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A feast in a time of plague.

Monday, January 31, 2005

It's always a cause for celebration when Midnight Eye puts out a new issue--especially whem it's the one that has the staff's best of the year picks. There's also a nice interview with Teruo Ishii and Tom Mes does a roundup of some 70's exploitation gems.


The New York Times takes a look at the shadowy world of international DVD sales and movie studios that don't want anyone to know what the revenues are like from these transactions.


Oh. My. God. Bitter Cinema points out that there's trailers available for the upcoming Minutemen documentary We Jam Econo. I honestly had no idea that there was a doc coming on what was undoubtedly one of the best bands of the eighties, and I can't wait. There's few records from the time better'n Double Nickels on the Dime.


In the least surprising news of the day, The Incredibles has made a clean sweep of the Annie Awards.


Over at Filmacco, they've got pictures of the teaser posters for Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.....and they're pretty darn amazing.

i'm growing weary of the ALT tag joke game...

Sunday, January 30, 2005

I was doing some Sundance meandering, and stumbled over a film in the animation spotlight called Ryan by filmmaker Chris Landreth. It's an animated short that tells the tale of world class Canadian artist Ryan Larkin, an associate of the great Norman McLaren who made some brilliant films in his career but whose life has been one of monetary and addictive travail. It won't hit DVD until March, but the details sound promising--not only will it feature Ryan and a documentary on Landreth and Larkin titled Alter Egos, but it'll have five animated shorts as well by the two artists: Syrinx, Street musique, Walking, Bingo and The End. Interested Californians should note that the Egyptian Theater is hosting the filmmaker (Landreth, that is) on Feb 7 and will be screening much of this same material.


Friday, January 28, 2005

Mojo has a wonderful list of what they see as the Top 100 soundtracks of all time. Really cool picks, for the most part.


Don May Jr talks to Fangoria and gives further detail on some upcoming DVD's from his company. He says that the Street Trash SE is really coming this year....let's hope so!


Did you buy any of these "widescreen" disks from MGM? Well, there appears to be some dispute as to the authentic widescreen nature of these releases--enough of a question that it looks like it's class action time!


This is slightly old, but I never got around to posting DVDtoons' 2004 Best Toons on DVD recap. Lots o' good stuff there.


Y'know, I hadn't even heard of this one until Dano put it in the 2005 preview, but Grizzly Man by Werner Herzog sure sounds like one of the good ones showing at Sundance this year. Herzog's documentary work is generally superb--but the best one that I've ever seen is The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner, a truly amazing piece of work about a ski jumper's world record breaking exploits.

The thrill of victory



Thursday, January 27, 2005

It's Stephen Chow arriving at Sundance, where his Kung Fu Hustle is among the films getting some buzz.


Wowza. The great risen-from-what-I-thought-was-dead blog Bitter Cinema links to an amazing resource containing voluminous numbers of scans of old film magazines with Ingrid Bergman on the cover. Fantastic.


Did I ever point out the Film Journal's excellent top films of 2004 thing? It's worth a look.


Creature Corner has some big news on Anchor Bay's Masters of Horror series, which might go straight to DVD if it doesn't find a cable home. But the list of directors and writers for the 13 hourlong shows sure looks very promising....


Filmacco has some new screenshots from the upcoming Sympathy For Lady Vengeance starring Lee Young-ae.

She looks much meaner in the new one...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Some big news on the release schedule front for Media Blasters at Fangoria....since I just ordered The Mysterians over the weekend and now it's been pushed to March, I'm not all that thrilled on that item. But there's more here to get excited about--like the Fulci Touch of Death, The Asphyx and Varan the Unbelievable!


Casey Scott has a new blog devoted to news about the exciting book that he and Kit Gavin are working on. Can't wait for this one...


