A- Crime drama Written and directed by Zhangke Jia At first you think this is going to be a gangster movie. At one point you decide it's becoming a revenge flick. Slowly, you realize it's something very different; something much more subtle. For most of Ash Is Purest White's long runtime, there's no conventional plotline. … Continue reading Ash Is Purest White but love is for the worthy
A Drama/Thriller Written by Wolfgang Fischer and Ika Künzel Directed by Wolfgang Fischer You can find a lot of movies about a vacation gone wrong, where the protagonist (or protagonists) must fight for their lives and the lives of those they love. But Wolfgang Fischer does something much more interesting in Styx. Aside from one … Continue reading Styx: How many can you save?
D- Not really quite a thriller Written by Johanne Algren and Isabella Eklöf Directed by Isabella Eklöf The setup feels like a thriller: A beautiful, spoiled, not-too-bright blonde belongs to a gang of drug dealers, and they're all vacationing on the Turkish Riviera. Will a deal go down badly? Will a rival gang attack? Will … Continue reading This Holiday isn’t much fun
B- Epic historical drama Written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck This three-hour sweeping tale of art, love, Communism, and Nazis starts out strong. You think you're watching an excellent historical drama about how Nationalist Socialism replaced culture with cruelty. It manages to hold that level of quality for a full hour. The … Continue reading Never Look Away…until the last hour
B- Biopic Written by Jeff Pope Directed by Jon S. Baird This is absolutely the least funny Laurel and Hardy movie I have ever seen. Of course, it's not a real Laurel and Hardy movie. It's certainly not a comedy, although it has many laughs. Stan & Ollie is a mostly sad story about the … Continue reading Stan & Ollie: The time two clowns cried
Hollywood has now made four films called A Star is Born, all of which followed the same basic story of love, substance abuse, one star rising while the other falls, and inevitable tragedy. But each of the films, except the most recent one, has been a trailblazer in cinema technology. 1937 version, starring Janet Gaynor … Continue reading The Tech in the Birth of Four Stars
A Drama Written by Jihad Hojeily, Michelle Keserwany, Nadine Labaki, & Khaled Mouzanar Directed by Nadine Labaki Zain is probably about 12. No one knows for sure. He's on trial for stabbing and wounding a man. He's also suing his parents in court. No, not for neglect, but simply for bringing him into this world … Continue reading Capernaum: Growing up too fast in Lebanon