“Film as dream, film as music. No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul.” - Ingmar Bergman.
Is it appropriate to open a review for a sci-fi film, a Sandra Bullock movie, with a quote as heavy-handed as this one? Since I did it, obviously I think so, because the only other phrase I could think of that would tersely sum up my feelings toward 'Gravity' goes something like, “Aggghghghghghhhdhhghhhh! *droool *drool *drool” and that makes me look like an idiot.
Terry Gilliam returns with his follow-up to 2009's 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus' with the equally divisive 'The Zero Theorem.' Christoph Waltz plays Qohen Leth, a computer and math whiz who is tasked by his enigmatic boss (Matt Damon, doing his best Karl Lagerfeld impression) to solve the impossible zero theorem -- a nihilistic mathematical equation that would effectively prove that the world means nothing. Along the way, Qohen finds plenty of meaning, though Gilliam practically bludgeons his audience to get there.
With piracy drama 'Captain Phillips,' Paul Greengrass ('Bloody Sunday,' 'United 93') has defended his ground as the go-to man for tragic, reality-based pressure-cooker films. The dude really knows how to get your palms sweaty, even when you kinda-sorta know how things are going to end up. Note to self: don't take your cargo ship through the Somali Basin if you don't have to.
Greengrass is also the director of the best two 'Bourne' movies ('Supremacy' and 'Ultimatum') and just as Matt Damon glided through those films as the steely, mixed-martial killing machine, Tom Hanks' center-seat performance here is a master class in keeping it cool.
Before I write anything else about 'Don Jon': yes, there are some guys in Northern New Jersey who really do act this way. Some of the particulars are exaggerated, but not really. Whether the interior life of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's protagonist gym rat, club denizen, muscle car driver is accurate is something I'll never know, and considering the emotional dysfunction on display, I think I'm okay with it.
Renowned pianist Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) comes out of retirement for one night only to play a classical concert in honor of his late mentor. What is already a pressure-filled evening for the stage fright-stricken musician quickly devolves into a nightmare when a mysterious man threatens to murder Selznick's wife if he makes a single mistake. Drawing inspiration from Hitchcock, De Palma and Italian horror, 'Grand Piano' is a surprisingly fun and snappy little thriller.
If you’re feeling flummoxed by the mess of half-food/half-animal supporting characters that populate the charming animated sequel ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,’ it’s fully understandable – the “foodimals” (including hip-potato-muses, watermelo-phants, chee-spiders, and sush-eep) were not present in the first film. Instead of aping the original film, co-directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn have made ‘Cloudy 2’ their own (delicious) beast, riffing on the first feature and evolving things in a most unexpected manner.
Spanish filmmaker Alex de la Iglesia wowed audiences a couple of years ago with his dark comedic tragedy 'The Last Circus.' He returns this year with 'Witching and Bitching,' an overloaded tale of a group of male criminals who run straight into the mouth of madness when they seek refuge in a town of witches. The film is a comedic, outlandish exploration of the battle of the sexes told through the lens of de la Iglesia, whose everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach does his story a disservice.
It's been six years since director Eli Roth released 'Hostel Part 2,' after which he starred in a Quentin Tarantino movie and a horror movie directed by his pal Nicholas Lopez that he also produced and co-wrote. Saying that 'The Green Inferno' is highly anticipated is no stretch, especially for fans of the genre. Those who go in expecting a proper throwback to the Italian cannibal horror films of the '70s won't be disappointed, and those who go in expecting yet another Eli Roth story of annoying college kids getting ripped apart in exotic locations won't be disappointed, either.
Keanu Reeves makes his directorial debut with 'Man of Tai Chi,' a martial arts flick in which he also stars as the enigmatic Donaka Mark, a man who pays the most skilled martial artists from around the world to fight in increasingly dangerous matches against one another for the amusement of rich people. But Reeves isn't the real star of the film -- the honor goes to Tiger Chen, the martial arts coordinator Reeves met on the set of 'The Matrix.' Chen plays a glorified version of himself, a struggling delivery man who practices the art of Tai Chi, but wants to use the zen-like exercise form for fighting. That's when he meets Donaka.
British director Ben Wheatley isn't content to make the same kind of film over and over again. His last two films -- 'Kill List' and 'Sightseers' -- offered different tones and delightfully sinister surprises; the only consistency is Wheatley's attraction to dark, subversive material and his ability to capture that material with a particularly keen and appreciative eye. With 'A Field in England,' Wheatley returns with yet another unexpected work: an intense, abstract, and intensely abstract trip (literally and figuratively).
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