Film Topics

Chisaii Ouchi (The Little House)

Oct 15, 2014

Chisaii Ouchi (The Little House)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Yoji Yamada Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Veteran director Yoji Yamada’s drama about an upper-middle-class family in 1930-40s Tokyo is deeply informed by Yamada’s own acquaintance with the era, from its social mores to its domestic arrangements. Told from the perspective of a ...

Hummingbird

Oct 15, 2014

Hummingbird

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Steven Knight Language: English This is almost “Old Boy” remade in London, with Jason Statham in the lead role. Statham is spot-on as an ex-special forces soldier on the run from a court martial. He ducks into the sleazy dreck of London’s underworld ...

Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service)

Oct 8, 2014

Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Takashi Shimizu Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Horror-meister Takashi Shimizu’s live-action film based on same book as of Hayao Miyazaki’s 1989 animation about a young witch’s apprenticeship attempts a visually and psychologically darker approach than Miyazaki’s classic. But a spirited performance as the ...

Angel Heart

Oct 8, 2014

Angel Heart

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Alan Parker Language: English Back in the dark 1980s, this was a scary, scary film and touted as one of Mickey Rourke’s finest performances. Rourke was slim, smooth and effortlessly sexy in this 1987 story about blood lust and voodoo, serial murders and ...

Hannibal

Oct 8, 2014

Hannibal

by Giovanni Fazio

Language: English American TV drama “Hannibal” revives the iconic serial killer from Thomas Harris’ “Red Dragon” and “The Silence of the Lambs” novels. Mads Mikkelsen stars as the cultured cannibal, while Hugh Dancy plays a highly empathic criminal profiler with Asperger’s syndrome, and Laurence ...

For no Good Reason

Oct 1, 2014

For no Good Reason

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Various Language: English “My idea of humour was that it would be quite maniacal,” says artist Ralph Steadman in “For No Good Reason,” the Johnny Depp-narrated doc covering Steadman’s career. We’d expect that from the guy best known for his savage illustrations for ...

Hostages

Oct 1, 2014

Hostages

by Kaori Shoji

Language: English The chilling, mind-blowing conspiracy thriller series “Hostages” is available for rental. Based on an Israeli series of the same name, Toni Collette stars as Ellen, an Oval Office surgeon whose family is held hostage by an FBI agent (Dermott Mulroney) who, for ...

Stray Cat Rock: The Collection

Sep 24, 2014

Stray Cat Rock: The Collection

by Mark Schilling

Directors: Yasuharu Hasebe, Toshiya FujitaLanguage: Japanese (subtitled in English) Made by the Nikkatsu studio in the early 1970s in emulation of the violent and sexy exploitation films drawing audiences in the U.S., the five “Stray Cat Rock” films feature Kaji Meiko as a glowering ...

Person of Interest: Season 3

Sep 24, 2014

Person of Interest: Season 3

by Kaori Shoji

Language: English The third season of this megahit series (co-produced by J.J. Abrams) is available for streaming via Rakuten Showtime. Starring Jim Caviezel as former CIA operative John Reese, this is about a software genius (Michael Emerson) with a surveillance system that tracks violent ...

Dark Hearts

Sep 24, 2014

Dark Hearts

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Rudolf Buitendach Language: English This column was created to highlight some of the films that bypass the cinemas and go straight to DVD. Great in theory, but the reality is more like “Dark Hearts.” This cheesy and pretentious erotic thriller, about an artist ...