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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pickup Truck Blooper in John Wayne Western "THE UNDEFEATED" (1969)


Modern Vehicle Blooper in John Ford Western "FORT APACHE" (1948)


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Nothing Escapes From "DELIRIUM" -- See The Trailer and Pics NOW!



The Hell Gang, an exclusive club made up of a group of school friends, promise their classmate Eddie that he can join the gang if he can just make it to the porch of a legendary local mansion with a dark, sinister past.

Others have tried but none have made it within sight of the mansion before fleeing back in terror. And Eddie, who is rigged with a camera to prove he did it, does not return at all!

Five members of the gang must now go in to find him. They set off, confident that Eddie is trying to prank them, but what they find in the old mansion is even more terrifying than the campfire stories and legends of murdered children that once lived there.

STARRING: Mike C. Manning, Griffin Freeman, August Roads, Ryan Pinkston, Seth Austin, Elena Sanchez

DIRECTED BY:  Johnny Martin
WRITTEN BY: Andy Cheng, Johnny Martin, Francisco Castro, Lisa Clemens
PRODUCERS: Johnny Martin, Debbie Martinelli Swallow, Paul Mangold, Gordon Calvan



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

AFTERIMAGE -- Blu-ray/DVD Review by Porfle

Yikes...and I thought EDEN LAKE and SECONDS were depressing.  Actually, EDEN LAKE still takes top honors as the bleakest and most disheartening movie I've ever seen, but as of now, famed Polish director Andrzej Wajda's devastating AFTERIMAGE (Film Movement, 2016)--a biopic of avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski and his futile efforts to preserve his artistic integrity during Poland's social reformation in the late 40s--is firmly in the top five, maybe even top three.
The character of Strzeminski is missing an arm and a leg, as is actor Boguslaw Linda who so vividly portrays him, but this doesn't stop him from being a leading painter and teacher of his brilliant ideas and philosophies about art (including the "afterimage", which is what we hold in our mind's eye after physically observing an object). 

But although his eager students absorb these ideas like sponges and apply them to their own burgeoning creativity, the Stalinist state views any form of abstract expression that doesn't reflect rigid, "realistic" adherence to and espousal of party politics as a threat. 

Since Strezeminski has no intention of backing down or giving in to such creative repression, the rest of the film will depict his slow, systematic demise, both spiritually and physically, by a state that demands utter conformity. 

The story takes place over the course of four years, opening with a scene of pastoral beauty as the artist and his students paint landscapes in the sun, and then gradually becoming darker and more devoid of color as do his circumstances. 

Strezeminski's already spartan lifestyle descends into misery as his rights and ability to support himself are stripped away along with the support of his students, who will also suffer as a result of their loyalty.  It's a queasily disorienting descent into darkest despair that we experience with him every step of the way as he becomes, literally, a "starving artist."

The only bright spots for him and us include an endearing relationship between the crusty old painter and his young daughter Nika (Bronislawa Zamachowska), who lovingly chides him for smoking too much while bearing an adult's concern for his well-being.  We see in her the fleeting traces of free thought and expression inherited from her father and his estranged wife but, through his eyes, we also fear for her gradual assimilation into the orthodox lifestyle.

Director Wajda's photography is impeccable but bleak, with brown and black the dominant hues save for increasingly few instances in which a forbidden work of art or a fleeting display of humanity provide splashes of color.

I was reminded of director Michael Radford's 1984, which had a similar look and feel, although this film may be even more disturbing since it presents not a potential future dystopia but one which has already existed and continues to exist even now.

A scene in 1984 muses upon the destruction of words which might convey forbidden ideas.  AFTERIMAGE shows us the death of a free spirit through the destruction of his art and suppression of his artistic thought, by which he expresses all that makes his life worth living.  I yearned for even a slightly optimistic denouement after the fadeout, because Andrzej Wajda's brilliantly-rendered film succeeds all too well in making us mourn such a tragic loss.  

