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Corman's World
BLU-RAY disk
04.20.2012 By: Jason Adams
Corman's World order download
Director:
Alex Stapleton

Actors:
Roger Corman
Jack Nicholson
Martin Scorsese

Rating:
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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A journey through the storied history of B-movie filmmaker Roger Corman.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Though his name may be more synonymous with tripe like DINOSHARK and SHARKTOPUS these days, Roger Corman has had one of the more influential careers in cinema history. Not to mention successful—save for one (a serious drama about racial integration), all 300+ of his movies have made a profit, despite their low budget and seemingly silly subjects. They span a variety of genres from action to horror to (intentional) comedy and all embody his guerilla style of filmmaking.

CORMAN’S WORLD looks back at Roger’s life’s work, starting in the 1950s working his way from the ground up at Fox and branching out to make his own studio and do things he wanted. You see him formulate his own brand of films, learning things as he goes and espousing an anti-establishment sense of making movies that evolved in artistry as society did in time. Corman even explains the “science” behind his films, from the “[insert breast nudity here]” notes in the script to boldly taking LSD in order to accurately make the LSD movie THE TRIP.

The documentary is truly fascinating stuff, as Corman’s history is essentially a history of cinema itself. The man distributed foreign films from Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa when nobody else would. He watched as successful studio blockbusters like STAR WARS and JAWS forced him in to the straight-to-video market, even when they copied his style and methods. But more importantly, Corman had a major hand in jump starting the careers of so many of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

A lot of these people gladly turn out to pay homage to the man in CORMAN’S WORLD. The movie boasts interviews with Jack Nicholson, David Carradine, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Peter Bogdanovich, John Sayles, Robert DeNiro, Willaim Shatner, Peter Fonda, Joe Dante, Jonathan Demme, Pam Grier, and more—all of whom got their start with at the “University of Corman,” whose motto was, “You do a good job for me on this movie and you’ll never have to work for me again.” Current filmmakers and Corman fans like Paul W.S. Anderson and Eli Roth also share their enthusiasm and influence.

Even though it’s pretty simple and straightforward as it chronicles his career, CORMAN’S WORLD is a must-watch for film fans just of its insight in to the influential figure in modern cinema. It’s all about the fun of movies, the love of film, and the joy of making them and bringing them to the audience. It’s a shame Corman was never taken seriously (even to this day), though the movie does concludes with him winning an honorary Oscar—a truly deserving moment for one of the nicest guys in the business. Even Jack Nicholson is brought to tears just talking about him.
THE EXTRAS
Extended Interviews (13:10): A few extra minutes with Eli Roth, Penelope Spheeris, Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese as they talk about Corman.

Special Messages to Roger (15:15): Interviewees (and some that weren’t in the documentary) say their thank you’s and reminisce. And then there’s Brett Ratner, who turns up to ask Roger to remake one of his classic movies. Eff that guy.

Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
As someone who writes about B-movies on a weekly basis (I’ve lost count of how many of his movies I’ve covered), I have a great deal of respect and love for Roger Corman. But even I had no idea the level of influence and true magic the man has brought to film lovers over the years. CORMAN’S WORLD will help to remedy that.

Extra Tidbit: Did you know THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS borrows its title from one of Corman’s first movies?
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