Today’s New Release: ELEPHANT SIGHS

elephant

 

TODAY’S NEW RELEASE: ELEPHANT SIGHS

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What a warm and deeply touching film. I must admit, I certainly did not expect this quiet, unassuming comedy to hold such treasure. It is not often in cinema that we really have an opportunity to peer into the souls of men. I hate to sound like a woman, but there are so many films that paint the emotions and delve into the feelings of women, in general. I find it such a rarity to have a deep and insightful view of the layers of male emotions, thoughts, and sentiment. “Elephant Sighs” delivers on this and then some. Heavy with intelligent dialogue and a stream of interesting (yet “everyday”) characters, this film is that of an onion; it begins with the outer layer and as the movie progresses, each layer peels back slowly to invite us into the depth of the souls of each of the leading men. With big players such as Ed Asner (winner of 7 Emmy Awards), John Carini (Broadway acclaimed actor), and Jack Kehler (Big Lebowski) you are up for quite the treat, to say the least, viewers. My favorite aspect in a movie, is realness and authenticity. Why is this the case, you may ask? Because nowadays so many movies are totally stylized. I enjoy the subtler film, the type of film that creates a space for engaging dialogue, warmth, and believable, true characters. This movies embodies all of that.

 

Director: Ed Simpson

Starring: Ed Asner, John Carini, Jack Kehler, Mark Fite

Today’s New Release: THE SMOKERS

smokers

 

TODAY’S NEW RELEASE: THE SMOKERS

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Hey ladies, have you been rejected lately? Had a date that ended less than favorably? Have you recently had your heart stomped on? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, than “The Smokers” might be the ideal movie for you! Lucky for me, I have recently experienced such misfortune, maybe that is why I found this movie fun and mean spirited in that witchy-woman kind of way. I cannot say that the film is terribly relatable otherwise, as I do not come from a privileged life, wealthy family nor did I attend boarding school. However, I am a woman and have had those ridiculously vengeful and evil thoughts about boys and men in my life before, admit it, you have to. It is through this connection that I had fun with this film. Not to mention, the cast has some decent players such as; Dominique Swan, Busy Phillips and Thora Birch. (Birch by the way, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the 2003 DVD Exclusive Awards for her role in this film.) Plus there is yummy eye-candy for us females with actors such as; Joel West, Oliver Hudson, and Ryan Browning. Aside from the shallowness, I am sorry, but you are simply not going to reach “deep waters” with this movie, at all. It is a light, revenge seeking film about three females wanting to “even” the score with men once and for all.

 

Director: Kat Slater

Starring: Dominique Swan, Thora Birch, Busy Phillips, Joel West, Oliver Hudson.

 

 

Today’s New Release: SPLIT ENDS

split

TODAY’S NEW RELEASE: SPLIT ENDS

 

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Home Grown Award Winner at the Garden State Film Festival, “Split Ends” is a perfectly sweet romantic comedy. I find it to be reminiscent of “You Got Mail” in which there is a similar story line. A small business owner fights to protect their small operation from the demons of corporate America. “Split Ends” is along the same vain. Lizzie Munro is originally from Scotland, now she resides and runs a salon comfortably in a quaint town in New Jersey. One fateful day, a group of investors step in and propose the creation of a new mall called “Cortona.” Cortona would wipe out not only Lizzie’s beauty shop, but countless other small shops in the area. Instead of backing down, Lizzie decides to rally all of the other small business owners into fighting the construction of Cortona. This tale does not hit far from homes in America. So often large corporations with their low prices and huge convenience lure us into the machine of greed. I appreciate how this movie had me thinking about the local stores and restaurants that I frequent that do not cater to the masses. Yes viewers, we have heard similar tales in the past, but the moxie, wit and determination that Lizzie demonstrates is positively motivating! “Split Ends” is a film about perseverance, about standing up for yourself, about doing the right thing.

