Grim Pickings

Grim Pickings for Cinema & Home Entertainment this week…

04 July 2017

GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with the theatrical release of a razor sharp suspense horror and a home entertainment debut of a Dario Argento rarity on DVD!

In Cinemas

Thursday July 6th
Award-winning filmmaker Trey Edward Shults follows his breakout debut, KRISHA with the psychological horror thriller IT COMES AT NIGHT, centring on a teenaged boy (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) as he grapples with mounting terrors—external and otherwise—in the aftermath of an unnamed cataclysm. Secure within a desolate home with his vigilant, protective and heavily armed parents (Joel Edgerton & Carmen Ejogo), 17-year-old Travis navigates fear, grief and paranoia amid scarce resources as a desperate young couple (Christopher Abbott & Riley Keough) seeks refuge in his family home with their young child. Despite the best intentions of both families, panic and mistrust boil over as the horrors of the outside world creep ever closer. But they are nothing compared to the horrors within, where Travis discovers that his father’s commitment to protecting the family may cost him his soul.

Actor Tom Holland is the third actor to don the famed web-slinger’s get-up in less than fifteen years but after his brief debut in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, we’re confident he may just stick! Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

CHICKEN PEOPLE (Limited Release)
Holding the rarest of honours, a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, CHICKEN PEOPLE is a documentary that seems too strange to be true and is more akin to a Christopher Guest film than any other documentary we’ve ever seen! Chicken may be just food for most people, but raising the perfect chicken is an all-consuming passion for some. Chicken People takes a charming and fascinating look at the colourful and hugely competitive world of champion show chicken breeders. A real life “Best in Show” – but about chickens – the film follows the struggles and triumphs of both humans and their chickens on the road to compete at the Ohio National Poultry Show, considered the Westminster of Chickens.

Home Entertainment

Wednesday July 5th
After premiering recently at DARK MOFO in its newly restored transfer, Rowan Wood’s screen adaptation of Gordon Graham’s award-winning stage play, remains every bit as powerful and disturbing as it did when it released almost twenty years ago. Brett Sprague returns to his family home after twelve months in jail. Things have changed while he has been away – his brother Glenn has moved out with his girlfriend Jackie, younger brother Stevie’s pregnant girlfriend Nola now lives with the family, and his mother Sandra has taken on a Maori drifter. Re-united with his brothers, Brett uses his first day back to restore order.
Making its high-def debut locally, Guillermo del Toro’s 2001 feature, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE arrives courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment loaded with special feature content and with all-new artwork by Simon Sherry. Set during the final week of the Spanish Civil War,THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE tells the tale of Carlos (Fernando Tielve), a young boy who, after his freedom-fighting father is killed, is sent to a haunted rural orphanage full of terrible secrets. A haunting combination of gothic ghost story, murder mystery, and historical melodrama The Devil’s Backbone is a spine-tingling tale, revealing that the scariest monsters are often the human ones.
Also making its high-debut locally courtesy of Cinema Cult is AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON, similar to THE KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE that came ten years prior, it’s a sketch-based parody film. Only this time it’s a send up of late night television programming with segments directed by John Landis (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, THE BLUES BROTHERS) & Joe Dante (GREMLINS, THE HOWLING) amongst others. Centred around a television station which features a 1950s-style sci-fi movie interspersed with a series of wild commercials, wacky shorts and weird specials, this lampoon of contemporary life and pop culture skewers some of the silliest spectacles ever created in the name of entertainment. A cult classic this is a truly outrageous look at the best of the worst that television has to offer.
After making its international festival rounds last year, the western/thriller BRIMSTONE featuring an all-star including Guy Pierce, Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning arrives on home entertainment this week. Liz (Dakota Fanning) is a mute young woman who lives together with her husband and two children. She is a midwife and communicates through sign language, sometimes assisted by her daughter. Her relationship with her 14 year old son could be better, but otherwise Liz’s life seems pretty good. When the new reverend (Guy Pearce) climbs the pulpit in church, Liz freezes. She immediately knows she and her family are in danger. In four chapters we see not only how the reverend tries to take everything Liz loves away from her, but also how her life has unfolded in the past.
Acclaimed documentarian Sally Aitken turns her sights on revered Australian film critic David Stratton for A CINEMATIC LIFE, a feature-length exploration of his life, his career and his perspective on the ever-changing art and industry of Australian cinema. Paired with the extended television mini-series STORIES OF AUSTRALIAN CINEMA that recently aired on the ABC, this two-disc set is a must for fans of Australian cinema. A CINEMATIC LIFE: Revered critic David Stratton tells the glorious story of Australian cinema, focusing in on the films that captured the nation’s true nature with candour, emotion and humour that they still knock us for a six. David is superbly qualified for this task. While he adapted to a new country and turned his passion for cinema into a profession as a film festival director and film critic, a growing band of courageous Australians turned their enthusiasm for storytelling into an extraordinary body of work. This is their story and his. STORIES OF AUSTRALIAN CINEMA: In this landmark television series, David Stratton selects even more films that influenced the country and his own life. The three episodes focus on Gamechangers, Outsiders and Family. The series allows a more in depth look at the films that changed the way the world saw us and how we saw ourselves. This is a series that will make everybody realise just how much they love Australian films and provoke a desire to revisit many forgotten favourites.
Cinema Cult’s second release this week is another high-def debut locally, acclaimed director George Roy Hill’s screen adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s classic novel. Billy Pilgrim (Michael Sacks) is an ordinary World War II soldier with one major exception: he has mysteriously become unstuck in time. Billy goes on an uncontrollable trip back and forth from his birth in New York to life on a distant planet and back again to the horrors of the 1945 fire-bombing of Dresden. This dazzling and thought-provoking drama co-stars Ron Leibman and Valerie Perrine.
Penned by the legendary Dario Argento a year before he directed THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, PROBABILITY ZERO (aka HEROES NEVER DIE aka OPERATION RED POINT) stars genre luminary Henry Silva and arrives locally on DVD courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment. Europe, WWII. When an Allied Spitfire plane containing important radar equipment is shot down and crashes over Norway the desperate German forces set their sights on it, knowing that they could finally win the war with such advanced technology. Holding one of the injured pilots captive, it is only a matter of time before the enemy force him to repair the damaged radar. But Duke (chiseled-face Henry Silva, Johnny Cool, Code of Silence) is tasked with the job of leading a strike force to track down and destroy the radar before it is restored. Joined by a ruthless bunch of Norwegian guerrillas they are on a perilous mission to stop the Nazis before they win the war!