Author: Chris Barsanti

The Brothers Bloom

The Brothers Bloom

A perfectly swell caper film that ultimately can't sustain the propelling giddiness of its first hour, The Brothers Bloom burns bright with brilliance before sputtering out in the end. In a case of extreme overreach,...

Movie Review posted on 14th May 2009

The Soloist

The Soloist

Joe Wright's worlds-colliding drama The Soloist has so many strikes against it that it's hard to imagine coming out the other end feeling anything but relief that it was over. Think of it: a based-on-a-true-story...

Movie Review posted on 23rd April 2009

Il Divo

Il Divo

There were two films that locked up most of the nominations at the 2009 Italian Academy's David Di Donatello awards, and neither of them says anything good about the state of the Italian Republic. One...

Movie Review posted on 23rd April 2009

Every Little Step

Every Little Step

The making-of documentary -- the few seen as works in their own right and not consigned to the second disc of a special edition DVD -- is a tricky thing, as its audience is by...

Movie Review posted on 17th April 2009

The Song of Sparrows

The Song of Sparrows

A treat in every sense of the word, Majid Majidi's The Song of Sparrows starts in galloping rural comedy and meanders through urban neo-realism before winding itself up with a portrait of family life as...

Movie Review posted on 3rd April 2009

Forbidden Lie$

Forbidden Lie$

Anna Broinowski's Forbidden Lie$ is the nervy documentary accounting of how Norma Khouri, a Jordan-born Chicago scam artist (real name Bagain) with possible ties to organized crime and who was wanted for fraud by the...

Movie Review posted on 3rd April 2009

Fast & Furious

Fast & Furious

Doing its best to further erase whatever pleasant memories (guilty or no) people may still have had from the 2001 original, Fast & Furious reunites The Fast and the Furious cast with much ballyhoo, only...

Movie Review posted on 3rd April 2009

Goodbye Solo

Goodbye Solo

You think you've seen this movie. Irascible old codger (white, of course), who doesn't need or care about any other human being on the planet, gets his ice-cold heart thawed by a fireball of empathy...

Movie Review posted on 26th March 2009

Must Read After My Death

Must Read After My Death

A polarizing family secrets drama whose moment of revelation is continually diverted in favor of enticing new fragments of the truth, Must Read After My Death is a documentary that does its best to get...

Movie Review posted on 22nd March 2009

Duplicity

Duplicity

It doesn't take much to make the life of a spy look great. The travel, expense account, sense of danger, all that role-playing -- it's catnip for most people, whose greatest investment in daily skullduggery...

Movie Review posted on 20th March 2009

Eleven Minutes

Eleven Minutes

There are few things in the world less important than fashion. Yet that doesn't stop an entire media apparatus from feeding breathlessly upon every scrap of glam celebrity that sloughs off each year's camera-flash-strobed Paris...

Movie Review posted on 3rd March 2009

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

A beautiful tissue-paper piece of art that falls to shreds should you so much as blow upon it, Dorris Dörrie's Cherry Blossoms is the kind of film that dares you to laugh at it. There...

Movie Review posted on 16th January 2009

Gomorrah

Gomorrah

A mob film that's as far from the genre's standard operating procedure as could be imagined, Gomorrah paints a bleak and impressionistic picture of a society not just riddled with gangsters, but crippled by them....

Movie Review posted on 14th January 2009

Just Another Love Story

Just Another Love Story

The narrator in writer/director Ole Bornedal's Danish thriller Just Another Love Story -- a film that's probably too aware of its genre signifiers -- rhetorically asks the audience "A beautiful woman and a mystery. Isn't...

Movie Review posted on 9th January 2009

Generation Kill

Generation Kill

In their seven-part Iraq War miniseries adaptation of Evan Wright's book Generation Kill, David Simon and Ed Burns roll up a quiverful of arrows to fire off at various topics, ranging from the rampaging adrenaline...