 

Director: Dorothy Lyman

Starring: Corinna May, Vincent Pastore, Lawton Paseka, Richard Bekins

Language: English

Today’s New Release: THE LANDLORD

THE LANDLORD

 

TODAY’S NEW RELASE: THE LANDLORD

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So what we have here viewers, is a delicious blend of horror-meets-comedy-meets-zombies, so you know the description of delicious is apropos. We have the landlord (Tyler) played Derek Dziak, whose primary occupation is that of a landlord; find tenants, collect rent and hand over all proceedings to his sister (Amy). Sounds simple enough, right? Well, there is one drawback, the building is TRULY “run” by two flesh eating zombies who cannot get enough of every new tenant, literally. Also, let us add that Tyler’s sister Amy, happens to be a police officer having problems of her own, she is actually quite the lazy cop. She devises a plan to befriend and pay local vampires to take care of any unnecessary crime that comes her way. Amy has the vampires so conned that they even bring her all the money and drugs that they collect from all of the street criminals. You can probably see viewers, how both crazy storylines eventually intersect to create a truly odd horror film. Let us face it viewers, low-budget films always deliver because the filmmakers have to lean on something more; a smarter script, comedic timing, fun or “hamminess.” I really appreciate that about low-budget films and if you do as well, than “The Landlord” is the cooky horror film, for you tonight!

 

Director: Emil Hyde

Starring: Michelle Courvais, Derek Dziak, Kurt Ehrmann, Amanda Cohen.

 

 

TODAY’S NEW RELEASE: S&M HUNTER BEGINS

S&M

 

TODAY’S NEW RELEASE: S & M HUNTER BEGINS

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What is honestly more fun than a Pink Eiga film? Why nothing, of course! I absolutely love the hilarious, raunchy and sexy films that come out of Japan’s Pink collection, this installment is from 1986 and directed flawlessly by Shuji Kataoka. Utilizing a comic-book superhero premise as the platform, “S & M Hunter Begins” manages to have enough vulgarity and taboos to make this one of the best sex-comedy adventures I have embarked on in some time! The storyline breaks down as such; a misogynist visits a “sex house” to vent out some of his frustrations. However, the “dungeon master” decides that this man is no masochist but a sadist. With that declaration, enter the “ultimate sadist”, yes in superhero garb even, “The S & M Hunter”. “The S & M Hunter” is not only a sadist but a technical master at the art of ropes and tying his “victims” up. It is not long before the misogynist admits that an all woman gang (The Bombers) have kidnapped his boyfriend. What ensues next is an all out war between The Bombers and The S & M Hunter, naturally, viewers! You have to appreciate the odd, the bizarre, and the campy humor in order to fully embrace this film, viewers. Yet, if this formula sounds right to you, than “S & M Hunter Begins” is the perfect concoction for you tonight!

 

Director: Shuji Kataoka

Starring: Shiro Shimomoto, Hiromi Saotome, Yutaka Ikejima, Ayu Kiyokawa

Language: Japanese

Subtitles: English

Today’s New Release: DO I LOVE YOU?

do i love you

 

TODAY’S NEW RELEASE: DO I LOVE YOU?

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Let me begin by saying that this is a debut film for director-writer-star Lisa Gornick, so there are definitely some mixed reviews out in the media world about the movie, “Do I Love You.” I discovered that I too, had mixed feelings about the film. Lisa Gornick plays Marina, a young thirty-something woman, who is grappling with her understanding of her place in her world and the purpose to her life. Pretty heavy issues, but they are meant to be tackled in a light way in this comedic drama. Marina has a live-in girlfriend (Romy), and as Marina begins her self exploration, she inches further and further away from Romy. Marina recognizes that she is passionate about writing but unable to follow this through to completion, she has longings for a child thinking that this may fill her empty cup, she experiments with long lost boyfriends (although she is a lesbian), the whole time questioning and seeking her own identity. We also are privy to other lesbian relationships that are struggling, with issues such as trust and fidelity. I feel it needs to be said that this is one of the most raw and honest relationship movies I have watched in some time. I wish that director Lisa Gornick had embraced that aspect instead of trying a little too hard to make it more intellectual. Overall, a decent first film for this up and coming filmmaker.

 

Director: Lisa Gornick

Starring: Lisa Gornick, Harri Alexander, Birgitta Bernhard, Darren Black

Language: English

Today’s New Release: NO MAN’S ISLAND

NO MANS

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“No Man’s Island” was entered into the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival this year and it is my sincere hope that is met with great acclaim at others as this Hungarian film is such a light-hearted feel-great film! We have something close to a fairytale here as real life characters yearn to slip away to an oasis where one can live peacefully without the stress and constraints of “real word” hardships. “No Man’s Island” gives us a stylized, yet human movie that is full of humor and romance. We are offered three unlikely characters, a cabbie (Eszter Banfalvy) who robs a Mafia boss for his money, an aspiring basketball star (Tamas Mohai) who sleeps with countless women, and a runaway bride (Juli Jakab) who becomes a skyscraping window washer. When the three characters lives collide, “No Man’s Island” takes off on a roller coaster ride that is too fun to dream of getting off of. These three actors are unbelievably talented, especially considering that for some, this was their debut film, the movie wreaks of honesty and relatability. I found myself completely engrossed and also cheering specific characters on, throughout the film. That, sprinkled with a well written script and excellent direction, make this, tonight’s must-see film!

