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A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Alex de la Iglesia is also the President of the Spanish Film Academy , is a filmmaker whose titles have planted a special mark in Spanish cinema. In it are titles such as Perdita Durango, The community or the day of the beast and, most recently, crimes Oxford .
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New York, I Love You
New York, I Love You is the second in a planned five-film series of anthologies that explores different meanings of love. The first movie, Paris, I Love You, was released in 2007. There are also projected excursions to Jerusalem, Rio, and Shanghai. This installment is set in New York and features contributions from Fatih Akin, Yvan Attal, Allen Hughes, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Shekhar Kapur (filling in for Anthony Minghella, who died shortly before filming was to begin), Joshua Marston, Mira Nair, Brett Ratner, and Natalie Portman (making her directorial debut). Two segments were cut from the final print (but were seen in the version that premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival), and these were directed by Scarlett Johansson (her directorial debut) and Andrei Zbyagintsev. (Presumably, these will be available on the DVD, either re-incorporated or as extras.) Oddly, the filmmaker best known for his Valentines to New York, Woody Allen, is not participant.
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The primary goal of Fahrenheit 9/11 is obvious: offer evidence that President George W. Bush is an incompetent moron and that his administration is corrupt. One might argue that filmmaker Michael Moore does an adequate job of this, except that, to anyone who follows politics, there's nothing new about those charges. Bush has often shown that, as president, he's in over his head. He has never hidden his lack of intelligence. (How else to explain his constant mispronunciation of "nuclear" as "nucular?") And corruption goes along with politics like peppermint canes go with Christmas trees. One expects more from Moore than the mere regurgitation of well-documented material. We want insight, not surface-skimming. The Supreme Court decided the 2000 election? We know that. Bin Laden's family members were flown out of the United States at a time when planes were grounded? That has been reported in magazines and papers, and is general knowledge. There's strong evidence of a financial connection between Bin Laden's family and Bush? We first heard about that shortly after 9/11. Bush's real goal in the so-called "War on Terrorism" was to force a regime change in Iraq? No surprise.
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Wristcutters: A Love Story
Is there romance in the afterlife? Does the heart still burn with yearning after it no longer beats? Wristcutters: A Love Story, with a title that easily passes the "truth in advertising" test, would like us to believe so. While the landscape may be reminiscent of a bleak Southern California desertscape with most of the meaningful color desaturated (a cinematographic technique that is becoming clichéd), there are still things to "live" for (so to speak). The slice of the afterlife we're seeing isn't the whole picture, just the part reserved for those who have taken their own lives. Those seeking other compartments of the Great Hereafter must rely on movies such as What Dreams May Come and Corpse Bride, neither of which remotely resembles the low-budget alternative presented here by director Goran Dukic (who is adapting from the short story "Kneller's Happy Campers" by Etgar Keret).
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Consider a movie that takes place in the Big Apple and features a heterosexual romance with an age gap, a dose of "Jewishness," a psychoanalyst, and an ending that doesn't pander to all the usual clichés. This may sound like Woody Allen - in fact, it often feels like Woody Allen (minus the expected helpings of angst) - but it's not. Prime is from writer/director Ben Younger and, while it's not up to the level of Allen's great romantic comedies (Annie Hall, Manhattan), it's better than anything the acclaimed New York auteur has brought to the screen in recent years.
Rumor Has It...
Rumor has it that Rumor Has It… experienced a rocky production history. First-time director Ted Griffin was removed from his position just as production was beginning, necessitating an eleventh-hour change. The cinematographer was replaced, allegedly because he may not have been filming certain cast members in the most flattering manner. And some of the roles changed hands. With all of that instability, it's no wonder that the final production is an unfocused mess, with poor chemistry all around and an ending that's as firm and satisfying as an overcooked noodle. The film's few high points are outweighed and outnumbered by sequences that don't work and cast choices that should have been re-thought.
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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.
Wai-Tung (Winston Chao) has a problem. Living in New York with a well-paying job, a nice home, and a stable relationship (with Simon, played by Mitchell Lichtenstein), everything appears to be going his way. But his parents, unaware of his homosexual proclivities, are expecting a marriage and grandchildren, and Wai hasn't been able to get up the courage to tell them that he's gay. Meanwhile, Wei Wei (May Chin), a tenant in a building owned by Wai, has to find a way to obtain a green card or be deported. A solution to both problems is proposed: a marriage of convenience. Once agreed to by both parties, the arrangements are made, and everything seems to be working out well until Wai's parents arrive from China to plan the wedding banquet.
