Bluray

Triangle – Netflix Find – Movie Review

Darth Mojo, a blogger I enjoy reading, had this to say in a recent post: “… In the meantime, search out and rent a movie called Triangle, it’s my favorite B-movie in years. Not exactly sci-fi, but very Twilight Zone and it does involve a time loop… I’d love to know what you think of it!”

Wikipedia plot outline:
“Jess is a single mother to Tommy, who apparently has recurring nightmares. Encouraged by her friend, Greg, to get away, she joins him and his friends for a day of sailing. Soon, they get caught in a freak electrical storm which capsizes their boat, forcing them to seek refuge in a passing ocean liner. Once on board, they realize that the ship is empty. Jess, however, feels that she has been there before…”

Naturally I checked Netflix and was happy to see Triangle available as “watch instantly.” So I settled in and gave it a view. It starts out eerie from the first frame and gets deeper and deeper as it goes. Overall I found it to be a competent and freaky tale with some genuine scary moments. It’s a great mix of suspense, thriller and horror. I’m talking realistic psychotic horror not splatter hound horror. However it is a fairly violent film with quite a bit of bloodletting so if that turns you off: stay away.

Surprisingly Triangle veers away from the clichéd elements you usually get from horror, the genre it is most influenced by. (For the record horror is my least favorite genre of films). I would really like to delve into the particulars of the story, which I found quite fascinating, but doing so would require major spoilers. Lets just say that it will make you think about it days after viewing.

Bottom Line: A chilling ride that mixes horror, thriller and suspense with a unique Déjà Vu story.

Rated R available on: Blu ray, DVD and Netflix Watch Instantly.

Top 5 Tim Burton Films

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland opens today. I do plan to see it and I will post a review. Until then, in honor of one of my favorite directors, I offer you my list of top 5 Burton films and the reasons they’re so great (in no particular order).

Beetle Juice

Macabre madness in a comedy where the phenomenal Michael Keaton (as Beetlejuice) steals the show from a very talented cast including: Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis. Beetle Juice is delicious mix of weirdness and laughs. A true cult classic.

Batman

Face it, comic based movies were a joke before 1989’s Batman. Burton ushered in a whole new wave of what comic based films could aspire to. Keaton proved to the world he was worthy of the cape. Nicholson turned in the performance of his career. Bassinger was gorgeous.

Ed Wood

Probably Burton’s most zany, yet a compelling drama at the same time. Depp and Landau were wonderful together. Is it the truth? Who knows, who cares? It’s a truly a celebration of what made Wood so captivating as the “worst director of all time.”

Edward Scissorhands

Sublimely eccentric fable about a boy with scissors for hands who falls for a girl. Laughs and tears ensue with a heartfelt bittersweet ending. Really? Could anyone else but Burton make this film?

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Okay, okay, yes technically it isn’t a Burton film but he created the characters, wrote the story and served as executive producer. Nevertheless TNBC it quintessential Burton. Filled with quirky, funny and lovable characters (who aren’t always what they seem on the outside), great music and wonderfully designed sets in a world full scares and charm and even a lesson to be learned. Whats not to love?

Agree? Disagree? Hit me back in the comments.

Traitor – DVD – Movie Review

Traitor starring Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce was released in August 2008. It had a short box office life which is an unfortunate thing. The central plot revolves around terrorism and the main character is Muslim, which I fear may have been a turn off for a lot of people. It probably wasn’t helped by the trailers that sold it as a sort of “Bourne” style action film which it isn’t. The Bourne films rely heavily on action and Traitor is much more of a character driven and “plot unraveling” type story with action scenes interspersed as needed by the narrative.

The Netflix Blurb:
“Tenacious FBI agent Roy Clayton (Guy Pearce) is assigned to pursue Samir Horn (Don Cheadle), an ex-Special Ops soldier who betrayed his country and joined the Al Nathir terrorist organization. But as he closes in, Clayton begins to second-guess Horn’s true intentions. Jeff Daniels and Neal McDonough co-star in this intelligent and exciting spy thriller that also examines the beliefs and motivations behind terrorism.”

I enjoyed Traitor quite a lot. It is an intense build type of film, so if you’re expecting wall to wall action don’t. The characters really drive the story here. Actor Said Taghmaoui, in a supporting role as Omar, Cheadle’s sort of “terrorist mentor”, turns an a very convincing role that surprisingly made the plight of Jihadists almost seem justifiable. Cheadle is also very solid as I’ve pretty much come to expect from him. The story twists and turns as you’re left guessing and second guessing his loyalties. Is he really a traitor? If so to whom?

Bottom Line: If you enjoy plot driven flim’s with a mix of espionage, thriller, ever-present intensity and a bit of action you should check out Traitor. Rated PG-13 available on: Blu ray, DVD and Netflix Watch Instantly.

District B13 – Netflix Find – Movie Review

Okay, I admit, I’m very late to the party on District B13 which was released in 2004. To my credit, it is a French import that was not widely released theatrically in the U.S. (as far as I can tell).

Here’s the Netflix blurb:
“Produced and co-written by acclaimed filmmaker Luc Besson, this stylized action thriller is set in Paris 2010, where the government has fenced off the city’s ghettos, the most dangerous of which is District B13. Teaming up to infiltrate the lawless sector, an elite-unit cop and a reformed vigilante put their lives on the line in a gutsy attempt to retrieve a stolen nuke and thwart a terrorist attack by the city’s most powerful gang.”

District B13 was co-written and produced by Luc Beeson. Not familiar with Beeson? He’s one of my favorite guilty pleasure filmmakers. Some of his films (either as writer, director or producer) include: Leon (aka The Professional in the U.S.), The 5th Element, Wasabi, Ong-Bak, Angel-A, Transporter 1,2 and 3, Taken and most recently From Paris with Love. So after reading that resume you know exactly what your in for with District B13; lots of stylish action, fights and explosions with minimal plot.

Surprisingly District B13 brings something to the table that I have not seen used in abundance in an action film before, Parkour. There was a Parkour style chase in Casino Royale but that’s the only time I remember seeing it in a film. Although, I will say, one could argue that Jackie Chan has been using Parkour in his fighting/films for years. In fact that’s what this film reminded me of the most; a good ol’ Jackie Chan action riot.

Also to note is District B13 was directed by Pierre Morel who helmed one of 2008’s best action films Taken. The two films are similar in that they both are essentially violent chase films. Although I found the violence in District B13 to be much more tame and unrealistic in comparison to Taken.

Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of any of the films or filmmakers I’ve mentioned, I have no doubt you will be equally thrilled and entertained by District B13. Rated R available on: Blu ray, DVD and Netflix Watch Instantly.

Note: I watched District B13 via Netflix streaming. It is a French film so the film was subtitled. (I prefer to watch foreign films that way). I understand that not everyone enjoys the experience of subtitles. I could not find any information on the Netflix site that mentions an English dub is available on the DVD or Blu ray.