Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fido (2006)

When the Earth passed through a cloud of space dust and the dead arose from their graves to devour the flesh of the living, it first seemed that all hope for humanity was lost. Society's rapid slide into chaos, however, was soon halted when scientists at a company called ZomCom created a special collar that turned the rampaging animated corpses docile. Quiet and withdrawn, the skeptical young Timmy Robinson spends so much time locked away in his room that he's almost become invisible around the household. His mother Helen has recently purchased a zombie to help keep things tidy around the house though, and when the creature attempts to engage the curious youngster in a game of catch, a friendship is forged between boy and zombie that finds the amiable gut-muncher nicknamed Fido practically becoming a part of the family. Things take a turn for the worse however, when Fido's collar malfunctions and Timmy's neighbors begin dying in droves. When ZomCom's top zombie control specialist Mr. Bottoms moves in across the street from Timmy, the increasingly complicated situation threatens to place a serious stumbling block in the path of human-zombie relations.

Director: Andrew Currie
Writers: Robert Chomiak and Andrew Currie
Stars: Kesun Loder, Billy Connolly and Carrie-Anne Moss
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Proposition (2005)

Charlie Burns is a criminal living in the outback. He and his two brothers, Arthur and Mikey, are on the run from the law for rape and murder. Arthur is a violent and dangerous sociopath with a much longer rap sheet than his siblings and a reputation for hiding out in villages so lawless the police are afraid to visit them, while Mikey is a much younger and more impressionable chap.The authorities capture Charlie and Mikey after a bloody shootout, and the brothers are handed over to Capt. Stanley, a British lawman sent to Australia to help bring order to the colonies. Stanley proposes a deal to Charlie, explaining that it's Arthur he really wants, and that he's willing to spare the childlike and terrified Mikey if Charlie can find Arthur and murder him. Charlie, realizing that this is his only hope to save his simpleton younger brother, agrees and sets out to find and execute his other brother, who he believes has gone too far into the world of crime. As Charlie scours the backwaters of Australia, he encounters Jellon Lamb, an educated yet thoroughly menacing bounty hunter. Meanwhile, Stanley struggles to bring a European sense of civility to the rough and tumble land he now calls home, while his wife Martha becomes the focus of the lustful appetites of the men in town.

Director: John Hillcoat
Writer: Nick Cave
Stars: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce and Emily Watson
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The Rocker (2008)

Fish has spent the past two decades languishing at soul-crushing day jobs while his old bandmates became legends, continuing to grace magazine covers and dominate the radio. He might just get another chance at musical success, however, when his teenage cousin invites him to drum for his high school garage band, and they end up catching the ear of record executives. Now, Fish is determined to live the hedonistic rock & roll lifestyle he missed out on 20 years ago, but his new bandmates don't appreciate his hard partying -- and neither do his middle-aged knees.

Director: Peter Cattaneo
Writers: Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky
Stars: Rainn Wilson, Josh Gad and Christina Applegate
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Banquet (2006)

In 907 AD, the Tang Dynasty is in tatters; infighting snarls the imperial family. Crown Prince Wu Luan loves Little Wan, but his father takes her as his Empress. Wu Luan goes into exile, studying dance and music. His uncle murders his father, taking throne and Empress; uncle sends assassins to kill Wu Luan. The Crown Prince eludes death and comes to court. The Emperor arranges for Little Wan's coronation and dispatches Wu Luan to a distant land; he then calls for a midnight banquet on the 100th day of his rule. Poison, treachery, Wu Luan's return, and the love of the innocent Qing for Wu Luan set up the final entanglements. No Fortinbras or Horatio lay the dead to rest.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Writers: William Shakespeare (play) and Heyu Sheng
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, You Ge and Daniel Wu
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Monday, June 27, 2011

The House of the Devil (2009)

Samantha is a sweet-natured and retiring young woman, unlike her rambunctious, loud, and self-assured best buddy, Megan. After moving into a new apartment, Samantha is desperate for a way to make a few more bucks. When Mr. Ulman comes on campus looking for a babysitter, Samantha jumps at the opportunity. Once she convinces Megan to give her a ride to the creepy old Ulman house, Samantha learns that the job is not quite what was advertised. Ulman and his wife don't even have a child. He tells Samantha that she just has to stay in the house with his elderly mother-in-law while he and the missus go out to celebrate the lunar eclipse. When she balks at the change of plans, he offers her more money. As the night goes on, it becomes clear that Samantha is a much bigger part of the Ulmans' plans for the evening than she would ever want to be.

