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Review: Museo

— by RON WILKINSON — Dumb and Dumber meet The Joker. Try as you might, these two, in the hands of brilliant director Alonso Ruizpalacios, defy categorization, or explanation. Their outrageous acts are at the same time thoughtless and brilliant. Gael García Bernal does the heavy lifting [...]

Review: An Elephant Sitting Still

— by RON WILKINSON — The film starts with the beginning of another lousy day. The father is drinking heavily at 8 am, bright and early, recovering from a broken leg and cursing life. In the next scenes, the other parents pummel their children with insults as their dreary, poverty stricke[...]

Review: I Am Vengeance

— by RON WILKINSON — Ex-mercenary turned soldier, or soldier turned ex-mercenary, or mercenary turned gangster. There are lots of ways a writer/director can turn the trope. In the end none of them work but because they have all been done far too many times before. In writer/director Ross[...]

Review: Puzzle

— by RON WILKINSON — A middle-aged mom finds herself, sets herself free, and in the process sets her family free as well. In a wonderful twist of plot, the screenplay is set in the context of a world class jigsaw puzzle competition, when the central message has nothing to do with that. T[...]

Review: The Captain

— by RON WILKINSON — If you think war is hell, see what happens when it stops. Like Tammany Hall’s Boss Tweed, Nazi deserter Willi Herold saw his opportunities and took them. Based on a true story, writer/director Robert Schwentke turns his back on the “Saving Private Ryan” firewor[...]

Review: Dynamite Graffiti

— by RON WILKINSON — A woman walks on hesitant feet to a secret appointment at a humble shed in a dark forest. She is lightly dressed, the clothes she wears functional more than cosmetic. She is pretty, and her lover waits for her with great anticipation. When she arrives, several pounds[...]

Review: Wanda

— by RON WILKINSON — Take yourself back to that wondrous time in American cinema before special effects, mind-bashing soundtracks and explosive car chases. Barbara Loden put this masterpiece together in 1970 for a budget of essentially zero compared to present-day numbers. In a productio[...]

Review: Liverleaf

— by RON WILKINSON — The trouble with getting even is that once you get started, it can be hard to stop. Haruka has plenty of reasons to get even, being bullied relentlessly by the bad girls at her new school. Appeals to the zombie like teachers go nowhere. After all, the school is closi[...]

Review: Neomanila

— by RON WILKINSON — Teen Toto shuffles to the crowded, seething Manila jail to see his brother. He is met with routine slurs and insults by the police and grudgingly offered a chance to see his Kiko who is imprisoned for criminal gang crimes. Whispering the latest news of disappeared fr[...]

Review: The Blood of Wolves

— by RON WILKINSON — There is hot water in Hiroshima as maverick cop Ogami does it his way. A firm believer in tit for tat, Ogami has seen the “Dirty Harry” movies and knows how to handle punks. Too bad for his young sidekick Hioka, he handles college grad rookies the same way. Set [[...]

Review: Beautiful Things

— by RON WILKINSON — As the chicken embryo consumes the food inside the egg, so do we consume the world’s resources. Consumption threatens to become more than a means to an end. It threatens to become an end unto itself. The beautiful things in this movie are not the priceless things w[...]

Review: Boys Cry

— by RON WILKINSON — Two teens slamming down pizza from their bottom rung jobs radiate their lust for life. Sprung from work and cruising home they hit and kill a pedestrian on a dark street. They did not see the victim, because he did not want to be seen. Terror stricken, they flee the [...]

Review: Naples in Veils (aka Napoli velata)

— by RON WILKINSON — The camera spins around a dizzying spiral staircase as shots ring out. Cut to an obscure, abstract play being performed in the apartment of a member of the ensconced elite. A stunningly sexy Adriana (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) is swept off her feet by the equally sensual [...]

Review: Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

— by RON WILKINSON — Whatever acts of bloody violence Marlina may be guilty of, her crimes are nothing compared to the delightful twist director Mouly Surya has put in the neck of the spaghetti western. The lone cowboy, modestly dealing with laughably outrageous fortune with simple, term[...]