Movement DVD)/Lonely Boys
(2016/Candy Factory DVD)/Phaedra
(2016/Film Movement DVD)/Worlds
Apart (2015/Cinema Libre
C+/C/B-/C+/C+/C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+/D/C-/C+/D/C Films:
for a slate of foreign and foreign-based films, all independent
productions that all have their ambitions, but land up with varied
a crime drama from the producers of the highly underrated Bullhead
(see my Blu-ray review elsewhere on this site) about two Flemish
brothers (Jeroen Perceval, Kevin
Janssens) involved in robberies (one goes to jail for the other) and
how they deal with the aftermath in a life they are trapped in by
past actions, ineptness, people they are stuck knowing and their
tends to be as realistic and bold as Bullhead,
but also uneven in many parts and when it tries to be like a Scorsese
or Tarantino film, it trips over itself too often. When the brothers
get involved in murder, only the worse can happen. Still, it is
worth a look despite its flaws and Film
Movement rightly picked it up because it would be at least a curio
for serious film fans.
include text on the film on the back of the cover's paper sleeve,
while the DVD adds a feature length audio commentary track by
Director Pront & Actor Kevin Janssens, an on-camera interview
with both of them, a Behind The Scenes/Making Of featurette on the
film without any kind of narration and the short film (shot on film)
that was the basis of this film by Pront: Injury
(2016) has a title that suggests it might be about young boys, gay
males or both, but instead is a comedy/drama bout two old friends
(Dan Simon, Gregory Lay) dealing with their friendship as they also
deal with girlfriends and what their future might or might not be.
Some of this might be depression, some of it not growing up in parts
and some of it isolationism despite being social. Either way, I give
the makers credit for a decent script that is not as predictable as
it could be. The supporting cast is not bad either.
there was not much new or different here, so it does not stand out or
stayed with me. At least the makers were trying to deal with
friendship honestly and we don't see that as much as you might think
in this 'mumblecore' era of indie productions. However, you might
want to see it if interested.
are oddly no extras.
(1962) is a mixed bag of an artsy drama with Melina Mercouri as a
married older woman who lands up getting involved with a young
eccentric Anthony Perkins despite being married to the rich shipping
magnate Raf Vallone. Inspired by the Euripides writings and myth
that was becoming popular in the counterculture of the time, the
film has many beautiful shots, internal references to the writing
(plus some explicit ones) and is never dull, but when Perkins shows
up, it gets bizarre (he and Mercouri have odd chemistry and without
knowing anything about either actor in real life, their love affair
is only half convincing, especially when he is fixated on an Aston
Martin sportscar) so Perkins is slightly connected to his Norman
Bates/Psycho persona and it should be added this film would later be
referenced in Berry Gordy's Mahogany
(1976, reviewed elsewhere on this site) of all things with Diana
Ross, Billy Dee Williams and Perkins, so this film has several
reasons it is a curio.
has issued this on Blu-ray in a near-basic edition, though it has
reasons for always being in print, even if it is not. I had not seen
it for a very long time and it was as choppy to me then as now, but
you should see it for yourself just to see what they did. It is
interesting if nothing else.
trailer is the only extra.
(2015) is about the title character (Shide Nyima) who is a sheep
herder coming into the city and having trouble integrating into a
society that has fractures and issues of its own in this Chinese
Underground production that is very smart (note that the subtitles
are too small, something I rarely complain about) and you might have
trouble keeping up with the talking (not because its fast or the
print is small, but because this is smart) and deals with his
drifting from place to place without a place to truly settle
including the idea (subversive to the government perhaps?) that no
such space exists.
has picked this one up for DVD and it makes for a very interesting
viewing. At first, I did not know if we were getting a comedy or
drama (it is a natural mix of both leaning on drama), but it may also
be the first signs of a new cinematic discourse. Though I think it
could have gone into other directions (limited budget
notwithstanding), it is not bad, if limited in my experience in what
it shows, says and does. However, I think this is the way the
director wanted it and that at least makes sense in this case.
32-page booklet with the short story this is based on, plus a Music
Video and after-screening Q&A at the Museum of Modern Art are the
(2016) wants to be a new look at the awful real-life story of how a
young woman named Kitty Genovese was brutally murdered in New York
City and despite several dozen people allegedly seeing the killing,
they did nothing to stop it. Turns out that has been proven a myth
by no less than her brother in the great, recent documentary The
reviewed on Blu-ray at this link...
Movement, a new label usually tending to pick up classy independent
fare, et al, has picked this version up based on the now disproven
myth that so many people saw it, but that does not stop the film from
recreating the period, introducing us to characters that might be
people that did or did not exist when she was killed and bills itself
as a 're-imagining' of the incident, which is a red alert you are
about to see a disaster. This is awful and though some of the acting
unknowns here are not bad and the look has its moments, this is a
pure exploitation film that is borderline offensive, bad and should
have never really been made.
we put that all aside, the film never even makes its supposed
point(s), which is the idea of this pseudo-cinematic exercise to
begin with, so know it is a mess and you're best skipping it for the
real thing already noted at the link. Disaster!
are no extras.
(2015) attempts a multi-layered storyline juggling several romance
relationships with J.K. Simmons turning up in bookending parts for
his relationship story. Supposedly a big hit in Greece (fair enough)
and at least mature and ambitious in what it tries to do, my problems
here included seeing things we've seen already, some of the
relationship stories not having the impact they could have and the
'people of the world' sense that is more empty than a Robert Altman
film or even Academy Award-winning Best Picture Crash.
Libre has picked this up for DVD release, among other rights and at
least there are enough moments here that my intelligence was not
insulted, but the script plays it too safe too often and I was a bit
disappointed in the end. You'll have to see for yourself on this
Director Interview, 15-minutes Making Of featurette and Trailers are
1080p 1.66 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Phaedra
can show the age of the materials used, which looks like several
prints from some too-dark shots, though all originated on 35mm film
(likely Ferrania film stocks from Italy) and it is still the best
performer on the list despite its flaws. Some shots do look great,
but detail is not always there.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Boys
(surprisingly consistent black & white), anamorphically enhanced
1.85 X 1 image on 37
and anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on both Ardennes
are all digital shoots, but Boys
comes up a bit short. Otherwise, these look as good as they are
going to in this format.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix on Phaedra
is obviously dubbed and has more than its share of post-production
recording, holding it back. I cannot imagine it sounding much better
here because this is just the way it was recorded at the time,
optical monophonic sound. Thus, the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on
plus lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Boys,
(and as alternate tracks on) 37
can more than compete with the older sound. The 5.1 is better than
the 2.0 in the case where both are offered, but only by so much.
None of these have great soundfields, but are just well-recorded
enough to enjoy.