Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece remains a milestone in cinema, a film of staggering power that has not lost one bits of it brilliance. A groundbreaking film with more silence than dialogue, glorious music and imagery that remains a mysterious enigma 40 years later. A mysterious monolith is witness to human evolution from the beginning of human race to the future where it awaits to reveal itself. It's a film for the ages that should be viewed every many times during a lifetime. It's also the best Science Fiction film ever made. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Angst Essen Seele Auf

German cinema's "L'Enfant Terrible" filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder was never shy from criticizing the racism in his country. In this homage to Douglas Sirk's "All That Heaven Allows" he takes no prisoners when a good-hearted and lonely old woman falls in love with a Moroccan guest worker, she's viciously criticized by the society that endangers her happiness. Fassbinder clearly shows the dilemma of the woman to choose between loneliness and the wrath of the society. While Brigitte Mira gives a heartbreaking performance as the lonely cleaning lady Emmi, Fassbinder stylization gets in the way, specially in the last act. An influential film never-the-less, specially on Todd Haynes and François Ozon amongst others. The German title is grammatically incorrect since it's an Arab proverb spoken by Ali, the leading man which would be in English "Fear Eat Soul" instead of "Fear Eats the Soul." YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

RIP: Maurice Jarre 1924 - 2009

Les Amitiés Maléfiques

Writer and director Emmanuel Bourdieu's character study of a charming and pathological liar who has a profound influence on several people that consider him a genius. The film is as much about the influence of friendship as it is about the fragility of creativity where a false friend can kill talent before it matures in this morality tale. It's refreshing to see a film about something other than just entertainment. A fine cast makes the film a rewarding one to watch. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Anthony Minghella's last film shows what a brilliant writer and director he was before his untimely death. A colorful, gorgeous and hugely entertaining film where the location is as much a character as the actors with Jill Scott giving a winning performance along with a fine cast and crew. After all these years of bad news from Africa, it shows that there's a lot of good about the continent as the films shows with great heart and humor. The film has top notch A-list talent from cinematographer Seamus McGarvey(Atonement, The Hours) to composer Gabriel Yared (The English Patient, Betty Blue) and Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral). YRCinema's coverage of films for TV.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


This film remains Christopher Nolan and Guy Pearce's best work. A brilliant film with one of the best endings ever. It's easier to have a great beginning than to have a great ending. So many films year after year burn because they fail in the third act. The story about the importance of memory is told in reverse about a man suffering from short-term memory loss on the hunt of his wife's murder. Rarely does a film require the audience's total attention as much as this film does. Nolan brilliantly controls every beat of the film with a brilliant cast and crew. It remains of the best films of the decade. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

The Mother

Director Roger Michell (Persuasion, Notting Hill) redeems himself with this film after a short detour to Hollywood. The story of an elderly and frigid woman's sexual awakening after the death of her husband when she falls for her daughter's unstable lover. Writer Hanif Kureishi delivers his best script since his brilliant debut for Stephen Frear's My Beautiful Laundrette. Michell and Kureishi bravely address the taboo issue of elderly sexuality with care and compassion. Anne Reid and Daniel Craig equally give powerful and honest performances along with a talented cast and crew. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Savage Grace

Tom Kalin's second feature in more than a decade fails despite a talented cast and crew. The story behind the murder of the socialite Barbara Daly Baekeland by her only son. The problem with the film is the script that tries too hard to give insight into the psyches of the privileged Baeklands but comes short. Julianne Moore gives a riveting performance as the unstable woman who destroys her marriage and her son's life. Instead of covering the three decades, it probably would have been better to narrow it down to a shorter time period. The characters behaviors in 1946 is similar to the ones in the 50's and 60's except for their stylish outfits. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mon Oncle d'Amérique

Legendary French master Alain Resnais (Hiroshima, Mon Amour) is never been shy to break the rules that were either hits or misses but always with interesting results. He brilliantly brings the theories of human nature to screen with this film where narrative and documentary mix seamlessly as he mixes behavioral theorist Henri Laborit with fictional characters to demonstrate his point on how we function in the society. The film grabs you from the first minute till the last where everything makes perfect sense yet hard to describe. A true masterpiece that has not lost one bit of its sheer power with wonderful performances all around, specially Gérard Depardieu. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Production designer turned director Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) still has not found her vision as a director that's clearly evident in this film that struggles between the teenage coming of age story and the supernatural thriller. She never finds the balance to satisfy the both aspects of the teenage love story between a vampire boy and a human girl. The flaws are all over the place, specially the screenplay but the leads Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson save the day without whom the film would have been a total disaster. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Street Kings

Writer turned director David Ayer (Training Day, Harsh Times) opts for somebody else's script for his second feature but remains thematically in the same territory of police corruption in Los Angeles. Keanu Reeves plays a burned out LAPD detective Tom Ludlow who finally realizes that the corruption in his department is more widespread than he previously thought. After the murder of his former partner, he finds out with the help of a rookie (Chris Evans) that the murder was setup by his colleagues and friends. The fine cast includes Forest Whitaker and Hugh Laurie. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Chris Cooper gives a riveting performance as Robert Hanssen who caused the biggest security breach in the history of the US intelligence in this chilling and cold film. The tone of the film is as cold as it gets in this psychological thriller that tries to shed some light on the motives behind the crime. The film begins in the last two months of Hanssen's life before his arrest through the eyes of Eric O'Neill who was assigned as his assistant. Obviously the true story behind the film is the real star of this somber film. Ryan Phillippe and Laura Linney round up the excellent cast. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Tony Gilroy remains in the corporate world after his smashing debut in "Michael Clayton." He delivers another knockout with this romantic thriller that manages to thrill without sex or violence. The perfect cast and crew includes Clive Owen and Julia Roberts who sizzle as spies who leaves their government jobs for more cash in the competitive and greedy corporate world. Gilroy's smart and intelligent script proves that there's enough original material out there without the cliches of that plagues most thrillers with a single bullet or drop of blood. It's no wonder that great actors flock to work with Gilroy because his sharp script gives everybody enough to chew on. The excellent cast includes Tom Wilkenson, Paul Giamatti and Thomas McCarthy amongst others. YRCinema's coverage of current releases.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Painted Veil

Edward Norton and Naomi Watts shine in this lavish adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham novel which they also helped producing. They play a couple trapped in a loveless marriage in 1920's China. After the husband finds out that his wife has been unfaithful, he accepts a position in a remote region to fight Cholera where they find love for each other. Director John Curran makes up after his disappointing "We Don't Live Here Anymore" with this gorgeous film set in the amazing Guangxi region of China with an excellent cast that includes Toby Jones, Liev Schreiber and Diana Rigg. Alexandre Desplat delivers an equally perfect score to the scenery captured by cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh, mostly known for his gorgeous work with Jane Campion. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

August Rush

This feel good modern fable about a gifted boy who sets out to find his parents through the mystical powers of music. Director Kirsten Sheridan finds a pitch-perfect cast in Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers who sail the film through all its flaws. Anybody who loves music and believes in its powers will be delighted with this film that makes such an original use of music. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.