The Cloth, At Any Price, Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin' 


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At Any Price (R)

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Coming on the heels of a nearly textbook emergence among a new class of neo-realist, multi-culti auteurs, Iranian-American writer-director Ramin Bahrani finds his fresh urgency misplaced in At Any Price. Dennis Quaid gives an admirably oddball performance as an Iowa farmer whose hopes of having a son take over the family business seem dashed when his youngest (Zac Efron) rebels to race cars. Although Bahrani's photographic talents shine brightest in the farm scenes, the racing detour isn't as abrupt as it seems; Bahrani was born in NASCAR-crazy Winston-Salem, N.C., and that familiarity shows. What fits him less well is the gloss that comes with a recognizable cast, as well as a weak take on the politics of modern agribusiness. In both racing and farming, adaptation is key; here's hoping Bahrani shifts gears quickly. — Justin Strout

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Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin' (NR)

Cinema Libre Studio

Robert Williams is probably one of the finest artists of the 20th century, and chances are you've never heard of him. Best known for his controversial cover for Guns N Roses' Appetite for Destruction, featuring a woman being victimized by a pair of evil robots, he's actually been around since the early '60s. Williams was a huge part of the Ed "Big Daddy" Roth/hot-rod scene, then moved effortlessly into the early-'70s San Francisco underground comix world, where he worked next to such luminaries as R. Crumb and Spain Rodriguez. If this weren't enough to add to his legend, in the 1990s, he created the fantastic magazine Juxtapoz, the first mainstream art-mag dedicated to the underground art scene. This documentary covers every fascinating aspect of his life, going beyond the art into his colorful personal realm. — Louis Fowler

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The Cloth (NR)

Uncork'd Entertainment

I have always wanted to see Danny Trejo as a priest, and especially as a priest performing an inept exorcism in the first five minutes of a cheap horror flick. The Cloth delivers. Sure, Trejo dies before the credits even end, but The Cloth makes up for it with extremely clever ideas that make it watchable, rising above the bad production values and bad acting. A godless young man who has the power to fight demons is recruited by a secret sect of Catholic demon-slayers who are touted as the next generation of extreme exorcists. Loaded with awesome weapons and cool Justin Bieber haircuts, The Cloth is the type of movie that should be remade with a bigger cast and way bigger budget. With the right people behind it, a studio-backed version of this X-Men meets The Exorcist (the Exorcist-Men?) could be a true horror classic. — Louis Fowler

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