Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September Reviews


These are
the reviews
and other
pieces I'm
working on
this month.

Amazon DVDs: Bill Cunningham New York, The 5th Quar-
(with Aidan Quinn), Henry's Crime (with Keanu Reeves),
The Hour (with Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, and Dominic
West) [two-disc set], Secret Diary of a Call Girl - The Final
, and Parenthood - Season Two [five-disc set].

Amazon Theatricals: Steven Soderbergh's Contagion (with Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jude Law) and Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive (with Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan).

Still playing (or yet to open): 50/50, Cave of Forgotten
Circumstance, The Help, Sarah's Key, Warrior, Week-
, Winnie the Pooh, X-Men - 1st Class
, and The Yellow Sea.

Line Out: Queen - Sheer Heart Attack, the Fabulous
Three - The Best of the Fabulous Three, Gathering No Moss -
Merry Clayton
, the Jacuzzi Boys - Glazin', I Thought I Heard
Her Calling My Name
, Ty Segall Week, Northern Soul Man -
Melvin Davis, Paris - The Devil Made Me Do It, Totally
, the Dum Dum Girls - Only in Dreams, Meg Baird -
Seasons on Earth
, Pedro Costa & Jeanne Balibar, Thee
Oh Sees + David Shrigley = $$$
, Sky Saxon Meets
Fred Flintstone
, Dum Dum Girls - "Bedroom
and Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls.

Seattle Film Blog: Brigitte et Brigette, Cold Souls, A Colt Is My PassportDeep End, The Gang's All Here, Love Streams, The Pornographers, Tonite Let's All Make Love in London, and 
interviews with Alan Ball and Keith Fulton.

Video Librarian: The Arbor, Me Too, Parenthood - Season
[five-disc set], Running Wilde - Season One [two-disc set],
True Adolescents
, Accidental Icon - The Real Gidget Story, A
Cinderella Story - Once upon a Song
, Cougar Town - The Com-
plete Second Season
[five-disc set], Gossip Girl - The Complete
Fourth Season
[5-disc set], Ne Chien Range, Hung - The Com-
plete Second Season
[two-disc set], and Life, Above All.

Endnote: Queen image from

Monday, August 15, 2011

Movie of the Month: Part 30

I recently reviewed the
following DVD for Video
, and thought the
results were worth sharing.

GODS / Dioses [***]
(Josué Méndez, Peru, 2008, 91 mins.)

Gods presents a side of Peru not often seen in the United Stat-
es: the lives of the country's super-rich. The story starts off with
two seemingly unrelated narratives: a wary brother looks after
his flirtatious sister at a nightclub, while a lower-class woman so-
cializes with her upper-class fiancé's friends at a dinner party.

Mr. Augustín (Edgar Saba), as it transpires, is the father of Die-
go (Sergio Gjurinovic), a college student, and Andrea, a part-time
model. At one point, Augustín tells his son, "A woman who thinks
is a man." If his unsophisticated fiancée, Elisa (Maricielo Effio),
who shares their oceanfront compound just outside Lima, seems
nice enough, the kids are spoiled brats, and Diego also expresses
an unhealthy interest in Andrea, who finds out she's pregnant, but
has no idea who the father might be (suffice to say, it isn't Diego).

By the time she tells her father, it's too late for an abortion, so he
comes up with a plan designed to save the family's reputation.

Meanwhile, Elisa hangs out around the house, reading and talk-
ing to the help, whom most everyone else ignores unless some-
thing goes wrong or unless one of Diego's drunken friends is feel-
ing frisky (she also appears to come from a family of domestics).

If Elisa enjoys spending Augustín's money, she has little inter-
est in his shallow social circle, in which the men talk business
(and hot babes) and the women babble about more superficial
matters, not counting their hypocritical Bible study sessions.

Taking on the rich and clueless is like shooting fish in a barrel,
but director Josué Méndez isn't heartless, and it's hard not
to feel something for each of these characters. Plus, he incor-
porates a few maids in the action, including the patient Inés
(Magaly Solier), who serve as a sort of Greek chorus, rein-
forcing the Rules of the Game impression. Recommended.

Click here for Movie of the Month, Part 29: Little Red Riding Hood

Endnote: Slightly revised from the original text. (I didn't
select a movie for July.) Image from Global Film Initiative.

Monday, August 01, 2011

August Reviews


These are
the reviews
and other
pieces I'm
working on
this month.

Amazon DVDs: Cougar Town - The Complete Second Season [three-disc set] Ken Loach's Kes - The Criterion Collection, and Broken Hill (with Timothy Hutton, Luke Arnold, & Alexa Vega).

Amazon Theatricals: The Devil's Double (with Dominic
and Ludivine Sagnier), Oliver Schmitz's Life, Above All,
The Help (with Emma Stone, Viola Davis, & Octavia Spencer),
50/50 (Jonathan Levine directs Joseph Gordon-Levitt and
Seth Rogen), and Warrior (with Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte).

Still playing (or yet to open): Beats, Rhymes & Life - The Trav-
els of a Tribe Called Quest
, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Sarah's Key,
Weekend, Winnie the Pooh, X-Men - First Class, and The Yellow Sea.

SIFFBlog: When the site transitioned from Moveable Type to
Blogspot, all the images disappeared, so I've been slowly, but
surely re-adding them, re-formatting text, and fixing diacriti-
cal marks. The latest batch: Baby Doll and The Bridesmaid.

Still playing: Beginners, Page One - Inside NY Times, and Tabloid.

Line Out: AM & Shawn Lee's Celestial Electric, Widowspeak's
, Blank City, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, Salesmanship in Rock, Loney Dear's Hall Music, Jack Ob-
livian's Rat City, and Keeping up with the Joneses (via Fiennes).

Video Librarian: Dear Lemon Lima, Deep Purple - Phoenix Ris-
[Blu-ray], Eastbound & Down - The Complete Second Sea-
[two-disc set], The Names of Love, Riverdance - Live from
, Johnny Winter - Live at Rockpalast, Coexist, Crooked
, Eine Kleine Käserei (A Little Cheese Factory), Free-
dom Flyers of Tuskegee
, The Invisible Frame, Miss Rep-
, On the Edge, Louis Prima in Person - His
Wildest Performances
, Sperm Donor X - A Differ-
ent Conception
, Thy Will Be Done - A Tran-
sexual Woman's Journey through Fami-
ly and Faith
, I Will Follow, and Lou.

Endnote: Image from Interview Magazine.