Black Book (2006)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

Who would have thought that the man behind RoboCop and Showgirls would go on to make an excellent fact-based World War II movie? Not me. I’ve been a fan of most of Paul Verhoeven’s output, but I was still absolutely floored at how good this movie is. I give it my highest recommendation.

Available on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures.

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The Decline (2020)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

I have watched several movies released in 2020 and this is the first I can recommend without reservation. This is an original thriller that verges on action at times. I may like some silly movies, but little details like unrealistic firearm use can ruin it for me. This almost completely suspended my disbelief. Just watch The Decline, in it’s original French Canadian language, and let it do it’s thing.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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Mother (2009)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

Years before Parasite, Bong Joon Ho first got my attention with this very good thriller. Out of all of the director’s work, this is the standout aside from his Oscar winner. Lead actress Hye-ja Kim is absolutely spot-on. Hulu has several Bong Joon Ho films available right now FYI.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnolia.

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Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1988)

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu | imdb | trailer

Updated 4.24.20

I got grounded for sneaking in to see this back in 1988. Yes it’s a bit cheesy at times, but this film is extremely dark, and even more extremely violent. I personally like this better than the original Hellraiser. You get all you need to know about the story in the prologue, so just dive in. It’s not the greatest transfer, but it’s in 1080p HD. What bothers me is the fact they didn’t finish this storyline, and made a horrendously bad part three. Don’t let that stop you from seeing this as the plot is wrapped up satisfyingly enough by the end.

FYI – I originally posted this months before I got a copy of the Arrow Blu-ray. I compared it to the version on Amazon (I’ll assume it’s the same as Hulu) and the difference is pretty stunning. The Arrow version looks better in every way. It has more detail, better color, you name it. That said, if you’re a fan on this movie, get the Arrow Blu-ray. The extras alone are worth the investment.

Available on Blu-ray from Arrow.

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Department Q: The Keeper of Lost Causes (2013)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is the first film based on the popular Danish book series by Jussi Adler-Olsen. It’s a well-made crime thriller that borders on Law & Order level cheese, but is thankfully saved by it’s grit and stylishness. The sequel, titled The Absent One, is also streaming on Hulu, but I haven’t checked it out yet. Judging by the imdb ratings, it’s on the same level as Keeper, so I will definitely be watching it.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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Remember (2015)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This film was not well regarded by critics, but I enjoyed it. Yes, it’s not nearly as good as my previous Atom Egoyan recommendation The Sweet Hereafter. However I appreciated Remember better than a few other critically acclaimed films by the same director. It’s a good thriller, really. Check it out.

Available on Blu-ray from Lion’s Gate.

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Gang War in Milan (1973)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

I finally found an excellent Italian crime film in 1080p HD! This is a little slower paced for an Umberto Lenzi poliziotteschi, but very well made. It’s also a bit more serious than say, The Tough Ones. This was a total pleasure to watch as Raro Video’s restoration is fantastic. It features super saturated colors and deep shadows. Highly recommended.

Blu-ray available from Raro Video.

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Killer Joe (2011)

Streaming on Hulu | 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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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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Gangster No. 1 (2000)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

I enjoyed watching this on cable several years ago, so what a pleasant surprise to find it on Hulu. This is a solid English gangster riff on Goodfellas, but way more violent. Need I say more?

Oh yeah and keep an eye out for Dr. Channard from Hellraiser 2. He even has a scene with Uncle Frank.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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