Many scenes, like the above, though thoroughly bleak and depressing, exemplify why The Grey Zone is such a beautiful film. Based on true events as told in the book Auschwitz: a Doctor's Eyewitness Account, the film chronicles the struggles faced by these Sonderkommando as they plan and eventually execute a fatal uprising that destroys two crematoriums inside the Auschwitz II-Birkenau death camp.
Continue reading: The Grey Zone Review
Now 20 years later, while watching another Gilbert and Sullivan performance (of sorts) I am still thinking the same things.
Continue reading: Topsy-Turvy Review
In his bold, brusque re-imagining of William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," screenwriter and director Michael Radford ("1984," "Il Postino") has successfully solved one of the play's two inherent impediments -- its insensitive, arguably anti-Semitic caricature of the greedy, vengeful Jewish creditor Shylock, who demands a literal pound of flesh as payment for a defaulted loan.
Applying audacious creative license, Radford has reinvented the character as a tragic and more central figure -- played by no less than Al Pacino -- whose villainy is motivated by a sense of indignation for his treatment at the hands of bigoted gentiles. This "Merchant" is no longer a farce, but a drama thick with implications about the dangers of religious power in society.
Unfortunately, Radford's creativity with the Bard's narrative doesn't extend to renovating the film's weightless, transparently contrived primary plot about Bassanio (Joseph Fiennes), a young man who wishes to woo beautiful heiress Portia (uncommonly lovely Lynn Collins), but fears he hasn't the wealth to make the proper impression. These romantic aspirations lead his merchant-shipper best friend Antonio (Jeremy Irons) to securing the sinister, high-risk loan from Shylock on Bassanio's behalf.
Continue reading: The Merchant Of Venice Review
Director Mike Leigh has usurped his subjects' mirthful sense of humor and penchant for prolonged presentation in his new film "Topsy-Turvy," a jaunty, jolly, light-hearted look at the lives of Victorian operetta architects Gilbert and Sullivan.
Like G&S, Leigh delights in garnishments that add color to his characters and to the pliant performances such details inspire.
Leigh's actors are always especially absorbed in their parts because of the way he works -- creating the screenplay in concert with his players during incessant rehearsals -- but in contrast to his downcast-but-hopeful, slice-of-life dramas ("Secrets and Lies," "Career Girls"), this picture radiates a distinct playfulness that is nothing short of contagious.
Continue reading: Topsy Turvy Review
These are the albums we've been loving this month.
Some notable names are missing from this year's line-up.
'Father of All...' isn't an awful album but it certainly isn't that good either.
Listen to Generation Dude's 'Radio Pills'.
Listen to her new song 'I'll See This As A Blessing'.
Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...
When the Nazis took over Vienna prior to the Second World War, they stole countless,...
A mopey tone and hole-ridden plot make this romantic drama rather difficult to sit through....
Cockney geezers of the world rejoice as the big screen remake of the seventies police...
Mia is walking along the street one day, when she notices shredded photos fluttering to...
You can see what Landis was trying to do here: recapture the funny-scary tone of...
Shanghai, 1936 was a crossroads for political intrigue, refugees escaping turmoil, gathering military forces, international...
One of the most poignant moments in the grave Holocaust drama The Grey Zone comes...