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'Seven Psychopaths'

May 8, 2014

'Seven Psychopaths'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Martin McDonagh Language: English, Vietnamese “Seven Psychopaths” is an off-the-wall meta-flick that follows alcoholic screenwriter Marty (Colin Farrell) as he works on a generic film (about murderers) he doesn’t believe in, and his aspiring actor friend Billy (Sam Rockwell), who moonlights as a ...

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

May 8, 2014

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

by Kaori Shoji

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 ...

'Gomennasai (Ring of Curse)'

May 8, 2014

'Gomennasai (Ring of Curse)'

by Mark Schilling

Director: Mari Asato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Mari Asato’s 2011 “Gomennasai (Ring of Curse)” stars three members of the idol group Buono! It begins with a standard-issue “bully the strange girl in class” story line, but takes a scarily fresh turn when the ...

This tale of brutal vengeance is no fantasy

May 1, 2014

This tale of brutal vengeance is no fantasy

by Kaori Shoji

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'

by Kaori Shoji

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 ...

'Live'

May 1, 2014

'Live'

by Mark Schilling

When I was 12 I thought the movie parodies in “Mad” magazine were hilarious. Now I suppose I’m harder to please — or just older — but parodies that self-consciously mock their source, while cutely paying homage to it, quickly put me in a ...

'Withnail & I'

May 1, 2014

'Withnail & I'

by Giovanni Fazio

Kichijoji’s storied Baus Theater will be closing its doors on June 10, but it is going out with a bang, reviving a bunch of its most popular hits from the past three decades, including “El Topo,” “Sid & Nancy,” “Picnic” and “Dark Star.” The ...

'Labor Day'

May 1, 2014

'Labor Day'

by Kaori Shoji

There’s nothing like an extremely stressful situation to bring people together. Keanu Reeves said something like that in “Speed,” and by the end of the movie he had a relationship in the works with Sandra Bullock. By the sequel, though, they had already broken ...

'A2-B-C'

May 1, 2014

'A2-B-C'

by Giovanni Fazio

Too much of the conversation on the Fukushima No.1 nuclear accident is driven by ideologues — sensationalist bloggers predicting the extermination of mankind on the one hand and, on the other, nuclear industry shills insisting plutonium inhalation is just like eating bananas — when ...

'The Piano (Piano Lesson)'

May 1, 2014

'The Piano (Piano Lesson)'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Jane Campion Language: English Unquestionably one of the masterworks of the 1990s, “The Piano” was released with Japanese subtitles in 2005. Holly Hunter plays a mute widow named Ada who emigrates from Scotland to rugged 1850s New Zealand with her young daughter, played ...

'R.I.P.D. (Ghost Agent)'

May 1, 2014

'R.I.P.D. (Ghost Agent)'

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Robert Schwentke Language: English Everyone deserves a second chance, especially murdered cops. Roy (Jeff Bridges) and Nick (Ryan Reynolds) return to the land of the living to join the R.I.P.D. (Rest in Peace Department) and track down the culprits who killed them. The ...

'Soshite Chichi ni Naru (Like Father, Like Son)'

May 1, 2014

'Soshite Chichi ni Naru (Like Father, Like Son)'

by Mark Schilling

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Based on a true story, Hirokazu Koreeda’s 2013 drama tells the heart-wrenching story of a well-off couple whose son was switched at birth with another boy and raised by a poor but happy family. The perfectionist ...