After a run of bad luck, John (Steve Buscemi), a compulsive gambler, runs away from Las Vegas and toward a normal job and life. Taking a nondescript position in an auto insurance company in Albuquerque, he tries to get ahead in the straight world, amid the ever-present temptations of scratch-off lotto tickets.
When his boss, Mr. Townsend (Peter Dinklage), asks John to accompany his top fraud debunker, Virgil (Romany Malco) on an investigation of a dubious car “accident” near Vegas, John sees an opportunity to get a promotion , though he’s concerned about returning to the gambling game. Before leaving he becomes involved with his eccentric co-worker Jill (Sarah Silverman), a dalliance that has the potential to become a real relationship.
Soon John is on the road with Virgil, where they encounter a series of offbeat characters, including a wheelchair-bound stripper (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a nude militant (Tim Blake Nelson), a park Ranger (Jesse Garcia), and a carnival human torch (John Cho). While Virgil is the supposed leader of the investigation, it’s John who begins to finally assert himself, pushing the case closer to a conclusion.
Through the journey, John’s confidence builds, and he realizes that he can’t escape his gambling addiction by running away from it—it will follow him wherever he goes. It’s only when he returns to Vegas and his experiences there finally send him on the path to breaking free.
Richard Gale's epic comedy horror short has picked up and slew of awards and been viewed around 1.5 million times on YouTube so far.
"Tony is fixated with drills of all shapes and sizes. As we follow him on his search for drills to add to his ever-increasing collection, we slowly unwrap the logic behind this strange and amusing obsession."
A Bit On The Side stars Dean Taylor and is directed by Swansea (that's in Wales) based filmaker Steve Sullivan. During 2007 and 2008 Steve produced Ken Russel's (The Devils, The Lair of the White Worm) Boudica Bites Back which you can read about over at timesonline.co.uk.
You can check out more of Steve's shorts over at his website www.stevesullivan.co.uk
German short film from 2000 by Stefan Prehn and Jorg Wagner spoofing instructional videos.
Poster for dark comedy drama Cold Souls directed by Sophie Barthes.
Is your soul weighing you down? Paul Giamatti has found a solution! In the surreal comedy Cold Souls, Paul Giamatti plays an actor named… Paul Giamatti. Stumbling upon an article in The New Yorker about a high-tech company that extracts, deep-freezes and stores people’s souls, Paul very well might have found the key to happiness for which he’s been searching. But, complications arise when he is the unfortunate victim of "soul-trafficking." Giamatti’s journey takes him all the way to Russia in hopes of retrieving his stolen soul from an ambitious but talentless soap-opera actress. Balancing a tightrope between deadpan humor & pathos, and reality & fantasy, Cold Souls is a true soul searching comedy. Also starring David Strathairn, Dina Korzun and Emily Watson.
Management chronicles the chance meeting of Mike Cranshaw (Steve Zahn) and Sue Claussen (Jennifer Aniston) when she checks into the roadside motel owned by Mike's parents in Arizona. A bottle of wine 'compliments of management' jump starts the cross-country journey and unique courtship between two different kinds of people who are both ultimately looking for the same thing - a sense of happiness.
Woody Harrelson, James Hiroyuki Liao, Fred Ward and Margo Martindale also star and Stephen Belber directs.
The film is on limited release in the US, so check your local theater listings.
Trailer for I Love You, Beth Cooper in which a nerdy valedictorian proclaims his love for the hottest and most popular girl in school – Beth Cooper (Panettiere) – during his graduation speech. Much to his surprise, Beth shows up at his door that very night and decides to show him the best night of his life.
Chris Columbus (Home Alone) directs and teh film stars Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) and Paul Rust (Inglourious Basterds).
This is probably going to be rather cheesy teen nonsense. However I have a soft spot for this genre from teh 80's with films like Rob Reiner's The Sure Thing, John Hughes films (Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and Paul Brickman's Risky Business. Luke Greenfield's 2004 movie The Girl Next Door captured the right vibe, showing it is possible to make quality movies of this kind post 2000. Larry Doyle who has written for The Simpsons has adapted the screenplay from his own novel. so there is hope.
Good news for those in the UK looking forward to seeing Scott Sanders' blaxploitation homage Black Dynamite. The film has been picked up by Icon Film Distribution.
