Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jackie Brown

R1 Canada




Quentin Tarantino presents the premiere of the JACKIE BROWN COLLECTOR'S SERIES DVD, complete with your favorite award-winning movie, all-star cast, and never-before-seen footage. What do a sexy stewardess (Pam Grier), a street-tough gun runner (Samuel L. Jackson), a lonely bail bondsman (Academy Award®-nominee Robert Forster), a shifty ex-con (Robert DeNiro), an earnest federal agent (Michael Keaton), and a stoned-out beach bunny (Bridget Fonda) have in common? They're six players on the trail of a half million dollars in cash! The only questions are ... who's getting played ... and who's gonna make the big score! Combining an explosive mix of intense action and edgy humor, Tarantino scores again with the entertaining JACKIE BROWN!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pulp Fiction

R1 USA


With the knockout one-two punch of 1992's Reservoir Dogs and 1994's Pulp Fiction writer-director Quentin Tarantino stunned the filmmaking world, exploding into prominence as a cinematic heavyweight contender. But Pulp Fiction was more than just the follow-up to an impressive first feature, or the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, or a script stuffed with the sort of juicy bubblegum dialogue actors just love to chew, or the vehicle that reestablished John Travolta on the A-list, or the relatively low-budget ($8 million) independent showcase for an ultrahip mixture of established marquee names and rising stars from the indie scene (among them Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Julia Sweeney, Kathy Griffin, and Phil Lamar). It was more, even, than an unprecedented $100-million-plus hit for indie distributor Miramax. Pulp Fiction was a sensation. No, it was not the Second Coming (I actually think Reservoir Dogs is a more substantial film; and P.T. Anderson outdid Tarantino in 1997 by making his directorial debut with two even more mature and accomplished pictures, Hard Eight and Boogie Nights). But Pulp Fiction packs so much energy and invention into telling its nonchronologically interwoven short stories (all about temptation, corruption, and redemption amongst modern criminals, large and small) it leaves viewers both exhilarated and exhausted--hearts racing and knuckles white from the ride. (Oh, and the infectious, surf-guitar-based soundtrack is tastier than a Royale with Cheese.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gremlins 1 / Gremlins 2: The New Batch

R2 UK
Gremlins 1 / Gremlins 2: The New Batch Box Set (Christmas Sleeve) (2 Discs)



Cute. Clever. Mischievous. Intelligent. Dangerous. They're here!

Gremlins: Don't ever get it wet. Keep it away from bright light. And no matter how much it cries, no matter how much it begs--never, ever feed it after midnight. With these three instructions, young Billy Peltzer takes possession of his cuddly new pet. Billy will get a whole lot more than he bargained for...
Gremlins 2 - The New Batch: The rules are the same but the laughs are bigger and thrills are better. This time Billy and everyone's favorite Mogwai, Gizmo, must face off against a new batch of Gremlins that definitely think New York is their kind of town.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Doomsday

R2 UK



From director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Dog Soldiers) and starring Rhona Mitra (Shooter), Bob Hoskins (Outlaw, Nixon) and Malcom McDowell (Heroes, A Clockwork Orange) Doomsday is an action-packed, science-fiction thriller!

In Doomsday, a lethal virus spreads throughout a major country and kills hundreds of thousands. To contain the newly identified Reaper, the authorities brutally quarantine the country as it succumbs to fear and chaos. The literal walling-off works for three decades - until Reaper violently resurfaces in a major city. An elite group of specialists, including Eden Sinclair (Mitra), is urgently dispatched into the still-quarantined country to retrieve a cure by any means necessary. Shut off from the rest of the world, the unit must battle through a landscape that has become a waking nightmare.

Escape from New York

R1 Canada

Another John Carpenter cult classic, 'Escape From New York' was one of the best entries in the once popular post-apocalyptic genre which included 'Road Warrior' and 'The Terminator'. In 1997, the island of Manhattan has been turned into the world's largest maximum-security prison, a place where the worst of humanity is sent to rot. The U.S. Government finds itself in a major crisis when the president's plane crash-lands in New York only days before a vital peace summit between major warring nations is to take place. The president survives the crash, but is taken hostage by the denizens of Manhattan and held for ransom. Only war hero turned felon Snake Plissken can save the day, and he is offered a simple deal for his work: save the president and live, fail to save him and die. The one-eyed bandit sets to work, cutting a path of destruction to the president that has to be seen to be believed. Kurt Russell creates the indelible character of Snake Plissken as no other actor could have. Wisecracking and cool under the very worst of pressures, Snake is the ultimate bad good guy. Often copied, but never duplicated, 'Escape From New York' is full of the wit, energy and action that mark a John Carpenter picture.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Blood Feast (1963)