Lots and lots of tidbits from Mondo Erotico of late...Pathfinder will be releasing what sounds like a sweet edition of Bell From Hell, which looks to be about the best Eurocult news in 2005. Also coming soon is Guyana, Crime of the Century, (with Yvonne DeCarlo and Joseph Cotten!) hopefully in its trashiest uncut form. Very much of interest as well is the word that Arrow will be putting out 18 Russ Meyer films in the UK (we'll set aside the fact for now that only a handful are actually any good...). Best of all is word of the extras to come on this disk:

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!: Featurette: Go Pussycat Go! + Audio Commentary with Tura Satana, Haji and Lori Williams

Let's just say that no matter how much the dollar declines, I'll be importing this one.

A pre-Lily Munster incarnation





Tuesday, January 25, 2005

This has zilch to do with the movies, but since the Eclipse Awards were last night and one of my favorite horses of recent years--Azeri--was named champion older mare for the third year running, I'm gonna mention it anyhow. Congrats also go out to Ghostzapper for being Horse of the Year, to Smarty Jones for champion three year-old and all the rest.


This year, it seems Sundance blogs are all the rage....check out the action here or here or here or here. Additionally, you can glean lots of Sundance news from Indiewire and Greencine Daily.


Speaking of Sundance, no one told me that Jessica Yu made a documentary on Henry Darger.

So creepy

Monday, January 24, 2005

Between the blizzard and starting a new job today (that is, if my place of employment hasn't gotten shut down by snow), I ain't got much for ya here today. But you can read about Huang Shengyi coming back for Kung Fu Hustle II or Emir Kusturica chairing the jury at Cannes or Casey Scott rampaging thru the Alpha Blue Archives or go check the new releases at AsianDVDGuide if you want. Me, I'm off to trudge thru the drifts.

Place witty ALT tag here

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Sure, I know it's Saturday--but I just found out that ScrappyLand is live!


Friday, January 21, 2005

Bloody Disgusting has the scoop on an upcoming horror flick from Sony called The Cave.


Sanjuro at LoveHKFilm reviews the non-HK manga adaptation Cutie Honey.


Since I haven't yet figured out if I can link to individual posts at the new MHVF board, I can't send you right to Don May's post about what's coming from Synapse. But take my word for it--he claims that the Street Trash SE is coming along and that another upcoming release will be Olga's Girls. Check out the cover below.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Andrew Huang at Taiwan News takes a long look at Tsui Hark and his new Seven Swords.


Vincenzo Natali is apparently hard at work on a new "psychological ghost story". He also mentions in an offhand manner that he may be doing an adaptation of a J.G. Ballard novel soon enough...though I still wonder if domestic audiences will ever get to see Cypher. Since it came out in 2002 and is widely available all over the rest of the world, you'd think it would have made North American shelves by now.


Looks like David Fincher is in talks to do a film based on San Fran's Zodiac Killer. The story has so many twists and turns--not to mention its unsatisfyingly inconclusive ending by Hollywood standards--that one wonders if they can pull this off in good fashion. (Aside; I'm unsure if this project is a remake of the Tom Hanson vehicle. Though I tend to doubt it.)

This is the killer's sign

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Hong Kong Film Awards have been given out, with an animated number coming out on top. As well as the McDull piece, the critcs named nine movies for merit awards (thanks to Tim Youngs for this note):


  • Dumplings: Three...Extremes
  • One Nite in Mongkok
  • Throw Down
  • Kung Fu Hustle
  • A1
  • Colour Blossoms
  • 2046
  • Breaking News
  • Love Battlefield


I guess it's time to hit YesAsia....


If you're out anywhere near the American Cinematheque, be sure and scope out their upcoming 70 MM Film Festival, loaded with huge celluloid prints of your old faves.


From the More I See, the More I'm Convinced This Will Suck Department: Animated News points out that the website for the Fantastic Four movie is live and points to the new trailer. Apparently this played exclusively in front of Elektra last weekend, but from the looks of the box office for that one, nobody really has seen it yet.($12.5 mil opener on 3200 screens? Yeowtch.)


There are few Japanese filmmakers working today who interest me half as Kiyoshi Kurosawa; so it is with great anticipation that I view the poster and screenshots for his next one that are up at Bloody Disgusting. Not to mention, it's got Miki Nakatani in it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Ever wonder who was who in Victorian cinema? Of course you did. (Hat tip to Boing Boing).