Director: Ti West
Writer: Ti West
Stars: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rise: Blood Hunter (2007)

Sadie Blake is a journalist who becomes acquainted with a group of beautiful but doomstruck partiers while following a story, led by the charismatic Bishop. While Sadie is taken with Bishop's good looks and sinister charm, she senses there's something dangerous about him, but it's not until she wakes up in the city morgue that she learns his secret -- Bishop is a vampire, and Sadie has joined his underlings as one of the undead. Angry and betrayed, Sadie is determined to stop Bishop and his compatriots, and she prowls the city, ready to stake them from a distance. Sadie finds an unlikely ally in her crusade in Detective Rawlins, a police investigator whose daughter was transformed into a night creature by Bishop. However, Sadie is finding it increasingly difficult to resist her growing thirst for the blood of the living, becoming the sort of being she has grown to hate.

Director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Writer: Sebastian Gutierrez
Stars: Lucy Liu, Michael Chiklis and Carla Gugino
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The Jacket (2005)

In 1991, Jack Starks was an American soldier serving in the Persian Gulf when he was shot in the head; pronounced dead by a field surgeon, Starks somehow returned to life, though with no small number of psychological problems to show for his troubles. A year later, Starks is walking through the snowy Vermont wilderness when he discovers a woman whose truck has broken down. Starks tries to help her and her young daughter, and later flags down a car for a ride into town; however, the car is being driven by a criminal on the run, and not long after the car is cornered by police, Starks' memory goes blank. When he comes to, Jack is accused of killing a patrolman in the violent standoff that followed. Declared insane in his murder trial, Starks is sentenced to a mental institution run by Dr. Becker. As Starks suffers frequent beatings and long spells in a frozen locker, his mind drifts from his harrowing past into the future, where he visits the young girl he tried to help.

Director: John Maybury
Writers: Tom Bleecker and Marc Rocco
Stars: Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley and Kris Kristofferson
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Bobby (2006)

Tuesday, June 4, 1968: the California presidential primary. As day breaks, Robert F. Kennedy arrives at the Ambassador Hotel; he'll campaign, then speak to supporters at midnight. To capture the texture of the late 1960s, we see vignettes at the hotel: a couple marries so he can avoid Vietnam, kitchen staff discuss race and baseball, a man cheats on his wife, another is fired for racism, a retired hotel doorman plays chess in the lobby with an old friend, a campaign strategist's wife needs a pair of black shoes, two campaign staff trip on LSD, a lounge singer is on the downhill slide. Through it all, we see and hear RFK calling for a better society and a better nation.

Director: Emilio Estevez
Writer: Emilio Estevez
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore and Sharon Stone
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Super (2010)

When sad-sack loser Frank sees his ex-addict wife willingly snatched by a seductive drug dealer, he finds himself bereft and wholly unable to cope. But soon he decides to fight back under the guise of a DIY superhero called Crimson Bolt. With a hand-made suit, a wrench, and a crazed sidekick named Boltie, the Crimson Bolt beats his way through the mean streets of crime in hopes of saving his wife. The rules were written a long time ago: You are not supposed to molest children, cut lines or key cars; if you do, prepare to face the wrath of the Crimson Bolt!

Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Stars: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page and Liv Tyler
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Daybreakers (2009)

In a world 10 years into the future, vampires make up the vast majority of the population with only 5% of the human race remaining. This presents particular challenges as the vampires' food supply - human blood - is dwindling and rationing is now the norm. There is growing evidence that vampires deprived of an adequate blood supply are themselves evolving into wild, vile creatures that attack anyone and anything in order to survive. Dr. Edward Dalton, a vampire and hematologist who works for a pharmaceutical firm, has been working on finding an artificial blood supply that will meet the vampire society's needs. He is sympathetic to humans and sees his work as a way of alleviating their suffering, but his views on finding a solution change considerably when he meets someone who found a way to transform himself from being a vampire to again take human form.

