From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
From Dusk Till Dawn remains one of the most nuts films of the 90’s and possibly marked the last great film by both directors Quentin Tarantino and  Robert Rodriguez.  Yes really I went there.  Starting as a typical Tarantino, it’s not until they hit the Titty Twister bar that the film takes a surprising twist. Well not that surprising as the trailer gave it away but still bloody good fun.  Cameos by Tom Savini, Fred Williamson, Greg Nicotero sit along side a career making turn by George Clooney and a ‘What the fuck am I doing here’ look of Harvey Keitel.  Greta script,. superb action and a crotch gun.  What’s not to love.

Best Bit: ‘Everybody be cool.  You be cool.’

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Desperado, Pulp Fiction, Lost Boys

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7:  True Romance (1993) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

7: True Romance (1993) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
True Romance is arguably Quentin Tarantino’s most enjoyable film , one of the late Tony Scott’s best and features some of the most memorable dialogue and scenes of any 90’s movies.  From the famous Hopper/Walken, to the car/cocaine scene to the deadly finale shoot out… almost every second of this film contains something special. But at it’s core it is, simply, a love story with two adorable (if slightly unhinged) lead characters played with charm and charisma by Arquette and Slater.  I adore this film and it remains a highlight of so many actors and crews careers.

What the fuck is a Drexel.  Indeed.

Best Bit: Hopper/Walken

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKSQmYUaIyE

 

 

 

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Phil’s Best To Worst: Tarantino Directed Films

Phil’s Best To Worst: Tarantino Directed Films

Best... Other Cr*p

In our latest regular feature, coming out the first Friday of each month, Phil (of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review) breaks down a film related subject in order of his own personal enjoyment from Best To Worst.  

 

This time out: the films DIRECTED BY Quentin Tarantino! 

[divider]

Best: Jackie Brown

It’s Tarantino’s best work, restrained like never before (but brutal when it needs to be), it’s a great adatpation of a good book and is cast to perfection with the story & directyion being the highlight not the dialue or the actors.

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2. Pulp Fiction

It’s brilliant and a classic.  The fact I cant watch it after seeing it too much at University isn’t the films fault but whilst it’s flashy and expertly done, I still prefer Jackie Brown overall.

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3. Reservoir Dogs

A brilliant debut, raw and brutal and it still holds up today. Set the tone of Tarantino’s later work except that he has never shown restraint like he does here.

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4. Inglorious Bastards

It’s long.  It’s over written. But it has two of the greatest scenes in QT’s arsenal which saves the film from being a lot lower on the list.  Great cast, funny finale.

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5. Death Proof

Yup hated by most , I kinda like Tarantino’s grind house entry.  It’s raw, over long (as most of his post Pulp Fiction films tend to be) but at least it felt genuine.

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6. Django Unchained

Loved this on it’s release but in all honesty I’ll never watch it again.  Full of excess and flabbiness, Django is a 100 minute film stuck in the body of a 3 hour self proclaimed epic. And don’t even get me started on QT’s cameo…

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7. Kill Bill Volume 2

Kill Bill Volume 1 was more fun, but I liked Tarantino’s first western more than his actual Westerns. The ending was a kick in the face to others but I liked ho wit played out.

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8. Four Rooms

Directing on of the story segments (and the second best), it’s fun if totally forgettable Yet I’ve watched it much more than his later work and for the last time it showed that with restrictions Tarantino can deliver.

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9. Kill Bill Volume 1

It’s fine and the action is well handled but it’s overlong and spends FAR too much time paying homage and far too less time kicking behind.

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Worst : The Hateful Eight

Another film that could have been half as long and twice as good, Tarantino’s need for a strong editor and better producer are never more apparent than they are here.

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Phil’s Top 5… Tarantino Films

Phil’s Top 5… Tarantino Films

Other Cr*p Quick Review

In a new semi-regular feature, each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: Tarantino Films!

Bursting onto the scene in the 90’s, QT was a breath of fresh air. He fundamentally changed the way movies were written and marketed.  Then, sadly, years later he became a mass of hot air with bloated and over long critic baiting movies that you watch once but probably never again.  BUT there was a time when the former video store clerk ruled the movies.  Here are my favourite 5 Tarantino films…

 

Close but no cigar: Natural Born Killers, Deathproof

5 – Pulp Fiction
A classic for sure, but a film that (years on) I find hard to re-watch. Still it made a sub-genre all of it’s own (Tarantino-esk) , relaunched the career of John Travolta, made Bruce Willis less of a dick for a while and sold a gazillion sound track albums.  Not bad…


4 – From Dusk ‘Till Dawn
Come on… imagine if you had no idea what happens in three quarters of the way through this expertly plotted  film.  Imagine how blown away you’d be expecting another Tarantino crime film and then, from out of nowhere, there are freakin’ vampires! It’s the film that made Clooney popular, that Tarantino didn’t suck in and that Rodriguez never bettered.


3 – Reservoir Dogs
One of the best film debuts ever, Dogs is raw, violent and tense.  It’s also short, underplayed and fun.  Everything Tarantino’s films aren’t anymore. Sadly


2 – True Romance
Written by QT, directed by the late Tony Scott, starring an on the rise Christian Slater and with one of the greatest casts ever (Walken! Oldman! Hopper! Pitt! Gandolfini! and more! ) this is for me Tarantino’s single greatest script. Sharp, with crushing monologues and believable characters this is the pinnacle of his pop culture loving style.  Even years on this film is dynamite.


1 – Jackie Brown
That surprised you didn’t it!  Huh!  Admit it!  But why THSI film, probably one of Tarantino’s least loved movies.  Well whilst Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs are held aloft as QT’s masterpieces, it’s his measured and restrained take on an Elmore Leonard novel that holds the No1 spot for me.  Subtle, classy and cool this is Tarantino at his least, well, Tarantino.  And man does the film benefit from it.  It oozes a level of awesome that for me QT has never topped.  Go on give it another try… you’ll love it!

 

News: RIP Australian Producer David Hannay

News: RIP Australian Producer David Hannay

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David Hannay was an Australian film producer best known for his work on such legendary titles as The Man From Hong Kong, Stone, Mapantsula and Cubbyhouse.  Yesterday (31st March 2014) he passed away from Cancer after a near 2 year battle.  You may not know the name, or possibly even the films he worked on but it’s safe to say that WITHOUT him, the Australian film industry and movies of  directors like Quentin Tarantino might look very different.

I worked with Hannay (as he affectionally liked to be called) on my own film, Ten Dead Men, along side director and friend Ross Boyask and found him to be a “tough bastard” (his own words) at times but also never less than inspirational and great company.  With his massive grey beard, and booming personality he was always full of stories from his time in the industry, be it as an actor, director or producer, all told in his own very unique way.   Having met Hannay at Cannes, he introduced us the sales agent that would end up selling Ten Dead Men globally and worked with us developing some other projects such as fIXers, frequently calling us from his home in Australia to go over script notes, edits and generally to shoot the shit.  His feel for a project and knowledge was unsurpassed. I’d never worked with anyone like him.

He was born in New Zealand. His first job in the industry was as an extras casting assistant on Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Hannay became head of production for Gemini Productions from 1970-73 and 1975-76. In 1974 he was general manager for The Movie Company, a production subsidiary of Greater Union. From 1977 he was an independent producer.  In 1988 he won the Human Rights Australia Film Award, the AFI Raymond Longford Award in 2007 and the Ken G Hall Film Preservation Award in 2011.

Alas after a silly disagreement whilst finishing Ten Dead Men, I lost contact with Hannay for near four years.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, with a dire prognosis that, in typical stubborn Hannay style, he would outlive by some time.  When I heard Hannay was ill I wanted  to try and record some conversations with him for the Filmsploitation podcast I now run, to ensure his legacy (a legacy that I am proud to say I was at least a small part of) and personality would be known to a wider audience.   I wanted to address his career, his past as a Hell’s Angel, his life in general and other things, not least what is was like being a frequently named inspiration for directors like Quentin Tarantino.   I finally did reconnect with Hannay but in the end it was too late and, whilst we started talking again via email on the days he felt strong enough to reply, he didn’t ever get the energy up to speak to me.  Thankfully, in part I guess, I have now read there are plans for a book on Hannay which is good news.  His life was like no other.

