Cinema Mishmash

A personal and random look at movies, past and present

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Entries from April 2006

Turtles Can Fly

April 29th, 2006 · No Comments

When the credits rolled following Lukas Moodysson’s brilliant and brutal Lilya 4-ever, I was certain I would never again encounter such a raw and powerful display of utter despair. It is a work of near perfection, and yet it fits into the category of films that I don’t foresee ever watching again.
Evocative of Lilya because [...]

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Tags: Foreign Language · War

The 40 Year Old Virgin

April 29th, 2006 · No Comments

Comedy is tough to do well. Smart comedy is a true gift. If you don’t know already (which means you’ve just returned from a long trip in space), The 40 Year Old Virgin is a very funny film. The film deserves its accolades as one the best comedies of last year. If you missed the [...]

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Tags: Comedy · Popcorn

The Day After Tomorrow

April 23rd, 2006 · 2 Comments

You have to hand it to disaster maestro Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla): he and his team create absolutely stunning visual effects. In fact, I would hazard a guess that if New York City were besieged by tsunamis and a dramatic rise in sea level followed closely by an instant freeze, and if the aerial [...]

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Tags: Action/Adventure · Popcorn · Sci-Fi/Fantasy


April 23rd, 2006 · No Comments

Coincidentally, one of the four Netflix movies Maggie and I had at our disposal during our flight to Dublin last week was Flightplan. After some hesitancy that the in-flight viewing of a film in which things go wrong mid-air was either illegal or inconsiderate, we decided to throw caution to the wind, lower the tray [...]

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Tags: Popcorn · Thriller

9 Songs

April 22nd, 2006 · 1 Comment

This week I saw Franz Ferdinand in concert at the Aragon, and then immediately went home and videotaped various sex acts with my wife, as can be seen in the attached clip. Only kidding.
Labeled the most sexually explicit mainstream film in UK history, 9 Songs follows the relationship between Matt and Lisa, alternating between hypnotically [...]

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Tags: Director · Romance

Cinderella Man

April 22nd, 2006 · No Comments

I am no fan of boxing. It’s brutal sport, an anachronism in a society that calls itself civilized. Don’t we have, say, Quentin Tarrantino and David Cronenberg to allow us to vicariously appease our latent violent nature? So what need is there for the spectacle created by two humans physically damaging one another? Regardless [...]

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Tags: Biographical · Sport

Howl’s Moving Castle

April 13th, 2006 · 1 Comment

One cannot deny the power and artistry of Hayao Miyazaki, whose significant body of traditionally-drawn animated feature films are second to none because the level of his craft, his witty attention to detail, and his unique style of storytelling. Based in part on the accolades, including an Oscar win, garnered by Spirited Away, a broader [...]

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Tags: Animation · Director · Family


April 12th, 2006 · No Comments

This is the first of Steven Soderbergh’s controversial six-picture deal with HDNet Films, in which each picture will be released the same day in cinemas (through Landmark Cinemas), pay-per-view (through HDNet) and DVD (through Magnolia Pictures). It has been reported elsewhere that although the simultaneous release idea is making exhibitors (cinema owners) nervous, the [...]

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Tags: Crime/Noir · Director

High Society / My Man Godfrey

April 9th, 2006 · No Comments

To get one step closer to an honorable death (see previous post), one needs to spend a little time in High Society (1956). Not so much a musical, in the start-to-finish singing-and-dancing sense, High Society remakes The Philadelphia Story (1940) with a few musical numbers thrown into the mix. With a cast that includes Bing [...]

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Tags: Musical · Romance


April 8th, 2006 · 1 Comment

Recently, I mentioned how some films require, but then richly reward, a viewer’s patience. Like most of Robert Bresson’s work, the beautiful and haunting Mouchette is the perfect example of patience rewarded. In fact, the film’s power grows stronger well after the lights come up, as the images, themes, and characteristically “Bressonian” performances wrestle [...]

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Tags: Director · Drama · Foreign Language

Hustle & Flow

April 4th, 2006 · No Comments

There was a small, but strong buzz surrounding Hustle & Flow, and the performance of Terrence Howard as the pimp with an aching to make it as a hip-hop star, well before Three 6 Mafia injected some life into this year’s Oscars with their acceptance of the award for best song, “It’s Hard Out Here [...]

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Tags: Drama · Musical

Save the Green Planet!

April 2nd, 2006 · No Comments

This film is something else, and the filmmakers know it. The clever trailer for the film features intertitles that say “This is not horror,” “This is not sci-fi,” “This is not comedy,” etc., each one displayed before clips that appear to contradict each claim. Add to the list martial arts action flick, revenge [...]

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Tags: Action/Adventure · Animation · Comedy · Foreign Language · Horror · Sci-Fi/Fantasy


April 1st, 2006 · No Comments

If you can make it through the overlong, flat backstory to get there, there is some really good entertainment to be had in this film. Now, I quite like films that require patience, as elements build toward a payoff, but I’m convinced that most of first two thirds of Elizabethtown was entirely unnecessary, other than [...]

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Tags: Popcorn · Romance