Monday, February 28 2005
Much like John Moore's Behind Enemy Lines, Phoenix splices together traditional and current action movie clichés and rhythms.
Thursday, February 24 2005
If Sam the Man didn't tackle some difficult relationship questions so perceptively, its horrible lead and crappy lighting would have sunk it.
As survivor Henry Meisel observes in one of the supplemental, extended interviews: 'It's amazing how people can improvise.'"
As the last bill appears -- a three dollar 'bogus' bill featuring George W. Bush's face -- Spike Lee laughs. 'Hopefully, by the time you're seeing this DVD, he'll be out!'"
While the director suggests he wants make an objective film, Nine Good Teeth is undeniably skewed to display Nana in the best possible light.
Having failed to hold onto small-town American values during the late '60s mod explosion, the nuclear family man here flees to the bottom of the sea.
Precisely composed frames of urban and ancient architecture give way to Karen's face, deftly shadowed and shot from low angles, as Karen struggles to decipher the symbols that set her course.
The film's point is to suggest that emotional withdrawal is symptomatic of contemporary Japanese culture.
At an hour and a half, the film is transporting to look at but only intermittently fun to watch.
Thursday, February 17 2005
The DVD offers yet another avenue to the Yes Men's visibility, and, as they hope out loud, inspiration for others to make trouble in their own ways.
Sister Helen was, by the movie's account, an unpleasant person: hard, focused, and motivated by the kind of purposeful regret that verges on self-loathing.
Sonnenfeld keeps all of this under two hours by cutting the movie at a dazzling clip. The film moves like Travolta, quickly and with style.
The problem embodied by Donnie is at once mundane and painfully special, the dilemma of fate vs. free will, laced though with unanswered questions of identity and responsibility.
Dottie Gets Spanked contextualizes and foretells the artfully designed surfaces and off-kilter universes of Haynes' later successes.
Monday, February 7 2005
Voyage in Time, a one-hour television film, snatches a fragment of Tarkovsky's working life.
In Michael Haneke's version of the end of the world, things are different.
The film offers up a timeless double standard: a man who has many sexual partners is considered masculine, but a woman with multiple partners is a slut.
The affection Neil Gaiman shows for Marcus indicates that he doesn't hate critics, just what we represent: an ethos of inept misinterpretation aimed at elevating the academic over the visceral.
We feel a dogged incompletion, as if Ray Johnson's career was a massive joke awaiting one final punch line.
David Marconi's screenplay is redeemed by its interest in messing with our minds rather than trotting out the requisite local color and visual shortcuts.