What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week
Directed by: William Friedkin
Run time: 122 minutes
The Lowdown I had never heard of this 1977 thriller by William Friedkin, a film that should have been announced with fanfare following the director’s theatrical and critical successes with "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist."
But somehow "Sorcerer" escaped the radar.
Even though it featured Roy Scheider – just two years removed from "Jaws" – it failed to find an audience.
I had never heard of "Sorcerer," which tells the tale of a rag-tag band of ex-patriots and mercenaries, living on the lam in South America, hiding out from gangsters and law enforcement who want to bring them to justice, who volunteer to drive several crates filled with unstable explosives and leaking nitroglycerine to an oil rig fire deep in a rain forest, navigating perilous jungle roads and near-insurmountable hurdles.
Then I watched "Cold Sweat" and got the chance to interview its writer-director, Adrián García Bogliano, who explained how "Sorcerer" was the single most intense film he had ever watched.
And you know what – he’s right.
"Sorcerer" is a master’s thesis in how to use practical effects to maximum effect. The scenes where the two trucks are having to inch across rope bridges barely inches from a raging rapid, with boards snapping, rope suspensions fraying and boxes of dynamite shuffling even a fraction are white-knuckle, edge-of-your-seat insanely intense.
It’s so good.
The film’s long-overdue, high definition debut, complete in a bound, hardback digibook with essays from the cast, crew and film historians exemplifies why a long lost genre movie should be unearthed, dusted off and delivered to a mass audience .
This is a great discovery, and one that everyone should check out. And the score by Tangerine Dream, their first theatrical score, is mesmerizing.
The Stuff You Care About
Hot chicks – No.
Nudity – No.
Gore – No.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – It’s antiheroes all the way.
Buy/Rent – Buy it.
Blu-Ray Bonus Features – The digibook packaging.
Big Bad Wolves (Magnolia Pictures, 110 minutes, Unrated, Blu-Ray) "Big Bad Wolves," the second movie from the guys who gave us "Rabies" – Israeli filmmakers Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado – is a deeply twisted and brutally dark revenge thriller that consistently surprises with unexpected humor and haunting twists. It’s a near perfect film for its genre.
Martial Arts Double Feature Lady Whirlwind/Hapkido
The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection (1949-1959)
The Best Offer
The Good Witch’s Garden
Newhart The Complete Third Season
Doctor Who The Web of Fear
Inspector Lavardin Collection
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Neighbor from Hell