Our Weekly Recommendations (March 29th 2011)

Every week the people of Super Website (Super Blog) will give you a recommendation of a Film, DVD, Bluray, Book, Soundtrack or any other item for you the readers to check out.
Super Marcey Recommend’s:

Gossip Girl Season 1

Now I am sure this will probably be confusing to you all, but hear me out. Now I watch a lot of TV, I love my TV shows and in the last few years some quality has come out from the medium. One show that took me by surprise upon it’s debut was Gossip Girl. I thought this was going to be some run of the mill teen show, and I didn’t want to spend time with it. Being that I was a big fan of Dawson’s Creek and The OC, I wasn’t sure that anything could come close to those shows. I was so wrong, Gossip Girl easily is right up there with those shows and dare I say it even better than The OC? The show centers on the elite young rich kids from Manhattan, they come from rich families and they rule their social class. Enter the brother and sister pair from the other end, who aren’t well off and attend the same school. The biggest name from the elite Serena comes back to town unannounced, which sets off a huge chain reaction. The show is filled with teen drama and angst, topped off with some fantastic characters. We’ve got the sweet but not so innocent Serena (Blake Lively), the bitch and Queen Bee Blair (Leighton Meester), the nice pretty guy Nathaniel (Chase Crawford), rich bad playboy Chuck (Ed Westwick), sensitive writer from the outside Daniel (Penn Badgley) and his younger sister doing everything to fit in Jenny (Taylor Momsen). These characters are at our core, ones to love and ones to hate, they are so great to watch. The drama also extends to the parents, with the main two featured being Rufus (Matthew Settle) the father of Daniel and Jenny, and Lily (Kelly Rutherford) who is the mother of Serena. The show really takes off with this first season, I watched it the first time in about 3 or 4 days and upon this recent rewatch I’ve gone through them even quicker. I love Gossip Girl, it is actual quality television and I think it has enough there to appeal to all ages and both sexes.
| IMDB | Purchase on Amazon |
Nick Bosworth Recommend’s:

Blood & Bone

What more can I say about actor/martial-arts extraordinaire Michael Jai White that hasn’t already been said? Since my senses first witnessed the awesomeness that was BLACK DYNAMITE a while back, I haven’t been able to get enough of him since. Granted I was a big fan of his before that movie with the underrated SPAWN adaption, he definitely put himself in “Chuck Norris” status as the magnum wielding ladies man. With BLOOD & BONE however, we get a much more serious and hard-ass kind of Jai White as he plays an ex-con who gets out of prison and fulfills a promise to a friend he made in the slammer that he would take care of his wife and son before he is killed in the prison. One thing that is made immediately clear in the first 5 minutes of the movie is that Bone (Jai White) is a man who is not to be f#cked with as we see a bone-breaking fight with just himself against a bunch of rough prisoners. The story then follows Bone as he gets out of prison and seeks out to revenge his good friend by taking on a millionaire drug/fire-arms dealer who set his friend up in order to take away his wife as his own. To get revenge, Bone has to work his way up the ranks of underground professional fighting in order to get close enough to deal his killing blow to the man responsible.

Now I know what you’re thinking…”Wow…what a boring and overdone cliched story!” right? Normally I’d agree with you but the one thing that sets this movie apart from most others is the actual fight scenes. You see back in the day, there used to be a great deal of professional choreography in fights and the camera itself used to remain still so that the audience could see those fights (not like THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM or BATMAN BEGINS). Fortunately, BLOOD & BONE makes a return to that form as it features some of the best hand-to-hand combat scenes that I’ve seen in a very long time. Jai White is the black Bruce Lee and watching him knock the shit out of guys twice his size or numbers while the camera stays steady is a sight to behold. On top of the fight scenes, Jai White gives a good performance for what you’d expect and the movie features some pretty decent villains and dialogue as well. I’d definitely recommend it to any fight movie and Jai White fans alike.

| IMDB | Purchase on Amazon |
Bede Jermyn Recommend’s:

Let Me In

When it comes to remakes these days, I don’t have that knee-jerk ‘fuck this film! It’s definitely going to suck!’ reaction that a lot of film fans have every time one is announced. Sure there have been some sucky remakes in the last couple of years but for me personally I prefer to take the ‘wait and see’ approach when it comes them. Although, I must admit that when I first heard that the truly excellent 2008 Swedish vampire film “Let The Right One In” (which was my pick as the 3rd best film of 2008) was going to be remade in America, my first reaction wasn’t that of ‘fuck this film! It’s definitely going to suck!’ it was more ‘isn’t it a little too soon to remake it? Since the original only came out two years ago?’ However, I decided to keep an open mind about it. Who knows? It may end up surprising me. Then once I heard who was going to be involved with it in both in-front and behind the camera, I got a pretty excited. Now after finally watching, I can pretty much say that this is a worthy remake to “Let The Right One In”. In case you have forgotten what it was about, the film tells the story of Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a young lonely 12-year-old-boy who is neglected by his recently divorced parents and is constantly bullied by a group of kids at his school. One night he sees a young girl named Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her ‘Father’ (Richard Jenkins) move in the apartment next door to them. When both Owen and Abby meet, they start developing a friendship with each other. As Owen starts getting to know Abby more, he starts to notice that there is something very different about her. He soon discovers that she is really in fact a vampire. I’m gonna go on the record by saying that “Let Me In” isn’t as amazing as the masterpiece “Let The Right One In” but as both an remake and a film on it’s own, it is still pretty damn terrific. It’s pretty rare to watch a remake that both honours and deeply respects the original that it is based on, while at the same time making enough little changes here and there to justify its existence. I believe this was possible because of the film’s writer/director Matt Reeves (who previously directed “Cloverfield”). He’s direction was beautifully crafted and his script was extremely well written. In the hands of any other filmmaker, it probably would have easily been a half-arsed, lazy and hollow adaptation, but thankfully Reeves handles the material with a lot of care and respect. You can tell that while watching this film that he is definitely a big fan of the original film and as well as John Ajvide Lindqvist’s best-selling novel that both films were based on. He was able to perfectly capture every aspect of what made the original film so great. Especially the most important part, which to me was truly the heart of the story: the friendship/love story between Owen and Abby. If he wasn’t able to capture what made their relationship just as real and compelling as the original film did, the film probably wouldn’t have worked as well. Thankfully both Reeves and his two young stars where able to make their relationship on par (and even at certain moments better) than the original’s. Both Smit-McPhee and Moretz were utterly fantastic as Owen and Abby, these two truly are both the best young actors working today. There is not a single flaw in their performances at all. Also Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas (who plays a policeman who is investigating the murders that Abby and his ‘Father’ have committed) both gave strong turns in their supporting roles. The score is beautifully haunting and the cinematography was absolutely stunning. While the film does have it’s faults (there are some scenes are almost on the verge of being shot-for-shot recreations of the original’s most memorable scenes and young actor Dylan Minnette, who plays the main bully that terrorizes Owen, gave quite a poor performance) and lacks the freshness of the original, but this is still very much a moving, thrilling, intense and compelling film that I recommend everyone to check out. In my opinion this film ranks up there as one of the few great remakes in the horror genre.
| IMDB | Purchase on Amazon |
Pat Torfe Recommend’s:

The Crow

Since I recommended Batman not too long ago, this week I figured that I’d recommend another superhero film, this one being not as well known, but certainly fitting the dark, gothic mood that Batman’s laid claim to over the years. I’m talking about The Crow, starring the late Brandon Lee. For those not familiar with the circumstances surrounding his death and this film, leave it to Wikipedia to elaborate, since that’s kind of a bummer to be talking about this here. Nevertheless, the film and Lee’s untimely demise will be forever connected. But with that out of the way, onto the film itself. The first time that I saw The Crow, I was hooked. Not only was it released at a time when superhero films were still not fully embraced by the Hollywood community, but the fact that the soundtrack was something I’d never quite heard before. Whether it be The Cure’s “Burn”, Nine Inch Nails’ cover of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls” or the Stone Temple Pilots’ “Big Empty”, I can safely say that the music added perfectly to the film. Oh yeah, the story! Eric Draven is murdered on Devil’s Night (the night before Halloween), while his fiance Shelly is raped and beaten and eventually succumbs to her injuries. One year later, Eric is resurrected by a crow to avenge his and Shelly’s murders. Besides the dark and gritty atmosphere of the film (which apparently takes place in Detroit), the film hit home with the acting. Brandon Lee (son of Hong Kong martial arts legend Bruce Lee) turns in an emotional performance that really hits home from the get-go (that resurrection scene gives me goosebumps), but also kicks ass like nobody’s business when the time calls for it. Ernie Hudson plays the good cop trying to do what’s right, even though the role isn’t exactly well-defined. David Patrick Kelly (T Bird), Angel David (Skank), Laurence Masson (Tin Tin) and Michael Massee (Fun Boy) make up the gang who kill Eric and rape Shelly, and man these guys seem like mofos you wouldn’t want to cross. It’s not that they’re intimidating from appearances, but the fact that they’re loose cannons in their own way who could turn it on without warning. Michael Wincott looks to be having fun as the big cheese behind the four, and his performance shows it. The film has a few flaws in the script with certain characters not being fully developed, but those I can largely ignore, since the underdeveloped characters are largely secondary to the main focus. What kills me is that after all these years, we’ve never had a ‘definitive’ release on DVD or no Blu-Ray release. The old 2-disc Dimension release is a joke, seeing as the commentary is rather piss-poor with producer Jeff Most and co-writer John Shirley talking about what seems like nothing for the longest time. While things pick up with the collection of excised footage (including an appearance by Michael Berryman as the ‘Skull Cowboy’, which was a subplot that was deleted from the film (amongst others) and a rather candid interview with creator of The Crow, comic writer/artist James O’Barr, none of the supplements tackle the production in depth, or address Brandon’s accident and death. Pick it up as a ‘better than nothing’ deal, and hope that a more fully-fleshed release comes along soon.
| IMDB | Purchase on Amazon |

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