Category Archives: Movies

13 Assassins: a cut above

Director Takeshi Miike’s take on the samurai movie is the best contribution to the genre since Kurosawa. Brilliantly staged and photographed, this is one of the best recent action films in any language or setting. It’s a familiar set-up: an … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bridesmaids: funny, but incomplete

Bridesmaids is a funny movie, but one that could have been much better.  In a role that she wrote for herself, Kristen Wiig plays a woman whose insecurities keep her from seeing the good and the possible in her life.  … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Incendies: best movie of the year so far

This searing drama is the year’s best film so far. Upon their mother’s death, a young man and woman learn for the first time of their father and their brother and journey from Quebec to the Middle East to uncover … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meek’s Cutoff: when men don’t ask for directions

Meek’s Cutoff is an unfortunate misfire by the excellent director Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy).   The masterpiece Picnic at Hanging Rock has already been made.  We didn’t need an indifferent covered wagon version. The route of the Oregon … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DVD of the Week: Diabolique

The headmaster of a provincial boarding school is so cruel, even sadistic, that everyone wants him dead, especially his wife and his mistress.  When he goes missing, the police drain the murky pool where the killers dumped the body, and … Continue reading

Posted in Movies, Weekly Movie Recommendations | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Queen to Play: A passion discovered late

In the fine French drama Queen to Play, a working class woman discovers a passion for chess  in midlife.  It’s a film about aspiration.  First, she must muster the courage and resourcefulness to learn the game.  When it becomes an … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cave of Forgotten Dreams: 3D for grownups

Come along with Werner Herzog as he explores the 33,000-year-old Chauvet cave paintings in southern France. It’s a great topic for a film – a specially authorized descent into the claustrophobic confines of a prehistoric cave, littered with human footprints … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

DVD of the Week: Hail! The Conquering Hero

This brilliantly funny movie is one of Preston Sturges’ less well known great comedies.  Eddie Bracken plays a would-be soldier discharged for hay fever – but his hometown mistakenly think that he is sent home a war hero.  Hilarity ensues.  … Continue reading

Posted in Movies, Weekly Movie Recommendations | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming up on TV: Lawrence of Arabia

It’s time to revisit a spectacle.  On May 9, Turner Classic movies is broadcasting Lawrence of Arabia.  For decades, many of us watched this epic squeezed into tinny-sounding TVs.   In 1989, I was fortunate enough to see the director’s cut … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Princess of Montpensier: a woman who is loved too much

Set in late 16th century France amid the French religious wars, a young noblewoman is forced by her father to marry – but not the man she loves. Her new husband is unhealthily jealous and for good reason – various … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment