Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Disturbia (2007)

The time is probably right for a jittery, high-high-tech riff on Rear Window--like Enemy of the State plus claustrophobia; but this -- with teenaged protagonists, the very literal-minded substitution of house arrest ankle bracelet for broken leg, and no Grace Kelly--is probably not it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mutual Appreciation (2005)

I grow old...I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

The Departed (2006)

Good riddance.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cobra Verde (1987)

Herzog's last film with Klaus Kinski has its U.S. theatrical release today.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Memories of Murder (2003)

Zodiac plus The Three Stooges begins to suggest the flavor of this movie.
By that Bong fellow (see The Host, below)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bad Lieutenant (1992)

Most transgressive art is just plain bad, and most good transgressive art has about a five year lifespan at best; but, like Freaks or Blue Velvet, Bad Lieutenant - now fifteen years old - is beginning to look like a thing of awful beauty forever.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Zodiac (2007)


From the gorgeous tracking shot, early on, of a residential street on the 4th of July in late sixties California (fireworks blooming just above the rooftops of the pretty bungalows) to the final scene of two haunted men in an airport security office room (anti-climactic only if you were expecting a chase and shoot-out), Zodiac is smart and gripping. Recommended

Monday, March 19, 2007

Find Me Guilty (2005)

Charming shaggy-dog story:
Vin Diesel's paunchy mook brings down NY DA Guiliani's epic RICO prosecution by being too freaking loveable to convict.

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Host (2007)

I can think of few things more irresistible than a squishy-monster flick directed by someone named Bong.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Good night, and good luck. (2005)

Ties loosened, cigarettes blazing, serious Eisenhower-era men in white Arrow shirts sit in conference, speaking in a very deliberate way about matters grave; and when they repair to a nightclub to relax, we hear none of the satisfying sounds of conviviality – no clink of ice and glass, none of the jokes we only see them laughing at: only the lonesome jazz ballads played by the nightclub band.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Freedomland (2006)

I'd have to read the Richard Price novel to be certain, but the film feels like a sprint--like a lot of the problems it has were the result of trying to cram as much of the book as possible into two hours.

The best of what made it onto the screen was good enough to make me wish it had been longer.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Cry_Wolf (2005)

The montage that ends The Usual Suspects has been copied doggedly by countless films since.

(Most recently, at the conclusion of The Illusionist, the footage of Paul Giammati at the train station might well have been rotoscoped over the footage of Chazz Palminteri at the police station from the end of the earlier film.)

Unlike in The Usual Suspects, where the game was played fairly straight, the device has since been used, almost exclusively, to prop up some god-awful storytelling.

Cry_Wolf ranks right around the bottom – or high on the list of usual suspects, if you will.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Black Snake Moan (2007)

Looks like Macon County Line - plays like Prince of Tides

Thursday, March 1, 2007