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VIDEO STORE memories….the good times


Freddy in Space just linked an article on Facebook, about abandoned video stores. Shows the decline of the oldschool video stores we all spent quite some time at.

http://www.flavorwire.com/325194/a-brief-photo-survey-of-abandoned-video-stores?all=1

Not even big chains are excluded from the decline. They all feel the change that the internet brought upon them.

Access to movies was never this easy. Netflix zooms the film right into your home, with lots n lots of films.

Movies also have never before been this cheap. I remember paying 60 german marks for one tape, or 100 for a Laserdisc.

Now its between 5 and 25 dollars or euros, tops. All easy to access, via  your favourite online retailer, complete with lots of infos about them, like reviews, quality comparisons and such.

I met a bunch of good friends in my local video store, friendships made through the movies. A few of them are my best buddies now. The video store was like a pub, only without alcohol..coffee was the drug of choice. The  Coffee was free, too. I went thru several pots a day, staying up to 12 hours sometimes…ok, I know thats sick, but it`s true. Must have been a period when I was unemployed or the holidays,lol. Also, we were able to blast some great metal thru the store..Oh , the good times. I even drew a few comics based on that(which I still have ).

Got a story? Let me know your best memories from back then, when video stores were the place to be!

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING (2012) Review FFF 2012


Directed  by John Hyams

 

 

Yesterday I went to see Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning at my local Cinemaxx.

I was quite excited for it, because it was supposed to be bigger and different from the third part, also directed by John Hyams. I didn`t really like that one, mostly because Van Damme looked so tired and bored to death. For a DTV title it sure was pretty good, but my critiscism mostly was due to the story and Van Damme. The second part was ignored(probably a good thing) and yet the story for the third felt very run of the mill-cheap.

From what I gathered, this was going to be pretty violent and in 3D. Both not really a reason for joy, the third was very violent , but it wasn`t fun, except for Dolph`s final moment there.

Well, I´m happy to say that they achieved fun violence here!

The film opened like a horror film and used the 3D for atmosphere , rather than “in your eye-poking” stuff.It`s also shot completely in first-person perspective for the entire opening scene. Ill try to not spoil anything, cuz I didn`t know anything about the story, apart from a few pics I`ve seen online. That`s the way you should go into this, too. If you are lucky enough to catch it at Fantasy Filmfest in Germany or Actionfest in the US. Otherwise  you`ll have to wait til the end of October for it to appear on DVD and Blue Ray. Maybe it gets a limited run at theatres, too.

I have written some ugly stuff about John Hyams, after I´ve been quite disappointed with his past few outings. To me, it was nothing special. Maybe my expectations are too high, possible.

Most seem to like the 3rd UNISOLs outing, I didn`t. But this time, I have to say: They really did something different. Finally, it didn`t feel like run of the mill stuff.

As I said, it opens like a horror-film and it continues to not be your ordinary action movie. A bit film-noir, thriller elements and medical sci-fi all mixed into one dark, but very entertaining experience. For the first time I liked Scott Adkins as an actor. I couldn`t feel much sympathy for him in his earlier movies. After all, he is the central figure in the film and if you don`t like him, the film is pretty much done, right? He did very well. The action-and blood-metre is pretty high in this film, with scenes you would only come to expect in horror films, this is really hard R, for real! And they managed to make it fun, too. There were several scenes that made us cheer and scream out loud in the cinema. (Btw, it wasn`t really packed, only a hundred people there, tops.) I would love to talk about certain aspects of the film, but that would include all-out spoilers, I guess. For now, I must hold back.

I really have to watch the third part again, maybe this time around I could enjoy it more. Also, I must refresh my memory …the Unisols seem to not need any cooling devices anymore, the body overheating and such seems to be no problem anymore. Maybe that was explained in the third, I don`t remember. Andrei Arlovski gets quite a lot of screen time and fights a lot. Dolph Lundgren has a few good scenes and two fights. Van Damme  has some key scenes and a great fight at the end. He is the leader of his Unisols pack, with an agenda of their own. The suspense is held up til the end, with a major twist I can`t spoil as well.

I wish I could revisit it now, but I have to work from memory of one screening only.

