Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Other Son

French writer and director Lorraine Lévy delivered a terrific and relevant film with this powerful drama. Two families, an Israeli and a Palestinian, find out that their teenage sons were switched at birth which poses a dilemma for them as they love their sons but also aware that the real son is with the other family. Lévy and co-writers Noam Fitoussi and Nathalie Saugeon created a terrific drama that deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a powerful way which might seem naive but makes for compelling drama about identity. Emmanuelle Devos and Pascal Elbé star with solid performance along a fine supporting cast that includes Jules Sitruk, Mehdi Dehbi, Mahmud Shalaby, Areen Omari and Khalifa Natour. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Starred Up

British director David Mackenzie returns with another terrific film which is a riveting prison drama. A violent teenager is transferred to an adult prison where his father also serves time which makes things worse for both. Writer Jonathan Asser and Mackenzie have a created one of the best films in the genre with this explosive tale of two men on the edge where violence has become part of their existence. Jack O'Connell stars with a terrific performance which raw and brutal along an equally terrific supporting cast that includes Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend, Sam Spruell, David Ajala and Anthony Welsh. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jack Reacher

Writer turned director Christopher McQuarrie's second film is a solid action thriller. A framed military sniper with a troubled past asks for help from a mysterious investigator to prove his innocence. Based on the book by Lee Child, McQuarrie has a crafted a surprisingly effective thriller with a solid cast. Tom Cruise stars along with Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Werner Herzog, Jai Courtney and Robert Duvall. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Thanks for Sharing

Writer Stuart Blumberg made his directing debut with this powerful drama about sex addiction. Three different men share a common demon which has affected their lives in profound ways as they try to overcome the stigma that comes with the disease. Blumberg hits all the right notes with plenty of heart and humor with a stellar cast. The always impressive Mark Ruffalo leads the terrific ensemble which includes Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, Patrick Fugit, Carol Kane and Alecia Moore who's better known as Pink in her first dramatic performance. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Saudi-Arabian writer and director Haifaa Al-Mansour made her narrative feature debut with this outstanding comedy/drama which also marks the first film from the Kingdom. A young girl who desperately wants to buy a bicycle defies the odds to accomplish her goal with unexpected consequences. Beautifully written and directed by Al-Mansour who gives a glimpse of the daily life in her reclusive country where women are kept behind the scenes out of the public eye. Waad Mohammed is terrific as the enterprising title character with an equally winning supporting cast which includes Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Reem Abdullah and Ahd. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The French Minister

Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier returned with a brilliant political satire. A novice speech writer for a French minister has to navigate through perilous waters of the ministry in order to keep up with the ever changing world of politics. Brilliantly written with quick silver pacing, Tavernier delivers a smart and funny comedy that hits the target without missing a beat. Raphaël Personnaz stars along with Thierry Lhermitte as the Minister with solid performances. The stellar supporting cast includes Niels Arestrup, Anaïs Demoustier and Bruno Raffaelli amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blue Ruin

Writer, director and cinematographer Jeremy Saulnier delivered a knockout with this riveting thriller. A man whose life has been ruined by a tragedy returns to his hometown to seek revenge in order to protect his family. Saulnier has created an original film with a complex and nuanced character which defies the conventions of a familiar genre which he also captured with stunning imagery. Macon Blair delivers a terrific performance in the lead with a solid supporting cast. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, August 22, 2014

I Used to Be Darker

Writer and director Matthew Porterfield's third feature is his most accomplished yet. A troubled teenage girl seeks refuge at her aunt's only to find another family in crisis which further complicates the relations. Porterfield and co-writer Amy Belk have created a complex and realistic drama about the harsh realities of life which makes for a compelling film. The accomplished cast of mostly unknowns gives the film authenticity as are the locations. Porterfield is one the few genuine independent filmmakers in the US. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Shawshank Redemption

Writer and director Frank Darabont made his feature debut with this classic tale about hope and friendship. Two unlikely men become friends in prison that helps them to survive their ordeal with unexpected and profound consequences. Based on the short story by Stephen King, Darabont delivered an old fashioned film with universal themes that shows the power of a great story that has become one of the most beloved films of all time. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins star with towering performances that's the heart and soul of this classic. The solid supporting cast includes Bob Gunton, William Sadler and Clancy Brown amongst others while legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins captured the nuanced and iconic images. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, August 15, 2014


Producer, writer and director Mel Gibson delivered another visually dazzling film with this riveting adventure drama. A captured and enslaved warrior must defy the odd to survive in order to save his family in the last days of Mayan civilization. Gibson and co-writer Farhad Safinia bring the ancient world of the Mayans to the screen in full glory which makes the film stand out on every level. Rudy Youngblood stars and excels with a physically challenging role along a fine supporting cast of mostly non-professional actors. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Writer and director James Gunn delivers a knockout with this visually dazzling Sci-Fi adventure. A group of unlikely heroes come together to save the galaxy from evil forces. Based on the comic book, Gunn delivers a spectacular film that's fresh and entertaining with outstanding characters along a heavy dose of humor which lacks from most of the other superhero films. Chris Pratt stars in his first leading role and knocks it out of the park with terrific performance. The stellar supporting cast includes Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and Benicio Del Toro amongst others. The visual effects and use of 3D take the film to new heights without taking away from the characters. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Congress

Israeli writer and director Ari Folman returns with another visually stunning film that fails to its own ambition. An aging Hollywood actress gets an usual offer she can't refuse with unexpected consequences. Based on the novel "The Futurological Congress" by Stanislaw Lem, Folman got himself in troubled waters with too many ideas which ultimately derails the film despite moments of brilliance. Robin Wright stars with a solid performance as an alternative version of herself which blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction as the film explores themes of celebrity, fame and existence in the digital age. The solid supporting cast includes Harvey Keitel, Paul Giamatti, Danny Huston, Jon Hamm and Kodi Smit-McPhee. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.    

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Lunchbox

Indian writer and director Ritesh Batra made his feature debut with this powerful drama about two lonely people looking for a connection. A mistaken delivery connects a young housewife with an elderly clerk which starts an unusual friendship through notes in the lunchbox. Utterly original and compelling, Batra delivers one of the best films from India in recent memory which is quiet an accomplishment. The film works on several levels with universal themes with the exotic backdrop of India which makes for a rewarding experience. Irrfan Khan stars with another terrific performance along with Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.