Sorcerer

Clean underwear is overrated.

Fleeing after a botched robbery, Roy Scheider finds himself down South American way, signing on to a mission where the slightest wrong turn could blow things sky-high.

The man who faced down Bruce the Shark in Jaws and lived to tell about it is tasked with transporting highly-volatile nitroglycerine across a landscape littered with things just aching to make his truck go boom.

Punch the gas or caress the pedal, either option is fraught as bridges crumble beneath you.

A two-hour workout for your abs, as you involuntarily clench along with the antiheroes on screen.

 

The Speed Cubers

Become one with the cube.

To any child of the ’80s who struggled with Rubik’s infernal toy, watching this highly-entertaining, very-emotional short doc is a revelation.

Here, not only does everyone solve the taunting cube, but they do it with blinding speed, and, sometimes, just one hand.

Tracking the beautiful relationship which grows between two champs — an outgoing Aussie and his autistic American counterpart — it’s a testament to the truth you can make a great film about any subject.

There’s suspense on the competition floor, but the power of the movie comes from its warm embrace of its diverse stars.

Kick-Ass

Something to offend everyone.

A rapid-fire series of fists to the face, this comic book adaptation is soaked in cynicism, a hardy helping of the ol’ ultraviolence, and every bodily fluid possible.

It follows the day-to-day life of a wannabe superhero, a young dude who naively believes he can slap a costume on and go save a world which couldn’t care less.

Along the way, he crosses paths with Chloë Grace Moretz’s Hit Girl, a tiny dynamo who dispenses justice, one fractured tibia at a time, and finds his ultimate role model.

She’s here, she’s savage – get used to it.

 

Raise the Red Lantern

Great sadness hides behind great beauty.

Zhang Yimou’s haunting look at the life of a concubine in 1920’s China is among the most-gorgeous films of the ’90s – or any era, for that matter.

But beneath the opulence a lot of nasty things linger – death, betrayal, and ultimately, madness.

Gong Li, a subtly-powerful actress, captures every flickering emotion as a young woman essentially sold into slavery after the death of her father leaves her family bankrupt.

Her new marriage offers great rewards, at first, but crushing sadness soon becomes her constant handmaiden.

Lovely to look at, and chilling to behold.

A Concerto is a Conversation

Small story, big power.

This doc, which is on the list of possible contenders for an Oscar, is a lovely look at the connection between a grandfather and his grandson.

The younger man is Kris Bowers, a pianist and composer rising fast in Hollywood.

His grandfather, Horace Bowers Sr., is a self-made businessman who overcame long odds and rose above racial hatred to take care of his family, striving each day so that his offspring could have an easier route than he did.

The relationship between the two men is beautifully-etched and poignant, the film a small miracle.