R2 UK



A serial killer is on the loose. Women are being killed and body parts are being stolen. The police are stumped (so to speak). Meanwhile, Egyptmania seems to be gripping this small Florida town. Fuad Ramses's "exotic catering" shop is doing a booming business and his book, Ancient Weird Religious Rituals, is being studied by the local book club. Is there a connection between Ramses and the murders? Of course! In this movie by the wizard of gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis, plot and suspense take a back seat to the gruesome and bloody murder scenes. The acting may not be very good, the script is weak at best, and the effects don't hold up to later standards of Hollywood gore, but there is an infectious enthusiasm that comes through Lewis's desire to shock his audience. The exploitation elements may be dated, but that only makes them all more entertaining. A shocking drive-in sensation when released in 1963, Blood Feast remains a milestone in the exploitation genre, followed (in what would come to be known as Lewis's "blood trilogy") by Two Thousand Maniacs! and Color Me Blood Red. --Andy Spletzer

Nothing so appalling in the annals of horror has ever been seen before. When Mrs. Fremont hires crackpot Egyptian cultist Fuad Ramses to cater a party for her daughter, Suzette, she commits the culinary catastrophe of the century! Fuad immediately prepares a Blood Feast made from the grisly body parts of nubile young women. The world's first (and most notorious) "gore" film, "Blood Feast" is both shocking and hilarious. It's also the first of the infamous "blood trilogy" from director Herschell Gordon Lewis and producer Dave Friedman, who followed this perverse classic with the equally twisted "2000 Maniacs" and "Color Me Blood Red."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Death Race 2000 (1975)

R2 UK



"Low-budget films allow one to experiment, to take chances with a zany idea like Death Race 2000 Paul Bartel had the type of black humor that was required to direct this cross-country racing mayhem; while Chuck Griffith handled 2nd unit direction for the action sequences, featuring futuristic fast cars created by an award-winning designer. To compete with David Carradine's dark hero, I cast Sylvester Stallone as the heavy, whom I had first noticed with his brilliant performance in The Lords Of The Flatbush. This combination was particularly effective, and Death Race 2000 remains one of my most successful films of all time." - Roger Corman.

In the year 2000, hit and run has become the national sport. It's a no-holds barred cross-country race, in which the aim is to kill off not only your opponents, but as many pedestrians as possible. David Carradine takes on Sylvester Stallone in this classic adrenaline thriller that will make you look both ways twice before you cross.

The Toolbox Murders (1978)

R1 USA



Bit by bit by bit, he carved a nightmare! In a quiet Los Angeles apartment complex, a deranged handyman savagely murders "immoral" women with the tools of his trade: claw-hammers, screwdrivers, power drills and even a deadly nail gun! But these gruesome murders are just the beginning of this landmark epic of violence and depravity that was vilified by critics, banned by censors, and treasured by splatter fans worldwide!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Prowler

R1 USA



If you think you're safe, you're dead wrong! On the night of her graduation dance in 1945, young Rosemary and her date are brutally murdered by a prowler thought to be a jilted soldier home from the war. The killer was never found. Thirty years later, the dance is held again for the first time since that horrific evening--but something else may have also returned. Tonight, the teens of this sleepy town will meet their grisly ends at the hands--and pitchfork, blade and more--of The Prowler! Also known as "Rosemary's Killer," this gruesome shocker is one of the most brutal body count movies of the ‘80s, thanks to razor sharp direction by Joseph Zito and graphic gore effects by Tom Savini. Hollywood legends Farley Granger and Lawrence Tierney star in this shocker from the golden age of slasher films--now presented completely uncut and uncensored!

