Friday, July 31, 2009
This film marks a departure for director David Gordon Green from the serious drama towards low brow and raunchy comedy that has jump started the career of star Seth Rogan who also co-wrote the film. Rogan and James Franco are hilarious as potheads who start a drug war. The film has some funny moments but relies too much on its leads than offering anything original. There's a lot of violence and jokes for the target audience. Franco shows some surprising range with this film and "Milk" in same year that makes him an actor to watch. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Chinese director Jia Zhang Ke always has a keen eye for perfect locations and stories to tell about the massive changes that's happening in modern China. In this dazzling film he has chosen the theme park called "The World" with some of its landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or Taj Mahal where the Chinese can travel the world without ever leaving Beijing. Through one of its employees the beautiful dancer Tao who's entire world is encompassed in the park, Zhang Ke takes us on a mind blowing tour in the artificial cage where people live and die while dreaming of what lies outside. Zhang Ke always there to shed a light on the modernization of his country and its toll on the people and their environment that's heartbreaking and frightening. Zhang Ke along with cast and crew, specially cinematographer Nelson Yu Lik-wai always manage to tell a great story with great imagery that will last long after the film is finished. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Jean-Pierre Melville wrote and directed this smashing thriller set among the criminal underworld where nothing as is as it seems. Melville shows with a breath taking pace various characters playing dangerous games, amongst them are Maurice Faugel (Serge Reggiani) who's recently out of prison and tries to get back in the game and the mysterious Silien (Jean-Paul Belmondo) whom Faugel considers a friend that could be deadly if he's wrong. Melville depicts a realistic world where one wrong move can be costly with his signature style. Belmondo and Reggiani deliver outstanding performances in the leading roles. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This masterpiece by Marcel Carné demonstrates more than any other that film is the medium where all the art forms meet in perfect harmony. Carné and writer Jacques Prévert cleverly bring theater, literature, music, architecture and design together to tell a timeless tale of love and life. A beautiful woman named Garance who attracts several men including a thief, an aristocrat and an actor but falls for a romantic mime. The outstanding cast includes Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault and Pierre Brasseur amongst others. The film remains a milestone in cinema among the greatest ever made. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Italien maestro Federico Fellini shows his genius in this dazzling film about a director on the verge of a nervous breakdown while working on his latest film and dealing with the various women in his life. Along for the ride are Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale and Nino Rota amongst others. The title refers to the number of films Fellini made at the point and was experiencing the same dilemmas depicted in the film with the exception that unlike the director in the film, Fellini delivered a masterpiece that's also one of the best films about film making. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Greek director Theo Angelopoulos masterfully mixes the past, present, future, dream and reality into a profound and haunting film that touches on universal themes of love, life and death amongst others. The ever reliable Bruno Ganz plays a dying poet who reflects on his life and country where his whole existence converges into one last day. Angelopoulos touches on the current topics such as illegal immigration, child trafficking and political turmoil besides isolation and alienation in this modern Odyssey. The stunning cinematography and haunting score make this film an unforgettable experience. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
This magnificent masterpiece by John Ford is as personal as it's an epic film with a flawed hero played by no other than John Wayne in one of his best performances. Wayne's bitter and racist angry white man's obsessive search for his kidnapped niece after the Indians killed her family. Ford and Wayne doesn't hide the racism and show the brutality of life in the West. Jeffery Hunter more than holds his own against Wayne as the half-brother of the girl who's the the total opposite of Wayne's character and the heart of the film. Gloriously filmed on actual breath taking locations make this film an absolute classic and one of the best Western films ever. The excellent cast includes Vera Miles and Natalie Wood. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Johnny Depp followed "Edward Scissorhands " with this stunning surreal and off-beat comedy by acclaimed director Emir Kusturica who made his first and only Hollywood film that has become a cult classic. The studios didn't like the film and butchered it but the European version (director's cut) is a real gem that remains of the most under-rated films. The quirky story of a dreamer who's invited by his uncle to Arizona where he's torn between an unstable mother and daughter. The stellar cast includes Jerry Lewis and Faye Dunaway but Lili Taylor and Vincent Gallo deliver career best performances in this charming film. The soundtrack by Kusturica regular Goran Bregovic and Iggy Pop is equally stunning. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This film remains Claude Lelouch's masterpiece that still stands the test of time. A simple and beautiful story about a man and a woman falling in love. The film works mostly because of the charm and elegance of its stars, Jean-Louis Trintignant and the stunning Anouk Aimée. Lelouch uses documentary style film making to tell the story of the two single parents who fall in love that's breath taking and poetic in its simplicity. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Director Zack Snyder follows his successful "300" with this dark and edgy film that's brave for its kind of genre. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore, Snyder's efforts are admirable for risk taking but the film has its problems that are in inherent in the screenplay with its convoluted story and characters. The story set in 1985 in alternate universe where Nixon is still president and superheros are real. After one of the retired superheros is murdered, another superhero called Rorschach tries to solver the mystery. The story touches on many levels amongst them the human race and its relationship to the environment and technology that threatens its existence. Snyder shows a lot of confidence that works well in some parts but comes short in others, specially by casting relatively unknowns instead of A-list talent that might have helped the film and brought more attention to varies characters. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
