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She came, she stole and she conquered

by Kaori Shoji

In my family of many brothers, the “Lupin III” animated TV series was the only program we could agree to watch. Once the electric guitar riffs of the Yuji Ohno-penned theme song began, a blissful peace descended on our living room. The fighting stopped and all eyes were glued to ...

Farewell to Taiwanese cinema, but not to love

Aug 27, 2014

Farewell to Taiwanese cinema, but not to love

by Kaori Shoji

If Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang threw a dinner party, it’s easy to guess who would be invited. Tsai has staunchly and consistently worked with the same small cluster of actors from his 1992 debut film “Rebels of the Neon God” through to “Stray Dogs,” ...

Bloody hip-hop war set in technicolored Tokyo

Aug 27, 2014

Bloody hip-hop war set in technicolored Tokyo

by Mark Schilling

A Japanese hip-hop musical? How about a samurai swashbuckler set on the streets of Compton, California? But Sion Sono makes his new film, “Tokyo Tribe,” more than an oddity of cultural appropriation. Truth be told, I felt queasy as the story, based on a ...

Stories We Tell (Monogataru Watashitachi)

Aug 27, 2014

Stories We Tell (Monogataru Watashitachi)

by Giovanni Fazio

Diane Polley, the mother of Canadian actress and director Sarah Polley, was, by all accounts, a vivacious woman who could light up a room upon her arrival. She was ditzy, impulsive and passionate, with a big horsey laugh. If an actress had played her ...

Lucy

Aug 27, 2014

Lucy

by Kaori Shoji

“Lucy” is a big movie with a narrow mind; it speaks of all that used to work in a Luc Besson film and doesn’t anymore because we’re no longer in 1989. Besson ignores that, but he’s kept up with current times in other ways. ...

How I Live Now (Watashi wa Ikite Ikeru)

Aug 27, 2014

How I Live Now (Watashi wa Ikite Ikeru)

by Giovanni Fazio

Being a teen girl and having to endure a summer in the Welsh countryside with relatives who don’t speak American English, where there’s no Wi-Fi, no malls, and everyone eats totally gross things like gluten-containing bread and lactose-containing cheese, well, that’s bad enough, but ...

Riddick (Riddick: Galaxy Battle)

Aug 27, 2014

Riddick (Riddick: Galaxy Battle)

by Kaori Shoji

Director: David Twohy Language: English Even if you hate Vin Diesel, perhaps there’s a tiny, dark part of you that secretly likes him? Liking Vin Diesel (even a tiny bit) is one of the prerequisites for sitting through the “Riddick” series, since he plays ...

Lone Survivor

Aug 27, 2014

Lone Survivor

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Peter Berg Language: English Based on the best-selling memoir by former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, “Lone Survivor” is a depiction of Operation Red Wing, a doomed reconnaissance operation in Afghanistan where a four-man SEAL team was ambushed by a Taliban force about ...

No leader of the pack, but still a heartthrob

Aug 20, 2014

No leader of the pack, but still a heartthrob

by Mark Schilling

What is it with women and bad boys on motorcycles — including college boys with pretensions to being bad? A conundrum of my youth. Yes, I understood the appeal of a Marlon Brando or James Dean with a big thrumming machine between his legs, ...

Zulu (Cape Town)

Aug 20, 2014

Zulu (Cape Town)

by Giovanni Fazio

Any movie with Orlando Bloom in it is getting an extra star this month because he recently did what so many of us have longed to do: He took a swing at Justin Bieber. Hell, I’d give him five stars if he had landed ...