'The Butler'

Feb 13, 2014

'The Butler'

Back in 1997, when Steven Spielberg released “Amistad,” it was a pretty huge deal for a big-name Hollywood filmmaker to tackle slavery. Now the deal is a lot bigger for Lee Daniels, the second African-American filmmaker in United States history to be nominated for ...

'The Immigrant'

Feb 13, 2014

'The Immigrant'

Inspired by his research of white slavery in the early 20th century, James Gray’s film focuses on destitute Polish woman Ewa (wrenchingly portrayed by Marion Cotillard), who migrates to the United States in 1921 and is forcibly separated from her sick sister upon arrival. ...

'Upside Down'

Feb 13, 2014

'Upside Down'

Director: Juan Solanas Language: English Adam (Jim Sturgess) and Eden (Kirsten Dunst) live on two planets suspended one above the other, with opposing gravities. One planet is affluent, thanks to the labor of its exploited twin, and citizens of the two are not allowed ...

Chocolates and funerals, when Japanese lack for love

| Feb 9, 2014

Chocolates and funerals, when Japanese lack for love

They say February is the month of love but take it from one who knows — the Japanese have become increasingly suspicious of the whole Barentain (バレンタイン, Valentine’s) thing as just another marketing ploy to open womens’ purses. And what with the consumption tax ...

Could 'Snowpiercer' be Bong's ticket out of Korea?

Feb 6, 2014

Could 'Snowpiercer' be Bong's ticket out of Korea?

There’s a scene in the dystopian, post-apocalyptic sci-fi fable “Snowpiercer” that turns the tables on how Western audiences perceive non-English-speaking Asian characters in what is — for all intents and purposes — a Hollywood production. A Korean engineer (played by Song Kang-ho) is revived ...

'Rush (Rush: Pride to Yujo)'

Feb 6, 2014

'Rush (Rush: Pride to Yujo)'

Race-car drivers and astronauts share many things in common: Both drivers and cosmonauts battle gravity, speed and air pressure. Death or heavy injuries are always a risk. But race-car drivers are of course much sexier, which is probably why bikini-clad girls and race queens ...

'The Following: The First Season'

Feb 6, 2014

'The Following: The First Season'

Language: English Kevin Bacon’s first foray into the land of the TV miniseries is a chilling story about the battle between an FBI agent and a charismatic serial killer. The series was based on FBI reports that there are over 300 active serial killers ...

'Snowpiercer'

Feb 6, 2014

'Snowpiercer'

Snowpiercer” is the film that takes a hammer to climate-change denial. A sometimes whimsical but mostly horrible sci-fi simulation of what could happen in the event of a global-warming catastrophe, the story of “Snowpiercer” kicks off in 2014. And now that the U.N. is ...

Crushing drama through the eyes of little Maisie

Jan 30, 2014

Crushing drama through the eyes of little Maisie

Filmmakers Scott McGehee and David Siegel aren’t known for blockbusters, but their films, including the duo’s 1994 debut feature “Suture,” have a reputation for artful framing and pensive little spaces of silence in the dialogue. McGehee and Siegel attribute this trick to their deep ...

'What Maisie Knew (Maisie no Hitomi)'

Jan 30, 2014

'What Maisie Knew (Maisie no Hitomi)'

What Maisie Knew” is based on the 1897 novel by Henry James. Then and now, “What Maisie Knew” deals with child-neglect, abandonment and just general, sharper-than-a-serpent’s-tooth bad behavior on the part of the parents. You want to think that such parents will look back ...