4 items from 2012
World on a Wire Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder Written by Fritz Müller-Scherz and Rainer Werner Fassbinder Starring Klaus Löwitsch, Mascha Rabben, Karl-Heinz Vosgerau, Adrian Hoven I’d never heard of World on a Wire before Criterion’s announcement of its re-mastering and subsequent theatrical re-release in 2010. The trailer they’d put together hooked me immediately, based mostly on the retro-future set design and the promise of a strange, hard sci-fi thriller full of intrigue and mystery. The picture did not disappoint. With the recent blu ray release, I was thankful to be able to sit down with this epic film once again and try and make sense of any details I’d missed the first time around. In the not-too-distant future, a supercomputer called ‘Simulacron’ provides scientists with the ability to simulate and study a virtual society comprised of 10,000 ‘identity units’. When the technical director of the program, professor Vollmer, »
- Jay C.
DVD Playhouse—March 2012
By Allen Gardner
J. Edgar (Warner Bros.) Director Clint Eastwood provides a rock-solid, albeit rather flat portrait of polarizing FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, covering his life from late teens to his death. Leonardo DiCaprio does an impressive turn as Hoover, never crossing the line into caricature, and creating a Hoover that is all too human, making for an all the more unsettling look at absolute power run amuck. Where the film stumbles is the love story at its core: Hoover’s relationship with longtime aide Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer). In the hands of an openly-gay director like Gus Van Sant, this could have been a heartbreaking, tender story of forbidden (unrequited?) love, but Eastwood seems to tiptoe around their romance, with far too much delicacy and deference. The film works well when recreating the famous crimes and investigations which Hoover made his name on (the Lindbergh kidnapping, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Anatomy of a Murder (Criterion Collection) I looked back through my Netflix queue to see when I first watched Anatomy of a Murder and it turns out it was back in January 2009 and while I remembered enjoying it I didn't remember the film per se. So it was a treat to pop this new Criterion Blu-ray in the player and settle in to Otto Preminger's 1959 thriller with James Stewart in the lead and an impressive supporting cast and a feature filled with dialogue you can't get enough of.
As for the transfer, it's almost too good as a moment early on featuring the makeup on Lee Remick's bruised face is so obvious it's almost comical, but you're hardly paying attention as she does everything in her power to seduce Stewart into taking her husband's case.
Anatomy for a Murder may best be known in the movie blogosphere as »
- Brad Brevet
The Iron Lady (12A)
Depicting Margaret Thatcher as a human being is already being over-generous in the eyes of many, but this weird biopic gives us Thatcher as a senile old dear, looking back on her memories and conversing with the ghost of Denis, which means we're forced to empathise. What's more, this narrative device defuses the more contentious aspects of her political legacy. The career highlights are dutifully run through (Falklands, Brighton bombing, a bit of poll tax, the miners' strike barely happens), but there's little curiosity about how the rest of Britain felt or fared as a result of her reign. What's left is a faultless, often riveting impersonation by Streep, and a sense of a personality undone by its own unbending will, but there's little here to dent the ironwork. You could imagine this playing on Fox News. »
- Steve Rose
4 items from 2012
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