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A feast in a time of plague.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Channel 4 in the UK polled their readers on the best 100 cartoons of all time, and while the list is a little shaky in parts, there's still some good choices.


France's Cesar Awards have been given out, with a small budget film called L'Esquive taking the top prize. I think that there were other film awards given out over the weekend too, but I honestly didn't pay all that much attention.


Cartoon Brew points out a nice interview with Brad Bird of Incredibles fame.

Bring on the DVD

Friday, February 25, 2005

It's official: the upcoming Hong Kong International Film Festival will feature an eleven film tribute to Andy Lau. (Hat tip on this item to the valuable Hong Kong Entertainment News in Review).


Rumor has it that the New York International Children's Film Festival has not only the US Premiere of Steamboy, but a post-screening Q & A with director Katsuhiro Otomo as well. Also of great interest here is the showing of The Emperor's Nightingale by legendary Czech puppeteer Jiri Trnka.


Speaking of animation, while I have to say that this year's Oscars hold very little interest for me, I found this piece that details the animated shorts nominees to be a pretty good read.


Via Fangoria comes the great news that there's a cool new DVD outfit called Panik House, who appear to be centered solidly in the Asian genre film space. First up will be a couple of Pang Brothers films, followed by a release of the excellent Korean psychological horror film The Uninvited starring Jun Ji-hyun. Also, the future appears to hold some relases from Toei's infamous Pinky Violence series. Very promising stuff.

She's not invited???

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Media Blasters has really been lining up the future releases for their Tokyo Shock line, which usually has pretty good quality control. There's a couple Miike numbers, a Kitamura, a Renpei Tsukamoto flick and Masayuki Asao’s Flower and Snake--not to mention two films from Korea and Thailand respectively. Cool stuff.


Well, it hasn't been the best of weeks for figures from film. For one thing, Twitch just let me know that actor Miao Tien, an old kung fu and recent Tsai Ming-liang movie star died on Saturday. For another, actress Simone Simon, also died yesterday at the age of 94. Probably best known in the States as Irena in the pair of Val Lewton movies Cat People and Curse of the Cat People, she is also seen in great projects directed by giants of cinema like Jean Renoir and Max Ophuls. Sigh.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Cri Online has a brief note on Jet Li scouting for Shanghai shooting locations for his next film.


There has been some mixed reaction on the street to the Media Blasters disk of Lucio Fulci's Lizard in a Woman's Skin, due mostly to the various sources that were used to make the final transfer. It might still be worth a purchase--but before you choose, you may as well take in the comprehensive review at 10000 Bullets first.


It hasn't been a great week for Asian film figures, what with the horrible suicide of a top Korean actress as well as the earlier passing of Japanese director Kihachi Okamoto last Saturday. I just got through watching the recent Animeigo disk of Samurai Assassin, and it's really great. Give it a look as a tribute to the director's career--and it should tide you over until Sword of Doom hits the shelves in March.

Criterion, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

It is with great sadness that I post the news that Korean actress Lee Eun-ju has committed suicide. Terrible news.

RIP, Lee Eun-ju

Animated News points out a pair of cartoon related items: Disney Database has a new pic from Cars and there's a spiffy new trailer for the upcoming version of A Scanner Darkly.


It's a website for Tsui Hark's Seven Swords! Be still my beating heart.


Since Charles Manson is one of the USA's homegrown madmen, how come the Jim van Bebber version of the story is only available on a UK DVD? I guess there might be some reasons, but still...


U-Carmen Ekhayelitsha takes home the Golden Bear from the Berlinale.


There's finally some casting news for the remake of the Fog, and it looks like one of the people from the TV series Lost has made the cut.

Laissez bon temps roulez, or some shit

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A brief note: the schedule for the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film has been posted. Check it out--lots of good stuff playing this year.


Friday, February 18, 2005

What's in the Comics-to-Film box today? For one thing, the Sin City site is live; for another, USA Today checks in with notes about DC Comics' latest lineup. And in a final note, it appears that Easy Rider alum Peter Fonda is set to join the cast of the Ghost Rider film, apparently as the character Mephistopholes.


