Monday, November 30, 2009

Fanny and Alexander

Swedish master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman's last theatrical feature may be one of his most intimate films about a young boy who after a traumatic loss, experiences hell when his mother marries a devious bishop. After establishing a lavish and loving setting where a family of artists celebrate Christmas, Bergman shows the cold and austere setting that's just shocking and void of humanity and love. Part ghost story and part drama, there are obvious parallels to Shakespeare's Hamlet with Bergman's unique signature over it. As you would expect from a Bergman film everything is top notch in every department. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Woman Under the Influence

The magnificent Gena Rowlands gives one of her greatest performances in writer and director John Cassavetes' masterpiece that's astounding in every way. An unstable woman with slight mental problem is pushed over the edge by her loving but uneducated husband. Rowlands' heartbreaking performance is greatly helped by an equally powerful performance by Peter Falk. Raw and intense and without a false note Cassavetes masterfully peels at the complex relationship of the family and their social network in this beautiful classic. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Ruling Class

Director Peter Medak's outrageous and biting take on the British upper class based on the play by Peter Barnes who also adapted it for the screen. In this dark comedy with a good dose of musical, Peter O'Toole gives an outstanding performance as the aristocrat with a delusion of grandeur that literally goes from Jesus Christ to Jack the Ripper after he inherits a family fortune. Medak and Barnes take scathing blows on the ruling class with class and humor. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yi Yi

Writer and director Edward Yang's profound masterpiece starts with a wedding and ends with a funeral with everything else happening in between when a family deals with the joys and tribulations of life in Taipei. Masterfully written and directed with memorable characters full of heart and humor giving insight to their lives thanks to a talented cast and crew that makes this film an absolute delight to experience. The staggering accomplishment remained the swan song for Yang who passed away in 2007. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Dying Gaul

Writer Craig Lucas makes an impressive debut as a director with this film about a writer who unknowingly enters a dangerous love triangle between a film executive and his wife. A well written film despite minor flaws about the seductive world of Hollywood where dreams are made and broken at the cost of somebody's life. Lucas meticulously weaves a web of deceit and intrigue with chilling results with a solid cast that includes Peter Sarsgaard, Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

United States of Leland

There's a lot of missed opportunities in writer and director Matthew Ryan Hoge's film with an all star cast who clearly overwhelmed the director who seems as lost as the lead character play by Ryan Gosling. After a senseless crime families of the victim and the murderer try to cope with consequences of the tragedy while a teacher at the detention center tries to find the motive behind the crime which he could for his writing. All the characters are two dimensional which shows in the performances of the otherwise impressive cast including Don Cheadle and Kevin Spacey who serves as one of the producers. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Once Upon a Time in the West

Italian master Sergio Leone's definite masterpiece is epic in every way that's also one of the greatest films about the wild West where three different men meet their fate in a desolate place where the past and future cross with a beautiful woman caught in between. Beautifully written, directed, filmed in stunning locations with memorable performance and a legendary score by Ennio Morricone. Leone gets every detail right and shows how the West must have, a tough and brutal place where people came from all over the world for a better future. The stellar cast includes Henry Fonda in one of his greatest roles along with Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale and Jason Robards in memorable performance. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Picture Bride

Writer and director Kayo Hatta's only feature is a passionate tribute to her grandmothers and all the women who were picture brides who traveled from Japan to Hawaii for a better life. A sumptuous tale of a Japanese girl who travels to Hawaii only to find that her husband to be is twice her age. Determined she works hard to return back home but fate has other plans for her when she finally accepts her new found home and love. Youki Kudoh stars with the strong support of Tamlyn Tomita and the legendary Toshirô Mifune in his last film. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Was Born, But...

This silent classic by Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu is a delight to watch. The tale of two brothers coming of age concerns the siblings dealing with school and neighborhood bullies only to find to their shock that their father is only an ordinary guy in the film's most touching and profound sequence. All the Ozu trademarks are in display including the simple story that deals with a timeless issue that every family deals with regardless of their origin. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nine Lives

Writer and director Rodrigo García gives brief glimpses into the lives of nine women dealing with life, each in their way whether it's a lost love, disease, family or connection. While each story provides insight to these women thanks to the performances of the actresses featured in each segment, one wishes certain stories would have been longer than others but García's concept in general succeeds in what it tries to do. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Night on Earth

Writer and director Jim Jarmusch hits all the right notes with this five humorous tales set in taxis at the same time in five cities (LA, NY, Paris, Rome and Helsinki) that pays tribute to the cities and particular filmmakers he admires by using actors who are associated with them such as Gena Rowlands, Giancarlo Esposito, Isaach De Bankolé, Roberto Benigni and Matti Pellonpää. In each segment Jarmush has found unique stories that fits the host cities well and the actors showcase their talents to perfection. The supporting cast is good as well from Winona Ryder to Armin Mueller-Stahl and Béatrice Dalle. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, November 13, 2009


