Friday, June 28, 2013

The Jackal

Scottish director Michael Caton-Jones derailed his career with this terrible remake of a great classic. An IRA sniper is released from prison to help catch a notorious assassin before he completes his next assignment. Caton-Jones and his cast and crew misfired big time with ridiculous thriller which never adds up which makes you want revisit the original classic. Bruce Willis and Richard Gere star with flat performances while the talented supporting cast that includes Sidney Poitier and Diane Venora amongst others are wasted. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Day of the Jackal

Legendary director Fred Zinnemann proved he was at the top of his game at the twilight of his career with another masterpiece. When a professional killer named "Jackal" is hired to kill Charles de Gaulle, the president of France, a nationwide manhunt starts a race against time. Based on the novel by Frederick Forsyth, Zinnemann created a riveting classic which is meticulously made thanks to a stellar cast and crew. Edward Fox stars with a flawless performance along with a stellar supporting cast. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur got himself in troubled waters with this disturbing drama. An American lawyer is willing to go the illegal route to find a lung donor for his sick daughter which gets him sucked into the world of organ trading. Kormákur and his writers chose a dark topic for a Hollywood formula melodrama which is troublesome besides lacking credibility on every level. The cast can't save the film despite their best efforts while the topic of illegal organ trafficking deserves a better film. Dermot Mulroney stars with Diane Kruger, Sam Shepard, Jordi Mollà and Vincent Perez amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Director Anthony Fabian made his feature film debut with this powerful true story. A girl with dark skin born to white parents in South Africa during the apartheid era faces racism on every level that marks her tragic life. Fabian and his talented cast and crew bring the incredible story to screen to show the viciousness of racism that shattered the life of an innocent woman caught between two worlds. Sophie Okonedo stars with a riveting performance along with a terrific supporting cast that includes Sam Neill, Alice Krige and Tony Kgoroge amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Internal Affairs

British director Mike Figgis made his Hollywood debut with this effective thriller. A new internal affairs officer and a corrupt officer match wits to outsmart each other in a game of of cat and mouse. Figgis delivered an effortless Hollywood formula film which is all about the ride not about any substance along with all the usual cliches that comes with the genre. Richard Gere stars along with Andy Garcia in the leads. Gere went against type as the villain that proved a smart career choice that lifted the film a notch above average. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, June 21, 2013


Legendary Italian writer and director Bernardo Bertolucci delivered an uneven epic with his follow up to "Last Tango in Paris." The epic story of two men born as master and servant who would become friends in a world divided by class and politics as they go through life. Bertolucci's ambition got him in trouble by trying too much which derails the film despite moments of brilliance and a stellar cast. The politics of the film are clear as black and white where the rich are evil or impotent and the poor heroic and victims. The only problem with that is that it compromises one of the protagonists of the story. The pairing of two legends, Robert De Niro and Gérard Depardieu, was the saving grace for the film to ensure it would survive the various butchered versions. Both De Niro and Depardieu tried their best to overcome the shortcomings of the script. The stellar supporting cast includes Dominique Sanda, Sterling Hayden, Alida Valli, Donald Sutherland and Burt Lancaster. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


French writing and directing brothers David Foenkinos and Stéphane Foenkinos made their feature debut with this romantic drama. A young woman shattered by a tragic loss finds love with an unlikely guy. Based on his novel which he adapted, David and his brother Stéphane made an accomplished debut that explores the nature of love. The ravishing Audrey Tautou stars with another terrific performance while Belgian comedian François Damiens shines as the unconventional leading man. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Awakening

British writer and director Nick Murphy made his feature debut with this effective horror film. A female hoax expert travels to a remote boarding school haunted by the ghost of a young boy.  Murphy and his cast and crew created an old fashioned thriller that works for the most part except for its contrived ending. Rebecca Hall stars with a solid performance along a superb supporting cast that includes Dominic West, Imelda Staunton and the young Isaac Hempstead Wright who made his debut. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Unknown Pleasures

Chinese writer and director Jia Zhangke's fourth feature explores the alienation of the youth. Two unemployed teenagers are disconnected from their environment and lured by the unknown pleasures of Western culture. Zhangke is the most prominent Chinese director whose films show the drastic changes and effects of the transformation of modern China through his dramas and documentaries. Through another expertly observed film, he shows the Western influences on the youth which will continue to widen the generational and cultural gap. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Korean writer and director Kim Ki-duk returned with a dark tale that involves a mother and son. A vicious loan shark henchman finds his life turned upside down when a woman claims to be his mother. Ki-duk goes for shock effect with this grim tale that feels contrived than a real character study of a dark soul. There's nothing subtle about this film features violence and cruelty on and off screen which seems common in Korean cinema. Lee Jeong-jin and Jo Min-soo deliver solid performances given the limitations of the script. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Last Days of Disco

Writer and director Whit Stillman's third film tracks the last days of an era through the eyes of two young women. Two different girls find love and friendship in New York in the early 80's which includes some life lessons that will shape their future. Stillman continues to explore the lives of white young adults through their social interaction with each other. It's his most successful film that captures an era well through vivid and memorable characters. Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale shine in the leads along with a solid supporting cast that includes Chris Eigeman, Mackenzie Astin, Matt Keeslar, Matt Ross and Robert Sean Leonard amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Before Midnight

Director Richard Linklater revisits his characters for the third film in the stunning trilogy that takes it to new heights. After almost two decades, Jesse and Celine are married with children and reflect on their lives during a holiday in Greece with more startling revelations. Linklater along with co-writers and leads deliver the leanest and meanest film in the trilogy where they further discuss the meaning of life and battle of the sexes without missing a beat. The third film makes the first two look more superficial by leaving behind the artifice and going for the bigger themes in life since the characters have reached mid-life with a perspective on the past and future. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy bare their souls with astonishing performances that brings the trilogy in full circle. The supporting cast includes Ariane Labed and Athina Rachel Tsangari besides the mythical Greece as the perfect and worthy backdrop for another terrific film. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Before Sunset