It is a brutal mystery sci-fi thriller, refreshingly different. Fans of the main actors will love it, there is no doubt about that .  John Hyams redeemed himself with this one in my mind. If he keeps doing inspired movies like this he has my full support.

From me, if I`d go by a scale from 1 to 10, I´d give this 8 out of  10.

Brutal, fun action galore, a great genre-mix that`s  thrilling til the end. Some very good fights and lots of blown off heads!!! (some scenes are really out there!)

Written by  Ingo

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TRUE ROMANCE (1993)


Directed by Tony Scott (RIP)

-possible spoilers ahead!

Love this violent love story!!!

Plot:

Clarence  works in a comic store and loves Elvis and Kung Fu movies.

On his birthday he meets Alabama, a hooker sent by his boss as a birthday gift.

She only reveals herself as a hooker after the fact, but she already fell in love with him.

He feels pretty much the same and wants to help her get away from her abusive pimp Drexl.

This is when everything goes wrong and they find themselves hunted by gangsters and police.

 

Ok, after the apparent suicide of Tony Scott I couldn`t help but think of his movies, of course. This led me to write a review about one of his greatest films. There are thousands of movies I could write about and sometimes it needs a tragic thing like this to finally take on a certain film. My choice was this-TRUE ROMANCE.

I am not sure if I have seen this in the cinema, I am getting old…I really don`t remember if..

But I do remember the movie, very much so. It`s one of my absolute faves and at one point, had an oversized, awesome poster of the film on my wall. Stupid me sold it at one point. This kinda oversized posters are hard to come by and now I don`t have it anymore..well. Just one of a lot I don`t have anymore. Keep your shit, is all I´m going to say. Don`t sell off your collection of movie-related stuff, unless there is no other option anymore. You will regret it at some point.

True Romance is such a beast , I`m not sure if I will find the right words for it, but I will try:

First of all-the cast is incredible! Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Chris Walken, Brad Pitt,Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, James Gandolfini and more.

There are very few movies that could rival that kind of a cast. Then, the screenplay is from Quentin Tarantino, although it was a bit rewritten, but the core is Tarantino, and I think it shows. There are things in there that scream Tarantino from a mile away.

Like the Streetfighter triple feature at the cinema. It also is full of extremely quoteable lines.

I don`t know if there was improvised dialogue, but some exchanges come across so natural and real, especially the speech by Patricia Arquette on the roof. It is so heartbreakingly romantic, at least to me. And she is cute in this, and sexy. Maybe her best performance ever.

Slater is also on top of his game, pretty much everybody gives noteworthy performances, I can`t think of anybody in this not leaving an impression. Saul Rubinek, Michael Rapaport and Bronson Pinchot, all characters felt pitch-perfect. The story is over the top and full of action, romance and tragedy.  Gary Oldman as Drexl, holy shit, what a performance. Same goes for Chris Walken as Vincenzo Coccotti and yeah, pretty much all of them.

Although running  two full hrs, it never drags, Until the end I was sitting on the edge of my seat. I read a few things about plot holes n such, the note on the fridge etc.

But if you want, that can be explained away, I guess. At the time, it never bothered me.

The violence is pretty extreme, to me it always felt right. As much as most of them overact their roles, the violence followed suit and made the high stakes of it clear and increased the tension. After all, you want the crazy in love couple to get away, right?

When Clarence gets shot and appears dead, I was really bummed..until he got back up!

I was very happy with the happy end after all they went through. This film to me is like a good friend, something I can identify with on a personal level. It feels like a weird, violent dream, complete with a love story…something I think I could`ve dreamed up in one of my epic dreams I tend to have sometimes since I was a young teenager. It is the kind of romance that clicks with me, situations so outrageous and weird. Like a violent fairy tale with happy end. It captures love and the shortsight of youg adults, who tend to think of themselves as immortal, at least they don`t really think about it. And when they do, they brush it aside with a “so be it then!” Does that make sense? Hope so.

I`m not good at explaining the visual aspects of a film, at least not the technical parts…It is beautifully shot, as everything by Scott, memorable scenes and places. What I remember best is the scenes at Drexl`s place. Just what you expect a pimp dungeon to look like, or not?

