Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Reservoir Dogs’

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.

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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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Youth Without Youth

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 23 April 2011

Youth Without Youth theatrical release poster

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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)

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Born to Kill

Posted by the editors on Friday, 22 April 2011

Born to Kill  theatrical release poster

Born to Kill (1947) (DVD) Directed by Robert Wise, starring Lawrence Tierney (Prizzi’s Honor (1985), Reservoir Dogs (1992)), Claire Trevor (who received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Key Largo (1948)), Walter Slezak (Lifeboat (1944), Heidi (1968)).  This film noir received a scathing critical reception at the time of its release, being called, variously, a nasty melodrama, a smeary tabloid fable and reprehensible, and this due to its indulgent plunge into dark amorality.  Money, murder, betrayal.  Part of the dark human heart?

In any case, watching Born to Kill, it’s perhaps difficult to imagine that Robert Wise went on to direct such classics as West Side Story (1961),  The Sound of Music (1965) and The Sand Pebbles (1966), and perhaps therein lies the interest in seeing Born to Kill.  It helps, however, to remember that Wise also directed the cult classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).

It’s also interesting to note that Wise was the film editor for the enormous film classic directed by Orson Welles, Citizen Kane (1941), and was an assistant director of The Magnificent Ambersons, another wonderful film directed by Welles. (PR)

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Boarding Gate

Posted by the editors on Monday, 14 March 2011

Boarding Gate English-language theatrical release poster

Boarding Gate (2007) (DVD) directed by Olivier Assayas  (Demonlover, 2002; Carlos, 2010) starring Asia Argento, Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, 1992; Kill Bill, 2003; Sin City, 2005), Carl Ng and Kelly Lin and Kim Gordon, of the band Sonic YouthA French, global thriller of racy sex, corruption and murder, Boarding Gate may be worth watching for its 3-second scene of Chinese urban architecture.  Other than that, à la limite, if one is, for some reason, obsessed with Asia Argento and her tattoos, and has really nothing else to do…..  All the other acting is extraordinarily flat and dead, as is the story, as is, unfortunately, most everything in this film. (PR)

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

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