Friday, December 19, 2008

2LDK

R2 France



A twisted, skillfully paced black comedy, 2LDK (2-Bedroom, Living Room, Dining Room & Kitchen) packs a startling amount of inventiveness, razor-sharp wit and filmmaking fervor to tell the story of two roommates at odds with the world and each other. Two struggling actresses share a Tokyo apartment. As they compete for the same film role and the same boyfriend, their petty squabbles soon turn into all-out war and when they break out the power tools and electrocution devices, you know these two ladies have forfeited more than their security deposit. Director Yukihiko Tsutsumi, one of the most promising young filmmakers in Japan, pushes his film's premise to the extreme, making for an unforgettable, non-stop barrage of laughs, fights and ultra-violence.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Big Trouble in Little China

R2 Spain






Directed by thrill master John Carpenter, this edge-of-your-seat adventure stars Kurt Russell as Jack Burton, a tough-talking, wisecracking truck driver whose hum-drum life on the road takes a sudden supernatural tailspin when his best friend's fiance'e is kidnapped. Speeding to the rescue, Jack finds himself deep beneath San Francisco's Chinatown, in a murky, creature-filled world ruled by Lo-Pan, a 2000-year-old magician who mercilessly presides over an empire of spirits. Dodging demons and facing baffling terrors, Jack battles his way through Lo Pan's dark domain in full-throttle, action-riddled ride to rescue the girl. Co-starring Kim Cattral, this effects-filled Sci-Fi spectacle speeds to an incredible, twist-taking finish.








The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

R2 France



The lucky ones died first...

While traveling in a trailer through the desert to California, the retired detective Big Bob Carter stops in an isolated gas station with his family for fueling and rest. Bob is traveling with his wife Ethel, his son Bobby, his daughters Brenda and Lynn and his son-in-law and Lynn's husband Doug and their daughter baby Katy. When they leave the gas station, the owner advises Bob to stay in the main road. However, the stubborn driver takes a shortcut through a nuclear testing site and wrecks his station wagon. With the family stranded in the middle of nowhere, Bob and Doug walk on the road trying to find some help. Bob is captured by an insane and sadistic member of a deranged evil family that lives nearby the spot. Doug returns to the trailer, and along the night the Carter family is attacked by a group of psychotic cannibal criminals. Absolutely trapped by the murderers, they have to fight to survive.



Trilogy of the Dead

R2 UK



Night of the Living Dead
"One of the 20 Scariest Movies of All Time" (Entertainment Weekly), George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead still sets the standard for all indie fright flicks. This 40th Anniversary Edition, authorized by the director himself, reanimates the landmark tale of five strangers who struggle desperately against hordes of the walking undead. Re-mastered and loaded with all-new Special Features, Night of the Living Dead remains "a bona fide classic... still very scary after all these years" (Jason Jones, Classic-Horror.com).

Dawn of the Dead
In 1968, director George A. Romero brought us NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. It became the definitive horror film of its time. Eleven years later, he would unleash the most shocking motion picture experience for all times. As modern society is consumed by zombie carnage, four desperate survivors barricade themselves inside a shopping mall to battle the flesh-eating hordes of the undead. This is the ferocious horror classic, featuring landmark gore effects by Tom Savini, that remains one of the most important – and most controversial – horror films in history. When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth!

Day of the Dead
The Dead have waited. The day has come.The walking dead have taken over the world and only a small band of the living survive. This motley group of scientists and soldiers are barricaded in an abandoned missile silo where the chief scientist is conducting grotesque research experiments to find a way of controlling the ravenous, marauding Zombies. Tensions meanwhile become intolerable especially when the self appointed psychotic military leader discovers that some of his soldiers have been used as guinea pigs in the zombie experiments. A last ditch battle results in the 'darkest day of horror the world has ever known'.




Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Los Sin Nombre - The Nameless

R2 Spain



In Spain, the vanished six years old daughter of the editor Claudia (Emma Vilarasau) is found completely mutilated in a well by the police, being recognized by her husband only due to a bracelet and her shorter leg. Five years later, Claudia, divorced and addicted in tranquilizer, receives a short phone contact from her daughter. She looks for the former detective in charge of the investigation, and together with a reporter of a magazine of parapsychology, they find the existence of a diabolic sect called "Los Sin Nombre" that searches the essence of pure evil.

Manhattan Baby -The New York Ripper

R1 USA Lucio Fulci collection vol.2


Manhattan Baby
A young girl on vacation in Egypt is given a mysterious charm, causing her archeologist father to be struck blind inside an unexplored pyramid tomb. But when the family returns home to Manhattan, a plague of supernatural evil and sudden violence follows. Can this ancient curse be stopped before it is unleashed on the streets of New York City?Italian shock master Lucio Fulci combines elements of The Exorcist, The Awakening, Poltergeist, and more in this bizarre horror thriller. Also known as Eye Of The Evil Dead and The Possessed, Manhattan Baby is notable as one of Fulci's final films to be released in America.