The score and the soundtrack are also memorable. Especially “I want your Body” by Nymphomania and the Hans Zimmer piece “You`re so cool” are always playing in my head when I think of this film. “You`re so cool” is a cover version of Carl Orff´s “Gassenhauer”, a piece I have heard in variations in a lot of films. Just recently in the movie “LUNAR COP”.

All in all, it`s a must-see, if you haven`t. If so, please close that hole in your cineaste education. There are a hundred reasons to see it, and I don`t know anybody who didn`t like it.

Tony, thanks for this wonderful film. YOU`RE SO COOL!!!!

The Cabal Cut keeps on showing..Blue-Ray is in reach!!!


Morgan Creek has given permission for more screenings of the Cabal Cut of NIGHTBREED.

The restored version was already shown to sold out screenings and now will go worldwide!!

The funding for the Blue-Ray is tied to those screenings, so in case it`s showing near you-go see it!!

For the latest infos, go here

It`s the trailer for: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)


I will see this in the theater in a  week, at the Fantasy Filmfest here in Hamburg!!

Trailer looks pretty interesting, although I try to not get overly excited. I especially don`t like Scott Adkins, but that`s me.

Here is the first trailer:

MILL CREEK DVD-triple feature review – D.O.A., Playing God, Color of Night DC


THRILLER TRIPLE FEATURE

Finally my triple thriller dvd-set came in today. Mill Creek Ent. was nice enough to send me this for review. Sorry that it took so long to get to me Mill Creek, but here it is : My review of Mill Creek´s  TRIPLE FEATURE DVD-set, containing COLOR OF NIGHT Director`s Cut, PLAYING GOD and D.O.A..

All of these are great on their own, but let`s take it one at a time:

PLAYING GOD:

It’s high-voltage thrills as star David Duchovny (The X-Files) and Timothy Hutton (The Good Shepard) square off in an edgy confrontation where the stakes are high – and the action is deadly! Duchovny plays Dr. Eugene Sands, an ex-surgeon lured into a dark underworld by a hip. but lethal, mob boss (Hutton) in need of some unorthodox medical assistance. Before long, Sands is “playing God” – caught in a web of murder and mayhem, and growing far too close to the mobster’s seductive mistress, played by sexy Angelina Jolie (The Tourist).

I rememeber renting and later buying this on VHS, a so-called DTV title.

Duchovny was  doing the X-Files, and inbetween seasons, he still had time to make features.

I really like David, and he didn`t disappoint me here. Together wih Timothy Hutton and Angelina Jolie, we are treated to a violent thriller that lives off its stars, but also has a few more wellknown faces to boot, like Peter Stormare, Gary Dourdan and so on..

I liked the voice –over narration by Duchovny, that gave insight into his past, current state of mind and whatever he was planning to do next. Hutton delivered a great villain, really enjoyed seeing him. Angelina Jolie was ok, beautiful to look at, but still a  few years away from her big break. Her face wasn`t  as skinny as it is these days, I think she looked better that way. This film has it all, violence, fun and suspense.As far as DTV goes, this was a real treat and a solid thriller with one of my favourite actors, David Duchovny. Defintely worth a look.

D.O.A. – Time is running out for Dexter Cornell (Dennis Quaid – Footloose, Soul Surfer, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra). He has just 24 hours to unravel the bitter truth surrounding his own poisoning. In his desperate search, everyone’s a suspect, even the woman who loves him (Meg Ryan – Kate & Leopold, You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle). Directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, creators of superstar “Max Headroom,” D.O.A. pulsates with explosive action and sizzling performances by Quaid and Ryan, two people who find themselves suddenly living on the edge. It’s a night on the run, filled with fear, danger – and passion.

This film I haven`t seen since the 90`s, but I remembered it to  be a solid, entertaining thriller.

The end reveal, or the finale grande was a bit on the mediocre side, but all-in all it was very entertaining. It also has a great cast , beginning with Quaid and Ryan, further Charlotte Rampling, Daniel Stern, Brion James and so on. Worth a watch in my book. Both directors haven`t done that much worth mentioning, but this film is a solid effort. Meg Ryan is terribly sweet in this(isn`t she always?).

