April 2014 Movies Preview, Part Two – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

frankie4cropped1Halle Berry is brilliant in Frankie and Alice, a psychological drama about a woman trying to silence the voices of multiple personalities living in her head. Also must-see: Visions of Mary Frank, a biodoc about an artist as famous for good looks as for artistic vision; The German Doctor, a harrowing narrative about Josef Mengele’s post-WWII Argentina hideout; The Other Woman, a gal pal romp; and The Final Member, a doc about Iceland’s Phallological Museum, which needs a human specimen to be complete. Read more>>

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DIVERGENT – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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That wasn’t so hard, was it, Hollywood? To make a movie about a young woman doing cool stuff and being the master of her own destiny… it didn’t sting too terribly much, did it? I hear the cries: “But Hunger Games!” Yes, Hunger Games. And? If there’s room enough in the entertainment universe for a hundred thousand movies about men being heroic and saving everything, there’s plenty space for a few more that happen to have women at their center. Read more>>

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THE RAILWAY MAN – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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The Railway Man starts out like a sweet little romance, when Colin Firth meets Nicole Kidman, somewhere near Edinburgh in 1980, on a train he’s only on because his encyclopedic knowledge of train schedules is allowing him to compensate for an unexpected delay in his travel plans. “I’m not a trainspotter,” he assures her, “I’m a railway enthusiast.” Later, he is able to contrive a second meeting with her because of his, yes, trainspotting superpower. Soon, they are getting married. But this is not a sweet little romance. It’s a story about PTSD and an urge for revenge that turns into a desire for reconciliation and forgiveness. Read more>>

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John Turturro Talks FADING GIGOLO – Nell Minow Interviews

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Turturro wrote, directed, and stars in Fading Gigolo, the story of a gentle florist named Fioravante who works part-time in a rare book store that is closing down. The owner, played by Woody Allen, tells Fioravante he can sell his services as a sexual partner. Soon Fioravante is being paid to have sex with a beautiful doctor (Sharon Stone) and other highly desirable ladies. But his most intriguing customer is a young widow from the ultra-Orthodox Satmar community, played by Vanessa Paradis. I spoke to Turturro about his music choices, his inspirations and influences, and the advice he got from Woody Allen. Read more>>

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ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE – Review by Sara Vizcarrondo

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Don’t trust the title. Jim Jarmusch’s newest flight into the fantasies of a teen angst and anima follows the eternal love of Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton, who else?). Comfortable in Tangier when she hears her lover is in the dumps, Eve heroically runs to her man in Ghosttown, Detroit, where he’s carved a fascinating hermit-cum-rock-star life for himself. In a reclaimed house surrounded by impressively aged musical instruments, Adam has powered his home with an off the grid electrical system that could make geeks drool—and making geeks drool is kind of the point. Read more>>

 

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JOE – Review by Kristy Puchko

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Over the years, Nicolas Cage has become something other than an actor; he’s become an icon of pop culture, valued for his wild eyes and unrepentant eccentricities, real or imagined. This larger-than-life persona has begun to overshadow Cage’s actual abilities as a performer. And Cage finally seems to be aware of this, willfully stripping down his star power and toning down the antics that have become his crutch, for the gritty indie Joe.  Read more>>

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Lars von Trier Talks About America and Cinema Style – Jennifer Merin interviews

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Lars von Trier’s gutsy films have always stirred passionate debate, and his set of Nymph()maniacs continue to attract a lot of pros and as many cons. Much of the controversy has to do with von Trier’s attitude towards and portrayal of women. However, discussion about von Trier’s work has not always focused on misogyny. Read on…

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DRAFT DAY – Review by Susan Granger

Each May, National Football League general managers wheel-and-deal, trying to sign the best college players. So, when Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) of the Cleveland Browns gets a call from the Seattle Seahawks, offering to trade their star quarterback, he must decide whether he’s willing to sacrifice his first, and perhaps only, chance to build his own dream team, for what looks like a ‘sure thing.’ Read on…

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UNDER THE SKIN – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Scarlett Johansson is an alien. A sexy sexy alien who seduces men and sexes them to death. The guys seem okay with this. It’s all very metaphoric. Also science fictiony, in an indie arthouse way. I think it’s supposed to scare men about how they should be careful accepting rides from sexy babes who are nice to them, because they might turn out to be alien serial killers. Because that happens. Read more>>

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ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE – Review by Nikki Baughan

Just as he did with the Samurai genre in 1999’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, writer/director Jim Jarmusch now gives us an entirely different perspective on the vampire movie. A sparkling script and charismatic cast injects a new burst of life into a genre that’s become pallid and toothless thanks to blood-sucking franchises and adolescent fantasies and, together with Neil Marshall’s recent Byzantium, resurrects the vampire as an entirely adult anti-hero. Read more>>

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