Nothing Is Invisible

……….Cultural Kaleidoscopy………..

Posts Tagged ‘2011’

* The Mechanic – Starring Jason Statham, Ben Foster, with Donald Sutherland

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Mechanic (2011) Directed by Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)), starring Jason Statham (The Transporter (2002), The Italian Job (2003), Crank: High Voltage (2009)), Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma (2007)), with Donald Sutherland.  This violent action thriller, a remake of the 1972 film of the same name starring Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent, follows a professional assassin, or mechanic, as he eliminates, with efficiency, one target after another.  With its occasional touch of a certain humour, its fiery explosions, not to mention the use of all sorts of other weaponry, and ensuing abundant carnage, The Mechanic is not a film for everyone.  However, for the pleasure of watching Statham in action, and if one is willing to suspend moral judgement, of course, then The Mechanic, though far from a masterpiece of the genre, may be worth watching. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray disks, in that order, when available):

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* Book Review: Pulse by Julian Barnes

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 29 January 2012

Book Review: Pulse (2011)(collection of short stories) by Julian Barnes (Flaubert’s Parrot (1984, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), England, England (1998, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Arthur & George (2005, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Sense of an Ending (2011, winner of the Booker Prize).  Pulse is a collection of wonderful short stories taking the pulse of couples, and in which couples are the pulse, the life blood.  From parents, to newly weds, to first dates, to esoteric historical, from sharp, well-to-do couples, to once-hippie aging couples, to ’til-death-do-us-part couples, to couples divorcing within a year of marriage, from hetero to homo, from love to sex, from complicity to antagonism, from no-strings to all things, Pulse throws its net wide, not that there aren’t an infinity of couples outside of the net, each being, by definition unique, and unfathomable, no matter what we know.  In fact, what is love?  And, to paraphrase and twist, a bit, Raymond Carver, what (don’t) we talk about when we (don’t) talk about love; pain, fun, sharing, loss, thrill, support, tenderness and grief. A must-read for anyone who is, was, or will be part of a couple, or ever wished, or regretted, that they were part of a couple.  And for those solitaries who just wonder about it all.  Marvelous, thoughtful, entertaining and more. (PR)

See our post on the collection of short stories by Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

We recommend that you buy you books.  Have a wonderful personal library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

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Water for Elephants – Starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson & Christoph Waltz

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 28 January 2012

Water for Elephants (2011)  – Directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend (2007)), starring Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line (2005), Robert Pattinson (Twilight Saga film series)and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds (2009), Carnage (2011)).  A romantic drama set in a traveling circus during The Depression, in the 1930s in the U.S., Water for Elephants, despite all the animals, is a rather formulaic film characterised by very poor dialogue, poor development and poor acting.  Of course, the problems with the dialogue and plot development could be due to the screenplay or the book on which it was based (screenplay by Richard LaGravenese based on the eponymous novel by Sara Gruen).  The poor acting, however, can only be attributed to the actors themselves and to the director, of course; Pattinson is rather hopeless, and Reese Witherspoon, at best, miscast. Christolph Waltz, who was quite good in Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino, is not bad, given the limitations written into his role.  Nevertheless, as entertainment for relatively naive 13 to 15 year-olds, perhaps everything is just fine. (PR) (Note: in the U.S. it was considered that some material in the film may be inappropriate for children under 13 (PR13 rating))

See our post on the film Inglourious Basterds, with Christoph Waltz, and starring Brad Pitt, directed by Quentin Tarantino.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

top image: Wikipedia

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Caribou Island by David Vann

Posted by the editors on Monday, 23 January 2012

Caribou Island (2011)(Novel) by David Vann (Legend of a Suicide (2008))  Caribou Island, David Vann’s first novel, after his awardwinning collection of stories Legend of a Suicide, is rife with failed communication, the characters brimming with regret, misperception and self-delusion, and all suffering from psychological isolation; these bleak, dysfunctional characters relentlessly arcing their way toward certain disaster.  Written with a passionate and sharp eye for landscape and environment, used as a metaphor for the apparent, and dream-like, beauty and inherently brutal, fatal desolation of life and with, perhaps, an inspiration from Cormac McCarthy’s sensitivity to place, combined with some of the fatal flaws of Raymond Carver’s often doomed characters, Caribou Island is an inspired noir novel, full of precise descriptive prose, and often sensitive and frustratingly lost individuals inexorably struggling toward their painful ends. (PR)

See our posts on the novels The Crossing, All the Pretty Horses, The Orchard Keeper, Blood Meridian and Outer Dark, by Cormac McCarthy and our post on the collection of short stories What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, by Raymond Carver.

We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a great personal library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

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Outrage – Way of the Yakuza – Directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 8 December 2011

Outrage – Way of the Yakuza (2010) (DVD) Written, directed, and edited by, and starring, Takeshi Kitano (see partial filmography below).  This Japanese contemporary Yakuza film, which had its premier at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, in competition for the Palme d’Or, and its U.S. premier 2 December 2011 in New York and Los Angeles, is the latest film from the brilliantly original, and multi-faceted Japanese artist/actor/director Takeshi Kitano.   Outrage – Way of the Yakuza builds slowly, with a bit of a quack, shall we say, in the middle.  However, as the sub-story of the illegal casino in an African embassy in Tokyo concludes, the film and Kitano’s mastery as actor and director, become distilled, clean, hard and serious.  Violent, and indeed brutal, Outrage – Way of the Yakuza, is nevertheless laced with Kitano’s special brand of sharp humour. Obviously a must-see film for all Kitano fans. (PR)

See our previous posts on the excellent films by and/or with Takeshi Kitano:  Sonatine, Fireworks (Hana-Bi), Boiling Point (Jugatsu), Zatoichi, and Battle Royale.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Create a wonderful personal film library…  Here are links to amazon.com:

 

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