Film Topics

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'

Feb 6, 2014

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'

by Giovanni Fazio

Hollywood always goes through its trends, but it’s becoming increasingly clear we live in the era of the “series reboot.” From Spider-Man to 007, we see tired characters and properties revived with a younger cast, fresher digital effects and about a gazillion more dollars ...

'Rush (Rush: Pride to Yujo)'

Feb 6, 2014

'Rush (Rush: Pride to Yujo)'

by Kaori Shoji

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 ...

'Killers'

Feb 6, 2014

'Killers'

by Giovanni Fazio

Japanese-Indonesian co-production “Killers” starts off all too predictably for a torture-porn film. We get about a minute’s worth of a nude young woman shagging an unseen male, then once she’s been sufficiently eroticized, we see her tied to a chair, suffocating inside a plastic ...

'Snowpiercer'

Feb 6, 2014

'Snowpiercer'

by Kaori Shoji

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 ...

'The Wolf of Wall Street'

Jan 30, 2014

'The Wolf of Wall Street'

by Giovanni Fazio

I’m working on a screenplay which, as they say in the industry, is “inspired by true events”. It’s about an actor — let’s call him Leo — who at a very early stage in his career co-stars with his idol — let’s call him ...

'What Maisie Knew (Maisie no Hitomi)'

Jan 30, 2014

'What Maisie Knew (Maisie no Hitomi)'

by Kaori Shoji

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 ...

'The East'

Jan 30, 2014

'The East'

by Giovanni Fazio

“The East” is your basic deep undercover cop thriller, but with a provocatively contemporary setup: In the lead role is Brit Marling, whose character isn’t actually a cop, but a private-sector spy named Sarah who’s been sent to infiltrate the mysterious “eco-terrorist” anarchist cell ...

'A Five Star Life'

Jan 30, 2014

'A Five Star Life'

by Kaori Shoji

Unless one has a lot of wealth at handy disposal, one goes through a fair share of less than luxury hotels. Though in my case, “less” tends to lean toward “vastly less.” Anyway, here’s the story of a woman whose job is to stay ...

'Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House)'

Jan 23, 2014

'Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House)'

by Mark Schilling

Several veterans of Japan’s old studio system are still working, but Yoji Yamada is the only one still directing for the studio he started out with, back in 1954. He has directed 81 films for Shochiku; his extraordinary box-office success with the “Tora-san” series, ...

'American Hustle'

Jan 23, 2014

'American Hustle'

by Kaori Shoji

Being an American is an art form and the path is long and arduous, as we see all too plainly in “American Hustle,” a huge, sloppy American Dream saga set in 1978. Based loosely on the famed “Abscam” scandal that put several congressmen behind ...