Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Soon the legendary Hammer music scores will violate vinyl LP (remember them?) on the appropriately named Death Waltz label! The first release is James Bernard's killer score for THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (aka DEVIL'S BRIDE). Check out the new amazing cover art! The second release will be TWINS OF EVIL!
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Lionsgate. D: Simon West. An improvement on the first installment, THE EXPENDABLES 2 is a fun, lightweight, big-screen action/adventure that re-unites Sylvester Stallone with his fellow 80's-present action icons. New to the mix are Cannon Films' action gods Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme while Jet Li is reduced to a cameo this time out.
After an impressive action-packed pre-credit sequence featuring a surprise rescue, Church (Bruce Willis) makes an unwelcome visit and demands a 'favor' from Ross (Stallone). This time Ross' team (Jason Statham, Dolph Lungren, UFC's Randy Couture, footballer Terry Crews and Liam Wemsworth) must reluctantly take a woman along, (Nan Yu of SPEED RACER), setting of a chain reaction of silly sexist gags, on a mission to stop a plutonium deal that will empower terrorists. The mission turns tragic when soon-to-be married pretty boy Hemsworth (HUNGER GAMES) is taken hostage and tragically snuffed out by the greasy villain, Vilain (Van Damme), a ruthless trader in plutonium. For Stallone and his steroid-fueled team, the mission becomes personal and revenge is the flimsy excuse to unleash industrial-strength mega-quantities of CG blood, mayhem and mass destruction. The near apocalyptic climax is spear-headed by the trio of Stallone, Willis and ex-governator Arnold Schwarzenegger wildly trading off firepower, inside jokes and insults .
There is a nice a balance between big-scale stunts and explosions and nicely choreographed hand-to-hand combat. The standout fight scene features Statham (THE TRANSPORTER and CRANK series) taking on a slew of thugs in a church. Li also has a nice but brief fight in a kitchen using pots and pans!
The satisfying finale is a mano-a-mano death duel between Sly and Van Damme, although die-hard action fans would have paid handsomely to see Jet and Jean-Claude go at it.Scott Adkins, a veteran of Hollywood and Hong Kong action films (ACCIDENTAL SPY, BLACK MASK 2, THE MEDALLION) makes a suitably sinister henchman for Van Damme and gets to shine in a few sequences. Chuck Norris makes at least two cameos and provides comic relief without getting physical and exerting himself.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Rza of the Wu Tang, Eli Roth and Tarantino savage old school kung fu movies with a deconstruction and regurgitation of Shaw Bros. slaughter, spaghetti western wackiness and mucho CG! Aside from an all-star cast, be on the look out for familiar faces from the glory days of Hong Kong cinema! Set for a November 2nd theatrical release in the U.S. Here's the trailer:
Here at VC, Diller will forever be remembered for her stop-motion appearance in MAD MONSTER PARTY among other things! http://content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2012/08/comedian-phyllis-diller-dies-in-los-angeles/1#.UDKSMKlmTkZ
Today, we celebrate the 122nd birthday of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937). A great, great writer and thinker. His work, both his content and style, has still never been properly or accurately translated to cinema yet, in my opinion.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Both films are classics. Bava's is my all-time favorite giallo. Karlson' noir is PD but available as a decent, budget-priced blu-ray/DVD combo (http://www.amazon.com/Kansas-City-Confidential-Blu-Ray-Combo/dp/B004G9UXEO/ref=tmm_blu_title_0) but the best print quality remains the MGM DVD (.http://www.amazon.com/Kansas-City-Confidential-Film-Noir/dp/B000PMFRVK)
Bava's film is available on DVD from VCI (who also issues KANSAS on DVD). (http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Black-Lace-Special-Edition/dp/B000BB1926/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345230807&sr=8-1&keywords=blood+and+black+lace). This is one of my 'most wanted' titles for blu-ray!
Very sad news about a true Hong Kong movie legend. We hope he gets well soon! For more details:
Thursday, August 16, 2012
A killer Criterion DVD box set invades stores on November 20th! Contents include four classic 60's Japanese sci-fi titles from the Shochiku Studios vaults: THE X FROM OUTER SPACE, GOKE BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL, THE LIVING SKELETON and GENOCIDE!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
While he's widely known for his creation of E.T., I like to remember Rambaldi mostly for 1973's FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN (aka ANDY WARHOL'S FRANKENSTEIN). I'd rather forget his work on the '76 KING KONG (1976) and CONAN THE DESTROYER (1984) but I actually really like KING KONG LIVES (1986) much better as a film and for his work. The giant heart transplant scene is pretty crazy! LIVES was like a crazy, slick Caucasian kaiju that's worth re-visiting. Rambaldi contributed a lot to the golden age of Euro horror and sci-fi and worked with some of the greats including Mario Bava. My personal favorite is Rambaldi's title monster for MEDUSA VS. THE SON OF HERCULES (1963) starring Richard Harrison. Rambaldi' Medusa is a awesome rubber suit and still terrifying to this day!
Here's his obituary: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/italian-special-effects-master-carlo-rambaldi-father-of-et-dead-at-86/2012/08/10/eade6e52-e30e-11e1-89f7-76e23a982d06_story.html
Rambaldi's credits: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0708058/
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Daniel Craig (looking the worse for wear!) is back as Ian Fleming's James Bond in SKYFALL! Check it out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceeV2lrqonQ
After such a promising debut in CASINO ROYALE, let's hope this third Craig/Bond is more memorable than QUANTUM OF SOLACE.