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December, 2010

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Another Year (PG-13 for profanity) Six-time Oscar-nominee Mike Leigh wrote and directed this British sit-dram revolving around four seasons in the life of a happily-married, middle-aged couple (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen) who find themselves surrounded by relatively-morose friends, relatives and colleagues in emotional crisis. With Lesley Manville, Oliver Maltman and Peter Wight. Comment
Movies: Veteran boxing fans are undoubtedly familiar with the exploits of “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), the light-welterweight pugilist from Lowell, Massachusetts best remembered for a trio of memorable matches against the late Arturo Gatti. In fact, two of the gladiators’ epic battles (one in 2002, the other in 2003) were dubbed “The Fight of the Year” by Ring Magazine. Comment

Aspiring ballerina succumbs to pressures

Movies: Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) is a dancer with a leading New York City ballet troupe preparing to stage a production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Although previously only a member of the chorus, she’s recently been informed by her director, Thomas (Vincent Cassel), that he might like to feature her as the face of the company during the upcoming season. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Country Strong (PG-13 for sexuality and mature themes) Relationship drama about a fading country music star (Gwyneth Paltrow) whose marriage ends up in trouble when she goes on tour with an up-and-coming singer/songwriter (Garrett Hedlund) accompanied by her husband (McGraw) and a beauty queen (Leighton Meester) just breaking into the business. Comment

Spacey stars in seriocomic potboiler

Movies: Jack Abramoff (Kevin Spacey) was a veteran Washington, DC lobbyist whose outrageous exploits made even members of his own shady profession blush. In the nineties, the services of the shameless attorney, along with those of his equally-unscrupulous business partner, Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper), were retained by seven different Native American tribes interested in opening gambling casinos on their reservations. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: And Soon the Darkness (R for violence and torture) Remake of the 1970 thriller about a couple of young Americans (Amber Heard and Odette Yustman) whose exotic vacation in a remote region of Argentina turns nightmarish when one of them becomes the latest victim in a string of kidnappings targeting female tourists. With Karl Urban, Adriana Barraza and Gia Mantegna. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films 

Movies: And Everything Is Going Fine (Unrated) Steven Soderbergh directs this documentary chronicling the career of the late Spalding Gray (1941-2004), an actor/playwright and performance artist known for his minimalist monologues. Comment

November, 2010

Movies: Anyone familiar with the history of the Black Panther Party knows that it self-destructed during the seventies after the FBI strategically created dissension in its ranks via a combination of infiltration, disinformation and assassinations. Comment


Movies: The 18th Annual New York African Diaspora International Film Festival ADIFF presents the U.S. premiere of upbeat family film “Africa United,” which will screen at the Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave. (2nd St. & 2nd Ave.) on Saturday, Dec. 4, 4:40 p.m. and on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 8:30 p.m Comment

Independent & Foreign Films 

Movies: All Good Things (R for drug use, violence, profanity and some sexuality) NYC crime saga, set in the eighties, about the real-life case of the son (Ryan Gosling) of a real estate tycoon (Frank Langella) who falls in love with and marries a tenant (Kirsten Dunst) over his father’s objections only to have his wife subsequently disappear under mysterious circumstances. Support cast includes Philip Baker Hall and SNL’s Kristen Wiig. Comment

Harry Porter matches wits & wands

Movies: It stands to reason that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be the next-to-last offering in what is already the most lucrative film franchise in history, unless author J.K. Rowling succumbs to fan pressure to extend her best-selling series of children’s novels. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Break Ke Baad (Unrated) Coming-of-age romantic dramedy about a couple of lifelong friends (Deepika Padukone and Imran Khan), pals since the age of 4, and sweethearts since they were 15, who find themselves facing separation for the first time when one decides to move from India to Australia in order to study abroad. (In Hindi with subtitles) Comment

Denzel Washington saves the day again

Movies: Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) is winding down a 28-year career riding the rails with the Allegheny and West Virginia Railroad (AWVR). Despite the lack of a blemish on his sterling record, the veteran engineer’s being forced by the company to take an early retirement in a cost-cutting measure set to take effect in just a couple of weeks. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Family Affair (Unrated) Dysfunctional family documentary about three sisters’ lifelong effort to recover from being molested by their father over the course of their childhood. Directed by their brother, Chico David Colvard, who shot one of his siblings when he was just nine. Comment

Raunchy road comedy with unfunny shock fare

Movies: Although Peter Highman (Robert Downey, Jr.) has been away in Atlanta on business, he’s assured his nine-month pregnant wife, Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), that he’ll be back in L.A. on time to witness the imminent birth of their baby. Just before checking out of his hotel, he optimistically calls to let her know how much he loves her and that he’ll be home soon. Comment

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

Movies: For movies opening November 12, 2010 Comment

Black feminist classic refreshed

Movies: Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf” made a big splash when it debuted on Broadway back in the seventies. Comment

October, 2010

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 27 Hours (R for profanity, violence and disturbing images) James Franco stars in this bittersweet tale of survival recounting the real-life dilemma confronted by a mountain climber who had to amputate his own arm after it got pinned under a boulder while he was hiking alone in Utah. Cast includes Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, Treat Williams and Kate Burton (Richard’s daughter). Comment
Movies: I thought that the American obsession with psychics had pretty much ended once Miss Cleo was exposed as a fraud from L.A. as opposed to the shaman from Jamaica she posed as on the Psychic Friends Network infomercial. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Aftershock (Unrated) Historical drama recreating the events surrounding the Tangshan Earthquake which took a quarter-million lives in 1976. Cast includes Yi Lu, Chen Li, Fan Xu, Jingchu Zhang and Daoming Chen.(In Mandarin with subtitles) Comment

Bruce Willis heads A-list cast in ‘Red’

Movies: Red” Comment

Independent & Foreign Films 

Movies: BearCity (Unrated) Homoerotic comedy chronicling the explicit misadventures of a tight-knit group of gay friends who spend an eventful weekend cruising gay clubs in Manhattan. Ensemble cast includes Joe Conti, Gerald McCullouch and Brian Keane. Comment

Craven’s fright flick fails to measure up 

Movies: Poor (0 stars) Comment
Movies: Mahadeo Shivraj is no stranger to dramatics. His series “Laff Till Yuh Belly Buss” - an Indo-Guyanese Satire series - has been a total success, with sidesplitting comedy and sold-out crowds for the last seven years. So it was no surprise, when the audience erupted with laughter many times during the recent screening of his first movie “Till I Find A Place.” Comment

Pimpin’ or getting pimped

Movies: “GhettoPhysics” Comment

Independent & Foreign Films 

Movies: Bitter Feast (Unrated) Culinary horror comedy about a celebrity chef (James LeGros) quest for revenge on the internet restaurant critic (Joshua Leonard) who sabotaged his TV career by trashing his cooking on a blog. Cast includes Mario Batali, Paula El Sherif, Graham Reznick and Owen and Tobias Campbell. Comment

September, 2010

Independent & Foreign Films 

Movies: Barry Munday (R for sexuality and profanity) Castration comedy about a wannabe ladies man (Patrick Wilson) who awakens in a hospital with his testicles missing after being attacked in a movie theater. To add insult to injury, the newly-neutered eunuch learns he’s being sued for paternity by a woman (Judy Greer) he can’t even remember sleeping with. Cast includes Chloe Sevigny, Billy Dee Williams, Cybill Shepherd, Malcolm McDowell and Colin Hanks. Comment

Chilling life of a fashion model

Movies: “Picture Me: A Model’s Diary” Comment

Independent & Foreign Films 

Movies: 100 Voices: A Journey Home (Unrated) Historical documentary examining Jewish culture from the perspective of a group of cantors who ventured to Warsaw, Poland, the birthplace of Cantorial music. Comment

Janitor goes postal in romantic comedy

Movies: Joe (DJ Qualls) is on edge and right at the end of his rope. He’s the oft-humiliated janitor at Burger Heaven, a fast food joint being run like a boot camp by Mr. Crolick (William Sadler). While all the workers at the greasy spoon find themselves being the brunt of their boss’ abuse, the sadist taskmaster really seems to revel the most in torturing his custodian, teasing the gangly young man about everything from his looks to his intelligence. Comment

June, 2010

Independent & Foreign Films 

Movies: Dogtooth (Unrated) Dysfunctional family dramedy about a trio of siblings (Aggeliki Papoulia, Mary Tsoni and Hristos Passalis) confined since birth on an isolated country estate who as teenagers start to rebel from their mind-controlling parents (Christos Stergioglou and Michelle Valley) in response to the powerful pangs of sexual awakening. (In Greek with subtitles) Comment

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