Director Richard Linklater reunited with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy for the second film in the trilogy. After almost a decade, Jesse and Celine spend another unforgettable night to catch up with each other with some startling revelations that might affect their lives again. Linklater along with his leads joined forces to write a sequel that tops the original that's full of wonders. Hawke and Delpy stars with pitch-perfect performances along another dazzling location which is the city of lights. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Before Sunrise

Writer and director Richard Linklater delivered his first mature film with this romantic film which evolved into a stellar trilogy. A young American writer meets a beautiful French girl on a train and spend a memorable night in Vienna. Linklater created a classic coming of age film where battle of the sexes and cultural clashes collide in perfect harmony. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are perfectly cast as the leads as well as Vienna as the third character. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Seven Psychopaths

British writer and director Martin McDonagh follows his smashing debut with another comedy. A struggling writer gets sucked into the criminal world when his friend kidnaps the beloved dog of a gangster. McDonagh uses writer's block and Hollywood formula films for inspiration to deliver another delightful film full with eccentric characters that has lured a talented and game cast. Colin Farrell leads a terrific ensemble that includes Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Kinky Boots

British director Julian Jarrold delivered his breakthrough feature with this charming film. After a man inherits his father's declining show factory, he enlists the help of a drag queen to diversify for success. Inspired by a true story, Jarrold and his talented cast and crew delivered a crowd pleasing film with a seamless blend of comedy and drama. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Joel Edgerton star with terrific performances with solid supporting cast. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Your Sister's Sister

Writer and director Lynn Shelton returns with another intimate film that blends drama and comedy seamlessly. A woman sends her best friend to her family's island getaway to sort his life out but he encounters her sister there which leads to more complications. The film succeeds because of the performances of the three leads that gives the film its charm and attraction. Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass star with solid performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Room 237

Writer and director Rodney Ascher made his feature debut with this fascinating documentary. The explores multiple theories about hidden meanings surrounding Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining," from behind the scenes to hidden messages within the film, ranging from fascinating to ludicrous through different perspective. Ascher could have chosen any film to make this kind of documentary but choosing the horror classic adds to the mystery and atmosphere of the film. Mostly using the actual film, scene by scene with additional archival footage narrated by five different people with their various theories. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Upstream Color

Multitasking and talented writer, director, producer and actor Shane Carruth returns after a decade with his second feature to show case his talent and peculiar standing in the American independent cinema. A man and a woman shattered by a similar experience find themselves attracted to each other as they try to put their lives back together. Carruth's meditation on life's mysterious cycle is without a beginning or end which makes for an hypnotic and experimental film that will divide audiences. There are moments of brilliance and utter beauty and mystery that surpasses his debut film which was big on ideas but less cinematic. Carruth stars along with a terrific Amy Seimetz in one of the most original films of the year. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Indian director Mira Nair returns to top form with this political thriller based on the novel by Mohsin Hamid. A young Pakistani man finds his American Dream and sees it shattered after 9/11 which forces him to return home where further troubles awaits him. Nair taps into the troubles of many Muslim and Middle Easterners reality where many moderates were forced to extreme right in the West which this film shows. Of course it's an extreme scenario and didn't happen to everybody but it makes for a compelling drama. Riz Ahmed stars with another solid performance with the support of an stellar ensemble that includes Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Shabana Azmi and Om Puri amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The East

Writer and director Zal Batmanglij and co-writer and leading actress Brit Marling return with another terrific thriller. An elite private agent infiltrates an anarchist group to expose them but finds her priorities changed when she falls for the charismatic leader. Batmanglij and Marling created an original and absorbing story that works as a thriller and social commentary which makes for a smart film that thrills with a great message. The stellar cast includes besides Marling, Alexander Skarsgård,
Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson and Shiloh Fernandez amongst others with solid performances all around. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Greetings from Tim Buckley

Writer and director Daniel Algrant brings the story of Jeff Buckley's rise as a musician to the screen. A young man travels to New York to attend a tribute concert for his famous father which leads to launch of his own career. Based on true events, Algrant struggles to find the right tone and balance which almost derails the film. Despite the contrived story, the film is almost saved by its leads, Penn Badgley and Imogen Poots who deliver solid performances. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Monday, June 3, 2013

5 Broken Cameras

Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat made his feature debut with the help of Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi which makes for a powerful documentary. Based on the footage that Burnat made with his cameras of the title, this powerful documentary shows the life under the Israeli occupation that has marked Burnat and his family. The film provides an inside look that a polarizing conflict that doesn't seem to go away. The most interesting aspect is that the filmmakers have overcome it and share their vision to the world which makes for a powerful experience. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

She Monkeys

Swedish writer and director Lisa Aschan made her feature debut with this uneven but original coming of age drama. A teenager joins an equestrian team where she experiences friendship and sexual awakening which leads to betrayal and understanding. Ashan focuses on the female perspective which is rarely shown and brings insight to the female psyche where emotion and control are at odds with each other. Newcomers Mathilda Paradeiser and Linda Molin star with compelling performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

People Like Us

Writer and producer Alex Kurtzman made his debut as a director with this uneven drama. After the death of his estranged father, a young man discovers of a half sister with whom he begins to learn the meaning of family. Kurtzman went the opposite way with his directing debut to show the messy side of family life where things are not as easy as usual in most Hollywood movies. He also stays away from the formula romances which is another interesting aspect of this film. Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks star as the siblings instead of lovers with solid performances along with the support of Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Hall D'Addario and Olivia Wilde. 1001 Films coverage of films on DVD.