RED CLIFF (CHI BI)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 127 minutes

IN LIMITED RELEASE AND AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! John Woo’s new film – his first produced in his homeland since 1993 – is a loud, colorful, and violent epic about the effects of friendship – and the weather – on war.


Posted on November 24, 2009 by

LOVE AND SAVAGERY

3 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 96 minutes

Michael isn’t the kind of guy to be told what (or who) he can or can’t do, but townspeople discourage him from persuing Cathleen by beating the crap out of him.


Posted on November 10, 2009 by

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS

3 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 93 minutes

Those waiting for the film to have a point, to say something, to have a core meaning or a message, might be disappointed.


Posted on November 7, 2009 by

MADE IN HUNGARIA

3 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 109 minutes

This spirited take on the old teen rebel tale is indeed filled with rockin’ music, beautiful women, good laughs, and lively production numbers.


Posted on November 3, 2009 by

THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF

2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 102 minutes

A layered film with a lot of good elements in it, but ultimately sunk by an onslaught of unbearable cliches.


Posted on November 2, 2009 by

BLACK MOLD EXPOSURE

2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 101 minutes

Once again, greed trumps humanity, dollars trump suffering, the guy with the worst lawyer is wrong, and the little guy loses.


Posted on November 1, 2009 by

ROMA SUB ROSA

2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2006
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 28 minutes

This minimalist historical drama is well-paced and tightly scripted, but the performances range from merely acceptable to miserable.


Posted on October 31, 2009 by

NOTHING PERSONAL (RIEN DE PERSONAL)

3 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! The comedic aspects of “Nothing Personal” take their time to blossom. Events that are tragic and shocking the first time we see them are hilarious the third time around.


Posted on October 27, 2009 by

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE PLAN (DVD)

1.5 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 100 minutes

It is with heavy heart that I report that “The Plan” can be described in a mere five letters: “a mess.”


Posted on October 27, 2009 by

COOKING HISTORY

2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 88 minutes

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! Stories of Bosnians and Serbs who staunchly refused certain meals or ingredients due to nationalistic associations with these foods are eclipsed by the memory of a pig squeal only equalled in cinema history by Ned Beatty.


Posted on October 24, 2009 by

THE COMMUNE

1.5 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 91 minutes

In “The Commune,” anyone who isn’t a mainstream Christian, and/or anyone who likes nature, healthy food, or being nice to people is actually an incestuous killer who must be a member of a cult of freaks.


Posted on October 24, 2009 by

HIPSTERS (STILYAGI)

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 115 minutes

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! Hailing from Russia, this loud, sexy, colorful musical is most definitely a tale of the hipster of the atomic age, not the mopey fops we see today.


Posted on October 19, 2009 by

ECCENTRICITIES OF A BLONDE-HAIRED GIRL (SINGULARIDADES DE UMA RAPARIGA LOURA)

1.5 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 65 minutes

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! The performers all mope dourly through their scenes, perhaps as bored with their lifeless characters as the audience must be.


Posted on October 18, 2009 by

GIRL ON A TRAIN (LA FILLE DU RER)

2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 105 minutes

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! The connection between Jeanne’s phony attack and the trains that she rides throughout the film is tenuous at best. The shots of Jeanne on a train exist only to justify the title.


Posted on October 18, 2009 by

PARTNERS (COMPLICES)

3 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 93 minutes

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! How youthful recklessness sculpts our lives as adults, or how love must be seized and reveled in, seem to be themes that might have crossed the director’s mind. But they never quite make it to the screen.


Posted on October 16, 2009 by

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