The New York Ripper
A blade-wielding psychopath is on the loose, turning The Big Apple bright red with the blood of beautiful young women. As NYPD detectives follow the trail of butchery from the decks of the Staten Island Ferry to the sex shows of Times Square, each brutal murder becomes a sadistic taunt. In the city that never sleeps, he’s the killer that can’t be stopped!
Written and directed by acclaimed horror maestro Lucio Fulci (Zombie, City Of The Living Dead) and filmed on location in the mean streets of New York City, The New York Ripper is one of Fulci’s most savage and controversial thrillers and is presented here completely uncut and uncensored.



The Jess Franco Collection Boxset vol.1

R2 UK




From the director of the infamous 'Vampyros Lesbos' comes eight classic movies that form part of the Jess Franco erotica collection.
Love Letters Of A Portuguese Nun: A young girl, Maria, is caught in the act with her lover by Father Vicente, who belongs to the nearby Serreda Iris cloister. The fiendish clergyman persuades her parents to put Maria under his protection. She is brought to Serreda Iris, where the nuns seem to have an unusual interest in her beautiful body. Maria, abondoned by everyone, loses hope, but first she wants to make things clear with the only friend left to her: She writes a letter to God and throws it out of the window. Her letter is found...
Jack The Ripper: The infamous Jack the Ripper terrorizes the East End of London of the late 19th century by killing and mutilating prostitutes. Scotland Yard assigns Inspector Selby, a young and ambitious police commissioner, to the case. As his investigation goes nowhere and public pressure rises, his beautiful girlfriend Cynthia decides to help him out by posing as a hooker and secretly visiting the bars where the victims of this mysterious killer were last seen...
Love Camp: A group of women are kidnapped by guerrillas and brought to a jungle brothel where they are forced to work as prostitutes for the soldiers. Those who refuse to cooperate are decapitated by the cruel, sadistic wardress of the camp, who is privately interested in some of the women herself...
Barbed Wire Dolls: After killing her father who had tried to rape her, Maria is sentenced to life in prison. The wardress is a sadistic lesbian without mercy. Upon her arrival Maria is taken to a special section for mentally disturbed prisoners where torture and rape are part of the day-to-day reality.
Blue Rita: Blue Rita is a Parisian nightclub where business men are lured and caged by the club's erotic dancers. Once trapped in a cage, they are doused in a liquid that drugs them into a heightened sexual state where they are unable to resist the commands of their captors. Meanwhile, a mysterious man takes a keen interest in the information that the dancers are able to extract from their victims...
Ilsa The Wicked Warden: The eponymous villainess runs a mental-hospital for - you guessed it - young women: these inmates are forced to sleep with the male patients for the cameras, so Isla can sell the footage as porno-films. Meanwhile, in an effort to find out what happened to her sister, one - sane! - girl deliberatly gets institutionalised and begins her undercover investigation...
Voodoo Passion: Susan arrives in Haiti to meet her husband Jack, a consul for the British Embassy, whom she hasn't seen in a long time. She is greeted by Ines, a strange lesbian housekeeper; and Olga, who claims to be Jack's sister... Susan finds herself having strange dreams about ritualistic ceremonies. Unfortunately one of these nightmares is about to come true...
Sexy Sisters: Two sisters live in a remote estate, where one is the slave to the other! Nightly, the elder sister is forced to solicit men for the younger, as prescribed by their doctor!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Spit On Your Grave

R1 USA



Writer-director Meir Zarchi's controversial story of rape and revenge has lost none of its ability to shock viewers since it first gained notoriety in the late '70s. Camille Keaton (grand-niece of Buster Keaton and, later, Zarchi's wife) stars as a young woman who is terrorized and then brutally assaulted by four men while on vacation. After slowly pulling herself together, she methodically tracks down and butchers each of the perpetrators. Zarchi's film has been consistently accused of celebrating violence against women, and while the rape scenes are graphic, they also lack the voyeuristic qualities that earmark other similarly plotted exploitation films. If anything, Zarchi is guilty of awkward scripting; the dialogue is leaden, and Keaton's transformation from victim to avenger is too swift. But to label him a pornographer is wrong, and while the film is challenging--perhaps more than most audiences can bear--its depiction of the psychology of violence is undeniably powerful. --Paul Gaita

