Haywire (2011)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Women’s MMA badass Gina Carano plays a super soldier out for revenge. This one took me by surprise the first time I saw it. Non-stop action from Steven Soderbergh?!? Yes. It isn’t a realistic fight film, but damn it’s fun to watch.

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 inspiration to 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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Sergio (2009)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Here’s a sad but informative doc about the life and death of UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello. I was skeptical of the importance of this man at first, but it becomes clear quickly that he was trying to make the world a better place. Sergio was murdered in a bombing in Iraq, and the filmmakers do not shy away from the disturbing details. Netflix has a dramatization of this story, with same name, coming out in April. I will check that out for sure.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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The Rover (2014)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This one seems to have really disappointed people hoping for another Mad Max movie. I thought it was a much more realistic depiction of what life would be after the fall or law and order. The Rover is not an action movie. It’s very deliberately paced. There are little bursts of gun play here and there, but it struck me as more of a subtle art film than anything else. All the actors were excellent, but between this and The Lighthouse I have gained a ton of respect for Robert Pattinson’s range. Not everyone will like this movie. I loved it.

Available on Blu-ray from Lion’s Gate.

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Defiance (2008)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Here’s a solid big budget history-based war film about three Jewish brothers that were resistance fighters in WW2. This has a good blend of drama and action. I was a bit torn on recommending Defiance as it’s a borderline blockbuster. What the hell, I liked it.

Available on Blu-ray from Paramount.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here.

The Other Side of the Wind (2018)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

There’s been a lot written about this movie. I’m just going to focus one one man who helped make Orson Welles’ lost film available for all to see. Bob Murawski.

Who the hell is that?

Well, Murawski first came to my attention as one of the founders of Grindhouse Releasing (the other was Sage Stallone RIP). Before the advent of DVD they released essential cult films like Cannibal Ferox on Laser Disc. Once I finally got a DVD player I bought the disc version of Ferox and was blown away by the quality of the film restoration and the truckload of extras. Every single movie that Grindhouse has worked on is worth seeing, and a few are downright essential to own.

Later I learned that Murawski was a respected film editor. Grindhouse restored Lucio Fulci’s legendary film The Beyond and Bob managed to edit a shot from Lucio’s film into his work on a little movie called Spiderman (2002). How crazy is that?

Years later Grindhouse resurrected the lost cult film Gone With the Pope. The level of work that went into that restoration is mind boggling. Shortly thereafter Bob was contacted to put those film re-animation skills to work on a certain legendary Orson Welles project. Netflix made a documentary related to The Other Side of the Wind, so naturally I assumed that Murawski’s work would be covered. Nope. While the doc They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead is well-worth watching, if you want to know about Bob’s work you’ll have to read the following interview. That ain’t right.

For all the above mentioned awesome things and more let me say this… Thank you Bob. You are a true hero to the history of cinema.

Oh yeah… I enjoyed The Other Side of the Wind too.

Not available on Blu-ray, but it looks like it may be released by Criterion Collection eventually.

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Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-qiang (2016)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Here’s a solid overview of one of the more high-profile Chinese visual artists. Guo-qiang is known mostly for his epic firework performances. The movie also covers the artist tackling a major project that challenges him on every level. Sky Ladder is an absorbing documentary that I wish had a slightly longer run time. You won’t hear me say that very often.

Not available on Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here.

Holy Hell (2016)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

The story of an an 80’s New Age cult where the dark truth about their leader gradually reveals itself. This isn’t Jonestown level crazy, but it’s pretty damned compelling. Psychedelic VHS footage abounds! The film takes a while to get to the nitty gritty, but it’s worth the investment of time. I recommend you mute the godawful song at the end.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here.

The Photographer of Mauthausen (2018)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This movie revolves around World War 2 Spanish prisoners in the Mauthausen concentration camp. Here’s another history-based drama that tells an interesting story I was totally unfamiliar with. The lead actor is Mario Casas from The Invisible Guest, who does a fine job. As you will imagine, this film is very dark. It is also, at times, brutally graphic. There are moments that feel a bit cheesy, but overall it’s an effective movie that I fully recommend.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here.