Tech Specs
Polish with English Subtitles
100 min
2.35: 1
Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 Surround Sound

Bonus Features:
Blu-ray--"Wajda by Wajda" 95-minute documentary
Blu-ray and DVD--Commentary by Professor Emeritus Stuart Liebman, CUNY Graduate Center, trailer

Order it from Film Movement


Monday, November 27, 2017

Mister Rogers Documentary "WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?" Acquired By Focus Features



NEW YORK, November 27, 2017 – Focus Features has acquired the worldwide rights to Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the new documentary about the life and work of Mister Fred Rogers. From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom), the documentary is a Focus Features presentation of a Tremolo Production, in association with Impact Partners and Independent Lens/PBS.  It is set to be released on June 8, 2018.  Focus chairman Peter Kujawski made the announcement today.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Mister Fred Rogers.  A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this documentary is an emotional and moving film that takes you beyond zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius, who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.

“Morgan once again avoids making a traditional biodoc and instead takes us behind the curtain to see how Fred Rogers navigated the cultural and social issues of the second half of the twentieth century with his own brand of forward-thinking, compassionate wisdom far beyond his time,” commented Focus chairman Peter Kujawski.  “Mister Rogers makes us all want to be better people, and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of telling his story today.”

 “The Fred Rogers I discovered making this film is at once comfortably familiar and completely surprising. I believe Mister Rogers is the kind of voice we need to hear right now,” said director Morgan Neville. “I am thrilled to work with Focus Features on taking this film out into the world, along with my collaborators at Impact Partners and Independent Lens.”

“This is Morgan’s fourth film with Independent Lens, following our Emmy Award-winning collaboration on Best of Enemies,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Executive Producer. "His beautiful new film shows us just how cool Mister Rogers was and how relevant and vital his voice is right now.” 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is produced by Morgan Neville, Caryn Capotosto and Nicholas Ma and is a production of Tremolo Productions in association with Impact Partners and Independent Lens / PBS.  The deal was negotiated by Endeavor Content and Judith Karfiol on behalf of the filmmakers.

About Focus Features
Focus Features ( acquires and produces specialty films for the global market, and holds a library of iconic movies from fearless filmmakers. Current and upcoming domestic releases from Focus include Victoria & Abdul, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria; Darkest Hour, directed by Joe Wright and starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill; the untitled Entebbe project, a gripping political thriller directed by José Padilha and starring Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl; Jason Reitman’s new comedy Tully, starring Charlize Theron and written by Diablo Cody; Lenny Abrahamson’s atmospheric thriller The Little Stranger; Joel Edgerton’s coming-of-age and coming-out drama Boy Erased starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe; Mary, Queen of Scots with Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I; On the Basis of Sex, the real-life drama of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg staring Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer; and Phantom Thread from Paul Thomas Anderson starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

About Tremolo Productions
Tremolo Productions is an Academy Award, Grammy Award and Emmy Award-winning production company concentrating on quality non-fiction storytelling.  Films include 20 Feet From Stardom, Best of Enemies, Keith Richards: Under the Influence, The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble, Crossfire Hurricane, Pearl Jam 20 and The Cool School as well as the TV series Chelsea Does and Abstract: The Art of Design.

About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS Monday nights at 10:00 PM. The acclaimed series, with Lois Vossen as executive producer, features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by ITVS, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more visit Join the conversation: and on Twitter @IndependentLens.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

OPERATION PETTICOAT -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle

There's a fine line between war movie and lightweight comedy, and director Blake Edwards (THE PINK PANTHER) treads it like a tightrope walker in OPERATION PETTICOAT (1959, Olive Signature) with the help of a frothy script and a terrific cast.

Cary Grant (TO CATCH A THIEF, THE PRIDE AND THE PASSION) plays Captain Sherman of the Sea Tiger, a small submarine that gets sunk at dockside during an air attack before having even a chance to see action.  As this happens mere days after December 7, 1941, both Sherman and crew are itching to get into battle, but it's only after some fast talking to his superiors and the help of new crewmember Lt. JG Nicholas Holden (Tony Curtis), a top-notch scrounger and con man, that they're given permission to attempt a dangerous voyage to the nearest repair dock.

From the initial aerial bombardment sequence we can tell that OPERATION PETTICOAT will be sufficiently suspenseful and action-oriented without actually showing anyone getting killed, allowing the story an underlying "feelgood" quality without trivializing the war theme.

