Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with Liam Neeson serving up bloody retribution in cinemas while home entertainment delivers a bloody hilarious time-travelling caper!
Thursday February 7th
Filmmaker Hans Petter Moland (A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH) helms this international remake of his own 2014 Norwegian feature, IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE. Starring box office dependable Liam Neeson, COLD PURSUIT is a revenge-thriller that differs from Neeson’s most recent work in that it blends its vigilante violence with tongue-in-cheek humour. Similar in tone to the Coen Brothers’s crime thrillers, FARGO and BLOOD SIMPLE, though lacking the subtlety, COLD PURSUIT is a fast-paced and fulfilling two hours of cinematic retribution. Welcome to Kehoe, it’s -10 degrees and counting at this glitzy ski resort in the Rocky Mountains. The local police aren’t used to much action until the son of unassuming town snowplow driver, Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson), is murdered at the order of Viking (Tom Bateman), a flamboyant drug lord. Fueled by rage and armed with heavy machinery, Nels sets out to dismantle the cartel one man at a time, but his understanding of murder comes mainly from what he read in a crime novel. As the bodies pile up, his actions ignite a turf war between Viking and his long-standing rival White Bull (Tom Jackson), a soulful Native-American mafia boss, that will quickly escalate and turn the small town’s bright white slopes blood-red.
From filmmaker Adam Robitel (INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY, THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN) comes this psychological horror that combines elements of CUBE and SAW into a swift 100 minutes of slicing and dicing. Six strangers find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to find the clues or die.
Wednesday February 6th
MEGA TIME SQUAD
A light-hearted, absurd and uniquely New Zealand time-travelling caper that takes a premise like PRIMER and plays it out as a disorganised crime romp. A small-town criminal finds an ancient Chinese time-travel device that can help him pull off a heist and start a new life-but he may not survive the consequences of tampering with time. The Castle meets Looper, Mega Time Squad is a study in high-meets-low, combining elements of the sci-fi, the crime thriller and the comedy to make a comedy heist film with a time-traveling twist. Madman Entertainment’s DVD features an Alternate Intro and Deleted Scenes.
A hypnotic and magnificent masterwork from visionary filmmaker Nicolas Roeg (DON’T LOOK NOW), that weaves harsh survivalist drama with strange poetic beauty. Under the pretence of having a picnic, a geologist (John Meillon) takes his teenage daughter (Jenny Agutter) and 6-year-old son (Lucien John) into the Australian outback and attempts to shoot them. When he fails, he turns the gun on himself and the two city-bred children must contend with harsh wilderness alone. They are saved by a chance encounter with an Aboriginal boy (David Gulpilil) who helps them survive, and in the process underscores the disharmony between nature and modern life. Making its Australian hi-def debut courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment, WALKABOUT features a stunning remastered transfer and an Audio Commentary with filmmaker Roeg and actress Jenny Agutter.
Despite an interesting concept, this tech-come-paranoia thriller starring Christina Ricci and John Cusack fails to deliver, lacking suspense and depth backed by DTV production values, this is a Sunday afternoon Netflix watch at best. In an attempt to find the perfect home, Lauren and her husband move to a luxury condo boasting ultra-modern design and state-of-the-art security systems. While the couple settle into their new high-tech apartment, Lauren begins to experience disturbing and inexplicable occurrences. She suspects the building may have a dark secret and seeks the help of an investigative journalist with an interest in cyber conspiracy. Together they set out on a dangerous, mind-bending crusade pitting Lauren against her friends, her psychiatrist and her husband.
Making its international Blu-ray debut, Cinema Cult bring Brett Leonard’s HIDEAWAY back from obscurity and onto disc for local audiences to savour/endure once more. Upon revisiting HIDEAWAY, it’s easy to see why this film has fallen through the cracks in the last twenty-odd years, it’s indicative of Leonard’s prior work THE LAWNMOWER MAN and THE DEAD PIT, in that never finds a comfortable balance between style or substance, in fact substance is what is sorely lacking in HIDEAWAY. However it is to Leonard’s credit that his film features one of cinema’s greatest rarities, an uncharismatic performance from the (almost) always affable Jeff Goldblum. It’s not all bad though as the film does reunite both Alicia Silverstone and Jeremy Sisto a year after their breakthrough feature, CLUELESS, and the predatory relationship that was established in that film is blown sky-high in this one. Hatch Harrison (Jeff Goldblum), his wife, Lindsey (Christine Lahti), and their daughter, Regina (Alicia Silverstone), are enjoying a pleasant drive when a car crash leaves wife and daughter unharmed but kills Hatch. However, an ingenious doctor, Jonas Nyebern (Alfred Molina), manages to revive Hatch after two lifeless hours. But Hatch does not come back unchanged. He begins to suffer horrible visions of murder – only to find out the visions are the sights of a serial killer (Jeremy Sisto).
Cinema Cult’s second release for the month is Tom Holland’s seminal 1985 classic FRIGHT NIGHT. As much a love letter to Hammer as it is to Hitchcock, FRIGHT NIGHT is a perfect blend of horror and humour. He’s sweet, sexy, and he likes to get in late. You might think he’s the perfect neighbour. But before inviting him Jerry in for a nightcap, theres something you should know. Jerry prefers his drinks warm, red, and straight from the jugular! It’s FRIGHT NIGHT, a horrific howl starring Chris Sarandon as the seductive vampire and William Ragsdale as the frantic teenager struggling to keep Jerrys deadly fangs out of his neck. Only 17-year-old Charley Brewster (Ragsdale) knows Jerry’s bloodcurdling secret. When Charley cant get anybody to believe him, he turns to TV horror host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), who used to be the Great Vampire Killer of the movies. Can these mortals save Charley and his sweetheart Amy (Amanda Bearse) from the wrathful bloodsuckers toothy embrace? If you love being scared, FRIGHT NIGHT will give you the nightmare of your life!
Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.