MILL CREEK offers a Blue-Ray of this, as well.

Color of Night – Witness firsthand never-before-seen footage in a sizzling erotic thriller, starring Die Hard sensation Bruce Willis and sexy Jane March (Clash of the Titans). Haunted by the chilling suicide of his patient, psychologist Dr. Bill Capa (Willis) seeks refuge with a colleague in Los Angeles. But when his colleague is brutally killed, Capa gets entangled in a bizarre web of deception and murder. In the center of it all is the sensual Rose (March), who promises to fulfill all of his reckless fantasies – until she becomes another tantalizing mystery he must solve! From the engrossing opening to the heart-stopping climax, COLOR OF NIGHT delivers action-packed drama you can’t escape!

 

Here we have the Director´s Cut of Color of Night!

Worth mentioning, cuz it seems to be out of print as a single DVD and there ain`t no Blue –Ray of it, either.

Now, I know that this film has won a Razzie Award, something no director or actor is looking for in this business. But I´d like to defend this film, it ain`t that bad!

I have seen this in the cinema back then, being a Fan of Bruce Willis, and not opposed to nudity on screen. I remembered Jane March from the Lover, a film I really like.

She isn`t the greatest actress around, but she sure ain`t ugly to look at. The film has a certain consistent vibe to it throughout, something, I`d call a plus. It is claustrophobic at times, explosive and suspenseful. The supporting cast is colourful: We have Lance Henricksen, Brad Dourif, Scott Bakula, Ruben Blades, Kevin J. O`Connor and Lesley Ann-Warren.

It is a weird mix of love, crime and psychology, and a lot of people didn`t seem to like it that much. Still I think it`s better than most people would admit. The sex scenes surely feel tacked on, and they are basically what the film was sold with, but I was well entertained and glad I revisited this much-maligned sexy thriller. It`s weird for many reasons, but the Razzie could`ve found a better home that year, I´m sure.

About the DVD set:

It comes in a double disc Amaray case: Disc one features D.O.A. and Playing God, the second disc holds Color of NIGHT in it`s Directors Cut, 15 minutes longer than the theatrical US release. Both are DVD-9, so there is no quality concern, picture-wise.

If you like thrillers,for under ten dollars this is  a 3 movies set worth getting.

Language: English Genre: Drama, Mystery Starring: Bruce Willis, Dennis Quaid, David Duchovny, Angelina Jolie Co-Starring: Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Jane March, Ruben Blades Format: DVD Run Time: 5 hr 59 min Rating: R Region Code: Region 1 Street Date: 06-26-2012

All films come in 1,85:1 Widescreen

link to this DVD set: here

Thank you, MILL CREEK ENTERTAINMENT, for sending this.

Make sure to check out Mill Creek`s website here

Plenty of great deals , everything from single movies to mega-packs, DVD and Blue-Ray at great prices.

Manhunter 1986 Michael Mann Review


Directed by Michael Mann

A stylish thriller , that reminds me why I love movies!

Ok, after robotGEEK did his review  just recently, I finally sat down and watched it again, after a looong time….must´ve been a few years, but I remember liking it. Now I have seen it again. And it was just what I needed on that night, a really cool, stylish crime thriller.

I like Petersen and remember  Tom Noonan at least from Robocop 2.

Brian Cox was pretty good as Lecktor, but he really isn`t the focus in this film.

It is one of those films that got recognized only with time and thanks to Silence of the Lambs and the following movies about Hannibal Lecter, or Lecktor..what is it?

It was supposed to be called RED DRAGON, like the book, but the producer opted for Manhunter, cuz at that time, too much dragon stuff was coming out, like Bruce Lee movies and the film with Rourke , YEAR OF THE DRAGON.  Mann didn`t like that title, but I think it`s not that bad, cuz this film is all about a manhunt.

It starts rather chliched, with Will Graham(Petersen) being retired from his work as a profiler, but returning to it once more to help catch a killer , known as the “Tooth Fairy”.

He is still a bit messed up from the confrontation with Hannibal Lecktor, but agrees to help, promising his wife he only will look at the evidence and not risk to be physically harmed.