As a dandy who'd rather be in a rumba contest with the admiral's wife than anywhere near combat, Curtis fully utilizes his skills at very wry, very dry comedy and is just the kind of cool, calculating con man the Captain needs in order to bypass endless unfilled requisitions and acquire what they need to get the Sea Tiger under way. 

Grant, of course, plays his stern, authoritative character's comedic moments with an exquisitely measured deadpan, as only he could.  In other words, he excells at being Cary Grant.

As if their slow crawl across the Pacific Ocean weren't arduous enough, they pick up five stranded passengers--Maj. Edna Heywood (the great Virginia Gregg of "Dragnet" fame among many other things) and four nurses played by Dina Merrill (I'LL TAKE SWEDEN), Joan O'Brien, Madelyn Rhue, and Marion Ross (later to become Mrs. Cunningham on "Happy Days").

The nurses, naturally, will have a pronounced effect on Sherman's all-male crew during their time together in extremely close quarters, leading to some predictable but nonetheless pleasantly comedic mishaps and romantic entanglements.  Additional inadvertent passengers will include some very pregnant women and a couple of farm animals.

Salty old mechanic Tostin (Arthur O'Connell, THE RELUCTANT ASTRONAUT) does what he can to keep the engines running, chafing whenever head nurse Edna, who has experience as a mechanic, insists on helping out.  They will--in charming fashion, of course--eventually warm up to each other in one of the film's eventual romantic pairings.

Curtis' forays in advanced scrounging provide most of the laughs as does the tendency of generously-endowed Nurse Crandall (O'Brien) to wreak havoc with everything she touches.  It doesn't take long for us to form an affection for the struggling sub that somehow gets painted pink along the way (something about having to mix red and white paint in order to have enough to cover it) as it trudges slowly across the waves, barely able to submerge without springing a leak. 

Director Blake Edwards' talent for suspense comes into play during the aerial attacks as well as the obligatory sequence in which the fragile submarine must dive ever lower as depth charges rain down around it.  Such scenes transcend the film's situation comedy premise and lend it the gravitas of a genuine war movie.

The delightful cast also includes Gavin McLeod (soon to play a similar role in the TV series "McHale's Navy" before becoming captain of "The Love Boat"), a pre-"Bewitched" Dick Sargent, Gene Evans, and Frankie Darro.  Highly prolific composer David Rose of "Bonanza" fame fills the musical duties for Edwards as fellow Universal-International employee Henry Mancini would later on. 

OPERATION PETTICOAT is a perfect blend of war movie and light comedy, never veering far enough into farce to leave realism behind.  It takes us through enough emotionally resonant situations to ultimately earn an ending that's disarmingly sentimental without losing its breezy attitude.

Order the Blu-ray from Olive Films

Tech Specs:
New High-Definition digital restoration
Rated: NR (not rated)
Subtitles: English (optional)
Video: 1.85:1 aspect ratio; Eastman color
Runtime: 120 min
Release date: November 28, 2017

Bonus Features:
Audio commentary by critic Adrian Martin
“That’s What Everybody Says About Me” – with Jennifer Edwards and actress Lesley Ann Warren
“The Brave Crew of the Petticoat” – with actors Gavin MacLeod and Marion Ross
“The Captain and His Double: Cary Grant’s Struggle of the Self” – with Marc Eliot, author of Cary Grant: A Biography
Universal Newsreel footage of Cary Grant and the opening of Operation Petticoat at the Radio City Music Hall
Archival footage of the submarine USS Balao, which doubled as the USS Sea Tiger in Operation Petticoat
Booklet insert with essay by critic Chris Fujiwara


Friday, November 24, 2017

Danielle Harris' "INOPERABLE" -- Horror/ Thriller Checks Into Cinemas December 1st

Horror Icon Danielle Harris Races Against Time

Christopher Lawrence Chapman's "Inoperable" 
Pits Her Against a Hurricane and a Time Loop

Available in Select Theaters December 1st

Los Angeles, CA - Zorya Films and Millman Productions are putting scream queen Danielle Harris under the knife with the December 1st theatrical release of Christopher Lawrence Chapman's Inoperable. 

Harris (Halloween 4 & 5, Rob Zombie's Halloween, the Hatchet franchise) stars as Amy, a hospital patient who must battle nature and the supernatural before she ends up trapped for eternity. 

