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Monday, April 24 2006

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.


Monday, April 10 2006

Wolf Creek: Widescreen Unrated Edition (2005)

Greg McLean poses a basic question: 'What would it be like to be struck in this incredibly isolated place with the most evil character you could possibly imagine, who was also distinctly Australian?'"


An Unfinished Life (2005)

For his part, Lasse Hallström likes the subtler strokes, as the scene when Redford sits in his truck and is unable to start it.


Daltry Calhoun (2005)

What a pity Katrina Holden Bronson didn't spend as much time perfecting her script as she did her soundtrack.


Thursday, April 6 2006

Kill the Moonlight (1994)

It's California in the early '90s on an outskirt north of Los Angeles dominated by decrepit strip malls, pawnshops, taco stands, and dirty coke dealers.


Wednesday, April 5 2006

Stalag 17: Special Collector’s Edition (1952)

This is a Billy Wilder movie, so there's a darker side to the shenanigans, but it's also a post-war Hollywood blockbuster.


Bee Season (2005)

Suffused with loss and longing, Bee Season is often graceful and moving.


Tuesday, April 4 2006

Capote (2005)

As Miller and Kimmel finish one another's sentences and demonstrate a charming sort of sync, the artists here suggest how Capote came to be such a tight, complex, and elegant film.


Monday, April 3 2006

9 to 5: Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical Bigot Edition (1980)

Producer and star Jane Fonda nails it: 9 to 5 endures because of its 'historical synchronicity.'"


Friday, March 31 2006

The Shaggy Dog / The Shaggy D.A. (1959/1976)

In his shaggy-dog form, Wilby can spy on the spies without them becoming any the wiser. In this homage to Cold War vigilance, the movie consummates its break with the more traditional '50s transformation movies.


Thursday, March 30 2006

Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005)

Jim Sheridan notes, 'There's no initiation anymore for young men. They just grow up and there's nowhere to put these confused feelings that they have.'"


Wednesday, March 29 2006

The Ten Commandments (50th Anniversary Edition) (1956)

It is the role that would provide Charlton Heston with fame, fortune, and the authoritative persona he now uses to convince people that hunting squirrels with AK-47s is not just a right but a duty.


Tuesday, March 28 2006

Domino: New Line Platinum Series (2005)

Domino maps mythology, not as a means to heroic or sympathetic characters, and certainly not to narrative resolution.


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