Yawn of the dead
and welcome to another installment of "I Saw This Movie So You Don't Have To!" Yes, "I Tilled Your Garden So You Don't Have To" probably would have been much
more helpful, but I figured I'd take one for the team and bear witness to the
dull zombie drama "Maggie," Arnold Schwarzenegger's crack at being a real
The early scenes in Dutch
filmmaker Nanouk Leopold's "It's All So Quiet" are
unsparing in their depiction of caring for an elderly person no longer able to
care for themselves. In Helmer's case, however, as he painstakingly moves his
father from the first floor to a second-floor bedroom, the entrenched
passive-aggression is palpable, with far more of the latter than the former.
The penultimate film from renowned documentarian Albert Maysles, the delightful "Iris" profiles nonagenarian
fashion icon Iris Apfel. With her trademark look
(owl-like eye glasses, half a dozen gaudy bangles on each arm, and ropes of
enormous necklaces) adorning her tiny frame, it often seems a wonder that she
doesn't topple over.
Love which is strong as death
"I'd hate to become some man's property," the forthright
Bathsheba Everdene says to her gently spurned suitor. It's 1870 in Dorset, England, and despite her penniless status, Bathsheba
values her independence above everything, a nontraditional mindset that will
serve her well when an unexpected inheritance bequeaths her a large farm.
A mashup of traditional sounds and Western pop,
Cambodia had a fertile music scene from the mid 50's to the mid 70's, supported
by a monarchy devoted to the arts. When capitol city Phnom Penh fell to the
Khmer Rouge in 1975, however, that all changed.
Fast and furious
During a Q&A following the premiere of "Mad Max: Fury
Road," director George Miller namechecked film historian Kevin Brownlow and his
seminal book, "The Parade's Gone By," citing it as a crucial instructional tool
for any director of modern action films. That book, focusing on the silent film
era, provides a clue as to why, with its scant dialogue, big emotions, and epic
storytelling, "Mad Max: Fury Road" itself frequently feels like an old silent
When it comes to tales of forbidden romance in the movies,
audiences tend to expect a certain amount of passion. They want sexy stories
about couples whose desire for one another burns up the screen, so we never
question that they must be together no matter what the cost.
fledgling filmmakers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, it seemed like a great idea:
Find a rock group to manage and then make an artsy documentary about the
process. Colleagues at England's Shepperton Studios
in the early 1960's, Lambert and Stamp were unlikely friends; the former
enjoyed a posh but closeted upbringing as the son of a renowned classical
composer, while the latter came up in the working-class East End, the son of a
tugboat captain (and little brother to the supremely cool Terence Stamp).
a glance at his filmography -- "Gladiator," "Master and Commander," "Noah" --
tells you that Russell Crowe knows about starring in sweeping historical epics,
so it's a little frustrating that he seems to have learned nothing from Scott,
Weir, Aronofsky, et al., about how to direct them. Crowe stars in his
disappointing feature-filmmaking debut, "The Water Diviner," as Joshua Connor,
an Australian man who travels to Turkey to hunt for his three soldier sons,
presumed dead four years earlier in the devastating campaign at Gallipoli in
It's the best policy
thing about love is that there's too much that our limited language prevents us
from truly expressing, so it's fortunate that there exist artists who are able
to convey the tangled emotions that mere words can't. If you've ever seen any
of animator Bill Plympton's award-winning work, you know that he rarely relies
on dialogue anyway.