Sunday, January 1 1995
Zhang Yimou's new film, Not One Less, feels like a movie that, somehow, I am 'supposed' to like, and I am not just a little bit anxiety-ridden in admitting that, really, I think it is actually somewhat dreadful.
I first saw Gregory Nava's intensely beautiful and painful El Norte when I was sixteen or so. My mother's sister had a copy of the film and she made the entire family watch it, one by one.
I must admit, against all my better judgment, I actually rather enjoyed Madonna's new film, The Next Best Thing.
In 'Monkeybone', we are given visual representation of (presumably) every man's internal struggle, between his social conscience and his unbridled testosterone frenzy.
Here the past is not dead or inert, it always influences the future... 'Malena' recognizes the futility of its own nostalgia.
To aid him on his travels, Bobby (Jon Favreau) takes Ricky, his childhood friend, boxing partner (they're introduced fighting each other in some cheap venue, for piddling money), and notorious fuck-up. Ricky is played by the affable (when not bar-brawling) Vince Vaughn, who also produced 'Made', and who, in 1996, starred with Favreau in 'Swingers', the film that made them both bankable properties.
Instead of being innovative, 'The Musketeer' is appropriative and (save for the very clever fight scenes), straight-up insipid.
'Monster's Ball' leans heavily on Southern Gothic torment and metaphor, as well as bizarre, if historically framed, circumstances.
Maybe Baby's sight gags are sometimes hilarious and the story is often engrossing. But the execution falls flat.
No matter how hard he tried, Méliès could not put aside the role of conjurer.
Like many of his other works, 'Mulholland Drive' has a dream logic, whereby characters morph, metaphors are made literal, and a stylistic fluidity juxtaposes with a disjointed narrative structure.
When Kersten (Anders W. Berthelsen) courts material success in Copenhagen, he also captures his wealthy boss's daughter, Claire (Sofie Grabol).
I imagine that at the 'real' Moulin Rouge, the thrill wasn't just a bit of nipple and a flash of panties, but the whole entertainment package, which no doubt included exuberant 'daring' new music intended to shock and titillate the sensitivity of the bourgeoisie -- kind of like rock-and-roll or punk in our times.
The storyline develops as we know it will. Except for one thing: the primary couple is DeNiro and Stiller.
The social/political commentaries . . . are still relevant and imaginative, and the inventive physical and verbal humor is still the stuff that bladder accidents are made of.
'The Mexican' follows the turbulent near-end of the relationship between hapless Mafia gopher Jerry Welbach (Brad) and his obsessive, psycho-babbling girlfriend Samantha Barzel (Julia), who reduces everything in her life to 'blame-shifting' and others' inability to express their emotions.
Modulations looks at the hyperreal world of global rave, house, trip-hop, and experimental electronic culture, featuring a cast of the most revered DJs and producers, journalists and fans-on-the-street, stars and some lesser-known artists.
She's the perfect drag queen, embodying the ruthless paradox of entertainment. She is the show that must go on and cannot.
So disappointing because of the unfulfilled promise of a firm stand on news broadcasting and the media.