Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bonus CineFiles: The Iron Lady, Fix: The Ministry Movie, and The Wicker Tree!

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.

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The Iron Lady (PG-13) (Blu-Ray)
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

I can’t even remember what Meryl Streep looks like anymore. She is truly the Lon Chaney of our generation, disappearing so deep into a character you forget that an actress exists beneath the make-up and fake teeth. Every award, every accolade, she fully deserves, and with this Margaret Thatcher biopic, she reaches her zenith, delivering a breathtaking performance so realistic you forget you’re watching a movie and feel like you’re viewing a documentary instead. Many have decried The Iron Lady as a hit-piece of sorts on Thatcher, but I feel that writer Abi Morgan and director Phyllida Lloyd actually did quite the opposite, depicting her as a strong-willed, take-no-prisoners leader that shattered the glass ceiling while maintaining a stiff upper lip; a strong, powerful woman who not only took on the boys’ club, but the world. If this movie was any truthful indication, I’d vote for her for U.S. president tomorrow. She could really get shit done.

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Fix: The Ministry Movie (NR)
Gigantic Pictures

Best known for their hits “Psalm 69” and “Jesus Built My Hot-Rod”, Ministry is widely regarded as one of the most influential industrial rock bands of all time. Not by me, per se, but by the likes of Trent Reznor and Skinny Puppy. The comedically unsettling tour documentary Fix followed the erstwhile group on their recent tour, capturing what seems to be a well-oiled machine that eventually devolves into a mess. Lead singer Al Jorgensen, who has intense drug habits — he’s shown shooting up on film a few times — throws paranoiac fits that leave the band standing around, placating him just so the show can continue. A cavalcade of alternative superstars, from the aforementioned Reznor and Lemmy to Dave Navarro and Casey Chaos show up, all needlessly pontificating when all we really want to do is watch Jorgensen self-destruct even further. Fix is relentlessly watchable and devastatingly bleak, but also darkly humorous in its self-effacing look at a now-washed-up band.


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The Wicker Tree (R) (Blu-Ray)
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment


Robin Hardy
’s 1973 cult shocker The Wicker Man is widely regarded as “the Citizen Kane of horror”, a slow-burn masterpiece that starred screen legend Christopher Lee as the leader of a mysterious island that continues to practice murderous Celtic pagan rituals. It’s nearly 40 years later, and Hardy is delivering on his promise of a follow-up that, while falling short of the lofty heights set by its predecessor, still stands on its own as a nifty little terror-tale. A Texas-bred Christian music singer and her cowpoke boyfriend head to the lowlands of Scotland to spread the Gospel, finding, of course, another cultist community, this time desperate for the goddess to bless them with babies. While it treads on familiar ground, the looser restrictions on how to disturb an audience are in full effect, with more outright gore, something the original didn’t need. To be fair, another Wicker movie we didn’t need, but it’s here and it’s really worth a watch.

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