Night in Paradise (2020)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Here’s a very good South Korean dramatic crime thriller. The cinematography is beautiful, and the performances are all strong. There are a few good shootout scenes too. They are only hampered by unrealistic gun action, which is a very common problem in movies. If you’ve never fired a gun, you won’t notice. The barely-kicking guns were easy for me to ignore because this really is an enjoyable, dark movie. The only other blemish is that the film on the slow side. However the climax is well worth the wait. I wish Netflix would invest in more movies like this. That streaming service has a real crap hoarding problem.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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Croupier (1998)

Streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

I like Clive Owen, and this is a pretty damned good drama with him as the lead. It’s got many twists and turns, a little skin, and some brawling too. Not a bad way to spend 90 minutes, compared to the vast universe of crap that is Netflix these days.

Available on Blu-ray from Henstooth.

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The Act of Killing (2012)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

So there’s this documentary where real-life Indonesian death squad members re-stage their crimes for the camera, including lavish song and dance numbers. No really, this exists, and is probably the most Anomalously Cinematic doc made in the last 15 years. I try to avoid Oscar nominated films here, but this is just too perfect to not share. I caught myself with my mouth hanging open several times while trying to absorb the multiple levels of crazy on display. I give The Act of Killing my strongest possible recommendation. Also check out director Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow up The Look of Silence, which is not as over-the-top, but well worth watching.

Available on Blu-ray from Drafthouse Films.

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Jallikattu (2019)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

I am happy to share another excellent movie out of India (you may recall that I recommended Tumbaad not long ago). This story revolves around a rampaging Water Buffalo, but it’s a lot more interesting than that might make you think. Human folly is on full display, with scenes ranging from hilarious to quite dark. There are a few slow moments, but overall this film is awesome, and beautifully shot. The soundtrack is damn good too. Jallikattu is available on Prime, in 4k no less.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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Nightcrawler (2014)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Jake Gyllenhaal makes very strange career choices, and I absolutely respect that. In this one he plays a creep like you wouldn’t believe. Nightcrawler is a none-more-black satire that starts slow, but builds into insanity. 100% solid Anomalous Cinema.

Blu-ray available from Universal.

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Killer Joe (2011)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

This is a very dark, but funny film based on a stage play. It’s so ugly and violent Matthew McConaughey almost threw the script in the trash. Almost. I’m glad he didn’t. Killer Joe is a unique movie that I definitely enjoyed.

Available on Blu-ray from Lion’s Gate.

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Avengement (2019)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

There are a ton of awful action movies on Netflix. This movie should have been one of them, but I loved it. It features English gangsters, almost non-stop fighting, a good story, and solid production values. You might need to turn on the subtitles as the accents and jargon are very thick for the duration. Really that’s a minor quibble, as this movie is a blast.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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Dirty Harry (1971)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This is such a well known movie I hesitated recommending it. I’m going to go ahead and tell you about Dirty Harry because I seriously love this film, and I think there’s many younger people that have never seen it.

Here’s two fun facts: this film was a major influence on all the Italian police action (Poliziotteschi) films after it, and was inspired by the Zodiac murders which were still ongoing at the time of it’s release. This killer is called The Scorpio, and is flawlessly played by Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser 1 & 2, Star Trek DS9). Robinson is so unhinged and despicable in this film it still blows my mind. Get ready for a grim, violent, blast of a movie, with beautiful cinematography and kick ass music by Lalo Schifrin. I’m green with envy for any of you that will be seeing this for the first time.

Available on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video.

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