Thursday, February 26, 2015

Another Dawn



Colonel John Wister is in charge of a post in the British desert colony of Dickit. While on leave in England he meets and falls in love with the beautiful American Julia Ashton, whose aviator fiance died in a plane accident. Although Julia does not love John, she likes him and agrees to his marriage proposal. Wikipedia

Directed by William Dieterie
Produced by Harry Joe Brown
Written by Laird Doyle
Based on Caesar's Wife by Somerset Maugham
Starring Errol Flynn, Kay Francis, Ian Hunter
Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Edited by Ralph Dawson

Released in 1937
Run time 73 minutes

Out of the Past




Joe Stefanos (Paul Valentine) arrives at small, out-of-the-way Bridgeport, California, in search of Jeff Bailey (Mitchum). Stefanos informs Jeff that Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) wants to see him. Jeff has a past with Whit which Ann Miller (Virginia Huston), the local girl Jeff is dating, is unaware of. Ann trusts Jeff, but her parents are wary, as is Jim (Richard Webb), a local police officer who is a long-time admirer of Ann.
Jeff reluctantly agrees to go to see Whit. That night, Jeff picks Ann up, and the two drive together to Whit's home on Lake Tahoe. On the way, Jeff tells Ann of how he came to know Whit. A flashback ensues. Jeff's real name is Jeff Markham. He and partner Jack Fisher (Steve Brodie) were private investigators in New York. Jeff had been hired by Whit to find his girlfriend, Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer). Whit claimed she shot him and stole $40,000. He assured Jeff he just wants her back, and will not harm her. Wikipedia

Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Produced by Warren Duff
Screenplay by Daniel Mainwaring
Based on Build My Gallows High by Daniel Mainwaring
Starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas Rhonda Fleming
Music by Roy Webb
Cinematography Nicholas Musuraca
Edited by Samuel E. Beetley

Released in 1947
Run time 97 minutes

Monday, February 23, 2015

Gantz



Standing at a subway station a young man, Kurono (Kazunari Ninomiya), watches as his old primary school friend, Kato (Ken'ichi Matsuyama), attempt to rescue a man who has fallen onto the tracks. Kurono ends up on the tracks with Kato after the man has been rescued, just as a train is speeding through the station. The pair are surprised to find themselves not dead, but rather relocated to a room with a few other people. When they turn around, they see a strange black sphere, about two meters in diameter.
Before they can discover what has happened, the sphere begins to display messages on its surface, including one which lists the name of someone whom they must kill. After the messages the sphere projects two large drawers filled with metal briefcases and strange handguns. They find that they are part of a strange game where they must not only work out how to play, but also how to survive.
Wikipedia

Directed by Shinsuke Sato
Produced by Takahiro Sato
Screenplay by Yusuke Watanabe
Based on Gantz by Hiroya Oku
Starring Kazunari Ninomiya, Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Yuriko Yoshitaka

Released in 2011


The Blue Dahlia (1946)



Navy pilot Lieutenant Commander Johnny Morrison (Alan Ladd) is put on the inactive list. He returns home to Hollywood from the fighting in the south Pacific, bringing along his buddies and medically discharged crewmates Buzz Wanchek (William Bendix) and George Copeland (Hugh Beaumont). Buzz is prone to memory lapses and headaches, and is often short tempered, all likely due to his head wound.
Johnny finds his wife Helen (Doris Dowling) living (and partying) in a hotel bungalow. When he spots her kissing her boyfriend Eddie Harwood (Howard Da Silva), the owner of the Blue Dahlia nightclub, he punches Eddie. Though Johnny is willing to try to salvage their troubled marriage, Helen is not. She tells him that their son did not die of diphtheria as she had written him but because she got drunk at a party and crashed her car. Johnny pulls a gun on her but decides she is not worth it. He drops the pistol and walks out taking a framed photograph of their son. Wikipedia

Directed by George Marshall
Produced by John Houseman
Screenplay by Raymond Chandler
Starring Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Hugh Beaumont
Music by Robert Emmett Dolan, Harry Simeone, Bernie Wayne Victor Young
Cinematography Lionel Lindon
Edited by Arthur P. Schmidt