If you're in New York City, you should be taking note of the series being programmed by Film Comment at the Walter Reade Theater.


UK's Guardian takes a close look at a couple of high quality serial killer movies, including the Korean flick Memories of Murder.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Word has it that David Cronenberg, just off wrapping his newest film (A History of Violence, a semi out-of-character comic book piece from the filmmaker), has begun working on a project called Painkillers that sounds more like his typical area of expertise.


Via Fleshbot comes news from Thailand that there's a scandal involving Thai actress Natt Chanapa and her previous film work. (Links mainly safe for work, but caution is suggested).


Argh. Twitch mentions a Screendaily piece (and oh, how I miss that site being free) wherein an MGM archivist talks of how the studio discarded some amazingly valuable reels of film in the nineties for the sake of saving some cash on storage. What fools.


Over at DVD Drive-in (where I'm still wondering why Bruce Holecheck's "weekly" column doesn't ever update) there's some cool news about a few releases from Retromedia, most notably an uncut release of The Flesh Eaters. ANd heck, while you're there check out the George Reis review of the new release of Guyana, Crime of the Century.

Get me Leo J. Ryan!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Have you been following the Berlinale coverage at Greencine? Well, if you aren't--you should be.


Golden Age cartoons adds a big update to their Walter Lantz pages, just for posterity. Lots of title screens here, as well.


I've seen this site in the past, but I was just reminded of it by a post at Bitter Cinema: it's an amazing database of movie title screens. The site operator has been at this for ten years or so, and the collection just continues to grow. Cool stuff.

Another great William Shatner vehicle!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Female First interviews actress Famke Janssen, wherein she talks X3 and a little lapdancing.


From the Coolest News of the Day Department: it sounds like the next Pen-ek Ratanaruang film will be another pan-Asian production, what with Japan's Tadanobu Asano and Korea's Gang Hye Jung (who I loved in the indie Korean sci-fi flick Nabi.


Fangoria got their hands on a casting sheet for the upcoming Wes Craven produced/Alejandre Aja directed version of The Hills Have Eyes. I still think they'll manage to screw this up--I think Craven is akin to Russ Meyer, in that he's managed to make a couple of brilliant movies that are swamped by all the other dreck he's directed. But maybe Aja can save it. Then again, I'm such a sap for Christina Ricci that I'll probably still go see Cursed, even if Wes did wimp out and cut it to a PG 13. (Oh and a belated birthday wish goes out to Ms. Ricci, who turned 25 over the weekend).

I couldn't use the birthday suit pics

Monday, February 14, 2005

The guy from stauffen.de.vu inquires at Italian DVD outfit Raro Video as to the specs for their upcoming Tsukamoto release, and gets the somewhat unfortunate answer that it'll be a double release of Bullet Ballet/Tokyo Fist and will not include The Phantom of Regular Size. Oh, well. Look for more Raro stuff soon with a full review of The Perfume of a Lady in Black in my space here at BOP.


The Almighty Twitch notes that there are some spiffy screenshots available for the new Jean Reno film L' Empire des Loups.


Cartoon Brew points out that the Oscar winning Chuck Jones short The Dot and the Line will be included as an extra on the upcoming DVD of the Doris Day vehicle The Glass Bottom Boat.

oh, Doris.  You're a madwoman!

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Hong Kong film industry is in sort of rough straits, regardless of the recent success of Kung Fu Hustle. And the vaunted Shaw Brothers studios have even built a n expensive production facility that seems to mostly be sitting idle as their profits drop. Not to mention that Golden Harvest quit making movies last year.


From Masters of Cinema comes word that Japanese film collector Yoshishige Abe has passed away. And it appears he's left behind a real treasure trove:

His father was a police doctor who worked for the Korean Consulate, and together they both collected fifty-thousand films both pre and post war at their storehouse. They had previously refused all investigations by scholars, and it is not clear just how many of the films are still viewable.

Apparently the collection may have some famous Japanese and Korean films that had been thought lost, so it'll be a treat to see what they find when they inventory the stuff.


