Sunday, January 1 1995
A car drives through a bridge and dark city streets, passing the freeway sign 'East Bay Bridge, Oakland' on the way. A blasting hip-hop soundtrack accompanies opening film credits in overlapping English and Chinese characters.
Andrzej Bartkowiak's current film Romeo Must Die, which features the incredible martial arts skills of Jet Li, left me a little depressed.
Kurosawa achieves an almost perfect fusion of storyteller and painter.
The narrative heart of Return to Me beats in rhythm with the tension between surface (what's on the outside) and depth (it's what's inside that counts).
Like most sequels, 'Rush Hour 2' does what the first film did, only louder and more extravagantly.
It might be expected that the new film by French feminist director Catherine (36 Fillette) Breillat, Romance, is generating more discussion about its shots of pricks and nipples than its narrative or themes or performances. This is a little ironic, because the movie really isn't about erotic arousal or exploitation. In fact, it is, as its title suggests, about romance. Or more precisely, it's about the expectations, disappointments, and power dynamics that shape and destroy romance.
A balls-out stupid summer comedy where no one cares about special effects or plots making sense or even about characters winning or losing is not a bad thing. It is, rather, a representative thing.
Ready to Rumble is ostensibly a simple comedy of bumbling bumpkins - in this case lovers of professional wrestling - along the lines of Farrelly brothers' films like Dumb and Dumber and Kingpin.
It is The Royal Tenenbaums's hyperbole that both makes the fantasy so lively and reveals the self-delusions at its foundation.
Perhaps Recess' most culturally savvy element is its skewering of the '60s, in a flashback showing how the ideals of the teachers (particularly Principal Prickly and Dr. Benedict) have fallen by the wayside as they were sucked into The System and traded their ideals for hard-nosed discipline.
It is Di's (Zang Ziyi) own absolute faith in herself, her determination to endure despite all political or social edicts, that grants 'The Road Home' unusual, and unusually moving, weight.
It's full of pratfalls, sight gags, and irreverence toward 'I Love Lucy', Nazis, body piercing, a very unlucky cow, and a dog. Fortunately, Zucker executes them all like a ringmaster.
I worry about Julia Roberts. I know I don't need to but still, I feel like I can't help it. It's not because she's a particularly convincing performer on or off screen, though she does look distressed or vulnerable much of the time. It's not because the promoters for her latest movie, Runaway Bride, have been running ads with the creepiest stalker song ever made, the Police's Every Breath You Take.
In 1519, Hernan Cortes sailed from Cuba, landed in Mexico and made his way to the Aztec capital.
Ride With the Devil dares to bring yet another version. Directed by Ang Lee and written by Lee and his usual collaborator James Schamus (who adapted Daniel Woodrell's novel Woe to Live On, a novel inspired, says the author, by today's warfare in the Balkans), the film is rather surprising, and not only because it stars Jewel as a Southern widow. Telling stories that don't usually get told, Ride With the Devil focuses on some of the War's more disgraceful and outrageous aspects, both personal and public.