Must See Movies of the Week (12/19)

It’s Christmas week! Many of you are running out and getting last minute presents. Well I’m here to help out. Here are this weeks must-see movie recommendations that would also be ideal stocking stuffer gifts. This week’s movie pics offer a nice variety of selections.

DUNKIRK:

After a few years away from the big screen, director Christopher Nolan returned with the jaw-dropping war epic, Dunkirk. The World War II battle of Dunkirk didn’t get much mention mainstream (at least in America) as a significant event, but this movie is certain to give you a new perspective and education. The way Nolan encapsulated the scale and magnitude of this event is remarkable. The visuals are top-notch. The terrific ensemble of actors includes the vastly underrated Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, along with a surprise debut from singer Harry Styles, whose actually alright in the movie.

There is a lot that this movie offers. Spectacular sights, incredible storytelling, fantastic directing and good acting. The score is also to behold. There is no reason not to see Dunkirk, which will be a frontrunner in many categories during awards season, certainly to include a Best Picture nomination.

Find out why Dunkirk would be a perfect stocking stuffer gift

Dunkirk is out now on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD

Interview: ‘Leatherface’ Director Julien Maury

The team of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo are horror film aficionados. They are also the men behind some really good horror films, such as, Inside and ABC’s of Death 2. Their latest film, Leatherface, is an origins story to the classic horror movie villain from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. I had a chance to speak to Julien about the new Leatherface film and learn about what attracted him to the story and the approach he took telling it.

What attracted you to the script:

JM: Honestly what hooked us was that the narrative structure was very different from the others (Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies) in the saga, franchise. We basically have the same structure on every other film, where a bunch of kids are getting lost on the lens of the family and they are getting killed. Here it was was much more like road movie. That was something quite interesting for Alex and I. We felt we could bring it more easily to our universe. 

How important was it to separate to narrate the difference from the young version of this character from the one that everyone knows him to be:

JM: It was one of the challenges. In the first draft it was much more of a ‘who done it’ movie. A bunch of crazy teenagers, we didn’t know which one would become Leatherface. Versions after versions we lost a little bit of the suspects till the end. Honestly, it is really challenging for a director to have an opportunity to tell a story of bad guys, villains.

MY TAKE: 

My impression of Julien was first and foremost that he was a really cool dude. Very open and passionate. Someone who is easy to talk to and personable. I couldn’t ask for more. I liked how descriptive he was on how he wanted to change the character and not make it cliche, by also acknowledging how smart horror fans are, relating it to him being a fan himself. That sort of understanding of the genre and its pitfalls comes through in the way they went against the cliches in directed this film.

I thought it was interesting when he said that Alex and him love bad guys and finding the humanity in them. That’s a really neat perspective to characters who usually lack any sort of humanity in horror films.

Overall, he gave great breakdown of the film and the thinking behind what they ended up doing. I liked when he said that the more realistic you are in the beginning, the crazier you can get at the end. Such smart and true perspective.

One of the best answers I’ve gotten from anyone I interviewed was when he told me he was involved and passionate about ecology. His laugh was infectious.

Leatherface is a unique origin story and interesting watch with enough scares and gore to satisfy your horror expectations. A really good horror movie to see for Halloween.

Leatherface is out now in select theaters (check local listings), On Demand and DIRECTV 

Must See Releases Of The Week (Oct. 17)

In the weekly installment of must see releases of the week, the week of October 17 offers some interesting under-the-radar choices. The following are Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and limited theatrical releases you should check out.

SHOT CALLER:

This film is a drama-thriller, but it’s scary how intense it is. Shot Caller depicts the intimidating world of prison life. Game of Thrones Nikolaj Coster-Waldau stars in the leading role (he’s terrific) as a prisoner who is operating outside the prison, but under prison rules. It’s about two very different worlds, the prison life, and outside and how little gangs rule from both sides. The inside look that of prison life is as authentically depicted as a non-documentary movie possibly can. The cast is of supporting talent is very strong with the likes of Lake Bell, Jon Bernthal and Emory Cohen. Shot Caller is raw, violent and engrossing. Life throws us curveballs and this story you see the extreme measures someone will go to protect people closest to them.

Special Features:

  • “Inside Job” Featurette
  • Filmmaker Commentary

Shot Caller is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD