Friday, August 27, 2010
It took a decade for director John Luessenhop to deliver his sophomore film with this fast paced and slick thriller. The story about a group of high rolling bank robbers who take on another job brought to them by a former member with secret motive while a detective gets closer to track them down. While not entirely original with one note characters, it's never-the-less an entertaining action film with a talented cast including veterans and newcomers. Luessenhop aware of the limitations of the script with too many characters to waste time with character development, instead cleverly focuses on the action with right actors in place. YRCinema's coverage of current releases.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
A very French film by Alain Cavalier starring the icon Catherine Deneuve at the peak of her beauty and fame following her iconic role in "Belle de Jour." The story about a beautiful woman who can't decide between love with a poor but young man or a life of comfort and luxury with a wealthy older man. Among all the places in the Western world, it would be a dilemma indeed in Paris for any beautiful woman to choose love or money. The supporting cast includes Michel Piccoli who makes it tough for Deneuve to choose. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
An old fashioned and dated comedy by Michael Curtiz starring Sophia Loren which is the main attraction for the film. The story about an Austrian princess who falls in love with an American business man. Loren and Vienna are the sights to see in a film made during the studio days. The supporting cast includes Maurice Chevalier, Angela Lansbury and John Gavin who also made "Psycho" in the same year. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami gets high marks for a fascinating and original concept. He seems to have hired the entire actresses working in Iranian cinema in order to turn the camera on them as the audience watching a theatrical representation of Khosrow and Shirin, a Persian poem from the twelfth century. The show itself is never shown only heard while the camera moves from one actress to another as each of them react to the story. The role of Shirin is coveted by every actress in Iran as Juliet would be in the West which makes this film fascinating because each of the actresses would qualify a role in the featured play. French actress Juliette Binoche makes a cameo and blends in perfectly with the others. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Writer and director Rian Johnson sophomore effort takes him to a bigger budget and A-list cast but can't overcome his weakness inherent in his debut. The story about two con artist brothers from childhood to their last effort that involves a beautiful heiress. While whimsical and playful, the film is never credible besides lacking sincerity which is killed with its over-the-top approach that goes berserk with many styles randomly chosen from different periods. Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo are miscast since they don't have what Paul Newman and Robert Redford brought to "The Sting." Rachel Weisz and Rinko Kikuchi fare better but are under used and limited to the predictable material. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Writer and director George LaVoo makes his feature debut with this modest drama. The story about a writer suffering from a midlife crisis who adopts an abused dog that challenges him to turn his life around personally and professionally. Jeff Bridges gives a solid and subtle performance that proves the saving grace for this heartwarming film that will be appreciated by all animal lovers. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Director Steven Soderbergh delivers his most satisfying film since "Traffic" with this offbeat comedy about corporate fraud. The story about a high level executive who turns himself as an informant to the FBI in order to embezzle money while making false accusations to everybody around him at the expense of his career. Matt Damon gives a riveting performance as Mark Whitacre whose erratic and irresponsible behavior slowly derails him mentally to epic proportions. Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns blame the immense stress for the downfall but it's Damon's performance that sells the story and carries the film all the way through. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Writer and director Greg Mottola made this coming of age comedy set in the late 80's. The story of a college grad who ends up working at his local amusement park instead of travelling to Europe where he finds his way in life including falling in love. While not original or groundbreaking in anyway, the films works because of its talented cast that saves it. The film stars Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg and Ryan Reynolds amongst others. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Writer and director Oren Peli makes his feature debut with this horror film that's the clear successor to "The Blair Witch Project" in many regards. The story about a couple who are terrorized by a demon in their home. This yarn takes forever to develop with many of its implausibilities with an unsatisfying ending. Peli managed to fool the masses that it's the real deal with actual footage from apparently real people but anybody who knows film can detect its faults. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Danish writer and director Nicolas Winding Refn returns after the smashing "Bronson" with the viking drama which fails to impress. The story set at 1000 AD, about a mute but feared warrior who escapes his captors and fights his way from Scandinavia to North America. Ultra violent with plenty of blood as you would expect from a viking film but comes short on the story side. The talented Mads Mikkelsen stars the one eyed warrior and looks the part to a T but is limited to the material at hand. Somebody still has the chance to make the ultimate viking film. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Friday, August 13, 2010
It seems the real life nightmare of Roman Polanski becomes his creative side as the versatile master proves with this outstanding thriller. A ghost writer thinks he landed the opportunity of his life when he's hired to write the memoir of a former British Prime Minister, only to find there's more at stake that could cost him dearly. The character of the Prime Minister is clearly based on Tony Blair but taken to an entirely new level which is utterly believable. Brilliantly written and executed by Polanski and Robert Harris based on his novel. The inspired cast includes Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams amongst an equally impressive cast and crew. The sign of a great film is the ending which Polanski delivers. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
