Sunday, September 27, 2009

Torrent Picks 9/27/09

Well this is once again time to sit down and come up with 5 films that hopefully all of you will have not seen, and will enjoy once you do, after all that is my goal with all of this, to broaden your cinematic horizons, so, with that said, lets get right back into it after missing last week shall we?

American Gangster: This is one of those films that was hyped beyond belief, and lived up to that hype, but soon faded into obscurity, its noted for the fact its one of the very few true to history depictions of an of the American mobsters of note. It tells the story of Frank Lucas, the heir apparent to the rule of Harlem in the wake of the death of legendary gangster Bumpy Johnson, who is kind of a folk hero of sorts, this film follows the rise and fall of Frank Lucas, which is in fact the tale of a cat and mouse style situation between Frank Lucas and police officer Richie Roberts, who dispite having a really silly name, is the only cop with enough heart to even attempt to go into Harlem and take down Lucas. The film follows their lives both personal, and at odds, as you see that they aren't really all that different from each other. Which really is a great concept, it proves that even in reality, that sort of story happens. It follows the two as they one up each other and eventually make attempts on each others lives, all the way to the very, where Lucas is sent to jail and finally Lucas' release from jail in the early 1990s. Its a brilliant film but also very over looked inspite of its high profile and promotional material being all over the place.

All About Eve: This is one of those classic films that is full of iconic imagery and performances, like, the kind of thing you watch and you know that its important that you watch it, that you have seen it, and you fully understand the film. Here is the plot; At first Margo Channing (Bette Davis) is amused at the admiration of her fan Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), but enjoying the attention, hires her as her personal assistant. Margo is a great stage actress and her success blinds her to the fact that Eve us using Margo to advance her own career dreams to become an actress, too. Eve first makes plans for Margo's personal engagements, but always makes herself look like the one who was thoughtful and kind. By winning over Margo's friends, they dismiss Margo's concerns that Eve is up trying to undermine her. Then, Eve works on Margo's professional life, showing manager, directors and playwrights that she is very sharp and a quick study. By the time Margo is trying to get Eve out of her life, she is hired as her understudy for the most important part in a play she has ever had. Now the competition is on to see who is the greater actress and who will fail. Seriously if you haven't see this, you gotta.

Corpse Bride: This is one of my favorite claymation films of all time, its just so amazing, and bright and beautiful, even for a film about a man that marries a dead body. Its just a delightful bit of work and I can sit and watch it over and over and over, and never be bored with it, I love that in a film. Its cute enough to keep all ages happy, and its beautiful enough for everyone from the truly dark inside, to the lovers of wonder, to enjoy, here is the plot: In a Victorian era town, the Everglots, a family of recently bankrupt aristocrats, reluctantly agree to marry off their daughter Victoria to the timid Victor Van Dort, son of nouveau riche fishmongers. Despite their initial uneasiness about the situation, having never before met, Victor and Victoria hit it off immediately. Unfortunately, after his clumsiness ruins their wedding rehearsal (accidentally lighting Victoria's mother's dress on fire), Victor is banished until he can learn to recite his wedding vows properly. Victor wanders deep into the forest while practicing, eventually performing a flawless mock recital. In doing so, he places his bride’s wedding ring on a tree root resembling a human hand. However, it turns out it is a hand, which comes to life and grabs Victor by the arm. Emerging from the earth is Emily, the "Corpse Bride," a beautiful undead girl in a moldy bridal gown who declares Victor her husband. From there all sorts of hilariously odd things happen and its just lots of fun for everyone involved. Its great too because its true to the fairy tale I'm told its based on, which, I'm informed is Estonian. It even has the old world concept that a woman that is brutally murdered by her husband or a rapist or lover, will be reborn as a butterfly... which is a beautiful touch.

