Our Weekly Recommendations (Sept 16th 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 Recommends:

Fast Five

New to DVD and Blu-ray, is the 5th installment of the Fast And The Furious series, Fast Five. This film I think is going to be one of those awesome Sunday afternoon films. Here is a little bit from my original review from KillerFilm.com
“To really enjoy this film and feel any kind of investment you really need to be some what familiar with the series, it does help to have seen the previous entries. They do however add in some details for those who aren’t in the know or need a quick refresher. Smart move in my book, as I hadn’t seen the other films for awhile and I had almost forgotten what had happened. We also see the inclusion of characters from the previous films with Vince (Matt Schulze) from The Fast and The Furious, Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris ‘Ludarcris’ Bridges) from 2 Fast 2 Furious, Han (Sung Kang) from Toyko Drift and Gisele (Gal Gadot) from Fast And Furious. So you have a lot of already established characters and it is difficult to connect with them if you aren’t already familiar with them. And new characters have a little bit of build up but nothing really substantial. I enjoyed being with these characters, they are likable and fun to be around. The main villain wasn’t really explained too well, he just looked evil which I think was meant to be good enough. The coolest new character and one I definitely wanted to see more about was Hobbs.”
| IMDB | Purchase on DVD/Blu-ray Combo |
Logan J. Fowler Recommends:

Face/Off

Face/Off is by far one of my favorite flicks. Would I call it a guilty pleasure? I don’t think I can. I don’t feel bad watching it. In fact, I could watch it all the time if I could.
Face/Off tells the story of two men, Sean Archer (John Travolta) and Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage). Many years back, Castor sets out to assassinate Archer but ends up killing Sean’s son in the process. Sean is left haunted, seeking revenge for the death of his son, so he continues to hunt down Troy years later. After an intense shootout, a series of events leaves Castor unconscious. Sean thinks he’s finally buried his past, but unfortunately for our hero, the real problem is just beginning. Seems that Troy and his brother Pollux (Alessandro Nivola) have set up a bomb to detonate in the city in a matter of days, and Sean is told in order to disarm the bomb, he must literally go undercover as Castor Troy. After an intense surgery, Sean looks and talks exactly like Castor, and he heads to the prison where Pollux is being held to get the details of the bombs disarming. Each day Seas gets closer to the truth, but a surprise visit from an old enemy in a new skin revs the film into high gear from there on out.
Face/Off has two main stars, and while I enjoyed Nicolas Cage as the crazy Castor and the mild mannered Sean, John Travolta really steals the show here. His time as Archer is all quiet and ho-hum, but once he lets loose as Castor, the actor looks and acts like he had a blast playing the bad guy. That isn’t to say that Nic Cage isn’t bad; no, he’s insanely awesome in his brief time as “the villain,” and for that matter, Face/Off is insanely quotable between both Cage’s and Travolta’s time in Castor’s shoes…err…face. In my opinion though, Travolta’s bad guy is really the flick’s highlight.
Complete with furious shoot outs, a great score, a stellar side cast, and an overall original premise, Face/Off is one hell of a fun ride. “I’M READY, READY FOR THE BIG RIDE BABY!”
| IMDB | Purchase DVD | Purchase Blu-ray |
Pat Torfe Recommends:

