Time to get over the 'shock' of aging actresses

May 15, 2014

Time to get over the 'shock' of aging actresses

“Americans can be strange about aging,” said French actress Jeanne Moreau, in a brief interview she gave me back in 2005. She was then at the tail end of her 70s and had just co-starred with French heartthrob Melvil Poupaud in “Le Temps Qui ...

'Winter's Tale'

May 15, 2014

'Winter's Tale'

There’s something Shakespearean about “Winter’s Tale.” Perhaps it’s the way everyone talks in British or Irish accents, faked or genuine; or how the emotions seem to fester in the depths of a hot caldron; or the grandiose gestures and sweeping statements that are often ...

'After the Dark'

May 15, 2014

'After the Dark'

Rather than a gem, John Huddles’ “After the Dark” (original titled “The Philosophers”) is a diamond in the rough — but there’s more rough here than diamond. Still, the premise is intriguing, and so is the setting: an international school in Jakarta on the ...

'Walking With Dinosaurs 3D'

May 15, 2014

'Walking With Dinosaurs 3D'

Directors: Barry Cook, Neil Nightingale Language: English Scripted by John Collee (a writer for “Happy Feet”), this potentially incredible movie loses much by catering to a kid-centric audience. The dinosaurs look very real and it’s indeed thrilling to walk with them (thank you, 3-D) ...

On drinking, May and battling the blues

| May 11, 2014

On drinking, May and battling the blues

According to T.S. Eliot, April is the cruelest month. But in Japan May ushers in some pretty heavy blues, too. The dual combination of haru no megumi (春の恵み, spring blessings) and haru no utsu (春の鬱, spring depression) makes for a challenging 31 days. That ...

'Blue Jasmine'

May 8, 2014

'Blue Jasmine'

We love watching rich people be rich and happy, but maybe we love it more when the cash stops flowing. There’s a Japanese phrase for that, and roughly translated, it goes like this: “The unhappiness of others tastes of honey.” In that vein, Woody ...

'The Secret Children'

May 8, 2014

'The Secret Children'

Hiroshi Nakajima is one of the few Japan-born directors working in Hollywood, and his second feature, “The Secret Children,” opens tomorrow. Exploring the issue of human clones with an all-American cast, “Children” has the uminstakable sheen of a made-in-the-USA sci-fi thriller. That said, Nakajima’s ...

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

May 8, 2014

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

Director: Francis Lawrence Language: English Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is back for another round of the Hunger Games in a futuristic world controled by dictator President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Once again, a group of teenagers from different “districts” are ordered to fight each other ...

This tale of brutal vengeance is no fantasy

May 1, 2014

This tale of brutal vengeance is no fantasy

A thousand things can go wrong in a kidnapping investigation, and “Prisoners” goes through about 100 of them before you lose count. After that it’s easy to blackout under the chokehold of desperation that defines both the film and its protagonist, Keller Dover (Hugh ...

'Prisoners'

May 1, 2014

'Prisoners'

Cinematically speaking, Thanksgiving is beginning to have the same connotations as the white picket fences and manicured lawns of suburban America: symbols of disaster or tragedy. In “The Company Men” (2010), Ben Affleck feels his jobless life unravelling at the Thanksgiving table. In “Four ...