Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Swamp

Argentinian writer and director Lucrecia Martel made her feature debut with this drama about two families on vacation. The story about two women and their families as they experience daily routines and their interaction with each other and their servants. Martel's keen eye shows the decay of the ruling class through their relationships, specially those towards their servants. Each character has a story to tell as the camera observes their behavior and body language. Martel established herself as one of the prominent artists in the modern Argentinian cinema. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Man of My Life

French writer and director Zabou Breitman along with her co-writer Agnès de Sacy take on the male psychology in this stylish drama. Two men, one happily married heterosexual and the other happily homosexual meet and spent an evening chatting about life and love. The conversation has a profound effect on both men as they evaluate their beliefs that begins to shift and threatens their happiness. It's interesting to see the female point of view of men which is not entirely accurate but makes for fascinating cinema. Breitman succeeds more exploring "the grass is greener" theory than making a profound revelation. If the substance has its shortcomings, the glorious visuals compensates along with the fine performances, specially Charles Berling who has transformed himself entirely. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mon Oncle

French master Jacques Tati's Mr. Hulot returned for the second time and in color to glorious effect for another classic. This time Mr. Hulot visits his sister, her husband and child to wreak havoc on their pride which is their ultra modern house. Tati took on modernity and progress that was sweeping the Western world at the time to point out the weakness of its design that while visually great, its coldness was more appropriate for robots than humans. Tati's never misses his mark with his heart always on the right spot in his films. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mr. Hulot's Holiday

French master of comedy, Jacques Tati introduced Monsieur Hulot for the first time in this classic. Monsieur Hulot goes on Holidays where he clashes with his environment and its people to some hilarious effects. Tati's comedy of manners comes from his keen eye on human nature through observation that makes his film stand the test of time. Everything is choreographed to perfection that hits its mark every time. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

British Ronald Neame directs Maggie Smith in her iconic role as a teacher with delusions of grandeur as she influences her impressionable students that ends in tragedy. Smith is glorious as the colorful and charismatic Jean Brodie in this morality drama about false prophets and their danger to the society. The film's look and style are dated but not its content along with the performance of Maggie Smith in her greatest role. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Black Rain

Japanese master Shohei Imamura tackles the tragedy of Hiroshima with this profound film that sheds light on one of the darkest periods of human history. In the aftermath of the Atom bomb, a family pass through the ravaged city, even though they have survived, they have a grim future ahead of them. Imamura tells the heartbreaking story of a young woman who's tainted by the tragedy as she fails to find a husband. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky followed his Sci-Fi masterpiece "Solaris" with another Sci-Fi that's less accessible but rewarding for the patient ones who want to be challenged intellectually. Set in a bleak future, three men set out to reach "the Zone," a mythical place where wishes come true. The three men represent faith, art and science discuss human nature and its follies that's the root to their condition including the destruction of nature. Tarkovsky paints a bleak portrait of humankind in this visionary film with still relevant and timeless themes that adds to his genius. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Director David Yates continues his winning streak on the Harry Potter franchise with the sixth film of the series. The plot thickens as Harry and Dumbledore dig deeper in the past of Voldemort when he was called Tom Riddle. The film is darker than the previous films and seems to get darker with the developments leading to the final chapters where Harry and Voldemort will come face to face again. Yates keeps the pace going with the solid cast and crew. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


French director Marcel Carné and his frequent screenwriter Jacques Prévert collaborated on this classic "Le jour se lève" that stars Jean Gabin as a factory worker who contemplates during a night how he came to kill a man while the police are waiting to arrest him. The beautiful filmed and acted film is a perfect example of the “poetic realism” genre that Carné and Gabin are known for. The excellent cast includes Arletty, the star of Carné's "Children of Paradise" in a supporting role. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Water Drops on Burning Rocks