Hannay was a fascinating man, someone that was not always easy to deal with but whose knowledge and spark for life (he frequently jogged 10 + miles a day even in his 70’s) inspired numerous filmmakers that he took under his wing.  Whilst we didn’t always see eye to eye, even once or twice having rather ‘passionate’ debates, I always held a deep respect for Hannay both as a person and as a mentor.  Looking back as I write this I not sure I always expressed that in the right way to him, if at all.

Although those of us that had the pleasure of meeting or working with him never will forget either the man or his work, I fear that time will never correctly recognise Hannay’s legacy despite the considerable impact his films have had on the world, as later in his career he shunned more mainstream projects and fame to focus on instead grooming the next generation of filmmakers.    But his legacy is one that deserves to go out fighting, just like the man himself no doubt did.  In the days when the likes of a Cory Monteith warrant multiple pages in newspapers and magazines despite their little impact on the industry (and world) in general, Hannay’s passing has been a quieter affair.

An obituary described him as “one of the pioneers of the modern Australian film industry, a passionate cinephile, mentor and loyal friend.”  I’d probably just go with “a tough but charming S.O.B”

He is survived by his wife Mary Moody, his children and grandchildren.  Oh… and a legacy of some of the best genre films the industry ever produced.

For more on Hannay check out http://www.vfe.com.au/hannay.htm

Robots, Ninjas & Action Men – Summer 2009

Robots, Ninjas & Action Men – Summer 2009

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The big summer blockbuster season is upon us once again, with Hollywood already starting to roll out the big marketing campaigns and mega expensive Superbowl TV spots I thought it would be a good time to take a look at what we can expect in this years silly Season.Transformers : Revenge Of The Fallen is set to be the Summers biggest film. With a massive budget – rumoured to be in excess of $250 million USD, huge scale – Battling on pyramids! Destroying cities! and almost guaranteed box office – the original film took in excess of $700 million USD at the global box office, good or bad Transformers 2 will be massive film.

Director Michael Bey is upbeat for sure “I really feel this movie is not a forced sequel. I think the script is really good, and I think it’s got a lot of new stuff in it.” He said when recently interviewed, “There are a lot of rumours out there, but we’ve released a lot of fake stuff. We’ve done a really good job of keeping things secret”

What DO we know? Expect more robots including the Constructicons and Soundwave, a bigger role for Deceptacon & chief Megatron baiter Starscream and most of the original cast returning including Megan Fox, Turtlub and LaBouf.

Oh and that Bey will edit the film to within an inch of its life as always….

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen is out in the UK on the 26th June 2009.

Fast & Furious (which is number four in the franchise) comes care of Asian director Justin Lin who previously helmed

the better than expected third film in the series Tokyo Drift. Paul Walker & Vin Diesel return and with Lin behind the wheel (so to speak) the film should at least deliver some exciting car action which is what it’s about after all.“I just look at this one as it’s really the first true sequel.” Enthused Paul Walker at a recent Fast & Furious press junket “Vin and I in the first one and it’s kind of like okay, they’re back together again finally. When I tell fans, Vin and I are back making another one, people are pretty excited about it…”

The Fast & Furious movie shave always been popcorn escapist fun so set your expectations to low and this should be at least enjoyable.

Fast & Furious is out in the UK on 5th June.

Next up is G.I Joe : The Rise Of Cobra a film which, if done right, could be whole bunch of fun. Okay so it’s directed by Stephen Sommers who hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with his previous efforts such as The Mummy films or

the direr Van Helsing. But the trailer promises Wanted style OTT action and the film will boast the lovely but loose Sienna Miller in a tight cat suit.That aside (!), this live action version of the famed Hasbro action figure (who wouldn’t want to be a Hasbro shareholder right now!) has all the right ingredients to be a solid PG-13 action film including a quirky international cast that teams up Brit’s Sienna Miller & Ray Park alongside bigger names like Brendan Frasier and Arnold Vosloo and some OTT action care of second unit director Greg Michael (‘Mummy’; ‘Van Helsing’)

Let’s face it – whilst GI Joe will never trouble the academy, if done right this could be a diverting 90 minutes of a fun, action packed ride like Transformers. Of course if not then we could be looking at a dire, unwatchable mess like Van Helsing. Let’s hope for the former…

G.I Joe : The Rise Of Cobra is out in the UK in August 7th .