A pretentious yarn set in the glamorous world of New York that fails to offer anything new or revealing despite a talented and attractive cast. Glenn Close stars an acclaimed actress who's not happy about her photographer daughter's relationship with a closeted gay lawyer. The film has noble intentions that gets derailed early on and never manages to deeper than the surface. Amongst the ensemble cast, only James Marsden manages to bring some depth but is short handed by the script and direction. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Spanish director Isabel Coixet's best film after her stunning "My Life Without Me " thanks to powerful performances by Penélope Cruz and Ben Kingsley. The story of an elderly writer who falls in love with his beautiful student that changes them forever. Coixet and team successfully explore generational and gender differences on anxieties about life, love and other serious topics. The supporting cast is equally powerful thanks to Dennis Hopper, Patricia Clarkson and Peter Sarsgaard. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Householder

This modest film marks the debut of one of cinema's greatest collaborations when director James Ivory, producer Ismael Merchant and writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala made their first film and delivered many classics over four decades that established the Merchant-Ivory brand for excellence. The story about the troubles of newlyweds who have to get to know each other after a rocky arranged marriage. Legendary Indian director Satyajit Ray was a mentor for the young team and provides his stellar team to work on the film. The film stars Bollywood star Shashi Kapoor in the leading role and veteran actress Durga Khote as his mother. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


British director Richard Lester united the stellar Julie Christie and George C. Scott for this experimental film set right before 60's cultural movement was about to change the world (look for Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead). The story about a married socialite who falls in love with a divorced doctor told in non-linear structure with flashbacks and flash forwards was ground breaking for a mainstream film with major stars that makes the film a classic besides a perfect time capsule of a bygone era with its icons and signature style. The strong supporting cast includes Richard Chamberlain, Shirley Knight and Joseph Cotten. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, November 9, 2009

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her

Legendary French director Jean-Luc Godard dared to go places nobody else ever dreamed before him or failed miserably after. In this stunningly beautiful film he explores prostitution on many levels from literal to commercial and ideological interpretations that plagues the Western civilization specially American influences. The film has a distinct pop art feel with dominant primary colors. The film is rich on ideas and symbolism that will disappoint those looking for a traditional narrative and entertainment. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Vénus Beauté Institut

Writer and director Tonie Marshall's delightful film set at a Parisian beauty salon where women of different ages and classes meet for beauty treatment and share life experiences including love and heart break. Nathalie Baye stars as the beautician who looks for love in the wrong places. The supporting cast includes veterans actors Bulle Ogier, Robert Hossein, Emmanuelle Riva and Micheline Presle as well as actresses Audrey Tautou and Mathilde Seigner before their breakout as stars of their own. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Down in the Valley

A stunning achievement for writer and director David Jacobson on many levels with a stellar cast and crew. The story of two teenagers who fall under the spell of a charismatic stranger who's not what he seems to be. Jacobson brilliantly uses the San Fernando Valley location that helps him blending several genres seamlessly to glorious heights. The stunning Evan Rachel Wood and Edward Norton deliver one of their best performances with an equally powerful supporting cast including David Morse and Rory Culkin. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

FESTIVAL 10: NY, AFI & London Film Festivals

This three prestigious festivals have a lot in common besides their key locations and timing which is at the end of the year. This festivals celebrate the best in cinema world wide by having the best from around the world including Cannes, Berlin and Venice festivals but also premieres from Hollywood that use it as their launching pad for award season. Many of the films presented at these festival have won and will win more awards including the biggest of them all, the Academy Awards where the road leads to. For more info:

46th NY Film Festival ,
52nd London Film Festival,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wall Street

Oliver Stone's follow up to his smashing "Platoon" holds up as a time capsule for the 80's in all of its glory and the performance of Michael Douglas. The story of greed at its epicenter where a young broker is ready to sell his soul for fame and fortune. Michael Douglas shines as the master of greed and his performance is the only one that stands the test of time and saved the film. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Veteran director William Friedkin (The Exorcist & The French Connection) bounces back after a decade or so with this disturbing film about a schizophrenic man who finds the perfect match with an abused and unstable woman that derails them to insanity. Michael Shannon and Ashley Judd are fine as the couple in question. The film works well as a claustrophobic chamber drama that sheds light on mental state of schizophrenic where the line between reality and imagination is severely blurred with devastating consequences. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.