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Mr. Nice

One wishes it were meaner and leaner.


Drama

Rod Lott
"Mr. Nice" is a little too true to its title. Had the film had more balls, it might have made a stronger impression. Based upon the real-life exploits of Howard Marks, writer/director Bernard Rose tracks the smart Welsh lad's sharp-angled trajectory from bullied sissy boy to major worldwide player in the drug-smuggling trade.
 
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

A cinema master takes us into the magic night.


Drama

Rod Lott
My advice to you is not only to watch “Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams” as soon as possible, but to watch it on the largest screen possible, and have your finger hovering over the remote's pause button. Because in the Japanese cinema master’s almost-final film, the angel's in the details.
 
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Ledge

A step in the wrong direction.


Drama

Rod Lott
I liked "The Ledge" better when it was called, um, "The Ledge," and comprised one-third of the 1985 Stephen King anthology film, "Cat's Eye." Matthew Chapman's new movie isn't really a remake of the King short, but close enough: Both revolve around a cuckolded hubby forcing the man who put a wedge in the marriage (so to speak) onto the titular ledge of a very tall building.
 
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary

‘A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms.’


Drama

Rod Lott
What more than can be said about the the film that’s widely regarded as the finest in history? Well, how about: It’s finally on Blu-ray.
 
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Skateland

Angsty!


Drama

Rod Lott
In 1983, I heavily doubt the party kids in Texas were quoting Christopher Walken from "Annie Hall," much less doing impressions of him at all, or having even seen a Woody Allen film. But for the most part, "Skateland" rings pretty true as a portrait of teen angst.
 
Thursday, September 8, 2011

Win Win

Thomas McCarthy grabs hold of a winning story in this wise dramedy.


Drama

Phil Bacharach
In “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor,” writer/director Thomas McCarthy explored the dynamics of family, but not in the conventional sense. The characters in those films created their own families. His latest work now on Blu-ray and DVD, “Win Win,” manages to take a nuclear family and still convert it into something different and deeper.
 
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Beaver

You’ve got to hand it to Gibson.


Drama

Rod Lott
While not the disaster you may have been led to believe, neither is “The Beaver” a success. It sits somewhere in the middle, unsure of itself as to which style of story to commit. Ultimately, where it ends up is in the field of “noble curiosity,” based in no small part on the spectacularly public, ill-timed flameout of its star.
 
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meet Monica Velour

XXX marks the dramatic spot.


Drama

Rod Lott
Romancing a porn star: If "The Girl Next Door" was the Hollywood fantasy, "Meet Monica Velour" is the grim reality — comparatively speaking, of course.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

The Sentiment of the Flesh

What’s French for ‘Your spleen is cute’?


Drama

Rod Lott
Initial human attraction may be physical, but with the lovers of “The Sentiment of the Flesh,” it’s literally anatomical.
 
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Streetwalkin'

One successful whoresploitation film begets another.


Drama

Rod Lott
If I had to guess, I’d say Roger Corman put 1985’s “Streetwalkin’” into production after seeing the success New World Pictures had a year prior with the “Angel” franchise, the first chapter of which carried the infamous tagline of “High school Honor Student by Day. Hollywood Hooker by Night!”
 
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Con Artist / Waking Madison

Que sera, Sarah


Drama

Rod Lott
Hey, "Disturbia" It Girl Sarah Roemer, your career is in grave danger! Your latest two movies, "Waking Madison" and "The Con Artist," failed to get wide theatrical releases, and now I know why: They’re really not good.
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

The Image

Radley Metzger’s adults-only masterpiece gets a deserved upgrade.


Drama

Richard York
By the time director Radley Metzger made his masterpiece, “The Image,” in 1975, hardcore pornography had already achieved novelty mainstream status, thanks to the ridiculous but curiosity-inspiring anomaly of “Deep Throat” three years earlier.
 
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Haunted Summer

Scary, sexy summertime


Drama

Rod Lott
In the 1980s, Cannon Films primarily was frowned upon as a junk purveyor of low-rent actioners starring Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson and Caucasian ninjas.
 
Wednesday, July 6, 2011

William & Kate

It’s royal crap.


Drama

Rod Lott
On the morning of April 29, when Prince William married Kate Middleton, NPR broadcast a story about a group of women who were having an all-day party, in which they dressed up, spoke in British accents and were watching the royal wedding on a TiVo loop.
 
Friday, June 10, 2011

The Housemaid

South Korea’s probing look at one horrifyingly corrupt family


Drama

Rod Lott
Here’s how to tell the two Koreas apart: North Korea’s the one run by the crazy-scary guy; South Korea’s the sane one that just makes movies about crazy-scary guys. And girls.
 
Friday, June 10, 2011
 
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