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Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England)
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Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
DVD ~ Richie Jen
Price: CDN$ 21.54
16 used & new from CDN$ 16.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and gentle comedy from Taiwan, Dec 14 2014
Weichung appears to be an unassuming optometrist – married to Feng his wife and with a little boy. She wants another child to keep the boy company and to do so before her biological clock stops ticking. He though seems to be content with early nights to bed – to sleep - only.

Then one day a man walks into his shop – Thomas a flight attendant - and he goes all a flutter as does this handsome stranger. Weichung also has some old friends – one being Stephen who takes Wedding photos and would give Liberace a run for his money at how to be camp. It seems all of Weichungs old friends are ‘friends of Dorothy’ too – so could there be a connection?

Soon he is waiting for Thomas to land all the time and it is only a matter of time before things come to a head – no pun intended. This is actually a really light and warm comedy. The laughs are not gut busters but the humour is more the dry observational sort. You sort of feel for all the characters they all come across so human. There is a sub plot with his sister and her rejection of a very sweet man who Stephen and co take under their wing to sort out his love life and that is actually a brilliant touch. We also have a bit of drunken Karaoke with a rather good version of the title song in English.

In Mandarin with English sub titles and a run time of 106 minutes this is just a very nice film, the sort that puts a smile on your face and has your faith in the human spirit reinvigorated .

Zombeavers [Blu-ray]
Zombeavers [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Chad Anderson
Offered by Deal Beat
Price: CDN$ 27.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Just a Great Fun Zombie creature feature, Dec 13 2014
This review is from: Zombeavers [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Just like most people I love a good zombie flick and if it's got creatures in it too, then bring it on (as the homies say). This little gem is just that. Three girlfriends decided to have a relaxing weekend in the backwoods of America, They are staying in a log cabin near an idyllic lake.

What they don't know is that some dysfunctional and sexually ambivalent delivery guys have accidentally poisoned the water supply with some toxins that cause the local beaver population to become the undead. Then their boyfriends make a surprise visit and the merry troop start to get down and dirty in their wooden cabin - where strangely there is no mobile phone cover.

Then just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water - or indeed stay in a wooden construction - the beavers strike - mwaaah.

Yes this is really funny, a bit gory and a bit sexist, but it is all done with tongue in cheek or cheeks, and with more beaver jokes than you can shake a stick at; this really does deliver. I liked `'Sharknado 1 and 2' so I was always going to find this one brilliant. The beavers are great too - like Jim Henson had a bad day at the Muppet ranch. The jokes keep coming right to the end, so you have to watch the run off credits. For some mindless zombie related fun - with beavers - you need look no further - brilliant.

Life in Dirty Movies [Import]
Life in Dirty Movies [Import]
Price: CDN$ 25.97
12 used & new from CDN$ 17.93

4.0 out of 5 stars Moving warm hearted documentary of a sexploitation film maker, Dec 13 2014
Joe Sarno made films about sex but he never really made porn. This is a film about him and his life making those films. It features the 88 year old Joe and his long time wife Peggy Stefans. The camera crew follow them for a year as they try to make a new film - the way he likes them.

They are called `dirty movies' but what we see here is more akin to art house than porn - especially by today's standards. There are a series of interviews too including John Waters. We get to hear about `the raincoat crowd' and how most films were made over a weekend as you got Saturday and Sunday free for equipment hire if you hired it on the Friday. At one point it was said that the title of the film is the most important thing - cos once you have got them through the door you have the punters money. So he made films with titles like `All the sins of Sodom', `The love merchant' and `Sin in the suburbs'.

It is clear from this film that Joe and Peggy were still very much in love and they did what they did because they enjoyed what they were doing but did not like the hardcore stuff that came along in the seventies and all but put them out of business. He said he would make the film first and then put the sex in so there was always a story, a plot and the need to be able to act. Recognised now by the like of the British Film Institute for his contributions to film, he is finally getting his accolades in the autumn of his life. This presentation from Film Movement contains some nice extras too and is a must see for all cinephiles.

Rabid Dogs/Kidnapped [Blu-ray] [Import]
Rabid Dogs/Kidnapped [Blu-ray] [Import]
Offered by usedsalesca
Price: CDN$ 26.32
6 used & new from CDN$ 26.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Italian seventies Hostage thriller that still packs a punch, Dec 13 2014
This film starts with an armed robbery that goes wrong. The gang make the grab but are chased by the police. They get cornered in a car park and take an innocent woman hostage in order to make their escape. Then they car jack another car and demand the owner drive them to their safe house.

