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Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Training Day – Starring Denzel Washington (Oscar for Best Actor) & Ethan Hawke

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Training Day (2001)  Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Tears of the Sun (2003), Shooter (2007)), starring Denzel Washington (Malcolm X (1992), The Hurricane (1999), Inside Man (2006), American Gangster (2007)) and Ethan Hawke (Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), Total Recall (2012))with Eva MendesDr. DreSnoop DoggMacy Gray and others.  In Training Day, a brutal, tense police thriller set in the gang-lands of contemporary Los Angeles, Denzel Washington is magnificent in the role of Alonzo Harris, a charming, violent and intensely corrupt undercover narcotics detective, who is eventually victim of his own over-reaching confidence and brutal methods, a portrayal for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor; Washington’s virtuosity as he teases, threatens, persuades, teaches and abuses almost all at the same time, is impressive indeed.  Ethan Hawke is very good as Jake Hoyt, not exactly the totally naive newcomer, yet in training with the corrupt Harris (Washington), and shocked, disgusted, confused and abused by Harris and eventually, unable to tolerate the lawlessness and physical menace, reacts by reaching back and reconnecting to his own morality.  Training Day has, for the most part, an authentic sounding script with some quite colorful charactisations by a group of well-known musicians and supporting actors, and some fine directing on the part of Antoine Fuqua. Though the final third of the film is perhaps a bit less accomplished, Training Day is a sharp, tense and gritty thriller, well worth watching. (PR)

See our posts on the films American Gangster, and The Bone Collector, both starring Denzel Washington.

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, DVD, and Blu-ray Disk, in that order, when available for each film):

top image: Wikipedia

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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Brother (Aniki) – Starring & Directed by Takeshi Kitano

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Brother (Aniki) (2000)  Written, directed and edited by, and starring Takeshi Kitano (see partial filmography below).  In this Japanese/American Yakuza film, the first part set in Tokyo, the second in Los Angeles, an exiled Yakuza captain, Yamamoto, played with his signature, and captivating, explosive impassivity by Kitano, joins up with his half-brother’s drug dealing gang in Los Angeles.  Kitano, as writer, director, and editor, plays the density and ritual of Tokyo and the Japanese Yakuza against the space and marked lack of respect of Los Angeles and its brutal gangs.  This is Kitano’s first film set in the U.S., (and his last) and one cannot help but be impressed by the way he is channeling the myths of the American west, its wide open spaces, lawlessness and rugged individuality, reminiscent of early Eastwood, through his vision of the codes and life of the Japanese underworld.  Though perhaps not his best film, there is some very good acting, and excellent writing and directing, Kitano’s distinctive humour, and superb music by Joe Hisaishi, making Brother (Aniki) a must-see for anyone interested in Japanese or world cinema, and especially for those who are fans of Kitano’s work. (PR) (Note: As expected, there is a good deal of rather bloody violence.)

See our posts on other films by and/or starring Takeshi Kitano: his latest film Outrage – Way of the Yakuza, Violent Cop, the excellent Fireworks (Hana-Bi), Boiling Point (Jugatsu), the superb Sonatine, Zatoichi and Battle Royale.

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):

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Imperial Bedrooms

Posted by the editors on Friday, 1 July 2011

Imperial bedrooms cover.JPG

Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis

Imperial Bedrooms (2010)(novel) by Bret Easton Ellis  (American Psycho (1991), Lunar Park (2005))  Imperial Bedrooms, a present day sequel to Ellis’ 1985 best-selling debut novel Less Than Zero containing many of the same characters as they approach middle-age, surges with scenes of sex, extreme violence and hedonism recounted in Ellis’ characteristic emotionless, rather minimalist style.  Though the scene is Los Angeles, and the protagonist himself a screen writer, Imperial Bedrooms, it may be said, has crossed over to the very, very dark side when compared to John Fante’s moving 1939 novel  Ask the Dust, part of his tetralogy The Bandini Quartets. (PR)

