Thursday, April 30, 2009
Bollywood legend Raj Kapoor dominated with his family the Indian film industry for four decades as an actor, director and producer. His films rank among the best and this film is his last great film that seamlessly mixes popular entertainment with social commentary as most his films did. In this film he attacks the tradition of widows who are severely punished by the society. The second film with his son Rishi Kapoor (Bobby) who has matured as leading man. A compelling story with a great cast make this classic film outstanding. The film features as usual for Kapoor films, stunning song sequences with a classic songs. Kapoor remains the greatest showman in Bollywood whose still influences the industry.
Writer and director Karim Dridi's astonishing and shocking film about a 11 year old criminal in the outskirts of Marseille. Abandoned by his father, Marco must fend for himself by doing petty crimes with his cousins and friends. Dridi creates a vivid world, full of colorful characters where the adults are no match for the criminal youth. Marc Cortes gives a riveting performance as the title character who's trapped in the hostile environment. A raw film of staggering intensity that reminds of Matteo Garrone's "Gomorrah" on a smaller scale. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Writer and director Julio Hernandez Cordon shows promise with his debut about disillusioned youths in Guatemala. The story about three middle-class teenagers who steal gas, disrespect adults and kill innocent pederastions one night. The only problem is that the characters lack development and Cordon doesn't take the story beyond the obvious. The young cast of non-professionals bring authenticity to the story. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Christos Georgiou's whimsical comedy about a cop (Aris Servetalis) in a remote and idyllic Greek island who's bored dealing with petty crimes. He suddenly gets his hands full after a dead body appears. Along with the local beauty (Vicky Papadopoulou) he tries to solve the mystery behind the death where everybody is a suspect. Stunning sun drenched locations and the good looking leads make this film a delight that reminds of Hitchcock's "The Trouble with Harry." YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Catherine Breillat's unconventional adaptation of the fairy tale by Charles Perrault will be something only for her die hard fans. Besides the winning performances the film lacks imagination in every aspect from writing and direction to the technical departments. One definitely expects more from the provocative director and source material but instead get a lackluster of a film that falls apart on the big screen. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Writer and director Lance Daly's powerful drama about two kids caught in a hostile world. Dylan and Kylie, two troubled Irish kids escape their abusive small town environment to the streets of Dublin where greater danger awaits them. Daly shows with great skill and heart along with outstanding performances by Kelly O'Neill and Shane Curry the perils of childhood in an hostile world before they make a journey of discovery where they find some happiness and love for music, even though it's short lived. In a wonderful sequence a Dredger captain (the excellent David Bendito) introduces the kids to the music of Bob Dylan shows that a gesture of kindness goes a long way with impressionable kids. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
A beautiful but disappointing film by Georgian director Mikheil Kalatozishvili about a young doctor's experiences in a remote region of Central Asia. The story is told through humor about a man's existence far from civilization where the local traditions and superstitions weigh as much as the Westerns. However it's never explained why a young Russian doctor would end up in a desolate place for no clear reason when his love and interest are elsewhere. There's also a lack of interest or development for the locals except for comic relief. Writer and director Gulshat Omarova used the same region to better results in the riveting Native Dancer (Baksy). YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Director Erik Boppe delivers a splendid drama with this tale of redemption full of originality and powerful performances. The story of a young man who tries to start a new life after he served time for killing a young boy. He finds a job at a church playing organ but has yet to come to terms to deal with the past, specially the mother of the death child. Boppe hits all the right notes until the last act where the film loses some of its power. The beautiful cinematography and score effectively enhance the intensity of this powerful drama from Norway. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
This experimental exercise might have worked in a short but fails as a feature where everything is shown from the distance with only ambient sound that discourages any involvement with the story or characters. By keeping crucial information away the director Jaime Rosales seems to be interested to explore an idea than tell a story. Without knowing anything about the true incident that this film is based, we follow a character who meets several people around a Spanish town before killing two people in a random act. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Monday, April 27, 2009
A beautiful but uneven film by Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó. A young man comes or returns to the Danube delta after many years to his mother and finds a sister he never knew he had. After realizing he's not welcome, he goes to an uninhabited island on the river to build a house with his sister with whom he has an incestuous affair. The lack of crucial information keeps from investing in the story or characters that lack any kind of development. The only that remains is the gorgeous sun drenched locations of the Danube delta. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Gael Metroz makes a stunning debut with this breath taking documentary that traces the route of Swiss traveller and writer Nicolas Bouvier from Geneva to Sri Lanka. While a lot has changed since the peaceful times of the 50's, Metroz has to leave Bouvier's course to find the essence of Bouvier and the region he loved and wrote about that made Metroz and many others to dream about. Metroz narrates his stunningly filmed footage through many places Bouvier travelled with great affection and insight that makes this film outstanding. The documentary also offers a different picture of the region in the news despite the ordeals of the three decades. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Director Dito Montiel reunites with Channing Tatum who has made a career for himself as the troubled white man ever since their first first collaboration in "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints." The film delivers exactly what the title promises along with some morals thrown into it. The cast that includes Terrence Howard and Luis Guzmán take the film above average, however all the actors run the dangers of stereo typing with the exception of Altagracia Guzman who steals every scene she's in. YRCinema's coverage of current releases.