Chapman directed from a script he co-wrote with producer Jeff Miller.  Inoperable will open December 1st in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Cleveland and Minneapolis for weeklong runs.

A young woman wakes up in a seemingly evacuated hospital with a hurricane approaching. She realizes the storm has awakened malevolent forces, trapping her in a time loop. She must escape the hospital before the storm passes or she will be trapped in its halls forever.

Watch the Official Trailer

Inoperable: English / USA / 85 minutes


Thursday, November 23, 2017

TIME TO DIE -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle

Sometimes I'm in the mood for a simple, matter-of-fact story told in a deliberate style that allows the viewer to contemplate what's happening rather than just passively observing flashes of action and drama. 

If, like TIME TO DIE, aka Tiempo de morir (1966, Film Movement Classics), this story happens to be a vintage Mexican western in exquisite black-and-white, then all the better.

There's a lot to contemplate in the story of Juan Sayago (Jorge Martínez de Hoyos, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE PROFESSIONALS), who, after serving 18 years in prison for killing a man, is released and walks all the way through the lonely desert to return to his hometown where the dead man's two sons, now grown, wait patiently for their revenge. 

Juan doesn't want trouble, but only to rebuild his life just as he tries to reassemble the shambles of a home left when his mother died years ago.  But the hatred of proud, hot-tempered young Pedro Trueba (Enrique Rocha) is too strong, and his insistent provocations to violence unavoidable even as the man's younger brother Julian (Alfredo Leal), the less volatile of the two, has a conflicting sense of what he sees as a potentially honorable man.

The story seems almost reverse-inspired by HIGH NOON--this time it's the protagonist coming into town while his killers await him there, and the townspeople, rather than staying out of it, do everything they can to come between the opposing forces to avoid bloodshed. 

This is especially true of Juan's former love Maria (top-billed Marga López), now a rich, respected widow, and Julian's girlfriend Sonia (Blanca Sánchez), who fears the needless death or imprisonment of her future husband--strong women but unable, in their time, to affect the course of men doing men's business with harsh fate as their final arbiter.

There's also HIGH NOON's brand of crisp black-and-white photography and quiet, deliberate pacing as well as a preoccupation with time and timepieces.  In addition to brief snatches of its minimalist score, the film's soundtrack consists mainly of stark practical sound effects often backed by the constant rush of hot desert winds. 

A long moment in which Maria quietly dreads the inevitable future is accentuated by the loud ticking of a clock.  When the vengeful Pedro dons his father's old clothes and paces within his empty study, the dead man's spurs echo hollowly on the wooden floor as Pedro follows in his ghostly footsteps.

In 1962's THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, Jorge Martínez de Hoyos played a humble farmer seeking the aid of expert gunmen to help protect his village from marauders.  Here, he himself is such a gunman, but a tired, much older one who now wants only peace and a chance at redemption. 

It's a restrained, subtle performance that reflects Juan's wasted years behind bars and his weary regret for once killing a man while now facing the prospect of engaging his two sons in pointless conflict.

The main tragedy is that in this revenge western there are no bad guys and no clear-cut morality--only a relatively good man who was once forced to kill, and two brash young men honor-bound to avenge what they perceive to be the cowardly murder of their father. 

Director Arturo Ripstein, who began his career as Luis Buñuel's assistant director in 1962 and would become one of Mexico's leading filmmakers, handles his first feature film with a restrained confidence and an artistic eye.  He favors long, unhurried takes with fluid handheld camerawork (a rarity in those days before Steadicam) that tells the story unobtrusively and economically. 

Part of the novelty of this Mexican western comes from the setting, taking place not in the rough border town of Sergio Leone's A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, but in a picturesque village with narrow cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings of adobe and brick.  There's an almost turn-of-the-century modernity and sense of progress which the more civic-minded inhabitants are striving to keep untainted by the kind of violence threatened by Juan's return. 

The physical and emotional release of gunplay is held back from us until the very end, where neither we nor the surviving character(s) derive much satisfaction from it save for a curdled sense of relief.  In TIME TO DIE, the only real victor is Death itself.

Video Introduction by director Alex Cox (Repo Man)
Commentary by director Arturo Ripstein and actor Enrique Rocha
New essay by Carlos A. Gutiérrez, co-founder of Cinema Tropical
Booklet insert

Type:  Blu-ray/DVD
Running Time: 89 mins. + extras
Rating:  N/A
Genre:  Western
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio:  Stereo
Language: Spanish with English Subtitles

Buy it at Film Movement Classics



"BOGGY CREEK MONSTER" & "THE MOTHMAN OF POINT PLEASANT" -- Two Legendary Creature Documentaries Return to VOD (Out Now!)


Terror Films Expands the Availability of Two Mythical Creature Documentaries

LOS ANGELES, CA (November 21, 2017): Terror Films, in association with documentary filmmaker Seth Breedlove, is widening the platform availability of two creature myth documentaries. The documentaries are titled: BOGGY CREEK MONSTER and THE MOTHMAN OF POINT PLEASANT. Both films will begin their release expansion on Tuesday, November 21st.

BOGGY CREEK MONSTER documents the legend of the Fouke Monster - a creature first reported on in the early 1970's in Fouke, Arkansas. There are allegations that this Bigfoot type creature attacked a local family and then destroyed livestock. Later many more sightings were reported and a legend was born!

THE MOTHMAN OF POINT PLEASANT deals with a different monster that was originally sighted near Point Pleasant, West Virginia. In 1966, multiple townspeople reported seeing "a large flying man with ten-foot wings whose eyes glowed red." Legend claims that the Mothman is responsible for the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge that killed 46 people. It still roams somewhere to this day.

Both of these documentaries were written, edited and directed by Seth Breedlove as part of his Small Town Monsters series. They are both available now, for viewing on most digital platforms.

In their ongoing effort to bring the best and most diverse indie horror content to the masses, Terror Films will release these films across multiple digital platforms. North American platforms include:  iTunes, Google Play/YouTube and X-Box Live. This release will be followed up by another,  a worldwide digital release through iFlix.

The genre distributor is sharing the official posters and trailers for these documentaries here:



A homepage for the films:

For more information on Terror Films, visit:

And here:


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

LADY VENGEANCE -- Movie Review by Porfle

I first thought LADY VENGEANCE, aka Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005), was going to be another hot-action-babe flick along the lines of MS. 45. So it came as a pleasant surprise to find that it's the most thoughtful, richly artistic and deeply introspective film in Park Chan-wook's notorious "vengence trilogy." It's also the one in which Park Chan-wook seems to express his most heartfelt, poetic, and yes, sympathetic thoughts on the subject.

The story begins with Geum-ja Lee (Yeong-ae Lee) being released from prison after serving 13 years for the kidnap and murder of a little boy, Won-mo. Former cellmates with whom she reunites on the outside are shocked to find that the cheerful and loving "angel" they knew before now appears to be cold and emotionless.

In reality, she's been gaining their allegiance in order to use them to help carry out a plan of revenge against Won-mo's actual killer, Mr. Baek (OLDBOY star Min-sik Choi), a serial child murderer who threatened to kill Geum-ja's infant daughter if she didn't confess to the crime. The fact that she aided in Won-mo's abduction (naively thinking it to be the same sort of "good" kidnapping as described in SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE) makes her desire for atonement and redemption all-consuming.

Geum-ja tracks down her now 14-year-old daughter Jenny (Yea-young Kwon), who thinks that her mother "dumped" her, and desperately tries to reconcile with her. In the meantime, she has found Mr. Baek, still working as a school teacher and preying on children.

She summons the families of several murdered children to an abandoned school, shows them Baek's own videotapes of his gruesome deeds, and reveals to them that he is bound and gagged in the next room. Geum-ja then gives them all a choice--turn him over to the legal system, or deal with him themselves.

Flashbacks of the beatific image Geum-ja projected while in prison are starkly contrasted with her later zombie-like state, which reflects a deep self-loathing. These jarring impressions are often depicted with abrupt editing and off-kilter camera angles.

Only when she reunites with Jenny does she allow her feelings to overwhelm her again, and as the story becomes more emotional Park Chan-wook's direction settles into a more stately and elegant style while remaining fluid and inventive.

This is especially true of the protracted revenge sequence in the abandoned school, as Park lingers on the inner conflict and seething rage of the family members. As the film winds down to a wistful and almost dreamlike denouement, with Geum-ja grasping for a last fleeting chance at redemption, we're left with haunting, delicately-wrought images of serene beauty and sadness.

There are several fascinating closeups of the remarkable Yeong-ae Lee as she runs the gamut of emotions with impressive depth. One that's particularly striking comes near the end, when her face twists into a masklike rictus of mindless, sadistic glee. Hardly the typical action heroine, her anger is expressed in messy, kinetic bursts.

There is one thrilling sequence, however, in which she fights off two attackers hired by Mr. Baek (Ha-kyun Shin and Kang-ho Song of SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE) in a snowy alleyway at night, and for a brief moment is given full cinematic awesomeness by Park Chan-wook.

It's been said that LADY VENGEANCE lapses into the conventional by having a one-dimensional bad guy devoid of the usual shadings. I think it's good that Park ends the trilogy by finally giving us a bastard who clearly and richly deserves his punishment, which serves as an uneasy catharsis for the viewer as well as the story's participants.

Still, their satisfaction is short-lived and brings not happiness, but merely another level of spiritual uncertainty that they must continue to deal with. If Park hadn't touched on this aspect of revenge and explored its consequences, the trilogy begun by SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE and OLDBOY would have been incomplete.

Read our full review of Palisade Tartan Asia Extreme's eight-disc DVD set THE VENGEANCE TRILOGY

Read our review of OLDBOY


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

OLDBOY (2003) -- Movie Review by Porfle

OLDBOY (2003) is very different from SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE and might be seen as a stylistic evolution for Korean director Park Chan-wook.

Where the first film in his celebrated "vengeance trilogy" was more lean and straightforward, OLDBOY is an explosion of cinematic expression that almost overwhelms the viewer with its aggressive intensity. SYMPATHY invites us to sit back and gaze attentively at characters gradually sliding into inevitable ruin; OLDBOY straps us in and takes us on a wildly disorienting bumper-car ride.

Min-sik Choi gives a brilliant, intense performance as Dae-su Oh, a workaday family man who, after drunkenly celebrating his young daughter's birthday, suddenly wakes up in a motel room-like prison cell where he will spend the next fifteen years. During that time, his wife is murdered and the crime scene is doctored to make him the suspect, while his daughter is placed in foster care. He learns of this on television, which is his only link to the outside world.

After his release back into a world that is now strange to him, Dae-su is understandably obsessed with finding out who imprisoned him and why. Thus begins a mysterious and violent odyssey that eventually takes him back to a single indiscretion in his youth which ignited a chain reaction of tragedy for the person now devoted to punishing him.

Dae-su is aided in his quest by a sympathetic young sushi chef named Mido (the very cute Hye-jeong Kang), who becomes his lover and offers much-needed moral support and solace. As he gradually gets closer to the shocking truth, he finds that prison was only the beginning of a diabolical web of torment devised for him by his unknown nemesis.

In some ways, the incarceration has a beneficial effect on Dae-su Oh. Over the long years he builds his physique, becomes a fierce boxer by banging his fists against a figure he's drawn on the wall, hones his instincts and willpower, and develops the patience and determination of a caged animal. He also divests himself of the frivolity and childishness his character displays when we first meet him, becoming a ruthless force to be reckoned with.

His repressed rage later allows him to take on well over a dozen oppenents in a cramped hallway during what I feel is the film's most astounding sequence. Most of this furious fight is done in one incredible take with the camera slowly dollying along with the actors as they perform a dazzling series of choreographed fight moves with bone-crushing realism. (This surely ranks among the greatest long takes ever filmed.) Wielding a claw hammer and with a knife protruding from his back, Dae-su becomes one of the most thrilling action heroes in recent memory in a balls-out brawl that eschews fancy moves or wirework of any kind.

Violence punctuates the film at several points--a man is stabbed to death with a broken DVD, another has his teeth yanked out one by one, people are driven to suicide--culminating in an extended sequence within the mystery man's spacious penthouse suite which becomes an escalating ordeal of physical and emotional devastation. Each shot is carefully devised by Park for maximum effect as Min-sik Choi's performance reaches a peak that is stunning.

Dense, complex storytelling that is anything but light viewing, OLDBOY demands viewer involvement on a much higher level than the usual revenge flick. Like SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, the complicated story presents two identifiable points of view in a conflict that goes beyond the usual heroes and villains and refuses to offer easy or clear-cut resolutions.

