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Recent movies screened by our discerning staff (in order of accepted reviews):
|"Bourne Supremacy"*||Paul Greengrass |
|"Nine Queens"*||Fabian Bielinsky |
|"Deep Water"*||Louise Osmond/Jerry Rothwell |
|"D‘Annunzios Hohle"*||Heinz Emigholz |
|"3:10 to Yuma"*||James Mangold |
|"The Gift"*||Sam Raimi |
|"Eastern Promises"*||David Cronenberg |
|"Crash"*||David Cronenberg |
|"La Sentinelle"*||Arnaud Desplechin |
|"Michael Clayton"*||Tony Gilroy |
|"Mr. Brooks"*||Bruce A. Evans |
|"The Man Who Cried"*||Sally Potter |
|"Gone Baby Gone"*||Ben Affleck |
|"2001 A Space Odyssey"*||Stanley Kubrick |
|"American Gangster"*||Ridley Scott |
|"There Will Be Blood"*||Paul Thomas Anderson |
|"Atonement"*||Joe Wright |
|"Julia"*||Fred Zinnemann |
|"Elizabeth: The Golden Age"*||Shekhar Kapur |
|"Fiorile"*||Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani |
|"Hammett"*||Wim Wenders |
|"You Kill Me"*||John Dahl |
|"Morituri"*||Bernhard Wicki |
|"Breakfast at Tiffany‘s"||Blake Edwards |
|"A Clockwork Orange"*||Stanley Kubrick |
|"Reckless"*||(TV) Sarah Harding, David Richards |
|"All or Nothing at All"*||(TV) Andrew Grieve |
|"Bohachi Bushido"*||Teruo Ishii |
|"Summer Love (Dead Man‘s Bounty)"*||Piotr UKlanski |
|"The Aviator"*||Martin Scorcese |
|"The Walker"*||Paul Schrader |
|"The Painted Veil"*||John Curran |
|"Heat of the Sun"*||(TV) Diarmuid Lawrence/Paul Seed |
|"Hustle"*||various directors (TV) |
|"La Lengua de las mariposas (Butterfly‘s Tongue)"*||Jose Luis Cuerda |
|"The Fall"*||Tarsem Singh |
|"The Search for Gissing"*||Mike Binder |
|"Goodnight, Mister Tom"*||(TV) Jack Gold |
|"The Onion Movie"*||Tom Kuntz, Mike Maguire |
|"LA Confidential"*||Curtis Hanson |
|"Winning"*||James Goldstone |
|"Harper"*||Jack Smight |
|"The Red Violin"*||Francois Girard |
|"Sliding Doors"*||Peter Howitt |
|"GiGi"*||Vincente Minelli |
|"Danger UXB"*||various directors (TV) |
|"Get Carter"*||Mike Hodges |
|"Spartan"*||David Mamet/David Mamet |
|"Transsiberian"*||Brad Anderson |
|"War of the Roses"*||Danny DeVito |
|"The Hitch-Hiker"*||Ida Lupino |
|"D.O.A."*||Rudolph Mate |
|"Married Life"*||Ira Sachs |
|"Showgirls"*||Paul Verhoeven |
|"Quo Vadis"*||Mervyn LeRoy |
|"Beetle Juice"*||Tim Burton |
|"Mirage"*||Edward Dmytryk |
|"D'Annunzios Hohle"*||Heinz Emigholz |
|"Breakfast at Tiffany's"*||Blake Edwards |
|"Summer Love (Dead Man's Bounty)"*||Piotr UKlanski |
|"La Lengua de las mariposas (Butterfly's Tongue)"*||Jose Luis Cuerda |
"Eastern Promises" [David Cronenberg] 2007
"Eastern Promises  is a crime drama directed by David Cronenberg. The plot revolves around a clan of the brutal Russian mafia operating in London. The screenplay by Steven Knight delineates the characters well. The principal actors are Viggo Mortensen, who plays Nikolai, a driver for the clan, and Armin Mueller-Stahl as Semyon, the aging but still powerful head of the clan.
"Mortensen gives a fine performance as the driver who is clearly a criminal, but not totally without scruples. He was nominated for the best actor Oscar. For myself, it is Mueller-Stahl as Semyon who really stands out. At first Semyon seems grandfatherly and charming as the owner and chef of an upper-scale Russian restaurant, but slowly you see how calculatingly brutal he is, an extremely dangerous criminal who leads two lives, charming restaurateur on the one hand, brutal mob boss on the other.