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Some say that to be the leader of a country is one of the loneliest jobs in the world. But being the child of a world leader can be doubly so. Constantly surrounded by security officers, restricted in movements and having almost every waking moment carefully monitored makes normalcy an impossibility. No one knows this better than young Luke Davenport, the son of U.S. President Davenport.
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The Curiosity of Chance
In Europe in the 1980s, flamboyant and gay 16-year-old Chance Marquis (Tad Hilgenbrink) shows up at an international high school in a top hat and tails, immediately attracting the attention of the "queer-hating" resident bully, among others. Through his involvement in the school newspaper, he meets an introverted photographer with a mysterious briefcase, and while practicing tennis, he befriends a catty fashionista, both of whom act as his wingmen in his new high school. He also meets the jock-next-door, with whom he forms a tentative friendship, despite the jock's cacophonous group of friends. The film follows Chance through a year of high school, with its attendant drama, successes, and hijinks—including sneaking into a drag bar, where Chance begins to explore his true self.
Themes underscored throughout the movie include facing your fears as you grow into adulthood, and the barriers that people put up in order to cope with life. Chance claims to be strong with his nonchalant attitude, but when photos of him in drag show up all over school, Chance must face his own preachings of staying true to yourself.
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Battle in Seattle
For five days in 1999, all eyes were on Seattle. Irish actor Stuart Townsend makes his directorial debut with a multi-character recreation of the World Trade Organizations ill-fated U.S. conference. If the structure recalls Crash and Babel, Townsend intensifies the you-are-there quality through well-integrated archival footage. The docudrama opens with the arrival of a group of anti-globalization activists, led by Jay (The Rings Martin Henderson), whose compatriots include Lou (Losts Michelle Rodriguez) and Django (Outkasts Andr 3000 Benjamin, who provides a welcome dose of humor). As fictional Mayor Jim Tobin (Ray Liotta, wearing a touch too much eyeliner) tries to maintain order, TV reporter Jean (Connie Nielsen) strives for objectivity, police officer Woody Harrelson attempts to carry out the mayors orders, and Dales pregnant wife, Ella (Charlize Theron, Townsends real-life girlfriend), just hopes to make it home in one piece (she gets stuck downtown at the height of the skirmish). Townsend admits he was inspired by Medium Cool, which filmmaker Haskell Wexler shot during 1968s Democratic National Convention. Paul Greengrasss Bloody Sunday also seems like a possible influence, and Greengrass regular Barry Ackroyd serves as cinematographer. If the characters rarely come alive the way they should, the action sequences easily convince, which is particularly impressive considering the bulk of filming took place in nearby Vancouver, B.C. A true labor of love, Battle in Seattle presents a more balanced view than most accounts to date--even if Townsend ultimately (and understandably) sides with the peaceful protesters and passionate Third World representatives.
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Lulu McAfee lives in a San Francisco home for mentally-ill adults. In June 1999, she bolts for L.A. and contacts Ben Clifton, an old flame, now unhappily writing for TV and unhappily married to a psychiatrist, Claire. Ben is ready to call Lulus doctor when she tells him they have a son, born after she became ill and their affair ended. He calls Claire to tell her hes driving Lulu to Wisconsin to meet the boy on his 16th birthday, a visit Lulu claims is arranged. On the drive, Lulu tries to rekindle the affair and restart Bens idealism. Meanwhile, Claire boards a plane to Madison to watch her marriage collapse. Is there really a son? What emotional landmines will the trip set off?
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The Devil with Seven Faces
The funniest truckin youve ever seen!
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Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls
John Considine plays the flamboyant Dr. Death, a thousand-year-old magician who has mastered he art of transferring souls from one body to another and thereby manages to perpetuate himself by jumping from one body to the next. Apparently the Doc is a kindred spirit since his blood is a highly-corrosive acid that can strip flesh from bone.
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Made for Each Other
The best part of any marriage is consummating it. However after 3 months of a sexless marriage Dan, in a moment of weakness, finds himself in the throws of casual sex with another woman. Dan decides the only way to morally rectify this is of course to get his wife to cheat on him and thus he sets out to find the right man to put the hurt on his old lady.
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My Best Friend's Wedding
A woman who, by a promise made years earlier, is supposed to marry her best friend in three weeks, even though she doesnt want to. When she finds out that hes marrying someone else, she becomes jealous and tries to break off the wedding.
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