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Cemetery Junction is Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's attempt to do for British youth what the likes of Diner, The Big Wednesday, Stand By Me and Dazed and Confused have done so successfully for our American counterparts. That is to create a feel-good coming-of-age drama that deals with the trials and tribulations of growing up in a sensitive, honest and entertaining manner.
However, while they manage to mix comedy and drama as effortlessly as they did on TV's The Office, the pair are rather less successful in terms of creating character and dialogue on this occasion, with their first celluloid effort filled with two-dimensional characters spouting cliche after cliche.
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Elegy, based on Philip Roth's The Dying Animal, provides an incisive perspective of how a person's inability to believe in love destroys a single, fragile chance at happiness. The movie tells the poignant tale of how one man - intelligent, urbane, and witty - represents his own worst enemy when it comes to relationships. Borrowing text liberally from the source material, screenwriter Nicholas Meyer's script not only chronicles the relationship, but provides insight into the mind of the protagonist. We recognize that the love affair is both inevitable and doomed, but watch anyway to see if somehow these two will find away to overcome their self-imposed obstacles.
David Kepesh is a professor of cultural criticism with a history of having short affairs with female students. His latest would-be conquest is Consuela Castillo (Penélope Cruz), the daughter of Cuban immigrants. Consuela, by David's admission, is a beautiful woman who is aware of her beauty but "isn't sure yet how to use it." It doesn't take long before David and Conseula are lovers but, unlike his previous bed-mates, this turns into more than a one-night stand. He begins to feel something for her that he hasn't ever before experienced, and it makes him jealous and distrustful. His best friend, George (Dennis Hopper), urges him to end the relationship before Consuela humiliates him by leaving him for someone younger. And, while David doesn't heed George's advice, he engages in behavior that guarantees the affair will not last. His obsession about the age difference makes David certain Consuela will eventually discard him, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. His insecurities, not her proclivities, endanger any future they might have.
Romulus, My Father
Distilled to its essence, Romulus, My Father is a standard-order coming-of-age movie. Like most movies of this sort, it's based on someone's memoirs (in this case, those of Raimond Gaita) and includes moment of tragedy, sentimentality, and serenity. All the things one expects of a coming-of-age story can be found in Romulus, My Father. In fact, the movie is so familiar it's impossible to shake the pervasive sense of d?j? vu. It may be that the particulars of this story are new but the overall trajectory is well known to anyone with an understanding of the genre. That's not to say that Romulus, My Father is poorly made. Quite the contrary - this is a workmanlike motion picture with solid performances. It's just that the superior production values are used in service of a mediocre storyline.
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Glengarry Glen Ross
Is Glengarry Glen Ross really about salesmen, or is it about a bankrupt culture that produces and nurtures them? Certainly, it stands alongside Wall Street as one of the most unflinching views of a mindset that informed a generation of salesmen and stockbrokers during the 1980s and 1990s. Gordon Gecko might have said that "greed is good," but the men in Glengarry Glen Ross lived the mantra. The film focuses on a group of unpleasant characters, each more disreputable than the next, and uses them to provide compelling drama. As in Reservoir Dogs (which reached theaters the same year), it’s the complexity of the characters not their lack of virtue that commands our attention.
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Following the spectacular failure of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, Kenneth Branagh returned to England to make the kind of film he was most familiar with: a very British, low-budget production rooted deeply in the works of William Shakespeare. However, instead of filming "Hamlet" straight (as Branagh will do for his next film), the writer/director chose instead to focus his story on a small troupe of largely-untalented actors and their attempts to put together a Christmas week production of the Bard's most celebrated tragedy. Echoing the farcical Noises Off, A Midwinter's Tale is a first-rate comedy that offers far more laughs (all of them
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From time immemorial, the experience of eating a good meal has been regarded as one of life's most hedonistic pleasures. In a recent survey, more than 50% of Americans indicated they would rather eat a memorable dinner than experience a night of uninhibited sex. Motion pictures, ever reflective of the cultures that spawn them, have always recognized the potential for food-related stories. Films like Babette's Feast and Eat Drink Man Woman have sent audiences home sated. Now, there's a new entry on the menu: Big Night, the directorial debut of actors Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott. And, while perhaps not as sumptuous as the previously-mentioned entrees, it's nevertheless a tasty main course.
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In the early summer sweepstakes, Warner Brothers has weighed in with Twister, Paramount with Mission Impossible, and now Universal with Dragonheart, director Rob Cohen's swords-and-sorcery saga. No prizes for guessing which is most likely to be the also-ran. Dragonheart, which not only has the kiss-of-death of a De Laurentiis being listed in the credits (Raffaella is the producer), is a remarkable example of how not to fashion a solid adventure story. Crowds craving excitement will be irritated by the numerous lulls; those hoping for something of substance will feel cheated.
