Author: Chris Cabin

The Limits of Control

The Limits of Control

It was about three years ago when, emerging from a press screening of Pedro Almodóvar's Volver, a good friend said to me, "You just can't argue with Almodóvar," referring to the idiosyncratic style that the...

Movie Review posted on 30th April 2009

Revanche

Revanche

We see the man, Alex (Johannes Krisch), from the beginning, capable of violence but with a discernable gentleness. He's in love with Tamara (Irina Potapenko), a Ukrainian woman. They both work for an overweight pimp:...

Movie Review posted on 30th April 2009

Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree

Israeli director Eran Riklis' latest feature, Lemon Tree, depicts the legal battle waged between a poor lemon farmer living on the Green Line between the West Bank and Israel and her neighbor, the Israeli Defense...

Movie Review posted on 17th April 2009

Sugar

Sugar

Part of an emerging pack of would-be American neo-realists, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden find themselves with one of the most intrinsically American emigration stories never told in their sophomore effort Sugar. From his home...

Movie Review posted on 3rd April 2009

Miss March

Miss March

Written, directed, and starring Trevor Moore and Zach Cregger, 2/5ths of the sketch comedy group The Whitest Kids U Know, Miss March chronicles both one man's lifetime infatuation with Playboy magazine and another man's apprehensive...

Movie Review posted on 13th March 2009

12

12

A peculiar, slathering beast comes lumbering out of writer Reginald Rose's slow-burning 12 Angry Men in Nikita Mikhalkov's epic 12, an inverted and wildly uneven Russian production that recasts the famous, tight legal drama as...

Movie Review posted on 4th March 2009

Birdsong

Birdsong

Though certainly not wanting for visual splendor, the most striking thing about Albert Serra's Birdsong, the 33-year-old Spanish filmmaker's detailing of the trip taken by the Three Wise Men to visit an infant named Jesus,...

Movie Review posted on 20th February 2009

Notorious (2009)

Notorious (2009)

In hindsight, the thought that a film could have ever done justice to Christopher George Latore Wallace, the Brooklyn-born rapper who went by the names Biggie Smalls and The Notorious B.I.G. until his untimely, unsolved...

Movie Review posted on 16th January 2009

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Zack and Miri Make a Porno is the latest film by Kevin Smith and, for better or for worse, it's the same movie the 38-year-old New Jersey native has been making for the last 14...

Movie Review posted on 31st October 2008

Changeling

Changeling

Fit snug into the mother superior of self-reflexive roles, Angelina Jolie once again finds herself the eye of the storm in Clint Eastwood's epic melodrama Changeling. Armed with her thick, crimson lips, period duds, and...

Movie Review posted on 24th October 2008

Reprise

Reprise

This review is an act of treachery. Not against my government nor my profession (any of them) nor towards my family and friends, mind you. This review is an act of treachery against myself and...

Movie Review posted on 1st September 2008

Frontier(s)

Frontier(s)

As a horror movie, Xavier Gens' gruesome Frontier(s) is all mechanism and little flavor. As a mechanism, it throttles, slashes, upchucks, and goes through the whole sloppy mess all over again with an almost perverse...

Movie Review posted on 8th May 2008

Teeth

Teeth

There are three bitten-off penises in plain sight in Mitchell Lichtenstein's Teeth, all three accompanied by shots of the gaping, below-the-equator wound. One of them, in the film's most grotesque sight gag, plops onto the...

Movie Review posted on 18th January 2008

I'm Not There

I'm Not There

We first meet the real Bob Dylan, lit by a spotlight and blowing into a harmonica with his eyes turned ever-downward, at the very end of Todd Haynes' I'm Not There. (The footage comes from...

Movie Review posted on 21st November 2007

Rendition

Rendition

About halfway through Gavin Hood's Rendition, Peter Sarsgaard's dweeby congressman's assistant approaches Meryl Streep's white witch of the CIA with enough huff-and-puff to blow down a Dairy Queen. The two ideological opposites go at it...

Movie Review posted on 19th October 2007

Lust, Caution

Lust, Caution

Halfway through Lust, Caution, Ang Lee's follow-up to Brokeback Mountain, Mr. Yee, a collaborator with the Japanese in WWII Shanghai, throws the flirtatious wife of a businessman onto a bed and proceeds to have sex...

Movie Review posted on 28th September 2007

Eastern Promises

Eastern Promises

We're in London and the streets look like they are owned and operated by Beelzebub himself. The ghosts of the KGB death squads loom in the distance, but the Russian crime syndicate's stranglehold over the...

Movie Review posted on 14th September 2007

Hatchet

Hatchet

Touted as the next big thing in horror by everyone from Kane Hodder to Dee Snider, Adam Green's Hatchet comes pre-packaged by the director himself as a return to "Old-School American Horror." What does he...

Movie Review posted on 7th September 2007

Rush Hour 3

Rush Hour 3

For all the talk of his beguiling cameo as a police chief, Roman Polanski shows up in Rush Hour 3 for exactly two scenes for about two minutes. In fact, the French police have absolutely...

Movie Review posted on 10th August 2007

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

We were barely getting over 300, and now this: a movie about two straight firemen who pretend to be gay to ensure that one's life insurance policy won't go to spit if he should die....

Movie Review posted on 20th July 2007

Black Sheep

Black Sheep

You count them to put you to sleep and you broil them to munch on after a lazy church Sunday. They get sheared to make quite a bit of your clothes and are fluffy and...

Movie Review posted on 22nd June 2007

Civic Duty

Civic Duty

A year after its debut at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and a week before Julia Loktev's striking Day Night Day Night is released, Jeff Renfroe gets his chance to turn the crank on the...

Movie Review posted on 4th May 2007

Smokin' Aces

Smokin' Aces

A double-decker, monster-man sandwich of a movie with all the condiments dripping off and the tomatoes soaking through the bread, Joe Carnahan's Smokin' Aces grabs you by your lipstick-smudged collar and chucks you headfirst into...

Movie Review posted on 26th January 2007

Little Children

Little Children

Five years after rethinking and remapping the idea of the dramatic thriller in the now-classic In the Bedroom, Todd Field finally swings back into the director's chair with an adaptation of Tom Perrotta's Little Children...

Movie Review posted on 22nd January 2007

The Queen

The Queen

In a year already riddled with modern benchmarks in U.S. history, Stephen Frears now enters the deal with a reenactment of a worldwide tragedy: the death of Princess Diana and the subsequent rupture in public...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Miss Potter

Miss Potter

Chris Noonan's Miss Potter continues a rather long line of films that attempt to diagnose the creative process of a writer and the critical world that surrounds the writer's inherent social (emotional) ineptitude. There are...

Movie Review posted on 8th January 2007

Spanking the Monkey

Spanking the Monkey

Like trip-hop group Massive Attack, David O. Russell started off quiet and slowly became loud as all get-out. With all the craziness and banter that came out over Russell's philosophical slapstick masterpiece I Heart Huckabees,...

Movie Review posted on 4th January 2007

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Like chugging a $200 bottle of pinot noir while feeding a steady methamphetamine habit, Tom Tykwer's take on Patrick Suskind's perverse classic Perfume takes out all the novel's dark teases and replaces them with his...

Movie Review posted on 25th December 2006

4

4

Ilya Khrzhanovsky's spellbinding debut makes a new name and puts new stress on the often ignored Russian cinematic community. Obviously influenced by Soviet forefathers Andrei Tarkovsky and Aleksandr Sokurov, 4 might be 2006's most surreal...

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2006

Inland Empire

Inland Empire

To those who thought that Terry Gilliam's gothic frenzy Tideland was an auteur who had lost all restraint: In the words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, you ain't seen nothing yet.The notorious David Lynch has always held...

Movie Review posted on 6th December 2006

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