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Friday, May 20 2005

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.


Tuesday, May 10 2005

The I Inside (2003)

You know something's wrong with your film when the most interesting thing in it is a 20-second scene featuring Robert Sean Leonard.


Hoop Dreams: Criterion Collection (2004)

The film is famous and respected for many reasons, not least because of the dramatic storylines it waves together so gracefully.


Thursday, May 5 2005

Teacher’s Pet (1958)

Gable here is grown older, alone, and confronting his own irrelevance at the dawn of the '60s.


The Specials: Specials Edition (2000)

Apparently, the production suffered from ego problems on set, similar to those bothering the characters.


Primer (2004)

As Shane Carruth notes, the time travelers are like 'kids in a clubhouse,' poking around because it's fun and vaguely new, which leaves them unprepared for what comes.


Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without a Pause: Noam Chomsky, Carol Chomsky - PopMatters Film Review )

Noam Chomsky is also a walking primer on how to be a public intellectual.


House of Flying Daggers (Shi mian mai fu) (2004)

While Zhang and Zhang's commentary track emphasizes the sheer effort that went into the film's production -- training, research, special effects work, hours on the set, physical hardships -- it also suggests the good time they shared.


Groucho: A Life in Revue (2001)

I knew what a Groucho Marx impression was before I knew who Groucho Marx was.


Beaches: Special Edition (1988)

Beaches is the Goliath of those epic '80s melodramas, squashing patience and dignity and tact.


Tuesday, April 26 2005

Undertow (2004)

Retribution leads to violence, such that the next generation of brothers, Tim and Chris, are tossed into yet another vacuum of fear, guilt, and suspicion.


Suddenly (Tan de repente) (2002)

In Diego Lerman's generous film, going bankrupt is an excuse for spending less time shopping and more time meeting potential friends and lovers.


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