Author: Nicholas Schager

Chaos (2001)

Chaos (2001)

Coline Serreau's Chaos is never quite sure of what it wants to be. The story of a Parisian woman who becomes involved with a prostitute fleeing a gang of pimps, the film could easily be...

Movie Review posted on 14th March 2008

The Eye (2002)

The Eye (2002)

Of all the horror films that spring to mind while watching the Pang brothers' stylish if only sporadically frightening The Eye, none is more amusing than Body Parts. That moronic vehicle for B-movie heartthrob Jeff...

Movie Review posted on 2nd February 2008

Bad Education

Bad Education

Pedro Almodóvar's films have always oozed adoration for tawdry movie melodrama, from the Telemundo-on-cocaine gaudiness of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to the sweet, sentimental "women's picture" romance of The Flower of...

Movie Review posted on 1st February 2007

Intimate Stories

Intimate Stories

Carlos Sorin's Intimate Stories could just as easily have been titled Destination: San Julián, as its three unrelated Argentinean characters all embark on a trip from their rural Southern Patagonia town of Fitz Roy to...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

5x2

5x2

François Ozon (Under the Sand, Swimming Pool) channels Ingmar Bergman rather than regular muses Alfred Hitchcock and Claude Chabrol for 5x2, the portrait of a disintegrating marriage that focuses on five key instances in the...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Strangers with Candy

Strangers with Candy

Amy Sedaris' Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy was an absurdist deconstruction of after school special conventions, following the wacky travails of 46-year-old ex-junkie, ex-con, ex-prostitute Jerri Blank (Sedaris) as she reentered high school as...

Movie Review posted on 5th July 2006

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

Only a month after acclaimed author J.T. LeRoy was exposed by The New York Times as a fictional persona concocted by writer Laura Albert - a revelation that all but demolished the credibility of the...

Movie Review posted on 10th March 2006

The Dying Gaul

The Dying Gaul

In 1995, the internet was still a strange, scary destination for most Americans, a primary meeting place for pornography hounds and other assorted lonely creeps who sought out the thrilling anonymity of the web's myriad...

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2005

Pulse (2001)

Pulse (2001)

Following on the heels of Hideo Nakata's original Ringu and Takashi Shimizu's Ju-On, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 2001 masterpiece Pulse is, at first glance, simply another J-horror film obsessed with the malevolent dangers posed by technology. Yet...

Movie Review posted on 10th November 2005

Zatôichi

Zatôichi

Seated at a gambling table with his head tilted downward in silent, intense concentration, Zatôichi, a 19th-century blind Japanese nomad enjoying a game of dice, listens closely to the two white cubes clank against one...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

Metallica's St. Anger - the legendary metal band's first album of new material since the touchy-feely twin horrors Load (1996) and Re-Load (1997) - is a dense, sonically messy one-note return to their speed metal...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Devil's Rejects

The Devil's Rejects

House of 1000 Corpses, the last song on Rob Zombie's 2001 album The Sinister Urge, also served as the title track to the metal frontman-turned-filmmaker's 2003 directorial debut, but the cut's country twang-inflected ghoulishness would...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Better Luck Tomorrow

Better Luck Tomorrow

No parents appear in Justin Lin's penetrating debut Better Luck Tomorrow, presumably because their Asian-American kids - seemingly responsible and perfectionist students at the top of their class - have earned the right to nearly...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

A Dirty Shame

A Dirty Shame

Ultra-trashy provocateur John Waters returns to crude, campy form with A Dirty Shame, a risqué, ribald NC-17 sex-a-thon that finds the iconoclastic director reveling in his most beloved vices. The story of a frigid housewife...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries

Director Walter Salles (Central Station, Behind the Sun) regularly focuses on the inextricable, inscrutable relationship shared by man and his environment, and the result is that his films' hardscrabble Latin American settings are transformed into...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

She's One of Us

She's One of Us

Christine (Sasha Andres) is an office temp suffering from some sort of spiritual malaise brought about by France's cold, impersonal capitalist society. Or is it just that she's a strange, socially retarded whack-job incapable of...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Levity

Levity

Billy Bob Thornton does a variation of his nearly invisible barber from The Man Who Wasn't There in screenwriter Ed Solomon's directorial debut Levity, escaping once again into a role of a hollow loner whose...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Assassination of Richard Nixon

The Assassination of Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon does not die in The Assassination of Richard Nixon, but the film's protagonist - a depressed, angry, middle-aged man named Samuel Bicke (Sean Penn) - eventually comes to believe that, for the good...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Rock School

Rock School

Jack Black's wacko substitute teacher/heavy metal proselytizer in School of Rock may understand the primal majesty of a blistering riff, but he has nothing on Paul Green. Green, the founder and frontman of Philadelphia after-school...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Lords of Dogtown

Lords of Dogtown

Catherine Hardwicke's Lords of Dogtown tells virtually the same story recounted by Stacy Peralta's 2001 documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, which autobiographically detailed his and his friends' teen years as pioneers of modern skateboard culture. Peralta,...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Assassination Tango

Assassination Tango

Robert Duvall directs and stars in Assassination Tango, and since his gray moustache and ponytail prevent him from playing a convincing hooker with a heart of gold, the seasoned veteran has chosen the next best...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Human Stain

The Human Stain

Miramax makes its initial bid for Oscar gold with The Human Stain, Robert Benton's torpid adaptation of Philip Roth's acclaimed novel about race and sex and lots of other "big" issues such as the price...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Don't Move

Don't Move

In the pantheon of ludicrous, offensive, and idiotic dramatic ideas, few can rival the narrative axis of Sergio Castellitto's Don't Move, in which heart-stopping romance and chest-heaving passion spring from deliberate, violent rape. Preposterous whenever...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Irréversible

Irréversible

It's hard to imagine a more unpleasant film than Irréversible, a tale of sexual and physical violence that pulls out all the stops in attempting to shock its audience. The new film by French filmmaker...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Love and Diane

Love and Diane

Love and Diane, Jennifer Dworkin's astonishing documentary about a former crack addict's attempts to reunite her family, may be the most captivating film experience of the year. Tender and poignantly insightful, the film is a...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Holy Land

The Holy Land

Dissonance pervades writer/director Eitan Gorlin's The Holy Land, the story of one Orthodox Israeli's coming-of-age adventures in Jerusalem. Conflict seems to manifest itself in every inch of Gorlin's film, from the ever-present strife between Jews...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Bad Education

Bad Education

Pedro Almodóvar's films have always oozed adoration for tawdry movie melodrama, from the Telemundo-on-cocaine gaudiness of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to the sweet, sentimental "women's picture" romance of The Flower of...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Chaos

Chaos

Coline Serreau's Chaos is never quite sure of what it wants to be. The story of a Parisian woman who becomes involved with a prostitute fleeing a gang of pimps, the film could easily be...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener

She's a bleeding heart radical who opposes the Iraq war and feels terrible about poor HIV-inflicted Kenyans. He's a stodgy establishment lackey working for the British High Commission who loves to mind his own business...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

A Hole In One

A Hole In One

Quirky to the point of irritation, Richard Ledes' A Hole in One trades in inventive oddities at the expense of dealing with human emotion. A surrealistic period piece about humanity's hunger for quick-fix solutions to...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

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