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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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: The Testament

— by BEV QUESTAD — Yoel Halberstam has seven days to find a mass grave in Austria before construction starts. But where exactly is it, why won’t people talk and does it actually exist? Halberstam is an historian, an orthodox Jew, and a devout seeker of the truth. His crucial work is hi[...]

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[...]

Review: Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf

— by BEV QUESTAD — Brimming with beauty, Thomas Piper’s sensitive presentation of “The Gardens of Piet Oudolf” is a soft poem of life. Already known as an art photographer, capturing the gardens of Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf in all of the seasons is truly a project suprem[...]

Review: Naila and the Uprising

— by BEV QUESTAD — Specifically, this is the story of Naila. In 1967, when she was a young girl at school, she learned her house had been blown up. She and her four sisters went home to see her father crying. She grew up with this experience of the Israeli occupation in Ramallah and [&he[...]

Review: In the Last Days of the City

— by BEV QUESTAD — “If you want to see the world in one day, ride the sun.” A cinematographic study, a film poem and a mosaic of life in Cairo during President Mubarak, Tamer El Said’s film witnesses daily life in Egypt. Though there is spartan dialogue and plot, there is a sense t[...]