Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

A charming and poignant film about the friendship of a elderly widowed woman and a young and impoverished writer. The recently widowed Mrs. Palfrey escapes her judgemental daughter and nursing home by living at the Claremont hotel in London that's filled with elderly patrons. Through an accident she befriends the young Ludovic Mayer and the friendship enhances their lonely lives. Joan Plowright and Rupert Friend make it work in this otherwise formulaic film. Friend makes his official screen debut and is on his way to stardom in the coming years. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Carne Trémula (Live Flesh)

The fantastic Pedro Almodóvar delivered another classic with this loose adaptation of a Ruth Rendell novel about a fateful night that changes the lives of five people. This films defies genre conventions from erotic thriller to romantic drama with Almodóvar signature all over it including a masterful story telling and a perfect cast including Javier Bardem, Francesca Neri, Penelope Cruz and Angela Molina in a heart breaking performance. Films like this are a rare treat and still holds up well. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.


Classic Cronenberg that still holds up and prophetic in some ways long before reality television. James Woods plays a TV executive looking for cutting edge programming when he finds Videodrome, a pirate reality show that changes those who watch it along other symptoms. Deborah Harry (Blondie) stands out in a supporting vamp role with a taste for S&M. The film is as edgy as you would expect from Cronenberg who went to make The Fly, Dead Ringers and Crash. Cronenberg currently enjoys a revival of his career thanks to the smashing success of A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Never Back Down

A Hollywood formula film that's updated every decade to reflect the generation's culture in music and fashion. Never-the-less the film delivers exactly what it promises, a lot of eye candy and potent fights. Sean Faris makes a credible hero and delivers a solid performance along with Djimon Hounsou who raises the film a few notches above the average. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Lucky Number Slevin

A stylish thriller that aspires to "The Usual Suspects" but fails miserably despite a great cast. The cast that includes Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Morgen Freeman and Bruce Willis amongst others must have gotten either a great script or paycheck to have committed to this lackluster of a film directed by Paul McGuigan (Gangster No1) who also made the terrible "Wicker Park" also with Hartnett which was the remake of the great French film "L'Appartement" by Gilles Mimouni. The whole film is uninspired and unbelievable from begin till end. An exercise in style without any substance. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.


A rare glimpse of the real Los Angeles beyond what you see in Hollywood films. The film is set in the Hispanic community of Echo Park that's changing and joining other trendy neighborhoods.
The quinceañera is the coming of age ritual that welcomes girls into womanhood on their fifteenths birthday. While Magdalena and her family organize her upcoming party, she finds out that she's pregnant. In the weeks up to her birthday Magdalena matures into a young woman and leaving behind the innocence of her childhood. The writer and director duo of Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland deliver a solid film that's fresh and poignant in the city of angels that rarely shown on the big screen. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Ken Loach's staggering and brilliant film about oppression and its consequences delves deeper into the psychology of the individuals whose lives are shattered by the casualties of war. It also points out that not every body's cut for war and the consequences go far behind the battlefield. The film is set in Ireland but could be set in Afghanistan or Iraq where families are torn apart and loyalties put to test. Cillian Murphy gives a powerful performance as the reluctant Damian who tries to stay out of trouble and planning to continues his studies as a doctor in London while brother Teddy (Padraic Delaney) has joined the IRA to fight the British occupation and oppression. When Damian joins Teddy, he takes matters further than Teddy and the brothers end up against each other when the nation goes into civil war over a peace treaty with the Brits. Ken Loach and writer Paul Laverty's film couldn't have come at a better time and deservedly won the Palme d'Or in Cannes. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.


Christian Petzold's cold and calculating psychological thriller about a woman who can't escape her ex-husband who tries to destroy her chance for a better future when she finds a new job in another town. The film goes beyond the genre conventions by delving into the supernatural and making a statement about unfilled potentials of lives cut short. Nina Hoss won the award for best actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her nuanced and haunting portrayal of the title character. YRCinema's coverage of upcoming releases.