Sunday, January 1 1995
'Corky Romano' is a limp, set 'em up and knock 'em down barrage of hijinx and horseshit that proves definitively that Chris Kattan's shtick is barely big enough to carry a 90-second trailer, let alone a 90-minute movie.
It's a confrontational, if manipulative, style, never offering excuses for Chopper's behaviour. There's no obligatory flashback to an unfavourable childhood. There's no real evidence of the influence of drugs. He is who is because he is. That's it.
The film's narrative unfolds slowly -- too slowly at first.
Renowned Korean director Im Kwon-taek presents a traditional Korean legend in Pansori (solo opera) style, in which a singer (Cho Sang-hyun), accompanied by a drummer (Kim Myung-hwan), sings the story of a forbidden love set in 18th-century Korea, between Mongyong Lee (Cho Seung-woo) and Chunhyang (Yi Hyo-jeong).
Passer expertly laces this compelling character study with all the intrigue and narrative complications familiar from classic 'film noir' of the 1940s and '50s.
One doesn't need a Kung Fu Cinema background to enjoy 'Crouching Tiger', but it helps in appreciating how the movie builds on -- and arguably surpasses -- that rich cinematic tradition.
If this film only accomplishes one thing, it's this: acknowledging that even straight boys explore their sexuality with their male friends and come out of the experience more aware of themselves, not necessarily fucked up.
It's clear that we are supposed to be blown away by the cosmic wonder of it all, but I'm afraid my sense of cosmic wonder gave way to an incoherent gargle of rage: after ninety minutes of non-plot, non-character-development, and non-action, the payoff is a single piece of non-exposition.
Despite and sometimes because of its unevenness, the film conveys the delusions of daily existence with fierce poetry.
The effectiveness of 'The Circle' lies in its attention to details -- it shows what it feels like to be watched, to be afraid, to be angry and to be disappointed, all the time.
'You don't change Chinatown. Chinatown changes you.' So warns Detective Nick Chen (Chow Yun Fat), upon meeting his squeaky clean newbie partner, Danny Wallace (Mark Wahlberg) in The Corruptor. And so persists the myth of Chinatown. Alluring, strange, and always inscrutable, in the movies it remains an uncrackable bastion of Otherness.
Crazy in Alabama concerns two concurrent stories, which take place in small town Alabama in the mid '60s. One centers on the inhumanity and injustice of segregation, while the other tells of a woman following her dream, even though it means killing her husband and deserting her children to do so.