Welcome to the 8th issue of ‘Word of Mouth’ with D-Rock!
This column is specifically geared for people searching for great films outside the mainstream. If you enjoy discovering films of these nature, then join me every week as I try to increase word of mouth on these hidden treasures. That being said, let’s begin.
This week, Pain & Gain will hit movie theaters everywhere and will entertain audiences with musclebound meat-heads screwing up a kidnapping. So, this week I will discuss some obscure films involving kidnappings, missing persons, and/or disappearances. These films have never entered the mainstream, but as always, I will try to provide a way for you to locate them. Also, at the bottom of the article I list a few upcoming films you may want to keep on your radar. Feel free to share picks of your own in the comment section at the bottom.
WORD OF MOUTH
This is a movie that caught me by complete surprise. Looking at the cover, you would not expect such a complex piece of work, however, Tell No One is story-telling at its absolute finest. The film involves Alexander Beck, a pediatrician whose wife was fiercely murdered 8 years ago while they were on vacation. At the time, Alexander was the only suspect in the case. Now, Alexander still strives to find peace and understanding around the circumstances that befell that terrible day. That is until two dead bodies appear once again at the same location and the case is reopened with him as the prime suspect. However, a new mysterious ingredient has just revealed itself to Alexander. He receives an e-mail revealing his wife in a picture who is older and ALIVE and well, with an added message saying “Tell No One.” Tell me that doesn’t intrigue you like crazy. The film is beautifully done with remarkable performances all around. Trust me when I say that this is a near perfect film. It actually frustrated me when it was over that I had not heard more buzz about it before watching. If you have Netflix, I highly recommend giving your time to Tell No One. You will not regret it. Available for Netflix Streaming.
This next movie is an action piece that is in the same vein as such works as Taken and Man on Fire. Even though I found this movie to be slightly copycating those kind of films, The Man From Nowhere still possesses unique qualities that make it worth your time. The film involves an ex Special Agent who has settled in a quiet life as a pawn shop owner. The man typically keeps to himself on a daily basis without investing too much interest with the outside world. One day, he befriends a young girl in his apartment complex, who has a troubled mother. The mother entrust the mysterious man with a package for safekeeping. What she doesn’t tell him though, is she is trafficking drugs for a major empire. The traffickers find out the mother is smuggling the drugs, and then kidnap her and the young daughter. After the mother’s body is found disemboweled, the mysterious man realizes the young girl may also be found dead or killed any minute as well. He sets out to take down any one in his way to find out the fate of his only friend. The Man From Nowhere has insanely well executed action beats, with great fight choreography. Those familiar with South Korean cinema will love it. Available for Netflix Streaming.
Those who love British thrillers will certainly enjoy this next pick. The Disappearance of Alice Creed started gaining attention a few years back for its effective story-telling on such a modest budget. It’s rather tough to talk about the story due to the many twist throughout the film, but I will try to give a small breakdown of the premise. The film revolves around two criminals– Vic and Danny– who have kidnapped an important young woman named Alice Creed. They have carefully orchestrated the kidnapping by securing an apartment location and handcuffing her to the bed. However, as the day plays on, there is more to this kidnapping and Alice Creed than both men anticipated. This is the first full length picture from writer-director J. Blakeson and it’s a surprisingly solid debut. If you are looking for a decent thriller then this is surely one to check out Available for Netflix Streaming.
This week we’re going to start with something new on the column with an addition of word of mouth weekly staff picks. Sure I know of a lot of stuff to recommend, but I’m not the only Renegade who has knowledge of hidden gems. Also, to make things more fun, the staff picks are not limited to just movies, but now include television, books, comics, and various other forms of entertainment as well. Check out this week’s picks from my fellow Renegades.
Shawn S. Lealos
With Otis, Tony Krantz crafts together one of the better indie horror films I have seen. With his casting, use of music, and great mix of humor and horror, Krantz made a movie that just shocked the hell out of me. In this very black comedy, Otis is an overgrown pizza delivery driver who only wants to play pretend with the girls he kidnaps. He has killed four girls and just wants to find one that he can pretend to go to prom with. What makes the movie different is the twist midway through that turns everything on its head. This is not just a great small quirky, independent movie, it is a great movie period. I can’t recommend this enough.
The best way to describe Les Grossman’s masterful novel, The Magicians, is to call it “fantasy for adults.” In the novel, a teenager named Quentin Coldwater is accepted to a university that teaches magic. After graduating, Quentin discovers that a magical realm from his favorite book series is real, and he travels there to explore it. Grossman combines elements of Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia to create his own universe, and he approaches this universe in the same realistic and deconstructive way that Alan Moore did in Watchmen. The result is an unforgettable and heartbreaking tale.
Bronson is an amazing and sometimes odd bio-pic that goes into the life of Charles Bronson . . . no not the DEATH WISH actor but the one known as Britain’s Most Violent Prisoner. It’s directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (DRIVE, ONLY GOD FORGIVES) and star’s Tom Hardy (mostly known as Bane from THE DARK KNIGHT RISES). This film is truly a testament to Tom Hardy’s acting. Before I had seen this film I had no idea of the talent that Mr. Hardy possessed. He is all together insane, hilarious, poetic and bullish. I fell in love with Tom Hardy after this film. If you love A CLOCKWORK ORANGE then you will love this film since it shares that films style of story-telling a tad. Get into the mind of a madman with BRONSON.
Netflix Pick of the Week
Every week I’ll recommend a film on Netflix Instant Streaming you may want to consider. This week’s selection is possibly the strangest selection I will ever recommend. In fact , I’m not even sure how to fully explain what this film is actually about. That being said, this film is one of the most daring arthouse films to possibly come along in a while. Holy Motors to my best interpretation is a a two and a half hour tribute to the power of acting in cinema. Denis Levant– who plays the lead role– transforms himself into almost 10 or more roles over the course of the journey, and each performance is drastically different from the last. How this guy did not get a best actor nod last year is staggering. Understand though, Holy Motors is not for everyone. I only recommend it to people who enjoy extremely artsy foreign films.
UPCOMING RELEASES TO WATCH FOR
The Place Beyond the Pines
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Only God Forgives