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Guardians of the Galaxy

Sep 10, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

by Giovanni Fazio

If the poster for “Guardians of the Galaxy” seems a bit like a parody of a space-opera movie — with its ray-gun firing hero, green-skinned Amazon, machine-gun toting space racoon and giant alien plant — well, that’s because it is. Kind of. Director James ...

Frances Ha

Sep 10, 2014

Frances Ha

by Kaori Shoji

My mom used to say the trouble with being in your 20′s is not realizing how ridiculous you’re usually behaving. My take on it is that everyone should have periods of ridiculousness as often as possible, or we end up becoming bitter and shriveled ...

Frankie & Alice

Sep 10, 2014

Frankie & Alice

by Giovanni Fazio

Frankie (Halle Berry) is a go-go dancer in 1970s Los Angeles, who’s raking it in at a nightclub in the Watts district and enjoying a fairly wild lifestyle, but increasing blackouts and psychotic episodes lead to her getting committed to a mental institution. There ...

Night Train to Lisbon

Sep 10, 2014

Night Train to Lisbon

by Kaori Shoji

What does a man do when he wants to make a clean break? Hop on a train to Lisbon. That’s what Swiss professor Raimund Gregorius (Jeremy Irons) does during “Night Train to Lisbon.” One minute he’s walking the chilly streets of Bern, Switzerland, and ...

The Walking Dead: Season 4

Sep 10, 2014

The Walking Dead: Season 4

by Giovanni Fazio

Language: English The fourth season of everyone’s favorite zombie-apocalypse saga finally rolls onto the DVD shelves. The first half is as thrilling as ever, with the survivors’ refuge at the prison under threat, but the second half loses momentum a bit, with the scattered ...

Aku no Kyoten (Lesson of Evil)

Sep 10, 2014

Aku no Kyoten (Lesson of Evil)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Takashi Miike Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Released in 2012 — when mass shootings by deranged killers were making headlines around the world — Takashi Miike’s film about a charismatic but violently psychotic teacher (Hideaki Ito) who finally takes a shotgun to his ...

The Karate Kid (Best Kid)

Sep 10, 2014

The Karate Kid (Best Kid)

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Harald Zwart Language: English, Chinese (subtitled in English) This is the 2010 remake of the 1984 mega-hit, now starring Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son) and Jackie Chan. Dre (Smith) relocates to Beijing with his mom Sherry (Taraji P. Henson). Bullied at his new ...

U.S. comedian Jon Stewart's first film is no joke

Sep 6, 2014

U.S. comedian Jon Stewart's first film is no joke

On “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart has frequently made a punch line out of his movie career. When movie stars come on the show, Stewart often happily mocks his own film credentials, the ones largely from his days before becoming a revered late-night host: ...

A quarter century of Japanese films in review

Sep 3, 2014

A quarter century of Japanese films in review

by Mark Schilling

In 25 years of reviewing Japanese films and interviewing Japanese filmmakers for this newspaper, I’ve written 1 million words, give or take a few. This is clearly something no normal person would do, but for me it beats working. The idea that writing about ...

I, Frankenstein

Sep 3, 2014

I, Frankenstein

by Kaori Shoji

Compared with vampires, who always seem to be sleek and sexy, Frankenstein’s monster has had it rough. Those head bolts are one thing, and then there are the leathery scars all over his face and his massive, clunky awkwardness. To make matters worse, while ...

No

Sep 3, 2014

No

by Giovanni Fazio

In 1988, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who came to power in a bloody coup in 1973, decided to hold a national referendum — a simple yes or no vote — on whether he should extend his rule by eight years. It was supposed to ...

Yves Saint Laurent

Sep 3, 2014

Yves Saint Laurent

by Kaori Shoji

One of the most iconic designers of the 20th century, Yves Saint Laurent made a stunning debut at age 21 and seemingly never stopped enthralling the world with his creations. This movie tells us otherwise: Saint Laurent (played by Pierre Niney) had his share ...