Park Chan-wook's command over the language of film enables him to express all of this visually to a degree that's endlessly impressive. "They say you can't catch two rabbits at once," he reflects on his accomplishment. "I feel like we caught two rabbits, a deer, an otter, a badger, and many other animals."

Read our full review of Palisade Tartan Asia Extreme's eight-disc DVD set THE VENGEANCE TRILOGY

Read our review of LADY VENGEANCE


"VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS" on 4K Ultra and Digital HD Now -- Watch the Trailer


A visual masterpiece. Luc Besson again proves why he is a genius filmmaker.” -Bill Zwecker, Fox TV

An Adventure Beyond Your Imagination

Luc Besson’s Visually Groundbreaking Epic Arrives on 4K Ultra HDTM Combo Pack, Blu-rayTM Combo Pack and DVD on November 21

4K Ultra HD™ to include both Dolby Vision™ and Dolby Atmos®
Digital HD Available on November 7

SANTA MONICA, CA (September 13, 2017) – Packed with out-of-this-world action unlike anything you’ve ever seen, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets heads to 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), and DVD November 21 from Lionsgate; and on Digital HD November 7 and On Demand November 21.

Based on the best-selling French comic series “Valérian and Laureline” by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières, published by Dargaud - visionary writer/director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy) advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga produced by Virginie Besson-Silla.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets stars Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad), Golden Globe® nominee Clive Owen (Children of Men), Academy Award® nominee Ethan Hawke (Best Supporting Actor, Boyhood, 2014), Golden Globe® & Emmy® winner John Goodman (voice) (“Rosanne”) with 7-time GRAMMY Award® winner Rihanna, and Golden Globe® winner Rutger Hauer (Bladerunner). The film features a soundtrack by Oscar® winner Alexandre Desplat (Best Original Score, The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014)

In the 28th century, Valerian (DeHaan) and Laureline (Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha—an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence, and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

The Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets home entertainment release features the five part documentary “Citizens of Imagination: Creating the Universe of Valerian” which delves into the creation of the characters in the film, including both humans and alien lifeforms, along with insight into the production design, special effects, and stunts. The home entertainment release also features a “The Art of Valerian” photo gallery, and Enhancement Pods.

The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray versions feature Dolby Atmos® audio remixed specifically for the home-theater environment, to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray also features Dolby Vision™ high dynamic range (HDR), growing Lionsgate’s library of titles featuring both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Dolby Vision transforms the TV experience in the home by delivering greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors. Together with the captivating sound of Dolby Atmos, consumers will experience both cutting-edge imaging and state-of-the-art sound technology for a fully immersive entertainment experience.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.

⦁ “Citizens of Imagination: Creating the Universe of Valerian” Multi-Part Documentary
⦁ Paper, Ink, Flesh, Blood: Origins and Characters
⦁ To Alpha and Beyond: Production and Stunts
⦁ Denizens of the Galaxy: Humans and Aliens
⦁ The Final Element: Visual Effects
⦁ Wrap Up
⦁ Enhancement Pods
⦁ “The Art of Valerian” Photo Gallery
Opening Sequence:
Instagram: @ ValerianMovie
Twitter: @ValerianMovie

Year of Production: 2017
Title Copyright: © 2017 Valerian SAS / TF1 Films Production. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Theatrical Release
Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, suggestive material and brief language
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Closed-Captioned: N/A 
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Feature Run Time: 137 minutes
4K UHD Format: Dolby Vision, 2160p Ultra High Definition 16x9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation   
BD Format: 1080p High Definition 16x9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation   
DVD Format: 16x9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation 
4K UHD Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening, English Descriptive Audio      
BD Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening, English Descriptive Audio    
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 


Dolby Vision transforms your TV experience with dramatic imaging—incredible brightness, contrast, and color that bring entertainment to life before your eyes via OTT online streaming, Ultra HD Blu-ray, broadcast, and gaming applications.

Dolby Atmos delivers moving audio — sound that can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in three-dimensional space, including overhead. It brings entertainment alive all around the audience in a powerfully immersive and emotive experience.

