Category: Mini-Reviews

Mini-Review: Jason Bateman’s Bad Words (2013) is a Solid Directorial Debut and a Funny Black Comedy

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*S-P-O-I-L-E-R-S*
Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman) is a 40-year-old middle school dropout who found a loophole in the system and managed to participate at the illustrious Golden Quill spelling bee. Jenny Widgeon (Kathryn Hahn) is a journalist trying to find out why he’d do such a silly thing. Guy seems like he doesn’t care about anything. He is an asshole to anyone he meets, but things change when he befriends a 10-year old kid (Rohan Chand). Will the two end up as the finalists in this ridiculous contest? You’ve guessed it!  Continue reading

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Mini-Review: Mifune (1999). The Third Dogme Film and Already Breaking the Rules.

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Originally published on filmstvandlife.
Kresten (Anders W. Berthelsen) just got married. After his first wedding night, he wakes up to a phone call informing him that his father has passed away. He has to leave for the Danish countryside, but the thing is that his wife didn’t even know he had a father or a brother. Kresten returns to his old home, a farm in the middle of nowhere. After the death of his father he now has to deal with his intellectually challenged brother Rud (Jesper Asholt). He decides to hire a maid, Livia (Iben Hjejle), who’s actually a prostitute. Things get more and more complicated as his wife finds out how many things he’s been keeping from her.  Continue reading

Mini-Review: Mia Wasikowska Crosses the Australian Desert in John Curran’s Tracks (2013)

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*Cruel Spoilers (Because Life is Cruel)*

Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska) is living the dream, if your dream happens to be walking 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) around the Australian desert with four camels and a dog. Nobody’s sure why she’d embark on such a crazy journey, but everyone’s fascinated by her story. One annoyingly nice National Geographic journalist (Adam Driver) in particular. After days of loneliness in the desert, because she clearly doesn’t like humans Robyn discovers that she is lonely and that she doesn’t really like people.  Continue reading

Mini-Review: Marie Gillain is ‘Fresh Bait’ (1995). The American Dream Gone Wrong.

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*Spoilery Spoilers*
Nathalie (Marie Gillain) is a “professional flirt”. Every night she’s out to get phone numbers of rich French “playboys”, who might get her a job (or not). Eric (Olivier Sitruk), her boyfriend, dreams of going to the United States and making a lot of money. To get there he needs a starting capital. Hey! Why not rob one of Nathalie’s wealthy contacts? Sounds like a plan, but it seems that none of the horny bourgeois keep their money in safes anymore. How far are Eric and his buddy Bruno (Bruno Putzulu) willing to go for a fistful of francs?  Continue reading

Mini-Review: Parker Posey Obsesses Over Jackie Kennedy in Mark Waters’ Directorial Debut The House of Yes (1997)

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*There Will Be Spoilers*
Jacqueline aka Jackie-O (Parker Posey) has been recently released from a psychiatric hospital and is now living with her mother and her brother Anthony (Freddie Prinze, Jr.). She is obsessed with former first lady Jackie Kennedy. On Thanksgiving Day 1983, 20 years after the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, her twin brother Marty (Josh Hamilton) is home to to present Lesly (Tori Spelling), his new fiancé. Jackie-O is crazy jealous. She should be on medication, but instead she’s drinking, wearing a pink Chanel suit and playing around with a gun.  Continue reading

Mini-Review: Klaus Kinski is a Deranged Slave Trader in Werner Herzog’s Cobra Verde (1987)

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Francisco Manoel da Silva or simply Cobra Verde (Klaus Kinski) is a famous bandit, who is mistakenly hired by a rich sugar plantation owner, Don Octávio Coutinho (José Lewgoy). After Cobra gets all three of Coutinho’s daughters pregnant, the Don decides that it’s time to get rid of the horny bastard. Since Cobra is considered a very dangerous man, he can’t simply kill him. Instead he decides to send him to Africa to pick up some slaves, which is basically a suicide mission. Of course Cobra is crazy enough to accept.  Continue reading

Mini-Review: Woody Allen Tries to Blend Tragedy and Comedy in Melinda and Melinda (2004)

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A group of friends are having dinner in a nice New York restaurant. Max (Larry Pine) writes tragedies. Sy (Wallace Shawn) writes romantic comedies. The two can’t seem to agree on which deserves to be taken more seriously as an art form or worldview, but hold on: What if tragedy and comedy were just two sides of the same coin? A friend tells them the story of Melinda Robicheaux (Radha Mitchell) and challenges them to tell him if it’s a tragedy or a comedy, but of course it all depends on your point of view.  Continue reading

Mini-Review: Labor Day (2013) is Jason Reitman’s Most Disappointing Film to Date (Unfortunately)

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Adele (Kate Winslet) is a depressed single mother. She has isolated herself and her son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) from the rest of the town and rarely gets out of the house. On one of her monthly trips to the grocery store however they meet an escaped convict, Frank (Josh Brolin), who decides to use their home to escape the cops chasing him. He’s wounded his leg escaping and now he needs a place to lay low. In the meantime why not bake a delicious peach pie? And hey, why not since these two are lonely: Let’s play house for a while.  Continue reading

Mini-Review: Werner Herzog’s The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974) Biopic

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Kaspar Hauser (Bruno S.) has lived imprisoned in a cellar for all his life. He can’t walk, he can’t talk and he has had no contact with any human being. One day whoever is doing this to him decides to free him. He teaches Kaspar how to write his name, a few words and how to stand on his feet. The people of Nuremberg (Germany) find him standing in the middle of their town. A family decides to take him in. They try to teach him everything they think is important, but Kaspar’s existence remains a mystery.  Continue reading

Mini-Review: Roman Polanski’s Film Adaptation of David Ives’ Tony Award Nominated Play Venus in Fur (2013)

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It’s late in the evening, it’s storming outside and Thomas (Mathieu Amalric) just wants to go home to his girlfriend and eat some sushi. It’s been a long day of auditions. None of the women that auditioned seemed right for the part. Thomas is just about to leave, when out of nowhere a mysterious and voluptuous woman shows up. Her name is Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner), like the just like character in the Leopold von Sacher-Masoch-inspired Venus in Furs. Thomas has no intention of auditioning her, but she is very persistent. As she starts reciting the lines, he becomes entranced by her. Soon the lines between fiction and reality start to blur.  Continue reading