British director John Madden seems to be going from one ill-fated project to another since his smashing success with "Shakespeare in Love." He's definitely not compatible with Elmore Leonard material as this film proves. "Killshot" with its intricate plot and characters needed somebody like Soderbergh who did an excellent job on Leonard's "Out of Sight." The story about a couple who become the target of a mob hit man after they become witness to a crime scene. The story seems straight forward but it isn't since the film can't balance its focus on the parallel stories that takes a while to develop. The talented cast can't overcome the obstacles inherent in the writing and editing. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Welsh writer and director Justin Kerrigan made his feature debut with this slice of life of five young friends. The story set in Cardiff centers on five friends who work dead end jobs and live only for the weekends where they can forget reality with the help of drugs in the clubs. Kerrigan gives a precise angle on certain type of youth that lives the life depicted where the drugs and alcohol seem the only escape. The young cast delivers what the screenplay modestly attempts. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Writer and director Curtis Hanson delivered his masterpiece with this instant classic thriller set in Los Angeles of the 50's where Hollywood, police corruption and crime was in full swing. The story about three different cops whose work ethics clash with each other but are forced to collaborate to resolve a crime that affects them all involving corruption at the highest levels of authorities. Brilliantly written and directed with spectacular cast and crew that took to another level. The biggest coup was the casting of Russel Crowe and Guy Pearce that changed their careers. The impressive supporting cast included Kim Basinger, Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell and Danny DeVito amongst many others. It was and remains the best film of 1997 by far. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Writer and director Gina Prince-Bythewood returned to feature films with this heart warming tale about female bonding in the American South set in the 60's. The story about a young girl who runs away from her abusive father to find refuge in the household of three sisters who might hold the truth about her late mother. While not entirely accurate on the depiction of the time and place, it's a stylized account of the time that's emotionally charged thanks to the talented cast including Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo and Paul Bettany. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Director George C. Wolfe makes his feature debut with another tear-jerker novel from Nicholas Sparks. The story about two middle aged couple who meet and fall in love that changes their lives before tragedy strikes. Wolfe fails to shakes of his TV background which plagues the film in every way that even Richard Gere and Diana Lane can't save with their solid performances which is the only saving grace of this film. Scott Glenn, James Franco and Viola Davis are utterly wasted as plot devices. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Director Vadim Perelman's sophomore effort fails to fulfill the promise of his smashing debut, the devastating "House of Sand and Fog." The story of a woman who's haunted by a tragedy that cut short the life of her best friend. Perelman could have made a solid film if he could have stayed away from the novel's ending which has a twist ending that derails the film in the last act. Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood deliver solid performance along with the stunning cinematography by Pawel Edelman. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Director Tim Burton reunites with Johnny Depp to tackle another classic tale which raises the question what will be next. The only change is that Alice is a teenager now who returns again to wonderland on the eve of her engagement to remind her of her true self. While Burton brings his usual visual flair to the screen and allows Depp to disappear again in a role, the film falls short due to the expectations with the talent involved. Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are the trump cards for Burton that's part of the package which delivers. Burton seems to be the director for hire to transform children's books more accessible for adults than the children. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Director Mark Palansky made his feature debut with this modern day fairy tale co-produced by Reese Witherspoon who's also featured in a supporting role. The story of a girl who's cursed with a pig-nose until she finds true love. It's a charming coming of age tale that allows Christina Ricci to shine with the support of the talented James McAvoy and Witherspoon. Palansky tries his best for his ambitious debut but he's not Tim Burton to deliver a knockout. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Argentinian writer and director Lucía Puenzo made her feature debut with this nuanced drama about a teenage hermaphrodite. When the truth about her sexual nature is exposed, the 15 year old Alex and her parents are forced to deal with it to make a decision that will change their lives. Puenzo aware of the delicate nature of the topic stays away from any kind of exploitation to give a powerful account of the dilemma of a family dealing with a sex chromosome disorder. Argentinian star Ricardo Darín gives his support with a subtle and nuanced performance as the father of the teenager played convincingly by Inés Efron. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
British director Richard Loncraine makes a solid film based on the early life of actor George Hamilton. The story of a single mother who travels the country in the 50's to find a husband that will take care of them. A road trip and coming of age film with equal doses of drama and comedy that's highlighted by engaging performances from Renée Zellweger and Logan Lerman as the mother and son at the center of story. While not entirely original or groundbreaking in any way, it's a solid film by a talented cast and crew. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Italian writer and director Giuseppe Tornatore returned to top form with this riveting thriller about a woman on the run with a dark past. A mysterious Ukrainian woman haunted by a violent past sneaks her way into an affluent family with a mission that puts everybody in danger. Russian actress Xenia Rappoport gives a powerful performance as the unknown woman, Irena. Tornatore taps into the dark side of human trade about sex, slavery and other crimes involving immigrants with this dark tale that's shocking and disturbing. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Mexican writer and director Alfonso Cuarón continued to deliver while jumping genres with this terrific dystopian sci-fi thriller. The story set in the year of 2027 where the world's youngest person dies which sends shock waves across the globe because humans have stopped reproducing while the world's in decline in every possible way. An activist gets caught in between the authorities and terrorist organizations to rescue a pregnant immigrant into safety which might be humanity's last hope. Brilliantly adapted and directed by Cuarón along with a top notch cast and crew including ace camera work by Emmanuel Lubezki. The impressive cast includes Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine amongst others. YRCinema's coverage of films on DVD.