Cinema Mishmash

A personal and random look at movies, past and present

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Entries from July 2009

Two Lovers

July 30th, 2009 · 3 Comments

If Two Lovers is indeed Joaquin Phoenix’s last film, it contains a final performance he can be proud of (if, based upon his bizarre public appearances, he even cares). Likewise, we are treated to fine performances by Gweneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw as the titular competing interests for the affection of Phoenix’s Leonard, a young man with [...]

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Tags: Drama · Review · Romance

That Obscure Object of Desire

July 24th, 2009 · 3 Comments

I have revisited Luis Buñuel’s final cinematic work, That Obscure Object of Desire, in all of its puzzling and captivating glory, with a plan towards it being the centerpiece of discussion at an upcoming “dinner and a movie” night among friends – two of whom have recently designed a beautiful poster inspired by the film’s central [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Comedy · Director · Drama · Foreign Language · Romance

Who Killed the Electric Car?

July 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

The conspiratorial story of the seemingly cannibalistic demise General Motor’s EV1 and a handful of other cars that you’ve never heard of (despite their having been manufactured within the last decade) is taylor-made for a compelling documentary. What a shame, then, that this documentary isn’t more compelling. Nonetheless, the story is so important, and the [...]

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Tags: Documentary · Review

Body of Lies

July 21st, 2009 · 2 Comments

Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies is a CIA action thriller that hits all of the marks you would expect from an experienced director with two heavyweight actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe (for whom the pun is intended). We’ve seen our fair share of derivative Iraq war fictions, and while this one may have been [...]

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Tags: Action/Adventure · Capsule · Thriller

The Man Who Fell to Earth

July 20th, 2009 · No Comments

When one comes across a film as quixotic and dense as Nicholas Roeg’s 1976 Sci-Fi art film, The Man Who Fell to Earth, the less that is said, the better. And I use those two descriptive adjectives in the most complementary way. In fact, the one thing that I found the most refreshing in the [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Drama · Experimental · Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Babylon A.D.

July 19th, 2009 · 2 Comments

If a film manages to provoke dialogue or debate, then it cannot be considered to be without value. In the case of Babylon A.D., that debate was: Which is worse, a bad story or a bad ending? The argument could made that both descriptions apply to this Vin Diesel vehicle, but I submit that the [...]

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

Climates

July 19th, 2009 · No Comments

In that Turkish writer-director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s latest film, Three Monkeys, released this week, and the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips’ review included a gratuitous comment that he “adored” Ceylan’s previous film, Climates, I knew that I had to go over to The Auteurs, where I had seen the film available, and expose myself to the [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Drama · Foreign Language · Romance

We’re all going on a… summer holiday

July 7th, 2009 · No Comments

Having just returned from the first of hopefully two summer getaways, the thought of what makes a good flick to watch on vacation came to mind. I’m not sure how to approach any formula for that one, but vacation-related films is an easier mark. I’ve just watched Transsiberian, which fits into the vacation cautionary tale [...]

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