Which, of course, is hard to uphold, as he delves deeper and deeper into the case.

Ok, no more plot, at least not a complete rundown.

I really liked Petersen, and Noonan, who made for a creepy killer, not without human traits, especially when he reacts so terribly jealous at one point. You almost pity him, well, I did..for a moment, really great scene. The visuals are great, the cinematography is just top notch and reminds you of Miami Vice a bit. There is so much great stuff to look at here. When Petersen ran out of the ward or prison, out of this huge, white building , all the way outside, that just fit the situation so perfectly. This isn`t an action film, it’s a gritty, brooding crime thriller, with good old forensics and detective work and characters, who have depth to them.

I initially mistook  the score as something by Tangerine Dream, but it wasn`t, not really. But Klaus Schulze was a member of that band for a short time.  Something of his is played in the screen credits. And for whoever made the Tangerine Dream sounding stuff-it really sounds just like them. I must not forget Dennis Farina, always welcome. He looked a bit very pale and sick I thought. There are a few different cuts of this film, there are several called the theatrical cut and the Dc also has two version, which differ only by one small snippet.

I liked the theatrical I saw, but I can understand when you`re interested in the DC  as well, there is a 2 disc version out there, which contains both versions. I also read that one release has the DC in better quality, but I don`t know right now on what page I read that. If interested , just surf a little around ..I´m sure you`ll find something that leads you to the right release.

All in all, a great crime thriller that won it´s appreciation with time, as many other do, ending up being called a cult classic or something. To me, it surely is the most interesting one from the films featuring Hannibal. Yes, I like this better than SOTL.

Compared to this, all those others feel so mainstream.  I don`t own any of those, and don`t plan to. But of Manhunter, I´d like all versions on my shelf. Or at least that 2-disc edition.

And the german VHS  tape from VCL, which has a nice cover with embossed lettering.

If you haven`t yet, check out Manhunter-I´m sure it`s worth your time.

Here a comparison for the theatrical to DC:

comparison

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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES -mini-review


Directed by Chris Nolan

Ok, this will be short, cuz there is no point in a long review for a film that had a million reviews written already.

First of all, it was too long and it had too many characters for my taste.

I didn`t enjoy Catwoman at all, she felt redundant to me. Bane was ok as the main bad guy.

It just felt too much, all the things they stuffed in this movie, knowing this was the final one for this series of Batman films.

I hate the batsuit, did it look that complicated already in the first one? Batman never had a suit like that in the comics I´ve read (70`s, 80`s and 90`s Batman).

Even the one of Burton`s Batman didn`t look all that easy to move in, although looking better than what followed. He may be the DARK KNIGHT, but does that mean he has to wear a suit that allows for very little movement? And look like a space-suit, too?

The fanfilm variations look way cooler and nearer to what I´d expect Batman to look like.

To this day I haven`t bought any of these Nolan Batman films on DVD, cuz there is nothing about them that would make me wanna revisit. I am much more interested in getting my hands on the comics I´ve read as a young boy.

These Batman movies to me don`t have the flair of the comics…the Burton ones where close, but , as good as Nicholson was as the Joker, the one from the comics looked mean and was skinny. Nicholson`s Joker wasn`t skinny and didn`t look menacing, at all.

And I hated the Penguin in the second one, he may exist in the comics, sure…but it was too silly for my taste. Michelle Pfeiffer was rather great as Catwoman, though.

Well, bottom line is, as much as I like Batman, the films fall short of what I would like to see.

Not bad movies per se , but far from how I would make it, if only I could.

The best so far remains Burton`s Batman, only the first film. He had the coolest Batmobile, too.

Plus the Batwing, just great designs.

ROBOWAR VHS ROBOMAN-german Scala VHS bookstyle clamshell


This just arrived  with the mail-Robowar-or Roboman, as its known in Germany.

Sadly, the clamshell has seen better days, its a bit ripped and torn, but I didn`t pay much, so I guess it`s ok. I just wished, the sellers would describe their items more in depths and with better photos  that allow you to judge the clamshell seriously.

The cover art is ridiculous, but it`s a bookstyle cover clamshell, something no japanese tape can offer.

Well, here are the pics of it: