Films Seen -evening's entertainment at best
Last Updated: August 4, 2010
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ALPHABETICAL IN ORDER, BACKWARD IN YEAR OF RELEASE
10 2010 ANIMATED SHORTS AWARD NOMINATIONS - a good evening's entertainment -the last (6/6), LOGORAMA, a superior take on the assault of advertising everywhere about us
10 44 INCH CHEST - 21-years-wife JWhalley leaves crook RWinston; friends JHurt, SDilane, TWilkinson, IMcShane kidnap lover MPoupaud for him to kill; 'HPinter' vs 'DMamet' 'stage piece'; wLMellis/DScinto dMVenville; miss this, miss nothing
10 ANTON CHEKOV'S THE DUEL - sMBing cPSarossy dDKosashvili expand AChekov's novella as film version of stage work; pre-Russian Revolution landed-estate life and love (FGlascott AScott) turns on abandoned duel; a good evening's entertainment
10 DANCING ACROSS BORDERS - philanthropist/filmmaker ABass spots and brings young Cambodian-classically trained dancer Sokvannara Sar to US for 'European'-classical ballet training (OKostritzky JSoto PBoal); a good evening's entertainment
10 FATHER OF MY CHILDREN (THE) - film producer, good family man in deep financial trouble suicides -miss this, miss nothing; wdMHansen-Love; Fr.
10 GHOST WRITER (THE) -(EMcGregor) an unnecessarily long (cerebral?) take on TWilkinson/OWilliams manipulating Brit prime-minister PBrosnan into current Iraq war; dRPolanski KCatrall;
10 HARLAN -IN THE SHADOW OF THE JEW SUSS - Heinrich Himmler commissioned writer/director Veit Harlan for awful film 'Jew Suss' stoking anti-semitism; what various effects on his children and grandchildren et cetera? Miss this, miss nothing
10 I AM LOVE - TSwinton's long admirer wdLGuadagnino produces overloving melodrama around her rediscovering life and love past being merely Russian-born wife of rich Italian industrialist PDelbo miss this, miss nothing; mJAdams
10 KICK-ASS - an evening's entertainment at best -better review coming
10 LOOKING FOR ERIC - "A glum Brit finds hope with soccer hero's help in wdKen Loach's finely etched comedy" (LAT); SEvets ECantona; an evening's entertainment at best
10 MID-AUGUST LUNCH - 'friends' bring in their aged, old mothers for unemployed 50-something bachelor wdGDiGregorio living with 93-yr-old mother while they go on vacation; great human condition humor -old-age grandstanding, bitching
10 MOTHER 'slow' son is freed of murder charge; son discovers she also killed to protect him on finding his guilt; she ends up mothering a motherless innocent found guilty instead -evening's entertainment at best; dBong Joon-ho; Korean
10 OATH (THE) - wdLPoitras' documentary interviews, follows and establishes (basic humanity) of Abu Jandal and Salim Hamdan -Bin Laden's former bodyguard and driver; an evening's entertainment at best
10 PROPHET (A) - up-close, epic production thruout -unnecessary 2 hrs, 20 mins long, on 'learning and rising among sophisticated Mediterranean crime-lords' from within prison; Fr./Corsica etc; dJAudiard TRahim NArestrup
10 SECRET IN THEIR EYES (THE) - 25 yr old murder is developed into 2 hrs 20 min over-long drama for a hokily 'clever' shocker ending; wdJJCampanella; miss this, miss nothing; Sp.
10 SHUTTER ISLAND -'auteur' my ass! Scorsese's perhaps worst film -certainly one of the worst ever that I've seen
10 SPLICE - geneticist/lovers ABrody/SPolley's creations of 'new organisms for biologicals harvesting' go awry; jarring shortcomings among some very good effects -cheap production?; an evening's entertainment at best.
10 TOWN CALLED PANIC (A) - an hour and 15 minutes too much of wildly funny stop-motion animation about Cowboy, Indian And Horse; wdSAubier/VPatar; Fr.
10 TRASH HUMPERS - wdHKorine defies you to sit thru her 'How bad a film can I make?' -we walked out.
09 12 IN THE BOX - 12 secondary school alumni are left $1m each if they can suffer each other for 4 days; excellent production but droll Brit humor just barely makes an evening's entertainment; wdJMcKenzie
09 AN EDUCATION - 'lies we tell selves/each other'; louche PSarsgard (why jewish?) 'educates' 16-yr-old Oxford-bound CMulligan; predictable thruout; miss this, miss nothing; bLBarber wNHornby dLScherfig DCooper AMolina;
09 ANGELS AND DEMONS - an evening's entertainment at best; no further review on this 'junk commonly coming out of Hollywood' seen because my wife read the book-
09 BAD LIEUTENANT II - why did dWHerzog undertake this awful, non-existent echo of excellent, 1993 dAFerrara HKeitel film?
09 BLISS - docudrama features back-country mores vs secularism in Turkey; Mr 'Big' orders 'honor killing' of Miss Cutey he raped; assigned 'killer' 'sees the light'; secularism and cool heads win out; miss this miss nothing
09 BROKEN EMBRACES - 'human condition / chances missed' et cetera convoluted to no great viewer interest; not even an evening's entertainment; wdPAlmodovar has made only one great film, Talk To Her; Sp.
09 BURNING PLAIN - cancer, impotence, infidelity, teen discovers infidelity, hormones, runaway mother, accidental deaths, guilt; wdGArriaga CTheron KBasinger JLawrence JdeAlmeida JCorbett; in a 2-generation overworked 'drama'
09 CORALINE - 3D/stop-motion variation on 'Through the Looking-Glass'? -an evening's entertainment at best; bNGaiman wdHSelick
09 CRAZY HEART - a good evening's entertainment -better review coming
09 CRUDE - wdJBerlinger takes on 35-year battle of Ecuador natives against environmental corruption by Texaco/Chevron and bureaucracy -much argument not as interesting as it might be
09 DEPARTURES - orchestra folds; desperate cellist MMotoki innocently takes ritual cleansing job for 'departeds' shaming wife RHirosue etc; all learn to appreciate life better; a long evening's entertainment; wKKoyama dYTakita TYamazaki; Jap
09 DRAG ME TO HELL - bank-officer ALohman can't extend loan to Gypsy(?) LRaver and is cursed; good evening's horror film fails to shake curse; w?dSRaimi JLong
09 DUPLICITY - double-agents ex-CIA JRobertson ex-MI6 COwen on opposite sides collude to scam pharma giant enemies TWilkinson vs PGiamatti; wdTGilroy; an evening's entertainment at best.
09 EARTH - Disney does growing global warming effects on various environments and some of their fauna across the earth; some excellent photography; a good evening's entertainment
09 FIGHTING - college grad drifter CTatum drawn into street fight is hustled by THoward to make money at private/illegal bare-knucks; his 'innate goodness' saves both; an evening's interestingly cliche/directed entertainment; dwDMontiel
09 FIVE MINUTES OF HEAVEN - teenage Protestant LNeeson screws-up Catholic JNesbitt's (brilliant!) life by killing his older bro during N Ireland's 'Troubles' -a pitch for 'truth and reconciliation in the world today; a good evening's
09 GIRL FROM MONACO - a complete waste of time wdAFontaine/wBGraffin
09 HANGOVER (THE) - few 'crazy party animals' films are great; I walked out of this; sJLucas/SMoore dTPhillips should not be permitted to make films
09 HEADLESS WOMAN (THE) - character study: Did superattended professional MOnetto hit-and-run/kill a dog? -or boy found in culver? Husband CBordon erases all evidence; now she will now never know! miss this, miss nothing; wdLMartel
09 I HOPE THEY SERVE BEER IN HELL - college students: JBradford and wantonly self-centered user MCzuchry celebrate GStults' getting married; MCzuchry learns 'error of his ways'; remarkably phony morality tale; dbTMax
09 INTERNATIONAL (THE) - Fun! Fun! Fun! -a great evening's entertainment; Asst-DA NWatts helps Interpol agent COwen break up at least one gigantic and illegal arms banking operation; sEWSinger dTTykwer cFGriebe AMueller-Stahl
09 IS ANYBODY THERE? - magician MCaine at end of life finds self at retirement home -helps lonesome 10yr-old BMilner unlock latter's interest in 'life after death' -and what life is all about; a good evening's entertainment; dJCrowley
09 JERICHOW - accident brings Turkish emigre JSozer to hire driver BFurmann; add the Turk's married-for-convenience German wife NHoss for a 'circumstances and shit happens' very good evening's entertainment; wdCPetzold; Ger.
09 JULIA - TSwinton's kidnap plot to earn some money to escape her over-the-top, bar-fly-drunk life goes awry -her victim kidnapped from her; awful script/direction turns last 1/2 hour into pretty good thriller; wdEZonca/sAPy AGould
09 LORNA'S SILENCE - Albanian woman ADobroschi wants Belgian citizenship; use of citizenship-by-marriage smuggling ring goes awry by wanting a baby; unnecessarily involved, well-made thriller, but you just don't care; wdDardenneBros.
09 LOVELY BONES (THE) - sFWalsh/PBoyens and dPJackson butcher bASebold's dead girl SRonarn watching sister RMcIver become agent of serial killer STucci's capture; simply awful; MWahlberg RWeisz SSarandon
09 MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS (THE) - like Ocean's 11 -antics making chug-buddies money; miss this, miss nothing; dGHeslov GClooney EMcGregor JBridges KSpacey;
09 O'HORTEN - strange, new, sometimes wonderful things happen to BOwe when he retires from isolated dedication as train engineer; excellent whimsy thruout -not for everyone; wdBHamer; Nor
09 PAPER HEART - disbeliever wCharlyneYi interviews people for 'documentary on real love'; agrees to set-up with for MCera and 'learns' when he opts out of longer relationship; a good evening's entertainment; wdNJasenovec
09 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY - GF KFeatherston in process of being demon possessed? -script/setting so incredibly dorky, BF Micah Sloat so bad, that the whole comes off as garage-shoot hokey; wdOPeli
09 ROAD (THE) - laborious sJPenhall-dJHillcoat take of bCMcCarthy's largely 'internal' world apocalypse; an evening's entertainment at absolute best; VMortensen KSmit-McPhee
09 SOMERS TOWN - teenager TTurgoose leaves 'nothing there Eng. midlands' for London; buddies-up with 'stuck at home' son PJagiello of Polish hard-worker/father; the two cut their teeth into adulthood; cPFraser dSMeadows ELasowski; a good
09 SONG OF SPARROWS (THE) - ostrich farm fires family man laborer after one gets away; serendipity and 'small fortunes in the big city' brings him to 'no place like home' -the ostrich returns; great take on Teheran; wdMMajidi cTMansouri;
09 TAKEN - CIA-retired, divorced father LNeeson (does his own stunts) goes to rescue(*) of spoiled daughter MGrace(*) kidnapped by Albanian prostitution ring(*) -an evening's entertainment at best; sLBesson/RMKamen dPMorel; (* -
09 TAXIDERMIA - Hungarian distinctly dystopian, three-generation view on excesses and absurdities of the human condition beginning with WWII -fattening, in particular; miss this, miss nothing; Hun.
09 TETRO - famous CMBrandauer steals impregnated GF of son VGallo; latter cuts all ties over truth of 'bro' AEhrenreich really his son; 'bro's search for 'bro' 'uncorks the horrid truth'; an evenings 'churning' at best; wdpFFCoppola MVerdu;
09 THREE MONKEYS - election candidate hit-and-runs; he 'buys' a patsy-to-jail for son's education, has affair with patsy's wife, is discovered and killed by patsy's son; grim, working-class drama closes with a 'repeat' situation; don't
09 TOKYO SONATA - something for everyone: recession, suicide, comedy, mass unemployment etc; unskilled samurai-mentality 'salaryman' hides lay-off from family -learns to cope as janitor; a good evening's entertainment; Jap.
09 UP - free-enterprise capitalism and technology support Walt Disney/Pixar 'sophisticated' animations of increasingly arbitrary material dumming-down its public
09 UP IN THE AIR - wdJReitman's pseudo-sophisticated, audience-appeal romance with moral: 'dirty work of firing people' handler GClooney discovers 'There's no place like home with family'; bWKirn VFarmiga AKendrick JBateman
09 ZOMBIELAND - all the interest and humor of a scriptless, What'll we do next? 'comedy';
08 ANIMATION SHOW 4 - an evening's entertainment at best
08 A WALK TO BEAUTIFUL - dMOSmith documents humanitarian treatment attending largely unknown fact (Ethiopia here) that many women are severely ostracized because of urinary incontinence following childbearing;
08 BANK JOB (THE) - government officials hoodwink gone-straight JStatham into 'rich' bank robbery for porny shots threatening them -Brit doublecross thriller -good evening's entertainment; dRDonaldson SBurrows
08 BLINDNESS - if everybody went blind, we would learn to cooperate -so I, God, will now give you another chance; bJSaramago dFMeirelles JMoore MFrffalo GGBernal DGlover -miss this, miss stiffly clumsy morality tale
08 BOY A - murder accomplice by fact of childhood ignorance and alienation dogs EWilson trying desperately to join humanity after serving time; well done, but only an evening's entertaining at best; bJTrigell sMO'Rowe dJCrowley; PMullan
08 BRA BOYS growing up as four surfing brothers in an Australian lower-mid-class culture of single moms and many dads -lots of race and violence problems -an overwhelmingly self-indulgent documentary d(UNATTRIBUTED)
08 BRIDESHEAD REVISITED - bEWaugh's pre-WWII, pot-boiling romantic period piece -innocence, ignorance, missed chances, stiff Catholic beliefs; evening's entertainment at best; dJJarrold sADavies/JBrock BWhishaw MGoode HAtwell MGambon
08 BURN AFTER READING - complicated comedy of errors turns on FDormand's desire for a physical makeover entailing the CIA etc etc; a good evening's entertainment; wdCoenBros. JMalkovich OCox GClooney TSwinton RJenkins BPitt
08 CASSANDRA'S DREAM - stagy 'greek drama' evening's entertainment; in-debt gambler/dreamers CFarrell/EMcGregor hit rich uncle TWilkinson for money; 'Ok, but you kill my debtee first'; 'deus ex machina' punishes; mPGlass wdWAllen
08 COUNTERFEITERS (THE) - imprisoned 'King of the counterfeiters' Jewish KMarcovics stalls and trips up the Nazis in creation of desperately needed American dollars; an evening's entertainment at best. Ger. wdSRuzowitzky
08 CLOVERFIELD - plays as videocam replay of huge-party partiers under sudden attack of NY by 'bigger than godzilla and worse'; fear-driven action locks you into 'Where is this going?' despite gaping holes everywhere; wDGoddard dMReeves
08 DARK KNIGHT (THE) - Heath Ledger as THE JOKER makes it a good evening's entertainment; wdCNolan wJNolan/DSGoyer; CBale AEckhart GOldman MGyllenhaal
08 DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL - an evening's entertainment at best -better review coming (maybe :-)
08 DUCHESS OF LANGEAIS (THE) - dJRivette, 'General' GDepardieu, 'Duchess' JBalibar butcher HBalzac's 19th cty story of churning over repressed love ending in Carmelite nunnery -walked out 1 1/2 hours into 2 1/2 hour film -Fr.
08 DUCHESSE - drama based on 18th century mid-teens wife KKnightly' inability to give Duke of Devonshire RFiennes a male heir; lots of great period activity; a good evening's entertainment; dSDibbs cGPados
08 FALLING - well-intentioned, apostate Mormon daRDutcher shows 'life, scene-chasing and underbelly of the media in Hollywood' -laborious story, script, acting and direction -drama ends in great overkill; an evening's entertainment at
08 FORBIDDEN KINGDOM - a primitive deritive of 'the wizard of oz' -cliche situations, off-the-shelf FX; miss this, miss nothing; better review coming;
08 FORBIDDEN KINGDOM - a primitive derivitive of 'the wizard of oz' -cliche situations, off-the-shelf FX; miss this, miss nothing; better review coming;
08 GRAN TORINO - classical 'impenetrable old warrior wdaCEastwood makes good for war-time sin before he dies' -Fist Full Of Dollars? -great cliches and excesses -a good evening's entertainment
08 HAMLET 2 - may be the absolutely worst 'intended smart' film ever made; wdAFleming wPBrady SCoogan CKeener EShue APoehler
08 HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY - not fun, not comicbook -just plain awfully dumb and boring; dGdelToro RPerlman SBlair
08 I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG - damaged Dr. KScottThomas returns to sister EZylberstein, family and life after -unknown to them&friends, serving 15 yrs for mercy killing of fatally-diseased son; wdPClaudel a good evening's entertainment Fr.
08 LAST CHANCE HARVEY - loser, depressed 'jingles' writer DHoffman in London for daughter's wedding and depressed, 'old maid'ish airport poll-taker EThompson discover they may belong together; an evening's entertainment at best;
08 LET THE RIGHT ONE IN - '12-yr old' vampire and bullied, friendless 12-yr old boy become friends; she protects him; he replaces her old and dead victim-supplier/keeper; an evening's patchy entertainment; dTAlfredson; Swed.
08 LOST (THE) - 'crime-thriller' of incredibly bad story by JKeetcham, production dCSivertson, dialog and acting: MSenter MBowen ELauter walked out mid way thru.
08 MILITARY INTELLIGENCE - wdDKutzera's satire on WWII military training films using clearly laughably old -nostalgically Hollywood? film clips; better review coming -desperate for evening's entertainment?
08 MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY - excellent-thruout, evening's musical comedy; 1938 London, chronic factotum failure FDormand cheats way into helping 'cute, multiple-lovers wannabe-star AAdams make the right decision', and she too, finds
love; bWWatson dBNalluri
08 MR. LONELY - unevenly charming yet crude fairy tale on commune of 'people finding themselves by needing to do their own thing' -God sometimes intervening, sometimes not; an evening's entertainment at best; wdHKorrine DLuna SMorton
08 MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD - 'sturm und drang' between two brothers in an Italian families post WWII's politics -RScarmacio communist, EGermano 'overly religious goes fascist goes civilized'; a good evening's entertainment; dDLuchetti
08 NICK AND NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST - absolutely trivial late-teenager romance; miss this, miss nothing; dPSollett MCera KDennings
08 NOTE BY NOTE - dBNiles excellently detailed documentary on-step-by-step construction of a Steinway Grand piano lacks overview at the beginning for logistics, what the various assemblages are and how they fit together.
08 OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES - French take on TV's Get Smart; an evening's entertainment at best; wdMHazanavicius JDujardin; Fr.
08 PRICELESS - gold-digger AAutou drops 'rich old man' when she misreads hotel barman GElmaleh who, in turn, rises to the misread; she 'teaches' him 'how to dig gold' and love wins out; excellent production -an evening's entertainment at
08 READER (THE) - WWII tragedy/potboiler churns on guilt of illiterate KWinslet 'bettering self' by becoming Nazi SS guard; weak screenplay? better book? -an evening's entertainment; bBSchlink sDHare dSDaldrey DKross RFiennes
08 RETRIEVAL - drab, coal-mining town; out-of-work, well-meaning APawlicki in love with hard-luck, married-but-divorcing NVdovina lines up as 'collector' for loan-shark JBraciak; poor character development -not worth seeing; dSFabicki;
08 REVOLUTION ROAD - LCaprio/KWinslet take 'crashingly empty life as post-WWII 50's happily successful husband and wife' into abortion and bigger and better emptiness; bRYates dSMendes MShannon K Bates; an evening's entertainment at best;
08 SANTOURI THE MUSIC MAN - dDMehrjui's drama exposes drug addiction in Iran; heroin-hooked hammered dulcimer 'santour' virtuoso BRadan loses pianist wife GFarahani; mAKamkar/MChavosi; an evening's entertainment Persian
08 SON OF RAMBOW - wdGJennings pNGoldsmith 'capture' feelings or enthusiasm of fatherless boys WPoulter & BMilner enthralled into making a Son of Rambo film; not captivatingly hokey and boisterous enough to really work
08 STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE - wdEMorris's interviews dwell laboriously ('the banality of war') on variously 'motivated' but indicted principals of Al Ghraib abuses and finger-pointing -nothing special if you if you have properly followed
08 STRANGERS (THE) - generally very good production of extremely bad horror film "inspired by true events"; wdBBertino LTyler SSpeedman deliver much "stupid horror movie behavior" (Chicago Trib)
08 SUMMER LOVE - Polish spoof of traditional horse opera composed of deliberately disjointed cliches into a whole with ValKilmer playing the wrongly dead non-criminal wdPUklanski KRoden BLinda; an evening's entertainment at best
08 TIMES AND WINDS - wdRErdem's 'one day slice-of-life' in a small Turkish village -agency: three boys laboriously 'coming of age'; excellent production, great music, ultimately depressing, not for everyone;
08 TRUMBO, [DALTON] - dPAskin's documentary of film clips and talking heads spends much time on stagy readings of Trumbo writings, little on details and machinations, developments and consequences of the House Committee on Un-American
08 UNFORESEEN - dLDunn documents the turning of very large, popular and idyllic playground of Barton Springs in Texas was reduced to what can only be identified as a run-off for a massive housing development; an evening's entertainment.
08 WALL-E - cute shit; save your money
08 WAR INC. - wpaJCusack's satire of Bush's wars as govt run by private enterprise; missing sophisticated overview delivers few really good moments and a lot of FX; bMLeyner sJPikser MTomei JoanCusack BKingsley HDuff DAykroyd
08 WENDY AND LUCY - walked out
08 ZOMBIE STRIPPERS - should have been so 'bad' -over the top and clever too, that it was fun! -was so truly bad, instead, that we walked out; wdJayLee
07 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST - small city TV host tries for exact moment importance(!) of Romanian dictator Ceausescu's overthrow with interview of two principals for a very funny 'Was there really a revolution?' wdCPorumboiu TCorban
07 1408 (FOURTEEN O EIGHT) - ghost-buster JCusack suffers consequences (clearly horrific) of 'genuinely ghost-inhabited' hotel room with only way to save self is by burning the room and the ghost with it -an evening's entertainment
07 30 DAYS OF NIGHT - vampire film of incredibly bad and inconsistent story and production thruout; dDSlade JHarnett
07 3:10 TO YUMA - an evening's entertainment; see the original.
07 AMU - docudrama; protected-from-knowing American adoptee SSensharma discovers self 'orphaned by 1984 Hindi massacre of Sikhs' following assassination of prime minister Indira Nehru; an interesting but overall clumsy debut docudrama by
07 ATONEMENT - estated family, maidservant's son and human failings pre- and during WWII are too complex for easy film-character development; excellent production, an evening's entertainment; bIMcEwan's wdJWright SRonan KKnightly JMcAvoy
07 BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD - bad habits and debt bring white-collar PSHoffman to con loser bro EHawke to rob dad AFinney's jewelry store -an evening's drama churning murder and disaster at best; sKMasterson dSLumet
07 BEYOND HATRED (AU DELA DE LA HAINE) - dOMeyrou interviews various principals in 'gay-bashing fun' murder of Francois Chenu by three young 'nothing better to do's as general commentary on society; an educational evening's entertainment;
07 BLACK SHEEP - 50's type sci-fi with (here) current 'potty-mouth' humor; bad son grows-up power-mad by GM-modifying sheep (which go 'zombie') -'sheepish' son rises to 'save the world'; an entertainment step back in time at best; NZ
07 BLACK SNAKE MOAN - drunked-out and dumped, deep-south, southern whore CRicci(awful!) is found and variously 'resurrected' by SLJackson SEMerkerson JTimberlake JCothranJr (uneven director)wCBrewer; good evening's entertainment
07 BOURNE ULTIMATUM - MDamon discovers he was constructed by AFinney to outsmart, out-fight all national threats and DStrathairn-type 'dummies'; standard 'chaser' film; dPGreengrass should know better; eCRouse BCox JStiles JAllen
07 BRAVE ONE (THE) - a kind of DEATH WISH-type film (1974) of higher order of meaning than simply extended revenge -'man's inhumanity to man'? -wobbly script, an evening's entertainment; dNJordan JFoster THoward NKatt MSteenburgen
07 BREACH - spy thriller 'based on biggest mole story of all time' catching of Robert Hanssen (CCooper); sAMazer/WRotko sdBRay; RPhillippe LLiney; evening's entertainment at best.
07 BUG - secret military/industrial schemers have figured out how to 'digitize' aphids as infective agents for complete mind control of (hallucinated?) American public; great start goes overscripted, hokily manic; d WFriedkin AJudd
07 CZECH DREAM - film students VKlusak and FRemunda's cynically cruel documentary on their advertising/opening of massive department store faked into existence regarding Czechs joining the EU in 2003??? -evening's entertainment at best;
07 DEATH AT A FUNERAL - family and friends gather at Dad's when homosexual lover PDinklage turns up to claim some estate money -'Brit' zaniness, backstage confusion et cetera -evening's entertainment at best, dFOz MMacfadyen RGraves ANyman
07 DEPARTED (THE) - convoluted police/FBI/crime-ring infiltration thriller; a good evening's entertainment; sWMonahan dMScorsese LDiCaprio MDamon JNicholson MWahlberg
07 DESERT BAYOU - dALeMay's documentary on the difficulties merging 600 Afro-American 'Katrina' evacuees of variously limited backgrounds (some criminal) invited to 'make it in White-Mormonism Utah'; a good 'evening's informational
07 DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK (defn of Janjaweed) **** documentary: former marine Capt (wdc)Brian Steidle is hired by African Union to monitor 2004 Sudanese cease-fire -extensively detailed footage of Darfur genocide -Christians and Animists
07 EASTERN PROMISES - dDCronenberg's over-the-top, weak-screenplay view of 'horrors' in modern society/politics; Russian mafia run weapons, prostitution, terrorism, you name it; miss this, miss nothing; AMuehler-Stahl SCassel VMortensen
07 EXILED - Chinese dJTo's 'Sergio Leone'-style take on the war between two mobs in Macao; miss this, miss nothing -too long in addition; Ch.
07 FAY GRIM - 'shaggy-dog story' is generally defined as a longish, more or less deliberately convoluted story that eventually wears out to some meaningless or some such ending; miss this, miss this nothing; wdHHartley; PPosey JGoldblum
JUrbaniak SBurrows TJRyan
07 FLANDERS - in love with same girl, two young, French villagers are drafted into unnamed desert war; all three 'slackers'(?) become emotionally (and stultifyingly) scarred by 'the horrifics of war' -no more wdBDumont for me; Fr.
07 FRACTURE - 'brilliant' AHopkins shoots wife EDavidtz sleeping with detective BBurke (and his gun) in brain-dead way assured to get him off is outsmarted by prosecutor RGosling; great production, but who cares?; dGHoblit DStrathairn
07 GLASTONBURY - documentarian JTemple cobbles together footage on evolution of Woodstock/Renaissance Fair-type concerts at Glastonbury near stonehenge; an evening's entertainment.
07 GRBAVICA - multiple-rape victim, single mother MKaranovic of teenager LMijovic gets on with generally disrupted life in post-war Sarajevo (Bosnia) -excellent, informative evening's entertainment; wdJZbanic
07 GYPSY CARAVAN - JDellal assembles/documents 6-week tour (and backgrounds) of India-thru-Spain Gypsy music groups -a mish-mash of not enough music and too much minor sideplay.
07 HANNIBAL RISING - Hannibal (GUlliel) 'tastes first flesh' on catching up with Nazi collaborators who ate his sister (in desparation) when, as Jewish children, they were fleeing Nazis; sTHarris dPWebber GongLi??? miss this, miss
07 HE WAS A QUIET MAN - awful; no review coming
07 HOST (THE) - sci-fi thriller/low-key-comedy; great monster -incredibly bad storyline; miss this, miss nothing; Korean; dBongJoon-ho
07 HOT FUZZ - cop SPegg so good he's making Brit cops look bad -is 'promoted' to village full of murderers keeping town 'living in the past'; 'great Brit humor' start-out stales into 'Hollywood action film'. dEWright NFrost BNighy
07 I AM LEGEND - cringingly awful: dumb storyline, dumb dialog, bad acting; lots of FX, discontinuity and illogic; dFLawrence WSmith
07 I'M NOT THERE - dTHaynes deconstructs 'the making of Bob Dylan' as 'bildungsroman of substantive dramatis personae'; great production becomes successively boring; CBale CBlanchett MCFranklin CGainsbourg RGere HLedger BWhislaw
07 LADRON QUE ROBA AL LADRON - a kind of Robin-Hood/Latin-American Ocean's Eleven in which the 'heist' is of a 'scumbag' who's made piles of money selling snake-oil cancer cures to the poor and ignorant; an evening's entertainment at best;
07 LOOKOUT (THE) - mentally damaged by auto accident JGordon-Levitt is hoodwinked into night-time bank robbery where he works as janitor -manages to come out a hero; last 20 minutes evening's entertainment at best; wdSFrank MGoode;
07 LUST, CAUTION - wdALee's excellent production of 'McGuffenly so-so' drama for some 'deep-penetration (of TWei) sexual gymnastics': Chinese college drama students collude and fail to assassinate arch-collaborator TLeung to Jap 40s 'Rape
07 MR. BROOKS - KCostner fails to resolve his addiction to killing driven by evil, over-the-shoulder doppelganger WHurt in complex plot of one-time witness DCook who wants to 'join' -and daughter DPanabaker with same disease? an evening's
entertainment wdBAEvans DMoore MHelgenberger
07 NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN - psycho-killer JBardem chases after 'drug-deal-gone-bad' $2M found by JBrolin -sheriff TLJones following both -bCMcCarthy 'shaggy dog' story? some excellent vignettes -an evening's entertainment; dCoen bros,
07 NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE - boring, 3-hour film (walked out) hypothesizes club of for-hire, make-believe stand-ins to families of 54 Suicide Club teenagers jumping in front of subway car; SSono Jap.
07 OFFSIDE - film on young Iranian girl/women soccer fans trying to get into World Cup match but not permitted (Muslim regulations) without 'proper et cetera' -doesn't stand up past half-time; dJPanahi; Farsi
07 ONE TO ANOTHER - docudrama: minor success unglues 'rock' group of affluent, aimless, 'intellectually-incested', college-freshman-type four guys and sister of one (he/she 'run' it) into three guys murdering the brother; awful screenplay and
direction: PArnold/JMBarr; Fr.
07 ORPHANAGE (THE) - great production of overrated 'art film' ghost story in which physically damaged and murdered orphans get now grown-up adoptee BRueda to 'join' them; pGdelToro dJABayona; miss this, miss nothing; Sp.
07 PARIS, JE T'AIME - 18 discrete vignettes on variously human life in Paris' -18 (or more) writer/directors -a few very good; a good evening's entertainment.
07 PRIVATE PROPERTY - largely 'interior' film of relationships as two bright but aimless brothers Y and JRenier tease and argue with divorced mother over sale of house they are to inherit from grandfather; wdJLaFosse/wFPirot; miss this, miss
07 RESCUE DAWN - wdWHerzog's homage to friend, German boy Dieter Dengler obsessed by 'WWII American planes flying overhead' becoming 'American heroic fighter pilot shot down behind Viet lines' -any MDamon or MWahlberg is just as good.
07 SAVAGES (THE) - wdTJenkins makes average viewer think he seen something sophisticated regarding LLinney and PSHoffman handling 'Dad' PBosco's aging, mental failing and dying; an evening's entertainment at best;
07 STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING - ferally innocent LAmbrose corners 'lost mojo', aging author FLangella (great!) for 'masters' paper; character study sags -daughter LTaylor's 'biological clock' too; a good evening's entertainment; bBMorton
07 SUMMER '04 - preposterous story/character development impossible to 'thumbnail'; competent acting with little demand; wDNocke dSKrohmer MGedeck PDavor LKotaranin SLohde; Gr.
07 SUPERBAD - sex and hijinks on teenagers promising to bring booze to party; new ground breaking first 1/2 hour goes stultifyingly worse than most such films;
07 SWEENEY TODD - dTBurton simplifies wSSondheim's 'cruelties of society' musical into 'hollywood musical'; maligned barber JDepp provides 'fresh meat' to meatpie maker HBCarter; ARickman TSpall SBCohen; an evening's entertainment at
07 TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER Thai take on American western -music, horses, shoot-em-up bad-guy gangs and heros; an evening's entertainment of Bollywood-type excesses;
07 UNCONSCIOUS - largely funny farce, an excellent evening's entertainment (not for everyone) turns Sigmund Freud's influence (1913) into broad look at sexual mores -applicable even today; wdJOristrell LWatling ABrendemuhl JPuigcorbe;
07 WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY - pMSpurlock/dRVanAlkemade document BTalen's Reverend Billy on the Shopacolypse of Christmas consumerism/shopping -an evening's inadequately biting charisma and rant at best.
07 WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY - suicides PGugit and 'wasn't-meant-to-be' SSossamon fall in love dGKukic's afterlife romance; she is 'sent back', so he is 'permitted to follow'; an evening's entertainment; sEKeret SWhigham TWaits
07 YEAR OF THE DOG - youngish spinster's loss of her 'best friend' dog to neighbor's anti-snail pellets parlayed into boring 'superintellectual' comedy on modern society's various ignorances and obsessions; wdMWhite MShannon PSarsgard
06 AMERICAN DREAMZ - 'sorta black-comedy' on crassness of 'American Idol'-type show; burned-out host HGrant rings in DQuaid's 'light-weight Dubya' as a judge -WDafoe's Dick Cheney moving Dubya's lips; wdPWeitz; miss this, miss nothing.
06 AZUMI - walked out on this 'classical samurai epic'-type film made for 'the young set' -miss this, miss nothing; dRKitamura; Jap.
06 BATTLE IN HEAVEN - MHernandez chauffeurs AMushkadiz for her 'army general' Dad -their secrets, her prostitution on the side, his child-kidnapping failed by child's death; dCReygadas adds real pornography for would-be broadside on modern
Mexican life; miss this, miss nothing; Sp.
06 BEOWULF AND GRENDEL - clumsy and confusing debut film-take on the classical Nordic saga; interesting Iceland landscape -no? miss this, miss nothing; dSGunnarsson sARBerzins cJKiesser
06 BLACK DAHLIA - AEckhart and JHartnett investigate 1947 murder of 'wannabe actress' in 'something for everyone' psych-thriller subplots a 'not great' evening's entertainment at best; bJEllroy dBdePalma SJohansson HSwank
06 BLOOD DIAMOND - arms dealer LDiCaprio hounds Sierra Leone arms-for-diamonds victim DHounsou for his find; romantic thriller exposes diamond industry evils; dEZwick JConnelly; excellent evening's entertainment; see EMPIRE IN AFRICA
06 BRICK - highschooler(?) missing 'having seen ex-girlfriend around' turns into squirmingly amateurish 'hard-boiled detective' story -drug et cetera; wdRJohnson
06 BUBBLE - completely misleading excellent trailer; realized and unrealized relationships and murder in smalltown group of four (all non-professional actors) -ending so poor that it invalidates great little production sCHough
06 CASINO ROYAL - it may be nostalgia, but Daniel Craig (good as is) is NOT sean o'connor; producers saw money to be made -an evening's entertainment at best; dMCampbell EGreen MMikkelsen JDench.
06 CHILDREN OF MEN - 2027 -all women gone infertile; world's people revolt for 'end-of-mankind'; COwen must get sole pregnant woman CAshitey to 'Human Project' scientists; great, dramatic razzle-dazzle -weak screenplay; bPDJames cELubezki
dACuaron MCaine JMoore
06 COWBOY DEL AMOR - pdMOhayon's "bittersweet documentary about a self-proclaimed cowboy cupid who specializes in introducing American men to Mexican women" -LAT; excellent evening's entertainment
06 CROSSING THE BRIDGE - a journey into the broad, eclectic expanse of popular music in Turkey today ranging from rap/hip-hop and 'western' thru gypsy, traditional and Sufi; an excellent evening's entertainment; wdFAkin cHDieu; in German
06 DA VINCI CODE (THE) - dRHoward wants to lead you thru a thriller of 'religious dark hands' that want to kill off both the story (and decendents) of Jesus and Mary Magdelene -overlong hype of 'important' talk and razzle-dazzle; THanks
ATautou PBettany IMcKellen
06 DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU - bleeding-ulcer patient dies during 'casual' moves in and out of crowded hospitals reflecting the casualness of everyday life; good production thruout, but black humor so low-key that it goes boring; sdCPuiu;
06 DESCENT (THE) - 'buddy' film; six adventurous girls spelunking in unknown cave find colony of blind, flesh-eating mutants; a good evening's horror-film entertainment; wdNMarshall cSMcCurdy
06 DEVIL'S MINER - pdKDavidson/RLadkani document an repetitively non-informational wallow in one 14-year-old boy's working (horrific) in a silver mine in profoundly impoverished Potosi, Bolivia; Sp.
06 DEVIL WEARS PRADA (THE) - 'sophisticated' drama and 'humor' for the TV-watcher: innocent journalism grad AHathaway recovers integrity lost working for 'haute couture' fashionmag 'GIANT' (DEVIL) MStreep; dDFrankel STucci SBaker EBlunt
06 DON'T TELL - TV-level drama and execution: miss this, miss nothing; adult bother and sister face their childhood molestation by dad and tongue-holding mom -among other family troubles and tribulations; bdCComencini; It.
06 DUCK SEASON - mom and dad leave son and friend house to themselves on Sunday; neighbor girl using their stove and pizza delivery man add to make a comedy of many interesting individually personal, but undeveloped elements; wdFEimbcke;
06 END OF THE SPEAR - 'trials and tribulations' docudrama of American missioners bringing God to the warring Waodani tribe of the Ecuadoran Amazon in 1956; educational by fact of damned-near gagging 'sweetness and light';
06 EVER AGAIN - 'talking heads' and film-clips of anti-semitism -'fanatics, theorists and in-betweens', but absolutely 'no light on ignorantly artifactual religion as source'; wdRTrank MHier
ADershowitz JSaramago TPaulin et al
06 FAST FOOD NATION - uneven activist comedy, rant, 'education' on title (bESchlosser): free-enterprise, immigration, cheap labor, accident and cruelty; a good evening's entertainment; dRLinklater GKinnear WValderrama KKristofferson BWillis
06 FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION - wdCGuest's spoof techniques on material of Oscar season nominations and consequences lacks the intellectual sophistication of earlier works; an evening's entertainment at best (with the usual crew).
06 4 - butcher, prostitute and piano tuner 'embellish professions' in a bar -next day, dystopian 'Russian reality': amusing 45 mins followed by 1-hour wallow in wild party of really drunk, old, village-women; not for everyone; sVSorokin
06 GABRIELLE - bored-to-death 'perfect wife' IHuppert of sterile, 'perfect life' banker PGregory has romantic fling and they punish each other; unclear why this slick film of 1912 'manners' was made; Fr. dPChereau
06 GOOD GERMAN (THE) - Berlin assignment takes correspondent GClooney into convolved, WWII 'noire' thriller of murder, 'Holocaust guilt' and 'Big Three' anglings for rocket scientists; evening's entertainment at best; dDSoderburgh
06 ILLUSIONIST (THE) - an evening's entertainment 'intellectual crowd-pleaser'; magician ENorton uses illusion to win childhood sweetheart JBiel from evil pretender to throne RSewell and to 'off' him as well; mPGlass cDPope dNBurger
06 INSIDE MAN - 'too clever' dSLee overkills Dog Day Afternoon variation; Nazi collaborator, now rich, Jewish banker CPlummer's lockboxed shame which COwen planned to uncover along with robbery; evening's entertainment; DWashington
06 INTRUDER (THE) (L'INTRUS) - wealthy older man needs heart transplant; tries to make up to sons he alienated because of mysterious, undisclosed 'work'; excellent production of 'characters' and allusions, but eventually, so what? dCDenis
06 JET LI'S FEARLESS - an evening's entertainment; Jet Li's swan song from 'chinese opera/martial arts' films (getting to old for this sort of thing) -a so-so story about 'self-centeredness learning to be human';
06 LADY VENGEANCE - stylish, allusively surreal first half turns into unbelievable tale of woman who has served time for kidnapping and murder finding vengeance with real serial killer who had used her; no more wdParkChanwook;
06 LA MUJER DE ME HERMANO - pure (and awful!) TV-level 'soap'; the trials and tribulations of 'modern couple': too much money and time; he's all 'successful business' (and bisexual); not 'getting enough', she goes to his brother who's a
shitty artist etc, etc; dRdeMontreuil
06 LEMMING - whoring boss ADussollier invites self and wife who wants him dead CRampling to dinner with electronic gadget designer LLucas and wife CGainsbourg; confused psycho-thriller(?) of seduction, suicide and murder follows; unclear why
this film exists; wdDMoll
06 L'ENFANT (THE CHILD) - hustler, petty thief JRenier sells his and girlfriend DFrancois's newborn; forced to buy it back at double, panic ricochet's him into 'perhaps redemption -superior 'slice of life' one might easily do without;
wdDardenne Bros. Fr.
06 LEONARD COHEN: I'M YOUR MAN - hagiography of a sort for an essentially modest 60s songwriter 'in the right place at the right time' -one-dimensional music -many Brit-world performers; an evening's entertainment at best; dLLunson
06 LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA - derivative 'slice of war-is-hell, Japanese are just as human as we are' -a lot of 'thinking about home', warfare et cetera; dCEastwood KWatanabe miss this, miss nothing; Jap.
06 LOOKING FOR COMEDY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD - the troubles and fumbles of 'out of work' (wda)ABrooks delivering 500-word report on the title commissioned by US govt -droll humor and some great shots in India; miss this, miss nothing
06 LUNACY - overworked diatribe on evil consequences of religion primarily, but 'man's inhumanity to man' in general with emphasis on psychiatry and lots of raw meat puppettoonery as human metaphor; wdJSvankmajer; Czech.
06 MAN PUSH CART - child of dad of 'trying to make it with early morn rolls-and-coffee pushcart' is left to grandparents who blame him for wife's death (all Pakistani immigrants) -excellent, gritty, slice-of-life, evening's entertainment;
06 MARIE ANTOINETTE - wdSCoppola dramatizes the excesses of Marie Antoinette and only at the end touches upon the underlying and developing social problems; an evening's entertainment at best.
06 MOUTH TO MOUTH - a pseudo-documentary of sorts on being too free a spirit and falling in with -here, a 'methadone will free you' street cult in 90s Europe; an evening's uneven entertainment; wdAMurray cBstone EPage
06 MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY - documentary broadly follows events leading to 2005, US-run 'democratic' elections thru medical doctor running for office serves 'class family and culture study' at best; dcLPoitras
06 NEIL YOUNG: HEART OF GOLD - an overrated, one-dimensional performer -the same song, again and again; dJDemme ran out of decent older pop stars to spotlight.
06 NIGHT LISTENER (THE) - midnight radio-show philosopher RWilliams discovers (psychological mystery story) that listener TCollete lives by selling her doppelganger personalities; an easy evening's entertainment; wdPStettner
06 NIGHT WATCH - Russian 'battle between good and evil' film set in the present, but so disjointedly put together and filmed that you don't care about the storyline; miss this, miss nothing; sdTBekmanbeto sLKalogridis; Russ.
06 NOTES ON A SCANDAL - supercritical JDench holds married, new art (fellow)teacher CBlanchette hostage for affair with student ASimpson as chance for old-age (lesbian?) friendship -fouls that up too; sdREyre bZHeller miss film's excellent
opportunity for more significance.
06 PIANO TUNER OF EARTHQUAKES - Quay brothers beautifully hypnotic, usual art-mix of pot-boiler 'weird' characters, story (Trilby?), music and 'stills' animation; What is it? -but can't walk out either! ASerna GJohn
06 QUALITY OF LIFE - LGarrison lands real job after learning to appreciate 'the intellectual merit of his large-scale graffiti and 'error of his ways'; fellow artist sBBurnam goes down hard; well-done look into the lives and mentality of
(some?) graffiti artists; sdBMorgan
06 ROAD TO GUANTANAMO - docudrama; three Brit late teeners journey to Pakistan for marriage of one end up (detailed) in Guantanamo; incredible first half sinks in cringingly bad second half; dMWinterbottom/MWhitecross cMZyskind
06 ROCKY BALBOA - the plot never changes: unlikely circumstances always put 'likeable, easygoing, cocked-hat, not too bright but philosophically sound' wdaSStallone back into the ring; film closes the a Great American (primitive) epic/saga;
BYoung GHughes ATarver
06 SECRET LIFE OF WORDS (THE) - deaf rape victim SPolley and North Sea 'Texas tower' burn victim TRobbins 'connect' thru overkill dialog on holocaust, Armenian genocide, environmental/ecological damage; slow evening's entertainment;
06 SILENT HILL - dCGans weaves a confused and confusing modern witchcraft story around de-facto existing subterranean coal fires -great Dante's Inferno FX (CSpier) and photography (DLaustsen) wasted; RMitchell;
06 SLITHER - 50s-60s scifi variation on Little Shop Of Horrors ; outer-space ET eats into MRooker -turns small-town everyone else into flesh-eating zombies with his mind; fun! fun! fun! wdJGunn EBanks;
06 SOMERSAULT - Mom momentarily casts-out daughter ACornish caught coming-on to her overnight, still-in-bed BF -daughter leaves home long enough to experience 'comimg-of-age' and return to forgiving Mom; miss this, miss nothing;
06 SWEET LAND - TGuinee imports German bride EReaser into Minnesota Norwegian heritage farm life following WWI; they 'abstain' until hard work, belief in God, and integrity prevail; awful script, clumsy direction by ASelim; JHeard ACumming
06 THANK YOU FOR SMOKING - comedy: brazen, master tobacco-lobbyist AEckart has 'one big failure' and 'recants' (sort of); ends in watered-down attack on lobbying in general; an evening's entertainment at best; bCBuckley sdJReitman
06 13 (TZEMATI) - GBabluani inadvertently finds self in giant, on-going, international betting game -a circle in which each man takes 'russian roulette' shot at head of man in front of him at given signal etc; interesting, that's all;
06 THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED - documentary investigates the demographic constitution of the motion picture association of america (MPAA); an evening's entertainment of intellectual inconsistencies; dKDick;
06 THREE DAYS OF RAIN - awful slices-of-life melodrama -'human condition events in the lives of the common man' with minor intersections; wdMMeredith PFalk
06 TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY - the making of 'the making of the film, Tristram Shandy' because the material so broad it's unmakeable; amusing start drifts off early on; miss this, miss nothing; dMWinterbottom sMHardy
06 V FOR VENDETTA - sort of an avenging 'Phantom of The Opera' (HWeaving) playing a (Brit history) Guy Fawkes role on a GOrwell '1984' environment: swordplay, stillborn love (NPortman), foremost baddie: JHurt; sWachowski Bros dJMcTeigue -long
06 WAH-WAH - wdREGrant recaps his coming of age (NHoult) among Britishers in 'genteel' pre-independent South Africa with guzzling Dad GByrne, 'alley cat' old Mom MRichardson and new Mom EWatson; great performances & 'period flavor'
06 ZEN NOIR - once Buddhist wdNRosenbush wondered "What would happen if one of us just keeled over dead?"; this 'zen noir' case-study conjecture is a complete waste of money from making it thru watching it.
05 ALONE IN THE DARK - a 50s 'B'-level sci-fi/horror thriller that is confused and cheesey in addition; WARNING! this film is dangerous to your health! "Based on the Atari video game of the same name" (LAT); dUBoll CSlater etc.
05 AMERICAN ZION - early-50s-style Hollywood western docudrama covers history of mormons under Joseph Smith as a harassed sect from beginnings in Palmyra NY to Independence City in Missouri; miss this, miss nothing;
05 ARYAN COUPLE - Jewish aristocrat MLandau signs-over to HHimmler his extensive industry and art collection in exchange for expatriating his extensive family etc; I will NOT review another 'holocaust drama'; psdJDaly; Brit.
05 BALLAD OF JACK AND ROSE - great acting, overwrought story/direction; mildly incested coming-of-age CBelle; living-in-the-past dying idealistic dad DDLewis brings lover CKeener and 2 teenage sons into isolated defunct 60s compound 'sturm
and drang'; wdRMiller PDano RMcDonald BBridges
05 BATMAN BEGINS - slow starting; shaky story; great quantities of filler; you gotta love Batman for this 'just an evening's entertainment';
05 BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY - ostracized 'Nam war' son DNguyen indentures himself to get to the US and finds Dad NNolte had been blinded there didn't want to burden his wife there; son ends up taking care of him; miss this, miss nothing; dHPMoland
05 BEST OF YOUTH (THE) - grossly overrated TV-level '60s-forward, 6 hour long, Italian family saga; 'something for everyone'; overwritten, overacted, overdirected -skipping Pt 2; sSPetraglia/SRulli dMTGiordana; It.
05 BIG WHITE - 'droll' comedy in the style (wannabe) of FARGO NORTH DAKOTA by the Coen bros; miss this, miss nothing;
06 BOYS OF BARAKA - 'good-intention'ers in Baltimore send at-risk, grammar-school boys to 2-yr school in Kenya; high mortality doesn't merit misconceived, uneven documentary;
05 BROKEN FLOWERS - MacGuffin: 'Don Juan' BMurray gets letter from son he didn't know existed; JWright talks him into finding thru past women: SStone, FConroy, JLange, TSwinton; message: we all need roots and family; an evening's
05 CACHE - slick morality-play thriller? 'anonymous' video tapes symbolic material re well-to-do DAuteil's childhood wronging of Algerian boys reminds him (us) of 'unresolved French-on-Algerians wrongs'; too 'clever' by half; no more
05 CHORISTES, LES - Disney-type 'humor and drama' film (but better); GJugnot comes to teach at 'wayward boys' school run by cruel martinet FBerleand -reaches them thru his 'failed' music; a good evening's entertainment; dCBarratier; Fr.
05 CONSTANT GARDNER - 'detective' thriller of over-the-top portrayals/production (dFMeirelles); 'sensitive, reticent' professor RFiennes lecture-connects with proactivist RWeiss against pharm mfgs faking drug tests on Africans; DHuston
HKounde BNighy PPostlethwaite
05 CONSTANTINE - really good FX, but cringingly dumb-ass exorcism etc script; tried for some 'camp' which ended up only cheesy; miss this, miss nothing; dFLawrence KReeves, RWeisz
05 CRY WOLF - miss this, miss nothing
05 DARK WATER - is divorced, single mother JConnelly really deranged or is she haunted by childhood ghost now attaching thru daughter AGade to dead child from the apartment above? miss this, miss nothing; dWSalles JCReilly PPostlethwaite
05 DAYBREAK - adultery, lies, economy etc powerfully developed into four, hopeless, family breakdowns -suddenly 'life affirming'? - excellent production wasted?; wdBRunge PAugust JEklung MRichardson LAndree MKrepper APetren PAndersson;
05 DEVIL'S REJECTS - save your money; dRZombie
05 DOLLS - thesis: bunraku (doll theater) opening and closing tells us that our lives are sometimes consequences of circumstantially 'doll-like' (misleading?) decisions -an incredibly boring work; wdTKitano; Jap.
05 DOMINION: PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST - fun! fun! fun! -gets downright sappy towards the end; still an evening's entertainment, and better than the 'other version' first prequel; sWWisher/CCarr cVStoraro(wasted) dPShrader SSkarsgard
05 EDUKATORS (THE) - anti-globalization SErceg, DBruhl (and girlfriend JJentch eventually) discover they are no different than the 40-years-earlier, once-revolutionary capitalist they inadvertently kidnapped; an evenings entertainment; d
05 EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE - TWilkinson is tried for manslaughter following exorcism of college student JCarpenter in surprisingly 'logical' exchanges between defender LLinney vs SCampbell; a good evening's entertainment; wdSDerrickson
05 FEAR X - minimalist murder mystery film with confusing screenplay, laborious pacing and poor directing (NRefn) and acting; mall guard JTurturro's pregnant wife is murdered and he fails to find out why;
05 GREAT WARRIOR (THE) - heavy-duty enforcer for cruel, early-Raj, Indian warlord has vision and goes straight -86 minutes of hoping some story will develop -doesn't; Hindi;
05 GREAT WATER (THE) - harsh, Yugoslavian life under Marshall Tito (before his early break with communism) as seen thru eyes of 7-year-old(?) in an orphanage -'meaningful but unexplained magical realism', a good evening's entertainment;
05 GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS - expelled-from-Harvard EWood visits sister CForlani in London -'finds self' after entering Brit world of brutal, soccer-spectator hooliganism; an overkill evening's entertainment; wdLAlexander CHunnam
05 HEAD ON - Turkish culture under existential German life? -SKekelli wants 'away from family' -BUnel, aimless and debauched, but 'love is blind': they survive with each other out of sex, drugs and 'punk nights' -so? -so? -who cares? wdFAkin
05 HIDE AND SEEK - Mom AIrving commits suicide; psychologist little child-daughter DFanning seems to become unhinged -possessed? Dad RDeNiro decides new small-town environment is good idea -turns out HE'S the one! -no scares, no thrills, no
nothing; dJPolson FJanssen EShue
05 I AM CUBA (SOY CUBA) - obscure archive material; 1964 -Russians collaborate with Castro (3 years in power) to rail against crude American Imperialism and the 'Glory of Communism' 2 1/2 hours awful thruout;
05 ICE HARVEST - another 'crook succeeds because he is a better guy than those he stole from' movie; miss this, miss nothing; dHRamis; waste of talent: JCusak BBThornton CNielsen RQuaid OPlatt
05 INNOCENT VOICES - an adult recounts his youth in El Salvador '80-92 FMLN guerilla warfare against arch-conservative, US-trained troops -rape, child-conscription et cetera; production is better than the docudrama -a good evening's
05 JACKET (THE) - "time-travel fable of injustice and redemption ... far-fetched but often compelling; violence, language, brief [grutuitous] sexuality/nudity; prolonged brutality... (LAT); dJMaybury ABrody KKnightley KKristofferson JJLeigh
05 KINGS AND QUEEN - 150 min. boring 'walk' thru the 'self-serving vs selfless' lives of art dealer 'queen' EDevos and her 'kings': suicided dad of their son, her dying dad, manic exhusband MAmalric etc etc, miss this, miss nothing;
05 KAMIKAZE GIRLS - the difficulties of a modern girl who grows up believing-in and 'living' 'rococo'; 'a comic(?) tale (zzzzz) about intellectual conviction and integrity' (Goethe's Egmont?); why was this film made? dTNakashima;
05 KEANE - severely confused DLewis 'loses' 7-yr-old daughter -or does he? -'reconnects' temporarily with mother ARyan and daughter waiting in hotel for her husband to find affordable lodging in another city; uneven, character-study,
psychological drama dLKerrigan
05 KONTROLL - 'all life effectively locked in hell'? (Budapest's subway system) -Bunuel's EXTERMINATING ANGEL? -absurdist screenplay eventually peters out; wdNAntal cGPados eIKiraly; Magyar
05 LADIES IN LAVENDER - 'British romance'-genre film; 1930's, non-english-speaking Polish refugee DBruhl washed ashore is found by 'little old lady' sisters JDench MSmith, 'resurrected' and found to be virtuoso violinist; wdCDance; sappy
evening's entertainment at best;
05 LAND OF THE DEAD (GEORGE ROMERO'S) - George Romero, you should be ashamed of this;
05 LAYER CAKE - slick, overly complicated, international drug-rings thriller; many good performances and scenes, but fatigue sets in; miss this miss nothing; bsJJConnolly dMVaughn DCraig KCranham MGambon
05 LOOK AT ME (Comme une image) - hot-shot writer/publisher waJPBacri ignores 'fat daughter with great voice' MBerry of first marriage; 'something for everyone' sitcom/drama trials and tribulations of modern French life; wdaAJaoui; Fr.
05 LORDS OF DOGTOWN - a pseudo-biographical look at major, teen-age players peaking the skateboard craze by one of them: dSPeralta; much filler; pick up the earlier documentary instead: DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS
05 LOST - DCain and 'friends' rob bank he works for; he cheats; killer gang-member discovers this and escape-by-plane plan, and makes 'better offer' to direction-service-by-phone girl to bring cheater in him; complete waste-of-time 40's 'B'
05 MA MERE - too much time-and-money, sex-obsessed, non-mom IHuppert 'educates' son LGarrel on vacation from Catholic boarding school thru excesses and her over-the-top lover JPreiss -cuts her own throat on 'success'; uneven and complete waste
of time; bGBataille wdCHonore; Fr.
05 MARCH OF THE PENGUINS - 'Emperors' on their long, heavily anthropomorphicized trek for mating and hatching eggs; great photography critically empty of biological or ecological merit; dLJacquet cLChalet/JMaison eSEmiliani nMFreeman
05 MAREBITO - confused vampire film; miss this, miss nothing; Jap.
05 MATADOR (THE) - worn-out loner, killer-for-hire PBrosnan is to be offed for 'failing professionalism' -literally befriends 'straight' GKinnear (wife HDavis) and talks him into offing the 'contractor' instead; good evening's
05 MATCHPOINT - wdWAllen takes on TDreiser's American Tragedy -with some twists; just great -and fun! thruout;
05 ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE - recently separated dad JHawkes of two mixed-marriage children undergoes romantic attack by retirement home driver wdaMJuly; all kinds of strange, hypnotically quirky asides; an evening's entertainment;
05 MELINDA AND MELINDA - 2 couples dine; men conjecture the nature of relationships as comedy or tragedy thru 'parallel' situations and casts -unacceptably uneven contrivance -'Woody' WFarrell in particular; wdWAllen CEjiofor JLMiller
RMitchell APeet CSevigny WShawn
05 MILLIONS - cute, overly-believing boy wants to 'serve his Saints' after Irish bank robbery 'miracle-izes' loot into his hands; everybody becomes 'a little wiser'; overly cute, uneven; lacks continuity; dDBoyle
05 MIRRORMASK - girl SLeonidas who does not want life as a member of her parents' acting circus comes-of-age and 'finds self' thru fantasy-land dream/journey; many great film composition effects -poor story; miss this, miss nothing;
05 MONSIEUR N - why did who poison Napoleon on St Helena? -did he arrange burial in Paris regardless of Brit oversight? -an evening's 'mystery' entertainment; sRManzor cPAim dAdeCaunes PTorreton REGrant JRodan
05 MY SUMMER OF LOVE - summertime -girls coming-of-age, ignorant rebellion; wealthy EBlunt involve/amuses herself at expense of NPress and her ex-con father PConsidine's 'falsely' finding religion; a pretentious, 'green' piece of fruit;
05 NEW YORK DOLLS - documentary on 'drugging et cetera' punk-rock bassist Arthur (Killer) Kane: early sidelining, Mormon records-clerking, reunion 2004 concert, unforeseen leukemia death; an evening's entertainment; dGWhitely
05 NINA'S TRAGEDIES - coming-of-age is small basis for what is 'the certainty of death and various heart-warming, life-affirming tidbits'; miss this, miss nothing; wdSGabizon; Hebrew
05 NINTH DAY - docudrama; Nazis release Dachau slave-labor, Luxembourger Priest Jean Bernard (UMatthes) to save his family and fellow priests by swaying his bishop to their cause -no 'Judas' he; evening's entertainment at best;
dVSchlondorff ADiehl; Ger.
05 OLDBOY - great opening 'theater of cruelty and the absurd' goes awry as confused story about careless cruelties spawning hatred, revenge and forgiveness; sHwang Jo-yun/LimJoon-hyung; Kor.
05 ONG BAK: THE THAI WARRIOR - some great kick-boxing and acrobatics and that's it???
05 OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET - small, but excellent film; hurt by divorce, zealous, street-crime informer FMontenegro 'witnesses' judge RCortez 'murder' wife -plots 'capture', discovers mistaken zeal, falls in love, recovers her humanity;
05 PARADISE NOW - an evening's entertainment; two mid-20s Palestinians 'ripe for heaven' prepare for suicide bombing mission; one withdraws; one succeeds -'green' overall production with little hard, intellectual substance; dHAbu-
Assad ASuliman KNashif
05 PRESIDENT'S LAST BANG - you have to be Korean to appreciate this overkill, political-comedy, 1979 attempt to overthrow South Korean president Park Chung Hee; english subtitles;
05 PRIDE AND PREJUDICE - colonial aristocracy and 'the difficulties of a moderately wealthy family having to marry-off five daughters before they go broke'; evening's 'interruptible' entertainment at best; bJAusten sDMoggach dJWright
05 PRIMO AMORE - small gold-jewelry-making shop owner VTrevisan finds nice but 'imperfect' girlfriend MCescon thru classifieds; his obsession? -turn her into 'fine piece of jewelry'; she goes bonkers; he kills himself; film starts well -
disintegrates; dMGarrone; It.
05 PROTOCOLS OF ZION dMLevin 'interviews' people from various ethnic backgrounds and religion/politics with purpose of 'invalidating the protocols' -more 'populist interaction' than informative documentary
05 PULSE - is loneliness a growing disease? -leading us to suicide? do the ghosts of people remain among us when they die? the story/screenplay, production, acting and direction of any American 'D' horror film; miss this, miss nothing;
05 RECEPTION (THE) - white granddaughter MBurkwit 'marries' dSills-Evans for inheritance by-passing white alcoholic mother PHStewart living with BF WLSims; the 'real' story is about two black, gay men 'finding each other' -a pseudo-
sophisticated piece of shit; wdJGYoung
05 RIDER NAMED DEATH - disaffecting pre-Russian-revolution terrorist/assassin APanin finds socialists no better than tsarists -'civilization, a sham'; is hunted, commits suicide; good period-piece, evening's entertainment -not for everyone;
bBSavinkov dKShakhnazarov; Russ.
05 SARABAND - wdIBergman visits isolation, idiosyncrasy, apostasy, alienation and aging among once-married LUllmann (and her daughters) and EJosephson, latter's son BAhlstedt and grandaughter JDufvenius; miss this, miss nothing; Swed.
05 SECUESTRO EXPRESS - dJJakubowicz's take on 'quick-turnover kidnappings of the rich' currently popular in Latin-America -high-energy thuggery, buggery, drugs and brutality; great character studies with asides on capitalist inequities;
05 SEPARATE LIES - British, upperclass pot-boiler: hit-and-run killer EWatson, workaholic husband TWilkinson, double-adultery, 'cad' REverett's death-by-cancer; thieving maid and redemption -great "Oh what a tangled web (etc)";
bNBalchin wdJFellowes pTPierce-Roberts;
05 SKELETON KEY - hoodooing servants from the past live by hoodooing 'believers' -here now, nurse KHudson for already hoodooed JHurt, latter's wife FRowlands and lawyer PSarsgaard; cringingly awful; dISoftley
005 SIN CITY - dRRodriguez/FMiller/QTarentino translate FMiller's 'comic-book noire' to tin-typed black-and-white film noire; screenplay and overall production strains hard but really boring with trivial cameos all over the place;
05 SYRIANA - a glut of governments, oil companies (American primarily) and political factions manipulating for Near East oil; cerebral thriller may bore some; bRBaer wdSGaghan eTSquyres cRElswit GClooney MDamon CCooper JWright APeet
05 THREE EXTREMES - amusing 'horrors': Chinese 'rejuvenating diet of strange meat' goes awry; frustrated Korean 'bit' actor 'pays back' successful director; circus' accidental death of Japanese girl by her twin becomes a haunting, adult
dream; FChan PChan-Wook MTakashi
05 THUMBSUCKER - amusing, 'family dramedy'; coming-of-age-beset 17-yr-old thumsucker LPucci discovers ('human comedy') 'There are no easy answers' etc; great performances, but miss this, miss nothing; wdMMills bWKirn VD'Onofrio TSwinton
VVaugh KReeves COfferle;
05 TORREMOLINOS 73 - encyclopedia-publishing company losing money in Franco's Spain 'survives' by going 'educational porn'; film follows salesman and his wife as they 'convert and succeed beyond'; barely an evening's amusement; sdPBerger
05 TOUCH THE SOUND - documentarian wdTRiedelsheimer overkills in film of deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie's babble-mode explanations of some very great musical art moments in various world venues
05 TOUTE DE SUITE (A) - free-spirited art student ILeBesco beds down with 'realtor' (not); he calls for her help in midst of bank robbery with his friend; she and her friend escape to adventure with them -and 'grow up'; miss this, miss
nothing; bEFanger wdBJacquot Fr.
05 TRANSPORTER 2 - 'superficially gay', British ex-commando JStatham eschews women chauffers and saves American drug-enforcement czar MModine's and AValletta's kidnapped child from fiendish supervillain GAGassman; pure, over-the-top fun,
impossible-feats escapism; dLLeterrier KNauta
05 TRAVELERS AND MAGICIANS - Bhutan 'enlightening folktale' within 'enlightening folktale'; young men leave village to seek love and adventure in the city -find real love right in the village (no adventure?) -evening's entertainment at
best; wdKNorbu; Bhutanese;
05 TUNNEL - 'based on true' drama/thriller; defected E German olympic swim star HPerch and friends save relatives etc by tunnelling under Berlin Wall; excellent thruout, but overkilled by 'epicness' and duration; dRSRichter sJWBetz
05 TURTLES CAN FLY - more documentary than anything -a drift thru small Kurdish town -children as vehicle, laying out what Hussein and war have done to it as US (2001) is about to invade it -interesting, but miss this, miss nothing; wd
05 WALLACE AND GROMIT: WERE-RABBIT - amusing, yes, but feature-length Nick Park animation relies too much on standard 'action' humor (sight gags) rather than situational humor for which he is known.
05 WALMART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE - documentary; too much on bad employee relations and callous abuse of labor, insurance et cetera; not enough on the consequences of steamrolling itself into business and chasing after cheap labor;
05 WAR OF THE WORLDS - a waste of time: weak screenplay and action on a stage so large that it allows all kinds of attention-grabbing 'holes' to surface; miss this, miss nothing; dSSpielberg TCruise
05 WEATHER MAN - pretentiously 'philosophical' film; Mr. Common Man (TV 'weather man' NCage) 'finding himself and worth in a good job well done'; cringingly predictable: miss this, miss nothing; dGVerbinski wife: HDavis, dying (wasted
talent) dad MCaine
05 WHITE COUNTESS - the sufferings of 'White' Russian aristocracy marooned in Shanghai by the revolution and worsened by Japanese invasion of China; awful screenplay/lines etc by KIshiguro highlights critical absence of Merchant/dIvory-
team's sRJhabvala; NRichardson RFiennes
04 2004 ACADEMY AWARD-NOMINATED LIVE ACTION AND ANIMATED SHORTS - only 1 out of 6 really worth the time dCHinton
04 AFTER THE LIFE (#3 of trilogy) - wdLBelvaux continues to show how clever he is in closing the roles of brilliant #1 ON THE RUN actors; Fr. miss this, miss nothing;
04 AILEEN: LIFE AND DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER - interestingly (crudely?) intrusive but thin documentary: early years making Aileen Wuornos, various interviews during 6 prison years, descent into 'mild insanity' and execution;
04 ALIEN VS PREDATOR - simply awful in every respect: storyline, screenplay, acting, FX - you name it;
04 AN AMAZING COUPLE (#2 of trilogy) - wdLBelvaux shows how clever he is by linking brilliant #1 ON THE RUN of trilogy into this #2 piss-ass, dumb-and-boring, 'French romantic comedy of misunderstandings'; Fr.
04 ANATOMIE 2 - brilliant medical student BMetschurat gets caught up in secret society and 'mad scientist' professor HKnaup's robotizing humans into 'a master race'; wdSRuzowitzky HMakatsch FPotente; an evening's entertainment; Ger.
04 ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON - overacting SPenn shows you that 'even the Death Of A Salesman type failure can make a difference'; awful screenplay (KKennedy) and direction (sdNMueller) left me cringing in my seat;
04 BANG RAJAN - mid-18th century villagers of Bang Rajan keep cruel Burmese invaders from taking capital for 8 years in docudrama of epic Siammese war -historic/cultural value at best; dTJitnukul
04 BEING JULIA - a bSMaughm film of pre-WWII England and 'manners'; middle-age, celebrity actress ABening takes on young American admirer/user(?) SEvans -husband/mgr JIrons, a young actress; everyone gets 'educated'; an evening's
entertainment; dISzabo MGambon
04 BON VOYAGE - good, evening's French farce; wannabe-writer GDerangere loves self-centered film star IAdjani mistress to minister GDepardieu, tangles with Nazi invasion-baddie PCoyote, finds better girl VLedoyen squirreling heavy water
into England; dJPRappeneau cTArbogast Fr.
04 BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS - the 'trials and tribulations' of some young, rich and decadent English between WWI and II -trivial thruout: screenplay, characters etc; bEWaugh's Vile Bodies sdSFry; miss this, miss nothing;
04 BROKEN WINGS - melodramatic slice-of-life-and-dreams with widowed Israeli mother OZilbershatz-Banai (very good) and four, 6-17 year-old children -more properly, a view of the Americanization of Israel; miss this, miss nothing;
04 BOURNE SUPREMACY - sequel thriller; an evening's entertainment at best; miss this, miss nothing;
04 CLEARING (THE) - 'wannabe successful' WDafoe conjures up kidnaps self-made once employer RRedford for big ransom; overdramatized, simplistic, existentialist morality play? -'We should be happy with what we have'(?); sJHaythe dJBrugge
04 CODE 46 - sci-fi: cloning is widespread; government uses law (title) and memory-altering viruses (among others) as procreation and other controls; miss this, miss nothing; dMWinterbottom SMorton TRobbins
04 COLLATERAL - TCruise 'conscrips' JFoxx as cabbie for this day's contract killings for drug lord JBardem; suspicious detective MRuffalo undoes all with assist from govt lawyer JPSmith; just too clever thruout -evening's entertainment at
04 CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN - expected fun from director SSugarman; film is awful -walked out
04 DAWN OF THE DEAD - by dZSnyder compares not at all with sdGRomero's 1979 original; cheesey; miss this, miss nothing; SPolley VRhames JWeber MPhifer
04 DONNIE DARKO (director's cut) - another 'back to (from?) the future'? -a very confusing (and confused?) piece of work; high-schooler JGyllenhaal has sanity-compromising visions of what life is all about and where he fits into it;
04 DOWN BY LOVE - 24 yr-old PKovacs returns with married older lover from Venice tryst -a 1 apartment harang of 'will he? -won't he divorce for her?' -no; sets him up for her murder and kills self; do you care? -no; miss this, miss nothing;
04 ENDURING LOVE - severely flawed in possible interpretations, screenplay and direction; sit thru this 'intellectual' mess to find out where it's going? dRMichell DCraig RIfans SMorton BNighy SLynch
04 EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING more fun than heavier critics suggested; definitely a good prequel, and definitely an evening's entertainment! cVStararo dRHarlin sWWisher/CCarr SSkarsgard
04 FACING WINDOWS - lost-in-memory Jewish-Italian Holocaust-surviving hero pastry master MGirotti 'relives' failing his gay lover -helps (MacGuffen) meat industry accountant wannabe pastry master GMezzogiorno save her marriage; interesting
mess; wdFOzpetek cGCorticelli FNigro SYilmaz
04 FINAL CUT - an implanted chip records everything you see; when you die, 'cutter' RWilliams edits a 're'memory film out for others; poorly developed screenplay; evening's entertainment at best; wdONaim MSorvino JCaviezel
04 FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS - film/TV instructor JLeth takes on dare to remake his 1967 12-minute film 5 times, each with wild constraints set by his one-time film student, 'auteur' dLvonTrier ; 'esoterically' interesting, else miss this, miss
04 FOND KISS - love story on difficulty of intermarriage of even among 'educateds' experiencing strict ethnic or religious constraints; a few excellent scenes, the overall idea is beaten to death; sPLaverty dKLoach AYaqub EBirthistle ARiaz
04 GATEKEEPER - crude, amateurish, simplistic, but still good, evening's entertainment; border guard dpaJCFrey hates his Mexican origins, schemes with Whiteys to 'get some beaners'; chance makes him appreciate their difficulties and he
04 GOZU - "freshly indoctrinated into the Yakuza, a mobster is ordered to kill his boss, propelling him into a world of strange experiences" (LAT); absurdist fantasy severely lacking coherence; dTMiike; Jap.
04 GYPSY 83 - 'wannabe Stevie Nick' SRue and boyfriend KTurton go to NYC contest much as mother who abandoned her at age 3; 'shaggy-dog story': karaoke disaster, run-in with frat-boy hazing and homosex scene, 1-fuck stand with married Amish farmer
etc; miss this, miss nothing; wdTStephens
04 HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE - the weekend misadventures of two college types going out for White Castle 'sliders' (hamburgers) by producers GShapiro/NKahane of great DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR? -poorly done, puerile humor thruout;
04 HELLBOY - AWFUL wdGdelToro RPerlman
04 HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS - chinese-opera/martial-arts and FX wizardry, but really just a sappy love story -an evening's entertainment at best; dZYimou; Chin:
04 I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD - dMHodges' GET CARTER BORING variation: drug-king MMcDowell drives JRMeyers to suicide by raping him for his swagger, women and drug-dealing success -sick-of-himself, older brother gone straight COwens
avenges death; miss this, nothing;
04 INTENDED (THE) - really stupid, pot-boiling love story puts surveyor JJFeild and his intended JMcTeer into Malayan, ivory outpost, 'madding-jungle with misfits' situation; amusing, but miss this miss nothing sKLevring/McTeer dLevring
ODukakia BFricker TMaudsley
04 INTIMATE STRANGERS - SBonnaire inadvertently 'sees shrink' in tax-accountant FLuchini's office; 'internal drama' of sustained confusion develops; the two find their 'real' selves; interesting, but miss this, miss nothing; dPLeconte
04 KILL BILL VOL 2 - no better than vol 1: cheesey, talky, pretentious; miss this, miss nothing; UThurman DCarradine MMadsen DHannah
04 KING ARTHUR - teenager COwen of Roman protectorate serves army time, makes name for self (and love -KKnightley), overwhelms Saxons (SSkarsgard) etc., becomes King Arthur -viewing requires beer; dAFuqua
04 LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE - "stylish, slightly surreal mood piece in which two maginalized people cross paths for an unexpectedly happy interlude. It's a sophisticated collaboration ..." (LAT); dPRatanaruang; lifeless film -miss this miss
04 LA VIE PROMISE - melodrama of every cliche possible thruout; teenage sister MForget reenters life of hard-boiled prostitute mom IHuppert of abandoned son; 'search' finds her a criminal going straight; they all end 'happily ever after';
04 MACHINIST, THE - CBale hits, kills child and runs -admits guilt a year later after paranoic descent thru wasting, haggard sleeplessness (lost 65 real pounds!); interesting, but miss this, miss nothing; dBAnderson JJLeigh ASanchez-Gijon
04 MERCI DOCTEUR REY - a 'French farce' in the worst sense of the phrase: thin? --DWiest JBirkin VRedgrave asked to 'have a little fun'? -why am I watching this? -walked out; wdALitvack
04 MILLENIUM MAMBO - interesting cinematography (no story) follows the apathy and love-life of an incredibly self-centered/indulging Taiwanese girl -partying and 'hanging-out' of overwhelmingly American influence;
04 NICOTINA - hacker DLuna is to provide access to bank accounts in exchange for diamonds; his computerized spying on girl he loves sets off domino-ripple thru entire 'gang that couldn't shoot straight' comedy -miss this miss nothing;
04 ON THE RUN (#1 of trilogy) **** real craftsmanship -terrific film; the trials and tribulations of an escaped, revolutionary bomber awdLBelvaux -but time has 'mellowed' fellow 'rev' JFrot; he dies by cruel chance -hopelessly isolated;
04 OPEN WATER - 'based on true story' average american couple on scuba-dive vacation is inadvertently left at open sea coral reef -so poorly docudrama'ed with acting, 'real life' dialog etc that you don't care when they succumb to sharks;
wdeCKentis BRyan DTravis
04 OSAMA - more a documentary of Taliban influences on daily life than a film story -effects on women in particular; interesting, but no new information; sedSiddiqBarmak cEGhafuri; Afghan;
04 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - the classical story bloated into really sappy, cheesy overproduction -no great acting, no great singing; miss this, miss nothing; dJSchumacher
04 POSTMAN IN THE MOUNTAINS - "An aging father passes his mountainous postal route to his son" LAT -a 'sweet, life-affirming' film with lots of backwoods life China
04 RED LIGHTS - office worker JPDaroussin (GREAT!) and corp-lawyer-wife CBouquet go to pick up chldren at camp; petty squabble, he drinks; she takes train, is raped; did he kill the rapist? -good evening's psych mystery; wdCKahn
04 SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD - shaggy dog story: legless Canadian brewer IRossellini throws contest for SMITW to make dry US weep enough to bring back alcohol; ex-lover MMcKinney tries-out etc etc; wdGMaddin's 'auteurship' and camera work are
04 SAME RIVER TWICE - interesting, but short on material, 'American experience, 20 years later' documentary; dRMoss picks-up on the lives of 5 (of 15) 'free-spirited, hippie' river-guides on 1978 Colorado R trip;
04 SECRET WINDOW - dual-personality drives killer writer JDepp; sheriff's on to him, but 'still no evidence' when film ends; miss this, miss nothing; no more SKing stories; dDKoepp JTurturro MBello THutton CSDutton
04 SEDUCING DR. LEWIS (LE GRANDE SEDUCTION) - comedy: fishing fails isolated Fr.Canadian village; manufacturing would come in if they had a doctor; they 'seduce' one into town etc. -an evening's entertainment; dJFPouliot RBouchard
04 SHALL WE DANCE - Hollywood can't resist putting it's romantic stamp on a better Japanese original; a good evening's entertainment at best; dPChelsom RGere SSarandon JLopez STucci LAWalter
04 SHAUN OF THE DEAD - Brit comedic take on GRomero's Dawn Of The Dead -weak screenplay with not enough very funny stuff; saSPegg sdEWright KAshfield NFrost LDavis DMoran PWilton
04 SILENT LOVE (A) - mid-age Canadian film prof NBurton finds Mexican wife (teacher -VBauche) thru agency -circumstances include mother SSalazar who is better suited; good idea, weak screenplay and direction dFHidalgo
04 SILVER CITY - Dubya (CCooper) political satire (RDreyfuss)? -antipollution polemic? noir detective (DHouston) story? -romance (MBellow)? -comedy (DHannah)? dJSayles hasn't a clue; evening's entertainment at best
04 SPIDER MAN 2 - better than the first? -not at all; better review coming;
04 SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER ... AND SPRING - mother leaves bastard(?) baby with isolated monk -and dies; the 'story': 'philosophical and moral lessons (mild animal abuse) on cyclicity of life and death'; miss this, miss nothing;
04 SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN - 'subtle' (laborious) film of Chinese traditions; new doctor visiting sick boyhood friend finds him married to old girlfriend; 'sensitive suffering' develops; miss this, miss nothing; dTZhuangzhuang
04 STEPFORD WIVES - 'humorous' sci/fi film on 'successful' life; brain surgeon GClose makes 'perfect' robot/husband CWalken gated-community leader who makes all wives 'perfect' with implants; miss this, miss nothing; dFOz NKidman MBroderick
04 STRAYED - widow/mother EBeart, her grade-school daughter and teenage son on run from 1940 Nazi invasion hole up in rural estate with older teenage, street-smart, reformatory escapee GUlliel; contrived potboiler, poor script/direction;
04 SUSPECT ZERO - BKingsley is last of govt experiment (Icarus) adapting individuals to 'mentate' existence and location of 'great murderous acts' -serial killers here; he becomes one himself; sappy thruout -miss this, miss nothing;
sZPerin/BRay dEMerhige AEckhart CAMoss
04 TALE OF TWO SISTERS - seriously confused psychological tale -a waste of time; Korean;
04 THOUSAND CLOUDS OF PEACE - wdJHernandez and (excellent!) cinemaphotographer DArizmendi's essay on 'pining for love' -here, male homosexual; incredibly monotonous -miss this, miss nothing!
04 TIME OF THE WOLF - the near future; some great disaster has befallen the world (unconvincing); how will we interact? -poor screenplay/direction: wdMHaneke; IHuppert wasted; miss this, miss nothing; Fr.
04 TWILIGHT SAMURAI - low level samurai with dying wife and family burdens, but his ethics and integrity pull him thru; a 'small' film -miss this, miss nothing; Jap.
04 TWO MEN WENT TO WAR - 'Brit WWII satire straightforward as its title, delivering ... a pleasant bit of stiff-upper-lip nostalgia with a touch of whimsey' (LAT); miss this, miss nothing; dJHenderson
04 VAN HELSING - so bad and such a waste of money as to constitute an indictment of 'American free-enterprise, capitalist democracy and the right to make as much money as you can and spend it any way you choose -as long as there's no
law against it'
04 VERA DRAKE - post WWII, 'no charge', selfless IStaunton 'helps girls out', but one 'near death' brings investigation and prison; interesting situational piece of overdrawn characters -eventually boring; wdMLeigh PDavis, PWight
04 VOICES OF IRAQ - cameras are dispensed to students and people on the street for pop/human taste of situation following US overthrow of Hussein; mildly interesting at best; interesting, but miss this, miss nothing;
04 WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT - expected fun; film is worse than TV; walked out sTSchulman dDPetrie GHackman RRomano MGHarden MTierney CBaranski
04 WILBUR WANTS TO KILL HIMSELF - but it's unclear why; what starts as 'rage against the world' becomes good, evening's multifaceted drama about life, death, isolation and redemptive communion; dLScherfig ARawlins JSives SHenderson
LMcKinlay MMikkelsen; Scot.
04 YOUNG ADAM - 'fast Romeo', 'wannabe writer' EMcGregor gets barge job with PMullan, beds wife TSwinton, runs out on everyone including man accused in EMortimer's accidental drowning to which he was accessory; pot-boiling entertainment;
03 AKA - a 'based on' story-line mess; 18 yr-old MLeitch is brutalized by Brit-family Dad JBell -'AKA's into 'lordly upper class' (great 'mannerisms'!); male homosexual 'sturm-and-drang' follows -surprise! Dad 'had' the son; wdDRoy
PYHills DQuick GAsprey LCoulson; Br.
03 A MIGHTY WIND - satire on '60's coffee-house/protest music scene is overburdened by unwieldily too big a cast for the satire -music too good; light entertainment at best; wELevy wdCGuest BBalaban JMHiggins JLynch MMcKean CO'Hara PPosey
03 BAD SANTA - this film 'for audiences sophisticated enough to appreciate it' (wdCoenBros) is, rather, remarkable for abetting and 'blessing' crass America's 'worst idiomatics and habits in the world'; BBThornton BMac LGraham
03 BARBARIAN INVASIONS - alienated 'barbarian' modern/capitalist son gathers friends of dying 'sophisticated professor' dad into replay of 'their sophisticated past'; wdDArcand reminds 'sophisticated' audience 'How sophisticated we all are!' -
real shit!; Fr.Can.
03 CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES - another 'intense, love relationships' film, here among Oriental-Americans, wdEByler's idea being that cultural background can make a difference(?); miss this, miss nothing; music VERY intrusive.
03 CHI-HWA-SEON (Painted Fire) - "entertaining portrait of the artist as a boozing womanizer" (MDargis); mildly informational on early 19th century Korean military relationships with Japan and China; miss this, miss nothing; dImKwon-
03 COMPANY (THE) - FFCoppola directs once dancer wpaNeve Campbell's 'the lives of ballet dancers': great opening eventually becomes so-so romance story; Joffrey Ballet of Chicago; MMacDowell BERobertson JFranco
03 CORE, THE - molten core of the earth has stopped turning; electromagnetic storms threaten life on earth; AEckhart HSwank STucci bore thru the mantle to get it going again and save the planet -sappy fun, none of the actors takes it
03 CREMASTER 3 - 3 hours of 'surreal' but really uninventive, boring, self-indulgent 'performance art' storyline-thread-and-execution hints at all kinds of things; much 'filler' -see the trailers, but skip the films (plural);
03 DANCER UPSTAIRS, THE - terrorist/detective/Latin-American govt story never really lifts off; weak screenplay/dialog (bNShakespeare) and weak direction(?) doesn't do dJMalkovich any good; JBardem LMorante OK -all others, very poor
03 DARK BLUE - rookie SSpeedman is killed while training under 'bad detective' KRussell and corrupt Chief BGleeson in hokily thin TV-level story -loses all 'setting everything right'; best scene: Rodney King aftermath rioting;
bJEllroy dRShelton MMichele
03 DECADE UNDER THE INFLUENCE - many interesting examples, interviews et cetera, but documentary does not cohesively argue '70s filmmaking as quantum-leaping; wdDemme/Gravenese
03 DEMON LOVER - 'cleverly slick auteur' wdOAssayas parlays 'cleverly slick highpower pornography industry' situations into 'deserved brutality' -anime, bondage, 'snuff', 'per-order' etc; CNielsen CBering CSevigny GGershon JBMalarte
03 EYE, THE - B-level horror film made in Hong Kong; blind-from-childhood girl sees deaths-to-be after getting cornea transplant from woman who hanged herself after failing to save village from disaster because she was shunned as a witch. dPang
03 FLOWER OF EVIL (THE) (LA FLEUR DU MAL) - 'estated' families with adultery and WWII crimes 'come clean'; poor resolution, 40's handling and godawful music thruout -you don't care; no more dCChabrol; Fr.
03 FRIDAY NIGHT - two strangers meet in Paris traffic jam during a strike; sexually loaded scenes\interactions tell you SOMETHING BIG is going to happen! -'profoundly', NOTHING HAPPENS! -miss this miss nothing; dCDenis VLemercier VLindon;
03 GLOOMY SUNDAY - stiffly-dated Holocaust romance; man-woman-man relationship, death and revenge around a famous Hungarian restaurant -another in the seemingly endless series (2000- ) of 'What it was to be Jewish during WWII' dRSchubel
03 GOSPEL OF JOHN - essentially 'an historically-true-to-bible account' -no proseletizing to speak of -interesting in that respect, but 3 hours of "I am telling you the truth"? dPSaville HICusick CPlummer DKash RLintern SRussell
03 GOTHICA - shrink HBerry becomes mental patient charged with murdering husband CSDutton' -escapes, solves murder: he and boyhood friend sheriff JCLynch turn out to be killer/rapists; huh? miss this, miss nothing; dMKassowitz RDowney PCruz
03 HARD WORD, THE - an evening's entertainment; three hold-up bros doing time (GPearce JEdgerton DRichardson) are temporarily released to rob for the warden and lawyer RTaylor; many twists, interesting characterizations; wdSRoberts
03 HOUSE OF FOOLS - patient JVysotsky finds love with soldier SIslamov defecting into insane asylum; heavy-handed 'See even the insane are not as sick as we Russians and Chechens are'; miss this, miss nothing; dAKonchalovsky; Russ.
03 HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES - amusing in that it proves anyone can make any kind of meaningless horror film as long as it is over the top and has plenty of excesses; wdRZombie SHaig BMoseley SMoon KBlack
03 HUNTED, THE - just dumb-ass escapist fun -sometimes even sappy; TLJones has to go after 'killer gone crazy' BdelTorre whom he had years earlier trained as contract warrior for CIA;
03 IN THE CUT - too-hip detective MRuffalo investigating serial killings 'investigates' drifting english prof MRyan studying slang; too-cleverly 'sharp, punchy dialog', scenes and dodges -an evening's entertainment as best; dJCampion
03 IRREVERSIBLE - wdcGasparNoe tells you 'how clever he is' in brutally over-the-top revenge-for-(MBellucci)rape tale explained 'backwards in time' -the 'forgiving' ex boyfriend ADupontel superceding tough, avenging-but-beaten bf VCassel
on the wrong 'rapist'.
03 KILL BILL -VOLUME 1 - present-day professional assassin society fails to kill marked fellow-member UThurman at her marriage -she comes back for revenge; shaggy dog story with a too-clever 'samurai' setting -too often wincingly bad;
03 LAUREL CANYON - the 'valley-style' churnings of record-producing 'free spirit' mother (wayward) FDormand of CBale and his fiancee KBeckinsale in their move from east coast to west -miss this, miss nothing; wdLCholodenko NMcElhone
03 LEGEND OF SURIYOTHAI, THE - classical spectacular on machinations between late 16th early 17th century Siamese kings and scions in continuing war with Burma; 2 1/2 hours; miss this, miss little; Thai
03 LILYA 4-EVER - mother and her boyfriend leave for America; 'Will get you (daughter, 16 -OAkinshina) later'; aunt advises 'Earn better keep on the street'; Russian-style handling leadens 'how abandoned girls become prostitutes';
03 LOST IN LA MANCHA - director Terry Gilliam undertakes Cervantes's don Quixote to disastrous loss -an amusing, sometimes interesting documenatary on often really bad planning in movie-making; miss this, miss nothing.
03 MASTER AND COMMANDER - more texture than story-line -how 19th cent Capt 'Lucky Jack' Aubrey (RCrowe) was directed to take and then took larger, better armed French ship after being damaged by it; miss this, miss nothing; bPO'Brian
03 MATRIX RELOADED - piddly messianic storyline (NO substance) with horseshit philosophics -conclusion left for sequel (GOTCHA!); truly AWFUL fight scenes; much generic filler thruout; wdWarchowskyBros KReeves LFishburne CAMoss HWeaving
03 MAY - grossly overrated horror film; childhood eye problem (and biasing mother) sets 'May' ABettis apart from other kids -grows up as outsider with weird dispositions -finds love JSisto, loses it, goes deadly etc; miss this, miss nothing;
03 MEDALLION - really poor 'Jackie Chan' as he ages and succumbs to Hollywood FX; miss this, miss nothing -no more JChan for me;
03 MONSTER - dPJenkins docudramatizes the last few years of prostitute, serial-killer Aileen Wuornos' life leading to her arrest; TV-level screenplay, production and direction saved only by Cherise Theron's inhabitation of the role
03 MYSTIC RIVER -ex-timer SPenn churns over daughter's murder -kills innocent 'killer' TRobbins; 3rd boyhood friend detective KBacon deciphers it all; sBHelgeland dCEastwood TV-level, over-infused 'greek tragedy'; LFishburne MGHarden LLiney
03 NORTHFORK - dam project opening will inundate Montana town -leaves viewer to 'free-range' what 'nostalgia' et cetera various vignettes and cameos mean. Like Wim Wenders? This is the film for you! wdPolish Bros. JWoods NNolte DFarnes
03 OLD SCHOOL - 'circumstances' bring 30-years-old-plus college grads to form a campus fraternity in wildly uneven comedy -an evening of raunchy, raucous TV and beer at best; dTPhillips LWilson WFerrell VVaughn
03 ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO - 10 minutes of 'el Mariachi ABandera saves Mexico from military takeover under evil drug lord' WDafoe; standard, daring-do, shoot 'em up gimmicks, and you just don't care anymore; dRRodriguez SHayek
03 ONMYOJI (THE YING-YANG MASTER) - 12th century tale of dueling court magicians turns on ghosts of jealousies and intrigues 150 years earlier; some special effects, big narrative leaps, who cares? -miss this, miss nothing; Jap.
03 OPEN HEARTS - boyfriend is hit stepping out of car -becomes paralyzed neck down; husband-doctor of woman that hit him (prosaic marriage -daughter thinks she caused the accident) and the girlfriend fall in love etc etc; excellent Dogma 95
thruout -so what? Denmark wdSBier
03 PARTY MONSTER - over-the-top docudrama (why am I watching this?) follows over-the-top, 90's punk-scene-maker Michael Alig (MCulkin) who eventually goes to jail for murder; wdFBailey/RBarbat SGreen CSevigny NLyonne DMcDermott
03 PRINCESS BLADE - minor screenplay and poor staging, direction and photography of 'chinese opera' swordplay story; why was this film made? -miss this, miss nothing; dSSato/DYen sSSato/KKunii; Jap.
03 RANA'S WEDDING - daughter CKhoury must select from list of 'professional' husbands by 4:00 or go to Egypt; she opts for marrying artist boyfriend -'the difficulties of being Arab in Israel'; dHAbu-Assad
03 RIVERS AND TIDES: ANDY GOLDSWORTHY WORKING WITH TIME - film follows 'earth-and-nature-communing' artist as he goes about 'creating' art of the same motifs -sinusoids, circles and eggs- again and again and again -miss this, miss nothing;
03 SCHOOL OF ROCK - broke, older, 'wannabe rock star' JBlack becomes temp teacher in posh grade school -'educates' kids into rockers; cringing-in-your-seat bad despite some few great laughs and rousing closer; dRLinklater JCusack MWhite
03 SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS, THE - 'heart-warming' wallow in dentist-marrieds-with-daughters domesticity (CScott HDavis) that you don't give a shit about! 'Is she cheating on him?' et cetera ad nauseum! No more 'insightfully humorous
dARudolph'; DLeary RTunney
03 SINGING DETECTIVE (THE) - pity! weak screenplay absolutely kills an otherwise great, musical production -not enough 'meat'; not enough music; bDPotter dKGordon RDowneyJr RPWright JNortham MGibson ABrodie KHolmes
03 SUSPENDED ANIMATION - "AMcArthur plays Tom Kempton, who becomes fascinated by the homicidal sisters who hold him captive" (LAT); 40's level, genuinely 'B' film made now? -miss this, miss nothing; dJHancock LEsterman SAllen RHarrell
03 SWIMMING POOL - mystery writer CRampling 'unblocks' at publisher CDance's French estate becomes involved with murder by owner's spoiled daughter LSagnier; wdFOzon fooled you! The screenplay is the mystery she writes! -clever shit; miss this,
miss nothing; Fr.
03 TEN - divorced Persian woman driver prattles about daily trivia and minor complaints with three other women and her son (all, one-on-one pickups); nothing new here, not even 'educational' value; why was this movie made? -miss this, miss
nothing; wdecAKiarostami; Farsi
03 THIRTEEN - screenplay by teenager aNReed with uneven 'treatment' by wdCHardwicke/cEDavis; assault by (essentially) 'valley girls who just wanna be bad' overwhelms substance of (at least) divorced or 'clueless' parents -a cringe-in-your-seat
ending; HHunter ERWood
03 TOUGH LUCK - neo-noir 'B'; whole-life loser/grifter NReedus finds self and wins out of cross/double-cross plot: Louisiana carnival owner AAssante launders casino cash, wants scamming wife DDominczyk killed etc -miss this, miss nothing
03 21 GRAMS- bloated interconnectedness of life -'the human condition': accidental hit-and-run, heart transplant, revenge, 'sturm und drang' etc -storyline/execution bloated/pretentious in every sense; dAInarritu wGArriaga cRPrieto SPenn
BDelToro NWatts CGainsbourg MLeo
03 TYCOON, A NEW RUSSIAN - TV-level dramatization of 'the ruthless rise of someone like Boris Berezovski' VMashkov in Russia; miss this, miss nothing; Russ.
03 WHALE RIDER - just barely worth seeing; seriously cliched, Disney-level coming-of-age film; Maori chief wanted grandson to carry on male tradition (son opted out for art and German bride instead) -has to settle for granddaughter rising
to the job.
03 YOUNG UNKNOWNS, THE - so bad, walked out in 15 minutes; sdCJelski
02 ABOUT SCHMIDT - just-retired JNicholson's prosaic wife dies; he discovers 'the emptiness of wasted (prosaic) life'; 'philosophical, some humor, evenings entertainment' of incredibly thin (money-making) material bLBegley dAPayne KBates
02 ADAPTATION - seen as a favor; a romance of sorts and 'the meaning of life'; bad and bloated in every respect; clever, 'conceptual', thin shit would never survive without advertising; no more dSJonze; NCage as sCKaufman, CConnor great! -
MStreep MGyllenhaal TSwinton
02 ASH WEDNESDAY - EWood kills intended killers of bad older brother wdEBurns in '83 Hell's Kitchen 'Irish neighborhood going Italian'; reappearance 3 yrs later precipitates more vendetta score settling; talky, stagy -miss this, miss
02 BANK BAN - you've got to be dyed-in-the-wool ethnic Hungarian to sit thru this obscure opera (of genuinely forgettable music) about 13th century 'saving the kingdom' heroics and court intrigue
02 BARTLEBY (The Scrivener) - based on HMelville book, stagy, remarkably funny film up to completely screwed-up ending completely misses 'rage against the machine' story line; dJParker dPaymer CGlover GHeadley MChaykin JPiscopo
02 BLADE II - is pure FX (effects) crap! -no meat, no potatoes!
02 BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF (THE) -French scientist and Iroquois sidekick take on secret organization's 'werewolf' anticipating French revolution; miss this cringeingly, laughably bad, chinese opera/kung fu film, miss nothing; Fr.
02 CAT'S MEOW, THE - good production wasted(?) on "What really happened on WRHearst's yacht before TInce's death in 1924???"; mIWhitcomb dPBogdanovich KDunst/MarionDavies EHerrmann/Hearst EIzzard/Chaplin CElwes/Ince JLumley/EGlyn
02 CRIME OF FATHER AMARO - new, young priest GGBernal is assigned to town 'owned' by drug lord; stolid belief in the God and church sees him past (film sprawl) crime in high places, incongruous vows, his own sins of flesh and death;
02 DEATH TO SMOOTCHY - best hi-jinx comedy possible on weak script skirts at the evils of kids TV; 'good' comedian ENorton eventually wins over 'evil' RWilliams and his now-epiphanied ex-girlfriend CKeener; daDDavito
02 DERRIDA - fawning documentary: Jacque D's 'deconstruction philosophy' consists entirely of dancing from one language ambiguity to another so rapidly (if you can find the subject) that it is dazzling! -and unintelligible.
02 DIE ANOTHER DAY - Sean Connery's are now long gone; this is an evening's entertainment of 'James Bond series' -and no, Halle Berry is NOT an actress; she is a 'making-money-from-Black-audience' device
02 8-LEGGED FREAKS - 50's radiation-induced monster film thruout -here it results in giant spiders attacking (what else?) a small western town with lots of close calls and the army just barely showing up on time; fun! fun! fun! -bring
02 EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES - Napoleon's plan for return to France from St Helena goes awry when his stand-in dies; human comedy, good production thruout, not much meat, good evening's TV; bSLeys dATaylor IHolmes IHjejle
02 ENIGMA - generic WWII film/romance turns on breaking an 'Enigma machine' code in time to save Atlantic convoys bringing food, arms et cetera to England, from attack by German submarines; miss this, miss nothing; wdMApted DScott KWinslet
02 FEMME FATALE - greatly overrated crime thriller/romance is an evening's entertainment -that's all; standard dream-sequence core and standard O'Henry-twist 'lovers escape with the boodle' ending; RRomjin-Stamos ABanderas PCoyote
02 INSOMNIA - remarkably shabby dialog/direction/production out of what looks like good screenplay with good actors; APacino RWilliams HSwank; I didn't think much of dCNolan's Momento either
02 INVINCIBLE - wdWHerzog's real-life folk-tale epic of Polish-stetl, young smithy JAhola become Nazi icon of strength in hands of imposter-German hynotist TRoth (who is also Jewish) -but the whole collapses; absolute worse film he's made;
02 JACKASS, THE MOVIE - wildly uneven -dumb-ass funny, often masochistic -anything goes 'filler'; definitely an evening's entertainment if you like that sort of thing (I did :-)
02 KANDAHAR - expatriate returns to Taliban Afghanistan to save her sister from suicide during coming eclipse(???); dMMakhmalbaf's variously documentary material should have gone into completely documentary film
02 LAST SUPPER - feminist film: idealistic architecture professor divorces overbearing, developer husband of 26-year arranged marriage, is wooed by doctoral student; 'spurned' (assuming) daughter kills both proving (Iran) "God has his ways"
02 LES DESTINEE - a family saga followed by the doings of one (CBerlinger) -1900 France thru 1929; three hours long of which the most interesting parts are those on barreling cognac and making porcelain; miss it, miss nothing; bJChardonne
dOAssayas EBeart IHuppert; Fr.
02 LONG TIME SINCE - 'minimalist' film is postured and pretentious in every cinematic sense -empty screenplay, awful script, boring; did she dream the murder she saw and pursues? -who cares? wdJAnania should not be permitted to make any more
02 LOVE LIZA - MacGuffen: (spoiled? -unappreciative?) web designer PSHoffman won't read wife's suicide note -the film, a wallow in 'the petrol-sniffing wallow of his loss' with a deus ex machina note-reading at end; sGHoffman
dTLousio KBates JKehler
02 MAN FROM ELYSIAN FIELDS (MJagger) - situation wasted on uneven morality play -weak acting, 'knowing' direction; down-and-out writer AGarcia gigolo's 'helping' OWilliams marriage to dying writer JCoburn, ruins his own, discovers self;
02 MAX - 1918 Jewish art dealer JCusack tries to help wannabe artist NTaylor (Adolf Hitler); do Jews need this kind of fanciful, half-baked, near-propagandistic contrivance clearing them of Nazi hate? sdMMeyjes LSobieski MParker
02 MINORITY REPORT - lots of razzle-dazzle, but completely forgettable with or without BLADE-RUNNER comparison
02 MORVERN CALLAR - living-together writer/boyfriend of aimless, rootless Scottish supermarket employee SMorton suicides; she sells 'her' finished novel to continued 'aimless, rootless' life; miss this miss nothing; dLRamsay KMcDermott
02 MUTANT ALIENS - writer-director-producer-animator BillPlympton does as much as can (pretty good!) to sustain feature-length animation; lotsa funny stuff, great music
02 MY BIG, FAT, GREEK WEDDING - lot of ethnic laughs -here, "The joys of being Greek" (or Jewish et cetera); mid-30-ish daughter 'should marry Greek' -rediscovers self and love with an American 'converting' and now 'family'; wRWilson dJZwick
NVardalos JCorbett EKazan
02 MYSTIC MASSEUR - 'amusing and uplifting' (prosiac) story of a young man in the Hindu segment of Trinidad whose love of books takes him from backward villager into government; miss this, miss nothing; bVSNaipaul dIMerchant OPuri
02 NO SUCH THING - auteur pwdHHartley's rants his own Artaudian alter ego as a monster embodying all the evils of 'mankind in his evolution'; overall half-baked production so broad and coarse as to suggest really big message -never
02 ONE HOUR PHOTO - molested-as-child, withdrawn photo-processor RWilliams pictures self as uncle in 'happy family' with 'dramatic' consequences; much undeveloped material; crude stereotypes thruout; sdMRomanek cJCronenweth eJFord
02 ON GUARD - swashbuckler opens strongly for fun -about 45 minutes; skews off and never really recovers; miss this, miss nothing; dPdeBroca JAuteuil; Fr.
02 POSSESSION - American poetry scholar AEckhart's discovery of married Victorian poet JNortham's infidelity with lesbian JEhle leads to cute-meet detective story with now 'Brit poetry expert' GPaltrow descendent of GUESS WHO??? -an evening's
entertainment at best; bASByatt dNLaBute
02 PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE - friend EWatson of 1-of-7 sisters sees photo of severely socially impaired brother ASandler -conspires to meet him -love follows, 'emasculation by overbearing sisters' is overcome; unacceptably 'squirming' thruout
dPTAnderson PSHoffman LGuzman
02 QUITTING - Chinese actor JKongsheng writes/acts replay of recovery from drug addiction as a filmed stageplay with the real principals (eg mom and dad) of the recovery; it is unclear why this film was made; dZYang; Ch.
02 RED DRAGON - not as engaging as either The Silence Of The Lambs or Hannibal -a night out at best; bTHarris dBRattner AHopkins ENorton RFiennes Hkeitel EWatson MLParker PSHoffman
02 SATIN ROUGE - 'cloistered' Tunisian widow questions college daughter's whereabouts, discovers belly-dancing, is bedded by daughter's boyfriend (whom he marries anyhow), 'rediscovers life'; miss this, miss nothing; wdRAmari; Arabic;
02 SECRETARY - screwball comedy/romance; masochist MGyllenhaal is released from hospital, bootstraps self into job, finds love with mildly sadistic boss JSpader; funny, but doesn't always work well -not bad evening's TV bMGaitskill
02 SEX AND LUCIA - novelist writes story-in-progress being read by others in which his and their misread relationships are 'corrected to end well'; 'pornography' overkill, minor acting and zero character development in otherwise interesting
story/production; wdJMedem; Sp
02 SHIRI - renegade North Korean 'killer corps' is determined to start war with S Korea so as to 'properly' unite countries using incredibly explosive 'water'; meaningless gunplay/killing, chase et cetera; miss this; miss nothing; Korea
02 SIGNS - awful thruout; wpdaMNShyamalan makes shabbily thin, low-IQ films for people that don't know a 'shabbily thin, low-IQ film' when they see one -American Beauty included; no more MNShyamalan for this viewer;
02 SPIDER - 'thriller' material development not anywhere up to overall very good production; newly released to his childhood neighborhood, RFiennes recaps his seriously deranged confusion over sex and parents -did Dad kill Mom?
GByrne/MRichardson; dDCronenberg LRedgrave
02 SOBIBOR, October 14, 1943, 4pm - dCLanzmann interviews Yehuda Lerner as surivor of uprising and escape from Nazi death-camp; interesting primarily for the heroics situations may impose on the young; in Hebrew;
02 SON OF THE BRIDE - weak plot/screenplay eventually amusing; young thing on his arms, restaurant inheriting, divorced and stressed 42-yr-old son 'grows up' helping dad 'remarry' his Alzheimer's (committed) wife; dJJCampanella; Argen
02 SON'S ROOM (THE) - dNMoretti's gaggingly 'dramatic' reflections intertwining his teenage son's scuba death with the tribulations of his psychological practice, basketball-playing teenage daughter, 'loving family' et cetera et cetera;
02 SPIDER-MAN - walked out after an hour; wasn't that bad; wasn't that great either -miss it, miss nothing;
02 TADPOLE - bookish 15-yr-old AStanford, in love with stepmother SWeaver, comes-of-age thru accidental sleeping with her best friend BNeuwirth; film is an amusing trifle of bad acting in a trivial production; miss this, miss nothing;
02 TRICKY LIFE (La Puta Vida) - unmarried mother of two goes prostitute and exposes that trafficking between Uruguay and Spain in dBeatrizSilva's excellent, little farce/drama paradocumentary based on MariaUrruzola's The Serpent's Egg;
02 TUVALU - surreal lovestory/fairytale amusing at best; son maintains solitary hold-out, family-owned, defunct public bathhouse against technology and new-city development in razed, Bulgarian wasteland; dad dies; couple sail to Tuvalu;
02 UNDER THE MOONLIGHT - young villager uncertain of self as graduating Muslim cleric; theft of graduation vestment goods leads into realities of life in Tehran -commits that way after all; interesting, but miss this, miss nothing;
02 WARM WATER UNDER A RED BRIDGE - wife divorces laid-off salaryman (Jap.); he finds love with storied fishing-village earth-mother who 'fills up with water' (not urine) and has to be 'punctured'; unclear why this boring, 'shaggy dog' fairy
tale was made; Jap.
02 WAY HOME, THE - small but excellent Korean film; job-seeking, single mother dumps son on remote-region grandma (first time acting!); civilization-spoiled kid comes to appreciate the solidity of ancient, simple ways on leaving 'Granny';
02 WAY WE LAUGHED, THE - wdGAmelio's boring, 2-hr-long, uneven drama of older brother taking care of fatherless brother founders as purported allegory of Italian post-WWII transition into modern democracy
02 WHAT TIME IS IT? - dTMing-Liang's incredibly boring film on loneliness and alienation follows death of family and meaninglessness of chance meetings; JPLeaud's presence (Truffaut's "400 Blows") means something(?); Taiwan
02 WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF FIRE - 80's German anarchists try to regroup only to find that most have joined the rest of society; meant to be amusing; was successively boring; dGSchnitzler
02 WHITE BOY - incredibly awful thruout! -story, screenplay, acting, cinematography, film quality -you name it! -walked out!
02 WHO IS CLETIS TOUT? - escaped prisoner CSlater takes name of photographer sought by mafia types; TAllen is hired to kill him -'evens things out' after hearing his 'amusing shaggy dog story' involvement; miss this, miss nothing;
wdCVerWiel BConnolly PDeRossi RDreyfuss;
01 ANNIVERSARY (THE) - speciously appealing broadside on self-indulgent life in Hollywood film industry; some great lines, scenes and vignette characterizations lacking either core or unifying 'landscape' vision; wdaACumming/JJasonLeigh
GPaltrow KKline PCates JCReilly JAdams JBeals PPosey MPanes MBadie DO'Hare
01 AUGIE ROSE - nobody claims body of ex jailee-for-robbery killed in liquor-store/deli robbery; witness insurance-salesman JGoldblum connects with sole mail-correspondent AHeche, assumes name and fairy-tale 'new life' as Augie Rose; wdMTabak
01 BEHIND THE SUN - land feud between cattle-owning family and all-but-failed sugar plantation ; stereotypically 'portentous' and pensive -boring production thruout; by dWSalles of CENTRAL STATION, why was this film made???
01 BENEATH THE SAND - dFOzon wants viewer to get involved with totally simplistic, prolonged 'drama' as English teacher (undeveloped character) in French college CRampling can't believe her husband committed suicide
01 BREAD AND ROSES - para-documentarian Ken Loach's take on 1958 unionization of Los Angeles janitors is seriously marred by clumsy story line (sPLaverty) on his first American film; PPadilla ABrody ECarrillo GLopez (excellent)
01 BRIDE OF THE WIND - dBBeresford's film suffers standard biography-to-film translation: great sets (1900's forward), decent characterization, ultimately so-so; Alma Schindler (SWynter) marries Gustav Mahler (JPryce); he dies; she marries
Georg Gropius (SVerhoeven), becomes Oskar Kokoschka's (VPerez) lover, settles with (most interesting!) Franz Werfel -all the time 'having submerged her own true genius to theirs'
01 BROTHER - wdTakeshiKitano (Beat Takeshi) reprises himself again, this time Yakuza henchman elevating his younger brother's drug-pushers only to run into the Mafia; miss this, miss nothing.
01 BULLY - soft porn thinly and crudely veiled in low-key 'Based on true story' moralization; real lesson? -it's hard to kill someone, and harder still to keep your mouth shut if you're all fucked-up anyhow.
01 BURNT MONEY - homosexual couple as members of disintegrating gang 'that can't shoot straight' following a robbery; excellent production thruout wasted on absence of a good script; dMPineyro; Argentina
01 BUSINESS OF STRANGERS (THE) - wdPStettner's (pseudo)'human condition' film about 'the lies we tell ourselves and each other'; power exec Stockard Channing and (aide) rape victim Julia Stiles 'get even' with 1st's head-hunter FWeller who is
01 CHOPPER - scenes (from his book) in the life of a both notorious and self-promoting Australian thug and killer MarkBrandonRead; more of a small study in life of a sociopath than anything else; wdADominik EBana SLyndon VColosimo KBeaham
01 CHARCOAL PEOPLE (THE) - industrial PR neatly skips past economic issues by 'documenting' deforestation, pollution and poverty of the people making charcoal for Brazilian pig-iron production ultimately going to First World use.
01 CLOSET (THE) - dull and depressed ex-husband, about-to-be-fired JAuteuil 'becomes gay' to save job in condom factory and (comedy) discovers he's really a great guy et cetera -movie strains too hard with message; Fr.
01 CRIMSON RIVERS - great detective thriller loses out to its weak ending; investigation of strange murder discloses failing of isolated and 'incested' Nazi-type eugenics university/community; dMKassovitz JReno VCassel
01 DAY I BECAME A WOMAN (THE) - MarziehMeshkini's representative three stages in woman's life under Iranian theocracy on remote south-west island -good substance; very crude, ultimately boring execution.
01 DEVIL'S BACKBONE - -much portent and 'significance': orphanage, Spanish Civil War, 'Republican' gold, nostalgia, poetry, unrequited love, murder, ghosts -nothing developed enough to constitute an intelligent whole -not even the backbone;
01 DISH (THE) - droll comedy made by injecting self into real(?) suspense developed at Parkes Australia giant radio telescope station during 1969 Apollo landing on the moon; some footage of the time; dRSitch SNeill KHarrington TLong PWarburton
01 ED GEIN - an 'honest' if prosaic take on schizophrenic, real serial-killer (SteveRailsback) demonized by severely uptight and religious mother CSnodgrass; dCParello
01 ENLIGHTENMENT GUARANTEED - trivial (extemporaneous?) plot, 'droll' humor; beset wife takes children, leaves successful but insensitive husband; crying, he begs brother to take him along to Japanese Buddhist retreat where the two 'grow up'
(brother discovers he's gay!?) miss this, miss nothing; wdDDorrie never again!
01 EVERYTHING PUT TOGETHER - primitively intellectual, socially incested 'Valley' housewives decide to make a shitty little film about -TA TA! -themselves! -and succeed! -should be taken out and shot!
01 15 MINUTES - Broadside on American-idiom TV sensationalism; Russian and Czech killers (two) come to America to get rich by filming the whole of killing, 'pleading innocent by insanity and doing time' -getting rich on the filming; SERIES
7 is better.
01 FROM HELL - great period-piece style keeps suggesting more than it delivers on overkilled, overlong 'subtle' idea that Freemasons are 'secreting' (Jack the Ripper) 'the shameful syphillis of Queen Victoria's mind-gone Prince Charles;
dHughesBros JDepp HGraham
01 GOLDEN BOWL (THE) - never catches fire; poor It. prince JNortham marries rich American NNolte's doted-on daughter KBeckinsale, & poor ex-lover UThurman, dad; the whole is settled 1900's-discreetly; bHJames AHuston JFox
01 HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH - remarkably disappointing; opens and sustains itself as glorious rebirth of rock opera past half length but collapses into mind-numbing and half-baked 'message' thru balance; MiriamSchor's great 'husband'
cannot save the film.
01 HEIST - another generic but still excellently put together 'heist' film: everyone gets his 'just desserts'(?); dDMamet GHackman DLindo RJay RPidgeon DDeVito SRockwell
01 HIT AND RUNAWAY - just fucking awful! - film on 27-yr old script-writing student's 'coming of age' 'makes nice' with a number of 'cute meet'-level aspects and stereotypes (increasing in order) of 'wops', film industry execs, Jews and gay
01 JOHN CARPENTER'S GHOSTS OF MARS - awful script, acting, jokes, music (Carpenter) etc a mechanical, factory production thruout; will not see any more Carpenter films: a complete waste of time.
01 JOY RIDE - definitely not great, but certainly one of the better 'scare' films around in months!
01 JURASSIC PARK III - story, acting, everything so bad it kept sinking me into my seat; miss this, miss nothing
01 LAST ORDERS - screenplay does not support 'drama' of 2 hrs 10 min, 'slice of life', 'everyman' flashbacks attaching death of MCaine -the long-term friendships of 5 men and their loves, lies, secrets, failings et cetera; dFSchepisi
TCourtenay DHemmings BHoskins HMirren RWinstone
01 LAST RESORT - Russian mother and son boo-boo on entry to England and end up under immigrant detention; intended seriousness of detention is thrown away on overall poor production and incidental romance.
01 LIAM - 30's depression life in Liverpool surrounding seven-year-old ABorrows; excellent production thruout marred by screenplay weaknesses and 'holes' (see Angela's Ashes); dSFrears IHart CHackett AReid MBurns
01 LORD OF THE RINGS - promises better than Harry Potter; delivers as much as it descends unerringly into generic 'arrested-child development, scifi story-telling action and fx' -save your money
01 LUZHIN DEFENCE (THE -sic) - simply awful, crudely romantic film; wealthy, young 'stray' adopter EWatson falls in love with chess giant, social misfit JTurturro; he suicides; she demonstrates his genius; bVNabokov dMGorris
01 MADE - what starts as very clever if stereotyped take-off on stereotyped 'dago plugs' mires into stereotyped 'shaggy-dog story' feebly sat-upright for 5 minutes of 'heart-warming' ending; wdJFavreau VVaughn FJanssen PFalk SCombes
01 MATTER OF TASTE (A) - wealthy BGiraudeau habitually makes others conform to his own 'persona-uncertain, experiential satisfaction' -is eventually killed by JPLorit he molds into self-loathing; DBRapp FThomassin CBerling JPLeaud; Fr.
01 MOMENTO - a succession of scenes in which each supposedly precedes in real-time the one you just saw -thereby 'explaining' it, on a man with short-term memory loss trying to find his wife's murderer -or maybe not; you may not care about half
01 MONSTER'S BALL - an eventually 'sink in your seat', crammed sprawl of TV-level, 'adult' drama; guard BBThornton learns 'error of ways', redeems self with wife HBerry of SCombs he electrocuted; 'heavy' irony; unintended laughs; dMForster
01 MULHOLLAND DRIVE - extreme 'auteur' DavidLynch; a 'noir' of severely paced situations loosely related by common characters (varying personae) moving thru them; hypnotic, tongue-in-cheek, too often leg-pulling, 'digressive' and
01 NOVOCAINE - is this weak-script, noirish-theme 'comedy'(?) a 'dog' no distributor wanted? -SMartin escapes mind-numbing dental practice to France with reformed druggie HBCarter, their shitty bros dead and his scheming, false-love LDern
01 101 REYKJAVIK - interesting primarily for the absence of either much of a story or purpose -manages then (inadvertently?), to convey an incredible civilizational rootlessness rotting perhaps ALL society today.
01 PLANET OF THE APES - my wife insisted we see it 'for fun' -wasn't: so much staging, costuming and cosmetic energy for absolutely mind-numbing script, direction et cetera; see and enjoy (video) BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES instead.
01 PLEDGE, THE - evening's TV at best; dSPenn overworks bMDurenmatt's contrivance on 'the tricks life can play': everything goes wrong in JNicholson's pledge to find serial murderer of little girls; cameo'd VRedgraves HMirren HDStanton
01 RUSSIA'S WONDERCHILDREN - dILangemann's small, but impressive documentary on the Central School of the Moscow Conservatory which provides exceptional training for really musically exceptional children.
01 SCORE (THE) - ENorton outsmarts himself in robbery with MBrandon and RDeNiro of 'Golden Orb'; so much 'dramatic' setup, hedging, preparation and execution detail it's eventually boring; ABassett provides romance(?); dFOz
01 SESSION 9 - confused story of (choose one) possession or insanity sapped by first hour of excessive, eventually boring character-building; miss this, miss nothing.
01 SEXY BEAST - at best, a good 'evening at home with friends' video; absolutely great character portrayals by BKingsley and RWinstone -just another bank-robbery film, otherwise; dJGlazer ARedman IMcShane CDendall JWhite
01 SIGNS AND WONDERS - contender for worst films evermade covers territory of FAITHLESS; awful thruout; "The script is full of strange and arbitrary devices" (CBritton -Rave); without more formal schooling, sdJonathanNossiter should not be
permitted to make films.
01 SONGCATCHER - decent but really crude story and production; turn-of- the-century musicologist JMcTeer discovers (love, AQuinn, and) 'early English music alive and living' during visit to sister JAdams teaching school in Appalachia; not enough
good music to save the film
01 SNIDE AND PREJUDICE - AMacFadyen thinks he is Hitler -therapist RAuberjonois 'cures' him thru reenactment of his rise and fall; meant to be zany??? -totally self-indulgent 'family' production -many cameos, awful thruout; pwdPMora
01 SWORDSMAN IN DOUBLEFLAG TOWN - promises Chinese swordplay and kung-fu -delivers nothing
01 TELL ME SOMETHING - cop hunts serial killer of exceptional surgical skill and modus operandi; excellent production wasted on absence of better-crafted script; dChangYoun-hyun; Korea
01 TOO MUCH SLEEP - insignificant little film; aimless, futureless, slacker-type 27-yr old loses dead-father's pistol he was using as security guard; his Ulyssian search for it helps him grow up.
01 VA SAVOIR - identified as a french farce, it is, rather, an hour and fifty minutes of stillbirth -in an audience of perhaps fifty, at least six walked out within the hour.
01 WIDOW OF SAINT PIERRE - excellent but contrived romantic production on true 1850's French Newfoundland case; drunken EKusterica kills man, awaits guillotine shipment; 'seditious' Captain DAuteuil & wife JBinoche opt for rehab; both men die;
00 ADRENALINE DRIVE - VERY slight Japanese version of American-type 'colorless' young car jockey and nurse finding each other and !yakuza money! -standard music, 'stupid villain' mishaps and chase scenes thruout.
00 BAMBOOZLED - dSpikeLee opens (first hour) with some genuinely right-on, in-your-face accusations of stereotypic thinking on both sides of the color line -throws the whole away by further out-and-out simple (and poor) diatribe and harangue.
00 CECIL B DEMENTED - simply awful thruout; dJohnWater has been getting successively worse: this may well be the last film of his this writer will see. 00 GODZILLA 2000 - REALLY AWFUL! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY!
00 CLEOPATRA'S SECOND HUSBAND - right up there with some of the more adolescent films I've seen made by someone who thinks he's really onto mind-fucking drama in this one.
00 CONCEIVING ADA - pretentious first five minutes becomes successively awful thruout; programming 'genius' channels 'digitally' to 1830's genius Ada'Lovelace'Augusta(TSwinton) (CBabbage etc); has Ada's DNA transferred into her pregnancy.
00 CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON - overrated, too-long film: great sword-play; more fun than 'great film'; uneven story, direction and cinematography
00 DANCER IN THE DARK - truly awful! -pleas against poverty? -hanging? dLvonTrier patches together excellent 'mentally disconnected and blind-going' Bjork's attempts to save son's eyesight with her one-dimensional singing and awful
00 DRACULA 2000 - this film is so bad that Wes Craven should be prohibited (by law if necessary) from having anything whatsoever to do with films in the future.
00 EMPORTE MOI (SET ME FREE) - dLPoole's crude (autobiographical?) screenplay; girl 'coming-of-age' in family of crudely sensitive, failed writer/poet Jewish father and overworked Catholic mother; Fr.
00 FILTH AND THE FURY, THE - jarringly more flash than substance in documentary of early '70s England, 2-year life and afterlife/reputation of Sex Pistols band and principals; .
00 GET CARTER - simply awful; 1971 masterpiece's tight script, characterization, directing AND STORY of revenge for brother's death goes Hollywood razzle-dazzle -ending turned upside-down; save your money; rent the original;
00 GHOST DOG, THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI - wdJJarmusch's now standard self-indulgence (amusing) masquerading as 'higher sophistication': prof killer FWhitaker corrects small-time mafiosi 'improprieties' -dies nevertheless, under 'samurai code'.
00 GIRL IN SNEAKERS - interesting vignettes on theocratic Iranian life precipitate from unrelated girl and boy seen chatting together in park and being reported to police and her 'running away' for the day;
00 GIRL ON THE BRIDGE - Felliniesque, fairy-tale; clairvoyant, down-on-luck, suicidal knife-thrower DAuteuil saves suiciding 'target' VParadis -the two, telepathic, succeed! some mesmerizing moments; great music; dPLeconte; B&W
00 GLADIATOR - pot-boiling, 'gladiator core, sub-historical Herc' FX-film; 180 AD Rome's worst caesar Commodus(JPhoenix) does best to do in dad Marcus Aurelius' choice of Gen'l Maximus(RCrowe) to succeed him; CNielsen OReed DJacobi RHarris
00 GOYA IN BORDEAUX - cVStoraro dCSauro's 'labor of love' walk thru thoughts and paintings of 'liberal salon artist turned savage social critic' Goya's last years of self-exile in Bordeaux during Napoleonic Wars; often beautiful, ultimately
00 GRASS - good (and very funny!) documentary on history of grass in America; nothing you don't know in one form or another.
00 HIGH FIDELITY - some very funny characterization and comedy in slick, multi-cameo'd, overworked romance; living-in-the-past record-store owner JCusack 'finds, loses and gets' IHjejle; TLouiso JBlack LBonet CZeta-Jones JoanCusak
00 HOLLOWMAN - generic scifi thruout; how desperate are you to see more FX???
00 INTERVIEW, THE - interesting, but stagey, overworked psychological thriller: 'picked-up for questioning' by sick detectives TMartin (pathological) and 'loose cannon' AJeffrey, is out-of-work HWeaving really serial killer???
00 JEROME - totally unrewarding 'road movie' thruout; honest, well-meaning 'common-man' divorced father abandons production-line welding job to chase artwork dream; eventually sought for murder after falling in with rootless, REALLY BAD girl.
00 JESUS' SON - some EXCELLENT scenes, but film never really generates a focus ('shaggy-dog'? -journal?) -'There's some good in all of us -all of us redeemable', druggies, dropouts, small-time criminals, social misfits et cetera; so what?
00 KIKUJIRO - in his progressively worst film yet, wdaKitano's loser/slacker/social-misfit Kikujiro is stuck with supplying 'adventurous summer vacation' to living-with-grandmother parentless boy searching for his mother.
00 LOST SOULS - competent attempt at 'classy' film is not enough to save variation on (better) Rosemary's Baby
00 LUCKY NUMBERS - really funny farce (sags a bit in the middle); in-debt, snowmobile-business-owning TV weatherman JTravolta is 'helped' by nude-dancing-club-owner TRoth into fixing lottery thru number-drawing LKudrow; some win; some lose;
00 LUCKY wAResnick dNEphron EO'Neill
00 MAGNOLIA - sdPBHall drunk with 'human condition' (lack of understanding, alienation and lack of forgiveness); a sprawling something-for-everyone mess of TV-level interlaced episodes with some actually great acting, scenes and dialog, but
without a real core.
00 MIFUNE - amusing but distinctly slight 'dogma-5-principled romantic comedy: man falls in love with prostitute' -again; Denmark
00 NINTH GATE - this film is so bad in every sense -cinematography excepted, but story, script, acting and direction, that I found myself shrinking into my seat for shame of watching it thru.
00 NON-STOP - a very slight, 'amusing Japanese comedy' in which a real-life bumbler precipitates a string: 'one person chasing the next' -the whole ending in annihilation of two yakuza gangs and police
00 ONE - a very slight, debut production that promises some serious substance and delivers nothing -miss it, miss nothing.
00 PERFECT STORM - GClooney and MWahlberg reprise Three Kings character roles in perfectly awful screenplay with 'correspondingly attached acting'; perfectly great FX the only saving; dWPeterson
00 PLACE VENDOME - overly-lavish development (characters and production) of illegal diamond smuggling and cutting crime story with eventually 'sophisticated' resolution (French, 'pseudo' :-) -ultimately boring; CDeneuve, excellent! dNGardia
00 POLA-X - bHMelville's slight 'Pierre Or the [Les] Ambiguities' is 'interpreted by clever, French auteur' Leo Carax into 'clever piece of incomprehensible shit 'POLA-X' (see title! -get it? -Xth version? -heh,
00 POP AND ME - small and very personal but still interesting film chronicleing father-son relationship thru an adult round-the-world trip patterned after one taken by family when the director was a child.
00 PUPS - an incredibly crude film by an incredibly immature wpd(calls himself)Ash; affects wisdom on various aspects of society using (maguffin) 'kids, today, corrupted by guns among other things'; boy spoiled in real life is main actor fitting
00 QUILLS - Marquis de Sade GRush outrages Napoleon et al with writings from insane asylum; 'amusing', overly ambitious, stagey and often 'clunky' -even dies badly; sDWright dPKaufman KWinslett JPhoenix MCaine
00 RATCATCHER - (Brit?) 'coming of age' in working-class Glasgow during a garbage strike -neighborhood families waiting for new government digs; good film -subtitled; lacks soul.
00 SANTITOS - amusing 'magical realism' tale; apparition tells doting young mother her daughter lost to viral illness is still alive; fanciful search reawakens mother to continuing life and love; Mex.
00 SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE - campy conceit of 'undercooked' screenplay and direction will be forgotten except for WDafoe's Nosferatu
00 SHAFT - really piss-poor film with piss-poor script and acting (except for Dominican drug-lord Jeffrey Wright!); really no better than a TV production with some FX;
00 SHANGHAI NOON - uneven but still VERY FUNNY 'chinese opera' satire on the American western; JChan OWilson
00 SMALL TIME CROOKS - Woody Allen's worst film yet: very funny, witty opening half-hour quickly descends (you can see the train coming) into painfully predictable gang-that-couldn-t-shoot-straight 'comedy'.
00 SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS - shamelessly overworked interracial romance (organ and chorus too!); EHawke loses childhood love HMiyamoto and clears her husband of murder charge over land lost during their WWII Jap internment.
00 SUZHOU RIVER - clearly contrived fairy tale on 'how you will search after your disappeared lover if you really love her'; why was this ultimately boring Chinese film about irrelevant characters/situation made?
00 TAO OF STEVE (THE) - simplistically thin film shamelessly aimed at and blessing 'with it' mentality (and sexual freedom) of college-grads; fat seducer (real Duncan North, LAT August 29, 2000) by 'Tao' finds real love with one of his forgotten
00 TERRORIST, THE - really crude film in which Tamil girl, would-be suicide bomber (Sri Lanka) is 'reaffirmed of life' by happily coincident child within her.
00 THEME: MURDER - very self-indulgent documentary; director daughter discovers secret homosexual life of her murdered art gallery owner father; needs to 'Get over it!' and 'Get a life!'
00 TOPSY TURVY - dMLeigh's interesting docudrama on Sullivan's (ACorduner) apostasy from JBroadbent's WGilbert and their successfully revitalizing collaboration on Mikado; overlong from marginal vignettes
00 UNDER SUSPICION - circumstances and realities of human sexuality and married life (wealthy in particular) indict GHackman (GREAT!) in murder of teenage girls; character development overwhelms film of somewhat ambiguous ending???
00 UP AT THE VILLA - bSMaugham dPHaas; empty script and characters; suicide following anti-Nazi idealist's 'one night stand' with Brit widow KSThomas (pre-WWII Italy) throws her and 'easy going American' SPenn into saving each other from murder
charge and finding 'real love';
00 VATEL - Prince JGlover's steward Depardieu entertains JSands' Louis XIV for 3 days in over-the-top staging of weak screenplay; Vatel kills self out of integrity and 'failed social sensitivities'; sJLaBrune/TStoppard dRJoffe TRoth
00 WOMAN CHASER - fun-stuff film-noir parody; 'suggested' detective parlays opening used-car lot into becoming film-maker; excellent production and low-key humor thruout; mDLuppi bCWilleford sdRDevor PWarburton PMalevitz
99 BEING JOHN MALKOVICH - really new and different, but unwhole premise ultimately unravels (critics too kind!); puppeteer JCusack takes over JM's brain thru really surreal door for some wildly funny dialog, scenes, sexuality etc; CDiaz CKeener
99 BRINGING OUT THE DEAD - patently awful, undeliverable lines; pretentious, immediately obvious, boring 'film essay' sees gritty NY city-life underbelly (read 'human condition') thru eyes (much voice-over) of 'really sensitive' ambulance driver
by 'auteur/sacred-cow' dMScorsese
99 END OF THE AFFAIR - wdNJordan's slickly overwrought, ultimately uninvolving WWII romance (bGGreene); RFiennes falls madly in love and loses SRea's characterless wife JMoore to Catholicism and other such eventually 'Dame aux camilias' stuff.
99 FIGHT CLUB - interesting, but UNEVEN THRUOUT and long: script, acting, direction(DFincher); scifi? -cheap philosophics 'call to arms' and fight against mind-numbing consumerist overload; Everyman ENorton goes alter-ego(BPitt) and starts skin-
head movement but catches self short before 'fixing' everything; HBonhamCarter
99 LAST NIGHT - sophomoric and genuinely boring 'What will people today do on their last day as a comet (asteroid?) comes in annihilating life on earth?'; by idolized and overrated(?) wdaDMcKellar; Canada
99 MAN ON THE MOON - JCarrey shines as pathologically idiosyncratic(?) comedian Andy Kaufman in dMForman's homage to latter -poor reason for making film; casting and direction uniformly stereotyped and poor.
99 MR. DEATH - documentarian pdEMorris becomes successively more voyeuristic; this cruelly prejudicial film savages intellectually 'small', capital punishment machine maker ELeuchter for going over his head on holocaust repudiation
99 NEW ROSE HOTEL - this is the last film I will ever see by director Abel Ferrara, and he should be prevented from making any more.
99 SIMPATICO - another dull, stagey SShepard play; post-highschooler's racehorse fixing comes back and bites them on the ass
99 SIXTH HAPPINESS - dWHussein's docudrama on Firdaus Kanga's youth and acceptance of his extreme physical deformity; GREAT, WILDLY SURREAL first hour very clumsily breaks down on homosexual aspect
99 SIXTH SENSE - overrated ghost story; Bruce Wills comes back again -from the dead this time, to set things right so he can rest in peace.
99 SLEEPY HOLLOW - 'based' on and meant to capture Washington Irving's 'ghost story' original 'fun', The Legend of SH, this is awful in every way and eventually boring; why this undertaken at all?
99 TALENTED MR RIPLEY - dAMinghella's overworked 2hr20min screenplay for bPHighsmith's murder-thriller 5-book sociopath; MDamon schemes and murders his way past his spoiled age peers GPaltrow, JLaw, PSHoffman
99 THREE KINGS - Even thieving/scheming Americans are fundamentally good'; war movie (Iraq, played as docudrama) lets us in on American dirty-dealing and other 'war is hell' situations that ultimately shrink you into your seat.
99 WHERE'S MARLOW - 'loser' documentary filmmakers become Marlowe associates in 'not for everyone' but definitely well-crafted, frequently very funny, tongue-in-cheek tale; wpDPyne/JMankiewicz MFerrer.
75 PASSENGER (THE) - war-and-life-weary television reporter JNicholson covering war in Chad mires himself in identity-and-life swap via dead arms dealer; overall production fails excellent material; dMAntonioni bMPeploe MSchneider;
74 MASTER OF THE FLYING GUIOTTINE - 'story' is an excuse for some chinese martial arts you've seen in one form or another -and better done; you may be wasting your time with this film;
47? QUAI DES ORFEVRES - (re-release) of an Inspector Clouzot, 'predecessor to Hitchcock' type crime film -a little music, a little tongue-in-cheek humor; who cares??? Fr.