Archives for November 2008



Gus Van Sant succeeds at bringing him to life
Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Emile Hirsch
Directed by Gus Van Sant

I was apprehensive when I went to see the new Gus Van Sant movie, since Paranoid Park had left me quite a delible impression on me. But let there be no questions about it, Milk--an undiluted view of a man's struggle against all odds and the riotous events which shaped his rise to success--is a triumph. This is a film which makes writing a review either too easy or too difficult--its faults are ... more >

Let the right one in

It's love at first bite
Kare Hedebrant and Lena Leandersson
Directed by Tomas Alfredson

Searching along the skin for a new vein in the vampire film, Let the Right One In finds it in the blood of a virgin. Combining the arty European coming-of-age film and the schlocky American vampire tradition, this Swedish film tenderly examines those inevitable twin horrors of adolescence – puberty and parasitic bloodsucking. (Hey, I have my childhood. You have yours.) Amid a frozen Scandinavian ... more >

Slumdog Millionaire

A surefire crowdpleaser
Dev Patel, Freida Pinto and Irfan Kahn
Directed by Danny Boyle

At one point in the much-praised crowd-pleaser Slumdog Millionaire, the poor child siblings scratch out a small living by appointing themselves as tour guides at the Taj Mahal. For a small fee, the young Muslims lead white tourists through India’s most famous monument. They tell them what they know. When they don’t know, they make up. The reflecting pool, it turns out, has always been a nice place ... more >

Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa

We're still looking for the punchline
Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett-Smith
Directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath

Sitting down to watch Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa, I quickly realized that I remembered almost nothing about the original Madagascar. After sitting down and watching Madagascar 2, I find that I already remember very little of it. If you’ve seen one group of animated animals, ultimately you’ve seen them all. This is a pedestrian sequel to a pedestrian original. So a lion, a hippo, a giraffe, ... more >

Quantum of Solace

The Haggis treatment: it worked
Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Olga Kurylenko
Directed by Marc Forster

Yes, I know, there is no Q in the re-booted James Bond series. But we mind nothing but our Qs (not even our Ps) in this review of the new flick Quantum of Solace. Quandary - Having so effectively re-booted its franchise with its last entry, Casino Royale, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson find themselves wondering where to go with Quantum of Solace. Royale mixed the perfect vodka ... more >

Deep Throat’s Gerard Damiano dies

Show some respect, people

Gerard Damiano, 80, died of a stroke last week. Gerard who? Come, let's show the man some respect. If not universally acclaimed, the director was certainly very well known for his magnum opus, the blue movie Deep Throat (1972). Now that you’ve heard, haven't you? A couple of years back, Deep Throat was revealed to be the aka of FBI honcho Mark Felt who fed Bob Woodward the inside dope ... more >


Reflective henchmen
Tom Wilkinson, Gerard Butler and Toby Kebbell
Directed by Guy Ritchie

With Keira Knightley and The Duchess having already knocked out the annual British costume drama quota for this fall, it is time for Guy Ritchie to show up with RocknRolla and fill the British gangster picture slot. Now the world of British filmmaking can feel complete. Take: A sweet-natured criminal in debt for a cool couple million. A crooked businessman who runs London. A druggie rock ... more >