Saturday, January 13, 2007

TALES FROM NETFLIX - monthly roundup

Haven't been keeping up the bloggin activity on a regular, so there've been a few primo discs I've been meaning to share in the last month...

First up...

DISTRICT B13 (2004) - Produced by Luc Beson (Transporter, Fifth Element) this decidedly French gangster epic is filled with imaginative, colorful, dense urban drama set in a near future Parisian ghetto. A visual treat, when B13 isn't twisting through a long painstakingly choreographed action sequence, it's popping with gunfire, hits, or wacky ideas like some Jackie Chan flick, inspired by Guy Ritchie and directed by Luc Beson (or in this case, one of his many proteges).

It's not perfect, but it's a wild, fun ride, taking you inside this closed off section of urban decay, through windows, doorways, stairwells, and rooftops at breakneck pace!

RECOMMENDATION: Don't miss it!

NATURAL CITY (2004) - A Korean Sci-Fi gem, Natural City thrusts you into a future world that's a cross between cyber punk staples such as Blade Runner and Fifth Element, and anime like Ghost In The Shell.

Gritty but dazzling effects and a complex plot center around an MP agent seemingly on the take, to save his soon to expire cyborg girlfriend. Even though it's live action, the future tech world is completely realized to the levels of sci-fi masters like Lucas' Star Wars. However, as good an escape as the visuals and themes provide, the movie itself never quite achieves the grandeur it aspires. A solid sci-fi effort!

Check out a clip from the movie HERE

RECOMMENDATION: A must for any fan of the genre!

CRANK - This is one of the most fun, in your face, nasty, violent movie mainlines ever. The always engrossing Jason Statham is pitch perfect as the adrenaline dependent syntheticaly laced time bomb killer for hire who must exact revenge before his heart seizes up.

Crafty and creative cinematography and editing, hilarious situations, and over the top visuals explode on this thrill ride of a movie. Effron Ramirez (Pedro) as a cross dressing ally and Amy Smart as his zany girlfriend are the icing on the cake here.

Look ma!!
It's like an underworld 24, on crack!
It lives up to it's name.

Waffle-iron action baby!!

Recommendation: VIVA CHEV CHELIOS!!

And finally...
CEMETERY MAN (1994) - From the Netflix summary:
Rupert Everett stars as an oddly unflappable cemetery watchman fighting off zombies in this droll send-up of 1950s drive-in horror flicks. With the dead on the rise, Francesco Dellamorte and his half-wit sidekick must be always at the ready to crack the corpses' skulls and send them back under. Featuring a pack of undead Boy Scouts and a severed-head love interest, Cemetery Man provides both chills and chuckles.

I got this one because it was a highly rated zombie flick, but it's much more a black comedy head trip, with lots of cartoon sex and violence. Apparently directed by a disciple of noted Italian shock/horror auteur Dario Argento, and in the style of Filini (two directors works I've not yet viewed myself, but are legends none the less), Dellamorte Dellamore (it's original Italian title) is a toure de force in twisted cinema. Nothing is played straight, be it the zombies, the plot, the cast, or the delightful camerawork. By films end everything is spun around to where the viewer is left unsure of what they've just taken in, a man battling the undead, turning insane, or some combination thereof, but I am sure it's damn good!

Turns out Cemetery Man is actually adapted from the popular European comics DYLAN DOG, yes, it's a comic book zombie movie!

Recommendation: Zombie Boyscouts?!? Oh yeah!

Honorable mentions:
THE DESCENT - This was a great horror/thriller, but I just had a hard time buying into underground cave dwellers...
SNAKES ON A PLANE - For whatever reason, the buzz on this died once it hit the box office, which is too bad, it really was a fun movie!
A SCANNER DARKLY - Great use of rotoscope animation for a heady drug like trip of a film.

And don't forget to check out these previous Tales From Netflix if you've missed any along the way:
Fall roundup
Sars Wars
House of 9
2001 Maniacs


Anonymous said...

Ah... DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE! A great film, and one which I myself only saw some months ago. This is indeed a whacked-out head trip, with stops along the way into Italian Zombie horror and comic book shenanigans. The film did indeed suprise me in the turns that it took, but I think that's why I like is so much. Sex and gore served up in more than generous doses!

And yeah, it's comic book origins were interesting. I had seen some of Dark Horse Comics DYLAN DOG collections but had no idea of the film adaptation. Zombie comics to film, gotta love em!! :)

Jason Martin said...

Ha ha, I should've known you'd seen this.
How funny, just recently as well!

Yes, I'd seen Dylan Dog translations via Dark Horse, and always thought they looked kind of, not exciting. Who knew! (well Dark Horse did :)

This is a true sleeper, cult movie.
I wouldn't even say I could call it a cult classic, cuz well, I've never heard anybody talk about it!
Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

District B13 is a pretty cool flick. I'm glad you covered it. The parkour (free running) seq. is really amazing.

BunBun4life said...

Dude I watched that movie DYLAN Dog and it was suck ass, barely made for Tv quality, I hate it when that happens.

Dellamorte Dellamore

I have loved that movie since forever. Absolutely just brilliant. (Francesco Dellamorte, I know it's a weird name....I've thought about changing it, André Dellamorte would be nicer) XD XD I died the first time I heard that. My son loved that movie too.

District B13 is fucking AWESOME. Have you seen both 'district' movies? That acrobatic shit the lead actor does is outrageous incredible.