Topics

'Saving Mr. Banks'

Mar 20, 2014

'Saving Mr. Banks'

by Kaori Shoji

The word “no” comes out of the lips of P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) more frequently than any other (I counted five in less than 50 seconds of screen time). She often strings them together like beads, presenting them to Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) himself, ...

Twice Born (Aru Ai e to Tsudzuku Tabi)

Mar 20, 2014

Twice Born (Aru Ai e to Tsudzuku Tabi)

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Sergio Castellitto Language: English, Italian, Bosnian (subtitled in Japanese) Based on the novel by Margaret Mazzantini, “Twice Born” follows middle-aged Gemma (Penelope Cruz) as she travels to Bosnia with her teenage son, where memories of her late husband (Emile Hirsch) come bubbling back ...

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Mar 20, 2014

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Thor Freudenthal Language: English Logan Lerman, star of last year’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” has another cinema identity as Percy Jackson. Despite the nerdy name, Percy is a direct descendant of Greek sea god Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) and is a pretty ...

Kaidan Nobori Ryu (Blind Woman's Curse)

Mar 20, 2014

Kaidan Nobori Ryu (Blind Woman's Curse)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Teruo Ishii Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Meiko Kaji, the doyenne of 1970s exploitation pics, is at her glowering, slashing best in Teruo Ishii’s 1970 actioner as the leader of an Edo Period yakuza gang who must fight not only her opponents but ...

Surviving the latest trend in American cinema

Mar 13, 2014

Surviving the latest trend in American cinema

by Kaori Shoji

Who is this man? The protagonist in “All is Lost” is also its sole character — an older (but astoundingly fit) stranded sailor portrayed by 77-year-old Robert Redford. He’s unnamed, and does not speak except for right at the beginning of the film when ...

'Idai Naru, Shurara-bon (The Great Shurara-bon)'

Mar 13, 2014

'Idai Naru, Shurara-bon (The Great Shurara-bon)'

by Mark Schilling

Superheroes by definition have super powers. In Japan, instead of leaping tall buildings with a single bound, these heroes often shoot energy projectiles from their hands — easy and effective, save when your opponent has more wattage. This may seem childish, but it can ...

'Frozen'

Mar 13, 2014

'Frozen'

by Kaori Shoji

Frozen” is a story of two journeys: one of Princess Anna, who wants to rescue her kingdom from a permanent winter, and the other of her older sister Elsa, who (unintentionally) generated the blizzard that has entrapped their castle and its surroundings in mile-high ...

'Don Jon'

Mar 13, 2014

'Don Jon'

by Giovanni Fazio

The elephant in the room of almost any relationship in the age of Web 2.0 is, undoubtedly, Internet porn. Guys watch it, and their women either know or suspect they do, but nobody really wants to talk about it because, yo, it’s nasty! “Don ...

'Philomena'

Mar 13, 2014

'Philomena'

by Kaori Shoji

The Catholic Church in Ireland has much to answer for in “Philomena,” the real-life story of an Irish woman who was thrown into a convent as a pregnant teenager and forcibly separated from her baby son when he was 3 years old. She spent ...

'The Motel Life'

Mar 13, 2014

'The Motel Life'

by Giovanni Fazio

Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff play brothers Frank and Jerry Lee, who live on the margins in low-rent, dead-end Nevada carrying the weight of childhood trauma well into dysfunctional middle age. So far, so typically U.S.-indie. Their mother died when they were still kids, ...

Side Effects

Mar 13, 2014

Side Effects

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Steven Soderbergh Language: English “Side Effects” is a psychological thriller worthy of Alfred Hitchcock, with Rooney Mara playing a troubled young woman whose husband (Channing Tatum) has just finished prison time for insider trading. He’s eager to put their lives back on the ...

The Frozen Ground

Mar 13, 2014

The Frozen Ground

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Scott Walker Language: English Nicolas Cage and John Cusack, together in a crime suspense drama in Alaska: How heavenly to see two Hollywood actors who have worked since the 1980s bring solid craftsmanship to roles they could have knocked out with their eyes ...