August 1, 2014 – 8:44 pm | No Comment

The star-system was pronounced dead by almost everyone, but as of the moment of writing everyone is talking about Liza Minnelli in Cabaret and she made the covers of Time and Newsweek simultaneously. Contrast the …

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
January 20, 2012 – 5:16 pm | No Comment
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

by Richard von Busack
STEPHEN DALDRY’S film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (ticket info here)  like Jonathan Safran Foer’s source novel, concerns a child’s act of denial about Sept. 11. He ultimately reverses time’s arrow through …

In the Land of Blood and Honey
January 15, 2012 – 4:26 pm | No Comment
In the Land of Blood and Honey

by Richard von Busack
AFTER THE American Civil War, politicians used to make hay by reminding the crowd of Confederate atrocities. “Waving the bloody shirt” was the expression. Whatever the Bosnian word for “shirt” is, director/writer …

Hipsters
January 15, 2012 – 4:09 pm | No Comment
Hipsters

by Richard von Busack
Valery Todorovsky’s energetic Russian hit musical Hipsters (tickets here) concerns the “stilyagi”—the few but proud counter-culturists of Moscow in 1955. In Moscow, clean cut Mels (Anton Shagin) is running with his Party-member …

Carnage
January 12, 2012 – 3:50 pm | No Comment
Carnage

A QUARTET of nasty bourgeois, played by four top-drawer actors with crack timing, make Roman Polanski’s Carnage (showtimes here) a civilized entertainment. Based on Parisian author Yasmina Reza’s play God of Carnage, the film is …

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone
January 8, 2012 – 6:41 pm | No Comment
Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

By Richard von Busack
Should-have-been successes, musicians’ musicians that they were and are: Fishbone are profiled in Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler’s delightful Everyday Sunshine, playing at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco through Friday.
Fishbone had …

War Horse
December 21, 2011 – 1:37 pm | No Comment
War Horse

By Richard von Busack
ONLY Steven Spielberg could do what is done in War Horse. Only he could have authorized the expensive World War I re-creations: a sumptuous cavalry charge, with officers Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom …

Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol
December 17, 2011 – 2:09 pm | No Comment
Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol

By Richard von Busack
Show up early and get into the sweet spot in a 70mm Imax Theater  meaning, near the center and back a row or two. Not only will you be the first person …

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
December 14, 2011 – 11:53 am | No Comment
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

By Richard von Busack
In setting up the career of the ultimate arch-villain, Arthur Conan-Doyle may have introduced him wrong-way round. We don’t witness the moment of discovery when Sherlock Holmes first pieces together the vastness …

Young Adult
December 9, 2011 – 2:37 pm | No Comment
Young Adult

By Richard von Busack
Sometimes a movie is particularly irritating just because it’s about 10 degrees away from something that might have worked.
In Young Adult, Diablo Cody gets away from the arch slang of Juno: Oscar-winning …

Outrage
December 9, 2011 – 1:05 pm | No Comment
Outrage

by Richard von Busack
TAKESHI KITANO’S new film is almost plot-free but rich with incident, visual skill and loads of violence. Outrage shows the Japanese filmmaker at the top of his craft. The action consists essentially …

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