Monday, May 28, 2012

'Moonrise Kingdom'

On my way to honeymoon. Here's my review for "Moonrise Kingdom," which I enjoyed. Will be away for a bit. When I return, I'll post reviews for "Prometheus" and several other new films.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This Week at the Movies: 'The Dictator,' 'Polisse,' 'Beyond the Black Rainbow' and 'Battleship'

I'm gonna keep it real short and sweet this week. I'm getting married in four days, so there will be no posts for a couple of weeks.

This past weekend, I saw one film that I very much enjoyed - "Polisse" - as well as two disappointments - "The Dictator" and "Beyond the Black Rainbow," although I love the latter's score and some of its cinematography - and a mediocre blockbuster, "Battleship."

Here are my reviews.

I'm gonna catch Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" this coming week and will post my review. Then, it's off on my honeymoon.

There will be much to discuss in the near future, especially the Cannes lineup. So far, I'm very excited about Michael Haneke's "Amour" and Andrew Domenik's "Killing Them Softly."

Still waiting to hear about "Post Tenebras Lux," "Cosmopolis" and "Mud."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Two 'Dark Shadows' and Two Others

The best thing I saw this weekend was "Dark Shadows," but I'm not referring to the Tim Burton film or the 1960s TV show on which it was based. This week's episode of "Mad Men" just so happens to bear the same name. And, as always, the show is - for my money - on par with the best of today's cinema and better than much of it.

As for Burton's "Dark Shadows," it was the week's best cinematic selection, but still a mixed bag. Johnny Depp gives an amusing performance as Barnabas Collins and the picture is aces in the art direction department.

But the director, for some reason, takes his narrative from the realm of oddball comedy to that of an action film in the final 20 minutes, complete with explosions, fight scenes and a few unnecessary reveals. It's unfortunate because without those scenes, the movie would have been a recommend. All in all, it's uneven.

I also caught up with the Filipino horror movie "The Road," which is one of the rare exports from its nation of origin. Unfortunately, it's also a mixed bag. The movie is occasionally creepy, but also a bit convoluted. Here are my reviews for Patch.

I managed to catch a screening of the wannabe provocation "Elles," but did not review it. If nothing else, this picture just goes to show that even the best of them - in this case, Juliette Binoche - occasionally pick a bad one. In the film, Binoche plays a journalist researching prostitutes for an article. The story lurches about aimlessly and unevenly before arriving at a non-ending. Needless to say, I can't recommend it.

This coming weekend, I'll be seeing "The Dictator," "Beyond the Black Rainbow," "Polisse" and "Battleship."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Team Work: 'The Avengers' and 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

This week's cinematic selections were both team efforts - a super-hyped comic book extravaganza ("The Avengers") and a fish out of water comedy that has assembled some of Britain's finest actors over the age of 60 ("The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel").

I liked both films, but didn't love them. "The Avengers" has some decent set pieces, but also a few too many. My favorite moments in Joss Whedon's film involved the banter between his league of superheroes. Robert Downey, Jr. gets the best lines.

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was charming but, perhaps, a bit slight. The cast makes it worthwhile. It's funny without quite being hilarious.

Here are my reviews for Patch.

On a side note, I find it interesting that we're already into the fifth month of the year and there are barely any films that I'd think would be contenders for my end-of-the-year best list. The year's finest film so far is "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia."

I also liked "The Deep Blue Sea," "The Turin Horse," "The Hunger Games" and "The Cabin in the Woods," but I'm not sure any of them would make a top 20 list. Maybe "The Deep Blue Sea."

I'm hoping this summer's movie slate is solid. This fall, there are a number of great looking films.

This coming weekend, I'll catch Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" and either "Where Do We Go Now?" or "Bonsai."