Cinema Mishmash

A personal and random look at movies, past and present

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Crazy Heart

June 6th, 2010 · No Comments

→ No CommentsTags: Drama · Musical · Rating · Romance

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

June 5th, 2010 · No Comments

→ No CommentsTags: Director · Drama · Ensemble · Rating · Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Don’t Move

June 1st, 2010 · No Comments

Sergio Castellitto is a fine actor. And I mean fine in the sense of “superb,” rather than “passable.” He is excellent here as the deeply flawed central character, as is his co-star, an astoundingly unglamorous, often homely, Penelope Cruz. The two play rather unconventional lovers whose relationship is replayed in the mind of Castelitto’s character as he awaits the prognosis of his severely injured daughter.

But as this film’s director (he also shares script credit with the source novelist), Castellitto must be held responsible for weaknesses that tend to overshadow the film’s strengths. Clearly his biggest success here is in extracting strong and believable performances. But the much better [Read more →]

→ No CommentsTags: Drama · Foreign Language · Review · Romance

Game 6

May 31st, 2010 · 2 Comments

→ 2 CommentsTags: Comedy · Drama · Rating

The Blind Side

May 30th, 2010 · No Comments

Alright, I’ll admit it. I enjoyed this film a lot more that I expected. Yes, there are parts of it that are patronizing (many caused from playing the younger brother for laughs), and the story is too saccharine for my tastes. But there are worse films one could imagine being offered on a long flight. A worthy best picture nominee it is not, in my opinion. Likewise, Sandra Bullock is a good actress, and she’s good here. But not good enough to have gotten my vote, were I an academy member.

→ No CommentsTags: Biographical · Capsule · Drama · Family · Popcorn

Together Again

May 29th, 2010 · No Comments

→ No CommentsTags: Comedy · Review · Romance

Theodora Goes Wild

May 28th, 2010 · No Comments

→ No CommentsTags: Comedy · Rating · Romance


May 17th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Fergie is pretty great. That’s something I’d never have imagined being in a position to say. As a cinema lover, though, there’s a lot more going for Nine than just Fergie. But none was as big of a surprise to me as she – and the choreography of her number, “Be Italian,” with its direct visual references to Fellini’s 8-1/2. I was prepared to be underwhelmed by this film. Instead, from the large visual flourishes to the more subtle thematic symbolism, I was pretty captivated. Maybe I’m still coming down from of my Werner Herzog existential trip.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Capsule · Drama · Ensemble · Musical · Romance

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

May 17th, 2010 · No Comments

The biggest reason for the smile on my face when I think about this film is that I cannot, for the life of me, explain why it is as good as it is. Like its central character (played by an actor I often don’t care much for), this film is an absolute train wreck. And yet, whether by brilliant orchestration or lucky chaos, the result is something pretty marvelous (in the strictest sense of the word). And hometown kudos to producers and (originally) Chicagoans, Alan and Gabe Polsky of Polsky Films. Whether the end result was a product of giving director Werner Herzog freedom (as I suspect) or reigning him in, it worked. I can’t explain why, but it worked.

→ No CommentsTags: Action/Adventure · Capsule · Crime/Noir · Director


May 14th, 2010 · 1 Comment

→ 1 CommentTags: Biographical · Comedy · Drama · Ensemble · Rating · Romance