Hard As Nails
A new boss of the American Yakuza, ruthless young Takura (Matt Westmore) achieves power in a fraudulent and murderous way. Knowing that he can rely only on his cunning and mercilessness in the world of big money and steel nerves, he annihilates his rival gangsters and former friends without hesitation. Having made a great deal with the Russian mafia, Takura is determined to kill the weapon purchasers so as to be an indisputable crime lord. However, he is unaware that an intrepid cop working under the shelter of the Russian mafia is intent to ruin his plans
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Jump Out Boys aka Lords Of The Street
Set in post hurricane New Orleans. A brutal Mexican drug lord busts out of jail to retrieve the 15 million that his girlfriend is hiding. Can he find the girl and the cash before the cops track him down?
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Balls of Fury
A disgraced former ping pong champion is drawn back into the world of high-stakes table tennis to carry out a top-secret mission in the feature directorial debut of Reno 911! writer/director Ben Garant. Far removed from the rigidly regulated world of professional sports, clandestine ping pong tournaments offer thrilling competition where only the strong survive.
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Set in the country of South Africa, the story begins with a cheetah cub being orphaned after his mother was killed by lions. The cub is found on the side of the road by a young boy named Xan (Alexander Michaeletos) and his father Peter (Campbell Scott). Initially reluctant to take in a wild animal, Peter agrees to let Xan take care of the cub. They name him “Duma”, the Swahili name for “cheetah”. Over the years, Duma becomes a part of the family, being closely raised by Xan. As he nears adulthood, Peter and Xan decide to teach Duma how to run by having him chase alongside Peter’s motorcycle, which can barely keep up with him. But with Duma almost fully grown, to Xan’s dismay, his father tells him that it is time to take his friend to his real home before he grows too old to survive in his native habitat. His father says to Xan, “Duma has to live the life he was born to – or he’ll never be fully alive.”
Igby Goes Down
Jason "Igby" Slocumb, Jr. (Kieran Culkin) is a misanthropic 17-year-old boy, rebelling against the oppressive world of his strict East Coast "old money" family. His schizophrenic father, Jason (Bill Pullman), has been committed to an institution; Igby fears he will eventually suffer a mental breakdown like his father. His mother, Mimi (Susan Sarandon), is self-absorbed and distant. Igby mockingly describes his ambitious older brother Ollie (Ryan Phillippe) as a fascist or alternatively a Young Republican, and that he studies neo-fascism (economics) at Columbia University.
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Keeping the Faith
Father Brian Finn (Edward Norton) has been dedicated to his calling since he was a child and now shares the duties of a New York parish with an older priest, Fr. Havel (Miloš Forman). Rabbi Jacob "Jake" Schram (Ben Stiller), best friends with Brian since childhood, is the youngest rabbi at his Reform synagogue; his lack of effort to find a wife often results in his mother (Anne Bancroft) and other women of his congregation setting him up on blind dates, much to his dismay. The two men show a close bond, even in their professions, where the two are planning the opening of a jointly sponsored community center. In its earlier days, the friendship included a third party. Via flashbacks and reminiscent musings, Anna Reilly (Jenna Elfman) is introduced: she met Jake and Brian in middle school, after beating up a bully who was picking on them. The three enjoyed attending ballgames, playing sports, and riding the subway around the city together, as well as getting into typical mischief. Unfortunately, Anna's father got a new job that resulted in the Reillys moving cross-country to California.
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Susan Traherne has been irreparably changed by her wartime experiences as a Resistance fighter. She sets out in the post-war world to make her way to what she wants, no matter who is hurt, or how.
In the 22nd century, Dr. Paul Merchant has created the ultimate space station for a special purpose to destroy the Lament Configuration, which has brought silent shame to his family for centuries. In the 18th century, French toy maker Phillip LMerchant built the first puzzle box, which was used by magician de LIsle to create a beautiful demon named Angelique, the daughter of Leviathan, the lord of Hells Labyrinth. As the generations passed, LMerchants descendants began the work to create the Elysium Configuration - a box that would destroy the Lament Configuration, until 1996, when one of them, John nearly fell to the power of the box through Angelique. Of course, Pinhead and his Cenobites arent happy about the fact that the gateway to Hell will by destroyed...
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Sam Baily, upset over losing his job, takes a natural history museum hostage. Max Brackett, journalist, is in the museum when this occurs, and gets the scoop. The story spreads nation wide, and soon it is all anyone talks about. The story itself is the news, not the reason why or the real people behind it.
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