Inglourious Basterds hits cinemas in August. The latest film from film god and Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino this time sees the maverick director put his unique slant on World War 2 movies.

The film that tells the story of Lieutenant Aldo Raine (played by Brad Pitt), who teams together a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution against the Nazi’s. Known to their enemy as “The Basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich.

Tarrantino describes the film as “…my bunch-of-guys-on-a-mission film. [It’s] my Dirty Dozen or Where Eagles Dare or Guns of Navarone kind of thing”

Alongside Brad Pitt stars Cabin Fever director Eli Roth, Mike Myers, Sam Jackson, Diane Kruger and Jade Screen favourite Maggie Cheung as Madame Mimeux. With it’s trademark quirky cast (although not as impressive as the original rumoured cast which included Michael Madsen alongside action Icons Stallone, Willis and Arnie), no doubt snappy dialogue and heaps of OTT violence this should be the hit of the Summer.

 

Tarantino needs a hit (Death Proof and Kill Bill 2 have sullied is once great reputation) and in terms of hyping it up he has been talking about this movie since the early 90’s. See for yourself when Inglourious Basterds hits the big screen on August 21st (UK/USA).Arriving towards the end of the summer is thriller Shanghai. In the months leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbour, an American man (John Cusack) arrives in Shanghai to find his friend recently murdered. In investigating his friend’s death, he stumbles upon a secret that the United States government doesn’t want uncovered…

The film is directed by Mikael Håfström (1408, Derailed) and co-stars Batman Begins’s Ken Watanabe as well as Chow Yun-Fat, Gong Li and Rinko Kikuchi .Håfströmis a good, if not great, director but the cast is good and the period setting may arose some interest.

Shanghai is out in the UK in September.

Tekken gets it’s big screen release towards the end of 2009. Starring Brit John Foo, Luke Goss, Gary Daniels the film also co-stars Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and a cast of fighters, Martial artists and all-around hard nuts. The story? Well according to the official press blurb it’s “A high-octane action movie about a young man who discovers he holds a great power and must battle a team of elite fighters who will stop at nothing in order to get it from him”

In reality it’s the big screen adaptation of the popular video game that should at least see a high bang for buck ratio. Deep Dwight H.Little directs, who of late has carved out a career directing for TV shows like Prison Break & 24, and the script comes care of Face/Off writer Michael Colleary. Will it be any good? Well video game to big screen adaptation have a chequered track record and the last film like this to be adapted, Mortal Kombat, didn’t exactly set the world on fire. BUT it has a great cast, including the much under appreciated but highly talented Gary Daniels, and good director so you never know…
Tekken is out in the UK towards the end of 2009

Finally, comes the return of two 80’s icons in Ninja Assassin. Yes that right Ninjas are back… and this time with a budget! Produced by the Brothers Wachowski and directed by V For Vendetta helmer James McTiuage, the film stars Korean Pop sensation Rain alongside Naomi Harris and one Sho Kosugi, making his return back to a sub-genre he popularised back in the 80’s.

McTiuage is clear on his frame of reference for Ninja Assassin, aiming to recapture the vibe of classic Asian cinema: “The Kouroswa ninja films, the 60’s ninja film called Shinobi no Mono… these are my inspirations here. We didn’t go down the whole 80’s route… “ What no American Ninja? McTiuage also reaffirmed that this wouldn’t be a PG-13 movie “Definitely R rating. My interest in Definitely making an adult film.”


Little other than a few training videos have been made available for the film so far but the set visit promised Ninjas galore alongside the return of a genre icon and some hardcore action means this should be a film to watch out for.
Ninja Assassin’s release date is TBC

Other films that are well worth looking out for include the Tony Scott directed remake of Pelham 1 2 3 in June, Daniel Radcliff and gang returning in July in Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince . Also in July look out for the Michael Mann directed ‘Heat with Tommy Guns’ Public Enemies, staring Christian Bale & Johnny Depp.

You can watch the latest trailers for most of these movies at

www.apple.com/trailers.Phil Hobden