Monday, November 29, 2010

Episode 60 - True Blue Aussie Films

Another week means another B movie challenge! This week's show is all about Ozploitation films! Some of Australia's great genre films from the early 70's through to present day! My challenge was Turkey Shoot from 1982. I gave Matthew Richard Franklin's final feature; Visitors. We also discuss recent theatrical release of The Loved Ones and the current trend of genre films from Oz. You can hear this and our reviews below:

As usual you can find us on Facebook, listen to us live at Edge Radio on Sundays at 6pm (AEST) or listen to all past episodes at B Grade Online.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Recent Viewings...

Here are a few of the things I have watched recently...

Wild Target (2010)
Directed By Jonathan Lynn

I am not really sure what it was about this film that I didn't like. Bill Nighy is perfectly cast as the aging hit man with no one to take over his family legacy, Emily Blunt is annoying and Rupert Grint basically seems to have wandered in off the street and hung around. Of course, that is the air that their characters are meant to give out, but it just doesn't really work. I realized after watching that this was in fact a remake, whilst I already didn't like this film, it did make me wonder what the original is like (and when it arrives I shall let you know ;) )

Pleasantville (1998)
Directed By Gary Ross

Pleasantville is an amazing film, one that took me totally by surprise when I watched in many years ago. This was possibly my fifth or sixth viewing of the film and it still holds up extremely well. I always think that this film should be used in schools to visually demonstrate racism in an original and hopefully enlightening way. I would love to see this get the HD treatment as its use of black and white and then slow transition to colour would be quite a thing to behold!

Emma (1996)
Directed By Douglas McGrath

Not sure that I am the target audience for this type of film, but I am always open to watching most genres. Whilst I did not dislike Emma, I was left with a slightly bitter after taste.

The Remains of the Day (1993)
Directed By James Ivory

My second period film of the week and I must say I enjoyed this more than I did Emma, it reminded me in some ways of Gosford Park, only a little more serious. It has stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson and is a magnificent film to look at.


I scored a sneak peak at the new film Monsters, but I shall be giving that a full write up in the next few days ;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ingrid Pitt - 1937-2010

Some sad news came in today. Just as we did a Hammer Horror special on the show, Ingrid Pitt, possibly the most famous Hammer girl has died in London at the age of 73. She will be remembered as one of the greatest on-screen vampires for her parts in The Vampire Lovers, Countess Dracula and The House That Dripped Blood. Matthew's challenge for the show, was is fact The Vampire Lovers so he has her performance fresh in mind, but I would hope that all those who haven't seen it go out and rent or buy a copy this week to pay tribute to a magnificent lady and the amazing contribution she gave to British horror films!

May she rest in peace.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Episode 59 - Hammer Horror

The recent release of Let Me In saw the return of one of Britain's largest independent film companies; Hammer. We take a look at some of the classic Hammer films and talk about the upcoming productions and the hope that Hammer will once again leave its mark!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Loved Ones (2009)

The Loved Ones finally gets a cinema release on our fine shores, despite being available on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK and having been screened at countless festivals around the globe. Sadly though, it would seem the response to the film on home soil has been far from overwhelming, which is a shame given that I think this would have to be one of Australia's finest genre films to date. I am sure many comparisons will be made with Wolf Creek (a film I personally detest and cannot believe is being serialized), but the two share little in the way of similarities.

Brent is a high school heart-throb trying to come to terms with the sudden death of his Father in a motor vehicle accident in which he was the driver. The end of school dance is coming up and despite having a girlfriend, the quiet girl Lola asks him to the dance. Brent says No. Unbeknown to him of course, this will prove to be a very big mistake because Lola has a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock and together with her just as marsupially challenged Father they kidnap Brent and hold an end of school dance he will not soon forget.

The film is wonderful to look at with a nice colour pallete and brilliant use of the cinema-scope frame. The soundtrack is equally as impressive with some great immersive surround use and equally as impressive score. Casting is spot on with Xavier Samuel as Brent, whose performance shines given the relative difficulty in conveying his characters feeling through his body language and facial expression alone. Robin McLeavy plays Lola and seems to have had great fun in doing so, of course the fact that she fits the role with such relative ease is a little unnerving and makes the performance all the more believable.

The Loved Ones is the second feature I have seen this year to put humble household items to a use I am sure the creators would be horrified to see (Farmhouse was the first). The film is also not without its humor and I believe writer / director Sean Byrne deserves credit for finding a fresh take on an otherwise cliche ridden section of the horror torture genre. Whilst it won't be everybody's cup of tea, The Loved Ones has plenty to offer in this remake ridden horror climate and it will certainly gather a cult following allowing it to take its place in many a film fans collections to be treasured for years to come.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Episode 58 - From The Theatre To The Lounge Room

Hello All, another week passes and another show has been recorded. This week we take a look at movies that feature alternate cuts. For example, our challenges; Blade Runner for me and Stigmata for Matt. There are many reasons that films get alternate versions, sometimes it is censored, sometimes the studio changed the director's intent and sometimes the complete film is lost for many decades (like the new Metropolis release in the coming weeks!) Anyway, sit back and relax and take a listen to our discussion on alternate versions.

If you like what you hear, you can find us on Facebook, listen to us live at Edge Radio on Sundays at 6pm (AEST) or listen to all past episodes at B Grade Online.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saw 3D (2010)

The Saw series would have to be one of the most consistent horror series established, with a new film every year on Halloween for the last 7 years! You always know what to expect, and the films quite cleverly deliver. I am not a big fan, but I appreciate what they have accomplished.

So it was with some trepidation that I agreed to see Saw 3D, I had only previsouly seen the first and second films at the cinema, and the next few on DVD and of course the whole 3D element left me dubious.

Whilst the film itself is the usual convoluted plot and gore fest, as I suspected the 3D element really worked against it, lowering what was already gratuitous violence and gore into a cringe worthy gimmick. In fact, I was amazed by the audience reactions to a lot of the traps in this film, not so much shock, but merriment as pieces of the latest victim get flung out of the screen. It is an element I feel the film could clearly have done without, but I guess the Saw series has become a trademark of pushing the boundaries when it comes to over the top violence and gore (although not at all on the same level as some torture porn movies), to the point where the film itself is a gimmick.

This film, like the previous ones, starts with an epilogue for a previous Saw film, in this case, the first, with Cary Elwes returning as Doctor Gordon. We are then privvy to one of Jigsaw's latest and possibly his most public traps ever, but I fear the film does not exactly make clear the motives or time-line in which this trap takes place and it seems to serve no real purpose (aside from the obvious gore-fest factor). Following that, the film returns to the storyline of the previous films, picking up from where Saw VI left off with Hoffman escaping his trap set by Jill Tuck. This of course leads to Hoffman declaring war not only on Jill, but the entire police force that are after him. Using a newly created game he has set up as a lure, Hoffman systematically wipes out all adversaries that get in his way, whilst simultaneously taking care of another thorn in Jigsaw's side.

On the whole, the film is another solid entry in the series, despite a number of plot flaws and over use of 3D gimmickry. (or the fact that it is in 3D at all...)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Episode 57 - Original vs Remake: Round 2

This weeks episode revisits the old argument about remakes versus their original! We chat about the challenges (Clash of the Titans and Cat People), as well as some of the latest remakes like Let Me In and Piranha!

As always you can find the show on Facebook, listen to us live at Edge Radio on Sundays at 6pm (AEST) or listen to all past episodes at B Grade Online.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Sound of Music 45th Anniversary Edition

The latest addition to the Blu-ray collection is this wonderful 45th Anniversary Edition of The Sound of Music. The set contains 2 Blu-ray discs, a DVD, a hard cover book, a music box, a postcard set, a reproduction souvenir booklet and a certificate of authenticity. The only thing missing is a soundtrack CD, which would have made this set perfect!