Released in 1946
Run time 96 minutes

Ulrike Ottinger Die Nomaden Vom See (Nomad from the Lake)




This intimate personal portrait of Ulrike Ottinger, a unique, influential voice in women’s cinema for over four decades, begins at the lakeside city of Constance, where she was born and started her career. Describing key moments in her life, including the impact of student protests in Paris and her move from painting to filmmaking, Kramer traces Ottinger’s artistic development. Excerpts from her films, notably Madame X; Dorian Gray in the Mirror of the Yellow Press; Johana d’Arc of Mongolia; and documentaries shot in Asia (recently released by WMM), explore her luxuriant cinematic style combining fact and fiction in opulent, idiosyncratic images. Women Make Movies

A film by Brigette Kramer WMM

Mahanagar (The Big City)



Set in Calcutta during the 1950s Mahanagar explores the evolving independence of middle-class women of the city. Arati (Madhabi Mukherjee), a home maker, takes up a job as a door-to-door saleswoman to meet the increasing financial pressure on her family. Despite familial adversity and societal obstacles the initially hesitant and nervous Arati soon begins to prosper in her field and gradually starts to enjoy her new-found financial and psychological independence. Her initially supportive husband, Subrata (Anil Chatterjee), who now starts to feel insecure decides to ask Arati to quit but is finally forced to let her continue to work once he loses his job. Arati now becomes the sole breadwinner of the family and also befriends an English-speaking, Anglo-Indian (representative of the legacy of the British Raj) colleague Edith (Vicky Redwood), a move which raises suspicion and increases conflict within her family. Wikipedia

Directed by Satyajit Ray
Produced by R.D. Banshal
Screenplay by Satyajit Ray
Based on Abataranika by Narendranath Mitra
Starring Anil Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee,
Jaya Bhaduri, Vicky Redwood, Sefalike Devi,
Haren Cahtteriee

Released in 1963
Run time 131 minutes

Angela Mao Ying (Broken Oath, When Tae Kwon Do Strikes)




When Taekwondo Strikes (also known as Sting of the Dragon Masters and Taekwondo Heroes
The story is about the Korea under Japanese rule during World War II. A Korean nationalist played by Carter Wong gets into a fight with some non-Korean Japanese people and is chased into a church. The priest there is captured and tortured. Trying to secure his release, the leader of the resistance, Jhoon Rhee is himself captured and tortured by the Japanese. Carter Wong, Angela Mao and Anne Winton have to now try and rescue him. This leads to an explosive climax with the heroes having to fight the likes of Wong In Sik (Hwang In-Shik), Sammo Hung and Kenji Kazama.

Directed by Feng Huang, Ng Sek, Sammo Hung (action)
Produced by Raymond Chow
Written by Feng Huang
Starring Jhoon Rhee, Angela Mao, Anne Winton, Sammo Hung, Wong in Sik, Kenji Kazama, Carter Wong
Cinematography  Danny Lee
Edited by Peter Cheung

Released in 1973
95 minutes
--------------------



A woman lies dying in a women's prison after giving birth and recounts to a pickpocket how she ended up there after her husband was murdered by thugs, one of whom also raped her. The pickpocket agrees to raise her daughter to seek revenge, but in hopes of breaking the cycle of violence she hands the infant girl over to a Shaolin monastery for women. 'Pure Lotus' Liu (Angela Mao) grows up to be a troubled young woman who skips out on Buddhist lessons, but excels at kung fu. She's kicked out after killing several thugs and rejoins the pickpocket, where she discovers the truth about her parents. Using her kung fu and deadly scorpions, Lotus begins a systematic hunt for each of the men who assaulted her family and ends up joining forces with government agents to uproot rebels, two of whom are her targets. Wikipedia

Directed by Jeong Chang-hwa
Produced by Raymond Chow
Written by Jeong Chang-haw
Starring Angela Mao, Chan Wai-Man, Dean Shek, Sammo Hung 
Music by Joseph Koo
Cinematography Wang Yng-lung

