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Tuesday, June 7 2005

Richard Pryor: Stand-Up (2005)

More than anything else, Richard Pryor was a confessional artist whose monologues derived from his own chaotic and frequently self-destructive life, Brother Richard testifying from the lip of the abyss.


Friday, June 3 2005

Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme (2004)

The very process of documenting freestyle is at once contradictory and ambitious, futile and crucial.


Thursday, June 2 2005

Malevolence (2004)

The movie toggles over into autopilot, following the flight path established years ago by John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper.


Tuesday, May 31 2005

Jules and Jim: Criterion Collection (1962)

'Truffaut had the dread of everything conventional. Above all, he detested the conventionality of the nonconventional,' Jean Gruault notes.


Friday, May 27 2005

Moog (2004)

Synthesizer pioneer/nice guy Bob Moog deserves a thorough, artistically bold biopic. Director Hans Fjellestad isn't up to the challenge.


Thursday, May 26 2005

Flame Trees of Thika (1981)

The filming oscillates uneasily between Masterpiece Theater lushness and National Geographic-style ethno-voyeurism.


The Brooke Ellison Story (2004)

Christopher Reeve's film seems geared less towards portraying the warts and all existence of a disabled person, than showing what can be achieved with a little selfless dedication.


Tuesday, May 24 2005

Around the Bend (2004)

Henry's instructions bring Turner and Jason to important landmarks that dredge up memories and force them to face events that have haunted their lives.


Monday, May 23 2005

The Big Town (1987)

In Cullen's rise to the top, he summarily steps on everyone who tries to help him or slow him down.


Séance (2004)

As Koji and Junco drift apart, not only is their dialogue minimal, but they also appear repeatedly framed by windows and doorways.


Friday, May 20 2005

The Fearless Freaks (2005)

For a world-famous band, respected and requested by everyone from Beck to Justin Timberlake, the Flaming Lips are a group of humble, down-to-earth guys.


Abouna (2002)

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's second film is lilting and profound at once, precise and sinuous, pulsing with brilliant, sometimes breathtaking color and dense emotional detail, even as it tells a tale of loss and longing.


Thursday, May 19 2005

William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice (2004)

Pacino contains Shylock's temper as reaction, looking simultaneously vile and vulnerable, hardly a simple balance.


Wednesday, May 18 2005

Kinsey (2004)

Not only is the character difficult by heroic biopic standards, but his story combines radical thinking, extraordinary generosity, and supreme egotism.


Monday, May 16 2005

Team America: World Police: Special Collector’s Edition (2004)

Parker and Stone plainly love the size of this outrageous project, but they also understand and show off how silly that love is.


The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: Criterion Collection (2004)

'That's what the movie's sort of about,' observes Wes Anderson, 'self-invention, and making their own art, and all those things.'"


Hustle (2004)

Pete Rose so badly wants people to think he's a good guy that he presents Rose the legend, never Rose the man.


Friday, May 13 2005

Volcano High (2001)

Instead of building to a final showdown, the movie seems one continuous climax that is completely exhausting.


Thursday, May 12 2005

The Partisans of Vilna (1986) - PopMatters Film Review )

The Partisans of Vilna allows viewers to enter the Vilna ghetto and the lives of its youthful defenders.


Wednesday, May 11 2005

Blade: Trinity: Unrated Version (2004)

All this stuff only emphasizes that the film is a mighty endeavor and the kids trained long and hard.


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