One-line Review – “Hail, Caesar!”

Hail, Caesar! is frivolous with all the trademarks of the Cohen brothers style, not lacking a moreish quality to watch again, but definitely not to own or cherish.

The Pointless Furor over “The Beauty of Roh” (حلاوة روح)

Egyptian Prime Minister banned the controversial film The Beauty of Roh, directed by Sameh Abd-el Aziz, in April 2014 after deeming certain scenes in the film ‘culturally inappropriate sexualized scenes’, as reported by Egypt Independent. The banning was welcomed by swathes of Egyptian society as a much-needed blow to the decadent immorality portrayed in the film…

OLR – “Where the Wild Things Are”

This film, although lush with Spike Jonze’s dedication to detail for the dream world, is a little weak. It gets lost in the world of the giant creatures – beautifully made and astutely brought to life -, which drags on until a fairly predictable resolution. Film is intelligent and appealed to my emotions through its…

OLR – “Black Book”

I’m glad I discovered this absolutely priceless gem. Black Book is Europe’s answer to Inglorious Basterds, taking a more stark and less moralistic approach to revenge. The acting is measured but very powerful. The story breaks away from the three act structure without getting lost in the subplot of Ellis’ inner turmoil. Although I flinched…

OLR – “Standing Firm”

First Christian film I’ve bought. Solid, although at times gimmicky, cinematography. Acting from lead actor and others, barring the son, is wooden and lifeless. Average film, the message is the message.

OLR – “A Mighty Heart”

This is the first film I watch Angelina Jolie act in and she gives a brilliant, measured performance. Her accent is flawless and her characterization is just on point. A simple, quiet European-style film with little embellishments. It casts an honest look into the politics of Asia. Mariane’s breakdown then sudden denial is a bit…

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…

“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…