Monday, 19 September 2016

DVD Roundup: Nazi punks, fuck off! edition

One of the late Anton Yelchin's last films, Green Room was an unexpected, and little seen, gem released earlier this year. A claustrophobic horror, punk bank the Ain't Rights are witness to a murder in a neo-Nazi venue, and are forced to find ways to survive as the Nazi's go after their blood. In a role adverse to what you'd normally see him in, Patrick Stewart plays the stoic and menacing leader of the neo-Nazi's. While maybe not as original as it would like to see itself as, Green Room is a tense thriller, accented by its gore and the chemistry between its actors. Listen to our podcast review in the player below.

Do we really need to elaborate at just how bad the Evil Dead remake was? Grungy cinematography, no compelling lead, and no humour made it a disappointing watch. Fear not, though, as someone out there realised what made the original Evil Dead franchise work, and so now we have the TV series Ash vs Evil Dead. Yeah, there may of been a little bit too much CGI at some points, but there was Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams back, unwittingly releasing more deadites when he drunkenly tries to woo a woman in his trailer. Bright, gory and funny, Ash vs Evil Dead is definitely one for the fans of the original series. Make sure to check out Richee's review here.

There was an article in the most recent issue of Sight & Sound called "Desert Rats" by Violet Lucca, which examines a rash of movies, all released this year, that use the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as back drops for white people discovering themselves (like Eat Prey Love mixed with The Hurt Locker). The films mentioned are Rock the Kasbah, War Dogs (our podcast review here), A Hologram for the King and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and Lucca concludes that these films are "too cynical to be overtly patriotic, but fail to be critical of anything beyond their cliched character flaws" (I recommend you read the full article if you can). If the films shown up above are anything like War Dogs, you'll be left with more questions than answers after spending two hours in a desert of vacuousness.

A new collection of Pedro Almodovar's films has been released, featuring 6 that where both written and directed by him, including 2 of the best movie titles ever; What Have I Done to Deserve This and Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The only one in this collection that I've seen is Kika (you can read my review here), which was a visually stimulating and fantastically interesting dark comedy/drama, and which is commonly helmed as one of Almodovar's worst films. If that's the case, then the rest of his movies must be just excellent.

I'll be honest, I did find it a little suspicious when JT LeRoy's books where always classed as fiction next to the barcode, as they where always presented as the truth, but I didn't think much of it, and still brought all of his books and even a signed raccoon penis bone. After a few years, and after my fandom had waned somewhat, it was still a shock to find out that JT LeRoy was in fact a fiction, written by a middle aged woman, who got a female relative to pose as LeRoy, who was meant to be transgendered, HIV-positive ex-prostitute. Sounds crazy, and more than a little messed-up, which makes me really want to see this documentary.

Even though Boyhood was a bit of a disappointing film (his review, her review), Richard Linklater still holds his reputation as a quality director, and his latest film, Everybody Wants Some!!, harks back to one of his early classics Dazed and Confused. Set in 1980's, expect a non-stop party movie with all the optimism of youth. If party movies aren't your thing, I'd recommend Linklater's much underrated Bernie, where Jack Black plays an amiable mortician who murders a wealthy widow. Fun Fact: when the real life Bernie Tiede was released from jail, he went to live with Linklater in his garage. Amazing!

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