Saturday, December 29, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar.
Ingenious combination of staged and real life scenes and comic book elements, this way truly recreating the actual intentions of the comic series.
Halliwell **: "Occasionally engaging mix of drama and documentary, in which Harvey Pekar comments on his experiences and this movie; the collision between himself as he appears and as he is played by Giametti adds piquancy, but it often seems just ordinary."
Maltin ***1/2: "Innovative film...(...). The filmmakers manage to fuse footage of Pekar, his family, and friends with their movie alter egos in a fresh and constantly surprising way. Giametti is perfect as the unrepentant curmudgeon."
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Coming home from work last Sunday I noticed a poster for an upcoming concert organized by our local Jazz Club, which rarely brings interesting artists to Regensburg. But this time - to my great astonishment - it'll be James 'Blood' Ulmer, one of the heroes of my youth! I still have his early collaboration with Ornette Coleman (another hero of mine!), Tales of Captain Black, and my favourite album of his with the Music Revelation Ensemble: No Wave. I recently went through some pain trying to get his 'hit' album Are You Glad to be in America? on cd, it's being sold at unreasonable prices. At the time (late 70s/early 80s) I was so keen to see him live, but always missed the opportunities, and most of my friends did not share my passion for his music. Nowadays, Ulmer is playing straight blues, but he's still a fanatstic guitarist, and you will always be able to recognize the sound of his guitar playing, be it free jazz or blues. So, on January 24, 2012 I'll finally get to see James 'Blood' Ulmer live in concert.
A police officer resigns from the force and becomes a bodyguard to the wife of a wealthy man and when her husband is found dead, he tries to clear her of murder.
Haphazard and miscast crime spoof, hardly entertaining and with an impossibly inept score.
Halliwell (no stars): "Offbeat melange of caper comedy, black farce, private eye detection, courtroom drama, spectacular action and routine thick ear. Doesn't work."
Maltin **1/2: "Odd detective suspenser. (...) Pacing and script offbeat at right moments, otherwise standard."
A professional gambler Jack visits Havana to organize a big Poker game and falls in love with a woman whose revolutionary Cuban husband is arrested and tortured.
Sallow and overlong re-imagining of Casablanca to a pre-revolution era Cuba context, fails in nearly all departments.
Halliwell (no stars): "Inconsequential, rambling tale with no perceptible point."
Maltin **1/2: "No masterpiece, overly reminiscent of CASABLANCA, and a huge box-office disaster, but still unjustly maligned as a stinker. (..) Production designer's dream is very entertaining for about 90 minutes, then tails off. Similar to the underrated Richard Lester film CUBA."
When an uptight young man and his fiancee move into his libertine mother's house, the resulting clash of life attitudes shakes everyone up.
Basically OK and well-played character drama about the uninteresting problems of people you wouldn't want to meet.
Halliwell (no stars): "A generational clash a middle-aged leather-clad hippie and her conservative son degenerates into standard soap opera fare."
Maltin **1/2: "Superficial but diverting hijinks with an unattractive cast, and McDormand in a role unlike any she's done before. Follows the same pattern as Cholodenko's previous, more richly textured film, HIGH ART."