 

Director: Forenc Torek

Starring: Juli Jakab, Tamas Mohai, Eszter Banfalvy

Language: Hungarian

Subtitles: English

Today’s New Release: PASSPORT TO LOVE

passport

 

TODAY’S NEW RELEASE: PASSPORT TO LOVE

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As a BIGSTAR subscriber or visitor, you probably are a fan of foreign films, as am I. It is such a pity to me that more foreign films do not have a broader audience and a wider range of acceptance. There are so many little gems out there, smashing nuggets of cinematic fun! “Passport To Love” is one of those movies, it is commercial enough to be released anywhere in the world, yet charming and sweet enough to captivate an audience. I loved it! The film is in Vietnamese with English subtitles and is shot in both Saigon and Southern California. The story focuses on two young men, one is Heiu a studious and serious young man sent along with his crazy, wild and spoiled “bestie” Khang, to California in pursuit of a college degree. The mishaps that these two men encounter along the way are hilarious and completely indicative of college life and foreign living. Then there is a whole love entanglement that both men encounter, Khang falling for a gorgeous police officer, and Heiu caught in between his love for his woman back in Saigon and the new lovely lady he is encountering in America. What does all of this amount to? One of the most hilarious and romantic foreign comedies I have watched in a long time!

 

  • Director:  Victor Vu
  • Starring:  Binh Minh, Huy Khanh, Kathy Uyen
  • Languages:  English and Vietnamese
  • Subtitle(s):  English

Today’s New Release: WARM WATER UNDER A RED BRIDGE

water

 

TODAY’S NEW RELEASE: WARM WATER UNDER A RED BRIDGE

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“Warm Water Under A Red Bridge” is way more than the title would suggest. Please bear in mind that it is mostly in America where sexuality and sexual-ness is considered taboo. The premise of the film is a that of a man, (Yosuke)whose dear old friend (Taro) has just passed, but before his comrade’s death he learns of a treasure that Taro has buried in another place. This begins the traveler’s quest in search of such “treasure” (a gold Buddha). Yet what our leading character soon discovers is the treasure of a young woman. Although the film has plenty of witty moments and tries to be very light-hearted with comedic timing, the music, especially during the sexual scenes comes off as clunky and a little bit disturbing. The sex scenes are pretty hot and trying to diffuse these steamy moments only made me feel awkward. “Warm Water Under A Red Bridge” truly comes out like a fantasy or ancient myth of long ago, despite the fact that it takes place in modern times. This is done with great ease by director Inamura, (“Black Rain,” “The Insect Woman”) who quietly offers this notion of a man leaving his nagging wife to go on a journey, and finds a lovely water goddess who needs him to free her from her burdens. Tonight’s fascinating must-see!

 

  • Director: Shohei Imamura
  • Starring:  Koji Yakusho; Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baisho
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitle(s): English

Today’s New Release: HE’S ON MY MIND

hes on my mind

 

TODAY’S NEW RELEASE: HE’S ON MY MIND

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“He’s On My Mind” is the perfect chick flick for all of you ladies to watch, tonight! Reminiscent of the film starring Mel Gibson titled “What Women Want,” what makes this particular movie so refreshing is that it is told from the woman’s perspective. The basic premise follows as such; Kayla is a beautiful (she is truly quite stunning) fifth grade teacher who has found the love of her life and marries him on the spot, in Las Vegas. It only takes a short time for her to discover that her new husband is in fact married to another as well. Wow, can love be challenging at times, or what? Kayla decides to immerse herself in psychology books one day at the library, falls asleep, and when she wakes she can somehow magically “hear” what all males are thinking. This is quite the challenge in the classroom but becomes an advantage in the dating world. I really loved the tight-knit group Kayla has to count on in her girlfriends. The men in the film are also very easy on the eyes, particularly actor Ayo Sorrells, he is a hottie! This is a romantic comedy viewers, maybe at times the acting is a little bit awkward but it is easy to see past it as some lines are hilarious and delivered perfectly! I recommend “He’s On My Mind” as the ultimate after break-up flick or to watch with your girls and some good wine!

 

  • Director:  Kazeem Molake
  • Starring::  Sherial McKinney, Ayo Sorrells, Dylan Mooney, Shamari Berkley