Directors: Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig
Writers: Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Devil's Rejects (2005)

Follows House of 1000 Corpses (2003). The tribe of violent lunatics and decidedly valueless family members of the original film, who have come to be known as the "Devil's Rejects." After learning of the extended family's horrific attacks, a SWAT team is sent to take them into custody; all but their crazed Mama escape. In addition to creating a full-fledged media circus, this sends the sociopath housemates, Otis and Baby, on the run, and they initiate a deadly road trip. Meanwhile, Mama has to deal with the violent Sheriff Wydell, who is seeking revenge for the death of his brother, Deputy George Wydell.

Director: Rob Zombie
Writers: Rob Zombie
Stars: Sid Haig, Sheri Moon Zombie and Bill Moseley
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House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

Followed by The Devil's Rejects (2005). Running low on gas as they travel the highways of America in search of the ultimate roadside attraction, a group of teens pull into Captain Spaulding's museum of oddities only to become obsessed with uncovering the mystery of a legendary local maniac known only as Dr. Satan. When an attractive and mysterious hitchhiker subsequently offers to give the thrill seekers a personal tour of Dr. Satan's old stabbing grounds, a breakdown forces them to take refuge with a group of menacing oddballs as a fearsome storm rages outside. As the evening progresses and the backwoods hosts' Halloween festivities become ever more threatening, the teens soon realize that the legend of Dr. Satan may hold a bit more contemporary weight than any of them had previously thought.

Director: Rob Zombie
Writer: Rob Zombie
Stars: Sid Haig, Karen Black and Bill Moseley
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Constant Gardener (2005)

In a remote area of Northern Kenya, activist Tessa Quayle is found brutally murdered. Tessa's companion, a doctor, appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Members of the British High Commission in Nairobi assume that Tessa's widower, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle, will leave the matter to them. They could not be more wrong. Haunted by remorse and jarred by rumors of his late wife's infidelities, Quayle surprises everyone by embarking on a personal odyssey that will take him across three continents. Using his privileged access to diplomatic secrets, he will risk his own life, stopping at nothing to uncover and expose the truth - a conspiracy more far-reaching and deadly than Quayle could ever have imagined.

Director: Fernando Meirelles
Writers: Jeffrey Caine (screenplay) and John le Carré (novel)
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz and Danny Huston
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Monsters (2010)

Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America. Soon after, new life form began to appear and half of Mexico was quarantined as an infected zone. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain "the creatures". Our story begins when an American journalist agrees to escort a shaken tourist through the infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.

Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Gareth Edwards
Stars: Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Conspiracy (2001)

The historical recreation of the 1942 Wannsee Conference, in which Nazi and SS leaders gathered in a Berlin suburb to discuss the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". Lead by SS-General Reinhard Heydrich, this group of high ranking German officials came to the historic and far reaching decision that the Jews of Europe were to be exterminated in what would come to be known as the Holocaust.

Director: Frank Pierson
Writer: Loring Mandel
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Clare Bullus and Stanley Tucci
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

In 1955, Bettie Page waits to testify before a Senate subcommittee investigating the effects of pornographic material on American adolescents and juveniles. In flashbacks, we see her childhood in Tennessee, a brief marriage, a gang rape, and her going to New York City in 1949. There she takes acting lessons, models for photos, and acts in short films for adults, earning the nickname, "The Pin-Up Queen of the Universe." We see her relationship with merchants Irving and Paula Klaw, photographers John Willie and Bunny Yeager, boyfriends, and the public. Through it all, she is wholesome, sporting, and forthright - Eve before the fall.

Director: Mary Harron
Writers: Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner
Stars: Gretchen Mol, Lili Taylor and Chris Bauer
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Black Sheep (2006)

Growing up on the family sheep farm was idyllic for smart, sensitive Harry Olfield, except for some knavish mischief from cocky brother Angus, until their dad has a fatal accident. Fifteen years later, Harry has finished sheep-phobia therapy and his ICT schooling and returns. Angus buys him out, all ready to present the genetically engineered Oldfield sheep he bred with a ruthless team. When environmentalist Grant steals a discarded embryo, which has sharp teeth, he gets bitten by it, and thus the first to be infected with predatory hunger and a mechanism that turns any mammal into a werewolf version. Running for the farm men, Grant's mate, student Experience, gets teamed up with Harry and his boorish but gentle pastoral youth friend Tucker. They must survive both the bloodthirsty sheep and their creators.

Director: Jonathan King
Writer: Jonathan King
Stars: Oliver Driver, Nathan Meister and Tammy Davis
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