Tag Archives: Cross Blogging

Friday Film Club: Hoodwinked! & Not Quite Hollywood

Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.

Kim’s Pick – Hoodwinked! (2005)

 

A 2005 independently produced computer animated family comedy film, Hoodwinked is surprisingly packed with a lot of vocal talent from renowned actresses and actors of today. Some of which perhaps not so much back in the mid 2000s. The cast includes Princess Diaries era Anne Hathaway who voices Little Red Riding Hood, Glenn Close as extreme sports loving Granny, Jim Belushi as German actor schnitzel selling Kirk the Woodsman and Emperor’s New Groove era’s Patrick Warburton as Wolf. While everyone here does a great job, its hard to not give special mention to Patrick Warburton who has such a unique voice that is perfect for not only voice work but narration of any sort (the latter is definitely the case for his latest work as Lemony Snick in Netflix series A Series of Unfortunate Events).

Hoodwinked tells a whodunnit story as four witnesses are being questioned by the police in hopes to catch the Bandit who has been stealing goodie recipes. As Red, Kirk the Woodsman, Wolf and Granny all end up in the same crime scene and each being suspected to be the Bandit, they each tell their side of their story of how they ended up at Granny’s house. Each of them have their own secrets and their own musical elements in their encounters full of silliness and comedic moments shaping their character and adding a twist to the retelling of the famous folktale of Little Red Riding Hood. It is further enhanced not only by its unique and creative execution, the exceptional humor as well as the dynamic cast that captures the heart of these animated characters.

Elwood’s Pick – Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild and Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008)

In the 1970’s Australian cinema broke through to an international audience  thanks to respectable arthouse fare like Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock while at the same time a new source of low budget exploitation film makers were also being pushed through with an eye for considerably less classy fare especially with the newly introduced R Rating allowing the boundaries to be pushed further than before and it’s these film makers whose story Mark Hartley’s documentary sets out to tell.

Shot over five years Harley compiled over 250 hours of interviews as well as an additional 100 hours of stock footage, the end result is unquestionably an exhaustive and indepth look at this largely unexplored area of exploitation cinema while at the same time providing like any good cinema documentary a shopping list of titles to hunt down.

Split into the three main categories of Sex, Violence and Horror it allows for the films to be grouped together while also meaning that if one area doesn’t interest you it’s self contained and easy to skip which for myself would be the Sex portion of the film which pales in comparison to the sheer insanity of what these Aussie directors were bringing to the action and horror genre like Mad Max director George Miller and especially Brian Trenchard-Smith who would give the world Australia’s only Kung-fu movie The Man From Hong Kong aswell as the Battle Royale esq Turkey Shoot and who by the end of the film might just be your new favourite cult director.

The interviews all provide fascinating insights with directors, actors and stunt man extrodinare Grant Page providing fantastic insights into the films with everyone seemingly looking back on the experience fondly no doubt because they managed to survive the experience especially when it seems that health and safety was never a real priority on any of these sets. Quentin Tarantino and James Wan meanwhile add to the experience with their fanboy enthusiasm for the genre which helped inspire their own films.

A fun and insightful documenty charting the rise and fall of the exploitation sub-genre while ending with a nod to the new breed of directors such as Leigh Whannell and Greg McLean who are leading a new wave of Australian cult cinema. Hartley would follow the documentary with Machette Maidens Unleashed! about Filipino exploitation cinema and Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films both which failed to hit the same notes as this film despite having their moments. Now if someone could just give a similar treatment for Canuxploitation cinema.

So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Round Up

Jason and Rachel are working their way through the Friday the 13th franchise in Maniac With A Machete: A Friday the 13th Limited Podcast

Emily and Christine revisit The Craft on The Feminine Critique

The Asian Cinema Film Club are checking out Ronny Yu’s Wuxia take on “Romeo and Juliet” with The Bride With White Hair

Zobo With A Shotgun continues her journey through the history of Extreme Cinema with the early 80’s and the Video Nasties scandal.

Gwelio Ramblings World Tour reaches Russia as Stephen looks at Russian Ark and Mirror

So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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Friday Film Club: Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart & World’s Greatest Dad

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Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.

Kim’s Pick – Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart (2013)

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Based on a concept album by French rock band Dionysus and the lead singer’s illustrated novel of the same name, Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart, originally titled Jack et la mecanique du coeur, translates to Jack and the Mechanics of the Heart which fits the story in this French animated fantasy film. The movie telling the story of a boy called Jack born on the coldest day of the year with a heart of ice. To save him, the midwife Madeleine decides to replace it with a cuckoo clock heart. With this new mechanical heart, he needs to guard three rules: never play with the hands of the clock; never lose his temper and never to fall in love. Of course, he inevitably meets by complete coincidence, a beautiful little girl singer called Acacia.

This little tale is packed with fantastical elements. For one, it wraps up a lot of familiar random people such as a world where his little search for Acacia ends up leading him to meet Georges Melies and Jack the Ripper to just name a few. With vibrant palette of colors that pop and a unique character designs and costumes and the backdrop itself, Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart packs in a lot of passion project elements and a stylish visual feast. The story might seem fairly normal but seeing as it is based on a concept album, the musical elements of this is absolutely awesome and might even make you want to seek out more of Dionysus’s music. While Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart has a rather predictable love story and it hits every bit of what you think might happen, but what truly stands out here is the imaginative details added in that makes it bizarre in a charming way.

