The Playlist

Tribeca Review: 'The Guard' Is Ireland's Acidic Answer To The Buddy Cop Formula

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • April 28, 2011 4:15 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Sgt. Gerry Boyle is a man of simple pleasures. The unassuming, burly inspector works the unspectacular beat in his quiet, rainy hamlet of Galway, Ireland, wasting the days away alone with his Chet Baker record collection and his afternoons of illicit sex with the prostitutes of Dublin. His identification with police television shows is one of the very few ways he connects with the outside world of what he does, as his menial tasks seem far away from the pavement-slapping action of his colleagues. He's the rarest of movie cops: the one who seems almost offended at the possibility of interrupting his lifestyle for high speed chases or sexy gunfights.

SFIFF Review: Hong Sang-soo's 'Hahaha' Has Some Pleasant Memories, But Not Much More

  • By Sean Gillane
  • |
  • April 28, 2011 2:56 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival is currently in full swing with 190 films from around the world. Featured amongst the international films at SFIFF is last year’s Un Certain Regard winner “Hahaha,” writer/director Hong Sang-soo’s (“Like You Know It All,” “Night and Day”) 10th feature film starring Kim Sangkyung (“A Tale of Cinema”) and Yu Junsang (“Wide Awake”), both alums of the director’s previous work.
More: Review, SFIFF

Tribeca Review: 'The High Cost Of Living' Can't Afford A Better Plot

  • By Christopher Bell
  • |
  • April 28, 2011 2:16 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Just how out of touch are some filmmakers? There's a small trend of plots in which the main character commits a truly horrible crime of violent nature (which may even go as far as murder), usually by mistake, and their ultimate next move is to spy on the victim, befriend them, and pretend like nothing ever happened. This premise isn't just borderline offensive (a character tricking their victim for some weird personal catharsis? A writer composing such an artificial scenario just to tug viciously at our hearts?), its banality and self-righteousness basically paints the writer/director as someone who has never had anything remotely similar happened to them. Of course we all have our imaginations and we're all entitled to use them, but this kind of overdramatic falseness is rearing its head a bit too often (see Sundance hit "Another Earth," there's a slight variation in Andrea Arnold's "Red Road") to be given a pass. Deborah Chow's debut feature "The High Cost of Living" commits the same crime, banking on the misery of one person and the unbelievably low intellect of another.

Tribeca Reviews: 'Black Butterflies' & 'The Assault'

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • April 27, 2011 4:19 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
“Black Butterflies”Ingrid Jonker (Carice Van Houten) lived an impossible contradiction, writing heart-rending poetry about being a woman of privilege living under apartheid rule, all the while dealing with pressure from the head of the censorship board (Rutger Hauer), a man who also happened to be her father. “Black Butterflies” is the story of how Jonker, a woman with unending sexual cravings and a noted mental imbalance, managed to cope with this dichotomy.
More: Review

Tribeca Review: 'Puncture' With Chris Evans A True Story Weighed Down By Oscar Reel Antics

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • April 27, 2011 3:52 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
“Puncture”In 1998, Jeffrey Dancourt created the one-stick syringe, which helped saved the lives of several medical professionals while keeping costs down for supplies in the medical industry. The problem was that the industry, already the beneficiary of multimillion dollar agreements with supplies companies, refused the device. “Puncture” deals with the man’s engagements with two working class lawyers, the only ones willing to take on an un-winnable case against millionaire lawyers and their enormously powerful representatives.
More: Review

Review: 'Fast Five' Keeps Enough Fuel In This Aging Franchise To Still Be Fun

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • April 27, 2011 2:06 AM
  • |
  • 11 Comments
It's sort of amazing how dexterous the "Fast and the Furious" franchise has been. Originally conceived as a kind of hot rod version of "Point Break," directed by the perpetually midlife crisis-gripped Rob Cohen, complete with a trashy title lifted from an ancient American International Pictures cheapie, it has evolved over the years, with each successive sequel equipping the original concept of a sturdy undercover cop (Paul Walker) who flirts with the dark side of underground car racing (led by Vin Diesel) with new flourishes. John Singleton helmed the sequel, "2 Fast 2 Furious" and turned it into a live action anime (for better or worse it was a stylistic precursor to the Wachowskis' "Speed Racer"), while current franchise shepherd Justin Lin crafted a nifty "American Graffiti"-style one-off in "Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," before returning all the principles to the series for the back-to-basics revenge mode of "Fast & Furious."

Review: Werner Herzog's 'Cave Of Forgotten Dreams' Is Neither Forgettable Nor Very Dreamy

  • By The Playlist
  • |
  • April 26, 2011 10:51 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
The following is a slightly modified reprint of a review that ran at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.

Tribeca Review: Shallow Infidelity Drama 'Last Night' With Keira Knightley Lacks Heat Or Chemistry

  • By The Playlist
  • |
  • April 26, 2011 2:51 AM
  • |
  • 10 Comments
While it boasts a strong, marquee-named cast and some decent performances, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes and French actor/director Guillaume Canet ("Tell No One," Marion Cotillard's baby daddy) Iranian-American screenwriter Massy Tadjedin's directorial debut, "Last Night," is an unconvincing portrait of unhappiness and marital disenfranchisement. A largely hollow couples-in-crisis infidelity drama, the picture lacks any romantic or sexual electricity, and doesn't possess many glimmers of substantive sparks. Characters go through the motions, but rarely do they echo in any resonant manner. While "Last Night" attempts to document the collapse of a marriage during one evening and the occurrences and issues that lead up to such an unfortunate event, it simply leaves one yearning for much, much more.

Tribeca Review: Michael Winterbottom's 'The Trip' A Wickedly Funny Road Trip

  • By The Playlist
  • |
  • April 26, 2011 2:19 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Fans of British actor/comedian Steve Coogan ("I'm Alan Partridge," the outstanding lead in "24 Hour Party People") tend to fall into two camps: the Anglophile hyper-obsessives (believe me, they exist) and the casual fan where this writer finds himself (though there's probably a third and fourth level of indifference and unawareness). But both sides of the coin should be pleased with the results of his latest collaboration with Rob Brydon.

Review: 'African Cats' Is A Purrrrrrrrfectly Good Nature Documentary

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • April 22, 2011 5:14 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
It’s fitting that Disney should be getting back into the nature documentary business with its Disneynature imprint, since Walt Disney himself single-handedly invented the genre with his “True Life Adventures” series way back in 1948. Since then, of course, nature documentaries have been replicated endlessly, mostly on the small screen (with stuff like the gorgeously photographed “Planet Earth” BBC series) or the very big screen (before IMAX started showing really big versions of Hollywood blockbusters, its bread-and-butter was nature documentaries). So it’s sort of nice to have these modest, once-a-year features on multiplexes nationwide (always around Earth Day), as a testament to the vision Uncle Walt had oh-so-long ago.
More: Review

Email Updates

Recent Comments