French writer and director François Ozon adapted an early play by famed German writer and director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's satire of emotional politics. In this period chamber drama/comedy a middle aged man and a teenage boy fall in love and out of it as their relationship progresses. Ozon is not afraid of camp and brings his keen eye for detail in this stylish and outrageous film. Bernard Giraudeau, Malik Zidi and Ludivine Sagnier shine in their roles. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Canadian director Yves Simoneau brings of the darkest chapters of US history to light with this drama about how the U.S. government policies designed to strip the native Indians of their identity, their dignity and their sacred land. Through three characters that includes Sitting Bull, a young Indian doctor and a US Senator we get an intimate look behind the scenes to events leading to the assassination of Sitting Bull and the massacre of hundreds of Indian men, women and children by the 7th Cavalry at Wounded Knee Creek on Dec. 29, 1890. Anna Paquin, Aidan Quinn and Adam Beach star in this informative and somber film. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Little Ashes

British director Paul Morrison makes an interesting film about the early lives of three Spanish artists, surreal painter Salvador Dalí, filmmaker Luis Buñuel and writer Federico García Lorca. At the center is the bond between Lorca and Dalí who develop a mutual attraction that might have changed them as the artists they would later become. Because Morrison taps into the life of celebrated artists, the film falls short somehow. Javier Beltrán as Lorca and Matthew McNulty as Buñuel are perfectly cast while Robert Pattinson as Dalí seems an awkward choice in the film's weakest link amongst others. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

The Killer Inside Me

The ever versatile and prolific British director Michael Winterbottom returns with another brilliant film which is violent and disturbing but with a purpose. The classic novel by Jim Thompson is adapted by writer and director John Curran about a small town sheriff whose dark side unleashed when he meets a beautiful prostitute. Winterbottom delivers a stunning film about the frailty of the human psyche that can snap at any given time. The violence is shocking as it should be because the abundance of violence in cinema has been overused that it hardly affects the audience to what it actually means to kill another human being. Casey Affleck gives a chilling performance that evokes Norman Bates but is far more lethal without the mother. The outstanding cast includes Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson. YRCinema's coverage of current releases.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Into Great Silence

German writer and director Philip Gröning made a unique documentary about spirituality after getting access into one of the most reclusive monasteries in the world, the Grande Chartreuse, the head monastery of the reclusive Carthusian Order in France. The story behind the film is fascinating as the film itself. After asking permission to film, Gröning had to wait 16 years and then he had to prepare a year for the 6 months invite since he couldn't take any crew with him. All the limitations made him to make a riveting film without any narration, music or subtitles that allows those willing to take a journey into the life of monks that's out of this world literally. The breath taking setting makes the documentary a sublime experience. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Smash His Camera

Documentary filmmaker Leon Gast examines the life of Ron Galella, a self-described super paparazzi who was sued by Jackie Onassis and attacked by Marlon Brando in a four decades career where he chased and harassed countless celebrities. Gast turns the camera one of the most famous paparazzi whose iconic images that turned himself into a celebrity of sorts. Galella comes across more sympathic than he should in a profession that's least respected and most hated because financial gain is the only objective for the vicious and dangerous practice that the famous victims have deal with it on a daily basis. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


French director Anne Fontaine makes a fascinating morality drama about a woman who hires a prostitute to seduce her husband to see how far his infidelity go. After discovering to her shock that her husband has been cheating on her, a woman hires an attractive prostitute to seduce her husband and report to her which jeopardizes her marriage with her misplaced trust. Perfectly cast Fanny Ardent and Emmanuelle Béart star along with Gérard Depardieu. Fontaine makes a compelling drama about fidelity, trust and betrayal. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Director Steven Spielberg delivered a knockout with this thriller that changed his career and Hollywood while driving the masses away from the beaches. The story of a white shark that terrorizes a small island and forces the police chief to confront his worst fear. Spielberg hits all the right notes from the beginning till the end. Roy Scheider stars but it's Robert Shaw who steals the scenes. John Williams score takes the tension to new heights. While the effects seem dated, the film holds up pretty well. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, June 14, 2010

