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Escape From Tomorrow

Jul 16, 2014

Escape From Tomorrow

by Kaori Shoji

An audacious kick-in-the-ribs at the Disney kingdom, “Escape From Tomorrow” is cool, cool stuff — albeit in a clunky and kitsch Ed Wood kind of way. Director Randy Moore made his film guerilla style by taking a small camera and stealth sound-recording equipment into ...

Blood Ties

Jul 16, 2014

Blood Ties

by Giovanni Fazio

“Blood Ties” feels a lot like a film made by someone who grew up on a diet of gritty 1970s crime flicks set in New York, made by the likes of William Friedkin, Sidney Lumet, and Martin Scorcese. Clive Owen, making a spotty attempt ...

Les Reines du Ring

Jul 16, 2014

Les Reines du Ring

by Kaori Shoji

French mothers have a reputation for being smoking, skinny bundles of alluring discontent, decked out in black dresses and heels. But now comes “Les Reines du Ring” (“Wrestling Queens”) — a delightful tale about a French mother who only wants her teenage son’s approval ...

Judge!

Jul 16, 2014

Judge!

by Mark Schilling

Director: Akira Nagai Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Scripted by Yoshimitsu Sawamoto and directed by Akira Nagai — both insiders in Japan’s advertising business — “Judge!” stars Satoshi Tsumabuki as an entry-level adman drafted to impersonate his boss on a TV CM awards jury ...

Thor: The Dark World

Jul 16, 2014

Thor: The Dark World

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Alan Taylor Language: English Space-hottie Thor (Chris Hemsworth) drops in to see how his Earthling girlfriend, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), is doing and winds up enmeshed in battle to protect her from dark elves who have been reactivated again, after having been dormant ...

Orgasm Inc.

Jul 16, 2014

Orgasm Inc.

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Liz Canner Language: English There’s money to be made telling healthy people they’re sick. That’s the lesson you’ll walk away with from “Orgasm Inc.,” a documentary that looks at an attempt by Big Pharma to brand a new “disease” — female sexual dysfunction ...

'Maleficent'

Jul 10, 2014

'Maleficent'

by Kaori Shoji

“Maleficent” takes you on a ride into a non-kiddie realm of betrayal, vengeance and mother-daughter brouhaha. Is that a good thing for a Disney audience? On the other hand, look at “Frozen,” which dealt with some sibling rivalry and female empowerment issues. That worked, ...

Cinema's silent moment with God

Jul 9, 2014

Cinema's silent moment with God

by Kaori Shoji

If one word could describe “Into Great Silence,” what would that be? The film’s creator Philip Groning doesn’t hesitate when he says, “Monastery.” Almost a decade years after its European release, “Into Great Silence” will finally open in Japan this month. In an interview ...

'Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There)'

Jul 9, 2014

'Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There)'

by Mark Schilling

Since its start nearly three decades ago, Studio Ghibli has been dominated by the creativity of co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. But since the turn of the millennium, five of its 10 feature films have been made by other, younger directors. One reason ...

'Into Great Silence'

Jul 9, 2014

'Into Great Silence'

by Kaori Shoji

Imagine a movie that’s not a movie at all, but an act of contemplation. This is “Into Great Silence.” Sometimes a prayer, more often a rumination, it’s a film that sprung from one man’s urge for silence. Director Philip Groning wanted to make a ...

'The Dance of Reality'

Jul 9, 2014

'The Dance of Reality'

by Giovanni Fazio

Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky blew people’s minds with two of the hippie era’s most esoteric movies: “El Topo” (1970) and “The Holy Mountain” (1973). They were midnight-movie megahits, praised to the heavens by the likes of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and it seemed ...