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Total Video Reviews: 45 | Page: 1 2 3 4 5
If you've read my 2005 review of Crossworld, Marc Romano's 2005 exploration of crossword puzzles, its history, fans, and creators, you've basically got the gist of last year's documentary, Wordplay. While so many topics and anecdotes are recycled (intentionally or unintentionally) in Wordplay, the topic is best described through the medium of film. The most effective scene depicts a puzzle-write ... Continue Reading

Posted: January 29th, 2007

When Chris Columbus began casting for his film adaptation of the first Harry Potter novel, bookworm kiddies supposedly scrutinized his pick of the lead actor with fantastic suspicion. For me, the equivalent is scrutinizing director Michael Hoffman’s pick for the stock Don DeLillo lead in the first on-screen translation of the master novelist’s work. As a huge DeLillo fan, my expectations are as ... Continue Reading

Posted: November 27th, 2006

In 2003, a well-regarded director of independent films spun Oscar gold from a wisp of a storyline—a tone poem about a woman and a man from different generations who make a faltering, elusive connection in an exotic setting. And now, it has been done again. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present you with Lost in Translation: The Royal Edition. Okay, the title under discussion is actually “ ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 23rd, 2006

As campy as they tend to be, movies of the Film Noir genre are undeniably entertaining, be they classics like The Maltese Falcon, Citizen Kane, and China Town or somewhat tongue-in-cheek modern interpretations like Payback, Pulp Fiction, and Sin City. Falling squarely among the latter "Neo Noir" set is Rian Johnson's 2005 sophomore endeavour, Brick. Based on a novella by Johnson and starring J ... Continue Reading

Posted: September 20th, 2006

A film inspiring yet strangely demoralizing. It's all been done and perhaps Downtown 81 captures the last time urban hipsters had a sense of creating something truly fresh. Our heralded remixed, chopped n' screwed, mash-up culture is nothing new, at least not the urge to tweak and solder the barrage of sounds, visuals, and style that compete for influence. And this is exemplifed by Jean-Michel ... Continue Reading

Posted: September 20th, 2006

A film of delicacy and melancholy, difficult to describe as it is a pleasure to watch, Tony Takitani is a full-length adaptation of a Haruki Murakami story. The tale seems to offer little for film, and may seem an unlikely choice when compared with Murakami's more complex and dizzying works. However, director Jun Ichikawa stretches mundane moments and diffuse emotions into a satisfying whole. ... Continue Reading

Posted: June 22nd, 2006

Anime director Shinichiro Watanabe gained widespread, non-otaku notoriety with his 2001 series Cowboy Bebop, a slick, violent, psychologically mature cartoon series that blended futuristic outer space sci-fi with spaghetti western and set the resultant “mashup” to an original and highly acclaimed jazz/bebop score. The "Quentin Tarantino of anime's" second broadcast series effort, Samurai Champl ... Continue Reading

Posted: June 20th, 2006

In 2001, Japanese video game powerhouse Squaresoft made an ill-fated foray into CGI filmmaking with Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The $167 million venture was meant to showcase Squaresoft’s prowess at rendering photorealistic CGI humans—prowess used to great success in the popular Final Fantasy RPG video game series’ full motion video sequences, short CGI films that blend seamlessly into game ... Continue Reading

Posted: May 12th, 2006

Apparently John Waters, Baltimore’s resident shock-schlock auteur, is a big fan of William Castle pictures. This comes as no great shock, given Castle’s dubious legacy as a P.T. Barnum-esque film personality. Here’s the deal—nearly every horror film directed by Castle during the late 1950s and early 1960s arrived at your parents’ local theatre with a super-special “gimmick” thrown into the mix. “I ... Continue Reading

Posted: February 23rd, 2006

Described as “a quarterly DVD magazine of unseen things” by the fine people at McSweeney’s, Wholphin #1 is the visual equivalent of rummaging through a yard sale—equal parts trash, treasure, and things that make you go ‘hmmm.’ This seems appropriate, given the fact that the whole enterprise is named after a magical hybrid whale/dolphin species that surfaced near Hawaii about a decade ago. (‘Hmmm,’ ... Continue Reading

Posted: January 31st, 2006

Total Video Reviews: 45 | Page: 1 2 3 4 5
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