Nothing Is Invisible

……….Cultural Kaleidoscopy………..

Posts Tagged ‘Contagion’

Sunshine – Starring Ralph Fiennes & Rachel Weisz

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 12 January 2012

Sunshine (1999) Directed by István Szabó, starring Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient (1996), The Constant Gardener (2005))Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener (2005), The Bourne Legacy (2012, filming))Jennifer Ehle (The King’s Speech (2010), Contagion (2011), The Ides of March (2011))Rosemary Harris (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)), with William Hurt (see partial filmography below) and others.  This vast historical drama is set in Hungary beginning at the very end of the 19th century and then continuing through two world wars, the end of the monarchy, the 1936 Nazi Germany-held Olympics, Communist take-over, failed revolution, and more, through the story of three generations of one family.  An ambitious undertaking somewhat reminiscent of Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard.  Sunshine has its weaknesses, especially in the beginning, but evolves into a seriously good film after that.  With very good cinematography, and excellent acting, by Ralph Fiennes, especially, but also by Weisz, Ehle, Rosemary Harris and William Hurt, Sunshine poses some very good questions and suggests some interesting possible responses.  A long film, almost three hours, but a very interesting story developing through a complex historical context, Sunshine is certainly worthwhile viewing. (PR)

See our posts on the film Pride and Prejudice, starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and the films The Good Shepherd, Vantage Point and Syriana with William Hurt.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  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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Repo Men – Starring Jude Law & Forest Whitaker

Posted by the editors on Friday, 16 December 2011

Repo Men (2010)  Directed by Miguel Sapochnik, starring Jude Law (Cold Mountain (2003), My Blueberry Nights (2007), Contagion (2011)) and Forest Whitaker (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), The Last King of Scotland (2006), Catch .44 (2011)).   In this near-future action thriller, with a science fiction touch, artificial organs (kidneys, lungs, eyes and more) bought on credit by hopeful patients are repossessed when the patient/client can no longer make payments.  Enter the Repo Men, known in the film as Union Men, Remy (Jude Law) and Jake (Forest Whitaker), whose gruesome task it is to, quite literally, and with abundant violence, remove the unpaid for organ, leaving the poor client dead, of course, and return it to the company for whom they work, Artiforg.  A job is a job, as they say.  The premise is perhaps interesting and timely, in this era of mass foreclosures, though, unfortunately, in Repo Men, the premise only offers the opportunity for numerous close-ups of anesthetic-free organ removals, glinting scalpels and bloody gaping holes.  Perhaps it’s the writing, missing virtually all opportunity to become anything better than terrible, or perhaps it’s the rather boring directing by Miguel Sapochnik; after all, neither Jude Law nor Forest Whitaker are hopeless actors, though one is not able to say that for some of the rest of the cast.  In the end, with its rather excruciating gore, pointless final plot twist, and abysmal screenplay, one could easily avoid watching Repo Men, unless, of course, one is an unconditional fan of Jude Law, who, frankly, seems more suited to roles such as he played in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) with Matt Damon and Gwyeth Paltrow, or more recently, Sherlock Holmes (2009), with Robert Downey Jr. (PR)

See our posts on the films Closer, with Jude Law and Vantage Point, with Forest Whitaker.

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

Repo Men Starring Jude Law & Forest Whitaker DVD  (Sorry, no image available.)

Repo Men Starring Jude Law & Forest Whitaker, Blu-ray Disk  (Sorry, no image available.)

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City of Industry – Starring Harvey Keitel

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 30 November 2011

City of Industry (1997)(DVD)  Directed by John Irvin (The Dogs of War (1980), Turtle Diary (1985), Robin Hood (1991)), starring Harvey Keitel (Taxi Driver (1976), Bugsy (1991), Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Piano (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994)), with Famke Janssen (GoldenEye (1995), X-Men (2000), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Bringing Up Bobby (2011)), Stephen Dorff (Public Enemies (2009)), Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People (1980), Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009), The Ghost Writer (2010)), and Lucy Liu (Jerry Maguire (1996), Charlie’s Angels (2000), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Lucky Number Slevin (2006)), with a uncredited cameo by Elliott Gould (M*A*S*H (1970), The Long Goodbye (1973), Ocean’s Eleven (2001)Ocean’s Twelve (2004)Ocean’s Thirteen (2007), Contagion (2011)).  City of Industry, a crime drama of betrayal and revenge, often said to be influenced by Heat, a 1995 crime drama directed by Michael Mann and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Val Kilmer, is, unfortunately, somewhat of a disappointment.  Keitel is very good camping Keitel, dead-pan, blunt or groaning; Stephen Dorff is mono-dimensional, nasty and stupid, with terrible hair; Timothy Hutton appears to be, frankly, in the wrong movie.  And so one is all the more pleased to see Famke Janssen, tall, lost, sexy and jangly, just so, and Lucy Liu, however briefly, impenetrable and even sexier, not to mention an uncredited, and equally brief, amusing appearance by Elliott Gould as a loan-shark.  Admittedly however, the writing leaves a great deal to be desired, as does the directing and the music really doesn’t work at all.  What is interesting, though, is the wonderfully multi-ethnic – Chinese, Black, Hispanic, White – nature of the criminals and their gangs, all brutal, blood-thirsty and slow-witted. (PR)

See our post on the wonderfully entertaining 1973 film starring Elliott Gould, The Long Goodbye.

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

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Winter’s Bone

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Winter’s Bone (2010)  Directed by Debra Granik (Down to the Bone (2004))    This excellent, and award-winning, independent film, written and directed by Debra Granik , based on the eponymous novel by Daniel Woodrell, in its grim, spare, haunting evocation of  life’s extraordinary harshness, and the brutality with which humankind often seems over-endowed, offers, as well, inspiring moments of love, respect, tenderness and devotion.  The screenplay, lighting, cinematography and directing are truly inspired and the acting, especially Jennifer Lawrence (The Burning Plain (2008), The Hunger Games (to be released in 2012)) as Ree Dolly, an inspiring and determined, rural poor young woman, but also John Hawkes (The Perfect Storm (2000), American Gangster (2007), Contagion (2011)) as her fearsome, methamphetamine-addicted uncle, Teardrop, and, in fact, virtually the entire cast, is simply superlative.  Often described as “country noir“, this is a hard, violent film with a great deal of tension, and may not be for everyone.  Nevertheless, for those interested in serious, contemporary American independent cinema, Winter’s Bone is without a doubt a must-see. (PR)

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

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