Elite Entertainment proudly presents the next entry in the famed MILLENNIUM EDITION DVD series: Meir Zarchi s I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE a.k.a. DAY OF THE WOMAN. Filled with the bonus materials you ve come to expect from Elite s MILLENNIUM EDITION series, this highly anticipated DVD release tells the tale of Jennifer Hills, a magazine writer from New York City who retires to a secluded cabin in the woods to write her first novel. There she is brutally assaulted, raped and left for dead by four country boys. BUT JENNIFER IS ALIVE. Emotionally destroyed, she no longer writes her novel; instead she finds herself choreographing a horrific revenge scheme to inflict punishment on her four assailants in methods such as the screen has never seen before! Originally titled DAY OF THE WOMAN, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE has gained a reputation over the years as an extremely graphic and violent film, as well as the most controversial film to hit the world! Now you decide for yourself: Is it really Just another exploitation film to be dismissed as some film critics assert, or is it, as other critics proclaim, Truly a masterpiece of cinema.

Iron Monkey

R2 Portugal



One of the most visually spectacular films ever produced by a Hong Kong studio, this is a traditional epic style movie boasting fight choreography by Yuen Woo Ping, action director of "The Matrix", "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Kill Bill vol 1" and soon-to-be Hollywood star Donnie Yen. This film is credited by fans and critics as containing some of the most intricte and technically difficult fight action ever shot for the screen. Set in the late Ching Dynasty, 'the film depicts the life of legendary herbal doctor Dr Yang, whose high-kicking alter-ego "Iron Monkey", protects the poor and needy against the barbaric excesses of the corrupt political regieme. Relentlessly pursued by the goverment's most accomplished fighters, Yang must utilize all his skills to avoid capture and protect his people.

Police Assassins-aka Yes, Madam

R2 UK



Police Assassins combines a mismatched detective buddy movie with Three Stooges-style buffoonery. Making the mixture more unusual still, both detectives are female, Michelle Yeoh (Magnificent Warriors), in only her second film, joining forces with American martial arts legend Cynthia Rothrock (China O'Brien), in her then debut, to track down some missing microfilm. After introducing Yeoh in a direct steal from Dirty Harry the plot stagnates as the microfilm falls into the hands of small-time crooks, Asprin (Hoi Mang), Strepsil (John Sham) and Panadol (action movie producer Hark Tsui). Though their physical comedy is ingeniously choreographed the routine rapidly becomes tiresome, far too little space being given to Yeoh and Rothrock. The latter's 1980s' fashions date the movie and the dubbing is dreadful, though entertainment is to be had from a supporting villain who looks strangely like Groucho Marx on a very bad hair day. For martial arts fans the film nevertheless delivers several excellent fight scenes and an inventive and exciting finale. Collectors should know Police Assassins has also been released as In the Line of Duty 2, Super Cops and Yes, Madam, the last of which is actually the English title on this print.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Crying Freeman

R2 France


CRYING FREEMAN is a fast-paced martial arts film based on the Japanese comic book of the same name. Yo Hinomura (Mark Dacascos), a deadly assassin with a conscience, sparks a vicious gang war--and a romance--by killing a Yakuza leader. Intense action follows. This is the first collaboration between Dacascos and French director Christophe Gans; the second is THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF.

Bad Taste

R1 USA
Could a title be any more direct? New Zealand maverick Peter Jackson made a splash (well, more of a splatter) with this film debut, a slapstick gross-out comedy about an alien fast-food franchise that turns a small town into a cheap source of meat. All that stands in the extraterrestrials' way is the Alien Investigation Defense Service (yes, it's a tasteless gag), a bunch of would-be Rambos who take on the aliens with axes, rocket launchers, and chainsaws. Jackson mines vomit jokes, dismembered corpses, and brain-spattering gore for over-the-top laughs and succeeds with inventive low-budget effects, crack timing, and sheer exuberance. Not bad for a film made on weekends with homemade props and a bunch of energetic mates. Jackson topped himself a few years later with the even more outrageous and hilarious bloody gut-buster Dead Alive.
The limited-edition two-disc set also includes the documentary featurette "Good Taste Made Bad Taste," a revealing "making of" shot at the time of production and featuring behind-the-scenes footage of Jackson's home-made special effects, and a 16-page booklet with cast interviews.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2009 Lost Memories