See our post on Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis.

image: Wikipedia

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Posted in Book Reviews, Language, Links, Literature, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Bandini Quartet – John Fante

Posted by the editors on Friday, 1 July 2011

Ask the Dust, by John Fante

image: Wikipedia

The Bandini Quartet (novels) (1938-1985) by John Fante  The Bandini Quartet is a collection of four novels by John Fante: Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938), The Road to Los Angeles (1985), Ask the Dust (1939) and Dreams From Bunker Hill (1982), written in a style which may be described as “dirty realism”, and featuring the life and tribulations of first generation Italian-American Arturo Bandini, from young adolescent to disillusioned novelist, short story writer and Hollywood screenwriter.  Boisterous, touching, sharp.  As The New York Times has written, “Either the work of John Fante is unknown to you or it is unforgettable.  He is not the kind of writer to leave room in between.” (Each novel is also available separately)(PR)

David Foster Wallace readers may note that in his 1987 novel The Broom of the System Lavache ‘Stoney’ Beadsman has a wooden leg with a hidden drawer in which he keeps marijuana cigarettes and other illegal substances. Ch. 4 of Ask the Dust refers to a character named Benny Cohen who, “had a wooden leg with a little door in it. Inside the door were marijuana cigarets. He sold them for fifteen cents apiece.”

See our previous posts on David Foster Wallace: The Last Audit – Review of David Foster Wallace’s “The Pale King” by Tom McCarthy, A Self-Help Reader for David Foster Wallace, The Pale King – David Foster Wallace & the Staggering, Multifarious, Cacophonous Predicament, David Foster Wallace – Piecing Together a Posthumous Novel, The Pale King

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Changing My Mind – Occasional Essays, by Zadie Smith

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 24 April 2011

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays ustrated]

 Changing My Mind – Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith

Changing My Mind – Occasional Essays (2009) (Collection of essays) by Zadie Smith (White Teeth (2000), The Autograph Man (2002), On Beauty (2005), and numerous essays for The Guardian, The New Yorker and other newspapers and magazines).

With essays on Hepburn and Garbo, to David Foster Wallace, from an Academy Award weekend in Los Angeles to E.M. Forster, Roland Barthes, Vladimir Nabokov, Tom McCarthy and a great deal more, and with a tone from travel documentary to insightful literary analysis, and most everything in between, Zadie Smith has offered us the opportunity to see how her mind works, and how she not only permits herself to change it, but even makes that her motto, shall we say.  There’s some very good writing here, and some, on the other hand, a bit difficult to get through, but well worth the effort required.  Smith can be extraordinarily perceptive, subtle, keen, as well as, perhaps, naively hopeful, even silly, and that, in itself, is marvelous and refreshing, intellectually challenging and agreeably human.

Her long essay on David Foster Wallace, entitled “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: The Difficult Gifts of David Foster Wallace” is honestly excellent. (PR)

See our previous post on Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace and Tom McCarthy, entitled “The Last Audit – Review of David Foster Wallace’s “The Pale King” by Tom McCarthy“, here.

Smith prefaces her book, which is dedicated to her father, with the two following quotes:

“The time to make your mind up about people is never!” (Tracy Lord, played by Katherine Hepburn, in The Philadelphia Story (1940), also starring Cary Grant and James Stewart; directed by George Cukor.)

“You get to decide what to worship.”  (David Foster Wallace)

Pankaj Mishra’s review of Changing My Mind – Occasional Essays, entitled “Other Voices, Other Selves” in the Sunday Book Review section of The New York Times, here.

Peter Conrad’s review of Smith’s book in The Guardian is aptly titled “Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith” and is found, here.

We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a wonderful personal library.

image: Wikipedia

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nothingisinvisible@live.fr

Posted in Book Reviews, culture, Education, film, General, Language, Links, Literature, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible, publishing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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