Our Recommendations (January 20th 2012)

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:

These Amazing Shadows

Having gone on a bit of a documentary binge recently, I was eager to discover something new. I wanted to find horror or film related documentaries, and good friend of the site A.J. Hakari recommended These Amazing Shadows, his favourite film of last year. I looked up the synopsis and I saw it was about the National Film Registry, the organisation that works to preserve motion pictures for the current and future generations.
What a great idea I thought, but I didn’t expect the film so have so much heart and actually cause me to tear up several times. It reminded me of why I love cinema so much and why I devote so much time to film and bringing you readers this wonderful website. They talk about how the Registry got started, after Ted Turner wanted to colourize old black and white films. They go over how films get chosen, and even over the restoration process. It is a fascinating film and one that every fan of film should see.
| IMDB | Purchase DVD | Purchase On Blu-ray |
Logan J. Fowler Recommends:

We Bought A Zoo

Last week I tried to go see The Adventures of Tin Tin, but apparently I guess I missed the boat on that one because it wasn’t at my local theater. Oh well. As a substitute, me and my lady friend chose We Bought a Zoo for the viewing of the evening,
Cameron Crowe’s latest is a very cute film that has some vulgarity in it, but is fun for pretty much all ages. The story centers around Benjamin (Matt Damon) a widower with two kids who needs a life change. He has a very troublesome relationship with his son (Dylan), who is rebellious against his father’s parenting. When Benjamin decides to buy a house in the country that is actually on zoo property, he needs the help of the staff he becomes acquainted with and his family to put the animal attraction back on the map.
I must give major applause to Maggie Elizabeth Jones, who plays Rosie, Benjamin’s daughter. She is the cutest little actress I’ve ever seen and she steals every moment she has in the film. Her facial expressions are priceless and she never, ever came off as annoying. Hollywood may not be kind to her in the future, as with child actors, it never is but I hope she gets roles in the near future. She was absolutely adorable.
We Bought a Zoo does run some cliche routes-the father/son problematic relationship, and its a “by the numbers” kind of tale with the zoo upkeep and the “will they/won’t they” ability to succeed by the date of opening, but the film uses its wonderful cast, both humans and animals, to rise above those factors and make it its own. With that said, We Bought a Zoo is an uplifting, beautifully shot film, and I quite enjoyed it, as well as the company I was in the presence of.
| IMDB |
Nick Bosworth Recommends:

Sexy Beast


There’s been a huge amount of British gangster films over the past decade or so that have been pretty amazing for the most part. However one gem always stands out in my mind as one of the best ever and that is the unforgiving and powerful SEXY BEAST. It’s the story of a former British gangster anmed Gal (Ray Winstone) who has left his criminal life behind in the secluded hills of Spain yet he still suffers the demons of his past life. The demon I speak of is a psychotic gangster named Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) that tracks him down to his home in Spain in order to recruit him for a special job back in Britain. However Gal has had enough of that life but his refusal to Don has major consequences that take place throughout the rest of the story (I won’t spoil anything here).
There’s no question whatsoever that this film is purely about a battle between two men which means that the performances are absolutely key to the film making an impact. Well Ben Kingsley not only made an impact but he forever proved that just because he played Gandhi doesn’t mean that he can’t scare the piss out of you in another role playing a hardened criminal. The role of Don Logan earned Ben a Best Supporting Actor nomination and I still feel to this day that he deserved the win even though it was taken by Jim Broadbent for “Iris”. On top of Ben’s legendary performance was also the rest of the cast who were superb with the biggest stand-outs being Winstone and the king of cool Ian McShane.
With top-notch directing, a terrifically mind-bending soundtrack, a brilliant script and amazing performances given by all involved, SEXY BEAST while still a small gangster film remains one of my all-time favourites amongst others like LONG GOOD FRIDAY and GANGSTER NO. 1 (which funny enough came out the same year). It gets an incredibly high recommendation from myself so if you haven’t seen it like so many out there haven’t still, you’re really missing out. Cheers!
| IMDB | Purchase on DVD |
Garrett Collins Recommends:

Imaginarium by Nightwish

When thinking about what I could recommend to readers of this site, it occurred to me that there really hasn’t been anything that has caught my eye as of late. However, something has caught my ear. This week, the highly anticipated Nightwish album Imaginarium hit shelves here in the US, and, I must say, it has lived up to every bit of anticipation that I had. For those that do not know, Nightwish is a heavy metal band that got their start in 1997, and have really turned the term ‘progressive metal’ on its heels. With each passing album getting bigger and more grandiose, Nightwish had hit after hit overseas, yet has never quite caught on Stateside. I feel with Imaginarium, that is going to change. If I were to describe their sound to someone who has not heard their music before, I would say think heavy metal combined with a ripping Hans Zimmer-type background score. On this album, they combine these aspects, along with 80s era metal riffs, and lead singer Annette Olzon’s strengths. She sings sometimes playfully, sometimes captivatingly, but on this album, almost always dead on.
For those who have followed this fabulous band over the years and say repeatedly that the absence of old lead singer Tarja Turnenen in 2006 has destroyed their sound, are really doing a disservice to the songwriting skills on keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen. The criticism lashed at their last album was really unfair, given it was the first without Tarja. But, here, Holopainen answers all the critics with a vengeance. Songs like “Ghost River,” “I Want My Tears Back,” Rest Calm,” and “Last Ride of the Day” are Nightwish at their best. Swooping guitars with the sometimes there, sometimes not background singing of bassist Marco Hietala. What was most interesting about this album though is how they have used Olzon’s voice. It is not an experiment anymore. This being her second album with the group, they have instilled shrills and some tracks of her singing in the background, which is a great way to use her voice. If you are a heavy metal, progressive rock, or even movie soundtrack music fan, you could do way worse than checking this album out. Speaking of soundtracks, there is supposedly a movie based on this album’s concept in the works. Consider me officially signed up for Nightwish’s ‘Storytime.”
| Purchase on CD |
Pat Torfe Recommends:

Alien


Alien. That’s it. What more do I have to say? Okay, Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic not only introduced us to the concept of screaming in space (and how no one can hear it), but also gave us one of the most memorable heroines in film history in Ellen Ripley. Plus, it gave us an excuse to not turn the lights off at night. To this day, the trailer for Alien is the only one that I consider to be the scariest trailer that I’ve ever seen. Some have come close, but nothing grips you like that one. And like the trailer, the film grips you just as much, if not more.
Okay, quick intro: the crew of the Nostromo (a commercial towing spaceship) are heading home to earth when their journey is interrupted by a distress call from a nearby planet. The crew descend onto the planet where three of them investigate on the surface. There they find what appears to be a crashed spaceship with hundreds of eggs, one of which hatched and the organism inside attaches itself to one of the crew’s face. In the ensuing hours, the crew make a horrifying discovery about the organism, and what happens when you break quarantine.
Originally written by Dan O’Bannon, Alien has a story that grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go. It may seem a little slow at the beginning for some of the younger fans, but dammit, the film just envelopes you in its details and its environment (credit Ridley and his crew for going above and beyond for that). It’s so enveloping that I never noticed Jerry Goldsmith’s score, which is subtle enough and shows up in the right moments to add to the horror onscreen. Of course, the big thing about this film is the alien itself. Created by H.R. Giger, the xenomorph’s look is a sleek techno-organic nightmare. Plus, the exclusion of eyes makes it, as Giger puts it, “more dangerous”. I couldn’t agree more.
If you haven’t seen this one, by all means SEE IT. If you have, SEE IT AGAIN. While you’re at it, grab the Alien Anthology on Blu-Ray or the DVD equivalent Alien Quadrilogy. ’nuff said.
| IMDB | Purchase on DVD | Purchase on Blu-ray |

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