Borgman

CA WINTER SOLDIER discs

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Captain America: The Winter Soldier Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) is still trying to fit in to the modern world while working for SHIELD on a regular basis. His latest mission leads to yet another conflict with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) over his and SHIELD’s priorities and methods in fighting the war on terror. Rogers thinks criminals should be punished after a crime has been committed, but Fury says they can’t afford to wait that long. The arrival on scene of a mysterious and legendary assassin, the Winter Soldier, shakes things up even further, and soon Captain America is fighting not only for the lives of millions but for his past, his integrity, and every core belief he holds dear. I usually reserve the “Pick of the Week” spot for a great title in need of more press, but hot damn do I love this flick. If you’ve followed my reviews here over the years you know I’m no easy mark for Marvel or other big movies, but there’s not a dull minute to be found here between the expertly crafted action sequences, plot revelations lifted equally out of the comic books and the New York Times, character moments and legitimately funny laughs. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is big, spectacular entertainment that manages to stay grounded even as the action turns to explosive spectacle. It’s the kind of summer […]

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2014-halfway-best

2014 is half over, and while that means we’re still six months away from our official ‘Best Of’ lists it also means it’s time to point out several great movies that you may very well have missed so far. Granted, if you’re a regular reader here at FSR than you’ve probably already heard us praising some or all of the films below, but either way the list of films here should serve as a guide of movies to seek out when you’re in the mood for something other than studio releases. As we did last year Landon Palmer and I have selected ten fantastic films from the past six months that we think deserve more attention than they received. It’s worth noting though that we’re not including festival-only titles and instead are limiting ourselves to small releases that have had some degree of exposure in theaters or on VOD. This made it a little bit tougher as half of my own top ten of 2014 so far only played Sundance (or other fests) while the other half are wide releases. But while these ten films may not be the ten best of the year so far they are great movies well worth watching.

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Borgman

Here in Austin (home base of Film School Rejects) there’s a saying that fills the majority of bumper stickers: Keep Austin Weird. It was originally coined as a way to speak to supporting local business. Some people — mostly gosh-damn hipsters — take it a little too far and are just weird. It’s a weird place with weird people. And the companies that exist here are a little weird sometimes, too. Few are weirder (and more beloved for it) than our friends at the Alamo Drafthouse and Mondo. When it comes to picking movies to distribute and champion, they’ve got a taste that goes beyond eclectic. It’s downright strange at times. As is the case with the dark suburban fable Borgman, the tale of an “enigmatic vagrant who enters the lives of an upper-class family and quickly unravels their carefully curated lifestyle.” What sounds like the setup for an Adam Sandler comedy or an Arrested Development meta-movie featuring homeless dad is far more deranged in this particular case.  Seriously, you have to watch the trailer for this thing. Even then, you might not entirely believe it exists. But it does. And to celebrate, we’re giving away a coveted nerd item: a Borgman Mondo poster by artist Jay Shaw. More details after we subject you to the Borgman trailer below.

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borgman 01

Editor’s note: Our review of Borgman originally ran during last year’s Cannes Film Festival, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in limited release. Alex van Warmerdam‘s Borgman is the first Dutch film to play In Competition at Cannes in just shy of 40 years, and with its daring, deeply dark yet also rib-ticklingly amusing subject matter it unquestionably proves the country’s cinematic worthiness. Early reviews emerging from the Croisette have already compared the film to both Yorgos Lanthimos’s Dogtooth, and the more severe works of Michael Haneke, two touchstones that absolutely hit the mark. Borgman is absolutely a film best approached with only a cursory knowledge of its plot — not that van Warmerdam gives much away himself. The opening images show a disheveled middle-aged man, Borgman (Jan Bijvoet), being disturbed while sleeping in an underground compartment, at which point he flees and knocks on the door of married couple Richard (Jeroen Perceval) and Marina (Hadewych Minis). Richard turns him away after administering a harsh beating, but Marina takes sympathy and allows him to recuperate in the guest wing. However, little does she know quite what she has invited into her home. 

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The Purge 2

October may be the official month of horror movies, with a pillowcase of spooky releases slated just before Halloween each year, but that doesn’t mean you are free from cinematic terror in the off-season. Especially since the summer has become an unexpected time slot for surprise horror hits like The Conjuring. This summer’s crop of horror films features a number of film festival selections as well as films from popular horror directors like Ti West, Scott Derrickson and the Dowdle Brothers. If you’d like a quick refresher on what horror films to expect for the next few months, or if you just want to watch the trailers that will haunt your late-night television commercials now and get it over with, here’s a list with their unnerving trailers attached. Keep in mind that the dates listed below are for the U.S., though if the films are successful enough, they’ll surely be available eventually wherever you are. You can’t hide:

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Cannes 2013

The Cannes Film Festival is all wrapped up for another year; the awards have been given out, and pundits are busy working out what’s going to go the distance in the coming awards season, and what will fall by the wayside. In my first time at Cannes, I managed to watch 41 films, including all 20 films In Competition, and have arrived at the 10 films that I feel were the best of show. Put simply, these are ones to watch out for:

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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