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Babylon still trembles at Jamaica's cult classic

Jul 2, 2014

Babylon still trembles at Jamaica's cult classic

by Giovanni Fazio

Flashback: It’s midnight at the Orson Welles Cinema, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1980. Perry Henzell’s breakthrough Jamaican film “The Harder They Come” has been playing here every weekend for nearly a decade now, but tonight it’s still a full house. As the lights go down, the ...

'Nanpu (Riding the Breeze)'

Jul 2, 2014

'Nanpu (Riding the Breeze)'

by Mark Schilling

Movies about women who fly off to foreign climes to reboot their lives are a thriving subgenre, though the heroines are mostly from well-off countries, Japan included. Women from the more troubled parts of the world may also cross borders to start new lives, ...

'Edge of Tomorrow'

Jul 2, 2014

'Edge of Tomorrow'

by Kaori Shoji

Some movie stars never let up, and Tom Cruise is a prominent example. In his 50s now, Hollywood’s resident Prince Charming is still making action movies with the same laddish physique and boyish smile showcased in the first “Mission: Impossible.” Cruise is in nitty-gritty ...

'Children of the Revolution'

Jul 2, 2014

'Children of the Revolution'

by Giovanni Fazio

When asked by a comrade why the press had such intense fear and loathing of the Red Army Faction’s female members, Ulrike Meinhof replied, “Women are at the heart of human reproduction. Women are supposed to be passive, obedient, available and conciliatory. Women who ...

'Ironclad: Battle for Blood' (Ironclad Blood War)

Jul 2, 2014

'Ironclad: Battle for Blood' (Ironclad Blood War)

by Kaori Shoji

If extraterrestrials visited England in the year 1221, they would have taken one look and gone home. Life was horrible then — full of marauding, armored men, hell-bent on driving the pointy ends of swords into each others’ midriffs. That’s how “Ironclad: Battle for ...

'Bilocation'

Jul 2, 2014

'Bilocation'

by Mark Schilling

Director: Mari Asato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) In Mari Asato’s new shocker, a struggling artist (Asami Mizukawa) finds herself caught in a bizarre life-or-death battle with a double of herself, hived from her troubled psyche and bent on replacing the “original.” Asato constructs ...

'Downton Abbey'

Jul 2, 2014

'Downton Abbey'

by Kaori Shoji

Directors: Various Language: English Created by Julian Fellowes “Downton Abbey” finally comes to Japan. NHK is airing the first season and DVDs will be out on rental shelves starting Aug. 6. The intricacies of English aristocratic relationships unfold in the years following World War ...

'American Hustle'

Jul 2, 2014

'American Hustle'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: David O. Russell Language: English Near the beginning of this deliciously funny 1970s caper flick, we see Christian Bale as a small-time hustler. Right off the bat, it shows us the commitment of Bale, who is physically transformed once again (with a big ...

Facing death at the Earth's highest reaches

Jun 26, 2014

Facing death at the Earth's highest reaches

by Kaori Shoji

Peter Hillary was born in 1954, one year after his father, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Nepalese sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first men in history to stand on the summit of Mount Everest. Peter provided the voice-over for his father’s character in a new ...

'Kawaki (The World of Kanako)'

Jun 26, 2014

'Kawaki (The World of Kanako)'

by Mark Schilling

Some parents pride themselves on knowing their teenage children, and some parents truly don’t have a clue. There is a fair amount of overlap between the two groups, especially when the teenagers try to please Mom and Dad while going their own sweet way. ...

'Beyond the Edge'

Jun 26, 2014

'Beyond the Edge'

by Kaori Shoji

Ah yes, adventure movies. We love the plight of the guy who’s unlikely to make it, just as much as the sight of him defying the odds. Back in the 20th century these movies inspired us to get off our butts and hit a ...