Category: 2000s

  • Attack of the Nerds: Fanboys Makes a Joyride out of Looking Forward to Star Wars

    Remember when, back in 1999, the Star Wars hype was almost as huge, if not even bigger, than this year? After an absence of more than a decade and a half, the saga was about to return with Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and expectations were through the roof. Fanboys, a 2009 comedy by director […]

  • The Doors of Perception: Nietzsche Revisited in The Diving Bell & The Butterfly

    Le scaphandre et le papillon by the American artist and director Julian Schnabel is a good example of what cinema is able to accomplish. Based on a novel by Jean-Dominique Bauby, the former editor-in-chief of the French magazine Elle, the movie is depicting his real and unique destiny. After a stroke Bauby (Quantum Of Solace […]

  • The Musical Box: Marion Cotillard Plays Wicked Games in Love Me If You Dare

    Jeux d’enfants by French director Yann Samuell begins as a rather sad version of Amélie but develops a dynamic of its own which leads to catastrophe. The young Julien Janvier (Guillaume Canet), whose mother is on the brink of dying from cancer, meets Sophie Kowalsky (Marion Cotillard), a Polish classmate who is bullied. They become […]

  • Future Management: Funny and Romantic Disaster Control in The New Year Calling Plan

    New Year’s is an entirely different beast in Russia than in most other countries. For historical reasons, it’s basically Christmas and the rest of the holiday season rolled into one. The turn of the year is what Russians celebrate big time, and it’s also when they receive their gifts. That is why every December romantic, […]

  • A Little Bit of Finger: Chicken and Other Assorted Goodies in The Bone Man

    Austrian films have been the secret stars of the German-speaking landscape in recent years, not just because of the eccentric Michael Haneke and his Oscar-winning drama Amour. In artistic terms, many of these usually indie pictures have outperformed the more expensive productions from the bigger neighboring country. Lately, one of the mainstays of Austrian cinema […]

  • Ip Man

    Ip Man Carl Douglas’s famous song “Everybody loves Kung Fu fighting” rings in the ears of everyone about the majesty and absolute cool factor of every kung fu movie. In my opinion though, if you haven’t watched Ip Man (pronounced “eep- mun”), you ain’t seen nothing yet. For all you kung fu geeks, Ip Man […]

  • Sweet Temptation: The Collapse of Relationships in Atom Egoyan’s Chloe

    ‘I think with all directors there are ideas that recur, at least for the ones that have creative control of their films,’ controversial Canadian director Atom Egoyan once remarked. As one of the selected few in the movie industry who don’t need their products to turn a profit, the four-time winner at Cannes and two-time […]

  • Castaway On The Moon

    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 […]

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

    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 […]

  • Merantau

    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 […]

  • The Analytical Mind: Comparing Sherlock Holmes, Then and Now

    Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective, Sherlock Holmes, is one of English literature’s most recognizable and enduring characters. As such, he has made more than 200 movies appearances since the inception of cinema. The master snoop had been portrayed by such luminaries as Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Christopher Plummer, Patrick Macnee, Jonathan Pryce, Christopher Lee and […]

  • Rebels with a Cause: Valeri Todorovsky’s Russian Hipsters and the Postwar Jazz

    Russians tend to love music. People who are familiar with the country’s cinema know that there are usually a couple of songs in the films produced in Russia, especially in those from the Soviet period. Actors often double as singers and vice versa. It is therefore surprising that the musical had been neglected by the […]

  • The World Needs a Hero: Vadim Sokolovsky’s The Book Of Masters as a Modern Russian Fairy Tale

    The Walt Disney Company has been really active in Russia in recent years. Last year, it bought 49% of the shares of 7TV and launched its own television channel in the country. Yet Disney’s attempts to enter the Russian market did not begin with that event. With The Book Of Masters, the company had already […]

  • Heart Is…

    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 […]

  • The unseen side of Japan: Nobody Knows

    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 […]