Monthly Archives: March 2010

Great Scene: Moonstruck

Norman Jewison’s 1987 film Moonstruck, a landmark romantic comedy, is positively bursting with insight on matters of love and marriage in the modern world.  At its core, the movie makes two central assertions about the mysteries of the human heart.  First, that love and happiness are dependent almost entirely on luck; and second, that men […]

Vincere Review

I first fell in love with the work of Marco Bellocchio after viewing I pugni in tasca (Fists in the Pocket, 1965), a masterpiece of Italian cinema that perfectly captured the psychological disturbances of its characters.  My fondness for the director’s work was reignited after his 2003 drama Buongiorno, Notte (Good Morning, Night), which also […]

Repo Men Review

In recent years, timeliness has been high on the minds of most box office prognosticators. Last winter, some blamed the box office disappointments of films like The International and Confessions Of A Shopaholic on how they related to current events. The International was deemed too timely with its story of evil bankers trying to take […]

Great Scene: Hannah and Her Sisters

Since taking his first foray into seriousness with Annie Hall in 1977, Woody Allen has been nothing if not upsetting, morally and emotionally.  His earliest films were one laugh riot after another—ingenious, cheeky, odd—but he really hit his stride when he embraced his inner Ingmar Bergman in the late 1970s and beyond, asking the Big […]

J’ai tue’ ma mere (I Killed My Mother) Review

If you plan to see J’ai tue’ ma mere with the hopes of seeing a film about matricide, you will be disappointed.  The protagonist does not kill his mother, physically at least.  But Xavier Dolan’s directorial debut, J’ai tue’ ma mere, has won international attention and for plenty of reasons.  The plot may not be […]

Classic Review: Ishtar

The first time I heard of Ishtar was when I was about 13 years old spending a nice summer’s day inside watching television. Elaine May’s comedy starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty was on the wrong end of various jokes during an episode of VH1’s ever present I Love The 80s. It was labeled stupid, […]

Great Scene: The Third Man

In his Criterion DVD introduction to Carol Reed’s The Third Man, director Peter Bogdanovich explains the stage concept of “Mr. Woo,” also called the “star part.”  Here’s how it works:  For the first hour of the play, all the characters talk, in hushed voices, about a mysterious fellow named Mr. Woo.  “Just wait until Mr. […]

St. John of Las Vegas Review

Let’s get it out of the way from the very beginning: Steve Buscemi needs to be the lead actor in more films. No matter the movie, Buscemi is always interesting to watch and such is the case with St. John of Las Vegas. Starring in a film based on Dante’s Inferno and produced by an […]

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Review

If you had come up to me a year-and-a-half ago, told me that David Lynch was producing a Werner Herzog film and asked me what it was going to be about, “guy kills his mom with a samurai sword to act out Aeschylus’ Oresteia and takes two flamingos hostage” probably wouldn’t have been too far […]

Sombre Review

Verite camerawork has been a major force in the modern horror film, but to mixed success at best. I always hoped that somewhere out there, someone had gotten it right. That someone was Philippe Grandrieux. He did it back in 1998, a year before Blair Witch made the technique into a style, with his film […]