Category: Reviews

Review: Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) is the Ultimate Arthouse Jesus Film

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Mary (Margherita Caruso) is pregnant. Joseph (Marcello Morante), her fiancé is worried, because they’re not married yet. God sends His angel (Rossana Di Rocco) to reassure him: She is still a virgin. The Lord himself made her pregnant with His Son, Jesus (Enrique Irazoqui). Flash-forward thirty years: Jesus is now an adult. He is preaching the Lord’s word to the people of Israel, gathering followers, healing the sick and making, casting out evil spirits and doing all kinds of miracles. Most people seem okay with that: But not the pharisees. He’s taking away their power, so they want him dead.  Continue reading

Short Film Review: Werner Herzog Makes Ramin Bahrani’s Plastic Bag (2009) Come to Life Through His Iconic Voice

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Ramin Bahrani’s Plastic Bag is exactly what you think it is: The story of a plastic bag. Not just any plastic bag: A discarded plastic bag. Abandoned by his maker, the plastic bag drifts across the landscapes of rural America (North Carolina), to finally arrive at his final destination: The ocean. Or as plastic bags call it: The vortex. Legendary film and documentary director Werner Herzog lends his warm and calming voice to the title character, a brownish plastic bag from a supermarket.  Continue reading

Review: Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac: Vol. II is Misanthropic, Melancholy and yet Marvelous

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*SP( )ILERS*
Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is numb. She can’t feel anything. Her vagina has become completely insensitive to any kind of sexual stimulation. Her husband Jerôme (Shia LaBeouf) is not enough to satisfy her. After all as much as he’d want to, he can’t fill all her holes at once. Time to experiment! What about a threesome with two extra-large negroes? Not working. How about some S&M with Jamie Bell? That works for a while, although it’s a problem, because Joe/Fido now has a little son and she can’t just leave him at home alone, can she? Pretty soon physical pain is not enough for her anyway. Time to start thinking about quitting.  Continue reading

Review: Nuovo Cinema Paradiso Meets Kill Bill in Sono Sion’s Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (2013)

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A group of teenagers, who call themselves Fuck Bombers dream of making Japan’s greatest action movie. Unfortunately they don’t have any money or professional film equipment. One night they write a prayer to the Movie God to help them realize their dream and put it in a shrine. In the meantime there is a yakuza war between two clans going on. The boss’ (Jun Kunimura) wife (Tomochika) is thrown in prison for ten years, for slaughtering rival gang members. To keep her going in prison her husband promises to make her daughter (Fumi Nikaidō) a movie star.  Continue reading

Review: Andrés Muschietti’s Directorial Debut Mama (2013) is a Love Letter to Japanese Ghost Stories

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Jeffrey (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) just killed his business partner and his estranged wife. He’s now taking his two daughters Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and Lilly (Isabelle Nélisse) and driving them to who knows where. The road is icy and he’s driving like a maniac. They have an accident: The car slides down the mountain and into the woods. They find a cabin. Time to kill the children and then himself, but not on Mama’s watch. Who’s Mama? A mysterious figure with long black hair and super skinny arms. She saves the two innocent girls, but can they really grow up in the woods with a ghost?  Continue reading

Review: Inspired by Zweig, But Totally Wes Anderson The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) is a Charming, Adventurous and Zestful Comedy

The Grand Budapest Hotel - 64th Berlin Film Festival
Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) is a legendary and dashing concierge at the famous Grand Budapest Hotel in Nebelsbad, Zubrowka. The year is 1932 and the war is about to begin. One of Gustave’s wealthy, but elderly lovers, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton) has just died. The police think it was murder. The murderers try to frame Gustave and have him arrested. Luckily his loyal lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori) helps him get out of prison. Once out Madame D’s evil son Dimitri (Adrien Brody) and his henchman Jopling (Willem Dafoe) are after them, because they know the truth.  Continue reading

Review: Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2013) Theatrical Cut – Split in Half, Heavily Censored and Still Incredibly Awesome

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*F( )RGET AB( )UT SP( )ILERS*

Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) is lonely middle-aged man doing some evening shopping before going home to his sad apartment. On his way home he finds Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) lying in the cold alley. She looks beat up and bruised. It’s snowing and cold outside. Seligman decides her to bring her to his place to clean her up and make her rest. After some tea and rugelach Joe starts to gain some strength and begins to talk about her life. Joe is a nymphomaniac, a sex addict. Seligman seems to be asexual, but he listens attentively and compares Joe’s tales to music, literature and fly fishing.  Continue reading

Review: Japanese Auteur Sono Sion Smoothly Transitions to American Cinema with His Poetic Crime Film Hazard (2005)

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Shin (Joe Odagiri) dreams of bigger and better things. Japan makes him sleepy, yet restless at the same time. He’s so bored. He wants something more, but what is it that he wants? Maybe it’s an adventure. He decides to go to the US: The land of opportunity. When he arrives in New York it all makes sense. He was looking for hazard. Not speaking one single word of English his stay in the States is immediately problematic. He gets robbed, but then he meets these crazy Japanese-American gangsters: Lee (Jai West) and Takeda (Fukami Motoki). They become great friends, but their criminal lifestyle is bound to get them all in big trouble.  Continue reading

Review: Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best! (2013) Might Not Be His Best, But It’s Still Pretty Damn Good

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Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) are best friends. They love candy, pretty boys, but most of all: Punk music. Wait, isn’t punk dead? Not according to these two young ladies. One day while at their local youth center they decide to try to make some music themselves. Not having any experience of ever playing a musical instrument whatsoever they are very bad at it, but then they have an idea. Why not ask the Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne)? Who’s Hedvig? She’s your typical goody two shoes Christian girl, awesome guitar player though. Hedvig decides to join the band, but first they’ll have to totally mess up her long blond hair and convert her to punk rock.  Continue reading

Review: Alexander Payne’s Nebraska (2013) – A Genuinely Heartfelt, Humanistic and Realistic Father-Son Road Trip Film

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*Spoilers, y’all*
Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is old, tired and confused. He’s had a tough life. He fought in the Korean war. He may or may not have married the wrong woman (June Squibb). All he has left are his two sons David (Will Forte) and Ross (Bob Odenkirk) and his booze. For once in his life he wished he had something more. So what if he won a million dollars? That would be pretty cool. Of course it would also be too good to be true, but his good-hearted son David decides to drive him all the way from Montana to Nebraska anyway.  Continue reading