Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George find out it’s a bad idea to ignore those bloodstains on the ceiling of their new Dutch Colonial in this remake of the 1979 horror flick. The first film was no gem, but even those who were young enough be scared by the original release may be in for a rude awakening with this slick, silly, suspense-free effort.
This Iraqi film takes place in a Kurdish settlement near the border of Iraq and Turkey, where a group of children earn some much needed money by defusing and selling land mines. The director uses non-professional actors, and it’s a matter-of-fact approach which serves the film’s material well. However, there seems to be no particular agenda regarding the ensuing Iraqi war.
In 1958, actor Timothy Carey embarked on what may be the ultimate in Hollywood weirdo vanity projects. For three years he labored as the writer, director, editor, producer and star of The World’s Greatest Sinner, an unsettling reflection on religion, politics and fascism, it presages the behavior of people like Charles Manson and Jim Jones. Carey plays bored insurance agent and family man Clarence Hilliard, who quits his job to become a rock ’n’ roll singer and evangelical crusader named God Hilliard. He inevitably becomes corrupted by his power and starts promoting fascist ideals. If you’re a fan of unusual cinema, you won’t want to miss this crazed work of genius.
Despite director John Boorman’s numerous accomplishments (Deliverance, Point Blank and The General), he does little to save this problematic and conflicted film. Based on a memoir by South African poet and journalist Antjie Krog, the film charts the budding romance of a white Afrikaner (Juliette Binoche) and an African-American reporter (Samuel L. Jackson) as they travel town to town, listening to horrifying accounts of rape, torture and murder. There is plenty of dramatic grist for the mill here, but the script is a textbook example of how poorly written fictional characters and clumsy storytelling can undermine the power of real-life tragedy and history.