This page houses anything not made in America that would be embarrassed to be lumped in with Hollywood as well as anything foreign not made in Japan or Hong Kong.
I'm not really sure what to say about this film. I found it interesting, to be sure, but I can't escape the feeling that I'm missing some key elements in regards to the subject matter. That bugs me.
This is great cinema. Not great in the way that Citizen Kane or Shichinin no samurai are great, of course, but (as some people tend to forget) movies don't necessarily need to be like that to be great. Epic and intoxicating, Sholay is a fun blend of melodrama, romance, action and music that cruises through it's 204 minute running time with hardly a glance at the watch. From the first action sequence through the catchy bars and goofy slapstick of the opening musical number, "Yeh Dosti," to the brutal and cathartic finale, Sholay, hits just about every note a movie can hit.
Okay, so I'm both a sucker for movies about how wonderful cinema can be (yes, Cinema Paradiso makes me feel all mushy) and a pretty heavy duty consumer of Chinese/ Hong Kong films. Does that mean I can't be objective about this film about the birth of cinema in China?
If Quentin Tarantino were going to choose the one film from cinema history that he wished he'd done, I'd be willing to wager Rififi would be on his short list. This smart, funny, sexy, visceral caper film from director Jules Dassin hits every note that Tarantino (and countless others) strive for and does so with almost ruthless precision. I do not hesitate to call this one of the greatest crime dramas ever made.
This is a damn fine movie. Engrossing, clever and finely hammered out, Open Your Eyes is a serious piece of cinema from young Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar.
I had a feeling I was going to like this one.
For starters, as my ex girlfriend used to take great pleasure in pointing out; despite my occasionally gruff (some might say hot-headed) personality, I've got something of a sentimental streak. Which goes a long way in explaining why I'm such a big fan of Giuseppe Tornatore's Academy Award™ winning Cinema Paradiso and, at least partially, why had high hopes for this, his newest film.
There were a few things about this movie put me on alert, but when all was said and done I definitely enjoyed myself. I just had something of a tough time getting there.
It's amazing the things you remember. My teenage years were a wild, swirling firestorm. I was hell-bent, hung out on the way wrong side of the tracks and have the neuroses to prove it. To quote Ernie Hudson's Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters, "I've seen shit that'd make you turn white."
This Luc Besson produced, Parkour based actioner is a real kick in the ass. Pretty much 100% action, it's especially successful as a Parkour style stunt-fest, showcasing the incredible physical skills of the founder of the urban discipline, David Belle as he works his way through, up and over a myriad of city obstacles. I've been properly fascinated by Parkour for some time now, so seeing it displayed in this sort of format was a real treat. On top of that there's some nice martial arts work (more on that later) and even a nice gun battle or two to keeps things lively.
Well, here's one you've simply got to see. As good a movie as I've seen in a long while.
Another batch of capsule reviews: Indochine, Andre Rublev, With a Friend Like Harry, City of Lost Children.
I've seen something like nine million movies since I last wrote a movie review so I figured sharing a little bit of the wealth would be a worthwhile endeavor. Since there are so many damned movies though capsules are going to be my modus operandi for the foreseeable future.
Imagine, if you will, Wes Anderson and Ridley Scott getting together to make a monster movie. That's the Host. It's really like they took all of the quirky character bits from Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums and mashed it up with Alien and tossed it into the middle of Seoul. The monster bits should be pretty obvious as one peek at the creature will tell you it's very Alien-like, the Wes Andersonisms are maybe a little less apparent but for me it was an almost immediate connection.