Thursday, February 18, 2010

What I Saw This Week - 8 Movies Worth Watching

Badlands (Terence Malick/1974)Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek are brilliant as young lovers who embark on a killing spree across the Midwest in this seventies shocker. Loosely based on the Starkweather-Fugate killing spree of the 1950's, in which a teenage girl and her twenty-something boyfriend slaughtered her entire family and several others, Badlands is a gripping, provocative depiction of unfeeling, psychotic behavior from one of Hollywood’s most famous and under-rated icons. One of the most influential films of its decade, it remains as fundamentally shocking as when it premiered.

Danny Boy (Neil Jordan/1984) – Outside a country dance club in Ireland, a young saxophone player (Stephen Rea) experiences psychological and emotional anguish after witnessing the brutal murder of his band manager and a mute girl (Veronica Quilligan) on a night of violence. He then proceeds on a vengeful trial after the culprits. Also known as the Angel, this was the directorial debut of Oscar winner Neil Jordan (Crying Game, Mona Lisa, Company of Wolves) and was executive produced by the John Boorman (Deliverance).

Frantic (Roman Polanski/1987)Harrison Ford is a prominent doctor whose wife is kidnapped in Paris during a convention visit and he spends the majority of the movie trying to find her in a land of nonchalantly snotty French people and babes in leather miniskirts (specifically Emmanuelle Seigner, director Polanskis’ then luscious squeeze). A critical success, the action boasts some vintage Polanski-style tension and you will also enjoy Ennio Morricone's atmospheric score.

Gallipoli (Peter Weir/1981) – Directed by the Oscar nominated Aussie new wave specialist – Peter Weir (Witness, Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show), this is a story of how the irresistible lure of adventure and the unknown combined with national pride brings 2 men together in the Australian army during the First World War in 1915 Turkey. This film was well received by cine critics and was also a box office hit but still missed by many across the Atlantic. With spectacular war scenes, this was also incidentally then the most expensive movie to be made down under. Aussie superstar Mel Gibson was also first noticed here.

Gorky Park (Michael Apted/1983) – An ice cold thriller set in the former Soviet Union about a murder of 3 people whose faces and fingers are removed to prevent identification. William Hurt stars as Moscow’s chief homicide investigator who must solve the bizarre puzzle despite its internal and international ramifications besides threat to his career and life. Prolific British Director Apted (The World Is Not Enough, Gorillas in the Mist) succeeds in capturing the paranoia of life behind the iron curtain yet fails in depicting everyday life in Moscow, a major strength of the Martin Cruz Smith best seller on which it is based. However, it’s a solid thriller, worth a watch. Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy and a sultry Joanna Pacula provide company.

Hitcher (Robert Harmon/1986) – Pretty boy C. Thomas Howell turns mean after making the mistake of picking up psychotic hitchhiker Rutger Hauer. What follows is an intense cat and mouse chase through the desert that reminiscent of Spielberg’s equally satisfying Duel. Rutger Hauer is menacing and truly makes his presence felt, something that was sorely missing in Sean Bean in the 2007 remake. A very young Jennifer Jason Leigh also co-stars in this cult classic.

Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon, 1985) – Dr. Herbert West (a superb Jeffrey Combs) has a special serum in his little doctor bag that brings the dead things back to life. H.P. Lovecraft's story of power, greed and insatiable horror is captured with a stark humor visually unmatched and direly needed in most horror movies today. A genuine pulpy Horror classic, it certainly deserves its cult status.

Siesta (Mary Lambert/1987) – MTV Director Mary Lambert made her debut feature in this surreal often pretentious fantasy set in Spain based on the Patrice Chaplin’s sex and death novel. Ellen Barkin wears a red dress (when she’s not running around naked) as she searches for a mysterious lover (Gabriel Bryne) amid endless plot contortions. Often visually splendid enhanced by a nice Miles Davis jazzy score, Siesta is stolen by Jodie foster who plays a Brit-inflected yup. Martin Sheen, Julian Sands, Grace Jones and Isabella Rossellini also co-star.

Some FREE Movie Download Links that I could gather from the web
Badlands - Link 1, Link 2
Gallipoli - Link1, Link 2
Re-animator - Link1, Link 2, Link 3


  1. thanks for the Re-Animator links. indeed a true cult movie. it was great.


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