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'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 ...

'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 ...

'Fading Gigolo'

Jul 9, 2014

'Fading Gigolo'

by Giovanni Fazio

John Turturro is a fine actor, and can certainly do comedy when he wants to — he stole the show with the briefest of cameos in “The Big Lebowski” (1998) — so it’s hard to figure out what went wrong with “Fading Gigolo,” which ...

'The Devil's Violinist'

Jul 9, 2014

'The Devil's Violinist'

by Kaori Shoji

This is a tribute to Niccolo Paganini, the 19th-century violinist often resurrected on screen, mainly for his utter, utter hotness — it was said Paganini didn’t make a distinction between the Stradivarius in his hand and whatever lady he happened to fancy at that ...

Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)

Jul 9, 2014

Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Hayao Miyazaki Language: Japanese, German, Italian, French (subtitled in English) “Kaze Tachinu” (“The Wind Rises”) is Hayao Miyazaki’s last feature film (unless he comes out of retirement) and also one of his most personal. The film is about Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of ...

Gossip Girl

Jul 9, 2014

Gossip Girl

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Various Language: English The final season of “Gossip Girl” will be available this summer for fans of that endless loop of teenage romance, sex, intrigue and … Did I mention sex? This is a chance to wear out the pause button in various ...

Before Midnight

Jul 9, 2014

Before Midnight

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Richard Linklater Language: English Director Richard Linklater and actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke have now completed a perfect trilogy: “Before Sunrise” (1995) capturing the heady rush of first love, “Before Sunset” (2004) sketching the second chance, and now “Before Midnight” showing romance ...

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 ...