Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Turtles Can Fly

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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.

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The World’s Greatest Sinner

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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.

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The Amityville Horror

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A journalist's notebook

War correspondent's book offers snapshots, not the big picture

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Liberation, invasion, occupation; whatever you want to call it, the Iraq war is now two years old. (Contain your feelings, please.) With the chaos, bloodshed and occasional glimmers of hope have come more than a few books. At first, the majority were polemics on why the war was a...

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The agony & the ecstasy

German film examines the terrible and wrenching power of romance

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2005 at 12:00 AM

To ignore this passionate, uncompromising and brutal love story would be a grave mistake. Director Fatih Akin takes a conventional romantic-comedy storyline and spins it into something compellingly unexpected. A pair of mismatched Turkish lovers in Germany are alienated from both cultures, and careen through life as damaged souls, testing the strength of love with their self-destructive impulses. The cast of astonishingly committed actors breathes life into characters that live on well past the credits.

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Moog

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2005 at 12:00 AM

This documentary on Robert Moog, the inventor of the analog Moog synthesizer, could’ve very easily been a film directed at keyboard nerds of the dullest hue. Fortunately, it puts a human face to those warm and wiggly sounds we’ve known for all these years, and the man who helped create them.

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Faust

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2005 at 12:00 AM

This silent F. W. Murnau classic from 1926 isn’t as compelling as some of his other works, but the director’s visuals flourish, even when the story sags. This version of Faust seems a little distant, a morality tale told with a heavy hand and peopled by archetypes. Still, Murnau’s visual imagination is working full throttle here, making this a must see for serious devotees of this director or this period.

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Fever Pitch

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2005 at 12:00 AM

A likeable if instantly forgettable date movie, this latest adaptation of author Nick Hornby’s work is strictly a minor league affair. Trading soccer for baseball, the story pits a Red Sox fan’s fanatical passion for the game against the love of a cute girl. Eschewing emotional risk in favor of formulaic smiley-faced romance, Fever Pitch delivers a few funny jokes, the always-appealing Drew Barrymore and little else. Jimmy Fallon delivers a dreamy, gee-aw-shucks performance in a role that seems better suited to Adam Sandler.

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Mondovino

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2005 at 12:00 AM

The gist of this lengthy documentary on the state of the wine industry: big corporate fat cats are leading to the death of the old tradition of winemaking from small family vintners. It’s informative, but unless you have a previous interest in the subject, not very entertaining. At 131 minutes, its repetition can be a little numbing. However, if you stay up nights worrying about the globalization of the wine industry, this film’s for you.

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Sahara

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Matthew McConaughey tries once again to be the next Harrison Ford with this would-be franchise based on the plot-laden Dirk Pitt adventures by author Clive Cussler. If you thought National Treasure would’ve been better if it only had some unsavory third-world politics thrown into the plot, then Sahara is the movie for you. For most others, however, it’s too much story in search of a few good action scenes.

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