H.H. Holmes to be portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the upcoming Scorsese Film The Devil in the White City

Leonardo DiCaprio

Years ago, Erik Larson, a non-fiction writer who tends to bring often obscure, yet interesting stories to light with a novelistic feel, authored a critically acclaimed book The Devil in the White City. So acclaimed it was, that Leonardo DiCaprio took interest and was able to purchase the film rights in 2010. Recently, it was also reported that golden boy Leonardo DiCaprio will be playing the main character, Doctor H.H. Holmes, in an upcoming film adaptation, while Martin Scorsese directs.

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The Sand Pebbles

The Sand Pebbles
The Sand Pebbles

The Sand Pebbles, starring the “King of Cool” Steve McQueen, is one of the best films of the 1960s. The film focuses on the journey of a Navy Engineer by the name of Jake Holman in the year 1926 in China, a time of great political upheaval. After nearly a century of foreign domination, with countries such as Japan, America, the UK, Russia and other states slicing China up into different spheres of influence under the ‘unequal treaties’ China finds itself in a great civil war with nationalists and communists vying for influence. Meanwhile many missionaries, military men, foreign businessmen, diplomats and academics still found themselves in China.

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My Way

Tatsuo and Jun-Shik

“My Way” is a poignant, dramatic account of two men, one Korean (Jun Shik) and the other Japanese (Tatsuo), who forge a bond in their favorite activity, running. Early on in life, it’s clear that the Koreans living in Japan, during the days of the Japanese Empire were looked down upon. Even Tatsuo projects this attitude towards his friend.

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The Hidden Face

The Hidden Face Movie Poster

The Hidden Face (La Cara Oculta), is a surprising gem of a film. The film is set in the sprawling city of Bogota, Columbia. A well-respected conductor from Spain by the name of Adrian (Quim Gutiérrez) falls in love with a girl named Belen (Clara Lago). The relationship is going great until one day she disappears. Adrian looks for quite a long time, trying to locate his ex-girlfriend, as she is presumably still alive. She leaves behind a video tape, explaining why she was leaving, but the whole thing is a prank gone horribly wrong.

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Sayonara Itsuka

Sayonara Itsuka

In the 1960s, an ambitious businessman moves on assignment to Thailand in order to allow himself to be groomed for promotion in the airline business. His goals are large and his dreams equally so. Yatsuka seems to have everything figured out. He has a waiting bride in Japan, but a home run he hits, while ignoring an order from his boss to bunt, changes his life forever.

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Castaway On The Moon

The protagonist.

Castaway On The Moon is a brilliant new take on the ‘castaway’ theme.

Imagine your life is in the dumps. I don’t mean that you broke a nail or your dog ran away; I mean you lost all of your money, you’re in foreclosure, and everything else in your life is simply going all down the tube. Some people step up and deal with it vis-à-vis, others jump off bridges to put a quick end to the suffering.

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Donnie Darko: a piece of junk from the hipster scrap pile

Donnie, Gretchen and the 'Bunny.'

Admittedly, I sometimes am a late-starter; particularly when it comes to ‘hot’ or ‘new’ fads. One of the fads which seemed to be peaking while I was in high school was the fad for the emos (really the hipsters of the time) to watch cult films like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissor Hands, or the latest and greatest of the hipster films, Donnie Darko.

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Movie poster

Could somebody call Tony Jaa and let him know that his Indonesian replacement has arrived?

Iko Uwais, an up-and-comer Indonesian martial arts star blasts onto the screen with a humble look, a calm gait and an unstoppable kick, in his first widely publicized film, Merantau.

The story in Merantau is not much different from the majority of martial arts films, with the typical ‘martial arts master goes to the city, not looking for trouble, finds it and then saves the girl, rescues the kid.’ It’s strange that these martial arts masters are never looking for trouble, but they certainly always somehow find it.

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Hot Tub Time Machine

Main characters in 'Hot Tub Time Machine'

Hot Tub Time Machine is a movie for the collective masses aimed at anybody over the age of 13 who can giggle at profanity and a weak, overplayed storyline – going back in time and altering the course of events. Let’s be honest, the concept wasn’t even new when the Back To The Future franchise came out and catapulted Michael J. Fox to superstardom.

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The Man Who Never Was

Film Cover

Do you fancy spy flicks? How about World War II era films where there are Nazis at every turn? Perhaps you just enjoy films from the Golden Age. Maybe, by chance, you also enjoyed the 1990s comedy flick Weekend At Bernie’s.

So, now you’re probably wondering what could spies, World War II and a random dead body who just so happens to be the life of the party have to do with each other?

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Heart Is…

One of the many versions of the cover

If you saw this film with friends you probably were embarrassed by the end, because this poignant tale leaves few with dry eyes.

Heart is… is a melancholy tale about a wonderfully innocent pair of children, neglected by their mother, forced to live with relatives, who eventually move and are unable to support them any longer.

Directed by Oh Dal-gyun, Heart is… is a tragic masterpiece which comments on the brutality of society, particularly on the dimension of human trafficking.

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The unseen side of Japan: Nobody Knows

From L-R: Yuki, Kyokyo, Akira, and Shigeru

Hirokazu Koreeda did a fantastic job of telling the story of these young children, abandoned by their mother, who have to fight for survival.

The oldest boy, Arika Fukushima (Yûya Yagira) is smart, witty, and hard working. His mother often leaves him in charge to do everything from cooking, to paying the bills and taking care of his younger siblings. His mother is rarely around and sometimes she leaves money for the kids; which is never enough for the lengths of time she is gone.

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The Way Back

'The Way Back'

Russian gulags were never known for their fair treatment of their prisoners, most of which were political prisoners, given unbelievably long sentences, often on chumped up charges of treason, espionage, or criticism of “Comrade Stalin.” The prisoners held in this gulag were no different.

Although a reasonably unknown film, the cast is made up of a surprising collection of A-list actors to include Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, and Saoirse Ronan. The other lesser-known co-stars are on par with the A-listers in this dramatic escape-turned-journey flick.

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Noriko’s Dinner Table: alter-egoism and constant change

Noriko role playing in her father's strange play

“There is no suicide club,” says a nondescript man in his mid-thirties.

Confused, the middle aged man accepts the answer and walks away, only to reflect later on another thing the man said “the actors play their roles, and if their roles require them to commit suicide, then they do it.”

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