Friday, August 30, 2013

The Grandmaster

Chinese writer and director Wong Kar Wai returns to the martial arts genre for this biographical drama. The life of martial-arts master Ip Man is explored before and after WWII where tragedy marks his life before he became a legend teaching amongst others another legend, Bruce Lee. Kar Wai brings his poetic style and signature to the story where drops of water, snowflakes and smoke have as much impact as the fight themselves. Kar Wai regular Tony Leung stars with another solid performance while Ziyi Zhang delivers a heartbreaking performance in a crucial role. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Apartment 143

Spanish director Carles Torrens made his feature debut with this generic horror film. A family is terrorized by a supernatural being and seeks the help of parapsychologists to help them. While Torrens make a capable debut, the story doesn't bring anything new that other films in the genre haven't already explored. It's written and produced by Rodrigo Cortés who has made better films. The cast is fine with the limits of the script which includes Michael O'Keefe and Kai Lennox. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Spring Breakers

Writer and director Harmony Korine delivered his most accessible film with this drama. Four girls desperate to join the party at spring break, find themselves on the wrong side when they meet a drug dealer. After focusing most of his career on independent films and characters on the fringe of society, Korine attempts for mainstream with this film which provided him the perfect setting that fits his style. Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez star with performances that's intended to shatter their good girl images. James Franco steals every scene with his outrageous performance that's the highlight of the film. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

RIP: Julie Harris 1925 - 2013

Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Writer and director David Lowery taps into the Americana myth for this poetic drama. After a man escapes from prison to reunite with his wife and daughter, the past comes to haunt them and the people around them. Lowery aims more for a specific feel and mood that's more impressive than it's original. This nostalgic reminiscence of another era with familiar characters which explores their mythical allure, from the lovers and the people around them to the geography and style of the film that makes Lowery an interesting new filmmaker. Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster star with solid performances along with Keith Carradine and Nate Parker in the supporting roles. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


British director Danny Boyle returned with another vibrant film which suits his genre hopping style. An art auctioneer involved with a group of criminals to steal a painting suffers amnesia during the heist which has unexpected consequences. Boyle reunited with writer John Hodge for this crime caper which has few unexpected twits on its sleeve which elevates it. James McAvoy stars with solid performance along a terrific Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Cabin in the Woods

Writer turned director Drew Goddard made his feature debut with horror film. A group of friends go to a remote cabin but are unaware of its true use. Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon took a formula story to turn it on its heads to pay homage to the horror genre with plenty of twist and turns, some are better than others but should please the fans of the genre. The cast includes Richard Jenkins and Chris Hemsworth amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

In Bed

Chilean director Matías Bize delivered a potent drama with this contemporary film about relationships. Two strangers meet for casual sex at a hotel where it could be the beginning of something serious. Bize and Julio Rojas explore the new ways young adults meet and address their view on the world. Blanca Lewin and Gonzalo Valenzuela star with committed performances which gives the film its raw and vibrant energy. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Company You Keep

Legendary actor and director Robert Redford returned with double duty for this thriller. A young journalist discovers the identity of a former 60's activist and forces him to go on the run to clear his name by reconnecting with former alliances. Based on the novel Neil Gordon, writer Lem Dobbs and Redford have a created a solid old-fashioned political thriller. Redford stars with a stellar cast of veterans and newcomers that includes Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Jenkins, Chris Cooper, Brit Marling, Shia LaBeouf and Anna Kendrick amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

La Mission

Writer and director Peter Bratt returned with his second feature after more than a decade with this family drama. A single father with a troubled past struggles to deal with his gay teenage son in a tough San Francisco neighborhood. Bratt tries to bring too many issues into one film which convolutes the story, crime problems, substance abuse, generational conflict, homophobia, racial and class divisions which becomes too challenging to address in one film despite the best intentions. There's a great story at the core which would have benefited from a narrow focus. Benjamin Bratt stars with another solid performance along with a fine cast and the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco of the title. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Big Picture

French writer and director Eric Lartigau delivered a complex and terrific drama about a man's journey of self-discovery. A successful lawyer with a perfect family watches his life crumble before him which leads to tragic accident that teaches him some valuable life lessons. Based on the novel by Douglas Kennedy, Lartigau and his talented cast and crew have created a complex film dealing with universal issues of wealth and happiness. Romain Duris stars with another terrific performance along with a stellar cast that includes Marina Foïs, Niels Arestrup, Branka Katic and Catherine Deneuve. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Change of Plans

French writer and director Danièle Thompson returned with another comedy of manners. During a dinner party, the secret and lies of a group of friends comes to light with dramatic consequences. Thompson brings the French interpretation of dysfunctional which makes for an entertaining but predictable ride with a solid cast. Karin Viard and Dany Boon plays the hosts with Marina Foïs, Patrick Bruel, Emmanuelle Seigner, Christopher Thompson, Marina Hands and Pierre Arditi as their friends and family members. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Apollo 18

Spanish director Gonzalo López-Gallego made his Hollywood debut with this science-fiction and horror thriller. A team of astronauts find out that their not alone when they land on the moon with deadly consequences. López-Gallego and writer Brian Miller use the "found-footage" formula as the basis for the film which gives the film some tension but they fail to deliver anything new. Besides the few scenes, it doesn't have much to offer. A cast of unknowns have been chosen to fit the roles and make the film seems real which the actors (Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins) deliver. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Spectacular Now

Director James Ponsoldt takes on teenage love with his third feature. A popular high school student falls for a nice girl which changes his perspective in life. Based on the novel by Tim Tharp, Ponsoldt and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber take on the cliches that comes with the territory with finesse and subtlety. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley star with nuanced performances that anchors the story. The strong supporting cast includes Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Bob Odenkirk. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Paradise: Love

Austrian writer and director Ulrich Seidl explores the dark side of paradise with a new trilogy which this film marks the first. A middle aged woman travels to Kenya for vacation and love but finds that love is a business for the young men courting the European "Sugar Mamas." Seidl's look at sex tourism is shocking and provocative which explores again the dark side of human condition with an unflinching eye. Margarete Tiesel stars with a powerful and brave performance. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Austrian writer and director Ulrich Seidl takes a look at the dark side of human condition with this grim drama. The parallel story of a Austrian man and Ukrainian woman who immigrate to each others countries for a better future but don't find what they were looking for. Seidl's characters find that the grass is not greener on the other side but instead find themselves on a downward spiral to hell. Seidl's films are not easy to process but dares to look the dark in the eye which makes for a traumatic experience for those who dare. Ekateryna Rak and Paul Hofmann star with solid performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I Killed My Mother

Canadian writer and director Xavier Dolan made his feature debut with this stunning coming of age drama. A gay teenager fights his single mother and the world in this heart wrenching film. Dolan based it on his own life which gives the film authenticity and relevance that marked the debut of a multi-talented filmmaker who has grown with every film ever since. The film is based on the point of view of a teenager but Dolan shows maturity towards the character of the mother. Dolan stars as well along with a terrific Anne Dorval and Suzanne Clément. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Blue Jasmine

Legendary writer and director Woody Allen returned to top form with this terrific character study. A socialite on the verge of losing her mind relocates to San Francisco for a new beginning but clashes with her sister and the people around her which proves a challenge. Based loosely on Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" Allen delivers his most dramatic film in years that's a perfect showcase for Cate Blanchett who delivers another astonishing performance. The stellar supporting cast includes Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Alec Baldwin and Peter Sarsgaard. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


German director Philipp Stölzl made his English language debut with this thriller. A former CIA agent finds himself the target of a plot which also includes his teenage daughter which makes it personal as they try to survive the ordeal. Stölzl whose German films had a Hollywood formula written on them tries to get its attention with this thriller which is basically a formula film that borrows heavily from the Bourne films as well as others. Aaron Eckhart stars with a capable performance which suits the film along with Liana Liberato, Olga Kurylenko and Alexander Fehling. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


British writer and director Franc Roddam made his feature debut with this cult classic. A young man with a dead-end job and dissatisfaction with the world finds life only bearable with his gang of Mods who are at war with the Rockers. Roddam and his co-writers loosely based the film on the album by the Who who also produced the film. It's a timeless film about the alienation of adolescence which makes it relatable to almost everybody. Phil Daniels stars with terrific performance along with Leslie Ash, Ray Winstone, Timothy Spall and Sting who made his acting debut which is one of the highlights of the film. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

White Elephant

Argentinian writer and director Pablo Trapero returned with another powerful drama that explores themes faith and loyalty with a political context. A troubled Belgian priest joins another priest that saved his life in his parish which is in a dangerous slum that tests the faith of both men. Trapero whose films explore the dark side of contemporary Argentina with a political edge finds another territory ripe for exploration. Ricardo Darín and Jérémie Renier stars the priests in question solid performances along with Trapero's wife and frequent star Martina Gusman in a supporting role. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Writer and director Alexander Payne delivered another terrific comedy with his fourth feature. After a man decides to marry, he embarks one last journey with his best friend into the wine country with hilarious consequences. Payne hit the mainstream with this film which went beyond cinema into popular culture affecting the sales of wine varietals but many didn't get the insider jokes which proved the power of cinema. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church star with terrific performances along with equally terrific Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Writer and director David Mamet delivered another terrific film with this thriller which has the director's signature all over it. After the daughter of the President is kidnapped, a special unit is assigned to find her with unexpected consequences. Mamet masterfully created another thriller with a political message without sacrificing any of the thrills. Val Kilmer stars with a solid supporting cast that includes Derek Luke, William H. Macy, Tia Texada, Kristen Bell and Ed O'Neill amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Friday, August 2, 2013


After a successful and original first omnibus film, the sequel proves a huge disappointment on almost every level. A couple of investigators find a sinister collection of VHS tapes that might helped them find a missing person. The same concept as the first was the wrong place to begin with, two of the shorts have potential that could have been further explored are directed by Gareth Evans, Timo Tjahjanto and Adam Wingard who's the only director returning for the sequel. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Europa Report

Ecuadorian director Sebastián Cordero delivered a terrific Sci-Fi drama that's grounded more in reality than any other film in the genre. An international crew on their virgin trip to Jupiter's moon of the title ends in mystery. Cordero's low budget film cleverly uses the found-footage formula to great effect making the story and film more credible. The stellar cast includes Sharlto Copley, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist, Christian Camargo and Embeth Davidtz. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.