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'Brian Wilson: Songwriter 1962-1969'

Apr 3, 2014

'Brian Wilson: Songwriter 1962-1969'

by Giovanni Fazio

The 1960s were full of tormented musical geniuses, but The Beach Boys’ singer/songwriter Brian Wilson is hardly the most glorified. I guess quietly going nuts and surviving until a late-life comeback just isn’t as cinematic as going out in a young and beautiful blaze ...

'Enough Said'

Apr 3, 2014

'Enough Said'

by Kaori Shoji

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been a comedic icon on American TV for two decades or so — her presence on “Seinfeld” no doubt kept several thousand people from slitting their wrists. She is the other half of why “Enough Said” works, and the question is, ...

'The Counselor'

Apr 3, 2014

'The Counselor'

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Ridley Scott Language: English The reptilian charms of Michael Fassbender are in full effect in this dark tale of drugs, sex, betrayal and unspeakable violence. Fassbender plays a brilliant lawyer who gets in over his head with a Mexican drug cartel. Brad Pitt ...

'Barbed Wire Dolls'

Apr 3, 2014

'Barbed Wire Dolls'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Jess Franco Language: French (subtitled in English) Grindhouse aficionados will no doubt recognize the name of director Jess Franco, whose trio of 1970s women-in-prison films are being released on DVD this month. “Barbed Wire Dolls” is the nastiest of the lot, with Lena ...

Trial by media, conviction by word of mouth

Mar 27, 2014

Trial by media, conviction by word of mouth

by Mark Schilling

Yoshihiro Nakamura makes movies that puzzle, surprise and illuminate their themes both cleverly and literally (the fireworks of “Golden Slumber,” the comet of “Fish Story”). Everyone’s heard of the “butterfly effect” — how a small action in one place (a butterfly flapping its wings ...

'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'

Mar 27, 2014

'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'

by Giovanni Fazio

Ah, Hollywood — who else could take a lean, two-page short story and turn it into a bloated $90-million mega-production? Author James Thurber’s short about a timid, henpecked husband who escapes into adventure-packed daydreams first appeared in a 1939 issue of The New Yorker ...

'Parked'

Mar 27, 2014

'Parked'

by Kaori Shoji

They say people can endure having nowhere to live, but having nothing to drive is licking the very bottom of the barrel. That fate hasn’t come to “Parked” protagonist Fred Daly (Colm Meaney), at least not yet. But he’s inching closer, as he eases ...

'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

Mar 27, 2014

'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

by Giovanni Fazio

Comparisons to Terrence Malick are unavoidable with “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” which takes its Southwestern milieu and feckless outlaw couple from “Badlands” but filters it through the more mystical lensing and languid pacing of “Tree of Life.” And just like Malick, director David Lowery’s ...

'21 Jump Street'

Mar 27, 2014

'21 Jump Street'

by Kaori Shoji

Jenko used to be a girl-magnet jock-god, so this high school thing should be a breeze for him. Not so for his cop buddy Schmidt (Jonah Hill), who was an overweight, bullied nerd and hasn’t changed much since graduation. The surprise is that high ...

'Dark Days'

Mar 27, 2014

'Dark Days'

by Giovanni Fazio

One of the last decade's best documentaries never opened in Japan, but now you can catch it on Vimeo.com. "Dark Days," shot in haunting black and white, explores the literally underground homeless community that existed hidden in New York train tunnels, shrouded in perpetual ...