Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Director Julian Jarrold's lackluster adaptation of the classic Evelyn Waugh novel fails to capture the complex themes that the classic TV series brilliantly captured. Instead we get quick highlights that fails to make any impression at all. The story set before the WW II about an impressionable young British artist whose friendship and love with an aristocratic siblings changes his life forever. The hot and young cast that includes Matthew Goode (Match Point) and Ben Whishaw (Bright Star) also fail to make any impression while the veterans Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon manage to make the most of their brief scenes. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Korean writer and director Bong (The Host, Mother) Joon-ho's thriller based on actual events established his reputation as one of Korea's best directors. The story about Korea's first serial killer and the inefficiency of the small town cops are told with a great skill that's never predictable and riveting until the end. Featuring another outstanding performance by Song Kang-ho (The Host, Secret Sunshine, Thirst) that's one of the highlights of this impeccably layered and complex film that's shows the confident approach of Bong Joon-ho. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, June 29, 2009
A huge disappointment considering the talent involved in this overblown film that includes director Michael Mann and actors Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard. The biggest problem is the uninspired script with no character development or tension that's full of cliches that even the top talent can't save. Furthermore Mann's choices to use HD instead of film backfires despite the capable lensing by ace cinematographer Dante Spinotti and heavy use of music that's rather annoying. The more than capable cast make the film better than it is. The depression era has been well covered by Hollywood in much better films such as "Bonnie & Clyde," "The Untouchables," and most recently "Road to Perdition" that this film doesn't break any new ground. YRCinema's coverage of current releases.
Jean-Pierre Melville's terrific homage to the men and women of French Resistance during the WW II is as thrilling as any of his films. The films shows the great risks taken and high price paid by many before the defeat of the Nazis. The film builds slowly showing the different characters performing extraordinary feats against a vicious and smart enemy before ending with a bang that will leave you shell shocked. The film is as real as it gets without ever getting sentimental showing the great contribution of the army of shadows that consisted of many ordinary people that performed extraordinary tasks. The excellent cast includes Lino Ventura and Simone Signoret amongst others. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Clint Eastwood's profound anti-war film is the best of its kind by humanizing the enemy that war always dehumanizes. Eastwood's style perfectly matches the subject matter more than with any of his other films. The film is about the battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective that's Eastwood companion piece to his "The Flags of Our Fathers". The excellent Ken Watanabe stars General Kuribayashi who leads the battle while the equally excellent Kazunari Ninomiya plays a common soldier who's unwillingly fighting and longs to be with his wife and child. The whole cast shines showing that war is hell regardless on which side you are standing. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
A terrific Western with a great story and locations that gives insight on the life in the American Frontier. The story of a man who seeks revenge on the men who killed his wife unfolds with great tension that's never predictable and always credible. The characters are well developed and complex that allows for outstanding performances, specially Lee Marvin and Randolph Scott. The film marks the best work of director Budd Boetticher who made many Western films. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Italian master filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni concluded his alienation trilogy with this masterpiece that also marked his last film in black and white. Monica Vitti stars Vittoria who ends her long term relationship before finding herself drawn to her mother's stockbroker Piero played by a dashing Alain Delon. Antionioni masterfully observes how humans seek a connection in the modern world cut off from nature. The architecture of Rome serves as a great background that seems to have entrapped everybody. The deserted streets are beautifully haunting. The scenes in the stock exchange provide a great contrast where the brokers and investors seem like caged animals compared to the rest of the silent scenes. Vitti and Delon give captivating performances in this beautiful film. Antonioni finishes the trilogy with a masterful sequence that shows humans disconnection from nature in a sterile environment that's full concrete and asphalt. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The ravishing Audrey Tautou perfectly channels Audrey Hepburn perfectly in this excellent romantic comedy by Pierre Salvadori set in the glamorous world of the French Riviera. Tautou plays gold digger Irène who mistakes the bartender of a luxury hotel for a millionaire which leads to both of them falling for each other with hilarious consequences. French-Moroccan comedian Gad Elmaleh is perfect match for Tautou. Salvadori hits all the right notes in this crowd-pleasing and gorgeous looking film. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Yann Arthus-Bertrand's stunning documentary provides a unique perspective on our planet through amazing aerial footage from 54 countries around the world. It starts by giving a brief history of the planet before showing how it has been changing drastically in the last 50 years. The signs of trouble are shown in case somebody doesn't trust the statistics or scientists. The bottom line is that we are all interconnected through our planet and it's not too late to act to save it. Besides being one of the best documentaries of the year, it's probably the most important one. We have all the information we need, so if humanity fails to save the planet then it deserves the consequences, specially the 20% that's responsible. Since the message is more important than anything else, it's being shown free on YouTube. YRCinema's coverage of current releases.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
