Monday, March 26, 2007
****new release list no. 107
What's pops in our shops? Well, besides the usual suspects (like BABEL and BORAT), there are a few smaller titles that are earning high marks from our customers...
A little French film called WHEN THE SEA RISES centers on a middle-aged woman who travels from town to town with her one-woman avant-garde theater piece. Reminiscent of Fellini's collaborations with Guilietta Masina, this title piqued our interest after a series of satisfied customers returned it with a smile. Salon.com wrote, "A delightfully off-kilter love story. I don't want to oversell this winsome little movie, but if you want a bittersweet but cheerful pick-me-up on a cold winter evening, it's just the ticket."
How can a documentary be a romp? Well, think back on the guerilla tactics of Michael Moore, but subtract some of that aggression, and you're somewhere near THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, a surprisingly entertaining and funny investigation of the MPAA film ratings board. We love the novice lesbian private detective who is hired to help out.
What kid wouldn't be intrigued by an animation adventure set in the sewage pipes under London? And FLUSHED AWAY is one for parents to watch along with: For although the compromise is that the folks from the Aardaman Group (responsible for WALLACE & GROMIT) are using computer graphics rather than claymation, they manage to retain their British sense of humor (a clever repositioning of marmite on toast, for instance). Hugh Jackman's energetic vocal contribution ensures that the main character — an uptown rat named Roddy — is especially charming.
As for the TV shows, HBO's THE WIRE continues to build its audience relentlessly. But if that show is just too grown up for you, we recommend the high school detective series VERONICA MARS. Winner of Salon.com's "Buffy Award" for underrated TV series, it's kind of like TWIN PEAKS rewritten by a young adult novelist. We also love WONDERFALLS, which The Onion called "one of the most recent additions in the pantheon of brilliant-but-cancelled series." It's got to be one of the all-time greatest premises ever: An underachieving young woman, recently graduated from Brown, moves back to her hometown of Niagra Falls, where she works at its premiere tacky gift shop. Oh, and the little knick knacks for sale talk to her.
We'll keep you updated on these little sleepers. And now, on to the new entries...
............**//RELEASE OF THE WEEK//**............
Leonardo Di Caprio, Dijmon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly.
Directed by Edward Zwick.
* Mixed reviews for this drama, set during the 1990s civil war in Sierra Leone. The New Yorker cooed: "Essentially a romantic adventure story with politics in the background — an old-fashioned movie, I suppose, but exciting and stunningly well made." The San Francisco Chronicle, however, wrote: "Director Edward Zwick tried to make a great movie, but somewhere in the process he forgot to make a good one." Jonathan Rosenbaum defended the film's good intentions: "Action-adventure pictures have a lamentable tendency toward mindlessness, but Zwick's epic story has numerous virtues apart from suspense and spectacle." One user on metacritic.com countered: "The impression I get from this movie is, the filmmakers googled around for some heart-breaking story to exploit (so they could pretend they were making a difference). They then drastically simplifed the issues to the point of distortion so we could all feel moved without actually being edified."
see also: THE CONSTANT GARDENER, PLACE VENDOME, HOTEL RWANDA.
see above: "release of the week."
Directed by Claude Chabrol.
Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Robert Carlyle, John Malkovich, Dijmon Hounsou, Rachel Weisz.
Directed by Stefan Fangmeier.
MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY.
Directed by Laura Poitras.
THE NATIVITY STORY.
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke.
Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Geraldine Hughes, Milo Ventimiglia, Mike Tyson.
Directed by Sylvester Stallone.
Voices by William H. Macy, Rob Reiner, Robert Wagner, Forest Whitaker, Whoopi Goldberg.
Directed by Christopher Reeve.
............//NEW TO DVD//............
Drama. France. 1963.
Directed by Alain Resnais.