The Bootleg Files: Mack the Knife

BOOTLEG FILES 648: “Mack the Knife” (1989 film version of “The Threepenny Opera” starring Raul Julia and Roger Daltry).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: VHS and LaserDisc releases only.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Out of circulation for many years

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely, but not impossible.

One of the minor mysteries of the movie musical genre has been the failure to create a satisfactory screen adaption of the Bertolt Brecht-Kurt Weill theatrical landmark “The Threepenny Opera.” Not that there haven’t been several attempts. In 1931, director G.W. Pabst simultaneously helmed a German- and French-language version. (An English-language version, to be distributed in the U.S. by Warner Bros., was planned but never shot.) Those films, unfortunately, jettisoned much of the glorious score and were burdened by the stodginess that permeated many of the early sound-era films.

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Female Filmmaker Friday: Jax In Love (2018)

A lonely woman is driving in the desert when she breaks down and must depend on the kindness of strangers.  In this, she also looks for a connection on a human level.

Written by Rakefet Abergel and directed by Colin Campbell, Jax in Love is a good, albeit short exploration of multiple themes such as loneliness, human connection, love, and letting go.  Abergel’s story shows a flare for human interactions and how to translate them to the screen while Campbell’s direction brings it all forward in a clear and easy to understand manner.  Their work comes together to create a fun short film with unexpected twists and turns.

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Return Of The Living Dead: Part II (1988) – Collector’s Edition [Blu-ray]

How do you top one of the most influential and punk rock horror movies of the eighties? You—uh—follow it up with a sequel that repeats everything we saw from the first film. It’s as if someone said “Let’s make “Return of the Living Dead” again, but crappy this time.” To say “Return of the Living Dead II” is bad is pretty much an understatement as it’s only mostly acknowledged for being the poorer brother to the highly superior and excellent original. That’s ironically also part of its appeal, too, as it takes some twists and turns that’ll leave you laughing in disbelief and confusion.

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What Still Remains (2018)

I’ll admit again and again that post apocalypse movies are my sweet spot in regards to genre cinema. I eat movies about survival after the end of the world with a spoon and am hardly ever let down. “What Still Remains” as far as its concerned is fairly standard post apocalyptic fare. It by no means re-invents the wheel with its narrative and characters, but at times it doesn’t seem like director and writer Josh Mendoza is trying to. In the end I was more impressed by what Mendoza does with his lead heroine more than anything, and I’d love to see Ana return once again in another movie of this ilk.

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The Meg (2018)

Off the coast a China, a research crew finds an unexplored part of the ocean and decides to explore it to see what may hide beyond the partial physical barrier. Once there, they find that probably should have left it alone. As they are rescued, something follows them to the open waters and causes havoc. Only one man seems to be the one able to contain the situation.

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Mega Time Squad (2018) [Fantasia Fest 2018]

A man stumbles upon a time travelling amulet and uses it to attempt to get himself out of trouble and get his dream girl. Things do not go according to plan and things just get more complicated each time he travels back in time, causing a second, third, fourth, etc copy of himself that need to go back where they came from.

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Montreal Dead End (2018) [Fantasia Fest 2018]

Montreal is sort of infamous for its roadwork and potholes… One day, a pothole grows to frightening size and oozes a sort of gas. Soon after, people in various neighborhoods around town are starting to feel this gas’ effects, turning into violent people and zombies, switching bodies, meeting monsters and other oddities.

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