OLR – “A Case of Murder”

Picked this up secondhand. It’s sad to have to write another negative review of a South African film. Another casualty of cinema. A really weak, tepid, and poor film. All the acting is hollow, especially Steve Hofmeyer’s. All he could was shout and howl and fake grunt. The score is dated and the post-production way…

Reviewing “The Shining”

“The Shining” is a searing piece of work, a film that sears itself on your emotions, imagination, and senses. Halloran’s line of “events leaving traces of themselves behind” sets up the rest of the film in a way that, even after a second viewing, still crawls up behind you and sodomizes your expectations. Torrance’s descent…

Reviewing “Shutter Island”

This may be Martin Scorsese’s foray into the terrain, usually lorded over, by Michel Gondry, Spike Jonez, and Christopher Nolan. “Shutter Island” fuses the quick cuts, the splattering blood, the blood congealed around dead bodies, the rapid camera movements back and forth, into a psychological narrative, reminiscent of Charlie Kaufman’s work. It’s my strong view…

Reviewing “White Wedding”

“White Wedding” is like going to a coffee shop, the best one you know, ordering their best cappuccino. You take out a toolkit. In front of everyone sitting at this coffee shop, you strain out the luscious cream and throw it over your shoulder. You pull out a bottle of tepid, mildewy water and throw…

“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest”

What a way to wrap up the trilogy. The 3rd film brings back the punch and grit of the 1st film. The expected wide shot of Stockholm ends the trilogy. Again, the title of the film has been interpreted rather than translated; a literal one would be “The Hornets Nest that Was Stirred”. And it…

“Doubt”

I’ve been wanting to see this since I watched a Anatomy of a Scene episode on NYTimes.com. It was well worth the wait and viewing. Three great actors – Seymour-Hoffman, Streep, and Adams – along with a silent fourth, the unassuming photograpy, make this film truly masterful. The exchanges between Father Flynn and Sister Aloysius…

“August”

There’s just not enough story and plot to really make this film stand out or even memorable. You get to the end of it, at the unexpected climax, and you can’t help but wonder if there’s more. It can’t be just that, can it? “August” is flashy yet true to the dotcom era in the…

Exploring Woody Allen in OLRs – Part 2

“Annie Hall” seems to me to be the grandfather of most romantic comedies, even the true womb from whence “When Harry Met Sally” came.  It’s fast and acid-talking, it’s hilarious, and it’s wry in its commentary about actors, relationships, and society. Alvy’s running commentary about LA is priceless. Again, none of the striking photography of …

“The Last Temptation of Christ”

This is an engrossing, jarring, and deeply thought-provoking classic by Martin Scorcese. I had heard a lot about this film as I was growing up and I’ve only watched it now. I think this was a wise choice, having gone through some Christian theological studies and looked the other way when the Da Vinci Code…

Exploring Woody Allen in OLR’s – Part 1

“Manhattan” is hilarious, well-written, wryly acted, and beautifully shot. Inspirational to watch and learn from. “Hollywood Ending” is big on witty dialogue, but lacks the striking yet simple photography of earlier Allen films. Funny nonetheless. Tea Leoni and Treat Williams kind of dissolve int the frenetic acid of Allen’s neuroses.