District 13: Ultimatum

French writer and producer Luc Besson uses the Hollywood business model to deliver entertainment and succeeds in doing so with films like this. The stars of the original Cyril Raffaelli & David Belle return as Damien and Leito for the sequel to save the district again from corrupt politicians who wan to use it for their own benefits. The film's biggest draw is the fast paced action that also includes the breath taking "parkour" discipline that was invented by David Belle. YRCinem's coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blue Velvet

Director David Lynch's delivered his unique vision in this masterpiece while paying homage to the film noir. The story about a young man who finds a human ear that sets him on journey to the dark side of human soul. Lynch goes under the surface of small town America where not everything is as it seems. Lynch holds no prisoners and delivers a dark and disturbing world of abuse, drugs and psychopaths that cinema has never seen before. He cleverly avoids contemporary music and uses some evergreen songs from the 50's to great effect. Dennis Hopper gives his best performance ever as an actor. The cinematography and production design are outstanding in defining the "Lynchian" term. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Robin Hood

Director Ridley Scott reunites for the fifth time with Russel Crowe with another epic action film. Instead of telling the familiar story of Robin Hood, he tells the little known back story of the legend and its key players. The film is as solid as a Hollywood formula epic can get thanks to the stellar talent involved and it falls between Scott's "Gladiator" and "Kingdom of Heaven." Russel Crowe and Cate Blanchett star along with a strong supporting cast that includes Max Van Sydow, Mark Strong and William Hurt amongst others. YRCinema's coverage of current releases.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Vengeance Is Mine

Japanese master Shohei Imamura examines the life of a murderer from his childhood through his murders, capture and execution. It's a fascinating portrait of a charming but deranged man formed by nature and nurture. Imamura puts an emphasis on the man's father as the root to his madness amongst others. Ken Ogata gives a stellar performance as killer who can be charming and dangerous at the same time. The film is vintage Imamura as he tries to dissects human nature through his fascinating character studies. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Away We Go

Director Sam Mendes returned after the period drama "Revolutionary Road" that examined the disintegration of a relationship to a contemporary take with a lighter tone in this film. A young couple looking to start a family looking for the perfect place to settle down after visiting family and friends across the US and Canada. Mendes and his talented cast make an honest attempt in this original film written by real life couple of Dave Eggers & Vendela Vida. Unlike the prior film which featured super stars, this film has a relatively unknown cast with familiar faces which seem a right fit for the film. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Il Divo

Italian writer and director Paolo Sorrentino turns the story of notorious Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti into a cinematic tour-de-force. Giulio Andreotti managed the impossible to survive in one of the most corrupt political systems in the world where the mafia is as powerful as the Vatican and nobody is as they seem. Sorrentino tries his best to keep the story accessible to non Italians. Toni Servillo gives a bravura performance as Andreotti. Sorrentino along with his cast and crew delivers a film with vibrant energy thanks to the spectacular cinematography, production design and editing amongst others. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Veteran Polish director Andrzej Wajda returns with this drama to shed light on of the darkest moments in the history of his country where 22,000 Polish officers were massacred by the Soviets after Hitler and Stalin invaded and annexed Poland to their territories. After the war the Soviets blamed the Nazis for the massacre and silenced anybody who tried to reveal the truth. Wajda puts a human face to the tragedy of a dark era that haunted Poland for a long time. The film is otherwise a conventional in the vain of many classics of the era where cinema serves history. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, June 7, 2010


French icon Jacques Tati's last feature film as Monsieur Hulot who's on his way to an automobile show in Amsterdam where he wants to show his latest creation. Tati brilliantly shows human nature in all of its colors on the streets where cars stand for modern times deal another blow to humanity. Tati as always delivers an immaculate film with hilarious sequences makes this classic always a joy to revisit. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


