Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Le Combat dans l’Île

French director Alain Cavalier made his feature debut with this drama. A wealthy young man with extremist ties abandons his beautiful wife with his pacifist friend which leads to tragic love triangle. A minor film in the French New Wave which has all the elements including the participation of directors Louis Malle and Jean-Paul Rappeneau and a stunning cinematography by Pierre Lhomme. The stunning Romy Schneider stars along with Jean-Louis Trintignant (The Conformist) and Henri Serre (Jules & Jim) as the two fighting over her. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Swimming Pool

French director Jacques Deray delivered his best film with this stylish drama set in the south of France. An happy couple's vacation is interrupted by the visit of a former friend/lover and his teenage daughter which has tragic consequences. Deray and writer Jean-Claude Carrière slowly build the tension in the love triangle before it escalates into a thriller in the last act. The extremely attractive cast includes Alain Delon and Romy Schneider in the leads with solid performances along with Maurice Ronet and Jane Birkin in the supporting roles. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Indian director Shekhar Kapur made his English language debut with this riveting period drama. The early and turbulent life of Elizabeth I before she became a legendary monarch. Kapur and writer Michael Hirst gave Elizabeth the right treatment with this dazzling film that hits all the right notes with a stellar cast and crew. Cate Blanchett stars in her first lead with a brilliant performance that established her as one of the finest actors of her generation. The spectacular supporting cast includes Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes, Christopher Eccleston, Fanny Ardant and Vincent Cassel amongst many others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

When We Leave

Austrian actress Feo Aladag made her writing and directing debut with this uneven drama. A Turkish woman escapes her abusive husband and returns to Germany where she finds her family unwilling to support her and sets out for a new beginning with her son. Aladag taps into a common problem with this powerful drama but unfortunately the script opts for cliches and stereotypes which feels contrived, specially in the third act. German-Turkish actress Sibel Kekilli stars with a powerful and heartbreaking performance as a woman torn between two cultures. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hemingway & Gellhorn

Director Philip Kaufman makes a welcome return after a long absence with this romantic drama. The story behind the relationship between writer Ernest Hemingway and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn. Kaufman's superb direction proves his unique approach to deliver a film for adults that could have easily been an average TV movie of the week. Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman star with solid performances along with a fine supporting cast that includes David Strathairn, Molly Parker and Santiago Cabrera amongst others. The first rate creative team deliver an outstanding recreation of various location and visual effects that serves the story. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Visionary British director Ridley Scott returned after three decades for another meticulously crafted science-fiction film. A team of scientists start a journey to a remote planet which holds the secrets to human existence where they make a shocking discovery. Scott returns to the Alien territory but goes further and deeper than any of the films in the series which makes for another unforgettable cinematic experience. Brilliantly written by Jon Spaihts & Damon Lindelof and executed by Scott and his terrific team. Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender star with superb performances along with terrific cast that includes Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba and Logan Marshall-Green amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Tiro de Piedra

Mexican writer and director Sebastián Hiriart made his feature debut with this compelling immigration drama. After finding a key chain, a lonely shepherd leaves for the border in the hopes to make it to Oregon, the location of the key chain. Along the way he meets people of all sorts, both Mexican and American. While the story has been examined before, Hiriart opts for a more subtle approach that works well with his nuanced characters. The casting of Gabino Rodríguez adds to the authenticity with his unassuming performance that speaks volumes. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

10:30 P.M. Summer

American director Jules Dassin delivered a minor work with the adaptation of the Marguerite Duras' novel. A couple's marriage disintegrates on a journey through Spain when the wife suspects her husband's infidelity with their beautiful friend. Dassin was the wrong director for this melodrama whose wife, Melina Mercouri stars along with Peter Finch and Romy Schneider. The only saving grace is the stunning cinematography by Gábor Pogány which still holds up. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


German director Roland Emmerich returned with another period drama with this conspiracy tale. Was William Shakespeare the real author of the numerous plays and sonnets? The film claims it was Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford who wrote everything and used Shakespeare and his name. Emmerich and writer John Orloff make a lackluster case which derails early on but thanks to a talented cast and crew delivered a visually stunning film which could have turned differently with another writer and director. Rhys Ifans stars along with Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson and David Thewlis amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Birds

Legendary British master Alfred Hitchcock always found a new way to make terrifying thrillers which he proved with this classic masterpiece. A socialite's arrival into a small coastal town coincides with a mysterious and bizarre attack of birds that terrorizes the town. Hitchcock blends a potent love story and horror tale into a satisfying ride that still holds up. Tippi Hedren made her feature debut and stars along with Rod Taylor with solid performances. The supporting cast includes the excellent Jessica Tandy and Suzanne Pleshette with terrific performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


British director Ronald Neame made this entertaining comedy that brought together Michael Caine and Shirley McLaine. A British art thief recruits an exotic dancer for a perfect heist but finds out there's no such a thing as a foolproof plan. Neame relies on his leads to deliver which they do for the most part that makes this comedy work. Caine and McLaine are perfectly cast and have the right chemistry to make it work. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Worst Nightmare

French writer and director Anne Fontaine returns with another winning comedy. A wealthy Parisian woman finds her nightmare in the father of her son's best friend which leads to some hilarious encounters. Fontaine's use of stereotypes provides her and her stellar leads to make funny film besides making some valid points as a social commentary. Isabelle Huppert and Benoît Poelvoorde star with terrific performances which makes this French comedy a fun ride. The solid supporting cast includes André Dussollier amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dark Tide

Actor turned director John Stockwell returned to the ocean for this drama. After a traumatic accident, a diver is lured back to the ocean by her ex for financial reasons. Stockwell delivers plenty of breath taking views of the ocean and his attractive cast but falls short of story which is predictable from the beginning. Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez star as the couple in troubled waters and excel within the limitations of the script. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

British director Stephen Daldry's fourth feature misfires after three solid films. A young boy embarks a journey through New York to find the lock to a key left behind by his deceased father. The film falls short on several levels from the script and direction to its cast and beyond. The story and film needed a more subtle approach to its delicate subject matter instead of the big name cast and crew which makes it more contrived with bitter after taste. Daldry must have been lured to by Scott Rudin, Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. Newcomer Thomas Horn stars with a solid performance but can't save the film. The supporting cast includes Max von Sydow, Viola Davis and Jeffrey Wright besides Hanks and Bullock. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Texas Killing Fields

Director Ami Canaan Mann made her second feature a decade after her debut with big budget and cast. Two different cops investigate a series of unsolved murders which leads them to a young and troubled girl. Mann's work draws comparison to her famous father that lacks the skill and finesse of the elder which this disjointed film desperately needed. Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan star along with Chloë Grace Moretz and Jessica Chastain in the supporting roles. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Woman in Black

British director James Watkins' second feature stays within the horror genre with this grim haunted house tale. A young widowed lawyer is sent to take care of an old mansion where he uncovers its dark past. Watkins remains within the genre norms which proves an unfortunate choice for the film. A miscast Daniel Radcliffe stars in his first feature after the Harry Potter franchise. The supporting cast includes Ciarán Hinds and Janet McTeer. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Eden Lake

British writer and director James Watkins made his feature debut with this mean spirited but effective thriller. A young couple's weekend getaway turns deadly when they are confronted by a bunch of kids. Watkins takes a typical horror genre formula and based it on gritty reality which makes for a disturbing thriller. Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender star with solid performances given the limitations of the script. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.