What with all the hoopla about Deep Throat with the recent documentary and all, AVN takes the time to interview star Harry Reems. (Proceed with caution, work surfers).


Cartoon Brew has a nice brief recap of a whole slew of recent animation oriented books. The one by Martha Sigall looks to be really fascinating.

An American genius, that Max Fleischer

Thursday, February 10, 2005

It's Saturn Awards nomination time, and Comics 2 Film has all the details.


Here's a new marketing technique: the DVD for National Lampoon's Blackball will hit store shelves just four days after the movie's limited release.


As J. Hoberman reviews Inside Deep Throat and looks back at the obscene world, Movie City News visits CES and notes that blue product continues to drive sales as well as technology.


Ol' Marty is sure on a remake run, with the news that he'll follow the Infernal Affairs do-over with a recap of Kurosawa's Drunken Angel.

Pass the sake

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Poor ol' David Thomson is all up in arms over the way industry philistines are using Hollywood's golden past. I can't say I completely disagree with the sentiment--but I also can't say that I'm surprised to find this is the case.


It's time for the nominees to be announced for Canada's Genie Awards--so here they are.


There's a new ish of Senses of Cinema, and as usual there's enough here to keep you busy until the next one comes out in three months. So spend some time poring over the 2004 World Poll, the focus sections on cinema from Taiwan and the Phillipines, as well as the aside on Dutch experimental cinema. That's not nearly everything new over there, either, so go check out the whole site.


Sounds like it's already getting to be cold feet time for the Fantastic Four flick. When I was a kid, my absolute two most favorite comics were this one and Daredevil. I've been burned badly by one of these properties already, and I don't feel so great about the prospects of the other...

Don't be scared, kids--there used to be a sport called hockey

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle has shattered box office records for the biggest grossing local film in Hong Kong. In other Hustle-related news, pop star Stefanie Sun has said that she'd love a crack at the landlady role from that one as her film debut. (Hat tip to Hong Kong Entertainment News).


Fangoria reports that Palm Pictures has picked up a horror film from Belgium titled Calvaire.


DVD Drive-in has another new upgrade to their already fine operations: it's exploitation DVD news updates from Casey Scott, with all the latest on digital news involving Diana Dors, Marie Forsa, Christina Lindberg, Tura Satana and Stewardesses in 3D! Now, if only Bruce Holecheck's "weekly" column (that hasn't been updated since its first appearance nearly a month ago) would come back, we'd be all set.

Sure, this is a little racy for BOP...

Monday, February 07, 2005

Only a couple of brief items this AM. I'm a little fogged out from the Pats winning it all again last night...


DVD Drive-in takes a gander at Unviersal's Soul Showcase, three blaxploitation gems from back in the day.


The Imagina Awards are in, with the Grand Prix going to the Incredibles.

Looks like there's going to be a new pilot based on the Kolchak the Night Stalker character.


Saturday, February 05, 2005

The AFI Silver is displaying the movies of Nollywood as part of its African Film Showcase.


Friday, February 04, 2005

So if there's going to be an Evil Dead 4 with Bruce Campbell, then why would I care about an Evil Dead remake without Bruce Campbell? I can't imagine.


I believe that I've stumbled over my new favorite DVD outfit: it's Raro Video, an Italian company who has issued lots of cool discs in recent history. Their product has a good reputation for quality, and their taste seems to run towards the outre and artsy. I just picked up Perfume of the Lady in Black (though I haven't read most of that linked review, given the massive spoiler warning) from the good folk at Xploited Cinema, and I've heard good things about Milano Calibro 9. I'll also admit to being pretty intrigued by the new double DVD of the cut-up films of William S. Burroughs.


Last night I watched a bit of J-horror called Inugami, which honestly wasn't all that great (this review from Midnight Eye has it just about right)....but it did have a pretty nice performance by Yuki Amami, who I'd love to see more of.


But enough about me. Didja know there's a new issue of Bright Lights Film Journal? Well, there is. And it's loaded as usual--there's electric Miles, many capsule reviews, High Noon, Bill Plympton and so much more.