Released in 1977

Phantom Lady



After a fight with his wife on their anniversary, Scott Henderson (Alan Curtis), a 32-year-old engineer, picks up an equally unhappy woman in a bar and they take a taxi to see a show. The woman refuses to tell him anything about herself. The star of the show, Estela Monteiro (Aurora Miranda), becomes furious when she notices that both she and the mystery woman are wearing the same unusual hat. When Henderson returns home, he finds Police Inspector Burgess (Thomas Gomez) and two of his men waiting to question him; his wife has been strangled with one of his neckties. Henderson has a solid alibi, but the bartender, taxi driver and Monteiro deny seeing the phantom lady. Henderson cannot even clearly describe the woman. He is tried and sentenced to death. Wikipedia

Directed by Robert Siodmak
Produced by Joan Harrison
Screenplay by Bernard C. Schoenfeld
Based on the novel by Cornell Woolrich
Starring Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis, Elish Cook, Jr, Thomas Gomez, Regis Toomey
Music by Hans J. Salter
Cinematography Woody Bredell
Edited by Arthur Hilton

Released in 1944
Run time 87 minutes

St. Vincent





Vincent MacKenna (Bill Murray) is a Vietnam War veteran and retiree living in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn who is the son of Irish immigrants. He is a grumpy alcoholic who smokes and gambles regularly. His wife, Sandy, (Donna Mitchell) developed Alzheimer's Disease years ago and can no longer recognize him, but he still does her laundry for her at the nursing home where she lives and visits her every week, posing as a doctor. Otherwise, Vincent's only other close friends are a pregnant Russian prostitute named Daka (Naomi Watts) and his cat, as he owes many people money. Despite leading a quiet and boring existence, Vincent has many acquaintances who like and respect him. One day, after Vincent's 30-year-old Chrysler Lebaron gets damaged by a tree branch resulting from his new neighbors moving in, Maggie Bronstein (Melissa McCarthy) and her 12-year-old son Oliver, (Jaeden Lieberher) meet Vincent. Maggie is a single mother fighting for custody after her husband had several affairs. Wikipedia

Directed by Theodre Melfi
Written by Theodore Melfi
Starring Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography John Lindley
Edited by Sarah Flack, Peter Teschner

Released in 2014
Run time 102 minutes

Yentl




Barbra Streisand portrays Yentl Mendel, a girl living in an Ashkenazi shtetl named Pechev in Poland in the early 20th century. Yentl's father, Rebbe Mendel (Nehemiah Persoff), secretly instructs her in the Talmud despite the proscription of such study by women according to the custom of her community. Wikipedia

As early as 1968, Barbra Streisand had expressed interest in a film adaptation of Singer's short story. Using the Napolin/Singer play as her source material, she wrote a detailed forty-two page treatment, the first to conceive of the movie version as a musical. The resulting 1983 production veered dramatically from the original short story and play by allowing Yentl to reveal her true feelings for Avigdor and having her return to her female self and sail for the United States at the end.
The film received a scathing review from Singer, who was particularly taken aback by Streisand's monopolization of the production to its detriment, saying: "When an actor is also the producer and the director and the writer he would have to be exceedingly wise to curb his appetites. I must say that Miss Streisand was exceedingly kind to herself. The result is that Miss Streisand is always present, while poor Yentl is absent." Wikipedia

Directed by Barbra Streisand
Screenplay by Barbra Streisand, Jack Rosenthal
Story by Isaac Beshevis Singer
Based on Yentl by Leah Napolin
Starring Barbra Streisand, Mandy Patinkin, Amy Irvin
Music by Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman
Cinematography David Watkin
Edited by Terry Rawlings

Released in 1983 
Run time 131 or 136 minutes

Accident



In the opening scene, a man is killed in what appears to be an accident. However, it is revealed that the man was actually murdered, with the supposed accident actually orchestrated by a group of killers led by the Brain (Louis Koo). The group specializes in killing their victims using elaborate schemes that mask the murders as if they were accidents. Uncle (Stanley Fung), one of the team members, accidentally leaves a cigarette butt at the crime scene, and it is found by the Brain. After an argument, Uncle vows to quit smoking afterwards. Wikipedia

