A Cinematic Feast: “Welcome to the Rileys” (2010)

Here is a tiny little film that barely earned $320,000 in total box-office receipts world-wide and screened only in 11 movie theaters when it was released. It’s one of those films that was tossed straight into the home-video bin. But my god… what quality, what super writing, directing, and acting are tucked away in this miniscule corner of the movie … [Read more...]

The American (2010) – A Cold Story Served Well Like Chilled Caviar

This is a cold movie. No, it's a FREEZING cold movie! (WARNING: some story spoilers ahead...) The main character is steel cold. It opens up with a literally cold snowy scene. The warmest human relationship is a one-night stand at an Italian bordello (at least until Act 3). SIDEBAR: There was another movie with a similar name that I watched years ago: THE … [Read more...]

Movie Review — Shutter Island (2010), a Psychological Thriller Masterpiece

A masterpiece by Martin Scorsese on the level of Taxi Driver and Goodfellas. The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio in his usual pedal-to-the-metal best) heads for the psychiatric-jail on Shutter Island to investigate the case of a missing patient/criminal, Rachel Solando. Accompanying him is his junior partner Chuck Aule … [Read more...]

Movie Review — Intermission (2003), a “romantic thriller” that parodies itself

Intermission, director John Crowley’s first film, is supposed to be a film about “life is what happens in between” two major events; that is, an intermission. But the ending proves the reverse – that, no matter what happens during the intermission, the RESUMPTION of the pre-intermission process towards the MEANINGFUL CULMINATION of one’s life scenario is what … [Read more...]

“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”: a Postmodern Coming of Age

It's common enough now to see so many postmodern motifs in the post-WWII European art scene that the two have become inseparable. While the Second World War's aftermath ushered in a triumphant and strident national narrative for the U.S. that lived on despite the turbulence of the 60's and 70's, French and German artists turned inward to confront deep feelings … [Read more...]