Can't get enough Miserables? This almost-seventeen-hour sextuple-feature would put even Victor Hugo's endurance to the test: start with the Oscar-nominated Russell Crowe singing version, then this 1958 French version starring the great Jean Gabin, this 1935 Frederic Marsh version, this 1952 Michael Rennie version, this 1998 Liam Neeson version and finish up with this 1986 stage version. Why not?
Werner Herzog's hypnotic Lessons of Darkness, consisting almost entirely of decontextualized images of oil fires, showed as part of the 2013 Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Film Festival's "More Reel" program that "focus[ed] on documentary and narrative films that creatively blur boundaries between fact and fiction." And, since everyone likes a good Minnesota connection, Herzog issued something of a manifesto on the subject while speaking at the Walker in 1999.
Taylor Hackford's Parker is a sort of remake, sort of belated sequel to John Boorman's late-'60s revenge super-classic Point Blank (which was also remade as Payback with Mel Gibson) both based on novels by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake) and overlapping to a certain extent. Sure, Jason Statham is a tough dude and a pretty good actor by action hero standards, but Lee Marvin is some kind of Jungian archetype coughed up by the collective unconscious, prowling through the Los Angeles night for just long enough to get his money back before he dissolves back into the mist. Yeah, there have been lots of movies about double crossed tough guys out to get theirs back, but this is the nexus. This is where it all comes together.
The estimable Criterion Collection presents a beautiful new re-release of the 1984 Emilio Estevez inner-circle cult-classic Repo Man. Alex Cox' masterpiece features so much iconic '80s weirdness that no description could do it justice. You will love it or hate it. Or, rather, you will probably hate it or you already love it.
Modern minds are boggled by the fact that the Monkees sold more records in 1967 than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined. Which makes Harold Lloyd a sort of curious genremate of theirs, having been more popular with contemporary audiences than either Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin. But before we judge historical audiences too harshly, remember that Kevin James' Zookeeper made about twice as much money as There Will Be Blood.
But, I digress. Lloyd's Safety Last! may not equal the artistic pinnacles of either Keaton or Chaplin, but it is a tremendous entertainment, and the climactic stunt of Lloyd climbing straight up the side of a skyscraper (including, as he hangs from the hands of the big clock high above a crowd of onlookers, one of the most famous images in the history of movies (many more people know the image than know Lloyd's name)) is definitely Keaton-worthy. Thanks to Criterion Collection for giving their special loving treatment to this lesser known classic.