FEBRUARY 12, 2013

THE SESSIONS // Strong performances throughout, especially from lead John Hawkes, who proves once again he is a force of nature, “The Sessions” is a thoughtful endeavor into the true life story of a man confined to an iron lung, who discovers that sexual activity is not out of his bounds. With impressive peaks and valleys of emotion and a maturity in handling a subject that could easily be tawdry and awkward, Ben Lewin delivers a fine achievement after over 15 years of inactivity. However, the film does lose me on several occasions, in that every woman that comes into contact with Mark O’Brien (Hawkes) falls in love with him, feeling much too glamorized and Hollywood romance to feel real. Helen Hunt does a fine job distancing herself from this generic love struck female persona, but still, by the end, feels lumped in with the rest. Hawkes definitely deserved to be honored for this role and one has to believe he would have been next in line to receive an Academy Award nomination this year.


SILENT HILL: REVELATION // When it comes to video game adaptations, I often afford a bit of leeway for the filmmakers and the production as a whole. I ask myself, “does it stick to the source material”, “does it bring the elements of the game to life”, and lastly, “does it translate to film effectively”. “Silent Hill: Revelation” hits on these three points to some extent and though it may not do so in the most widely accepted of ways, it is still enjoyable. Based almost entirely on the video game “Silent Hill 3”, Adelaide Clemens not only proves she has a bright future in film (she strikes an uncanny resemblance to Michelle Williams), but brings to life the character of Heather/Sharon with an uncanny perfection. Toss in another great score, as well as some memorable moments, including my favorite scene involving a room full of the tortured nurses, and this sequel unfolds nicely. The film’s main downfall is not hitting enough scares for the horror fans, allowing for too many conversations and set pieces to replace actual jumps. However, as a fan of the “Silent Hill” franchise, this film provides most of what I was looking for and even sets up another sequel; an “ooooooh” moment for those who have played the games.


SKYFALL // What I would consider the best James Bond film yet, “Skyfall” does for the 007 series, what “The Dark Knight” did for the Batman series. Daniel Craig officially proves to me that he is the Bond to beat all Bonds, carrying himself in a way that reflects every actor that carried this role before him, while producing a depth unseen in any portrayal prior. Javier Bardem resurrects the spirit of his “No Country For Old Men” villain in his performance of Silva, an ex-agent, now looking for revenge. Top that off with a new Q in the brilliantly talented Ben Whishaw and a subtle yet exciting performance from Ralph Fiennes, and “Skyfall” produces some of the best performances to-date. “Skyfall” dares to tone the film down to a personal level, where the stakes are no longer the entire world, but remain much more close to the heart. Emotion pours out of this film, helped wholly by the stunning cinematography from Roger Deakins and the captivating screenplay, with much more emotion and much more invested than previous installments. What feels like an unofficial reboot to the franchise, any level of Bond fanboy will be enthralled by the multiple layers of past Bond references, while experiencing something so new and refreshing in this 50 year old franchise.


THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS // Props must be given to RZA for stepping up and delivering a giant punch in his directorial debut. Even without Quentin Tarantino’s endorsement, “The Man With the Iron Fists” translates similar to the essence of “Kill Bill”, with the loose, gravity-defying martial arts mixed in with a down-and-dirty style of bar fights and carnage. Uneven performances plague the film, as does a lack of foreign languages and subtitles, but with Russell Crowe adding a sense of sophistication, Lucy Liu providing a strong female lead, and RZA anchoring the score down, including an excellent original song with The Black Keys, “Iron Fists” is just strong enough to be enjoyable, while landing just short of something original.


THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER // Passion and sincerity bleed from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. Having adored the novel growing up, it struck me disappointing that they would attempt to make a film out of it. That is until I found out that the author of this best-seller, Stephen Chbosky, was not only adapting the screenplay, but directing the film as well. What was a personal and touching paperback story is translated into an emotional gambit of cinema, with straight-from-the-pages dialogue and emotion, actors and performances that rival those created while reading, and the perfect touch of authenticity, enough to make me want to thank Chbosky for keeping his hand on our shoulder through all of this, the true sign of a master and his masterpiece.

New Releases
Bully (2011)
Dangerous Liaisons (2012)
The Kid With a Bike: Criterion
A Liar’s Autobiography
The Man with the Iron Fists
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Robot and Frank
The Sessions
Silent Hill: Revelation
Teddy Bear

TV Box Set

  • Bonanza: Season Five
  • Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror
  • Family Matters: Season Three
  • Gossip Girl: Season Six
  • The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: Season Three
  • The Loretta Young Show: The Complete Series
  • Matlock: Season Eight
  • Nurse Jackie: Season Four
  • Storage Wars: Volume Four
  • Weeds: Season Eight

Special Editions/Other Releases

  • 28 Hotel Rooms
  • Babar The Movie
  • Back Then
  • Beast Beneath
  • Black’s Game
  • Croczilla
  • Dedd Brothers
  • Dracula vs. Frankenstein
  • Fairfield Road
  • Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?
  • Jedi Junkies
  • Kill for Me
  • Knight Templar
  • Luna Park
  • Photographic Memory
  • Planet of Snail
  • Power of the Resurrection
  • Purge
  • The Resistance
  • Rise of the Zombies
  • Same Time Every Year
  • Skyler
  • Smiley
  • The Springtime Collection
  • Thieves
  • To Be Heard
  • Trap
  • Waiting in the Summer: Complete Collection

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