This Halloween from Apple Press comes Steven Jay Schneider’s ultimate compilations of “101 Movies to See” in paperback form and ready to own. For folks unfamiliar, Steven Jay Schneider is the man responsible for the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die, and he’s broken up the movies in to various genres and sub-genres of film. With a slew of contributors writing very insightful and interesting capsule reviews, Mr. Schneider edits every review breaking them up in to periods of film. Every book follows the particular points of the century from films from the 1900’s, and the 1910’s right down to the 2000’s, where the books typically end. At over four hundred pages, the “101 Movies to See…” work as small guide books that teach aspiring movies buffs where to start in particular genres, and whether or not you like or hate the specific titles the books recommend, you can at least be satisfied that you’ve seen an essential piece of cinema.
If you’re a fan of one of the most iconic wrestling stars of all time, you’re in for a big treat with “Hustle, Loyalty, Respect” from DK Books. It’s the literal encyclopedia of John Cena, chronicling everything from his early life, his childhood, and there’s even a look at the evolution of his character. Cena is one of the most dynamic and charismatic performers from the WWE, as well as one of the most charitable, and he garners a much deerved massive collectible book that provides everything you need to know about the man without marrying him. Delivered to fans in a hardcover book, fans are given a collectible wrist band with the book, and are allowed to read about everything Cena has been through in his entire sports career.
I’ve made it no secret about loving Felicia Day in the past. And I’m more than proud admitting that I’d give away my entire Superman comic book collection for a date with Felicia Day (Sorry, Kal El, Amazonians before Kryptonians), so buying a memoir about Felicia Day’s life, and rise to fame was an easy sell for yours truly. Felicia Day, for the uninitiated is a very prominent character actress and web celebrity who has appeared in shows like “Supernatural” and “Eureka” and gained acclaim in the early aughts for her web show “The Guild,” one of the earliest web shows to every premiere online. Since then she’s been a consummate web celebrity and red haired geek Goddess, and she finally lets fans see a new side of her beyond the cameras, and convention booths. After consuming every page of “You’re Never Weird…,” I admire Ms. Day so much more now than ever.
As with every year, this is a list of the five best Indies we saw in 2015. While there were many A+ Indies, these five stood out and stuck with us for a long time.
While a few of these movies can be viewed online legally for free, we encourage you to buy these films. Buying them helps the filmmakers, it helps them go on to make another movie you might enjoy, and it helps the small companies that are funding these directors and excellent storytellers. The indie film community needs as much support as it can muster up. Without Further ado… Continue reading
It’s the last book from Joe Bob Briggs, and for his final outing in the publishing world, he follows up “Profoundly Disturbing” with the equally excellent “Profoundly Erotic.” The final book reviews a series of erotic movies, all of which aren’t exactly pornographic or erotica per se. They’re instead very adult films that deal with sexual politics and the undertones of sexual repression. As usual Joe Bob Briggs is as insightful and informative as ever, and it was ultimately a breezy read to finish.
There’s nothing more annoying than books and lists that promise movie fans movies they’ve never seen or should see, only for you to find a list of the same old titles. The good thing about “Hidden Horror” is that it promises 101 movies you likely never saw, and surely enough as someone whose seen it all, I found some interesting gems in this book. To make things better, the underrated films really are some of the most under appreciated films I’ve seen in a long time.
The main flaw to “The Fright File” is that author Dustin Putman only offers three films out of 150 made before the seventies. A portion of the list are films made in the seventies, while most of the films are from the aughts and are as recent as 2013. While I don’t mind being given suggestions for films as recent as 2013, I wouldn’t have minded stumbling on to a hidden gem or two. For folks looking for a primer on films that are essential to horror fans, “The Fright File” surely isn’t a bad book. But for horror fans looking to discover something new and completely out of left field, this isn’t really the book to turn to. That is unless you’re a fan of Dustin Putman’s writing, and want to see his thoughts on various horror films.
In the interest of full disclosure, author Mike Watt is a friend and respected colleague who sent us a PDF of his latest book for review. This is nonetheless an objective review of his book “Fervid Filmmaking.”
You have to give it to author Mike Watt. His book isn’t built around 66 great films, or even 66 of his favorite films, but 66 films of importance and relevance that really say something about the genre they’re representing. Take for example the entry in to “Survival of the Dead” by director George Romero. While I’m often a Romero apologist, author Watt really does manage to break down the specifics of the film, and cite past interviews with director Romero to paint “Survival” as a film made by a man perpetually chained to the sub-genre that made him a horror icon.