French actor Guillaume Canet wrote, directed and stars in this terrific thriller about an accused doctor on the run who has to prove his innocence while solving the mysterious disappearance of his wife. The superb script based on the novel by Harlan Coben with a stellar cast that includes François Cluzet, Marie-Josée Croze, André Dussollier, Kristin Scott Thomas, Nathalie Baye and Jean Rochefort amongst others. Canet shows great assurance with the material as the writer and director. The excellent cast and crew along with the great story make the film one of the best thrillers in recent years. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Chinese writer and directer Wang Quan-An delivers a powerful film about a troubled Mongolian family who struggle to live their lives in the desolated grasslands. After Tuya's husband becomes disabled she has to do double duty in and out of the house. When she injures herself, she and her husband agree to divorce so she can get married again. The film shows the genuine power of love and family in this exotic and stunning film. Quan-An and actress Nan Yu show the perils of the family with great detail full of compassion and humor. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Israeli director Eran Riklis' first smashing collaboration with Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass is the heart breaking story of a Druze family in an occupied village on the Israel/Syria border. The people in the village are caught between in the politics of the countries and have to obey to the inhuman rules that separates families. When the family members come together to marry and send their daughter to Syria, they have to face and endure humiliation from the authorities. Riklis shows great compassion for the people in this outstanding film that puts a human face to the well known conflict. An excellent cast and crew make this film unforgettable. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
It's hard to imagine what attracted the talented cast to this predictable and weak thriller that the increasingly versatile Hugh Jackman produced and stars along with Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams. The story of an timid accountant who's lured into the world of a dubious and slick lawyer with a devious plan. Jackman shines as the bad guy but can't save the weak screenplay and direction. The stunning Charlotte Rampling has a brief role but is wasted like the rest of the talented cast and crew. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Friday, July 17, 2009
John Malkovich made his stunning directing debut with this ambitious political thriller set in Latin America about a detective who chases an elusive terrorist while reluctantly falling in love with a dancer. Javier Bardem and Laura Morante star as the leads along with an excellent cast and crew. Malkovich and writer Nicholas Shakespeare create a credible world with fully developed characters that's never out of sync that never predictable and full of excitement. Beautifully filmed on exotic locations and timely subject matter that's more relevant than ever. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Taiwanese writer and director Su Chao-Bin manages to blend several genres such Sci-Fi, Horror, Drama and Thriller into one but it doesn't always succeed. The story about a team of scientists who have managed to capture a deadly ghost seek the help of a detective to help them with the mystery. The film starts well but gets derailed when Chao-Bin loses focuses with the many characters and subplot that could go into any direction given the genres involved. Chang Chen stars as the gifted but troubled detective but he and the talented cast can't help the inherent problems in the script. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This excellent war film is another example of the golden age of Israeli Cinema co-written and directed by Joseph Cedar about the last days of occupation of the Beaufort fort in Lebanon. The haunting and riveting film shows the immense psychological pressure on the soldiers who fight an invisible enemy while fighting a never ending war where positions are heavily fought for and easily abandoned. Oshri Cohen shines as the hotheaded young commander who has to make some tough choices that comes with a heavy price. Cedar and his excellent cast and crew give an intense and realistic view on war that's universal and timeless regardless on which side you are. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
In this dazzling film, director Jia Zhang Ke takes film making to new heights that has to be experienced. The film blends documentary, drama and video installation to reflect on the frightening pace towards modernization in rural China at the expense of millions of people. Zhang Ke focuses on two people to show the devastating consequences that progress has brought. The film is also a meditation on the destructive powers of humans on their environment that's has been increasing rapidly over the last century. The cinematography by Nelson Yu Lik-Wai of the stunning locations is one of the highlights of this masterpiece. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
French master Marcel Carné directed this classic film about several lonely characters with dubious pasts that cross paths at a port town. Their past haunts them like the heavy fog from the sea that's suffocating the town. French legend Jean Gabin stars as an army deserter looking to escape far away when he falls for the local beauty played by the ravishing Michèle Morgan. A small dog holds his own among the superb cast. This classic from the golden age of French cinema still holds up and shows the complete vision of a master at work. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Italian master Luchino Visconti gave Marcello Mastroianni his first leading role in this smashing film based on the short story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky about two lonely people who have found and lost love, though not at the same time. Visconti and his excellent team of frequent collaborators that includes writer Suso Cecchi d'Amico, DP Giuseppe Rotunno, composer Nino Rota and designer Piero Tosi have created another impeccable masterpiece that still breathtaking and has not lost one bit of its power with a timeless tale. The cast includes Austrian actress Maria Schell and French legend Jean Marais. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Bernardo Bertolucci made his debut as a promising writer and director based on a story by Pier Paolo Pasolini with whom he worked on his directing debut "Accattone." The story unfolds as different suspects are interrogated to solve the murder of a prostitute. The style is reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa's "Rashômon" but Bertolucci/Pasolini use the multiple views to make a social commentary on how unemployed young males are on the verge of committing a criminal act including robbing and killing a prostitute for petty cash. The eternal city of Rome is prominently featured that has influenced many of the great Italian masters including Bertolucci. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The complexity and uniqueness of Calcutta where life and death clashes more than anywhere in India made Louis Malle to separate it from his Phantom India film. This film is more intense and shocking that it's hard to watch at times. Malle's usual keen eye doesn't shy away to show us what he sees without any censorship. The film gives a glimpse of the complexity of the country that has lured many and continues to fascinate. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
