Author: Jules Brenner

Stranded: I Have Come From a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains

Stranded: I Have Come From a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains

If the tale of real-life human endurance is a genre, this account of a disaster on the remote reaches of a mountain where survival and morality are put to the most grueling tests imaginable belongs...

Movie Review posted on 24th May 2009

O' Horten

O' Horten

Norwegian filmmaker Bent Hamer is nothing if not an individualist. Slow and sly, his films focus on the common man in such an offbeat and challenging way that it's clear he has as little regard...

Movie Review posted on 14th May 2009

Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File

Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File

Have you ever wondered about the risk a documentary filmmaker takes when he or she commits to a film about an ongoing event or situation? Russian documentarian Andrei Nekrasov set out to document a group...

Movie Review posted on 22nd April 2009

Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour

Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour

Disney sensation Miley Cyrus sheds another layer of her tween dynamic as she edges closer to the adult she'll be before we know it. In this full out concert, directed by Bruce Hendricks, her sprightly...

Movie Review posted on 7th September 2008

The Deal (2005)

The Deal (2005)

It's an old adage that you "write what you know," which is very much the case here. First-time screenwriter Ruth Epstein is a 9-year veteran investment banker with Wall Street's Goldman Sachs. As a legal...

Movie Review posted on 2nd August 2008

Hannari: Geisha Modern

Hannari: Geisha Modern

As a follow-up to Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha -- a mesmerizing novel about a retired geisha looking back on her life's work -- and the extraordinary 2005 movie made of it, this documentary...

Movie Review posted on 16th July 2008

Mendy

Mendy

In his first shot at writing, directing, and producing, Israeli filmmaker Adam Vardy fashions a somewhat wobbly story out of a rare instance in the life of a religiously committed Jew in New York: a...

Movie Review posted on 24th May 2008

Four Minutes

Four Minutes

A woman prisoner in a German penitentiary awakens on her cot to find her cellmate hanging in space, dead. There's a flicker of concern but no real sign of shock or alarm in Jenny von...

Movie Review posted on 20th April 2008

Resurrecting the Champ

Resurrecting the Champ

You could say that young sportswriter Erik Kernan (Josh Harnett) has a greater need for resurrection than the down-for-the-count ex-boxer he wants to write about. That's because, sadly, Kernan hasn't been able to match his...

Movie Review posted on 1st March 2008

Brothers (2004)

Brothers (2004)

In an intelligent psychological drama, director/co-writer Susanne Bier shows us some sure-footedness in developing a complex story and engaging us with characters that make the traumatic stress disorder resulting from war revealing. Though her film...

Movie Review posted on 20th September 2007

Snow Cake

Snow Cake

Turning what might have been an "illness of the week" tragedy into an affecting, entertaining entry for arthouse patrons, director Marc Evans, working from Angela Pell's screenplay, pulls it off in a small-scale way but...

Movie Review posted on 26th June 2007

Tales of the Rat Fink

Tales of the Rat Fink

This animated presentation of hot rods as redesigned by artist-specialist Ed Roth (who became the "Big Daddy" of collector cars), will appeal to car lovers, Roth followers, and automotive hobbyists. For those who don't share...

Movie Review posted on 8th June 2007

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

This film lives up entirely to its title. The events are as follows: Death of parents by fire, three siblings turned into victims of their closest relative, deception, escapes, disguises, greed, murder attempted and accomplished,...

Movie Review posted on 29th May 2007

This Divided State

This Divided State

When I think of mass bigotry arising out of a fundamentalist religious credo, my images go to the Taliban, the Iranian clerics, the Palestinian Hamas. Farther back in history, grand ideas about God and the...

Movie Review posted on 29th March 2007

A State Of Mind

A State Of Mind

The state of culture and values that exists in North Korea today would seem, from this documentary, to be purely a matter of mass coordination and spectacle. The effect of near perfect synchronization by massive...

Movie Review posted on 27th February 2007

The Tunnel

The Tunnel

This 2001 production about East Germans fleeing to West Berlin focuses on one of many tunnel-building operations when the infamous wall was built in 1961, and centers on a famous athlete who defied his Communist...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Intimate Strangers

Intimate Strangers

Seeking therapy is one thing; this is something else. What starts out as a therapy session gone wrong because of a mistaken door is really a study in purposeful cinematic misdirection to create a case...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Down By Love

Down By Love

She's a 24 year old single woman who seduced or was seduced by her foster father when she was 13, following the death of her parents. However the pair came together, Éva (brilliant and winsome...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Pure

Pure

If Oscars were given out on a worldwide basis, 12-year old Harry Eden, the emotional core of this penetrating study of the family side of the drug culture in London, would win it hands down....

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

The Sea Is Watching

The Sea Is Watching

The art film world is watching... to see if this movie made from a screenplay by Japan's most eminent auteur, Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood), will bear the stamp of the master....

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Alles Auf Zucker!

Alles Auf Zucker!

This farcical mishmash of a comedy about a Jewish family coming together after years of separation on different sides of the Berlin Wall turns basic greed into bonding and forgiveness. The humor is a bit...

Movie Review posted on 4th January 2007

Yang Ban Xi: The 8 Modelworks

Yang Ban Xi: The 8 Modelworks

During the ten years of Chairman Mao's reign over China, the idea of a "Cultural Revolution" became, in part, Mao's wife Jiang Qing's idea to ban traditional opera and promote false, color-saturated images of an...

Movie Review posted on 20th December 2006

Dirty

Dirty

That's "dirty" as in cops. And that's "cops" as in LAPD. If you wanted to depict this stained organization in the worst possible light, don't bother, it's been done -- to death. And here it...

Movie Review posted on 23rd November 2006

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye

This appreciation of a still photographer some think of as the grand master of them all demonstrates Henri Cartier-Bresson's ability to consistently make art out of people in the midst of their lives, capturing perfect...

Movie Review posted on 23rd November 2006

By The People

By The People

Putting elections together in small towns across America is a daunting challenge of organizational skill and dedication for bands of government workers and volunteers. In this case study of one such event in Indianapolis, Indiana,...

Movie Review posted on 5th November 2006

I Am David

I Am David

Despite some recognition by minor festivals and to the joy of overprotective mothers, this story of a boy who escapes from a Bulgarian labor camp in 1952 comes as a mostly juvenile effort from people...

Movie Review posted on 6th August 2006

Alles Auf Zucker!

Alles Auf Zucker!

This farcical mishmash of a comedy about a Jewish family coming together after years of separation on different sides of the Berlin Wall turns basic greed into bonding and forgiveness. The humor is a bit...

Movie Review posted on 29th March 2006

3-Iron

3-Iron

There's nothing like a challenge. Making a film in which the central character speaks not a word of dialogue qualifies as one. It is also an effective device to hold your attention -- just to...

Movie Review posted on 21st March 2006

Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family

Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family

The miscalculation that documentary director Susan Kaplan (Small Wonder) made when she decided to record her three friends' unorthodox domicile arrangement that looked a lot like a three-way marriage wasn't in thinking a film of...

Movie Review posted on 11th February 2006

I Love Your Work

I Love Your Work

I may not love your work but I don't think much of your mind, either. The mind, that is, of the guy responsible for this cult psychodrama on steroids, writer-director Adam Goldberg.His Gray Evans (Giovanni...

Movie Review posted on 3rd January 2006

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