'Thor: The Dark World'

Jan 23, 2014

'Thor: The Dark World"

Another year, another Marvel movie. The story begins several thousand years ago, when the warriors of Asgard stop the Dark Elves from using their mega-weapon, the Aether, to destroy the universe. Elf leader Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) escapes and lies low for a few millenniums. ...

Star Trek Into Darkness

Jan 23, 2014

Star Trek Into Darkness

Director: J.J. Abrams Language: English A dark chapter in the journey of the Enterprise, “Into Darkness” shows Kirk (Chris Pine) at his most vulnerable, while Spock (Zachary Quinto) is distracted by relationship problems with Uhura (Zoe Saldana). Their foe: a one-man weapon of mass ...

'Pawn Shop Chronicles'

Jan 16, 2014

'Pawn Shop Chronicles'

Not a whole lot of U.S. moviegoers seemed to know about “Pawn Shop Chronicles” when it opened there last year. It had a limited release, then fizzled into the ether. Which is probably the best thing for the planet and its inhabitants, but to ...

'Ender's Game'

Jan 16, 2014

'Ender's Game'

The sense of wide-eyed wonder and hopefulness that characterized Orson Scott Card’s 1985 sci-fi novel “Ender’s Game” is mostly absent in this adaptation, replaced by a knowing, slick competence. Very little rings true, despite Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis delivering super-serious performances ...

'A Late Quartet (25-Nen-me no Gengaku Shijuso)'

Jan 16, 2014

'A Late Quartet (25-Nen-me no Gengaku Shijuso)'

Director: Yaron Zilberman Language: English A lovely film to look at, listen to and contemplate, “A Late Quartet” brings together Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Daniel Lerner as a renowned string quartet in the throes of a mid-life crisis. Against issues ...

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 ...