Author: Chris Barsanti Page 2

Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal

Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal

Sitting for an interview and looking, glaze-eyed, through the soft-focus filter the camera has wrapped her in, a dull-voiced Heidi Fleiss blurts out, "I'm eight days sober." This comes not long after she's rhapsodized about...

Movie Review posted on 7th September 2008

A Girl Cut In Two

A Girl Cut In Two

Quite a good portion of Claude Chabrol's tasty cocktail of romance and jealousy, A Girl Cut in Two, has gone by before you realize that, in essence, nothing much of consequence has happened. This is...

Movie Review posted on 15th August 2008

Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express

As pot comedies go, Pineapple Express is one of the best. It delivers several genuine laughs and doesn't rely (completely) on stoned reaction shots to get them. But considering that this pronouncement really only puts...

Movie Review posted on 6th August 2008

A Very British Gangster

A Very British Gangster

The opening scenes of Donal MacIntyre's blunt, charged documentary A Very British Gangster have the kind of grandiose strut and prowl you'd expect from a director who was given total access to one of the...

Movie Review posted on 26th July 2008

The X-Files: I Want to Believe

The X-Files: I Want to Believe

Apparently the lamentable last season or two of The X-Files and the 1998 mega-episode film Fight the Future wasn't insult enough to the show's legacy as a groundbreaking, mythopoetic phenomenon. No, yet another film had...

Movie Review posted on 25th July 2008

Man on Wire

Man on Wire

Early on an August morning in 1974, a puckish Frenchman finally acted on an idea he'd been mulling, planning, and rehearsing for months on end, and one that had no other real purpose than that...

Movie Review posted on 25th July 2008

Full Battle Rattle

Full Battle Rattle

The potential for wartime satire is almost unbearably high in the setting for Tony Gerber and Jesse Moss's documentary Full Battle Rattle, a fact which unfortunately may have left them unable to do much more...

Movie Review posted on 9th July 2008

Tell No One

Tell No One

Sometimes it requires the eyes of a foreigner to make the old new again. In adapting American crime writer Harlan Coben's 2001 novel Tell No One, French filmmaker Guillaume Canet brings a distancing Gallic fracturedness...

Movie Review posted on 2nd July 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda

It's surprising that Hollywood has taken until 2008 to come up with Kung Fu Panda. Taking your factory-issue period-piece martial arts plot -- wherein schlubby protagonist finds his inner warrior as a means of expressing...

Movie Review posted on 6th June 2008

Operation Filmmaker

Operation Filmmaker

It's not hard to understand what gave Liev Schreiber the idea; sure he's an actor and filmmaker but still human like the rest of us. While prepping for production on Everything is Illuminated in 2004,...

Movie Review posted on 4th June 2008

Heavy Metal in Baghdad

Heavy Metal in Baghdad

If there was any doubt that music feeds the soul, it has been put to rest by Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi's frustrating but nearly impossible to forget Heavy Metal in Baghdad. If popular perceptions...

Movie Review posted on 24th May 2008

On the Town

On the Town

In the 1949 musical On the Town, you'll find a lot of things that might seem familiar from other musicals - big set pieces and a whimsical, can-do attitude - but at least one or...

Movie Review posted on 9th May 2008

Planet Earth

Planet Earth

Discussing the BBC series Planet Earth without resorting to some form of hyperbole is a fairly impossible task. To do anything less would seem to diminish somehow the true scope of its overwhelming achievement. But...

Movie Review posted on 4th May 2008

My Blueberry Nights

My Blueberry Nights

It's always a tightrope when foreign filmmakers, particularly those from the Hong Kong market, come to American shores to ply their trade. Though it doesn't appear that Wong Kar Wai is going to be setting...

Movie Review posted on 4th April 2008

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

Like figures in a Robert Altman film left too long in the sun, and who possibly never had that much going on upstairs to begin with, the characters of Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen's Jellyfish...

Movie Review posted on 4th April 2008

Stop-Loss

Stop-Loss

Any suspicions that Kimberly Peirce was a one-note art house auteur (her first and only feature was 1999's Boys Don't Cry) will be immediately assuaged by the full-throttle war-film assuredness of the opening sequences of...

Movie Review posted on 28th March 2008

Snow Angels

Snow Angels

There are about two or three different films fighting for control of the screen during David Gordon Green's powerful but flawed Snow Angels, and in the end none of them win. An adaptation by Green...

Movie Review posted on 7th March 2008

Jar City

Jar City

Although it never makes too brazen a point of the matter, one fact that looms over Baltasar Kormákur's chiller Jar City is that although Iceland is not that small a nation geographically, it is infinitesimal...

Movie Review posted on 2nd March 2008

Chicago 10

Chicago 10

The story of the 1968 Democratic Convention riots and the trial that followed would seem to have it all, with no need for sexing up. There were riots in the streets (broadcast live on TV,...

Movie Review posted on 29th February 2008

In Bruges

In Bruges

The Bruges Chamber of Commerce should be delighted with at least part of Martin McDonagh's film In Bruges, as it provides an unprecedented and absolutely ravishing look at the architecture of this gorgeous Belgian town...

Movie Review posted on 8th February 2008

Taxi to the Dark Side

Taxi to the Dark Side

Many Americans have not been terribly thrilled about their country's name being associated many times over the past few years with episodes of prisoner abuse and torture that would have seemed downright abhorrent to our...

Movie Review posted on 4th February 2008

The Witnesses

The Witnesses

Lost somewhere in André Téchiné's The Witnesses, a rather bewildered Emmanuelle Beart plays the part of Sarah, a frustrated children's book author with a new baby she doesn't really understand. Although the other main characters...

Movie Review posted on 1st February 2008

An Affair To Remember

An Affair To Remember

The good thing about being an international playboy who looks and sounds like Cary Grant (well, one of the good things) is that there isn't much you have to do to pay for your fabulous...

Movie Review posted on 29th January 2008

Untraceable

Untraceable

It would be wonderful if this review of the newest cyber-torture-stalker-thriller could begin with the words "Untraceable is unwatchable," but sadly that would be a lie. Our tastes have very simply become too degraded over...

Movie Review posted on 25th January 2008

Lost in Beijing

Lost in Beijing

A nervy love-quadrangle story that contains much less than the sum of its attractive parts, Lost in Beijing is just the kind of lost generation film that a country entering the full throes of a...

Movie Review posted on 25th January 2008

The Bucket List

The Bucket List

There will likely be people out there who will like The Bucket List. They will like its easy-to-follow premise, the hollow and overplayed jokes that occasionally come rumbling along, and the AARP-approved folksiness. And they'll...

Movie Review posted on 25th December 2007

Persepolis

Persepolis

What does one do, or even say, about a film that is, by any measurement that matters, perfect? When considering Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's finely etched animated adaptation of Satrapi's two-part autobiographical graphic...

Movie Review posted on 25th December 2007

Honeydripper

Honeydripper

Somewhere right about the time that blues great Keb' Mo' shows up as a blind guitarist named Possum who loves nothing more than to pick at his instrument and dispense homespun wisdom with a wry...

Movie Review posted on 25th December 2007

The Wire: Season Four

The Wire: Season Four

By the end of season three of The Wire -- aka HBO's best excuse for staying on the air -- one could sense that the show had, in some sense of the word, come to...

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2007

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

Practically no other nation's modern history has been so rife with grief and shattered expectations as that of Afghanistan; a fact utilized to maximum effect by Marc Foster in his adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's book...

Movie Review posted on 14th December 2007

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