Sounds like a simple plot and to all intents and purposes it is. But the beauty of it is in the simple tale there is so much else going on. The gang are universally unlikeable - there is no chance of any Stockholm syndrome taking place here. Trentadue (Thirty Two) is a muscle bound lout who gets his nick name because of his allusions to his `man hood' (think centimetres not inches) his mate is called `Blade' because he like stabbing things - people mainly and Dottore as their sort of leader is just nasty, but with Italian flare. Most of the action takes place in the hi-jacked car but there is plenty besides and the tension is high end throughout. It also never runs out of steam - even when you think it has.

This dual format contains `Kidnapped' the updated version made after director Mario Bava had dies. It was a project carried out by his son Lamberto and both are well worth a watch.

The picture and sound quality vary at times this was because Arrow films have put this together from the best surviving versions, and it can be distracting but not fatal. The music is quite progressive for the time and the SFX like blood are very much of their time too. That said this is a little corker it just tears along and keeps up the atmosphere right to the end. This is one for film enthusiasts who love to remember how film has developed and also anyone who likes a good crime caper - in Italian with good sub titles, seventies fashion, criminal antics and loads of fake blood - bellisimo.

Snails in the Rain [Import]
Snails in the Rain [Import]
Price: CDN$ 25.08
10 used & new from CDN$ 17.05

4.0 out of 5 stars Sexual Desire gets unleashed in this poignant Israeli drama, Dec 6 2014
This review is from: Snails in the Rain [Import] (DVD)
Set in 1989 we meet Boaz, he is a student in Tel Aviv, he is doing well at his studies and is expecting to get a scholarship. He is living with his girlfriend and seems perfectly happy - he has the libido of a sixteen year old in Viagra and she seems very reciprocal.

Then he starts to get love letters to his mail box. They start off tentatively and then get more intense. The thing is they are from an older man who clearly knows a lot about him. He starts to suspect everyone and as the confessions become more intense - he starts to change. He has also done his military service and parts of that are told in flashback - and it is a case of `boys will be boys'. Boaz now starts to question his sexuality and the fabric of his life starts to unravel - to say any more would be too much of a reveal.

This is a thought provoking film with very strong central performances. The subject matter is handled rather well though some may not agree based on personal experiences. This is not a love story per se but there are some scenes of a very sexual content. It is in Hebrew with good subtitles and is one that very much adds to the body of gay themed cinema and if you like World cinema too then you should get something out of this film.

To Kill A Man
To Kill A Man
DVD ~ Daniel Candia
Price: CDN$ 18.59
19 used & new from CDN$ 16.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilean Revenge tale, Dec 6 2014
This review is from: To Kill A Man (DVD)
Jorge is a quiet unassuming family man who works for the local forestry board. The area where he lives is starting to be over run with criminal, sorts. Then one night on his way home - he is abused and robbed. His son is enraged by his father's treatment and goes to sort it out. Sadly this leads to an escalation of violence.

The story soon moves on a number of years and what we get is a build up in the intimidation. His wife and daughter seek answers through the police and courts and they are all but useless to help the family. Faced with the inevitable Jorge has to decide whether to defend what is his or lose everything he holds dear.

This is a simple plot and will inevitably draw comparisons to Michael Winner's classic `Death wish'. This though is a completely different film and the causes are more varied too. This is also not an action fest where the violence is the star; this is a thoughtful and paced study of one mans despair.

It is a very well made film with simple yet effective direction. The cinematography looks minimal in places but that adds to the starkness of the film and the realism by giving it a sort of voyeur quality. In Spanish and running for around 82 minutes this is an unusual but compelling film that I can easily recommend.

Boys [Import]
Boys [Import]
Price: CDN$ 21.76

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Dutch tale of a young boys first love, Dec 6 2014
This review is from: Boys [Import] (DVD)
Sieger is a fifteen year old and is good at sporty things - especially running and he gets chosen to represent the school. This throws him into the group of athletic types and he meets Marc. Marc is not like other boys - he is assured and makes up his own rules. They soon develop a friendship; but Marc is hankering after a bit more.

Sieger is also dealing with a home life that is far from ideal. His mother was killed in a motor accident and his caring father has now become over protective of him and his more wayward older brother. Add to this that he is going through the whole sexual awakening thing - that is where your default switch is heterosexual - and he is trying to do the right thing. As the training intensifies so does the relationship - but the outcome is always in doubt.

This was a made for TV film in the Netherlands (in Dutch with good sub titles) and as such was always going to be a bit tame. Then again we are talking teenagers here so don't expect anything too post watershed. On the other hand it is a story that has been told before, but this one manages to do it in a very charming and understandable way that comes across as being absolutely genuine. If you like a tender gay themed love story then I am sure you will want to see this film.

