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movie reviews

Sin City

7

Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Jamie King, Rosario Dawson

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino

The worst thing I can say about this savage, sexy and ferociously funny screen translation of three stories from Frank Miller's Sin City series of graphic novels is that it's too much of a good thing. Your eyes go boing so early that the effect wears off. But stick with it. As opposed to the arty and enervated Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which also filmed actors against computer-generated backgrounds, Sin City has a restless bug-fuck vitality. It'll be way too much f... | More »

March 31, 2005

Kontroll

6

Sandor Badar, Eszter Balla, Sandor Csanyi, Gyorgy Cserhalmi, Zsolt Nagy

Directed by: Nimrod Antal

A hooded serial killer stalks the Budapest subway while Bulcsu (the appealingly disheveled Sandor Csanyi) and four other ticket inspectors — they're called Kontroll — try to stop the next victim from being pushed in front of a train. Shooting in the underground, lit by an eerie fluorescent glow, first-time writer-director Nimrod Antal spices the suspense with laughs and sex — Bulcsu drools for a hottie (Eszter Balla) in a bear suit — but it's the whooshing te... | More »

Look At Me

7

Agnes Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Marilou Berry, Laurent Grevill, Serge Riaboukine

Directed by: Agnes Jaoui

Lolita (Marilou Berry) is twenty, a talented singer and the daughter of Etienne Cassard (Jean-Pierre Bacri), a famous author and publisher whom she can guilt-trip into giving her things. She is also fat, which in the Paris world of her father and his young trophy wife (Virginie Desarnauts) represents a social faux pas that leaves her ignored by society and especially by him. Her lovers use her to get close to her dad, and in a subtler way so does Sylvia (Agnes Jaoui), her music teacher, who i... | More »

Kung Fu Hustle

6

Stephen Chow, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Leung Siu-lung, Dong Zhihua

Directed by: Stephen Chow

He stands tall, looking ready to kick your ass. But Hong Kong actor-director-writer-producer Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer) is also just as likely to dance a jig and make funny faces. He's a one-man comedy parade. In the seriously cuckoo Kung Fu Hustle, Chow knocks himself out to please and also to sneak in a little social satire. Set in China in the 1940s, the movie takes deft notice of how the poor are exploited in Pig Sty Alley. Chow as Sing, a wanna-be gangster who's willing to... | More »

March 25, 2005

Oldboy

7

Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang

Directed by: Chan-wook Park

Admit it: Your local multiplex is a creative dead zone. So line up for Oldboy, an explosively exciting psychosexual revenge drama from Korean powerhouse Park Chanwook (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) that makes movies feel alive again. I won't spill the beans, but know this much: Choi Min-sik is a hell-raising wonder as Oh Dae-su, a skirt-chasing businessman with a wife and daughter who matter less than his next drink. Suddenly, this good oldboy is locked in a hotel room with a TV that tells... | More »

March 24, 2005

Guess Who

4

Ashton Kutcher, Bernie Mac, Zoe Saldana, Judith Scott, Jill Wagner

Directed by: Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Don't get too heated about remaking 1967's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with a race switch. Except for the sparks between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in their final screen teaming, the movie was a crock, even with the young Sidney Poitier as their daughter's beau. The new Guess is a crock, too, but Bernie Mac is fun as the huff daddy whose daughter (Zoe Saldana) hooks up with a white boy (Ashton Kutcher). And his easy rapport with a dialed-down Kutcher works agains... | More »

D.E.B.S.

2

Jill Ritchie, Sara Foster, Jordana Brewster, Devon Aoki, Meagan Good

Directed by: Angela Robinson

Hot schoolgirls are recruited by the feds to fight crime as D.E.B.S. (Discipline, Energy, Beauty, Strength). Their target is Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster), a thief who recruits D.E.B.S. Amy (Sara Foster) for some hot lesbo action. Amy's hetero partners in crime-busting — Meagan Good, Jill Ritchie and Devon Aoki — pout at first but gradually accept the situation. You might think there's no downside to a movie that peeks up the skirts of babes in micro-minis, but write... | More »

Mondovino

6

Hubert de Montille, Aime Guibert, Michael Broadbent, Jonathan Nossiter, Neal Rosenthal

Directed by: Jonathan Nossiter

If Sideways made you curious about vino, this fierce, funny and challenging doc opens up a world worth debating. Jonathan Nossiter has a nose for what gets lost as the wine industry goes global, pushing speed over maturation and squeezing out the individual in favor of mass production. Since the crisis applies to film, music and other arts, Mondovino is a potent provocation that gets to the heart of Paul Giamatti's crack in Sideways about "no fucking Merlot." | More »

March 18, 2005

The Ring Two

5

Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, Sissy Spacek

Directed by: Hideo Nakata

It's the way Naomi Watts spits out the line "I'm not your fucking mommy" that got me thinking that The Ring Two isn't as obvious as it looks -- a cash-in horror sequel. Maybe it's a subtext-loaded thriller about child abuse. Consider this: Watts is back as Rachel Keller, single mom to Aidan (David Dorfman), a sullen weirdo (with the eyes of Haley Joel Osment) who refuses to call her Mommy. Rachel keeps a tight smile going, but you can tell she's not pleased about lea... | More »

Melinda and Melinda

6

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Will Ferrell, Jonny Lee Miller, Radha Mitchell, Amanda Peet

Directed by: Woody Allen

Woody Allen is back in fighting form with Melinda and Melinda, a tricky proposition that is two films linked by one remarkable actress — the Aussie beauty Radha Mitchell, last seen as Johnny Depp's frigid wife in Finding Neverland — in the dual roles of Melinda and Melinda. Huh? Wha? Listen up. Two playwrights (Wallace Shawn and Larry Pine) are arguing about whether life is basically comic or tragic. So they take an idea — a blonde named Melinda bursts into the Manhatt... | More »

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