The Ninth Gate

The Ninth Gate opens with a short and simple camera movement that finds the crepe-edged comedy in the final moments of a man’s life – it’s vintage Roman Polanski. The horror genre has been degraded for so long that having Polanski (Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown) back in charge feels  ...

No One Writes to the Colonel

Elegant Handcrafted and Individually Dyed Mesh Silk Poncho No One Writes to the Colonel, Arturo Ripstein's film based on a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novella, is about hope sustained in the face of dashed expectations, about the survival of human dignity in the face of  ...

Not One Less

Suggested reading: China into Film: Frames of Reference in Contemporary Chinese Cinema (2000), Jerome Silbergeld New Chinese Cinemas: Forms, Identities, Politics (1996),Nick Browne (Editor) Critics often say that movies are "full of life" to indicate that they're full of hubbub or have an emotional bounce  ...

Nurse Betty

Click the poster to buy at MovieGoods.com Neil LaBute's Nurse Betty is the first post-traumatic stress disorder comedy. It's also the film in which LaBute finally earns the accolades he won for his first two films. Renee Zellweger plays Betty Sizemore, a small town waitress  ...

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

The most beloved scene in the 1996 remake of The Nutty Professor was the one where sweet-natured, obese science professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) sat down to a rambunctious dinner with his family. The popularity of the scene is easy to explain - Mama Klump, Papa Klump, Granny Klump  ...

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

For many cinema buffs the phrase “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” is more than an in-joke—it’s a password, a touchstone. Derived from Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels, it’s the name of the “serious” motion picture that director John Sullivan wants to make about life in the Depression. Sturges used the  ...

One Night at McCool’s

One Night at McCool’s has a promising opening. Matt Dillon is a jilted, luckless bartender named Randy. When we first see him he’s entering a bingo parlor to hire a hit-man named Mr. Burmeister. Burmeister turns out to be Michael Douglas, decked out in a pompadoured wig that’s three  ...

On the Ropes

Suggested reading: Championship Streetfighting: Boxing As a Martial Art (1997), Ned Beaumont Champions' Boxing Guide (1997), Edward Whitman Urban Sanctuaries: Neighborhood Organizations in the Lives and Futures of Inner-City Youth (1994), Milbrey W. McLaughlin Brett Morgen  ...

Open Your Eyes

Open Your Eyes doesn't have enough substance or depth to make it in the art houses, and, unfortunately, that is exactly where it will play in the United States, since mainstream audiences, for the most part, steer clear of foreign language films. If it were in English, it might  ...

Orphans

Orphans, the new film from writer-director Peter Mullan, begins with a long take of four siblings gathered around their mother’s coffin on the night before her funeral. Awash in grief, and self-conscious of their behavior in front of each other, they enact a simple goodbye ceremony for the woman  ...