NEW IN THEATRES...
* Another Year, Mike Leigh's incisive take on the ups and downs of a year in the life of a particular group of friends.
* Biutiful, Javier Bardem is here to help, but Alejandro González Iñárritu's movie is still absolutely dreadful.
* The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet's charming, bittersweet animated adaptation of Jacques Tati. Playing this week at Cinema 21 in Portland.
If I were an Academy voter, I'd give The Illusionist the Oscar for Best Animated Film, no question. (Though, I still haven't seen How To Train Your Dragon. I plan to by Oscar night, though.)
* On the Bowery, Lionel Rogosin's 1957 Neorealist look at life on skid row.
UPDATED TO CRITERION CONFESSIONS...
In recent weeks, there has been a slew of Criterion's re-released on Blu-Ray: The Naked Kiss, Shock Corridor, and Robinson Crusoe on Mars. I have a summary article on all three, plus a longer review of Shock Corridor at DVD Talk.
I also reviewed the BD of Crumb, Terry Zwigoff's amazing profile of cartoonist Robert Crumb.
Of course, there is a connection between a lot of these. Daniel Clowes drew the covers for the Fuller movies, and Terry Zwigoff adapted Clowes' Ghost World to film. There is apparently a Criterion version of that movie in the works, and this fan version of what that might look like, taken from this Tumblr blog, is one of the best Fake Criterions I've seen, even coming after that meme had already played itself into a predictable corner.
THIS WEEK IN DVD/BD REVIEWS...
* The Color Purple, Steven Spielberg's unlikely adaptation of Alice Walker is still surprisingly effective.
* Inspector Bellamy, the final film from Claude Chabrol feels strangely unfinished. Starring Gerard Depardieu.
* Looney Tunes Super Stars: Foghorn Leghorn & Friends, a collection of farmyard shorts centered around the talkative rooster.
* Red Hill, a modern western from Australia, starring the guy who plays Jason Stackhouse on True Blood as a city sheriff stuck in a small-town revenge plot.
Speaking of True Blood...
* The Romantics, Anna Paquin shines next to a bunch of TV refugees doing their best with an underdeveloped script.
* Welcome to the Rileys, a middling indie drama given significant heft by accomplished performances from James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo. (Not so fast, Kristen Stewart...)
* A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop, Zhang Yimou's remake of Blood Simple is now on DVD.
Current Soundtrack: Talib Kweli, Gutter Rainbows
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All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich