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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: Rodents of Unusual Size

— by RON WILKINSON — It is a thirty-pound rat with gigantic orange buck teeth and it is coming right at you. Could mean trouble, a monstrous attack on you, your house and your loved ones. Or it could mean five dollars. It all depends on your point of view. For hundreds of Louisiana bayou[...]

Review: Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer

— by BEV QUESTAD — The lions hadn’t eaten for 24 hours and neither had their trainer. Finally in the ring, an animal moved to the wrong place and Mabel stumbled. Chaos erupted and two lions attacked her, clawing an eye from her socket and throwing a breast across the circus ring. “Ma[...]

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: Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

— by BEV QUESTAD — A glorious tribute to a captivatingly astute writer, “Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin” intermixes original images and motion graphics of the environments described in Le Guin books to tell the story of one of the greatest science fiction writers in the last 100 years. [...]

Review: Memoir of War

— by BEV QUESTAD — Based on Marguerite Duras’s memoir, this excellent film tells the story of those waiting for the return of their loved ones who had been taken to WWII death camps. Some arrested returned, yet others did not. What was life like for those who waited? How did they cope [...]

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: Gavagai

— by BEV QUESTAD — A handsomely thin German businessman comes to the forested Telemark region of Norway anxious about his mission and in the first stages of grief. Surreal images of his deceased Chinese wife come to him when he is alone. She is dressed in colorful flowing Mandarin robes [...]

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[...]