Screen Daily also reports The film which stars martial artist Michael Jai White will get its first market screening at Cannes and is also scheduled to screen in the Spotlight programme at Tribeca. *Sony Pictures have already purchased the North American rights after its screening at Sundance.
Check out the official site at www.blackdynamite.com
*and promptly ordered we take down the trailer, if you jump over to Cinemablend however you can see a clip being used for Tribeca promotion.
The first full-length feature by LA-based artist and filmmaker Anna Biller (The Hypnotist; A Visit From The Incubus), VIVA is "a spot-on spoof of low-grade late 60s/early 70s sexploitation flicks" (Variety) that joyously and faithfully pays homage to the classics of the genre.
With a plot stripped from a 1969 letter to Penthouse Magazine, Viva tells the story of Barbi, a naïve housewife who sets out to discover the seedy underbelly of the sexual revolution. With her best friend Sheila in tow, she encounters everything from prowling cougars, grandmotherly brothel madams and lesbian supermodels to full-blown orgies. Toss in a gay hairdresser, a funk-gasmic soundtrack and some surreal animated and musical sequences and you’ve got one smoking hot slice of nouveau cult cinema.
Viva is available on DVD in the US now from Cult Epics. Nouveaux Pictures will show Viva at selected UK cinemas on 15th May and will release a DVD in June.
Trailer for The Machine Girl Written and directed by Noboru Iguchi (Sukeban Boy) and starring former Japanese porn star Asami (Sukeban Boy) alongside hot, up-and-coming newcomer Minase Yashiro.
Boasting more arterial spray than any gorehound could ever wish for, this fun celebration of gratuitous violence features everything from graphic, bloody dismemberment, decapitation, necrophilia and yakuza ninjas to chainsaw- and machine gun-wielding girls, a flying guillotine and – the showstopper of them all – a flesh ripping drill bra!
The Machine Girl is released on UK DVD and Blu-Ray 18th May 2009. The US edition has been available since last year.
Young College student James (Sean Andrews) decides to spend summer break on his fathers Homestead. His father Hezekiah’s (Darrell Sandeen) has been living out in the desert since the death of James mother and this will be the first time James see's the ranch. Once their he finds that his father is now living with a busty vixen named Cheryl (Mary Carey), James finds himself instantly attracted to her and her various "Charms".
Pervert is an unashamed homage to the skin flicks of the 60's and 70's particular the genres godfather Russ Meyer. Sure it’s the kind of thing that is politically incorrect, but it's not "mean spirited" at all, which I think some of the modern movement to "react" against "political correctness" is. Pervert! Is really just good ole fashion soft-core fun and titillation with large slice of humour.
Writer and director team Mike Davis and Jonathan Yudis have proved that you can create a "homage" film while keeping it feeling fresh and original. They have achieved a huge amount on a limited budget. I think the reason Pervert! Works so well is that they set out first and foremost to deliver a movie that was fun. They have certainly achieved the fun factor, pervert is a really enjoyable ride and genuinely very funny in places. Yes its tongue in cheek, but it never derides the films it homage’s there’s a genuine love for those movies that shines through. Russ Myers films are not the only homage’s the movie also made me think of Frank Henenlotter's films in particular the under seen and underrated Brain Damage (for reasons that will be obvious when you watch Pervert!). The soundtrack itself provides constant references to films and genres of years gone by as well as being a great collection of music.
The film itself looks really good, helped a lot by the fact that the desert always makes a great location. That’s not to detract from the fact that this really looks like a labour of love. The acting is a bit cheesy from some of the stars, intentional to a point I guess. Mary Cary won't win any acting awards in the near future but she makes a great onscreen cheeky Vixen. Sean Andrews nails the classic sexually inept type young male lead character well and Darrell Sandeen as his father is easily the films standout performer.
While this is not the stuff of classics, I do believe the filmmakers have achieved what they set out to do and that in itself is a real achievement. They have captured the vibe of the films they homage well (something that is harder than people think). The constant double entendres are excellent and the comedy writing is often spot on. They have managed to avoid pushing the film into the realms of childish humour while keeping a silly edge.
Big breasted vixens, crazy rednecks, a voodoo master, oodles of female flesh and some of the best comic lines I have heard in some time mean this is should be a must for fans of irreverent independent cinema. Russ Meyer fans should really check this out Mike Davis and Jonathan Yudis have done a great job of drawing on the spirit of his work.
