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Monthly Archives: January 2013

PARKER

PARKERb

Never having read the Richard Stark novels (pseudonym of Donald E. Westlake); a neophyte, totally ignorant of the protagonist and his exploits, it was stunningly shocking that “Parker” (stoically handsome Jason Statham) was an untoward character, a criminal with ethics, a pugnacious, tenacious, terrifying personage when doubled-crossed; hence, the fast-paced, pungently gory scenario, revolving around Parker’s revenge and his unique ... Read More »

QUARTET

Quartet

Dustin Hoffman directs a film that vacillates between the vicissitudes, decrepitude of once- gifted musicians and their resistance or acceptance of their octogenarian state and faded fame; flirting with poignancy but never quite grasping it; the characters become comical “caricatures” of  diminished vitality, spouting maudlin repartee. Michael Cambon was  particularly annoying as the grousing director. The fine moments revolve around ... Read More »

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Many of you asked why I did not include this category in my contest. The reason is simple, I have not see them all and I refuse to judge on instinct or “playing the odds”. Also, I was massively disappointed that “The Intouchables” was ignored; in my estimation it was one of the best films of the year. But for ... Read More »

MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA (HINDI, ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

matru-ki-bijlee-ka-mandola

For four years, I have painstakingly tried to encourage Westerners to sample the Bollywood genre; but with films as ridiculous as “Matru……..” my efforts are bordering on the nonsensical. I ceased fruitlessly counting the films from India that I have seen, and have repeatedly recommended worthy ones (most available on Netflix); after two and a half hours of watching a ... Read More »

PENEFLIX ACADEMY AWARD CONTEST COUNTDOWN

Everyone has favorites; some never waver in their choices; most of us are a thousand percent that we are correct. As I watched the Golden Globe Awards, groaning at some of the winners, questioning the reasoning of the judges, wondering if they had seen all of the films, feeling bewildered, chagrined, massively disappointed as my favorites were felled by what ... Read More »

BROKEN CITY

Broken-City

Russell Crowe, sporting the banged “Nero” look, plays the slimy, mendacious, feckless Mayor of New York City, running for re-election; it will take years to erase Crowe’s insipid performance in  “Les Miserables” ; gone is the grit of “John Nash” in “A Beautiful Mind”, poignancy of “James Braddock” in “Cinderella Man” or the  mettle, dignity of “The Gladiator”. Disguising his ... Read More »

GANGSTER SQUAD

gangster_squad

Vigilante brigade strives to rid Los Angles of its Jewish mobster, “Mickey Cohen”; a plastic caricature by Sean Penn. It is 1949 and a corps of terrific actors comprise the “squad”; they had to have had a riotous time making this “B” movie about lawless LA and cops gone rogue, cauterizing Cohen’s notorious cabal of amoral thugs. If you are ... Read More »

ZERO DARK THIRTY

zero-dark-thirty

Kathryn Bigelow has scored again (“The Hurt Locker”) with this meticulous, intricate scenario of the decade long hunt and slaying of the world’s most sought after terrorist, Osama Bin Laden; she is religious in depicting the reality of the quest and CIA operative “Maya’s” intransigent dedication to finding this heinous villain. Jessica Chastain gives a quietly explosive performance as a ... Read More »

AMOUR (FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

AMOUR

Every role, every life’s lesson prepared Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant to depict the tragic demise of “Anne” and “Georges”; a classically beautiful, harmonious marriage suffocated by horrific, debilitating circumstances. Director and screenwriter Michael Haneke (“The White Ribbon”) uses these two inimitable actors to paint a devastating portrait of the effects of a stroke on cultured, intellectual, “Anne”, her caregiver, ... Read More »

REMINISCES OF A FILM FESTIVAL

After 20 films, all comprising a bovine blob, sloshing simultaneously in my beleaguered brain, recognizing a need for a stimulus-free void to synthesize, analyze, masticate and separate the mediocre from the sublime; arriving home to the Academy Award nominations, exhausted, exhilarated, energized by the electric, enticing, exciting, imaginative world of cinema, knowing its ubiquity will never cease to overwhelm and ... Read More »

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