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Monday, June 5 2006

Mommie Dearest: Hollywood Royalty Edition (1981)

Watching Mommie Dearest: Hollywood Royalty Edition with John Waters' commentary track is like seeing it with your sharpest, funniest friend, who just happens to have inside dish on Melanie Griffith.


Glory Road (2006)

In a Jerry Bruckheimer sports movie, truth and good intentions have little chance against formula.


Monday, May 29 2006

Winter Soldier (1972)

The men in Winter Soldier stepped forward, spoke truth to power, sought to expose policies and expectations that had gone terribly wrong.


Date Movie (Unrated) (2004)

Date Movie is not the spoof it seemingly aspires to. Rather, it's but a dreadfully long catalog of references to other infinitely superior movies.


Tuesday, May 2 2006

Last Holiday

'So much of the movie,' says director Wayne Wang of his Last Holiday, 'is about giving up your fears and trying to live your life.'


Monday, May 1 2006

The Warrior (2005)

The warrior tries to lose himself in the Himalayas, where, director Asif Kapadia says, they used fans to blow sand, which clogged machinery and nostrils: 'I will not be doing a sandstorm shoot again in a hurry, I tell you.'"


Kenny Rogers: Legend of the Gambler (1980, 1983, 1987)

The movies echo the original tune, an odd combination of existential weariness and jaunty bravado, via buddy-movie heroics and a surprisingly hard-edged family melodrama.


The Family Stone (2005)

In trying to balance the competing forces of farce and pathos, the film is at times funny and moving, though there are so many characters and subplots that some get lost in the shuffle.


Delicatessen (1992)

There is always something to look at in this film, even in the unsavory parts.


Tuesday, April 25 2006

Robert Altman Collection: Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Robert Duvall, Carol Burnett - PopMatters

This uneven collection is a definite example of the adage 'when he's good, he's very good, but when he's bad, he's very bad'.


Monday, April 24 2006

Shopgirl (2005)

Director Anand Tucker insists his film is not about the glitzy L.A. It is, instead, about an L.A. populated with 'ordinary people just like you and me, getting on with their lives.'"


The Net (2004)

I only feel comfortable reiterating Kaczynski's arguments by framing him as the result of an experiment gone wrong in the state-sanctioned exercise of force.


Image Before My Eyes: A History of Jewish Life in Poland Before the Holocaust (2004) - PopMatters Fi

The film distills its photos, films, recordings, and narratives into a profoundly potent and heartrending vision of lost European Jewry.


Casanova (2005)

This would be the cleaned-up, wearisome, supposedly romantic version of the notorious Casanova.


Aeon Flux (2005)

The writers' commentary track is smart, instructive, and funny. The film is less so.


Thursday, April 20 2006

Spring Break Shark Attack (2005)

Given the opportunity to achieve some truly extraordinary, truly outlandish, Spring Break Shark Attack settles for something truly bad.


Monday, April 17 2006

Natural City (2003)

They say imitation is the most valid form of adulation. If that's the case, then Ridley Scott and The Wachowski Brothers must be drowning in the sycophancy of this 2003 South Korean science fiction film.


The Chess Players (Shatranj ki Khilari) (1977)

The Chess Players complicates historical narratives and takes an unflinching look at collusion between the colonizer and colonized elites.


Friday, April 14 2006

The Beat that My Heart Skipped (2005)

Caught between role models, Thomas gradually accepts a more "feminine" influence in his life that contrasts with the male-dominated world of his father.


Wednesday, April 12 2006

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

While the movie's poetry is often stunning, the DVD docs are decidedly and disappointingly banal.


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