The Grandmaster

Tye Sheridan in

Ever find yourself itching with the desire to plant your ass on the couch all day, but facing the dilemma that you can’t find anything in the endlessly scrolling Netflix menu worth watching? We’ve all been there. They don’t make it easy on us, do they? There’s no need to worry though, because there are actually always plenty of movies on Netflix well worth watching, and here we have a list of 18 of them that have either been added or re-added to the service (these things do tend to come and go, don’t they?) in recent months. Click on the titles to be taken to the films’ Netflix pages, where they can be easily added to your queue. You’ll thank yourself next time the concept of leaving your house and interacting with other humans seems unthinkable.

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Franco Nero is Space Jesus in THE VISITOR

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The Visitor John Huston and Jesus Christ (Franco Nero) are in a never-ending war with Satan, and their latest battleground is Atlanta, GA, where the soul of a child holds the key to saving the universe. Probably. Lance Henriksen, Glenn Ford, Shelley Winters, and Sam Peckinpah join in the fun as Huston struggles to stop the girl’s descent into evil and tendency towards causing bodily harm. It’s hardly news to say that this thirty four year old movie is a mental fingerbang that bends genres and somehow teases both brilliance and stupidity, but I’m saying it anyway. Both highly derivative and wholly original, the film cherry picks elements from The Omen, The Fury, Phantasm, and more, and then swirls them together in a psychedelic mélange of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and pure nuttiness as it tells the story of good and evil battling over a young girl’s potty-mouthed soul. Drafthouse Films brings this gem to HD for the first time, and while the extras are unfortunately scarce the film alone is enough to warrant a purchase. Read my full review. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Interviews, trailer, booklet]

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Oscar Predictions 2014: Cinematography

Take the entire Best Picture field. They’d be nothing without the powerful visuals crafted by the towering talent of the nominees in this field, as well as the others who (for whatever reasons) didn’t make the cut. Ahem, Sean Bobbitt. The truth is we’re awash in outstanding cinematographers. If there’s a category that could be boosted to ten nominees, it’s this one. This year, the Oscar hopefuls delivered eye candy that took us from the dry wit of Big Red country to the far reaches of the horizon, from beautiful brawling grounds to the cold snap of reality. Here’s a look at the nominees with my predicted winner in red…

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wongcannes

As a British colony until 1997 and Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong has created a popular culture completely unique to East Asian metropolitan living. This is demonstrated, in part, by the rich cinema tradition that has been continually exported from Hong Kong since the late 1970s, which bore films that distinctively combined East and West. While the region has produced some of the most memorable martial arts and action films of the late 20th century, the “Hong Kong New Wave” also witnessed the emergence of several great dramatists including Stanley Kwan, Yim Ho, Ann Hui and, of course, Wong Kar-Wai. For someone unfamiliar with Hong Kong firsthand, Wong’s films provide a resonant, bewitching, perhaps even definitive portrait of the city. In his international breakthrough Chunking Express, the densely populated metropolis’s kinetic movement and globalized circuits are accentuated by the film’s restless camera and Cranberries-infused soundtrack. In the Mood for Love stages several intimate meetings of traditional and contemporary life in the claustrophobic corners in an exponentially vertical Hong Kong. The dizzying 2046 presents a Hong Kong ever at the concurrent precipice of the past and the future. With The Grandmaster opening wide this weekend, Wong’s dramas now meet with that other signature Hong Kong genre, the martial arts film, providing as good of an opportunity as any to explore what makes his work so distinctive. So here’s some free advice (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the director who somehow convinced us that beauty lies in a slow […]

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grandmaster

When you hear that director Wong Kar-wai, the modern master who brought us the beautiful and complex romance In the Mood For Love, is directing a martial arts film based on the life of the legendary fighter who trained Bruce Lee, you expect it to contain quite a bit more beauty and subtlety than your usual kick/punch affair. But while the first trailer for his upcoming, fight-heavy, Ip Man biopic, The Grandmaster, was rather beautiful to look at, it also contained some throwback trailer narration that was so overblown and melodramatic that it felt like it should have been attached to a Cannon Films release from 1987. What a weird choice. The Grandmaster has just released a new trailer though, and while it still contains mostly just a bunch of gorgeously-shot action sequences that don’t give us much of an idea of what to expect from the acting or storytelling of the film, it at least ditches the cheesy narration in favor of a track from famed kung-fu-loving hip-hop star the RZA. Click through to watch some people take some mad beatings that are set to some mad beats.

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the-worlds-end-new-movie-release-october-2013-1

This August has made for a tricky must-see guide to compile. If this were any other year, the honorable mentions alone would’ve made the final cut. There’s a lot of quality competition. As such, I’m both pleased and disappointed I couldn’t include Brie Larson’s performance in Short Term 12; a blood-drenched fun home-invasion movie, You’re Next; a new film from the director of Boy A; and more. Then again, having too many good movies on the horizon is a bit strange to complain about. Last month I called July the most promising month of this summer season, and I was wrong. I must’ve forgotten this loaded August, the fantastic lineup of major and specialty releases this month make it. If you were underwhelmed by this summer’s offerings, there’s more than a few here to make you feel more satisfied about this (extended) season.

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The Grandmaster

The Grandmaster is by no means the first film to chronicle the life of Ip Man, the legendary martial artist who famously trained Bruce Lee. Since 2008, his story has already been the subject of four films and a TV series. But the Ip Man train keeps on rolling, and with the in-development Ip Man 3 having potentially lost its director and lead actor, The Grandmaster now has the distinction of being the only Ip Man film releasing anytime soon.

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MoMI2

“Movie Houses of Worship” is a regular feature spotlighting our favorite movie theaters around the world, those that are like temples of cinema catering to the most religious-like film geeks. This week, we have an entry suggestion from filmmaker Justin K. Staley. If you’d like to suggest or submit a place you regularly worship at the altar of cinema, please email our weekend editor. Museum of the Moving Image Location: 35th Avenue at 36th Street, Astoria, Queens, New York City Opened: September 10, 1988 No. of screens: 2 (not including wall space used during exhibitions and installations) Current first-run titles: none, but there is a preview screening and discussion of Fruitvale Station this Thursday

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