EuropaCorp is one of Europe’s leading film studios. Founded in 1999, EuropaCorp has operations spanning production, theatrical distribution, video and VOD, and television sales. EuropaCorp also has international rights, partnerships and licensing, production and soundtrack publishing activities. The Group has also been producing TV series since 2010. EuropaCorp’s integrated business model allows it to benefit from diversified sources of revenue. With a line-up boasting various types of films and a very strong foothold in international markets, the Group has produced France’s biggest international hits in recent years. EuropaCorp was founded by French filmmaker, screenwriter and producer Luc Besson. The Group owns a catalogue of 500 movies.

The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate is a global content platform whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next-generation audiences around the world.  In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and other new entertainment technologies.  Lionsgate’s content initiatives are backed by a 16,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global licensing infrastructure.  The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and groundbreaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company’s worldwide consumer base.


Monday, November 20, 2017

SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE -- Movie Review by Porfle

SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE (2002) begins Park Chan-wook's celebrated vengeance trilogy with the old story of a "simple plan" that inevitably goes all to hell.

Ha-kyun Shin plays Ryu, a green-haired deaf-mute who toils in a factory while desperately waiting for a donor kidney for his dying sister (Ji-Eun Lim). His attempt to purchase the necessary organ on the black market ends disastrously, as he loses not only all his money but one of his own kidneys as well. Then he gets laid off from his job just as the doctor informs him that a donor kidney, which he can no longer afford, is finally available.

Ryu's domineering girlfriend Yeong-mi (Du-na Bae), a radical political activist with terrorist ties, concocts a scheme to abduct the young daughter of wealthy businessman Park Dong-jin (Kang-ho Song) and hold her for ransom, with the naive confidence that it will be a "benevolent" kidnapping and result in happy endings for all involved.

Her prediction goes horribly wrong, as does the kidnapping, and she and Ryu find themselves the targets of a vengeful father whose emotional devastation demands a payment in blood. Ryu, meanwhile, attempts to track down the illicit organ merchants and extract some lethal payback of his own. Both find the price of revenge distressingly high.

"I wanted to make something that felt too real," director Park Chan-wook explains. "I wanted the audience to be tired when they finished the film." As opposed to the later OLDBOY'S flamboyant surrealism and absurdity, the bad things that happen during this film are disturbingly matter of fact, with no suspenseful music or editing, often occurring in the background of a shot. We're allowed to search the frame for information ourselves rather than have everything pointed out to us, which can be strangely unsettling.

"As a director, I think this unkind way of presenting the story makes the viewer a more active participant in the film," says Park. Lengthy wide-angle shots often place the characters far from the camera, punctuated by unexpected images from odd angles which tease us with brief snippets of information.

One of the most important death scenes in the film occurs almost peripherally within the frame as the static camera lingers over a placid rural setting. Without the usual editing and camera angles leading the viewer through the scene, we're left to watch helplessly as the tragedy unfolds with dreadful inevitability.

Still, Park occasionally gets up close and personal, as in a brutal torture-by-electricity scene or a shocking knife murder of a man by a group of terrorists. Here, in a subtle bit of absurdity that's almost funny, the camera impassively observes the dying man as he strains to read the death warrant pinned to his own chest by a knife.

Even in a sequence which in any other film might play out as a brisk action setpiece, such as Ryu's bloody final encounter with the organ merchants, Park tweaks our expectations by approaching the familiar scenario with a fresh and pleasingly odd perspective.

"When you set out for revenge, first dig two graves," someone told James Bond way back in 1981's FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. Here, Park Chan-wook takes that hoary old proverb and dramatizes it in dispiritingly downbeat and often heartrending new ways, focusing in almost clinical fashion on tragic details that linger in the mind.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about this chain reaction of consequences is that there are two sides headed for a deadly collision, and our sympathies extend to both of them. (This is a theme that will carry over into the next film in the series, OLDBOY.)  SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE is hardly the kind of revenge flick where Charles Bronson blows away bad guys as we cheer through our popcorn. For these unfortunate characters, vengeance ain't necessarily good for what ails 'em.

Read our full review of Palisade Tartan Asia Extreme's eight-disc DVD set THE VENGEANCE TRILOGY

Read our review of OLDBOY
Read our review of LADY VENGEANCE