Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Requiem thrill ride

Tasting the darker joys of the methamphetamine highway.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Jonas Åkerlund (the Swedish director whose music video for Prodigy’s "Smack My Bitch Up" was banned by MTV) runs his first feature film on a dark sense of humor. This cinematic carousel ride on methamphetamine recalls the drug-taking montages of Requiem for a Dream revved up to the visual redline.

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The Man Without a Past

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki's latest is being hailed as both a return to and an extension of the style and thrust of his earlier films. The title character, simply called M, rises from the dead and, with no memory of his former life, waits for something to fill him in.

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Identity

Posted By and on Wed, Apr 30, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Geezer: HHHH / Weezer: HHHH

Director James Mangold’s dread-on cocktail of claustrophobia and psychosis will do a lot for the filmmaker’s rep, but even more for late-night video rentals for decades to come. Weezer says, "What a shocker! I was hoping for an above-average mystery-horror-thriller, but this was awesome."

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Better Luck Tomorrow

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Justin Lin’s film, about four months in the lives of a group of would-be bad boy, top-of-their-class, Californian-Asian high schoolers who supplement their 4.0s with 9mms, captures that special teenaged feeling of invincibility, wrapping it in a stylish blanket of techno-rough cinematography and editing.

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Seven and a Match/ Side Streets

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Seven and a Match

HH 1/2

Side Streets

HHH

Ann Arbor’s Madstone Theaters kick off "Film Forward" (a series dedicated to giving the Indie underdogs a chance to be seen by the people who inspire them) with two films, showing now through May 14, that cock a couple different angles across the web of human relations, yet still hold true to very personal visions.

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Confidence

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2003 at 12:00 AM

This isn’t the first and surely won’t be the last movie to be made in which the direction is so ostentatious that it veers into the heavy-handed. Edward Burns, Dustin Hoffman and Rachel Weisz get screwed by the people who are supposedly paid to make them look good.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Lion in winter

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Does anyone take Norman Mailer seriously anymore? Did anyone ever? When I started reading him in the late 1960s, he already seemed like a relic from a rapidly receding past, one who unreeled his densely argued challenges like a machismo artist in a muscular panic. Picking up Advertisements For...

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The Good Thief

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Neil Jordan’s take on the 1955 Jean Melville classic, Bob le flambeur, is not so much deeper as it is fleshed out. And as much as Melville’s film was about style, so is Jordan’s. Nick Nolte shines as a down-and-out master thief and gambler in Nice, France trying to pull the heist of a lifetime.

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Sink or fit in

An Oscar-winning tale of escape from the Holocaust to Kenya.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Written and directed by Caroline Link, Nowhere in Africa won an Academy Award last month for best foreign language film. It tells the story of a Jewish couple and their young daughter who emigrate from Germany to Kenya in 1938, in order to escape the increasing threat of Nazism.

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Holes

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2003 at 12:00 AM

In the half-real, half-make-believe world of Holes, Texan juvenile delinquents skip counseling and community service and go straight to Camp Green Lake where they’re forced to dig until their hands bleed and their consciences grow. It’s a tale so obviously fake that it manages to come across as perfectly plausible.

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