June 22, 2007
You Kill Me kills you softly with its smiles. This scruffy gangster comedy about Frank (Ben Kingsley), an alcoholic hit man for the Polish mob in Buffalo, N.Y., proves that craftiness and hip performances can make a tasty pig-in-a-blanket out of an old and tattered sow's ear. You Kill Me (IFC Films) Starring Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni, Luke Wilson, Bill Pullman. Directed by John Dahl. Rated R. Time 92 minutes.
December 11, 2008
A Christmas Tale : (IFC Films) Members of a dysfunctional family come together over the holidays after the mother is diagnosed with leukemia. With Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Roussillon and Mathieu Amalric. The Day The Earth Stood Still : (20th Century Fox) Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly star in a "reinvention" of the 1951 classic about the global impact of an enigmatic alien's arrival. Lola Montes: (Rialto Pictures) Restored and recut, this 1955 film revolves around the life and many loves of a beautiful courtesan and dancer, now destitute, who is forced to relive her exploits nightly at a low-rent circus in America.
May 25, 2007
How far is too far, when it comes to protecting the people you love? What is reasonable, what is off-limits, and who's to decide the difference? Susanne Bier's After the Wedding asks viewers to consider a host of issues, not the least of which may be: How much overwrought melodrama can they take? But the movie is filled with fine acting and piquant storytelling. Those willing to overlook its emotional grandstanding will find much to admire and even more to think about in this Oscar-nominated Danish drama.
September 1, 2006
It must be some cosmic coincidence that Trust The Man and Russian Dolls are opening on the same day, for as relationship films go, the two releases are mirror images of each other. Whereas the former film, with its big-name American cast, is a contrived, heavy-handed, cliched mess, this one, with a cast collected from every corner of Europe, is heartfelt, honest, insightful and fresh, filled with winning performances, deft direction and a sense of whimsy that adds to, rather than overwhelms, its charms.
December 5, 2008
Transporter 3 *** ( 3 STARS) The underrated Transporter series doesn't have the cachet of the Bond films, but it's the sleekest, coolest set of action jamborees this side of Jason Bourne. The overdue-to-explode British actor Jason Statham is part of the reason for its success: As a specialist in high-speed automotive transport, he makes stoicism slyly expressive. Then there are the car crashes and the martial-arts choreography. Savor it before Transporter 3 makes way for the gut of Christmas "product."
March 6, 2009
Last House on the Left : (Rogue Pictures) A couple take revenge on a band of thugs who attacked their daughter and left her for dead. With Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter. Miss March: (Fox Searchlight) Comatose for four years, a young man awakens to discover his innocent high-school sweetheart is now a popular pinup girl. With Zach Cregger and Molly Stanton. Race to Witch Mountain: (Walt Disney Pictures) A cabbie becomes the unlikely protector of two young aliens on the run from a shadowy organization.