Archive for December, 2006

Blood Diamond

Blood Diamond

| December 12, 2006

Imagine a world where River Phoenix didn’t die. A world where he held onto the Christian Slater role in ‘Interview with the Vampire’, and perhaps snagged Leonardo DiCaprio’s leading role in Baz Lurhmann’s ‘Romeo + Juliet’. Would it be a stretch then to see a ‘Titanic’ wherein the young actor of his generation wooed Kate […]

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Tenacious D in ‘The Pick of Destiny’

Tenacious D in ‘The Pick of Destiny’

| December 12, 2006

Just in time for the release of the movie Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. Titan Books has released the companion book by the same title. This is a nice companion piece to the film, which features an interview with the stars and co-writers Jack Black and Kyle Gass, along with an absolute ton […]

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Snow Cake

Snow Cake

| December 10, 2006

A demonstratively afflicted character acts as manna for the hungry performer, and that appeal can often drag him or her into some flagrant displays of a type of emotional pornography, the performance nothing more than a meretricious collection of tics and mannerisms. I’m happy to report that in the case of this very affecting chamber […]

Shortbus

Shortbus

| December 10, 2006

If a viewer can breach his/her discomfort (and prejudices) in regards to un-simulated onscreen sex (in all its variables) director Mitchell’s study of the riotous foibles and fumblings of a questing group of anxious New Yorkers pushes past coitus into unexpectedly tender and sweet terrain. It’s quite an accomplishment given that the film opens with […]

Severance

Severance

| December 10, 2006

“Creep”, Smith’s first feature (which I caught on DVD as it had a meagre U.S. theatrical release) had a verve and ingenuity that belied its budgetary constraints – “Run, Lola, Run’s” Franka Potente was menaced by the titular character throughout one very long evening locked inside the tunnels and platforms of the London underground tube […]

Children of Men

Children of Men

| December 10, 2006

The future shock of director Cuaron’s sci-fi film (set in Britain) is not in the traditional vision of bold technological advance and evolutionary breakthrough; rather, it’s in presenting visually the bleak, blighted consequence if current modes of thought and sensitivities surrounding ethnic tensions, and the self-righteous, arrogant policies of a governing body that has steadily […]

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Running with Scissors

Running with Scissors

| December 10, 2006

Would it be odd to say that Annette Bening being a great actress has actually done a disservice to a movie? Not if the movie happens to be Running with Scissors, based on Augusten Burroughs’ memoir. Bening’s performance in the film is, perhap,s one of its fatal flaws; she is so committed and excellent in […]

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Pan’s Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth

| December 10, 2006

Not your average Disney fantasy (although Disney could trade in dark when needed, but softly), director Guillermo del Toro’s visual marvel is an inquiry into the use (and misuse) of the imagination as both salvation and destructive, abjectly inefficient flight and retreat from direct confrontation with present circumstance. Dreamy, bookish Ofelia (Ivana Baquero, concentrated and […]

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Harsh Times

Harsh Times

| December 10, 2006

Nerve-janglingly intense, director David Ayer’s brutally visceral study of lost male souls careening through the mean streets of a blistering, derelict L.A. (with a would-be idyllic interlude across the border into Mexico shattered by one’s increasing instability) is a savagely observed, passionately unflinching portrayal of masculine meltdown. As the environment is torn straight out of […]

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The Wind That Shakes the Barley

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

| December 10, 2006

Opening on a bucolic scene of politely dressed boys playing a lightly raucous game of hurling, verdant hills and fields cosily surrounding them, as if the very Earth itself was cradling its chosen children in its ample, fulsome bosom, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re about to settle into a patch of postcard blarney […]

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