Who is Dayani Cristal?
Who is Dayani Cristal?
DVD ~ Gael Garcia Bernal
Price: CDN$ 22.73
20 used & new from CDN$ 18.98

4.0 out of 5 stars The Road to the Promised Land,, Dec 6 2014
This review is from: Who is Dayani Cristal? (DVD)
This is a documentary but with some parts recreated or rather re-imagined. It starts with the Pima County Sherriff's Department discovering a body in the Sonora desert and their subsequent investigations to find out who he is. They are particularly hopeful on this occasion as he has a distinctive tattoo. Most immigrants are advised not to carry ID documents and to use an alias if caught.

The film makers also use an actor to recreate the possible trip, this is the marvellous Gael Garcia Bernal (`No', Amores Perros', and `Bad Education') who takes the journey North to the USA. Since the late 90's immigration routes into the US had more resources thrown at them as ` an effective deterrent'. Since then deaths in the desert of Arizona have gone up ten fold. The medical examiners have over 2,000 deaths in ten years. This film follows the path to identify such people and who was this tattooed man in particular.

This is not a comfortable watch; there are scenes showing bodies in various advances of decomposition and some of the scenes can be emotionally upsetting too. It does shine a light on the plight of so called `illegal's' and the risks they take to do honest blue collar jobs, in North America, often for minimum wage and all so they can have improved standards of living for their loved ones. It is a shame that in life there is no money to help these people but in death so much effort is expended to find out who they are, so they can be repatriated.

Whilst there is staggering inequality in the World there will always be economic migrants - my parents were such. How we chose to treat them is another matter and as the doctor appearing in this film says - what is the magic number of tragic deaths in the desert that will awaken the authorities to say enough is enough? A very well made and thought provoking documentary that I would recommend but with the above caveats and hope you get as much from it as I did.

Welcome to New York [Director's Cut]
Welcome to New York [Director's Cut]
Offered by Prestivo3
Price: CDN$ 82.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 82.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Sex, Drugs and a very bad French Banker, Dec 6 2014
Based on the true life accusation of rape that Dominic Straus-Kahn was charged with, this finds Gerard Depardieu playing one of his most challenging roles. He plays a powerful French man in the World of finance - Devereaux. He is a hedonistic auteur of a man given to wanton lust and high life depravity in all its forms.

He even has business meetings where `working girls' are available for - quite literally - `executive relief'. Then he has some Bacchanalian orgy in his five star hotel room and wakes up in need of some more action. Luckily housekeeping is there to do her thing and he decides she must be on his libido menu too and so goes for it. What follows includes the police reaction and what followed in the media circus. His wife is played by Jacqueline Bisset who tries to guide him through the mire of a sex scandal.

This is a film that will put some people off. The sex scenes do seem to be a bit drawn out, he is a nymphomaniac, and we get that pretty early one - the need for drawn out bedroom grunting is therefore questionable and could be classed as border line porn. The issues around privilege and power and the abuse of both are left for the viewer to decide. The naked greed is likewise shown as being incidental to the whole way of life of these people who seem to think they are untouchable.

It is a very well made film, the performances are excellent and Depardieu is just brilliant in that you forget who he is and assume he is the on screen persona- mind you he is nearly always good. Not a film for everyone and painful to watch in places but still an above average cinematic experience.

I Am Yours
I Am Yours
DVD ~ Amirta Acharia
Price: CDN$ 19.13
16 used & new from CDN$ 10.98

4.0 out of 5 stars East is East- Norwegian Style, Dec 6 2014
This review is from: I Am Yours (DVD)
Mina is a young single mother living an independent life in Oslo. She has a six years old son - Felix- from a marriage that an arranged one for her whilst she was still quite young. She shares caring responsibilities with her ex husband. Her family are originally from Pakistan and still believe in the old country ways and this includes the honour code and that acting overtly Western, for a woman, can bring shame on the family.

She just wants to find true love and this means she acts as they say in Thailand like a `butterfly' - flitting from one man to the next. Then she meets screenplay writer Jesper who is Swedish. He seems to be perfect and she opens up to him big time. The question is with a young son and the familial and societal pressures, will it ever work?

This was Norway's entry for the Academy Awards 2014 and you can see why. It is a clash of cultures and modern living all rolled into one. Amrita Acharia playing Mina puts in a staggering performance as the struggling actress, mother, lover and wayward daughter in a role that would be a stretch for any actor. The film is well made, directed, acted and shot - so not a lot to find issue with here. In Norwegian, Urdu and Swedish with good subtitles - this was originally released as `Jeg er din' and is a film for those who appreciate the broader canvas that quality cinema can bring to our lives.

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