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Tag Archives: 2000s

Non Ho Sonno (Sleepless) (2002): I’m Late, I’m Late for a Very Important Date

Non Ho Sonno (Sleepless) (Dario Argento, 2001)

[originally posted 22Nov2002]

A woman's eyes are the only visible part of her on the movie poster.

The eyes have it, as they often do on thriller posters.
photo credit: stuffpoint.com

Dario Argento moves back to giallo, which seems to have distressed a number of reviewers. He also didn’t take himself or the film too seriously, which seems to have distressed even more (one of the early gimmicks for the film was posting polls on its website asking the fans which methods of offing his characters they’d most like to see). Somewhat depressing, because they’re missing all the fun of this minor gem. To be fair, though, the fans don’t seem to be listening; this is Argento’s first film that’s been widely available in America since its video release in a number of years (possibly going back as far as 1983’s Creepers). Someone had to decide it needed to be on the new release shelf at your local vidshack. And more power to ‘em.

nonhosonno

Well, if you felt the need to sleep tonight… that’s gone. photo credit: bmoviezone.com

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Abenteuerliches Herz (2002): Gotos =/= Kalanda

Allerseelen, Abenteuerliches Herz (Aorta, 2002)

[originally posted 22Nov2002]

A phallic rock stands before a stone tablet on the album cover.

Where the demons dwell. Where the banshees live, and they do live well.
photo credit: deluidspreker.de

It pains me to write this…

Allerseelen first caught my attention seven years ago with the brilliant “Santa Sangre,” a contribution to the Im Blutfeuer compilation (Cthulhu, 1995). I picked up Ultra!’s comp, The Nitha Fields, based on the strength of it, and the two Allerseelen songs on it (“Alle Lust will Ewigkeit” and “Traumlied”) were similarly brilliant. So I acquired their latest album, Abenteuerlichers Herz (Adventurous Heart). And it is painful.

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Soul Survivors: The Killer Cut (2001): Solitary Fighter

Soul Survivors: The Killer Cut (Stephen Carpenter, 2001)

[originally posted 11Nov2002]

The four principals grace the movie's cover.

Did your movie flop at the box office? Try adding sex!
photo credit: ebay

Stephen Carpenter returns from a 15-year hiatus from directing (during which he wrote the screenplays to the muddled 1991 Dean Koontz adaptation The Servants of Twilight and the 1999 Hollywood smash Blue Streak) with Soul Survivors, released in R-rated form on video. (“The Killer Cut: More sex! More blood! More terror!”) It should probably tip you off that Carpenter’s three previous directorial efforts were The Power (1980), The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1981), and Kindred (1986). You probably never saw any of them. You’re a better person for that.

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Frailty (2001): Surprisingly Solid

Frailty (Bill Paxton, 2001)

[originally posted 11Nov2002]

That certainly does look like blood painting the lower half of his face...

Messy eaters never prosper.
photo credit: jengaloves.com

Given that Frailty is Bill Paxton’s big-screen directorial debut, and his first trip behind the camera at all in almost twenty years, it’s rather amazing how little press this movie actually got. The critics liked it overall, which is usually a bad sign, since the critics and the public agree on almost nothing. The advertising budget was woefully misused, and thus the film pretty much flopped when it came out (just over thirteen million on a budget of eleven). It’s a shame.

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Liberty Stands Still (2002): At Least She’s Not in a Phone Booth

Liberty Stands Still (Kari Skogland, 2002)

[originally posted 11Nov2002]

Wesley Snipes and Linda Fiorentino each get about half of the DVD cover's real estate.

The tension’s so thick you can cut it with a large red wedge.
photo credit: Wikipedia

This movie, whose US run was a stint at the Palm Springs Film Festival, is hard evidence that even if you’re on the A-list, they still won’t release everything you make. Wesley Snipes heads up this thriller, backed by B-listers Linda Fiorentino and Oliver Platt, and still the biggest market it played was Italy. (Its Japanese release was also limited.)

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Red Dragon (2002): Coattails

Red Dragon (Brett Ratner, 2002)

[originally posted 4Nov2002]

Francis Dolarhyde's inked back dominates the movie poster.

Not too red, but definitely horny.
photo credit: impawards.com

It is the rare film that succeeds not because of its director, but in spite of him. The latest of such films is Red Dragon, a thriller helmed by a comedy director (Ratner is best known for the Jackie Chan vehicle Rush Hour and its sequel). It also succeeds in spite of there already being a perfectly capable adaptation of the book in Michael Mann’s wonderfully impressionist Manhunter (1986). It succeeds for one reason: The Silence of the Lambs.

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Apocalypse Now Redux (2001): Director’s Mutt

Apocalypse Now Redux (Francis Ford Coppola, 2001)

[originally posted 28Mar2002]

The movie poster for Redux is identical to the original, except with the word "Redux" added.

Run through the jungle. For another hour.
photo credit: fansshare.com

It is a long-known fact of Hollywood life that directors and studios are most at each others’ throats when it comes time to edit a film for final release. Judging by the various directors’ cuts I’ve seen over the years, ninety-nine percent of the time, the director is right (anyone who’s seen both the theatrical release and directors’ cut versions of Profondo Rosso knows exactly what I’m getting at, and it’s hard to argue with the superiority of directors’-cut releases of such films as Aliens, Bladerunner, etc.). One percent of the time, the director is wrong. Francis Ford Coppola’s new, fifty-three-minute-longer, cut of Apocalypse Now rides right on the line.

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