Film Topics

'Third Person'

Jun 19, 2014

'Third Person'

by Giovanni Fazio

We meet Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde — the two stars of “Third Person” — inside an upscale hotel in Paris.She knocks on the door to his room, and he seems pleased to see her…Or is he? They tease each other, blowing hot and ...

'3 Days to Kill'

Jun 19, 2014

'3 Days to Kill'

by Kaori Shoji

This is one terrible movie — the equivalent of a date that any sane woman would avoid like bird flu. Now that I’ve stuck on the warning label I can relax, and tell you that I secretly loved “3 Days to Kill.” Directed by ...

'300: Rise of an Empire'

Jun 19, 2014

'300: Rise of an Empire'

by Giovanni Fazio

This may be little more than trashy B-movie material, but at least it’s not the hideous war-on-terror propaganda film that the first “300″ was, which had Spartans — warriors from a fascist state built on the back of mass slavery — yammering on about ...

'Sweet Poolside'

Jun 12, 2014

'Sweet Poolside'

by Mark Schilling

Puberty is a time of physical changes that range from the wondrous to the excruciating, but once accomplished are soon forgotten. The beard that greets you in the mirror, which once seemed miraculous and strange, is now just one more morning chore. As Daigo ...

'Child's Pose'

Jun 12, 2014

'Child's Pose'

by Kaori Shoji

In “King Lear,” Shakespeare wrote that a thankless child is sharper than a serpent’s tooth. In that vein, Cornelia (Luminita Gheorghiu) feels the pain of the serpent’s bite throughout”Child’s Pose,” a film by Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer. As a wealthy architect with connections ...

'Noah'

Jun 12, 2014

'Noah'

by Giovanni Fazio

Darren Aronofsky has been such a challenging, inventive filmmaker for so long that when I saw the trailers for “Noah,” I cringed. It looked like every other formulaic summer blockbuster rather than a film from the guy who brought us sentient refrigerators in “Requiem ...

'The Host'

Jun 12, 2014

'The Host'

by Kaori Shoji

At the heart of this sci-fi thriller is a long, probing look at the relationship between a girl and … herself. “The Host” combines real romance with a philosophical approach to the familiar premise of Earth being invaded by aliens. Most of the time, ...

'Jodorowsky's Dune'

Jun 12, 2014

'Jodorowsky's Dune'

by Giovanni Fazio

Frank Pavich’s documentary, “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” explores director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s legendary attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel “Dune” to the big screen — one of cinema’s great what-ifs. The documentary covers the two years from the project’s inception to 1975, when it fell ...

'Sad Tea'

Jun 5, 2014

'Sad Tea'

by Mark Schilling

Ensemble dramas about the ups and downs of love, and its various substitutes, are popular now — at least with indie filmmakers. (A contrast to Japan’s commercial romantic dramas, which still focus on star-crossed couples, one of whom is usually dead by the closing ...

'Balancing Act'

Jun 5, 2014

'Balancing Act'

by Kaori Shoji

It’s a sad, anxious world when a hard-working dad has no choice but to sleep in his car and eat at a soup kitchen. Such is the fate of 40-year-old Giulio (Valerio Mastandrea), whose act of infidelity (sex with a colleague in the archives ...

'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

Jun 5, 2014

'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

by Giovanni Fazio

Wes Anderson has always been a bit of a mystery to me. His films are remarkably consistent in their approach and stylistic idiosyncrasies, yet they seem equally capable of leaving me rapturous (“Moonrise Kingdom”) or cold (“The Darjeeling Limited”). I’m not alone here: Check ...

'Redemption'

Jun 5, 2014

'Redemption'

by Kaori Shoji

What would British action movies be without Jason Statham? As quiet as a wake for an old man with no friends. Thankfully, Statham is still at the top of his game, even if his new movie, “Redemption,” is a bit of a muddle. Strutting ...