The Getaway: This is one of my very favorite of all Steve McQueen films, and thats something because I'm a huge Steve McQueen fan. I mean really he's a god of film and awesome to me. Anyway, here is the plot to this film: Carter "Doc" McCoy (McQueen), an incarcerated criminal, is suffering from the isolation of prison life in Texas. After being denied parole, he sends his wife Carol (McGraw) to do whatever's necessary to make a deal with Jack Benyon (Johnson), a corrupt businessman in San Antonio. Benyon has Doc paroled on the condition that he take part in a bank robbery with two of his minions, Rudy (Al Lettieri) and Frank (Bo Hopkins). A guard is killed and Rudy attempts a doublecross, shooting Frank and drawing a gun on Doc, but a prepared Doc beats him to the draw and shoots Rudy several times. Doc meets with Benyon to divide the money. Benyon also attempts to doublecross him before being shot and killed by Carol. It is clear to Doc now that Carol had to sleep with Benyon in order to guarantee his release from prison. Angry and taking it out on her, Doc gathers up the money and the couple flees for the border in El Paso. A bloodied Rudy, having secretly worn a bulletproof vest, is still alive. He forces a rural veterinarian named Harold (Jack Dodson) and his young wife Fran (Sally Struthers) to treat his injuries, then kidnaps them in order to pursue Doc and Carol. Meanwhile, Benyon's brother Cully (Roy Jenson) and his thugs also go after the McCoys. Doc and Carol fight over her indiscretion with Benyon. At the train station, a shifty con man copies a locker key from Carol and lifts their bag of money from a locker. Doc follows the thief onto a train and forcefully takes it back. The injured con man and several witnesses are taken to the police station, where they identify Doc's mug shot. From here the film goes into fast gear and it just brings from a smart and just amazing ride to an awesome and unforgettable end.

The Secret of NIMH: This is, by far one of my favorite films of all time, its one of my favorite books, and one of my favorite cartoons, plus its by forgotten genius Don Blooth, who doesn't get as much respect as he should. Here is the plot: Mrs. Brisby, a shy and timid field mouse, lives in a cinder block with her children on the Fitzgibbons' farm. She is preparing to move her family out of the field they live in as plowing time approaches; however, her son Timothy has fallen ill. She visits Mr. Ages, another mouse and old friend of her late husband, who provides her with some medicine from his laboratory. Mr. Ages warns her that Timothy cannot go outside for at least three weeks or he will die. On her way back home she encounters Jeremy, a clumsy but compassionate crow. The next day spring plowing begins, and though Mrs. Brisby is able to stop the tractor, she knows she must come up with another plan. With the help of Jeremy she visits the Great Owl, a wise creature living in the nearby woods, to ask for help. He tells her to visit a mysterious group of rats who live beneath a rose bush on the farm and ask for Nicodemus. Mrs. Brisby goes to the rats' home, where she is amazed to see their use of electricity and other human technology. She meets Nicodemus, the wise and mystical leader of the rats, and Justin, an extremely kind and friendly rat who is the Captain of the Guards. She learns that her late husband, along with the rats and Mr. Ages, was a part of a series of experiments at a place known as NIMH (which stands for the National Institute of Mental Health). The experiments had boosted their intelligence to human level, allowing them to easily escape. However, the rats have concocted "The Plan", which is to leave the farm and live without stealing electiricity from humans. Nicodemus then gives Mrs. Brisby an amulet that gives magical power when its wearer is courageous. Because of her husband's prior relationship with the rats, they agree to help Mrs. Brisby move her home out of the path of the plow. Mrs. Brisby volunteers to drug the Fitzgibbon's cat, Dragon, so that they can complete the move safely. Only mice are small enough to fit through the mouse hole leading to the house, and Jonathan was killed by Dragon while trying. Later that night, she successfully puts the drug into the cat's food dish, but the Fitzgibbon's son Billy catches her and convinces his mother to let him keep her as a pet. While trapped in a birdcage, she overhears a telephone conversation between Mr. Fitzgibbon and NIMH and learns that NIMH intends to come to the farm to exterminate the rats the next day. She manages to escape from the cage and runs off to warn Justin. Meanwhile, the rats are completing the move during a thunderstorm. However, Jenner and his hesitant accomplice Sullivan, who wish to remain in the rose bush, kill Nicodemus, making it look like an accident. Mrs. Brisby arrives and tries to convince the rats that NIMH is coming and that they must leave immediately. Jenner becomes angry and knocks her down. Justin rushes to Mrs. Brisby's aid, and a sword fight between him and Jenner ensues, which ends with Sullivan, himself mortally wounded, killing Jenner and saving Justin's life. Mrs. Brisby suddenly realizes that the house is sinking in the mud it landed in. Despite the best efforts of the rats, they are unable to pull it from the mud. However, Mrs. Brisby's will to save her children gives power to the amulet, which she uses to lift the house out of the mud and move it to safety from the plow. The next morning, the rats have already gone to Thorn Valley with Justin as their new leader and Timothy has begun to recover. Jeremy also finds "Miss Right", an equally clumsy crow, and the two fly away together.

And there we are, some more of the best movies i've ever seen, i hope you enjoy :D



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