Import This!

Great movies come from all around the world, and so do great DVDs and Blu-rays. Import This! is an irregular feature here at FSR that highlights discs and/or movies unavailable in the US that are worth seeking out for fans of fantastic cinema. Jim Carrey was one of the biggest box-office draws in Hollywood once upon a time, but recent years have seen a perceived slide in popularity. ‘Perceived’ because his last two live-action comedies aren’t considered hits by many people, but they collectively grossed over $400 million worldwide. And yet his latest comedy, one that’s both critically acclaimed and the funniest film he’s done in years, can’t find a distributor in the US. Steven Russell (Carrey) is a god-fearing, happily married family man. Except that he isn’t. A near-death experience forces him to re-evaluate his life and be true to who he really is… and that’s a gay man with flexible morals. Russell heads off to Miami, falls for a younger man, and proceeds to scam and con his way into a lifestyle that he can’t actually afford. His world crashes down when he’s arrested and thrown in jail, but his spirits are soon lifted when he meets and falls madly in love with Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). His number one priority becomes staying in Morris’ life, and if that means using his conman skills to arrange transfers, early releases, new homes, and more, then that’s a risk he’ll happily assume for love.

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Great movies come from all around the world, and so do great DVDs and Blu-rays. Import This! is an irregular feature here at FSR that highlights discs and/or movies unavailable in the US that are worth seeking out for fans of fantastic cinema. A proactive Chinese emperor develops his own secret service protection unit in the form of street orphans trained to be elite martial artists. The Jinyiwei are the best of the best which makes their team leader, Qinglong (Donnie Yen), the best of the best of the best. Which is pretty damn good. As leader of the guard, his weapons of choice are the fourteen titular blades he wears on his back. Why fourteen? Glad you asked… eight of them are to be used for interrogation and persuasion, while the remaining six are reserved for killing. The team answers to no one but the emperor himself until an evil eunuch (can you blame the guy?) secretly takes control of the court. Qinglong soon stands as the only member of the Jinyiwei remaining loyal to the emperor, and in an effort to restore him to power Qinglong will have to fight his way through the evil eunuch (seriously, can you blame him?), an outside prince (Sammo Hung) hoping to take the throne, and the most feared fighters in the kingdom… the other members of the Jinyiwei. Check after the jump to see why 14 Blades may be worth an import…

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Great movies come from all around the world, and so do great DVDs and Blu-rays. Import This! is an irregular feature here at FSR that highlights discs and/or movies unavailable in the US that are worth seeking out for fans of fantastic cinema. Solomon Kane is good fun for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this type of film just doesn’t get made that often anymore. Swords, sorcery, monsters… there was a time when these flicks were commonplace, and that time was the 80′s. Movies like The Beastmaster, The Sword & the Sorcerer, Conan the Barbarian, and others are rollicking adventures made by people with a strong love for the genre, and Michael J. Bassett’s Solomon Kane fits in perfectly with the best of them. Solomon Kane walks away from his father’s kingdom as a child and grows into a murderous mercenary who acts with greed and without conscience. His selfish ways meet their match though when the devil comes seeking his soul, but Kane escapes the demon’s wrath by leaving his violent ways behind and becoming a man sworn to pacifism. That oath gets tested when an evil scourge unfolds across the land and good people fall prey to a seemingly unbeatable foe. The people need a hero, and who better to face off against evil than one who knows it firsthand…

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Great movies come from all around the world, and so do great DVDs and Blu-rays. Import This! is an irregular feature here at FSR that highlights discs and/or movies unavailable in the US that are worth seeking out for fans of fantastic cinema. We’ll cover movies both foreign and domestic, new and old, and while some discs will require region-free players others will play on any DVD or Blu-ray machine. The one thing they’ll all have in common is their status as damn fine films and/or solid entertainment currently unavailable in the US but well worth importing into your collection. It’s 2012 and Roland Emmerich and the Mayans are screaming “told ya so!’ at the top of their lungs to anyone who’ll listen. Why? Because a large comet is heading towards Earth, and it’s mere hours away from impact. A lone electric wheelchair moves silently through empty city streets until its driver spots the only other sign of life… an open record store. Inside are two men talking music as the world is about to end. In particular they’re discussing a long-forgotten punk band called Gekirin and their song “Fish Story.” A song that just may save the world… Read on after the jump for more reasons that make this disc and movie worth importing…

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Mandy Lane

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane deserves to be seen and enjoyed by US audiences. It’s far better than most studio horror releases of the past four years, it has a sexy lead in Amber Heard, and buying an import copy takes money away from the Weinsteins if and when they ever get around to releasing a domestic DVD or Blu-ray.

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This week’s column recommends you import the latest movie from the director of Bronson. Before you do though, take a close look at the DVD cover within. Then put any thoughts of epic action or grand battle scenes out of your mind. The cover art lies.

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Porter has been double-crossed by his wife Lynn and partner in crime Val Resnick. The duo left him for dead and took off with his share ($70,000) of their latest score, but six months later he’s back and wants only one thing… his money. That motivation is one of the few things the two distinct cuts of Payback have in common.

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Import This: The Island

I know this one may be a hard-sell for most of you since the intro states this column is for “damn fine films and/or fantastic entertainment” but I honestly believe this movie belongs in that second category… it’s immensely entertaining, loads of fun, and a fantastic film to watch in high definition. But it’s yet to be released in the US on Blu-ray!

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Import This: Breathless

Great movies come from all around the world, and so do great DVDs and Blu-rays. Import This! is an irregular feature here at FSR that highlights discs worth importing for movie lovers and fans of fantastic cinema. Today’s entry is one of last year’s best movies… that has yet to see a US release date.

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