Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens
Genteel folly has many faces — Miss Havisham and Blanche DuBois are two of them — yet until 30-some years ago, there wasn’t a handy shorthand for both faded grandeur and alarming decay. “Grey Gardens,” a legendary 1975 documentary about the Beales of East Hampton, N.Y., filled the gap between Norma Desmond and the Collyer brothers.

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Tamara Drewe

Tamara Drewe
Based on Posy Simmond's graphic novel, originally serialised in the Guardian's Review supplement, Tamara Drewe is a light and frothy satire on life and lust in a quiet English country village.

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Nacho Libre

Nacho Libre
When a movie tries to be intentionally campy, it follows a difficult road. Most films that attempt this fail because the artifice of the situation drains the humor from it. Genuine camp is the child of earnestness and ineptitude, and is only found in features that the director intends to be taken seriously. That's not to say it can't be manufactured as a means of parody, but such an act requires a deftness of touch that, at least in this case, escapes director Jared Hess. After a promising beginning, Nacho Libre goes off the rails with its over-the-top satire and intentional campiness failing to generate many laughs. The film starts out funny, but it doesn't take long for it to become tedious.

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Aristocrats

Aristocrats
According to several of the roughly 100 talking heads in The Aristocrats, The Joke has been around for a long time, dating back to the days of vaudeville. In addition to being called "The Aristocrats," it has other names, like "The Sophisticates." It goes something like this: A man walks into a talent agent's office and says, "Have I got an act for you! It's the most incredible, original act you'll ever see. My family goes on stage and does… [insert a variety of unspeakable acts, often involving incest, sexual deviancy, bestiality, necrophila, and scatology]" When he's done, the talent agent replies, "That's quite a show. What are you called?" The response (and punch-line): "The Aristocrats."

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Santa Clause 3

Santa Clause 3
You get what you expect with The Santa Clause 3. The two previous movies in the franchise have adequately prepared potential viewers for the experience of sitting through the third. The bland sameness of these films disallows the possibility of differentiating between them. They're lazy, live-action cartoons (think of the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials come to life), full of juvenile comedy, overt sentimentality, and holiday good cheer. In short, they're perfect entertainment for five-year olds and sheer torture for the unlucky parent(s) accompanying them to the theater.

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Puccini for Beginners

Puccini for Beginners
Puccini for Beginners has a lot less to do with opera than it has to do with a sit-com view of life in the Big City. Not that the approach is inherently bad, and director Maria Maggenti has fashioned a reasonably entertaining movie that borrows heavily from Woody Allen, Sex in the City, and Seinfeld. Her view of New York is that of a big neighborhood where there are no crowds, the sidewalks are clean, and people talk to one another. Maggenti, like Allen, has done for New York what so many directors have done for Paris. (And she actually filmed in New York, not in some other city made up to look like it.)

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Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
Spring Summer Fall Winter...and Spring is a gorgeous motion picture. Using perfectly composed shots to amplify an emotionally resonant story, the film successfully argues that "artistic" films do not have to be boring. Although few in the audience are likely to identify intimately with the characters (Buddhist monks who live in virtual isolation), the movie's themes about the mutability of life and the desire for peace and atonement have universal implications. One can be a New York City Stockbroker or a Salt Lake City teacher and still understand the points being made by Kim Ki-duk's film.

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I Heart Huckabees

I Heart Huckabees
After seeing two previews for David O. Russell's I Heart Huckabees, I had no idea what it was about. Now, having seen the movie, I still feel like I'm on the outside looking in. I certainly realize why the preview is so obtuse. There's no way that two minutes of snippets can begin to convey what this film is trying to do. In fact, in order to understand what's going on, you have to sit through all 105 minutes of the running time, and that's an experience that will try the patience of many mainstream movie-goers. It's no exaggeration to say that this movie is not for everyone.

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Basquiat

Basquiat
Basquiat, the fictionalized biography of graffiti artist-turned-international sensation, Jean Michael Basquiat, is the latest in a long line of "suffering artist" motion pictures, following closely on the heels of last year's controversial Total Eclipse. As presented by first-time director (and rival painter), Julian Schnabel, Basquiat is a skewed and often shallow look at the man who became an icon, the forces that shaped his life and death, and the way he was treated by his contemporaries and hangers-on.

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Limbo
There is little doubt that the most discussed aspect of writer/director/editor John Sayles' Limbo will be the ending. Unconventional and unexpected, the conclusion will inspire outrage in some movie-goers (a patron at the showing I attended hurled something at the screen after the end credits started rolling). Others, however, will recognize that Sayles chooses a resolution that is in keeping with the tone and artistic intent of the rest of the picture. Anything else would have been a capitulation to convention and traditional storytelling.

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Princess Bride,

Princess Bride,
"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

When William Goldman wrote those words, he did not intend for them to become a fragment of '80s pop culture. When Mandy Patinkin spoke those words, he didn't expect his every inflection to be endlessly mimicked. And when Rob Reiner directed those words, he had no idea that kids and young adults everywhere would be repeating them. Nevertheless, there's no doubting that nearly every movie-going American is familiar with those three short sentences. Reiner has stated that, along with "I'll have what she's having" and "You can't handle the truth," this represents one of the three most often quoted excerpts of dialogue from his movies.

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The Mask

The Mask
FOR a movie industry enamored of cartoon heroes, Jim Carrey ought to be a dream come true. With his sparkling, silly grin and his true talent for physical clowning, Mr. Carrey comes as close to being an animated creature as a live actor ever could.

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Flyboys

Flyboys
Flyboys is about the Lafayette Escadrille, a real-life WWI French fighter squadron, and follows the adventures of young American men who volunteer to fly and fight for the French before the U.S.'s involvement in the war. The characters are either based directly on or are an amalgamation of the real men who flew in this most treacherous combat.

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Know Thy Enemy

Know Thy Enemy
Nemesis is the hottest rapper in raps hottest city Miami, the 305. But he has a little secret...hes not really a rapper. As a boy the artistic Nate Harris drew cartoons and dreamed of changing the world. A record label discovers Nates talent, and offers to make him a star, as a rapper. They create Nemesis, a Hip Hop gangster designed to sell records and spit hate. Fame quickly follows, but at a price. The fans demand true street cred, and to get it, Nates label turns a fellow rapper and former childhood friend against Nate, spawning a rap feud. The feud quickly escalates into a war, and Nate is trapped in the reality of the fiction he has created. Nate is faced with a choice Either become a superstar by giving Hip-Hop what it wants a war between two rap rivals, or, give it what it needs destroy his real rival, the fictional character and become a true hero he has the ability to save hip hop...but can he save himself?

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Devolved

Devolved
Devolved is a racy teen satire that follows a group of high schoolers on an ill-fated whale watching trip who find themselves stranded on a deserted island off the Mexican Coast.

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My Cousin Vinny

My Cousin Vinny
Two teenage boys from New York are travelling down south when a series of coincidences lands them in jail charged with first degree murder. They cant afford the 50K for an attorney so they call the lawyer cousin of one of the boys. Vinny is a stereotypical New Yorker who is initially a complete disaster, but can he get them off the hook ?

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