Film Topics

'The Secret Children'

May 8, 2014

'The Secret Children'

by Kaori Shoji

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 ...

'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 ...

'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 Amazing Spider-Man 2'

Apr 24, 2014

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'

by Kaori Shoji

Spider-Man returns once again — something other superheroes also have a tendency of doing. Marvel Comics’ entomological superhero, aka Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), is up to his web-spinning ways again in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ — the second in the rebooted “Spider-Man” movie series ...

'The Day of the Siege: September Eleven 1683'

Apr 24, 2014

'The Day of the Siege: September Eleven 1683'

by Giovanni Fazio

Putting “September Eleven” in the title of your film pretty much assures that viewers are going to be thinking of one thing. Yet director Renzo Martinelli’s historical epic is not about the al-Qaida terror attacks of 2001, but the siege of Vienna in 1683, ...