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Review: 44 Inch Chest

Suffocated by chewy, self-congratulatory dialogue
What to do with a kidnapped cuckolder?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 02, 2010


A painful case

Patricia Highsmith's ultimate mystery
Is it living in a wishy-washy culture of sheepish PBS humanism and numbing political correctness that makes the nasty, psychopathic amorality — no, immorality! — of Patricia Highsmith's novels so savory and appealing?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 02, 2010


Review: Police, Adjective

Splendidly perverse
Down these mean Romanian streets, in the nowhere town of Vaslui, walks a young plainclothes policeman, Cristi (Dragos Bucur), who seems more reasonable, more compassionate, than his stern, by-the-book colleagues.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  January 20, 2010


Review: Creation

The origin of specious
God-fearing creationists won't find anything to worry them in Jon Amiel's stiff, stodgy, PBS-style telling of the life of Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) during the time he was writing (slowly, very slowly) The Origin of Species .
By: GERALD PEARY  |  January 20, 2010


Review: Le Combat Dans L'Île

Alan Cavalier's sleek noir rescued from 1962 obscurity
Alan Cavalier's sleek noir rescued from 1962 obscurity
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 22, 2009


Review: Amarcord

Fellini's good old days were also the bad old days
In memory, Federico Fellini's 1973 work, an Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, stands among his masterpieces. But seen today, Amarcord is something of a disappointment, clever and moving in places, but also sprawling, undisciplined, clumsy in patches, and decidedly overlong.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 16, 2009


Review: Araya

Benacerraf's classic documentary gets an anniversary showing
Margot Benacerraf's extraordinary Venezuelan documentary, among the finest ever made, shared the 1959 International Critics Prize at Cannes with Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, mon amour and then disappeared.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 16, 2009


Fast and loose

Robert Altman's movie life
You're a cocky film-school grad with a drawer full of socko screenplays and Hollywood ambitions. But it's all California dreamin', as you're shivering in New England, cutting public-service announcements and digitizing educational videos, your only brush with the studios those Netflix rentals.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 09, 2009


Review: Defamation

Documentary takes on anti-Semitism
Yoav Shamir, a young Israeli documentarian, goes off to America and Eastern Europe with a camera and a question: is anti-Semitism an important concern today for Jews, or are those anxious about it being unduly paranoid?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 02, 2009


Review: Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

1951 melodrama fails to convince
In this soupy 1951 romantic melodrama, Ava Gardner plays Pandora, a self-loathing vixen who toys with the affections of sundry panting males while waiting without hope for her real love to appear.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 02, 2009


Review: William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

What’s it like being the young daughters of this John Brown–like presence?
“Bill” Kunstler was the flamboyant, contentious, proudly revolutionary lawyer for the Chicago Eight, a handsome man with an unruly mane of black-and-white that was as impressive and iconic as the head of hair on Susan Sontag.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 11, 2009


Review: The Horse Boy

A compelling real-life adventure
Rupert Isaacson and Kristin Neff seem the best of parents and yet they’re worn down by their four-year-old autistic son, Rowan, with his four-hour tantrums, his rejection of toilet training, his inability to answer to his name.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 04, 2009


Review: Earth Days

Did you know Nixon once signed progressive eco-legislation?
Those who worry that the eco-movement seems incapable of getting beyond its white upper-middle-class base will be disturbed anew by Robert Stone’s Earth Days , where every talking head is a well-bred Caucasian.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  October 07, 2009


Reykjavik International Film Festival 2009

Report back from Iceland amidst lamb hot dogs, and fish and chips.
How would the Reykjavik International Film Festival, which I was attending, September 17 to 27, be affected by the horrid downturn?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 29, 2009


Review: Amreeka

Cherien Dabis's feature debut is winning
In the finely sketched beginning chapters of Arab-American writer/director Cherien Dabis's feature debut, we share the frustrating, claustrophobic life of our heroine, Munah Farah.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 23, 2009


Review: Bigger Than Life

Cult classic gets a special showing
A year after directing Rebel Without a Cause (1955), rebel filmmaker Nicholas Ray came back with Bigger Than Life (1956).
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 16, 2009


Review: Somers Town

Shane Meadows' latest triumph
At just 70 minutes, Shane Meadows's film is short, sweet, and winning.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 02, 2009


Review: I Sell the Dead

Grave errors
Glenn McQuaid's graveyard-set fright-flick send-up is a low-budget valentine to "B" horrors of yore.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  August 26, 2009


Review: Fifty Dead Men Walking

Fast-paced but uninvolving
In the 1980s in Northern Ireland, a petty hustler named Martin McGartland (Jim Sturgess) went from street-corner obscurity to playing a major role in the war in Belfast between Catholics and Protestants, as he swore allegiance to the militant branch of the IRA while spying for the British police.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  August 19, 2009


Review: The Silence Before Bach

Catalonian avant-garde filmmaker Pere Portabella expresses his adoration of Johann Sebastian Bach through an odd, rambling, privately formed essay that all too rarely connects with the viewer.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  August 13, 2009


Review: The End of the Line

Doomsday from under the sea
Eating fish is great for you — but it's a different story for the poor fish.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  July 22, 2009

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