Two weeks in one, because the both of them offer slim pickings either side of the pond.
The excellent Sam Rockwell gets a proper showcase role in this much-underrated adaptation of Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk’s novel. If anything Clark Gregg’s black comedy is over ambitious, trying to do rather too much, but it’s also frequently extremely funny. It also boasts fine performances all round, most notably from Rockwell and Kelly MacDonald, finally getting, on the back of No Country for Old Men, the career she deserves.
Not Quite Hollywood
A shopping list in it’s own right, this documentary about Ozploitation films is riotously entertaining, even if it’s not actually massively enlightening. I reviewed it in Review Post 15.
Czech Chillers: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders / Witches Hammer
Of these films I’ve only seen the brilliant, baffling, surreal, future Why haven’t you seen entry Valerie and her Week of Wonders. That film alone is reason enough to get this set, but Witches Hammer sounds pretty amazing too.
Gardens of the Night
On seeing this genuinely disturbing drama at last year’s Raindance Film Festival I found it to be half a masterpiece. The first hour features from young Ryan Spimpkins and from Tom Arnold (yes, Tom Arnold) some of the best acting I saw last year, and tells the riveting story of two young children kidnapped by a pair of paedophiles. It’s genuinely tough to watch, because it seems that anything could happen. Sadly, when the film skips several years and the kids grow up, it descends into cliché and the acting becomes less impressive.
Nacho Vigalondo’s intriguing time travel thriller is getting remade (possibly by David Cronenberg), but you shouldn’t wait to catch this original, thrilling and funny flick. See Review Post 9 for more.
I didn’t actually like Yella when I first saw it a couple of years back, but I’m inclined to give it another go. First because almost every other review I’ve read is glowing, and secondly because Nina Hoss is undoubtedly one of the great actresses working, and she’s brilliant in this movie.