Jean-Marc Barr continue to explore sexuality in their sixth film. The sex life of three generations are exposed from a teenager to his grandfather. While there's a lot of sex, it's neither erotic nor useful in the storytelling besides displaying the casual approach to sexuality by the French. Arnold and Barr don't bring anything new about the French that hasn't been explored in countless other films. All the game cast is left to do to perform sexual acts on screen which will be boring to the French and shocking to those not familiar with French cinema. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, December 3, 2012

CRITICS AWARDS 1: NY Film Critics Circle

Best Film

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, ZERO DARK THIRTY

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, LINCOLN

Best Actress


Best Supporting Actor
Matthew McConaughey, MAGIC MIKE

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Field, LINCOLN

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Animated Film

Best Documentary

Best First Feature

Best Screenplay
Tony Kushner, LINCOLN

Best Cinematography 


For more info:

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Controversial Italian writer and director Pier Paolo Pasolini introduced legendary opera singer Maria Callas in her feature debut which was also her last. Medea helps Jason on his quest to get his kingdom back by stealing the golden fleece then killing her brother but his betrayal leads her to kill their children. Pasolini opens up the Greek tragedy based on the Euripides' play to stunning exotic locations and costumes but strips it of dialogue and emotional content which fails to live up to the source material. The stunning Callas seems lost without her signature voice which puts her out of her element without much dialogue. The production values are outstanding with the contributions of cinematographer Ennio Guarnieri,  production designer Dante Ferretti and costume designer Piero Tosi. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Writer and director Richard Linklater reunited with Jack Black for another winning comedy. When a likable funeral director and social butterfly befriends and kills a wealthy widow, the townspeople refuse to believe his guilt despite the evidence. Based on a true story, Linklater created an original comedy that gives Black his best performance beyond the silly comedies. The only problem is the heavy use of witnesses which drags the pacing. Matthew McConaughey disappears in a supporting role which marks a turning point in his career. The supporting cast also includes Shirley MacLaine with another solid performance. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Life of Pi

Taiwanese master director Ang Lee managed the impossible to bring the beloved novel by Yann Martel to the screen in glorious 3D formant. A young man survives a ship wreck with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker which leads to an epic journey of survival and adventure. Lee and writer David Magee keep all the elements of the novel in tact but make it work in cinematic terms which is quite an accomplishment by the entire talented team on and behind the screen. Like Cameron and Scorsese before him, Lee uses 3D to enhance the story and the sense of adventure which is breathtaking in its visual splendor. Newcomer Suraj Sharma shines in his screen debut with a demanding performance. The supporting cast includes veterans Irrfan Khan, Tabu and Gérard Depardieu. The cinematography by Claudio Miranda and terrific visual effects that includes the tiger are best experienced on the screen and in 3D. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Swedish director Lasse Hallström delivered his best film in more than a decade with this charming romantic comedy. A fisheries expert and a consultant fall in love when he's forced to help her and her wealthy and eccentric Arab client to introduce Salmon in the Yemen. Hallström and British writer Simon Beaufoy successfully adapted the novel by Paul Torday which is further enhanced by the performances of its stellar cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas. The underrated McGregor always delivers superb and nuanced performances who's perfectly matched by Blunt who shines in her own right. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Callas Forever

Italian writer and director Franco Zeffirelli made a fictionalized film that serves as a homage to his friend, the legendary Maria Callas. A director approaches opera legend Maria Callas at the end of her career to reenact her most famous performances to be synced with her audio recordings which gives the diva a new chance to return on stage but also a moral dilemma. The film succeeds because of Zeffirelli's real connection with Callas who might have been approached with a similar proposal. The highlight of the film is the music of Callas. French actress Fanny Ardant stars as Callas with a solid performance given the impossibility of the endeavor with the support of Jeremy Irons and Joan Plowright. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The writing and directing team of Belgian Peter Brosens and American Jessica Woodworth made their narrative debut with this fable set in Mongolia. After a young nomad and his family is uprooted from their home and relocated to mining town, he falls for a rebellious young woman who helps him discover a conspiracy. While the intentions of the filmmakers are noble, the story and film fails to deliver due to its own ambitions that's plagued by heavy symbolism and unconventional story that's neither authentic nor universal. Shooting a film in Mongolia with a native cast doesn't make it necessarily a Mongolian film as this film proves because its treatment of characters and stories are inherently Western at the core. Plenty of Western filmmakers travel to remote locations to make films that pretends to be from that country which makes for an easier entry in the festival circuit which is disingenuous. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed

Director Colin Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly made their feature debut with this charming love story disguised as Sci-Fi comedy. A journalist and his two interns travel to expose the man behind a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.The charms of the film is better left for discovery by the audience but Connolly and Trevorrow deliver an original film with original characters. The solid cast includes Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.