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Death of David Carradine

Posted by: Matthew Turner 12/06/2009 @ 15:58
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 168
Films seen last week: Red Cliff, Mid-August Lunch, Adam, New Town Killers, Moon

RIP David Carradine
Like many film fans, I was saddened by the death of David Carradine last week. The circumstances of his death are rather unfortunate, to say the least, though at age 72 and with over 220 screen appearances (both big and small) he certainly had a good innings. To give you some idea of just how hard working he was, he was most recently seen as Poon Dong in Crank 2: High Voltage opposite Jason Statham, but he'd done two TV shows and made seven more movies since then. He'd also played 50 parts since appearing in Kill Bill: Vol 2. For what it's worth, I intend to watch Paul Bartel's glorious Death Race 2000 (recently remade as Death Race, which makes me wonder whether Carradine and Statham swapped notes) in tribute, but other Carradine favourites (the Kung Fu TV series aside) would have to include: Walter Hill's brilliant 1974 western The Long Riders (with Carradine as Cole Younger, alongside brothers Keith and Robert); Larry Cohen's wonderful New York monster movie Q (aka Q – The Winged Serpent); Hal Ashby's 1976 Woody Guthrie biopic Bound For Glory (often regarded as Carradine's best performance) and of course his appearance as the titular Bill in Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol 2. The other thing about the death of David Carradine is that celebrity deaths always seem to come in threes, so I'm kind of nervous about who's going to go next...

Films I'm Looking Forward To: Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island
I've been waiting ages for this and now that the trailer's finally been released, Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island has jumped right to the top of my Must See list (just behind Michael Mann's Public Enemies and Moon, except I saw Moon this evening). Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane and set in 1954, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, who's investigating the disappearance of a murderer (Emily Mortimer) who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island. The mouth-watering cast also includes Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Williams (who looks amazing in the trailer), Max Von Sydow, Ben Kingsley and Jackie Earle Haley (aka Rorschach). With a plot that seems part Shock Corridor, part conspiracy thriller and part Prison Break, plus the DiCaprio / Scorsese partnership in full swing, this could well be one of the best films of the year. Opens here 9th October. Can't wait.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Three new entries again this week, with hilarious comedy The Hangover (which is getting terrific reviews across the board), John Woo's action epic Red Cliff and Ken Loach's Looking for Eric all making it into the top ten. Sadly, Sounds Like Teen Spirit seems to have disappeared from cinemas already, but it's worth looking out for at second run cinemas near you. I also cannot recommend Sugar highly enough and I urge you to seek it out, especially as it has such a limited release.

1. Sugar
2. Drag Me To Hell
3. Star Trek
4. Synecdoche, New York
5. Let the Right One In
6. The Hangover
7. Anything For Her
8. Red Cliff
9. Looking For Eric
10. Coraline (3D)

DVD of the Week: Anvil: The Story of Anvil (released 15th June, RRP £17.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Anvil: The Story of Anvil, a wonderful documentary about still-rocking, little-known Canadian metal band Anvil, who had a brief taste of fame in the ‘80s before fading into obscurity (although, thanks to the success of the film, they're now enjoying something of a massive revival). The film follows best friends and founding band members Steve 'Lips' Kudlow and the coincidentally-named Robb Reiner (no relation) as they embark on a disastrous European tour and attempt to record their 13th album, before receiving an invitation to play a metal festival in Tokyo. This is a hugely enjoyable documentary that plays like a real-life Spinal Tap and is, by turns, hilarious and genuinely moving. It's also one of the best films of the year.

The DVD comes with a pretty decent extras package that includes: two audio commentaries (one with director Sacha Gervasi and the producers, the other with Gervasi, Robb and Lips); 15 minutes of deleted scenes; trailers; a number of interviews, including a 12 minute specially filmed interview with the band and a featurette on various other ex-band members; and a featurette in which Lips invites Gervasi up on stage during a gig. Unmissable.


by  Anonymous  16/06/2009 @ 17:17
Shutter Island looks incredible! Right up my street! As does Anvil! - they recorded a recent album in Kent don't you know? I wonder if it features in the documentary?
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