Directed by Soi Cheang
Produced by Johnnie To
Written by Szeto Kam-Yuen, Nicholl Tang
Starring Louis Koo, Richie Jen, Michelle Ye
Music by Xavier Jamaux
Cinematography Fung Yuen-Man
Edited by David M. Richardson

Released in 2009
Run time 86 minutes

Moon





In 2035, Lunar Industries have made a fortune after an oil crisis, by building Sarang, an automated lunar facility to mine the alternative fuel helium-3, which is used primarily to power fusion reactors and other things that run on fusion energy.
Sam Bell, the astronaut who maintains operations at Sarang, nears the end of a three-year work contract as the facility's sole resident. Sam oversees automated harvesters and launches canisters bound for Earth, containing the extracted helium-3. Chronic communication problems have disabled his live feed from Earth and limit him to occasional recorded messages to his wife Tess, who was pregnant with their daughter Eve when he left. His only companion is an artificial intelligence named GERTY, who assists with the base's automation and provides comfort for him. Wikipedia

Directed by Duncan Jones
Screenplay by Nathan Parker
Story by Duncan Jones
Starring Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Kaya Scodelario
Music by Clint Mansell
Cinematography Gary Shaw

Released in 2009, run time 97 minutes

Friday, February 20, 2015

Harvest of Empire


Trailer available Here

The film examines the role of the United States military and economic interests in Latin American countries. It documents the relationship between United States' intervention in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, and the unprecedented surge of migration from those nations. It links this exodus to the present massive Latino population in the United States.and the current immigration crisis. Also discussed are the wars fought for United States territorial expansion into Puerto Rico, Cuba, and over half of Mexico. It documents the covert actions by the United States to install dictatorships in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. 

Hot Coffee Is Justice being Served?





Seinfeld mocked it. Letterman ranked it in his top ten list. And more than fifteen years later, its infamy continues. Everyone knows the McDonald’s coffee case. It has been routinely cited as an example of how citizens have taken advantage of America’s legal system, but is that a fair rendition of the facts? Website 



Monday, February 9, 2015

少林足球 (Shàolín Zúqiú, Shaolin Soccer)



Sing (Stephen Chow) is a master of Shaolin kung fu, whose goal in life is to promote the spiritual and practical benefits of the art to modern society. He experiments with various methods, but none bear positive results. He then meets "Golden Leg" Fung (Ng Man Tat), a legendary Hong Kong soccer star in his day, who is now walking with a limp, following the treachery of a former teammate Hung, now a rich businessman. Wikipedia

For me this is Stephen Chow's funniest movie. ~Mike

Directed by Stephen Chow
Written by Stephen Chow, Tsang Kan-Cheung
Starring Stephen Chow, Vicky Zhao, Ng Man-tat, Patrick Tse, Danny Chan Kwok Kwan
Music by Lowell Lo, Raymond Wong
Cinematography Kwen Pak-Huen, Kwong Ting-Wo

Released in 2001
Run Time 112 minutes

Feng Boa (FireStorm)






A tough police inspector (Andy Lau) puts his own morality on the line in order to stop a ruthless gang of criminals in this Hong Kong action thriller that marks the feature directorial debut of prolific screenwriter Alan Yuen (New Police Story, Shaolin). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi ~Rotten Tomatoes

Lots of killing and deception. The line between good and evil is blurred. ~ Mike

Directed by Alan Yuen
Starring Andy Lau, Yao Chen, Lam Ka Tung, Jun Hu, Ray Lui

Released in 2014
Run time 110 minutes

اين فىلم نىست (This is Not a Film, In Film Nist)



This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France on a usb drive hidden in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (Offside, The Circle) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment.
New York Public Library

Released in 2011
Run time 77 minutes

Master of the Universe




He was one of the Top-Investmentbankers in Germany. He made a million profit per day. Now he is sitting in an empty bank building in the financial center of Frankfurt and talks. A frightening insight in a megalomaniac, quasi-religious parallel world behind mirrored windows. NFG Shop

A must see film. ~Mike

Released in 2013
Run time 88 minutes

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Rise of the Hackers




Our lives are going digital. We shop, bank, and even date online. Computers hold our treasured photographs, private emails, and all of our personal information. This data is precious—and cybercriminals want it. from NOVA

