Tuesday, February 2, 2010

7 Days (Les sept jours du talion) - 2010 - Dir: Daniel Grou
Location: The Comfort of My House - Screener

This year Sundance decided to be cool to cinema fans who can't make it to Park City and release a few films on-demand. Out of the three released, one is this French Canadian thriller about revenge. Dr. Bruno Hamel's (Claude Legault) eight year old daughter has been missing all afternoon and he finds her body in the weeds near a park after she had been raped and killed. And this is all before the opening credits! He and his wife are of course devastated and when they hear the man responsible has been caught they realize it's just not enough. Hamel hijacks the transport van carrying Anthony Lemaire (Martin Dubreuil) and takes him to a remote cabin where he plans to torture him for seven days before killing him on what would have been his daughter's ninth birthday.

What follows is over 90 minutes of brutal torture, both emotional and physical. The film definitely does not shy away from the onscreen violence and while some may find this exploitative I think it plays an integral role. You are on this journey with Hamel and supposed to feel the pain he feels and suffer through the hard things he feels he has to do to avenge his daughter. His journey is truly a rough one. The film is not just the straight forward story, but contains a few bits of symbolism and another character not dealing with the death of a loved one in his own twisted way.

This is not a very redeeming film, nor is it joyful, but I highly recommend it for those who could stomach the intense graphic scenes. Great acting and a solid story. The film is on-demand through some cable/dish providers and will hopefully be picked up for distribution soon.

My Bloody Valentine 3D - 2009 - Dir: Patrick Lussier
Location: The Comfort of My House - Blu

I picked up this Blu-Ray a couple months ago used but had yet to get around to watching. I did see the film in the theater but something inside of me said, "you must buy this!" The other night I was looking for something fun to watch and figured it was as good a time as any for some 3D miner action. That sounds a kind of dirty. When I went to put the disc in my player I realized the used copy was missing the red and blue 3D glasses, but luckily I have some from my Coraline Blu-Ray. The quality of the 3D actually works somewhat but, as with any film using the colored lenses, the image has a pinkish hue, not to mention how uncomfortable the cardboard frames are. So, I decided to take them off and watch in good old fashioned 2D.

The story, if you need to know, involves a guy in a mining get-up named Harry Warden who kills people with a pick axe. Ten year after a massacre of a bunch of teens Tom comes back to town and the killing starts up all over again. The film is pretty throw away, with the exception of Tom Atkins, but the 3D angle made seeing it on the big scree so much fun! Unfortunately when you watch it at home without the aide of the third dimension you lose some of the kitsch. Nothing like the "coming right at you" gags without it actually looking like it's "coming right at you." Still there is a bit of 80s-like cheese so it may hold up in the future for a fun laughable flick and there are a few cool gore scenes, if you can look past all the crappy CG FX.

Pick up the 3D Blu-Ray here, or the standard def here. Or you could always pick up the awesome original film from 1981 right here!

Found Footage Festival, Vol 1 - 2006 - Dir: Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher
Location: The Comfort of My House

After recently re-watching Volume 4 from the Found Footage Festival I got a hankering for more zany found video goodness. I have yet to watch the other three volumes so I decided to go ahead and start with number one. Jenny was here so I subjected her to the insanity for the first time and at the end of the video she asked, "so when are these guys coming back to Dallas?"

This is a hysterical journey though some truly bad and, sometimes, uncomfortable videos. There is a McDonald's custodial training video, outtakes of a very angry RV salesman making a commercial, Corey Haim, Arnold Schwarzenegger doing a cringe inducing video for Carnival in Rio and, of course, and exercise video montage. My favorite out of everything have to be the insurance company "safety" videos. Jenny and I were red in the face from laughing so hard.

The DVD has many more videos and is well worth the money. Buy it now from the Found Footage Festival online store!

Dangerfreaks - 1989 - Dir: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Location: The Comfort of My House

Here's a film I missed seeing at BTSNAT a while back and borrowed from Micah. Then I forgot I had it until I saw it on the shelf the other day. So, I put the disc in and was taken on a ride for 90 minutes through the insane world of Aussie stuntmen. Although there are many people covered and interviewed the star of the show is undoubtedly Grant Page. This man is an insane stuntman from Australia who will do anything from riding his souped up dune buggy, to scaling buildings without a safety harness or setting himself on fire and jumping from a cliff.

There is not much story here since it's a documentary but they do cover the bases on different types of stunts done by the guys, and girls, and show 100 stunts in 90 minutes. How can you not enjoy that? Too bad this is not widely available, but watch this trailer below to get an idea of the crazy stuff within.


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