Esther Rots makes a solid debut with this psychological drama about a woman's struggle to live life after a violent assault. Told through the point of view of the victim Rots tells a disturbing tale of a young woman on the edge fighting for her sanity even after moving to the countryside. The film points out the psychological impact that nobody but the victims can relate to. Rifka Lodeizen gives an intense and gripping performance as Marieke who acts almost alone the entire film and has the burden of the entire film on her shoulders. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Another terrific thriller from Hong Kong that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The film starts predictably with a cop who accidentally kills a child on duty but then the breathtaking action kicks in till the last minute with many twist and turns. Director Dante Lam manages with great skill telling a riveting tale of redemption that involves many broken souls who lives are shattered through a fateful accident. It's further proof that Asian cinema is a great source for original material. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Aida Begic's shattering film about a group of Bosnian women who struggle in a remote village with the aftermaths of the war. Almost everybody has lost somebody but still haven't lost the hope for the return of their beloved ones. Begic shows you an authentic tale with a fresh voice that makes you want to see more films from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Begic wrote and directed a profound and poetic film that's beautiful and devastating at the same time with a superb cast and crew. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Director Souad El-Bouhati makes a solid debut with this heartfelt coming of age drama about an French-Moroccan girl with an identity crises. Actress Hafsia Herzi(The Secret of the Grain) gives another powerful performance as Sofia who's forced as a child to return to her parents native country but longs to return to France despite her family's wishes. A universal tale of generational conflict that affects children of immigrants all over the world. EL-Bouhati hits all the right notes and asks important questions of what makes a person's identity, your ethnic background or the culture you are born to. YRCinema's coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Writer and director Anthony Minghella came full circle with his last theatrical release. His first original screenplay since his breakthrough with "Truly Madly Deeply" also returns him to a contemporary tale in London where cultures and classes clash. The film reunites the director with several of his actors including Juliette Binoche and Jude Law in the leading roles. There's several fine performances in this ensemble including Juliette Binoche who gives another outstanding performance as a desperate mother who stops at nothing to save her teenage son. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Director George Clooney lightens up with his third feature film about the beginnings of professional football by paying homage to screwball comedies of the era. He stars as well along with a perfect cast that includes Renée Zellweger and John Krasinski. There's not much to dislike about the film that flows well with enough cinematic nostalgia. The film will only disappoint those who expect more than a light comedy from Clooney after the serious and critically acclaimed "Good Night, and Good Luck." YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
A rather bland adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel of the same title which is ill fated for writer and director Richard Linklater using the same animation technique that worked better on his "Waking Life." One definitely expects more given the rich source material and animation but it seems that the interpolated-rotoscoping techniques is used to preserve the features of the A-list talent than using it to add layers that live action couldn't deliver. The story of an under-cover agent (Keanu Reeves) who's double crossed by the authorities and criminals for infiltrating the world of drug trafficking. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
This film dramatizes the events surrounding the 2000 Presidential election where the whole election was decided by the the votes in Florida that went eventually to Bush despite many claims of a stolen election. Director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Austin Powers) makes a compelling case with a superb cast. As the filmmakers point out there was a systematically plan with a clear intention of where the electoral votes should go in the Republican run State. While it's clear who the villains are, some top democrats doesn't get away clean by refusing to fight the fight. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
A smart and engaging film by director Tom Vaughan who makes his feature debut that showcases several up and coming British actors including James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall and Dominic Cooper. The story about a working class boy who wants break free of his class by seeking higher education at a prestigious university. He has to overcome several obstacles including embracing his humble past before finding a solid ground in the new found world. The excellent cast and crew make the film a joy along with the killer soundtrack. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
A groundbreaking film that is one of the best Science Fiction films ever made besides being one of the best films of the 80's. Visionary director Ridley Scott's follow up to his other brilliant film, "Alien" was ahead of its time and was heavily underrated and butchered at the time of its release. The film created a standard for Sci-Fi films to come and has been often imitated but never equalled. A perfect film in almost every aspect in the art of film making from originality to visionary with a perfect cast and crew that will remain a career best for many involved. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Scottish director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) makes his Hollywood debut with this star studded thriller set in Washington DC with a potent and effective story. Russell Crowe stars as a journalist who discovers political intrigue and murder that involves his friend, a congressman played by Ben Affleck. The only problem with the film is the final twist that seems superfluous and drags the film down which is a shame. Three screenwriters share credit for adapting the British mini series into a feature film that might be too convoluted for some. The fine cast includes the always reliable Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn and Jason Bateman amongst others.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
A terrific and underrated film by director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio giving tour-de-force performances. They play April and Frank Wheeler, the perfect couple admired and adored by their friends and neighbors but have bigger dreams and hopes for their lives. When the chance of breaking free from their mundane world fails, it shutters them and their so called friends. A superb script by Justin Haythe adapted from the classic novel by Richard Yates provides a perfect framework for cast and crew to shine in this timeless classic. The film reunites Winslet and DiCaprio for the first time since "Titanic" and shows how far they have come in their evolution as terrific actors. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.