Maybe not for the easly offended or those that are not keen on bare breasts, but highly recommended cheeky fun for the rest of us! 8/10
Naughty boys dig holes to build character in a modern fairytale involving, well, pretty much everything.
I don't watch a lot of kids films because, well, because they're for kids and so they don't really appeal to me anymore. But then Holes came along and I'd heard it said that you could enjoy it even though you're all grown up these days. Yes, yes, I know Shrek etc work on more than one level but I don't much go for the American animation as I find they tend towards schmaltz and more often than not contain a song or two. Also, I like my animals to act like animals not Americans, but that's a whole other show.Anyway, maybe it's because I'm not a kid anymore or maybe it's because they don't make 'em like they used to, but kids films just don't seem the same these days, except this one , which , ok it's no E.T. or Goonies, but it's certainly edging in that direction.
I'd never even heard of Louis Sachar's best selling novel of the same name, let alone read it, so how the film stands up as an adaptation I couldn't say (though I get the impression it's pretty successful in that respect) but I can see why it's so popular, it's such a great story. It's basically a modern fairytale involving crime and punishment, friendship, forbidden love across a racial divide, outlaws, buried treasure, organic veg, man and donkey love (in the right way) and stinky feet.
I hadn't expected Holes to be such a rich fairytale-like film, I'd just expected a quirky story about bad boys at a detention centre and surely enough that was how it began as Stanley Yelnats (that joke never wore out on me, it's a palindrome don't you know) digs holes in the desert for his sins. But what evolves from this seemingly simple storyline is a funny, ridiculous and touching modern fairytale that I find hard to imagine not appealing to everyone. The reason Holes works so well is that it's kids acting like kids in a Malcolm in the Middle sort of way ( i.e. like children actually are) not in the way adults think they do or should act. They're not all cutesy and clever and overly
moralistic, they behave like real children. There are great performances all round (including Eartha Kitt. Who knew she was still alive?), well rounded direction and some suitably barren cinematography. The only complaint I have on
a technical level is that bar one occasion the soundtrack seemed to sit a little uneasily with the film.
There are so many layers to this film, it's not unlike peeling an onion. There were moments when I was worried that the current story and the back story weren't going to mesh properly but they did, perfectly, and all with a great ending. Thankfully the cheese was kept to a minimum so it has an easily digestible feel-good vibe. Please don't be put off by it being a kid's film, it'll make you feel (for a bit anyway) like all the magic didn't disappear when you grew up and life turned shit, and that's a good thing isn't it?
A strangely magical 8/10
The Machine Girl, is the debut release from Cine Asia's new imprint, Cine Asia Extreme. This super gory and hilariously over-the-top Japanese exploitation splatterfest has had genre movie fans in an anticipatory frenzy ever since its amazing trailer debuted on the internet.
Written and directed by Noboru Iguchi (Sukeban Boy) and starring former Japanese porn star Asami (Sukeban Boy) alongside hot, up-and-coming newcomer Minase Yashiro, THE The Machine Girl is the ‘grindhouse' movie Quentin Tarantino (Death Proof) and Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror) can only dream of making. Boasting more arterial spray than any gorehound could ever wish for, this fun celebration of gratuitous violence features everything from graphic, bloody dismemberment, decapitation, necrophilia and yakuza ninjas to chainsaw- and machine gun-wielding girls, a flying guillotine and – the showstopper of them all – a flesh ripping drill bra!
When three childhood friends accidentally cause the death of '‘the greatest cop in the country,' they find themselves being blackmailed by his dodgy partner, but it is their own kidnapping scam which threatens the destruction not only of their friendships, but seemingly all around them too in this deliciously black crime comedy from Korean talent Mu-yeong Lee.
Thanks to the recent Chan-wook Park hit Oldboy, Korea has a firm footing on the cinematic radar right now so if you haven't already there is no better time to acquaint yourself with some choice flicks from this country, and why not start with Humanist. Director Mu-yeong Lee co-wrote this dark crime caper with none other than the currently-popular-in-the-West Park, a duo of proven success which together created Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, a film which hasn't had the arthouse notoriety of Oldboy but has, nonetheless, enjoyed considerable outings via Blockbusters' across the land. Humanist is certainly a solid introduction to Korean film, particularly as the plot has a familiar Hollywood feel, but fear not, there are still plenty of Korean touches making this 'foreign' enough to keep the follows chatting over their continental beers.
Following the tried and tested formula of the crime caper gone awry, Humanist adds it’s own special influence to this familiar blueprint, bringing dark homour, dubious charm and some lovably despicable characters to freshen up the genre. Though faulted, this is an instantly likeable film following the exploits of three hapless, hopeless crooks that have inadvertently embroiled themselves in a needlessly complex plan. As the pressure mounts it become obvious there is no love lost between the dysfunctional trio and in a nice series of darkly charming flashbacks we can see why this particular group dynamic is rather unstable.
Jae-mo Ahn takes centre stage as Ma Te-o; the spoilt, selfish amoral rich kid whose father is a distant bully with a bizarre sexual fetish. Looking like a young Korean Christopher Walken, Ahn cuts a dapper, if inept, crime figure. ‘Helped’ dutifully by his long-standing chums (one stupid, one angry) his master plan to self-benefit from the situation soon spirals out of control. As the situation worsens (and worsens) family ties, friendships and even love are all put to the test when any semblance of morality rapidly vacates.
Though the final third of the film seems a slight move away from the rest, becoming notably slower, more unpleasant and macabre with less humour, the pace is kept at a nice even keel. The story, action and characterisation are perfectly balanced to keep you entertained and the plot moves on with pleasant speed and ease. The flashbacks are used with effectual style as well as narrative tools and so are other aspects of characterisation. Where these little touches add style they are done so sparingly and without whimsy, giving the effect of competent direction. The humour is in turns black and charming and as free as the occasional play on the heartstrings. The violence is what our friends with the monopoly on the video rentals might describe as 'infrequent, strong' and, whilst sometimes a little shocking in its sudden severity, isn’t nearly as gut-wrenching as a featured dubious home-cure.
On the downside, the ending leaves certain areas unexplained/not as complete as you may wish though there are still far more positives outweighing this. Though more use of some of the more marginal characters would have helped to balance the story out it is still carried well considering its complexity. With its competent direction, black humour, easy charm and a strangely fitting soundtrack, Humanist is a must-see for any veteran of the plot-driven crime drama or any foreign film fan alike.
Impress your friend, or even just yourself, with this quirky black comedy/crime escapade from one of Korea’s most promising new-wave of director’s. Peppered with sylised touches in just the right amount and pleasantly polished, Humanist proves the Korean's have their own stamp to place firmly on a familiar Hollywood genre 7/10View the trailer
UK Trailer (redband) for Crank: High Voltage, in which Jason Statham returns as Chev Chelios.
Picking up immediately where the first movie left off, Crank: High Voltage finds Chev surviving the climactic plunge to his most certain death on the streets of Los Angeles, only to be kidnapped by a mysterious Chinese mobster. Three months later, Chev wakes up to discover his nearly indestructible heart has been surgically removed and replaced with a battery-operated ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity in order to work.
The also stars Ling Bai (bai Ling), Corey Haim and Amy Smart returns as Eve.
Trailer for director Scott Sanders movie Black Dynamite, which stars Michael Jai White.
When "The Man" murders his brother, pumps heroin into local orphanages, and floods the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor, Black Dynamite is the one hero willing to fight.
With the recent passing of Rudy Ray Moore (Dolemite) other of the genres legends is gone, so its great to hear the voice over on the trailer. Black Dynamite just played at Sundance and the reviews have generally come back pretty positive, so I'm looking forward to seeing this one.
Richard Pryor, the groundbreaking comedian whose profanely personal insights into race relations and modern life made him one of Hollywood's biggest black stars, died of a heart attack Saturday. He was 65.
Pryor died shortly before 8 a.m. after being taken to a hospital from his home in the San Fernando Valley, said his business manager, Karen Finch. He had been ill for years with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the nervous system
Source: Yahoo News
The funniest man is show business, the crown prince of comedy, what can you say, this is a very sad day indeed. This after all is the guy who pretty much changed the face of modern comedy forever, a man who many comedians world wide of all races look to as the original innovator of modern comedy. This guy was my favourite comedian ... The king is dead, long live the king.