After the smashing success of "The Queen", director Stephen Frears reunites with writer Christopher Hampton and Michelle Pfeiffer with whom he did the excellent "Dangerous Liaisons." Superbly written and brilliantly acted, this lavish adaptation is set in the turn of the last century Paris as it was called the "Belle Epoque" which was amongst others the golden age of prostitution where the so called courtesans were the stars of society by having the rich and noble as clients. Michelle Pfeiffer plays the notorious beauty Lea de Lonval who's retiring from her profession but realizing never to have experienced real love. When a former colleague and rival asks her for help with her spoiled son whom Lea has nicknamed Cheri, Lea falls for the young man and fulfilling her last wish. The scenes with Pfeiffer and the amazing Kathy Bates are outstanding but the film belongs to Michelle Pfeiffer who gives her best performance in a decade or so that hopefully will lead to more of the great actress who has been doing too much mediocre work in order to stay near her family. Frears a master at his craft makes another splendid film. YRCinema's coverage of current releases.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Amy Heckerling writes and directs her best work since "Clueless" reuniting with the talented Paul Rudd in a stellar role. Heckerling is taking stabs at Hollywood based on her experiences on TV that are nothing new but Michelle Pfeiffer brings much to the role along with new stunner Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) as her daughter. The three lead actors make the film watchable and raise it above average. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, June 15, 2009
It's not the worst you would expect from M. Night Shyamalan but it's still a half baked environmental thriller. Shyamalan manages to create some great atmospheric set pieces and the story starts right including the real issues of disappearing bees but he fails to take the story to a higher level instead it has an anti climatic ending which makes it less satisfying. The stars Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deshanel can't help much since their characters aren't well developed either. Shyamalan however manages to stop the quality decline since his "The Sixth Sense" to some degree. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Iranian writer and director Asghar Farhadi breathes new life into Iranian cinema with this thriller about a group of friends whose trip to the Caspian sea turns into a nightmare. Golshifteh Farahani (Body of Lies) stars as Sepideh who invites her colleague Elly (Taraneh Alidoosti) to a weekend trip in the hopes of matching her to a friend. What starts as a pleasant journey ends up as a tragedy where secret and lies threatens Sepideh and her relations to her family and friends. Farhadi along with a talented cast and crew gives a glimpse of contemporary life in Iran besides a terrific film. YRCinema's coverage of upcoming releases.
A stylish and atmospheric film that blends two genres, horror and drama, seamlessly. A lonely and bullied boy befriends his strange new neighbor who turns out to be a vampire. Director Tomas Alfredson manages to move effortlessly between the somber drama to the horrific horror scene that's shocking and refreshing in many ways. Alfredson and his team create a unique environment that makes the story credible which is a rare. The stars of the film are the kids playing Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) and Eli (Lina Leandersson) who carry the film with their astonishing performances. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
An uplifting and hugely entertaining documentary about one of 1980's up and coming metal bands that never made it to the top but never gave up and kept it together for more than three decades since and still playing. Writer Sacha Gervasi (The Terminal) makes a smashing debut as a director who always strikes the right tone and never loses control. The focus is on lead singer Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner who met when they were 14 and made a pact that they never abandoned despite the harsh realities of life where anybody else would have given up long ago. The film is surprisingly inspiring and makes you root for the band even if you are not into their music. YRCinema's coverage of current releases.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
An absolutely knockout feature animation that provides a fresh alternative to the dominant Hollywood productions besides the Japanese masterworks of Miyazaki thanks to French writer and director Michel Ocelot. The story worthy of one of the "One Thousand and One Nights" tales is about two boys, one European and other Arab whose mother nurses them both before they are torn apart. Years later the two young men set out on adventure inspired by legendary tale of their youth. A rich and original story comes alive meticulously that will enthrall and leave you craving for more. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Friday, June 5, 2009
A delightful film that will please everybody from six year old to sixty and beyond shows that Pixar is getting better and better with every film without comprising artist integrity or commercial prospects. The rich story is layered enough to offer something for everybody about a elderly man who starts on a journey of lifetime with a young boyscout. The visually stunning film is even better as a 3D experience. The 3D technology is taken to new heights that indicates the new future of experiencing films at the theater which has been dwindling down dramatically over the years. YRCinema's coverage of current releases.