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Burn After Reading

No one loves idiots more. The Coen brothers delight in concocting tales about people who think they know more than they do, morons who stumble in and out of danger, often ending up prematurely erased. This pitch-dark comedy, while not on the top tier of their filmography, has some huge laugh-out-loud moments. Especially from Brad … Continue reading Burn After Reading

Predestination

Ready to melt your brain? This dizzy, never-boring time travel odyssey is so complex that to explain all its twists and turns would take a lot more than the 100 words this blog allows me. Like a lot, lot. Suffice it to say that if you enjoy seeing Ethan Hawke command the screen (and who … Continue reading Predestination

Cape Fear (1991)

It’s its own thing. Martin Scorsese’s remake of the early ’60s revenge thriller tells a familiar story, but puts a unique spin on events. Robert De Niro, ranting, raving, and having a grand old time, steps into Robert Mitchum’s shoes as a man deeply aggrieved at having spent a chunk of his life in jail. … Continue reading Cape Fear (1991)

Dan in Real Life

Plan to be surprised. Steve Carell became famous for comedies where he painfully embarrasses himself, but this gentle mix of comedy and drama offers up one of his most-effective roles. Playing a widowed father of three girls, he stumbles through life, dispensing advice in a newspaper column, while needing his own dose of wisdom. A … Continue reading Dan in Real Life

Like Water for Chocolate

The kitchen’s all steamy. One of the sultriest films of the ’90s, this Mexican masterpiece combines sex and food, swirling the flavors together to create a savory dish to remember. At the center of this tale of brooding romance is the absolutely wonderful Lumi Cavazos, who roared on to my radar thanks to this film … Continue reading Like Water for Chocolate

Ava

Come for the action, stay for the angst. This tale of an assassin coming to terms with her life choices does offer its fair share of herky-jerky scenes of Jessica Chastain opening a case of whup-ass. But it’s actually the quieter moments, such as those where our world-weary hit woman has emotionally-charged conversations with mom … Continue reading Ava

The Mummy (1999)

There are two types of people in the world. Those who enjoy Brendan Fraser being goofy and gallant, and killjoys. Don’t be a killjoy. If watching Fraser shoot 1,001 bullets at a sandstorm while wailing “Oh … my … GOOOOOOODDDDD!!” doesn’t entertain you, it’s quite possible you may have already died and they just forgot … Continue reading The Mummy (1999)

Poolhall Junkies

Are you predator or prey? Writer/director Mars Callahan plunges us into the world of dank ‘n dark poolhalls, where careers (and lives) can be snuffed out with one well-timed shot. The lanky filmmaker, who also plays the lead character, seemed primed for a big Hollywood breakout here, but serious medical issues have largely sidelined him … Continue reading Poolhall Junkies

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