French master comedian Jacques Tati takes at stab at modernity again through his iconic and old fashioned Monsieur Hulot crashes with modern times in this hilarious film. Tati's keen eye on human behavior is funny and touching at the same time. A master at physical comedy, he choreographs an entire film without the help of dialog. The film is also a great time capsule of a bygone era that still fascinates. The modernity of the 60's is still unparalleled in the world. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


French master Robert Bresson takes a look at the world of pickpockets much like Dostoevsky's point of view on crime and punishment. A young man learns the art of stealing despite the threat of the consequences. A splendid work by Bresson where he manages again to put humanity at the center with all its shades. Bresson's genius of storytelling through non-professional actors is astonishing and a joy to watch. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Warm Water Under a Red Bridge

Japanese master Shohei Imamura continues his fascination with people at the margins of society in his last feature film. He manages the impossible to mix fable with reality that awes. In this story an unemployed man with a nagging wife travels to another town to obtain a golden statue that could save him from further misery. Instead of material wealth, he finds a woman with a peculiar sexual problem that changes his life. Imamura's unique vision and treatment makes him unique in the world of cinema, even though his work is not for everyone to appreciate. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Blissfully Yours

Independent Thai writer and director Apichatpong Weerasethakul made his feature debut with contemplative and experimental film about ordinary people as they seek love and peace in a day. A female factory worker is in love with a Burmese refugee and tries to get him work permit through her friend. Weerasethakul introduces the forest motive that he explores in all of his feature films. It's the source of mystery and beauty. Also the strongest sequence in the film is the one in the forest where love is made and flourished. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me

German director Hardy Martins brings the incredible story of Clemens Forell to the screen. The film starts with Forell leaving his family to join the German army during the WW II. After the war he's sent to Siberia to serve a life sentence and die. The desire to see his family makes his to escape on 14,000 kilometers journey back home where he survives against all odds and thanks to kind people who help. The powerful story makes this film utterly compelling as it shows the triumph of the human spirit. Martins along with cast and crew deliver a film of epic proportions. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Ballad of Narayama

Japanese master Shohei Imamura examined human nature in all its shades in this fascinating, shocking and heartbreaking film set in a remote village in 1900 century Japan. The village represents human life for thousands of years where survival along with religion and tradition ruled the way of life. In this village everybody who reaches the age of 70 is sent to the mountains to die in order not to become a burden to their family and village. Because of the limited resources only the eldest sons are allowed to marry and have children and the remaining brothers are kept as slaves and daughters sold. These strict and inhuman rules are followed by everybody for centuries. An old woman who's 69, prepares for her departure despite being of good health. Before she can leave she sets out to ensure her family is prepared for a life without her. Imamura's staggering film is one of the most profound films that looks at the human condition with an unflinching eye. It remains one of the masterpieces of cinema. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

RIP: William Fraker 1923 - 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Necessities of Life

Canadian documentary film maker Benoît Pilon makes his feature debut with this moving film. A Inuit man is separated from his family to be treated for tuberculosis in the city. There he finds a totally strange environment where he loses his will to live. A compassionate nurse relocates a Inuit boy, so he can communicate with the man which leads to his recovery as well as adjustment to his new surrounding. The film show how much hope and human connection are necessary for survival as much as air or water. Inuit actor Natar Ungalaaq gives a touching performance as Tiivii along with Éveline Gélinas as Carole. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nothing But The Truth

Writer and director Rod Lurie takes inspiration from the Valerie Plame scandal to make a compelling film about an ideal that's far noble than what actually happened. He tackles the story from the Judith Miller angle but without the part where she was actually used by the Bush administration. In this story a reporter outs a CIA agent but refuses to name her source on the base of freedom of speech who's incarcerated in return for contempt of court which ruins her private life. Lurie makes a strong case for journalists post 9/11 where National Security overrides Freedom of Speech. The excellent cast includes Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Vera Farmiga, Alan Alda, Angela Basset and Noah Wyle. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.