DVDs of the Week: Ti West’s The Innkeepers and Let the Bullets Fly

April 25, 2012

Your monkey is aware that he owes you a couple of Home Movies columns. And I will probably get around to running a make-up column soon. But you can’t accuse me of slacking, can you?

Anyway, this is a rather light week for releases, and I haven’t seen Contraband and it’s been only a couople of weeks since Pariah opened in Little Rock, and the only other two releases this week are Ti West’s nimble 2011 horror show The Innkeepers and Jiang Wen’s 2010’s action comedy Let the Bullets Fly, which is the second-highest grossing film ever in China (after James Cameron’s Avatar).

The Innkeepers is an enjoyable old school ghost movie set in a spooky New England hotel (Conneticut’s Pedlar Hotel, where West and his crew stayed during the shooting of his 2009 film House of the Devil) that’s closing down. The inn’s last two employees, Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy), take turns manning the front desk and seeing to the needs of a couple of holdout guests while freelancing a little exploration into paranormal activity. As a bonus, we get Kelly McGillis as a grumpy former TV star whose one of the last guests.

Set in China during the warring 1920s, Let the Bullets Fly — which is alleged destined to be remade by Hollywood — tells the story of the notorious bandit chief Zhang (director Jiang Wen), who, in the 1920s, descends upon a remote provincial town posing as its new mayor, an identity stolen from Old Tang (Feng Xiaogang), himself a small-time imposter. Hell-bent on making a fast buck, Zhang soon meets his match in the tyrannical local mobster Huang (Chow Yun Fat).

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