Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Movie Reviews’

Violent Cop (Sono otoko, kyōbō ni tsuki)

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Violent Cop (1989)(DVD)  Directed by, and starring, Takeshi Kitano   Takeshi Kitano plays a rather unethical, and yes, violent cop, eventually brought down by his unorthodox methods. Violent Cop is Kitano’s first film as director (Kinji Fukasaku was the film’s intial director, though he stepped down due to illness) and, as such, merits watching, especially given that Kitano rewrote most of the screenplay prior to commencing filming.  Here we have all the ingredients of classic Kitano, off-beat humour, violence, tenderness, camaraderie and a society at-odds with itself; touching, moving, tense, fascinating.  Kitano’s acting is, of course, uniquely masterful. (PR)

See our other posts on excellent films by, and with, Takeshi Kitano: FireworksBoiling PointSonatine and Zatoichi; see out posts on films directed by Kinji Fukasaku, an important influence on Kitano, : Street Mobster, Graveyard of Honor, Blackmail is My LifeSympathy for the Underdog, and Battle Royale, directed by Kinji Fukasaku starring Takeshi Kitano.

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

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Straight Time starring Dustin Hoffman

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Straight Time (1978)(DVD) Directed by Ulu Grosbard (The Subject Was Roses (1968)Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971), True Confessions (1981), Falling in Love (1984)), starring Dustin Hoffman (Midnight Cowboy (1969), Straw Dogs (1971), Papillon (1973), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and many other excellent films), Harry Dean Stanton (Cool Hand Luke (1967), Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), Paris, Texas (1984), The Green Mile (1999) and many others), Gary Busey (The Buddy Holly Story (1978), Point Break (1991), Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas (1998))Kathy Bates (Misery (1990), Primary Colors (1998), Revolutionary Road (2008)) and others.  Dustin Hoffman, also producer of the film, is excellent as Max Dembo , a rather small-time criminal, with a record going back to when he was 12 years old, who, after getting out of prison for a six-year stint for burglary, gives going straight a very brief attempt, and succumbs, of course, to his usual ways.  Harry Dean Stanton, as one of Dembo’s partners, is excellent, Gary Busey earns his fate, as another of Dembo’s partners.  Kathy Bates, in a small role as Busey’s wife, is just fine.

Ulu Grosbard, an assistant director on such great films as Splendor in the Grass(1961)West Side Story (1961), and The Hustler (1961), also directed Hoffman in Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? and Robert DeNiro in True Confessions and Falling in Love (with Meryl Streep).

Straight Time is most definitely a film worth seeing, despite it being rarely cited as one of Hoffman’s best. (PR)

See our previous post on Straw Dogs, starring Dustin Hoffman.

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

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Inglourious Basterds

Posted by the editors on Monday, 5 September 2011

Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino, theatrical release poster

Inglourious Basterds (2009)(DVD) Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs  (1992)Pulp Fiction (1993), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (Vol. I & II) (2003, 2004)) ; starring Brad Pitt (A River Runs Through It (1992), Seven (1995) Snatch (2000), Babel (2006) and many more), Christoph Waltz (The Green Hornet (2011)), Diane Kruger (Troy (2004), Goodbye Bafana (2007), Unknown (2011)) and others.   Tarantino has said, it’s my “bunch-of-guys-on-a-mission film. [It’s] my Dirty Dozen or Where Eagles Dare or Guns of Navarone kind of thing”,  and, quite rightly, it is, indeed.  Brad Pitt is, as usual, quite good, and Christoph Waltz, simply award-winning (Best Leading Actor, at Cannes,and BAFTAGolden GlobeScreen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2009); Diane Kruger is just fine in the role of Bridget von Hammersmark.  Brutal, violent, funny and fantastical, Inglourious Basterds, may best be described as Anne Thompson of Variety did: “Inglourious Basterds is great fun to watch, but the movie isn’t entirely engaging… You don’t jump into the world of the film in a participatory way; you watch it from a distance, appreciating the references and the masterful mise en scène.” (PR)

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Black Swan

Posted by the editors on Friday, 13 May 2011

The poster for the film shows Natalie Portman with white facial makeup, black-winged eye liner around bloodshot red eyes, and a jagged crystal tiara.

Black Swan theatrical release poster

Black Swan (2010) Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Wrestler (2008)); starring Natalie Portman (Mars Attacks! (1996), Star Wars, Episodes I-III (1999-2005), Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007)), Vincent Cassel (Elizabeth (1998), Ice Age (2002) (voice only; French language version), Adrift (À Deriva) (2009)), Mila Kunis (Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (1997), American Psycho 2 (2002), Max Payne (2008)), Barbara Hershey (Boxcar Bertha (1972), The Right Stuff (1983), Last of the Dogmen (1995)), and others.  A psychological thriller, as most have seemingly called it, Black Swan, from the trendily titillating lesbian affair (imagined or otherwise), to the heavy-handed pseudo-psychology, the boringly clichéd dialogue, to the monodimensional acting, the incoherent visual cinematics, to the lack of meaningful narrative, or other, evolution, can’t help but leave one surprised at the uncommon poverty of critical intellectual perception, wondering whose rose-tinted glasses were shared around, and one can only be dismayed by the apparent lack of “crowd-sourced” clarity.  Nonetheless, it seems that Aronofsky, Portman and Cassel haven’t hesitated to compare the film to any of a variety of Roman Polanski‘s films (including Repulsion (1965) for Aronofsky, and Rosemary’s Baby (1968) for Portman).  Even so, apart from the fact that Portman looks every day as old as her 28 (or 29) years (if not, let’s say, five years older) and as such seems a poor choice for the role of the young ballerina making it big, a quick comparison to previous “Best Actresses” is even more disheartening.  Natalie Portman?  Really? (PR)

See our post on the film The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman.

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