Marilyn Monroe at her most vulnerable disturbed best, Anne Bancroft in her debut film role as a lounge singer (lots of songs,) Richard Widmark is tough yet sensitive and Elijah Cook Jr. makes it all worthwhile in this hotel drama. Note for fretful parents: contains child in peril.
 

RIO

8/30/2011

 
Guest notes from 7 year-old daughter; "It's great. I liked it because it has blue birds, and I really love blue birds."

Official Site: http://www.rio-themovie.com/
 
 
Failed to get past twenty minutes. Would help if they subtitled it.
 

BLITZ

8/29/2011

 
Jason Statham is a bad ass mofo and expert at mumbling pithy lines delivered with withering stares. Love him. Pair him with Paddy Considine as his gay boss / partner, add U.K. flair and style to a police drama which includes a female cop straight out of rehab and have them all chase a fascinating evil psycho cop killer perfectly realized by Aidan Gillen. Loved it.

More info: http://www.britscene.com/2010/10/blitz-2/3634
 

SECRET SUNSHINE

8/28/2011

 
Low-key Korean drama featuring a wonderful performance by Jeon Do-yeon. Slow and subtle, yet powerful. Themes of loss, faith, and insanity beautifully explored. Long, but worth it.

Official Site: http://www.criterion.com/films/27750-secret-sunshine
 

LIMITLESS

8/26/2011

 
Bradley Cooper vehicle: and what a ride it is. Based on the book The Dark Fields. So what if the science is junk, and there's holes in the logic of the story. It's a fun well-crafted film!

Official Site: http://www.iamrogue.com/limitless/fullsite/
 

LA SCORTA (1993)

8/25/2011

 
Ennio Morricone scored this low key Italian police procedural. Bodyguard cops protect a magistrate from La Cosa Nostra and political corruption. Way cool locations, not too violent.
 
 
Joan Crawford as a bitter disfigured blackmailer who, with the help of a cuckold plastic surgeon, played by Melvyn Douglas, transforms herself. Directed by George Cukor: wonderful! On TCM.
 

FIRE (1996)

8/21/2011

 
My quest to see the films of female directors has led me to a Deepa Mehta's drama about personal choices, culture, and social roles. Groundbreaking and controversial in India due to it's depiction of women in love and challenging the status quo. Lovely, gentle, and suitable for those inexperienced in Hindi film viewing.
 

Books

8/21/2011

 
Sometimes you just gotta read a book: here's what I finished recently. All of them great.
Palastine, by Joe Sacco.
Siblings without Rivalry, by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish.
Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It, by Gary Taubes.