Personally I’d recommend watching the original French version because then all the music and lyrics are the original version but they have made a rather competent English version as well with Samantha Barks (Eponine in Les Miserables) voicing Miss Acacia. Another reason to watch this original is because Mathias Malzieu, the lead singer of Dionysus in the original version doesn’t only co-direct, write the screenplay, created the music but also voices Jack. If you are looking for an imaginative adventure (more than just romance), this is definitely one to consider.

Elwood’s Pick: World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

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Don’t let the name fool you as this ain’t no saturnine sweet Hallmark movie about good parenting but rather another pitch black comedy with a heart from director Bobcat Goldthwait in which Robin Williams plays high school teacher and aspiring writer Lance Clayton who despite his best efforts has nothing to show for his efforts than a pile of rejection letters. Things only get worse when his son Kyle (Daryl Sabara) kills himself in an auto-eroticasphyxiation experiment goes astray. Attempts to cover up how his son really died, Lance instead makes his death look like a suicide. However when the suicide note Lance wrote gets leaked to the school he is soon faced with his son being painted as an intellectual saint rather than the foul mouthed underachiever he was when he was alive.

Essentially a play on the scandal which surrounded the fake rehab memoir A Million Little Pieces Goldthwait manages to once more manages to somehow deliver a black comedy which still manages to have a lot of heart as while on the surface it might seem that Lance is using this sudden interest in his writing to further his own causes especially when fuelled by students and teachers bombardng him with fake memories of his son while at the time finding a way to confront their own issues, so much so that he is soon writing a fake journal for Kyle as he continues to crave the second hand credit being heaped on his dead son. With this structure film provides an interesting commentary on posthumous celebrity which initially might come off crude for shock value especially as Kyle pre-death rains down on his father a continual onslaught of abuse, foul language and sexual references which makes you wonder how Lance has gone this long without killing him himself; However this only serves to make his death and fake legacy all the more effective

Originally Williams had intended to only make a cameo in the film as a favour to his long time friend Goldthwait only to end up playing the lead after he was so impressed with the script and while this might be more of a dramatic performance than Williams usual high energy comedic performances it’s one which really serves to balance the film out, especially when the supporting cast are such a colourful bunch oddballs and protagonists such as Lance’s flaky younger girlfriend Claire (Alexie Gilmore) whose romantic attachment seems to be to whoever is currently riding the way of success at that moment as she switches constantly between Lance and his writing rival and fellow teacher Mike (Henry Simmons).

Sure Goldthwait’s warped sense of humour might not be for all tastes but thanks to some smart writing and great performances throughout this film rises well above it’s bad taste foundations to once more create something truly unique that’s well worth discovering.

So you’ve heard our picks but what are your own movie watching plans for the weekend? Let us know in the comments section.

Friday Film Club

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Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.

Elwood’s Pick – The Tripper (2006)

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While David Arquette might be best known as a goofball actor and occasional wrestler even winning the WCW Heavyweight title in 2000 while promoting Ready To Rumble. However one of his lesser known achievements is his work as a director for which this fun slasher currently sits as his sole credit as a director with all of Arquette’s other work as a director being limited to directing episodes of CSI: Miami and Medium

Introducing one of Horror cinema’s more unique slashers as here a bunch of hippies attending the American Free Love Festival find themselves being stalked by a deranged Ronald Reagan obsessed killer as Arquette pays homage to the likes of Tobe Hooper and Wes Craven with this fun slasher which never takes itself too seriously but then how serious can you be when your killer is a guy dressed up in a Nixon mask grumbling about the Darn Hippies!

Sadly the film didn’t get enough of an audience to see Arquette’s plans for a sequel which would have seen his killer chasing more hippies around the Burning Man Festival in a film he tentatively had titled The Tripper 2: Burning Bush only making this more of a fun curiosity.

Kim’s Pick – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)

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Based on 2008’s historical novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows of the same name, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is directed by Mike Newell  who directed the likes of the 4th Harry Potter movie and Prince of Persia and something more along the lines of this film, Love in the Time of Cholera.

Period dramas are a beautiful subgenre of films. It usually boasts a great soundtrack and some beautiful costumes as well as an elegant story. Guernsey Literary has this in spades especially adding a picturesque setting like Guernsey which tells a current story of a letter reaching out for a book to an author and this spontanteous event that pulls her to discover the mystery during World War II: an left behind child, livelihoods taken away, fortified island and a missing friend. There is a depth to this story that the war brought this society together but also took things away from them and everyone is trying to live without thinking about it. In many ways, loss is not foreign to our main lead here and pairing with their fondness of literature, there is a real connection that immediately sparks and it is such an endearing feeling, which sadly is hindered by a misaligned expectation on her motive of being there.

That is the beauty of a wonderful period drama and especially the story adapted here. It brings along this wonderful sense of depth in its characters as we uncover their secrets and their pains and their hesitation but at the same time also seeing the connection between true soulmates and this romance that builds from being friends and understanding. The elegance of a period drama and the depth of the story is what makes this story stands out. Its both dramatic and romantic but so passionate and beautiful in so many of its scenes.

What You’ve Been Watching

Simplistic Reviews – Autopsy of Jane Doe

Stephen (Gweilo Ramblings / Asian Cinema Film Club) – Prevenge

Vern (Cinema Recall / Vern’s Video Vortex) – Species + Under the Skin

Zoe (Zobo With A Shotgun) – Big Mouth Valentine’s Day Special