Film » Film Shorts

Film Shorts

comment

Always for Pleasure
In a mere hour, director Les Blank documents the spirit of life and death in 1978-era New Orleans. His camera captures a raucous funeral parade, then moves on to show the insane amount (three heaping plates) of cayenne pepper used to spice up a pot of crawdads. There's no gimmickry or fancy camera angles, but one is left feeling both glitzy and gritty—especially after watching the Mardi Gras preparations of the Wild Tchoupitoulas, a group of African Americans who annually pay respect to Native Americans for their assistance in escaping slavery. Their costumes are breathtaking and bedecked with thousands of beads and feathers—like if RuPaul were to make over a powwow. (Courtney Ferguson) Waterfront Park

Clean
Please don't groan when you hear the premise! Clean is the "touching" story of a junkie trying to get her life back on track and prove she can be a good mother to the child she's abandoned. Aah... you're groaning. But the film really is touching. Mostly because Maggie Cheung (best known in America for her roles in 2046 and Hero), who plays the drug-addled Emily, is brilliant—her scenes with the equally solid Nick Nolte shove the tiredness of the plot to the background. (Courtney Ferguson) Hollywood Theatre

Click
Click is a movie about what happens when Adam Sandler gets a remote control that lets him control his life—he can fast-forward through fights with his wife, or turn down the volume on his barking dog. I can hear critics' lame swipes already: "You'll wish you could fast-forward through this movie!" "If only we could rewind to when Adam Sandler was funny!" "You'll want to change the channel as soon as this movie starts!" Stupid as they are, all those comments are true. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Days of Heaven
A new print of Terrence Malick's 1978 film about itinerant workers, love triangles, and cons. Hollywood Theatre

The Devil Wears Prada
See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

Dirty Harry
Clint Eastwood may not follow the rules, but he sure can solve them murder cases! Laurelhurst

District B 13
France's District B 13 is probably the first film to combine George Orwell, parkour, and kung fu, but what's more surprising than that unlikely amalgamation is how well it works. (Erik Henriksen) Fox Tower 10

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Tokyo Drift is a giggly videogame of a flick, with hot CG, tight direction, Sonny Chiba as a menacing Yakuza boss, and plenty of sweet cars and sweet ass. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Regal Cinemas, etc.

The Future of Pinball
See review this issue. Clinton Street Theater

An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth is workmanlike and clumsy at times—but it's also hugely invigorating. Tracking Al Gore's global-warming lecture as he schleps his Apple laptop across the country and to China, it's a collection of scientific facts and correlations made urgent through human drama and low-tech slide-show magic. It should be required viewing for every American citizen. And if it kicks up a storm of speculation regarding Al Gore's political prospects in 2008? So much the better. (Annie Wagner) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Kill!
See Film, pg. 45. Whitsell Auditorium

Lady Vengeance
Perhaps my favorite quote about film comes from director Park Chanwook: "I don't feel enjoyment watching films that evoke passivity," he said. "If you need that kind of comfort, I don't understand why you wouldn't go to a spa." Watching Park's films, it's easy to see the fruits of that mentality: Violent, dark, and funny, all three parts of his revenge trilogy are pointedly provoking—of thought, of emotion, and of gag reflexes. What's more, they've gotten progressively better: 2002's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance was striking but uneven; 2003's Oldboy had some of the most phenomenal and disturbing moments I've ever seen on film, but had weak links in its plot; Lady Vengeance, those films' thematic successor, has an operatic, surreal storyline, paired perfectly with Park's meticulous visuals and captivating tone. (Erik Henriksen) Fox Tower 10

The Lake House
Based on the 2000 South Korean film Siworae, The Lake House follows Alex (Keanu Reeves) and Kate (Sandra Bullock), both of whom live in a beautiful, Frank Lloyd Wright-esque house that's made almost entirely of glass, and sits, perched on stilts, above a lake. Weird thing is, Alex and Kate aren't living there at the same time—they communicate through letters, and as far as they can tell, Kate's living in 2006, while Alex is in 2004. The Lake House's first act is surprisingly solid and interesting, something that the filmmakers desperately try to remedy halfway through by turning the thing into an embarrassingly stupid and syrupy mess. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Nacho Libre
Napoleon Dynamite's director, Jared Hess, teams up again with his wife, Jerusha, and Mike White for Nacho Libre, in which everything feels exactly like Napoleon Dynamite: There's the semi-retarded but loveable titular character, the semi-retarded but loveable sidekick, the constant tone of deadpan weirdness, and—just as in Napoleon—one's never sure if the Hess duo is mocking or sympathizing with their protagonists. Scene by scene, Nacho feels like a south-of-the-border version of the tired, annoying Napoleon—a formula that could be a lot worse, but could also be a lot better. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.

A Prairie Home Companion
Back when The Simpsons was funny, they had a great gag about PBS' A Prairie Home Companion, hosted by Garrison Keillor. Homer, et al., were sitting on the couch, watching Keillor tell his supposedly comedic stories. Stone-faced, the Simpsons couldn't figure out why the TV audience was in fits over Keillor; finally, Homer stood up and banged on the TV: "Be more funny!" he shouted, confused and angry. So let's give Homer the benefit of the doubt: If broken technology is why A Prairie Home Companion is so dull on PBS (and equally so on NPR), then that means there are a whole bunch of lousy projectors in America's movie theaters—because Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion film is even duller. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Boy finds ark. Boy loses ark. Nazis have their skin melted off by angry God. Hollywood Theatre

Russian Dolls
See review this issue. Cinema 21

Sam Cooke: Legend
Shot and edited Behind the Music-style, Sam Cooke is a TV-quality race through the singer's accomplishments, providing a mildly interesting but totally surface-level timeline from his childhood through to his tragic 1964 homicide in Los Angeles. (Justin Sanders) Waterfront Park

Samurai Rebellion
See Film, pg. 45. Whitsell Auditorium

Superman Returns
See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

Typhoon
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre

Waist Deep
Tyrese Gibson plays an ex-con whose son gets kidnapped. I swear to god: I tried to send like 15 different people to review this movie, but nobody would touch it. Maybe that's because this movie looks retarded. Maybe my writers are lazy. Maybe I'm a horrible editor. I don't know. What I do know is that Waist Deep is giving me way more grief than it should, and thus I have grown to hate it. (Erik Henriksen) Century Eastport 16, Division Street, Lloyd Cinemas

Wordplay
There's no other way to say it: Crossword fanatics are some of the biggest nerds to ever walk the Earth. Which makes them the perfect subjects for a documentary. And that documentary is Wordplay, a shockingly entertaining film about the phenomenon of crossword obsession—featuring celebrities, puzzle writers, and world champions. (Scott Moore) Fox Tower 10

Comments

Comments are closed.

Quantcast Quantcast