A BIG HELLO to everyone!
It’s still that odd time of year when new releases are few and hard to find. That said, there are still a handful of odd ball releases. Some are better than you might expect.
The Oscars are three weeks from today. We are preparing our ballot and will have it posted in plenty of time to include it in your Oscar festivities! More to come!
The Clovehitch Killer
This film was originally released in September 2018 at the LA Film Festival and later a “limited release” in November 2018. You can still find it on pay per view and some small art house theaters.
It’s set in a small town in Kentucky (and was also filmed there). It’s the story about a devout Christian family in a quiet town where seemingly everyone knows everyone.
The acting is pretty good. Charlie Plummer plays the son. Dylan McDermott plays the dad, Samantha Mathis is the mother. Ann Madisen plays the son’s girlfriend.
The film has an eerie undertone that starts early and slowly builds and builds. There are more than a few creepy scenes that make you squirm in your seat.
Surprisingly the film is not rated. There is mild nudity, some porn magazines and brief topless images. There is one scene with disturbing violence. That said, we do not feel this film is appropriate for children.
The film is noted as a horror film with a run time of 110 minutes.
This newly released Action Thriller is based on the 2011 Mexican film by the same name. It’s a story about a Mexican drug cartel, kidnapping, corruption, good guys and bad guys double crossing everybody, murder, mostly bad guys abusing their power and anyone who impedes their objectives. Throw in a Tijuana beauty pageant, and a massive party where a lot of people die.
The cast is quite compact. Gina Rodriguez plays the lead as Gloria Fuentes, a makeup artist from Los Angeles. Ismael Cruz Cordova plays Lino Esparza as the top bad guy. Anthony Mackie as Jimmy, Aislinn Derbez as Isabel, Matt Luria as Brian, Cristina Rodlo as Susu Ramos. While sometimes difficult to watch, we found this film very entertaining.
The film is rated PG-13 for sequences of gun violence, sexual and drug content, thematic material and language. We do not recommend viewing by children, its simply too violent, with too much adult material.
It’s listed as an Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense with a run time of 104 minutes.
Legend of the Demon Cat
This was a pleasant surprise. This film is in very limited release with a February 1 release just in time for Chinese New Year, February 5. It is currently playing in only one small theater in San Francisco. In prep for this review I was surprised by several factual discoveries. First, the film is set in 700 a.d. The production budget was a whopping $170 million.
The film is set in the Imperial Tang Dynasty, a high point in Chinese history, culture and literature. The center point is a demonic cat who possesses a powerful general’s wife and centuries of events from the imperial court.
It gets pretty dicey. Lots of special effects, unexpected twists, some stunning, some beautiful, some gruesome.
There are about 20 key characters in the film that makes it challenging to keep track of who’s who and when. (There is more than a little ‘time bending’ spanning centuries!)
It’s not an overstatement to applaud this film for creativity, a ride of fantasy and historically based legend filled with historical and social allegories. Time is likely to declare this as a historical mine field of Chinese/Japanese history and culture.
This film has not been rated. It’s listed as a Drama (and a whole lot more in our opinion) with a run time of 129 minutes. Do try to see this film if it peaks your interest. Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles. We’d love to hear your thoughts!