If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I know what you're saying: "Cyrus, really? A killer car movie? That's a sub-genre that's been exhausted". And my instinct was right there with you. My instinct was wrong. Believe it or not, while not exactly a masterpiece of horror by anyone's definition, "Super Hybrid" finds just enough of a new angle on the driverless death car thing to be pretty entertaining. A low budget turns it into a bottle film, trapping a group of folks in a multi-story parking area attached to a garage, while an intelligent, shape (or is that model?)-shifting, evolved predator hunts them. There's not much in the way of gore, no bewbs, and it's not like you're gonna get scared, yet there's some nice little surprises here and there, and a cool ending. The b-movie fun works because for once (lately) it's not wearing how ridiculously self-aware of it's own silliness on it's sleeve, behaving earnestly without winking the whole time, a technique that quite frankly, has gotten pretty old. Even with all its various faults, it's important to notice how effective keeping up a rapid pace is, something "Super Hybrid" does with max efficiency.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Super Hybrid [Blu-ray]
NEDS - NON EDUCATED DELINQUENTS (DVD)
Another new term to learn for juvenile delinquents? Apparently in Scotland, the proper terminology is "Neds", making it I believe the only acronym epithet I've yet encountered, but it's clear from the amount of regional names for these seriously pissed off kids, that this is hardly an isolated problem. The film follows the birth of a new Ned, the young and impressionable John McGill (Conor McCarron). Despite being at the top of his class, he's seduced by the anarchic local Neds when they legacy him in, rather than beating him up, because of his well-known ruffian older brother, Benny. His teachers don't make it any easier, expecting him from the start to go bad because of their experiences with the troublesome older brother in the past. "Neds" makes an Ouroboros argument for the growing hordes of these disaffected and angry children, and perhaps comes at the exact right time, it's release so soon after the London riots. Peter Mullan, best known as a director for 2002's stirring "The Magdalene Sisters", has made another movie that'll likely spur some heated conversations.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Neds
The best thing about the blu-ray format is that lots of movies that I meant to see, didn't see, and forgot existed, are coming back around with a helpful HD nudge to give me a second chance. I don't know why I originally missed the 1998 John Dahl noir-ish gambling film, especially considering the director had made not too long before that, two wonderful entries in the neo-noir genre, "The Last Seduction" and "Red Rock West". "Rounders" stars Matt Damon as Mike, an ex-hardcore poker player who was using the game to put himself through law school, but when he loses a gigantic wad in a risky bid against a Russian mobster (John Malkovich), he promises his girlfriend (Gretchen Mol) he's done with the game. Until, that is, his long-time partner and childhood best friend, Lester (Ed Norton) is released from prison. Refusing to take no for an answer, Lester manipulates Mike into playing again so skillfully, that Mike actually thinks it was his idea, but that's addiction for ya. Unfortunately for Mike, Lester is bad news and he ends up getting held responsible for a huge debt owed by the ne'er-do-well. The two go on a huge, desperate, grift across the city's poker games, trying anything they can think of to keep from missing the deadline set by Malkovich's gangster and being at his not-so-tender mercies. Good performances can go a long way, but if you've never had much interest in gambling movies before now, "Rounders" isn't going to change your mind. On the other hand, if Texas Hold 'em is your thing, "Rounders" should be at the top of your Amazon wish list, as the film is so awash in the harsh realities of the world of underground competitive poker, that it'll drown anyone in tedium who doesn't find that fascinating from the get-go.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Rounders [Blu-ray]