La Mission (Peter Bratt, USA, 2009) A veteran S.F. vato turned responsible if still muy macho widower, father, and Muni driver, 46-year-old Che (Benjamin Bratt) isn't the type for mushy displays of sentiment. But it's clear his pride and joy is son Jess (Jeremy Ray Valdez), a straight-A high school grad bound for UCLA. Read more »
In early April, a long-range rocket blasted off from deepest, darkest North Korea; according to a Reuters.com news report, the communist country claimed that its satellite was "launched into orbit and [is now] circling the Earth transmitting revolutionary songs." Um, yeah. Most folks say the rocket failed and that its real purpose was to test North Korea's dropping-warheads-on-our-enemies capabilities. Read more »
Ramin Bahrani is a young filmmaker who's beloved by critics and whatever arthouse-type audiences have been lucky enough to catch his work, thus far 2005's Man Push Cart and 2007's Chop Shop. Born in America to Iranian parents, Bahrani was educated at Columbia University and set both of those films minimalist marvels that racked up kudos galore at global fests in New York City. His latest, Goodbye Solo, shifts from gritty NY to depressed Winston-Salem, N.C., where Bahrani was raised. Read more »
How's this for lowest common denominator? The first sentence of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Wikipedia entry explains that he is a "Japanese filmmaker best known for his many contributions to the J-horror genre." With his latest film, family drama Tokyo Sonata, particularly fresh in my mind, I'd nearly forgotten he was even part of that late-1990s trend. Read more »
Body art-averse parents are allegedly up in arms over the Totally Stylin' Tattoo Barbie, who is clearly totally styling with her totally stylin', tiny butterfly tattoo (my prediction: if they make a Ken version, he'll have something tribal).
Zomg, the new Terminator Salvationtrailer is out today. We've all listened to star Christian Bale's awesomely vitriolic rant, and we've all seen The Dark Knight (some of us more than once, apparently, since the movie's box-office haul was somewhere in the bajillions). Read more »
REVIEW In the giant, rundown apartment buildings of Naples and Caserta, organized crime doesn't run afoul of the law it is the law. Based on the best seller of the same name by Roberto Saviano (who co-scripted), Matteo Garrone's Gomorrah has already hauled in European laurels galore, including the Grand Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Inexplicably not nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar (not uplifting enough? Read more »