Action

Karel Reisz – Who’ll stop the rain (1978)


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Plot summary from DVD Verdict:
Ray Hicks (Nolte) is an ex-Marine who served in Vietnam first in combat and now as a merchant seaman, which allows him to come and go between Vietnam and the US. This provides him a unique opportunity to smuggle things from Southeast Asia to home, but he’s never done anything like the request from his journalist friend John Converse (Michael Moriarty, in another laid back but outstanding performance): bring 2 kilos of pure heroin from Vietnam and deliver it to his wife at home, and collect a cool 10 grand for his efforts. What seemed an easy way to make some quick cash just as quickly spirals out of control, as John Converse’s wife Marge (Tuesday Weld) is attacked by two thugs (Richard Masur and Ray Sharkey) who want to steal the heroin for themselves and their corrupt cop boss (Anthony Zerbe). Hicks shows up in time to thwart the attack, but now they’re on the run while John returns and is kidnapped to force Hicks’s hand. A mountaintop commune will provide the backdrop for the stunning confrontation. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – King of New York (1990)



King of New York is a 1990 crime drama film, starring Christopher Walken, Laurence Fishburne, David Caruso, Wesley Snipes, Victor Argo, Giancarlo Esposito, and Steve Buscemi. It was directed by independent filmmaker Abel Ferrara and written by Nicholas St. John.

The King of New York is now widely acknowledged as one of the best hard-edged crime thrillers of the past thirty years, certainly since the golden age of the 1970s. Read More »

Sogo Ishii – Bakuretsu toshi AKA Burst City (1982)


Quote:
Those looking for examples of the importance of Sogo Ishii in the development of Japanese cinema, and his abilities as a filmmaker, need to look no further than Burst City. At first sight a rather eclectic mix of Mad Max-style imagery with yakuza elements, filtered though a punk sensibility, on closer inspection Burst City reveals the seeds of many of the developments in contemporary Japanese cinema and beyond. It foreshadows everything from the works of Shinya Tsukamoto and Takashi Miike to two decades’ worth of MTV music videos. And quite a few things in between. Read More »

William Friedkin – The French Connection (1971)

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Quote:

“The French Connection” is routinely included, along with “Bullitt,” “Diva” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” on the short list of movies with the greatest chase scenes of all time. What is not always remembered is what a good movie it is apart from the chase scene. It featured a great early Gene Hackman performance that won an Academy Award, and it also won Oscars for best picture, direction, screenplay and editing.

The movie is all surface, movement, violence and suspense.
Roger Ebert Read More »

Shinya Tsukamoto – Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2009) (HD)

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– from Variety-

“POWERED BY
A Tetsuo Group presentation of a Kaijyu Theater, Asmik Ace Entertainment production. (International sales: the Coproduction Office, Paris.) Produced by Shinichi Kawahara, Masayuki Tanishima.
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. Screenplay, Tsukamoto, Hisakatsu Kuroki.

With: Erik Bossick, Akiko Monou, Shinya Tsukamoto, Stephen Sarrazin, Yuko Nakamura, Tiger Charlie Gerhardt.
(English dialogue)

Twenty years after making his breakout cult hit, “Tetsuo,” and 17 years after its sequel, “Tetsuo II: Body Hammer,” multihyphenate filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto busts out the big guns again with “Tetsuo the Bullet Man.” Contempo-set pic doesn’t bring much new to the half-man-half-machine concept, but with its delirious editing and eardrum-crunching soundtrack, it punches above its weight and musters a certain retro charm with its old-school effects, all done on about one-hundredth of the budget of a “Transformers” movie. Fans of the franchise will have this in their sights and show support, but crossover potential looks iffy. Read More »

Tom Tykwer – Lola rennt AKA Run Lola Run (1999)

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Pieces of the Action

A low-budget no-brainer, Run Lola Run is a lot more fun than Speed, a big-budget no-brainer from five years ago. It’s just as fast moving, the music is better, and though the characters are almost as hackneyed and predictable, the conceptual side has a lot more punch. If Run Lola Run had opened as widely as Speed and it too had been allowed to function as everyday mall fodder, its release could have been read as an indication that Americans were finally catching up with people in other countries when it comes to the pursuit of mindless pleasures. Instead it’s opening at the Music Box as an art movie.

Why try to sell an edgy youth thriller with nothing but kicks on its mind as an art movie? After all, it’s only a movie–a rationale that was trotted out for Speed more times than I care to remember. The dialogue of Run Lola Run is certainly simple and cursory, but it happens to be in subtitled German–which in business terms means that it has to be marketed as a film, not a movie. And of course nobody ever says “It’s only a film,” just as no one ever thinks of saying “It’s only a concert,” “It’s only a novel,” “It’s only a play,” or “It’s only a painting.” Because they’re omnipresent, movies almost oblige us to cut them down a peg or two just so we can breathe around them. Read More »

Sam Peckinpah – The Killer Elite (1975)

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Overview:
As steady hands carefully wire a bomb and meticulously set the timer to the eerie sounds of children singing in the background, and as the deadly device explodes, rupturing a building into fragments and splintering the tranquility of the theatre. Elite assassins Mike Locken and George Hansen take on jobs too risky for even the CIA to handle. They’re best friends, superior marksmen and on the A-list when it comes to killing. But when one high-powered hitman betrays another, the intrigue, the violence and the trills become more than just a dangerous game of who-kills-whom first…It becomes a very personal war! Read More »