Some interesting films you may have missed

I'll admit it I do watch a lot of films, my film collection is full of weird and wonderful films. So today I almost converted all my DVDs to media files and thought I'd share some of the more interesting films people might have missed. I'm not quite say its films to see before your dead or anything like that, just the kind of films you'd pick out and say “what's this one about?”

  • Croupier – A movie about the casino and cheating the casino. The movie is slow moving but builds up to something more like a heist/con film. Clive Owen is fantastic as the higher that everyone dealer and the bump back to earth is received. Well worth catching if you can.
  • Irréversible – This is a shocking movie, think Memento with serious balls. The whole thing runs backwards but when you think this movie has front loaded most of the thrills, your treated to one of the most horrid, nail-scraping moments in movie history. The only thing close to this is some of the scenes in Hard Candy. But the connection with the character is totally different.
  • Death to Smoochy – Another little known movie which was swamped by something else. This movie starts off like a Disney movie and slowly shows the very dark side of childrens entertainment through a parody of its self. Sounds more complex that it actually is but its entertaining beyond the usual levels.
  • Risk – This is almost a unknown film in most circles. Its a con/heist movie with a difference. The whole film centres around insurance and a bleeding heart adjuster. He adjusts special cases handed to him and saves the company lots of extra money. Everything seems fine but its not that simple. What slowly unravels is a scheme with hinges on a careful balancing act/con. Fantastic film.
  • Shadow Hours – One night for one bored petrol station clerk leads to a underground world he's never seen before. Parties, clubs, drugs, all night drinking establishments all come alive as he digs deeper into the night. The rush of finding new experiences leads to some unexpected outcomes. Its not a great film but where it ends up is worth watching at least once.
  • Young people f***ing – I've talked about this film to death. Generally its a good laugh at 5 couples as they spend a night together. Its everything you wanted to laugh and giggle about sex but was too shy to. Its worth watching many times and reminding yourself that even the most human experiences can be fun when talked about openly and maybe we don't do that enough. Avoid seeing with immature idiots.
  • Cashback – This film seems to draw its influence from a combination of Go! and Late Night Shopping. Its the story of a supermarket clerk who works overnight in sainsburys and imagines drawing woman he comes across. Its all a bit strange and surreal but the story of love which is weaved through it works very well. The movie is actually quite beautiful, funny and tragic in parts. Should be on your list of films to see before you die.
  • A complete history of my sexual failures – Another movie I've talked about again. Its about a guy who decides to ask his ex-girlfriends what went wrong with there previous relationship with him. He digs up a past which really needs not be digged up but thats what makes it so watchable. It slightly car-crash like, you don't want to see or know but you can't help it. I guess in everyone of us, we've wondered what would happen if… and this movie fills that if. Painful but worth seeking out if only to watch once in the comfort of your own home. Don't watch with ex-partners.
  • The last Casino – So you may have heard the story before about the MIT students who take the casinos for millions by card counting in organised teams? Yes they even made a movie recently called 21 but before that the Canadians made a TV movie called The last casino. Although its not quite as glam as 21, its got some really nice touches. It also doesn't take its self too seriously. The ends are similar but the path to the end is different. One of the scenes in the last casino includes a high stakes game in an illegal casino where some cheating is going on. How they get out is almost a moment for film history. Its hard to get, but worth seeking out.
  • Dirty Pretty Things – Smart movie which seeks to remind people the hard lives people have coming to the UK to find work and rebuilding their already torn lives. Very fitting with all the news about immigrants taking over jobs, etc.
  • Kill Bill.Volume 1 (uncut Japanese version) – And finally the uncut version of Kill Bill has been in my collection for a while but I recently watched the cut version and started noticing parts which should be there. If you've not seen the uncut version the biggest difference is the black and white section when Uma is fighting the crazy 88 is in full colour and extended by about a minute. So you miss the eye pulling and slicing of people in two. If you want the full low down, check out this post.

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HTML 5 video problem solved?

I know there was lots of talk about the HTML 5 video element which originally was meant to support the Free and Open video codec and architecture Theora/Ogg Vorbis. But that got written out of the standard specs and each next generation browser went there own way. So from memory, Firefox 3.5 supports Ogg/Theora, Opera supports Ogg/Theora, Safari/Webkit supports Mpeg4/H.264 and Google Chrome supports both Ogg/Theora and Mpeg4/H.264. Anyway, Google just recently bought On2 which could be a interesting move if they decide to open source or free up the VP7 codec (just incase you didn't know VP3 was the base for Ogg/Theora). On2 have always said there codec is more efficient that H.264 and one of the things which always gets thrown at Theora is the lack of efficiency against modern codecs like H.264. To be honest, anything like Xvid or better works for me, but I get the point. So could this latest move finally unite the likes of Mozilla and Safari? Maybe unite against Adobe's Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight platforms? Actually being open would really be a stake in the heart of these closed technologies. Oh by the way did anyone see the HTML5 timed media example from BBC RAD?

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