The way we were, or reflections for the new year

| Jan 12, 2014

The way we were, or reflections for the new year

In the dusky light of ōmisoka (大晦日, Dec. 31), I spotted something that’s become a rarity on Tokyo streets: a dead animal. Actually it was a yamabato (山鳩, turtle dove) — and its feathers were tragically strewn among the blood and gore like a ...

'Dangerous Liaisons'

Jan 9, 2014

'Dangerous Liaisons'

Dangerous Liaisons” is compelling, not necessarily because of its content but because this is a Chinese movie adapted from an 18th-century French novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. It has exactly zero working-class characters, not counting the occasional maid. That’s an event in itself. ...

'Killing Season'

Jan 9, 2014

'Killing Season'

If movies could kill, this one would have the potential to maim. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson (“Simon Birch”), “Killing Season” stars two relentless men, Robert De Niro and John Travolta, bringing every fiber of their relentlessness to go at each other tooth and ...

'Yurusarezaru Mono (Unforgiven)'

Jan 9, 2014

'Yurusarezaru Mono (Unforgiven)'

Director: Lee Sang-il Language: Japanese Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Oscar winner gets a Japanese makeover, courtesy of Zainichi filmmaker Lee Sang-il. In the snow-swept wilds of Meiji Period Hokkaido, Ken Watanabe plays an ex-samurai who has sworn never to kill again — but ends up ...

'Lore'

Jan 2, 2014

'Lore'

“Lore” is both gripping and suffocating; at times it feels like filmmaker Cate Shortland is forcibly prying open your eyelids like that scene in “A Clockwork Orange,” impelling the viewer to confront the horror of what’s happening on screen. And that’s because feeling the ...

'Odd Thomas'

Jan 2, 2014

'Odd Thomas'

Director Stephen Sommers is known for works such as “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” and “Van Helsing”; in the words of one U.S. critic, he makes “watchable trash.” So “Odd Thomas” is a big surprise. It’s quirky and charming, with the occasional “Huh?” ...

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

Dec 26, 2013

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

The second installment to “The Hunger Games” is hot and fast but also pensive — not what you’d expect from an adaptation of a Young Adult novel series. I reckon author Suzanne Collins’ work and the first “Hunger Games” should be on the syllabus ...

'Linhas de Wellington'

Dec 26, 2013

'Linhas de Wellington'

Only the brave and devoted moviegoer should tackle this monstrosity of a period film. Clocking in at close to three hours and featuring a 1,000-plus cast of European multinationals, “Lines of Wellington” (as it was released in English) is a cinema project of gargantuan ...

'The Moth Diaries'

Dec 26, 2013

'The Moth Diaries'

Director: Mary Harron Language: English British supermodel Lily Cole stars in this tale of the unbearable fragility of girlie existence. At a remote girls’ boarding school, the lonely Rebecca (Sarah Bolger) is thrilled when she gets the attention of dorm-mate Lucy (Sarah Gadon). But ...