"The plot is set in motion when a baby is born to a dying, addicted prostitute. A mid-wife at the hospital, Anna, played by Naomi Watts, finds the prostitute‘s diary, sees a bookmark in it that advertises the restaurant owned by Semyon and takes it there to be translated. One of Semyon‘s businesses is importing under-age girls from eastern Europe and forcing them into prostitution. The dead prostitute was one of those girls. The need to cover that up drives much of the action.
"Cronenberg made his reputation directing and writing horror films. He worked his way upwards building on his successes until he was directing major Hollywood horror films, such as Scanners  and a remake of The Fly . Eastern Promises is a more mainstream effort for him.
"This is a very good film, although graphically violent in places. The violence is believable, not gratuitous and is central to the plot. You have been warned."
--ggfBack to the Top.
"Crash" [Paul Haggis] 2004
"Crash  is a drama directed and largely written by Paul Haggis. The film has an ensemble cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Tony Danza and Matt Dillon.
"This is a good film, although perhaps over-hyped due to its subject matter. It won three Oscars: for best picture, screenplay and editing. Haggis‘ previous screenplay was for Million Dollar Baby , which was a truly fine film. In my opinion the screenplay here is perhaps more difficult to write, but not quite as good.
"The film follows connections between several people in Los Angeles over a couple of days. These interaction occur between people of different ethnic, racial and income backgrounds.
"Racism plays a part in some of these stories. In general the racism is not the nasty overt kind, it is stereotyping. However, it still makes the viewer a bit uncomfortable. You can recognize the racist comments when some of the characters speaking them apparently do not.
"As with any film that is politically correct for its time and celebrated, one wonders whether it will stand the test of time."
--ggfBack to the Top.
"Breakfast at Tiffany‘s" [Blake Edwards] 1961
"Breakfast at Tiffany‘s is a Blake Edwards romantic comedy. It has a witty script, adapted from the Truman Capote novel by George Axelrod. It was nominated for five academy awards, actress, screenplay, music, song and art direction. It won two oscars for Henry Mancini, both for the film score and for the song Moon River, the lyrics written by Johnny Mercer.
"Edwards is probably best known for directing and co-writing the Pink Panther films, but has made more serious films, such as Experiment in Terror  and Days of Wine and Roses . He often paired with Henry Mancini, who provided the music on many of his films. As a screenwriter, Edwards received a best screenplay Oscar nomination for Victor/Victoria .
"Breakfast at Tiffany‘s has been essentially immortalized by the presence of Audrey Hepburn, who plays the vivacious hustler Holly Golightly. In this her signature role, Hepburn was nominated for best actress. George Peppard as her opposite love interest probably did the best work of his checkered career here.
"Although Breakfast at Tiffany‘s is primarily a light-hearted film, but
it has a dark undercurrent, both characters being unhappy with
themselves and their lives. That Hepburn earns her money as a call
girl is only hinted at, while Peppard is kept and we assume also earns
his money in an improper manner. That being said, the performances
--ggfBack to the Top.
"Quo Vadis" [Mervyn LeRoy] 1951
"Quo Vadis  is a biblical epic road picture based upon the book by Henryk Sienkiwicz. It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and adapted by a number of co-screenwriters.
"Apparently, MGM thought it was a great idea to make a biblical epic. Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr played the leads. Their lines were poor. Their acting matched. Taylor was never known for being a fine actor, but it is hard to be kind to Kerr. The only saving grace for this film‘s acting is Peter Ustinov, who plays Nero. He effectively portrays Nero as a simpering, power-mad lunatic.
"This is not a good film. At 171 minutes it is much too long for its own good, as is the book from which it was drawn. Huge amounts of money were spent making Quo Vadis. A budget of $7.6M in 1951 equates to roughly $75M today. The sets and crowd scenes are admittedly impressive, but they really should have spent more money on the script. That it was nominated for best picture is hard to understand. Perhaps the Academy felt obligated due to its Christian plot elements."
--ggfBack to the Top.
Last update on Jan 15, 2010 at 12:15:10.