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Ozploitation Season

Posted by: Matthew Turner 13/03/2009 @ 18:59
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 70
Films seen last week: Bottle Shock, Monsters vs Aliens (3D), 'I Love You, Man', Bronson, Wonderful Town, In The City of Sylvia, Fireflies in the Garden, Duplicity, Flash of Genius, Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Ozploitation Season
Back in October, I caught Mark Hartley's brilliant Australian exploitation (or Ozploitation) documentary Not Quite Hollywood at the London Film Festival and my immediate reaction was 'Where the hell can I see these amazing films?' I'd seen a handful of them, like Road Games and Mad Max and I caught Patrick on TV over Christmas, but the film is packed with great-looking films I'd never even heard of, so I was desperate to track them down. Fortunately, almost all of the featured titles are available on DVD, so if you're a like-minded film obsessive, you'll be able to stage your very own Ozploitation season.

In the meantime, the lovely people at the ICA have kindly put on a six-of-the-best Ozploitation season to accompany their run of Not Quite Hollywood. The films in the season include: Road Games (sinister truck driver Stacey Keach stalking hitchhiker Jamie Lee Curtis), Patrick (coma patient stages psychic attack), Long Weekend (savage eco-thriller) and mental Dennis Hopper western Mad Dog Morgan (not currently available on DVD), as well as Tarantino favourite Brian Trenchard-Smith's futuristic shocker Turkey Shoot and cult B movie Strange Behaviour (aka Dead Kids). Frankly, I can't wait...

Films I'm Looking Forward To: 500 Days of Summer
My love for Zooey Deschanel has been well-documented (see this blog), so it should come as no surprise that 500 Days of Summer is currently topping my Must See list. Zooey stars opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the movie apparently documents their relationship over 500 days (she's called Summer – see what they've done there?). It looks extremely sweet and the quality of the dialogue in the trailer gives me hope that it'll be packed with great lines, plus Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt are a great screen couple (they already starred together in the little-seen, but well worth seeking out Manic). The film's been described as a “twisted, indie love-story” and has good buzz following its Sundance screening, so hopefully we'll get to see it soon.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Four new entries this week, with the mesmerising Franco-Spanish people-watching flick In The City of Sylvia, rapid-fire Ozploitation “docko” Not Quite Hollywood (see above), Amores Perros writer Guillermo Arriaga's directorial debut The Burning Plain (check out our exclusive interview with Arriaga here) and bizarre British crim biopic Bronson (featuring a tour de force performance from Tom Hardy) all making it into the top ten. It's a surprisingly good week for new movies generally, as both Marley and Me and Wonderful Town are also worth seeing.

1. Watchmen
2. Wendy and Lucy
3. Anvil! The Story of Anvil
4. In The City Of Sylvia
5. Slumdog Millionaire
6. Not Quite Hollywood
7. The Class
8. The Burning Plain
9. Bronson
10. Milk

DVD of the Week: Baby Mama (released 16th March, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Baby Mama, which was one of the funniest films of last year. 30 Rock star Tina Fey plays a successful single businesswoman who hires white trash nightmare Amy Poehler as her unlikely surrogate when she discovers she's infertile. The script is packed with hilarious gags and one-liners and the performances are superb, particularly Amy Poehler, whose facial expressions alone are enough to have you laughing out loud.

There's also terrific work from a supporting cast that includes Romany Malco, Dax Shephard and Greg Kinnear, as well as side-splitting cameos from Steve Martin (as Fey's boss) and Sigourney Weaver, as the ultra-fertile head of the surrogacy agency. The extras package is extremely basic (no commentary, no interviews, no behind-the-scenes stuff, no blooper reel) but at least it includes six pretty decent deleted scenes, including one that explains Maura Tierney's otherwise inexplicably brief part as Fey's sister. Recommended.


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