The mystery and complexity of India has been captured in this dazzling documentary by the brilliant Louis Malle and team. Without any preconceived idea they got lost in the immensity of the great country that's impossible to describe in simple terms. While some of the images seems familiar, there's as many foreign and strange. India has always captured the imagination of many for centuries and continues to do. While there's constant changes, many things remain unchanged by time. A country of many ethnicity's, religions and the ever complex caste system. Malle manages to give us his impressions and insight as he sees them that's fascinating and informative. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Louis Malle brought his keen eye to observe real people in three documentaries that are also unique time capsules of a bygone era. The first film is called "Vive le Tour" about the Tour de France provides an intimate view of the world famous event with many peculiar practises that seem naive but rather charming compared to how the event has changed since. Among the odd practises are the athletes grabbing alcoholic beverages to drink or literally being pushed by locals up the mountains. The second is the strongest which is called "Humain, trop humain" set at an assembly line of Renault car factory where men and women work on different parts from the begin to end of a car. There's minimal dialog with ambient sound of the factory where the faces provide insight to a fascinating and strange world that's only a little more than three decades old. The last film is called "Place de la République" where we see Malle and his crew interview several pederastions and street vendors about life that's set in an specific time yet timeless of the human condition. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The stellar Jeanne Moreau reunited with director Louis Malle after their smash hit "Elevator to the Gallows" that made her into an undisputed star in this dream of a film. The ravishing Moreau plays a married women who falls in love unexpectedly despite seeking it. Malle masterfully sets up the story that when love happens, you are swept by it as are the characters on screen. Gloriously filmed stunning locations and scored with the music of Brahms besides the attractive and impeccable cast. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
The ever versatile French master Louis Malle made his most personal and dark film with this masterpiece about the last 48 hours in the life of disillusioned and depressed writer who visits his past before committing suicide. Maurice Ronet gives the performance of his life as the haunted writer that's pitch perfect and devastating. Malle manages the impossible to capture depression on screen like never before or after. The haunting music of Erik Satie and the glorious cinematography of Paris by Ghislain Cloquet take the film to new heights. The excellent cast includes Jeanne Moreau and Alexandra Stewart that make this elegant film a classic. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Writer Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams & Babel) directing debut fails to live up to his collaborations with director Alejandro González Iñárritu. The story of an illicit and interracial affair that has devastating consequences for all involved. Using his signature of non-linear story-telling as his previous work doesn't really work here and feels somewhat forced that also affects the strong performances by Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger. YRCinema's coverage of upcoming releases.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Writer and director Jonathan Levine's uneven off-beat comedy tries too hard to be cool. The story set in 1994, New York is about the friendship between a young drug dealer and his psychiatrist. The coming of age story works only partially but the problem lies with the connection of the central characters that doesn't always ring true. Josh Peck does a fine job as the protagonist, Luke but his character is too far-fetched to be credible. The same goes for Ben Kingsley who looks like a doctor down on his luck but has a hot wife and killer apartment that lacks again credibility. The film comes alive with the arrival of Olivia Thirlby who plays the shrinks step-daughter with whom Luke falls in love. The scenes between Peck and Thirlby are the best in the film. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
One of the few Westerns with a central female character, shot on stunning locations with a superb cast. Jennifer Jones stars as Pearl Chavez, a half-breed woman who's sent to live with her wealthy but distant relatives where she's courted by the two very different sons, an educated lawyer and a cowboy. At the Ranch she struggles with her identity as she's partially accepted by the family. The issue of racism explored through the forbidden love story; while Pearl can be the mistress, she can't be married into the family that leads to the dramatic conclusion. Gregory Peck shines among the excellent cast that includes Lionel Barrymore, Lilian Gish and Joseph Cotten amongst others. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Stephen Frears' devastating look at how the violent forces of poverty and religion rips apart a British family through the eyes of their young son during the Depression. Powerful writing and superb direction along with fine performances make the film a standout. The lead performance of Anthony Borrows as the title character is just outstanding among the pros such as Ian Hart and Anne Reid. Frears is one the few directors that consistently delivers great work regardless of the genre. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
French master Claude Chabrol who's one of the few directors of French New Wave that still works and delivers consistently good films. In this great psychological character study French star Benoît Magimel plays Philippe, a good looking and hard working young man who's beloved by his family and boss that falls in love with his sister's disturbed bridesmaid. Chabrol as always meticulously shows the characters develop in their environment before pulling the "rug under your feet" to the shocking conclusion. An excellent cast that includes besides Magimel, Laura Smet and Aurore Clément in equally great roles. The French films do character studies like no other which Chabrol is a master. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.