Y'know, I honestly don't care much about Superman, as I've always found the character to be pretty darn dull. But with Grant Morrison taking on Clark's alter ego in 2005, maybe I'll give Jor-el's favorite son another shot. And heck, if the upcoming movie is going to be cool enough to cast Eva Marie-Saint as Martha Kent then maybe that pic'll need a look as well.

I never discuss love on an empty stomach

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Time's Richard Corliss gets all gushy over Thai action star Tony Jaa.


From the If-You-Can't-Do-The-Time-Don't-Do-The-Crime Department: actress Kelly Brook seemingly has had second thoughts about the nude scene she did for the upcoming film Three. Unfortunately for Ms. Brook, she appears to have signed a contract that stipulated the scenes...and the fuss is likely guaranteed to ensure that even more people get to see the goods.


Ray Pride's Sundance wrap is worth a read, and I especially like the lead-in that Movie City News used wherein Focus Features president James Schamus says what everybody knows but few are willing to voice:

We are not in the business of making movies. The movie experience you have when you buy a ticket is subsidizing an ad campaign for a DVD and a cable show. You are legitimizing that by letting us pretend that it is a movie.

That's just exactly right. Your local theater these days acts as little more than a commercial platform for the markets where the money really gets made. Theatrical releases on their own just aren't that important any more--except as a marketing device.


Over at A View From the Brooklyn Bridge, there's a review of the VCD-only release of the Shaws' Temptress of a Thousand Faces. And yes, this piece might call the film "silly, nonsensical, muddled and inconsequential" yet somehow, it still manages to make me want to see it.

This is the only way to fly

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Sundance from the side: Filmthreat's top picks and Bloody Disgusting has a note on the main horror film from the event.


Here's some good, old manga-to-film news: In March, HVE will release a box set of three films from the Hanzo the Razor series.


The Bangkok Post interviews filmmaker Wong Kar-wai, whose 2046 opens in Thailand this week.


D'you ever check out stauffen.de.vu? Well, if you're at all interested in Japanese film, you should. This little blog is filled with tidbits about what's coming in from the Land of the Rising Sun; today there's a pointer to a sweet looking horror film that I hadn't heard about yet called Zoo.


Men.style.com has what they claim is a "literate" look at the most unforgettable breasts in movie history. I report; you decide. (Hat tip to Fleshbot).

Ludivine Sagnier

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Remember Alien vs Predator, and what an unmitigated piece of crap it was? Well, that didn't stop some 1.85 million people from buying the DVD or VHS on its first market day, good for nearly as much revenue as the thing did its opening weekend. When there's an AVP Two, you'll know why.


Rope of Silicon has an interview with Neil Gaiman, wherein he compares the upcoming Mirror Mask to a little overlooked 80's movie that I've always been fond of called Paperhouse. It's director--Bernard Rose--has had an interesting career....his highest profile work is the Clive Barker adaptation Candyman, but his 2000 film Ivansxtc could really, really, really use a domestic release. His next film sounds like a work of horror, so let's hope we get to see that one.


Darcy Pacquet has the latest on the absurd machinations of Korea's PiFan Festival. The initial story is that Kim Hong-joon--the person who really revived the festival and put it on the map--was fired in December, ostensibly because the new mayor of Bucheon didn't like him. At first, it appeared that the three man programming team would take over helming the fete since no one was ever named as director in the wake of Kim's termination...but now this has happened:

The other decision the committee made today was to fire the programming team. They will be replaced soon, assuming they can find anyone brave enough to take on the job. But as of now, with less than six months to go before the event opens, there is nobody in charge of the festival except the mayor himself, who presumably won't be putting together the program.

Sounds like the new mayor has managed to go and destroy what had become one of the world's premiere showcases of the fantastic in film. Nice work.


David Thomson pens a wonderful tribute to the beautiful (and brilliant) movie star Hedy Lamarr, who had a most interesting life. Did you know that you should thank her for your cell phone? (Hat tip to Movie City News).

I said I was sick of ALT tag jokes....

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