Shorts Round Up of the Week – 3/28/19

For this week’s edition of “Shorts Round Up of the Week” we have a look at pitch for toys involving Italian Turtles, a horror tale about a pale lady, and a comedic spoof of an eighties Christmas horror classic.

If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers. 

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Get Shorty (1995): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

I’m one of those people that always saw many of the Elmore Leonard cinematic adaptations very dull and often painfully smug in their cooler than thou attitudes (“Jackie Brown” excluded). “Get Shorty” attempts to mix gangster cinema, with Hollywood satire and neither of it is ever quite as interesting as its think it is. “Get Shorty,” even at its darkest, is never quite as clever or immensely cynical about filmmaking as Robert Altman’s “The Player.” It proves it with a climax that’s more of an ending based on a more comedic look at the filmmaking process rather than the dark world void of creativity it can be and often is.

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Neil Simon Comedies – The Playwright Collection (DVD)

For fans of the legendary playwright, Mill Creek Entertainment brings together a slew of his more interesting dramas and comedies to DVD all for folks that are interested in expanding the collection. I would have loved to see “Barefoot in the Park” included in this set, but for all things considered this is a nice buffer course for new fans that can study up on the late great Neil Simon, who helped re-define films about couples and relationships for everyone.

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20 Years Later, “Cruel Intentions” is Still One of My Favorite Erotic Dramas

Back in Theaters on March 22nd for One Week Only.

“Cruel Intentions” is what many would describe as camp, but also high camp–which is probably why I love it so much. For a time where just about everything in the nineties was derived from classic literature only re-worked for teens (“Pygmalion,” “Emma,” “Romeo & Juliet” to name a few), I’m surprised anyone thought it would be a great idea to take “Dangerous Liasons” and turn it in to an erotic thriller marketed for younger audiences. While the movie doesn’t feature teenagers, it’s heavily dominated by a cast of young actors entering their early twenties, along with a lot of intimations toward prepubescent sex.

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Burning (Beoning) (2018)

There’s so much about Chang-dong Lee’s dramatic mystery that I had a good time picking apart. It’s a long and occasionally trying film, I’ll admit, but director Chang-dong Lee slowly but surely takes every single element of his narrative and places them in their proper order, allowing for a character study about class warfare and paranoia that is quite satisfying. I wasn’t really privy to what “Burning” was about when I first stepped in to it, but I had a difficult time looking away from it as it unfolded, as Chang-dong Lee dissects a lot about the haves and the have nots, the idea of love, and obsession.

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Aquaman (2018) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

While comic book movies are almost always a guaranteed money maker, it’s quite a shock to many that one of the highest grossing comic book movies of all time is a movie about Aquaman. After spending decades being a basic punch line for all of pop culture, Aquaman swoops in and basically has changed the course of how we think of the character and DC’s Comic book movies. All it took was a skilled director like James Wan, and the undeniable charisma of Jason Momoa.

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I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978): Criterion Collection [Blu-Ray]

Robert Zemeckis’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is a charming, if flawed tribute to the Beatles and the rampant Beatles Mania that ran throughout much of the late sixties. I’m sure Zemeckis bear witness to a lot of the “Beatlemania,” and his film seems to come from a place of experience. For folks that loved movies like “American Graffiti” or “Dazed and Confused,” Zemeckis’ 1978 comedy is one of those movie set over the course of a night that centers on a group of teenagers that are so devoted to the Beatles, they risk just about everything to see them on the Ed Sullivan Show.

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Audition (Ôdishon) (1999): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray/DVD]

It should just about go without saying that “Audition” is basically Takashe Miike’s masterpiece. If not then it’s the most accessible in where Miike is able to basically cut loose in a horror movie that begins as a romance about a man finding love again that descends in to darkness and torture. Twenty years later, “Audition” is a masterpiece of the genre, of film, and hasn’t aged a single bit since its release in 1999. It embraces romance, drama, a hint of dark comedy, and builds up to a fever pitch of a climax that’s both horrifying and will leave audiences feeling physically pained.

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