The Thief of Bagdad

singing ringing tree

After all the thrill and adventure of The Desolation of Smaug, you’re going to wish there was more to watch. Well, there is, only it’s not necessarily more of The Desolation of Smaug (not until the extended editions on video, anyway). Instead, it’s other movies that I’ve selected as necessary viewing for those who’ve seen the new Hobbit movie. It doesn’t matter if you liked Smaug or not, because many of these titles are preferred predecessors and alternatives, anyway. Others consist of early movies starring prominent members of the cast or just movies that I was personally reminded of and have now made the excuse to share. From the very well known to the very obscure, the long and the short, there’s bound to be at least one title here for you to enjoy in however much time you have leftover following another lengthy trip to Middle-earth with Peter Jackson. This weekend’s list includes 13 titles, one for each of the 13 dwarves in the movie — though not every selection is necessarily tied to a dwarf. That was just my idea of being clever, plus the fact that such a long movie with a lot going on naturally got me thinking of more movies than usual. Check out my recommendations below and share any others you believe are relevant to mention. There are plot SPOILERS for Smaug after the jump, of course, since many of these picks are relevant to various parts of the movie.

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discs sushi girl

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Sushi Girl Fish has just been released from jail, and four ex-friends are extremely happy to see him. He served six years for a robbery they all took part in, and now they want to know what happened to the diamonds they stole. The five men sit down for dinner, sushi served off the body of a naked woman, but soon the evening evolves into a torture session as Fish continues to play dumb about the whereabouts of the gems. Director Kern Saxton‘s film is essentially a single-location thriller that succeeds due to some sharp writing, fun performances and grisly practical effects. The titular character (Cortney Palm) is also pretty damn nice. The cast is a who’s who of B-movie actors including Mark Hamill and Tony Todd with cameo appearances by Michael Biehn, Danny Trejo, Jeff Fahey and Sonny Chiba. It may lack the depth of something like The Usual Suspects, but it still finds thrills, laughs and twists in its tight and fun little story. [Extras: Documentary, alternate scenes, outtakes, fake commercials, music video, interviews, video diaries, image gallery, commentaries] Also available on DVD.

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