Escape From New York


Anyone who’s anyone knows what film I’m talking about. John Carpenter’s Escape From New York is a cult classic action film that brought Kurt Russell out of his Disney phase and into the badass movie star he’s largely known for today. The story goes like this: In the far-off year of 1988, the crime rate in America rises 400 percent. To counter this, the government walls off Manhattan, turning it into a maximum security prison. In 1997, when the President’s plane is brought down by the anarchist group National Liberation Front of America and the President is kidnapped by the Duke of New York, US Police Force Commissioner Bob Hauk sends in convicted felon/hardass (and former Special Forces soldier) Snake Plissken to get the President out.
Really, that’s all you need to know, other than Kurt Russell is badassness personified as Snake Plisskin. Of course, there’s more to the film than that. Escape also features the talents of Lee Van Cleef (is it just me, or does he always look like a sly motherf*cker?), Donald Pleasance as the President, Isaac Hayes as The Duke Of New York and Adrienne Barbeau showing off her cleavage (which isn’t a bad thing). These characters aren’t just cardboard, either. Carpenter develops everyone into folks you either love or hate.
John Carpenter also does his thing with the budget, achieving the intended look of New York without having the location necessarily being New York. See if you can tell which shot is in St. Louis, Chicago or Atlanta. You really can’t, because that’s how good John Carpenter is with his technique. True, while some of the shots now are kind of dated (the computer-eque radar shots of Snake gliding into New York), it’s still impressive when you consider that this was 1981 and Carpenter was still relatively new as a Hollywood director.
Any sort of criticms would be levelled at the shots that seem kind of not quite right (the airport scene, for example). Also, given that the secondary characters have been developed as well as they have, it sucks that Snake’s basically the one left standing after all is said and done. But hey, it’s Carpenter’s decision. While the Blu-Ray sports a great transfer, the best version to grab is the 2003 DVD release, which has all the goodies like commentary and a making-of. Plus it also came with a mini comic book of the film, which was decidedly just as awesome as the film. Do yourself a favour and see this film if you haven’t already, and while you’re at it, hit up the sequel, too!
| IMDB | Purchase on DVD | Purchase on Blu-ray |
Nick Bosworth Recommends:

Misery

There have been a huge amount of Stephen King book-to-film adaptions over the years but when it comes to quality, they’ve been all over the place. Usually they range from downright awful to Oscar caliber but usually meet somewhere in the middle for the most part. But with this review however, I’m going to focus on my all-time favourite adaption which is the wonderful and terrifying world of MISERY. Probably director Rob Reiner’s best film after A FEW GOOD MEN, MISERY focuses on the story of a famed novelist named Paul Sheldon (played by James Caan) who is just about to finish the last book in a very popular series featuring the lead character named Misery. She’s a beloved character that the world has fallen in love with but unfortunately Paul is tired of living the rest of his life pinned to this one character and writing books forever about her as that’s not what he intended from the beginning.
So he completes the book and after a celebration he takes his final draft copy on the road from a remote snowy retreat but sadly ends up getting in a deadly accident due to a powerful blizzard. Thankfully he’s rescued by a woman driving by named Annie Wilkes (played by Kathy Bates who won the “Best Actress” Oscar for the role) and she carries him to safety and nurses him back to health in her remote home. However things are not as wonderful as they seem as Paul is painfully recovering and realizes that Annie has been obsessed with his Misery novels from the very beginning.
I could go on and on but I don’t want to ruin anything from the film because if you haven’t seen it or read the novel, things get brutal from the point I left off. First thing I want to say is that Kathy Bates is absolutely brilliant in this role. Sure she was honored with an Oscar for her performance but I think her role redefines mental instability because never in my life have I ever been so afraid of a woman like I was of her. The actual fear of the film though really comes from the fact that Caan’s character has the complete inability to defend himself against Annie due to his injuries cause like any normal man, he’d crack her skull in two seconds if he was 100%. The movie is a portrayal not only of obsessive fans torturing their idols but I always saw it as a story of a man being punished for trying to avoid what he was destined to continue, that being continuing the Misery novels. It was almost as if his encounter with Annie was the sacrifice he had to make in his life to completely wipe Misery from his life forever, as if Annie actually is Misery incarnated.
As you can imagine both actors are the key focus of the film and both play wonderfully off each other. Caan especially gets funnier as the film moves along and he heals more and more as he quietly rips her a verbal asshole every chance he gets. Bates’ character on the other hand gets more devious by the minute as she starts to realize that her grip on Sheldon is weakening as he gets better so she raises the stakes at every turn. While all at the same time, the outside world is determined to find Sheldon and rescue him even though most believe he’s already dead. This amazing duo then leads to one of the most epic David vs. Goliath confrontations ever put on film and it’s an incredible payoff for such an amazing build-up.
In technical terms, the film has some beautiful cinematography and even though we’re restrained to a small room in which Sheldon is contained for most of the film, the use of fresh angles and perspectives never stops (famed director Barry Sonnenfeld of “Men In Black” was tasked with the cinematography). The film is exceptionally paced given the story which is a credit to Reiner as well cause this could have easily become a very boring flick. Overall this is an incredible thriller, one of Stephen King’s best stories and I highly recommend it to anyone. I just hope you’re not very squeamish.
| IMDB | Purchase on DVD | Purchase on Blu-ray |

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