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Posts Tagged ‘Pulp Fiction’

Tears of the Sun – Starring Bruce Willis

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 25 December 2011

Tears of the Sun (2003)  Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day (2001), Brooklyn’s Finest (2010)), starring Bruce Willis (Pulp Fiction (1994), Unbreakable (2000), Sin City (2005), and many others), Monica Bellucci and others.  Tears of the Sun, a war film, follows a squad of U.S. Navy SEALs, led by the grimly charismatic Bruce Willis as Lieutenant Waters, in their attempt to rescue an American doctor, played by Monica Bellucci, and three missionaries in civil war-torn Nigeria, amidst the horrors of ethnic cleansing.  Short on dialogue, and character development, Tears of the Sun is full of atmosphere: shadows, ceaseless rain, lush vegetation, mud.  Willis’ Lt. Waters is a seasoned, determined military professional who, faced with the massacre of innocent civilians in this genocidal west African civil war, is moved to disobey orders, with inevitable dire consequences for many, including his dedicated squad of hard, but emotionally vulnerable men.  As good as Willis is, and however strong the cinematography, the weak screenplay and predictable events, especially toward the end, as well as the poor acting by the apparently talentless Monica Bellucci, drag the film down enormously.  Nevertheless, for the atmosphere, and the fans of the talented, squint-eyed, stubble-bearded Bruce Willis, Tears of the Sun may be worth watching.  It’s a shame its potential for a dark, brooding, emotional drama were not more fully realised. (PR)

See our posts on the film Training Day, directed by Antoine Fuqua, and on the films What Just Happened and Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis.

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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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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What Just Happened, starring Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Bruce Willis

Posted by the editors on Monday, 7 November 2011

What Just Happened (2008)(DVD)  Directed by Barry Levinson (High Anxiety (1977), The Natural (1984), Rain Man (1988), Sphere (1998)), starring Robert De Niro (Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1080), Cape Fear (1991), Everybody’s Fine (2009))Sean Penn (Carlito’s Way (1993), I Am Sam (2001), Mystic River (2003), 21 Grams (2003), Milk (2008))Bruce Willis (The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Pulp Fiction (1994), Twelve Monkeys (1995), The Sixth Sense (1999), Lucky Number Slevin (2006), Catch .44 (2011, in post-production))John Turturro (Miller’s Crossing (1990), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000))Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich (1999), Capote (2005), Into the Wild (2007), Synecdoche, New York (2008))Stanley Tucci (The Pelican Brief (1993), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), The Lovely Bones (2009))Robin Wright Penn (Forrest Gump (1994), Nine Lives (2005), The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009)) and others.  Yes, that is an impressive cast, and, of course, there is some very good acting, and it is well-filmed.  And yet… perhaps it is the concept, despite it being a veritable Hollywood genre, Hollywood satirizing Hollywood; perhaps it’s the screenplay…What Just Happened somehow just doesn’t happen, despite a good number of quite successful comic scenes.  Perhaps a successful satire needs to go beyond the acid observations, into something a bit more profound, and though De Niro’s character has moments where one is touched, one is left just a bit too often with the question, “Yes.  Well.  Who cares?” (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a personal wonderful personal film library..

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Posted in DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

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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Youth Without Youth

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 23 April 2011

Youth Without Youth theatrical release poster

image: Wikipedia

Youth Without Youth (2007) (DVD) Directed by Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather (1972), Apocalypse Now (1979), Twixt Now and Sunrise (to be released in 2011)), starring Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Funny Games (2008)), Alexandra Maria Lara (The Reader (2008)), Bruno Ganz (The Boys from Brazil (1978), Wings of Desire (1987), The Reader (2008)), with a very brief participation by Matt Damon (Saving Private Ryan (1998), Syriana (2005),  The Adjustment Bureau (2011)).

Magical Realism, Surrealism, Science Fiction of a sort, politico-religious intellectual mish-mash?  One could suppose that a kind of Magical Realism best describes Coppola’s style in Youth Without Youth, keeping in mind that Coppola not only directed the film but was also its producer and writer, the film being based on the autobiographically inspired novella of the same name by the Romanian author, religion scholar, and extreme-right political supporter, Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) .

An interesting film, at least in theory, Youth Without Youth, falls flat through relatively poor acting, except on the part of Bruno Ganz, as well as poor writing.  Not to mention the dubious novella from which it is drawn.  Nevertheless, it is a Francis Ford Coppola film, and as such merits watching.  Perhaps. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray disks.  Have a wonderful personal library.


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