Que Lindo es Puerto Rico




Que Lindo es Puerto Rico DVD Banco Popular 2014 Special IslaOnline

A nice variety of sights and music from Puerto Rico. ~Mike

Friday, February 6, 2015

Man Tam (Blind Detective)




A cop is forced into early retirement due to retinal damage. But after witnessing a bank robbery along with a female inspector - who believes he has acute senses - they team up in hope to solve the case. IMDB

Directed by Johnnie To
Writen by Ryker Chank, Ka-Fai Wai
Starring Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Kerry Ka-Wing Chan

Released in 2013
Run time 130 minutes

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Terms and Conditions May Apply




Terms and Conditions May Apply is a documentary that discusses how corporations and the government utilize the information that users provide when agreeing to browse a website, install an application or purchase goods online. Made in 2013 by Cullen Hoback, it discusses the language used in user-service agreements on the web, how they collect information, and the usage of the information.

Zebraman ゼブラーマン , Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City (ゼブラーマン -ゼブラシティの逆襲






Zebraman 1
It is 2010. A failure as a 3rd grade teacher and a family man, Shinichi Ichikawa lives with his cheating wife, his teenage daughter who dates older men, and his son who is bullied because of his father's presence in the school. Escaping from everyday life, Shinichi secretly dresses up nightly as "Zebraman", the title character from an unpopular 1970's tokusatsu TV series he watched as a child before it was canceled after the seventh episode. As a result of meeting a wheelchair-using transfer student named Shinpei Asano, also a fan of Zebraman, Shinichi not only regains his love for teaching but also develops feelings for the boy's mother. At the same time, a rash of strange crimes and murders have been occurring around the school at which Shinichi teaches.

Directed by Takashi Miike
Written by Kankuro Kudo
Music Koji Endo
Cinematography Kazunari Tanaka

Released in 2004
Run time 115 minutes

Zebraman 2
By 2025, fifteen years after the events of Zebraman, Tokyo has renamed itself Zebra City, and has instituted a "Zebra Time" starting at 5:00 AM/PM for 5 minutes in which the government allows the Zebra Police to attack any and all presumed criminals. One Zebra Time results in the attempted murder of Shinichi Ichikawa, also known as Zebraman. Surviving the attack but having lost his memories, he must team up with television's fake Zebraman and a young protégé to save a mysterious little girl from Zebra Queen and her Zebra Police, and then the world from Zebra Queen's ultimate plan to use the strange aliens from 2010 to bring Zebra Time to the whole world.

Directed by Takashi Miike
Written by Kankuro Kudo
Starring Show Aikawa, Riisa Naka, Tsuyoshi Abe, Masahiro Inoue

Released 2010 
Run time 106 minutes

The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight



Bullfrog Films

"Millions of people from Allied countries fought to liberate Europe from Hitler’s grip during World War II . Yet 40,000 Americans refused to shoulder weapons in “the good war.”
Narrated by Ed Asner, this important film tells the story of a previously ignored chapter of WWII – the American conscientious objectors who refused to fight. It is a story of personal courage, idealism and nonconformity based on both ethical and religious beliefs – about men whose love of country could not extend to killing their fellow man.
Many were Quakers or others whose religious beliefs interpreted the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” to include war; others were passionate pacifists who felt morally incapable of cooperating with a violent conflict, no matter how worthy the cause.
All lived with the scorn of a nation, and often family and friends as well. While it has been more than half a century since WWII , this particular war story has been almost entirely lost to history until now.

A film by Judith Ehrlich (co-director of the Oscar-nominated The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers) and Rick Tejada-Flores • Narrated by Ed Asner"
from First Run Features

Sacred journeys with Bruce Feiler





Host Bruce Feiler accompanies pilgrims from Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, and Yoruban traditions as they explore the places and traditions sacred to their religions. Come with us to India, Japan, France, Nigeria, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. SACRED JOURNEYS premieres on PBS in December 2014. PBS Website

This is a great series. ~ Mike

Released in 2014 360 minutes