R2 France



One of Korea's biggest box-office hits, 2009 Lost Memories, directed by Lee Si Myung (Vampire Cop Ricky), is an action-packed sci-fi movie that combines the concepts of time travel and alternative history. A single glitch in the time warp allows history to evolve into a completely different reality.
In the alternate world of 2009 Lost Memories, Japan was an ally of the United States during World War II and as a result, rose up to become the most powerful nation in Asia. It is now the year 2009. After 100 years of Japanese occupation, Seoul has become the third largest city in Japan. Enter Hureisenjin - an underground resistance force ready to fight for independence. Their path to freedom depends on an ancient artifact that can carry them back in time and return history to its original course.
Two JBI (Japan Bureau of Investigation) agents, Sakamoto (Jang Dong Gun, Taegukgi) and his best friend Saigo (Nakamura Toru, Purple Butterfly), are called in to investigate a terrorist attack at a Korean antique exhibition. Sakamoto soon discovers that Hureisenjin is after an ancient artifact and asks the agency for permission to further investigate. But with JBI threatening him to drop the case and even falsely accusing him of an officer's murder, Sakamoto is forced to run for his life. And so begins one man's journey of soul searching and self-discovery as he unravels the truth behind the freedom fighters' movement.










Calvaire

R2 France



The Ordeal (aka Calvaire) delivers a terrifying and desperately dark tale of obsession, kidnap, and borderline psychosis that brings to mind films such as Deliverance, Straw Dogs and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but that has a continental flavour very much of it’s own.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Better Tomorrow

R1 USA



The passage of a heroic character in the under world seeking vengeance against conspirtor and the love of his younger brother. The brothers are in conflicting roles, the outlaw and cop. Sung Tse-kit (Leslie Cheung), a deicated policeman blamed Tse-ho (Ti Lung) for father's death as much as obstructing his career in the police force. Flamboyant Tse-ho and Mark (Chow Yuen Fat)are betrayed by their jealous subordinate Tam Shing (Lee Tse Hung) into he countereit syndicate. Gun wounded Tse-ho gives himself up in order to let Tam Shing escape. After serving his jail term. repentant Tse-ho returns to Hong Kong to lead a new life and finds out Mark was cripped in the massacre for his vengeance. But crooked Tam Shing as a rising lieutenant in the syndicate would not take chances. He wastes no time to plot against Tse-ho and Mark....

A Better Tomorrow is one of the most influential films in Hong Kong film history, a massive hit which launched the "Heroic Bloodshed" genre, made an instant superstar of Chow Yun Fat, set director John Woo on a path to Hollywood blockbusterdom, and spawned a series of hit sequels starting with the inevitable A Better Tomorrow II (1987). The story is a gangster archetype: Ho (Ti Lung) and best friend Mark (Chow Yun Fat) are counterfeiters, while Ho's younger brother Kit (Leslie Cheung), is a trainee law officer. When tragedy strikes Ho determines to go straight, and Kit seeks to bring them to justice. It's an age-old plot which leads to wholesale mayhem and a blood-soaked finale. Yet unlike many Hong Kong action movies, A Better Tomorrow packs the powerful emotional resonance of the best gangster flicks through coherent storytelling and believable characters struggling with impossible dilemmas. Rather than draw on crime movie imagery, Woo appropriates much of the visual style, not to mention individual set-pieces, ferociously intense gunplay, menacing electronic soundscapes and blue backlighting from James Cameron's then-recently released The Terminator (1984). That the result launched a filmmaking revolution testifies to John Woo's skill behind the camera, a talent which would reach full flower in The Killer (1989).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Opera

R1 USA

When a young opera singer takes over the leading role in an avant-garde presentation of Verdi’s Macbeth, she triggers the madness of a crazed fan who repeatedly forces the diva to watch the brutal murders of her friends. Will the woman’s recurring nightmare hold the key to the identity of this psychopath or does an even more horrific evil lay waiting in the wings?The legendary Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria) co-wrote and directed this savagely stunning thriller featuring some of the most shocking sequences of the maestro’s entire career. Previously available in the U.S. only in heavily edited form, this horror classic has now been restored from original Italian vault materials and is presented uncut, uncensored and loaded with Extras.