Movie Review posted on 3rd January 2009

Entourage: Season Three, Part Two

Entourage: Season Three, Part Two

It's next to impossible to discuss the HBO series Entourage without comparing it to the network's other series. You can call it a careerist fantasy that shows what the perfect life would be if one...

Movie Review posted on 28th December 2008

The Spirit

The Spirit

It's been too long since we've had a proper comic book superhero on the screen. There's been enough of them running around and bashing up the bad guys in a CGI-enhanced fashion, that's for sure....

Movie Review posted on 25th December 2008

Last Chance Harvey

Last Chance Harvey

A film so mild-mannered it only occasionally registers a pulse, Joel Hopkins' Last Chance Harvey is best viewed as proof that not all filmed entertainment these days is nihilistic and grim. Occasionally there are still...

Movie Review posted on 25th December 2008

The End of America

The End of America

There's a popular saying, long attributed (likely in an apocryphal fashion) to Upton Sinclair, that's gained some resurgence in the last few years due to the current political situation. (As an aside, one can always...

Movie Review posted on 15th December 2008

JCVD

JCVD

Pity Steven Seagal couldn't ever make a movie like this. Not just because his initials would have caused the movie to be called "SS" -- not the most desirable title -- but because the ponytailed...

Movie Review posted on 15th December 2008

What Doesn't Kill You

What Doesn't Kill You

A recovery film being touted as a crime thriller, What Doesn't Kill You suffers from the problem of most recovery stories in that it essentially has no final act. With the average character study this...

Movie Review posted on 12th December 2008

Adam Resurrected

Adam Resurrected

If Adam Resurrected were any better a film, it would have the potential to be actively offensive, as opposed to merely tiresome and baffling. Between Jeff Goldblum's wildly over-mannered performance and the schlocky treatment of...

Movie Review posted on 12th December 2008

We Are Wizards

We Are Wizards

If there was ever a movie to make somebody regret that they had any familiarity with the Harry Potter universe, it would be the astoundingly irritating Potter fandom documentary We Are Wizards. Josh Koury's smartly-shot...

Movie Review posted on 14th November 2008

Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father

Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father is a film that nobody should ever feel forced to make, but just about everybody should see. It's a story about a murder, made by...

Movie Review posted on 11th November 2008

The War

The War

It's easy to say "war is hell." That gets the point across, but being such a shopworn phrase -- particularly when invoked by warmongers who follow it up with all the reasons it's still something...

Movie Review posted on 2nd November 2008

Fear(s) Of The Dark

Fear(s) Of The Dark

Animation anthologies generally have a tough time of it in theaters, usually ending up as grab-bag vehicles of grotesquerie and humor that play only the festival circuit and the occasional arthouse. It's a strange situation...

Movie Review posted on 20th October 2008

Transsiberian

Transsiberian

As the train rattles through the frozen tundra with its cargo of weary passengers, a melancholic detective gives the American tourists an idea of just how far into it they've stepped: "In Russia we have...

Movie Review posted on 26th September 2008

Flow: For Love of Water

Flow: For Love of Water

When the world is on the line, it's easy to lose focus. So it is with Irena Salina's crisply-packaged and beautifully photographed but wholly scattered documentary on the worldwide water crisis, Flow. Salina is certainly...

Movie Review posted on 26th September 2008

Towelhead

Towelhead

It's possible that Alan Ball will never quite grow up. And after seeing his directorial debut Towelhead, people may never want him to -- those that stay until the final credits roll, at least.The advance...

Movie Review posted on 12th September 2008

The Women (1939)

The Women (1939)

Although one could have fun imagining a film in which Rosalind Russell and Joan Crawford are simply tossed into a tiger cage and fight to the death, the 1939 film The Women will do just...

Movie Review posted on 10th September 2008

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Stephen King Personally Approved 'IT' Movie Plot Changes

Stephen King Personally Approved 'IT' Movie Plot Changes

The novel's author saw a cut of the film and loved each of the changes the movie's director had made.

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