The documentary Inside Deep Throat has a blog of sorts to cover the lead-up to its release.


After a three month hiatus, it appears that Bitter Cinema is back! Let's hope that this is permanent...


Leonard Klady at Movie City News breaks down the year at the domestic box office and offers up this thought:

The most obvious point to make is that year after year fewer Americans leave their house to see movies. There is from time to time an attendance boost but that increase is never proportionally greater than the actually population growth.

The movies aren't about to dry up and blow away--but me, I don't think I'd want to be in the theater owner group going forward.


Speaking of staying home, it looks like March'll be a nice month for TV on DVD--what with the third season of Land of the Lost and the second season of Colombo hitting the market. Not to mention Kojak.

WHo loves ya, baby?

Friday, January 14, 2005

Legs McNeil--the man who chronicled punk in his excellent document Please Kill Me--is about to do the same thing for the sex film this coming March with his new The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry.


Anipages Daily checks in with a legthy and informative look at animator Tadanari Okamoto.


Fangoria has the scoop on a Dutch zombie film called Horizonica.


If you're in San Fran, I surely hope that you'll be going out to Noir City 3, the Film Noir Foundation's festival of the genre. There's some great films and all will be introduced by Eddie Mueller, so don't miss it if you're there....me, I'd kill to see that Nicholas Ray flick.

I guess I'll have to import the damn French DVD

Thursday, January 13, 2005

DVDToons reviews the new Inkwell Images disk of Krazy Kat cartoons. But it sounds like there's more than just the animated pieces on this one, as the DVD also gives informative documentary data between the cartoons.


Bollywood star Amrish Puri, best known for his portrayal of villanous types, has died. North American viewers may recognize this giant from his role in Richard Attenborough's Ghandi or his classic appearance as Mola Ram in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.


Fangoria has a whole slew of cool DVD news of late: Media Blasters to release Jeff Lieberman's Just Before Dawn as well as finally putting out the long awaited Lizard in a Woman's Skin; Anchor Bay has William Girdler's The Manitou, David Schmoeller's The Seduction and David Wellington's canuck b-movie The Carpenter; and the last fantastic announcement details the incredible Ray Harryhausen DVD being put out by SparkhillDVD.

He's always like this before he drinks his coffee in the morning

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Check out Bruce Holecheck's new Cinemuck column at Dvd Drive-In, a new weekly full of genre items. Most exciting this week is that Subversive will be releasing The Candy Snatchers...but there's all kinds of other cool announcements there as well.


Bloody Disgusting has the specs on the March release of the Zak Penn/Werner Herzog Loch Ness movie.


Frames Per Second takes a look back at the year 2004 in animation.


The Golden Age birthday department has been quiet of late, so let's wish a happy 45th today to 80's starlet Loni Sanders. (Work surfers should probably use caution on this one).

Goooooooooo team!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The short list for the BBC/Independent World Cinema Award is out.


HK star Jet Li--who was in the Maldives when the tsunami hit the island chain--tells his tale of survival. It's just one story in hundreds of thousands, but this one at least has a happy ending for those involved. WOuld that everyone were so lucky.


Wired reports that in the high-def DVD battle, it might be the porn consumer that picks the winner.


Dunno about anyone else, but for me a Wes Craven werewolf movie with Christina Ricci sounds great. Not to mention that Scott Baio is in it. I've been wondering what he was doing since Joanie Loves Chachi went off the air.

Long after the shark jump

Monday, January 10, 2005

People's Daily Online takes a gander at six upcoming 2005 films from China.


Monsters At Play has a nice interview with gore pioneer Herschell Gordon Lewis.


Some good news from Kung Fu DVD: Pathfinder Pictures to release the great Jimmy Wang Yu film Knight Errant in a nice edition:

The disc will contain a transfer mastered from film with 16x9 anamorphic enhancement. KNIGHT ERRANT will be in Mandarin language only with English subtitles. Supplements include audio commentary, interviews, trailers, filmographies, still galleries, and other goodies!

Bring it on.


Ed Halter goes over the year 2004 in experimental film. You've never heard of Jennifer Reeves' The Time We Killed, Jem Cohen's Chain or Roddy Bogawa's I Was Born, But... have you? Well, neither had I. (And hell, I even know the guy who did the soundtrack for the latter film).


Famke Janssen alludes to a Dark Phoenix role in X3 and notes how much she'll miss Bryan Singer as director. I have a feeling we all might feel the same soon enough.

She doesn't look so dark...

Friday, January 07, 2005

Finally! Someone has gone and made a top ten of 2004 list that is topped by the same film as mine will be--Last Life in the Universe. Of course, I think Filmbrain goes out to the movies a lot more than I do. And don't miss the "ten discoveries" list, either. (Though there's an overrating of The Cincinnati Kid, but lots of people make that mistake).


So it looks like there's a new Japanese film based on a manga by artist Santa Inoue, and though there's only a teaser it looks fairly promising. (Hat tip to Stauffen.de.vu for pointing this out--as well as giving a pointer to the bizarre looking Ah! House Collapses).


Via the almighty Greencine Daily come links to two great pieces: a portrait of bad movie giant Larry Buchanan and a totally fascinating piece on how the Brit horror film Dead of Night helped inspire cosmologists Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold and Hermann Bondi to come up with their Steady State theory of the expanding universe. Now me, I think this model is all wrong--but still, it's a nice story.

Space is the place

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Now here's a news item sure to warm the cockles of many a fanboy's heart: Natalie Portman has signed on for the Wachowski's version of the comic V For Vendetta. (If you've already read the book, then here's the complete annotation).


A bunch of great tidbits are up over at Monkeypeaches: Jet Li joining the cast of Johnny To's next film, Kung Fu Hustle is making money hand over fist (more on that here) and there are lists detailing the best and worst of 2004 as well as the most anticipated films of 2005.


Do you live anywhere near the Egyptian Theater? If so, don't miss the upcoming special night with Ray Harryhausen. A double feature of new prints of The 3 Worlds of Gulliver and The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, a half hour of bonus rarities and the man himself. I wish I wasn't 3000 miles away.

That's gotta hurt

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

My apologies for the brevity of my posts this week thus far, as an endless round of job interviews is sapping my will to live. Not to mention that dressing nice is cutting into my morning web surfing....


Seemed like a bunch of my fave DVD review sites were on Xmas break, but a couple have finally come back. DVD Drive-in reviews Battle Beyond the Sun/Star Pilot and Alice in Acidland/Smoke and Flesh, Eccentric Cinema hits with The Loveless and Wild at Heart, DVD Maniacs looks at a thing or two and 10,000 Bullets (who I'm not sure ever took a break, really)
has slew of new reviews posted.


This has little to do with the movies, but since I consider Will Eisner one of the great comic artists of all time, I must note his sad passing.

Farewell to greatness

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I only have time for the briefest of updates today, but I'll note that there's been a discovery of some excised footage from Stuart Gordon's From Beyond.


The Movie Blog has a hot tip on a cool sounding Japanese movie called The Motive.


Harry McCracken's started a blog after his stint at Cartoon Brew; the first order of business is a review of the Fractured Flickers release from VCI.

Whatever happened to Snidely Whiplash?

Monday, January 03, 2005

That sound you hear? It's hearts breaking all over the world, as it looks like Andy Lau may be getting married next year.


There's a new issue of Rouge, and it's pretty cool.


Check out Chaosmag, a based-in-India film mag. They also have a small Indian cinema database, which I hope grows with time.


Dark Horizons chimes in on the year's end with a list of the worst movies of 2004. Also entering the look back at 2004 sweepstakes is the Japan Times, who have put up what they see as Japan's top ten films. Lots of good looking stuff there--now if only those Japanese DVD's didn't cost so damend much. Ah, well--at least my local Landmark is bringing in Nobody Knows.

Give me subtitles, or give me death

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