Hi everyone! Happy MLK Day and beginning of another week. We've got some really cool stuff going on in the next couple of days, including the start of Noir City Film Fest at the Castro Theatre, and a one day only screening of a live movie starring Woody Harrelson. And the return of Video Vortex!
Opening This Week
Early Screenings Thursday 19th (1hr 57min)
Opens Friday 20th
Drama/ Horror/ Mystery (RottenTomatoes)
While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. Though Kevin has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him - as well as everyone around him - as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.
Thursday 19th (2hrs)
Comedy/ Drama (IMDB)
Academy Award® nominated actor Woody Harrelson will direct and star in an unprecedented live feature film event, Lost in London LIVE, on January 19. Harrelson, who wrote the feature film “Lost in London,” will also co-star with Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson. Ken Kao of Waypoint Entertainment will produce alongside Harrelson. This first-of-its-kind film event will screen live in select cinemas nationwide, giving audiences the unique opportunity to watch a film shot in real time.
Tuesday 17th @ 10pm (1hr 46min)
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
Classic Vampire film about a teenager who learns that his next door neighbor is a vampire, and no one will believe him.
Thursday 19th @ 10:45pm (1hr 27min)
A mentally-unstable man finds his slow side into insanity hastened when he walks in on his wife and his best friend having sex, and embarks on a vicious killing spree that culminates in a shocking act of brutality. Mike Strauber was never a picture of mental health to begin with, but after becoming the victim of the ultimate betrayal, his odd fixation with the game "Truth or Dare?" becomes an outright obsession. Now, anyone unfortunate enough to cross his path will be forced to play, and odds are it'll be the last thing they ever do.
Criss Cross (1949)
Friday 20th @ 7:15pm (1hr 28min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
Armored car guard Steve Thompson (Burt Lancaster) should know better than to make whoopee with his no-good ex-wife Anna (Yvonne De Carlo) -- especially since she's now married to gangster Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea). Caught by Slim in a compromising position with Anna, Steve alibis that he's merely planning an armored car heist. Slim doesn't completely buy this, but he decides to go through with the robbery, sending along several henchmen to make sure that Steve doesn't pull a double-cross. But he hasn't reckoned with Anna, who convinces the wounded Steve to steal the loot and skip town with her. No one ever wins in a set-up like this; the audience knows this, but follows along just the same. Based on a novel by Don Tracy, Criss Cross is a terse, doom-drenched film noir from a master of the game, director Robert Siodmak. And yes, that handsome hunk dancing with Yvonne De Carlo in the opening scene is an unbilled Tony Curtis.
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
Friday 20th @ 9:10pm (1hr 52min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
The Asphalt Jungle is a brilliantly conceived and executed anatomy of a crime -- or, as director John Huston and scripter Ben Maddow put it, "a left-handed form of human endeavor." Recently paroled master criminal Erwin "Doc" Riedenschneider (Sam Jaffe), with funding from crooked attorney Emmerich (Louis Calhern), gathers several crooks together in Cincinnati for a Big Caper. Among those involved are Dix (Sterling Hayden), an impoverished hood who sees the upcoming jewel heist as a means to finance his dream of owning a horse farm. Hunch-backed cafe owner (James Whitmore) is hired on to be the driver for the heist; professional safecracker Louis Ciavelli (Anthony Caruso) assembles the tools of his trade; and a bookie (Marc Lawrence) acts as Emmerich's go-between. The robbery is pulled off successfully, but an alert night watchman shoots Ciavelli. Corrupt cop (Barry Kelley), angry that his "patsy" (Lawrence) didn't let him in on the caper, beats the bookie into confessing and fingering the other criminals involved. From this point on, the meticulously planned crime falls apart with the inevitability of a Greek tragedy. Way down on the cast list is Marilyn Monroe in her star-making bit as Emmerich's sexy "niece"; whenever The Asphalt Jungle would be reissued, Monroe would figure prominently in the print ads as one of the stars. The Asphalt Jungle was based on a novel by the prolific W.R. Burnett, who also wrote Little Caesar and Saint Johnson (the fictionalized life story of Wyatt Earp).
Nippon Nights Presents
Wednesday 18th @ 9:15pm (1hr 39min)
Crime/ Drama (IMDB)
Kinji Fukasaku directed this powerful and uncompromising look at the deadly stakes of life among the Yakuza -- the Japanese Mafia. Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara) is a former Japanese soldier who, following his nation's defeat in World War II, finds himself in a prison cell in Hiroshima on a murder charge. While behind bars, Hirono gains a loyal friend in fellow criminal Wagasugi (Tatsuo Umemiya), and upon his release Hirono joins Wagasugi in an underworld gang. What starts as a seemingly easy way to earn some quick money becomes something darker and bloodier as Wagasugi and his comrades fall into a violent street war against another mob faction that grows into a long-standing feud. Jingi Naki Tatakai (aka The Yakuza Papers: Battles Without Honor and Humanity) was the first in a series of five successful crime films from Fukasaku. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi