Monthly Archives: January 2022

Review: CODA

After reading the synopsis for the American film CODA (Children of Deaf Adults) but prior to seeing it, I felt as if I’d seen this movie before, and, as a matter of fact, it is based on a 2015 French … Continue reading

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Review: Stillwater

Director Tom McCarthy gives the viewer every opportunity to offer his painfully thoughtful movie every benefit of the doubt, especially in the beginning when he introduces his protagonist, Bill Baker (Matt Damon), a laid-off oil worker from Oklahoma who wears … Continue reading

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Review: I’m Your Man

Ostensibly a romantic comedy about android love, this subversively heartbreaking German feature, written (with Jan Schomburg, based on a published short story) and directed by Maria Schrader, makes too much sense for a tale that, while remaining stubbornly cerebral to … Continue reading

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Review: Monk/Monk in Europe

These two hour-long documentaries by Michael Blackwood, filmed in a verite style, follow the jazz pianist Thelonious Monk during several concert and recording stints in the U.S. and then Europe in 1967. There is no narration, and much of the … Continue reading

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Review: The Day I Died: Unclosed Case

South Korean cinema has perfected the police procedural owing mainly to Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder (still his best, I think), which set the bar very high at a crucial time when Korean directors were coming into their own internationally. … Continue reading

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Review: House of Gucci

Given that the elaborate set piece which sets the extravagant mood for this highly stylized retelling of the fall of the Gucci fashion brand is a wedding where everyone sports comically distinctive Italian accents, it’s tempting to approach Ridley Scott’s … Continue reading

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Review: Cry Macho

Though Clint Eastwood has never officially stated when he plans to retire as a director, it seems to be that he once said something about leaving acting behind, but I may have imagined that. In any event, having entered his … Continue reading

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Media watch: NHK takes a bullet for the official Olympics documentary

On December 26, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK aired a special program on its BS1 satellite channel about the making of the official documentary for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which is being directed by Nara-based filmmaker Naomi Kawase. One … Continue reading

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Media watch: Puppy mill violations point up weak animal welfare laws

Japan tends to go through intense phases with regard to popular breeds of pet dogs. About 50-60 years ago it was the spitz, and 20-30 years ago you couldn’t pass a dog run without stumbling over a dozen or so … Continue reading

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Review: Spider-Man: No Way Home

The mind-boggling box office success of the latest Spider-Man installment during another surge in the pandemic only goes to prove that there’s no such thing as too much Spider-Man, and while some will point to the MCU imprimatur as being … Continue reading

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