Barbara Sukowa

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2015 NBCUNIVERSAL PRESS TOUR

Noah Bean, Emily Hampshire, Amanda Schull, Barbara Sukowa and Aaron Stanford - 2015 NBCUNIVERSAL PRESS TOUR at The Langham Huntington Hotel - Pasadena, California, United States - Thursday 15th January 2015

Noah Bean, Emily Hampshire, Amanda Schull, Barbara Sukowa and Aaron Stanford
Emily Hampshire
Noah Bean, Emily Hampshire, Amanda Schull, Barbara Sukowa and Aaron Stanford
Noah Bean, Emily Hampshire, Amanda Schull, Barbara Sukowa and Aaron Stanford
Noah Bean, Emily Hampshire, Amanda Schull, Barbara Sukowa and Aaron Stanford
Noah Bean, Emily Hampshire, Amanda Schull, Barbara Sukowa and Aaron Stanford

M. Butterfly Review


Terrible
In Mel Brooks' The Producers, the characters played by Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel pay a visit to the Park Avenue home of eccentric theatrical director Roger De Bris, who greets them in a flowing peignoir. "Max," Wilder querulously points out to Mostel, "He's wearing a dress." "No kidding?" Mostel remarks dryly. Mostel may just as well be the audience surrogate for M. Butterfly, particularly for an audience with fond memories of David Henry Hwang's operatic romance and theatrical tragedy in its stage incarnation. David Cronenberg's film adaptation (with a script by Hwang) is a failure for many of the reasons that the stage production was a success, but the film is additionally hampered by Cronenberg's '90s lurch towards conventionality. Like a transvestite on a desert island, M. Butterfly is all dressed up with no place to go.

Based on a true incident involving a French diplomat who carried on an affair of 18 years with a man that the diplomat thought was a woman, M. Butterfly begins in 1964 Beijing, when French foreign service employee René Gallimard (Jeremy Irons) becomes smitten with Chinese opera songster Song Liling (John Lone). Before long Gallimard is enamored with Song Liling and they begin their Affair to Remember, but bracketed by the condition that Gallimard will not be allowed to feast his eyes upon Song Liling sans clothes. Gallimard agrees to the strictures but, as he climbs up the diplomatic ladder, the Communist government gets into the love affair, corralling Song Liling to become an informant for the government. When Gallimard's lust can no longer be contained and he demands nudity, Song Liling runs out of Gallimard's life and he becomes a lovelorn husk, forever pining for his lost love. He leaves China and accepts a two-bit diplomatic job, but then Song Liling appears again to Gallimard, just in time for Gallimard's arrest and subsequent sensational trial for treason, which exposes his affair for the sham it is.

Continue reading: M. Butterfly Review

13 Conversations About One Thing Review


Excellent
With a title as curious as 13 Conversations About One Thing, most moviegoers probably want to know what the "thing" is before plunking down their bucks to see the movie. Well, that "thing" appears to be happiness, and the search for it. But don't let that fact and the peppy title fool you - this film isn't filled with a bunch of inane chick chatter. Writer/director Jill Sprecher's follow-up to her debut Clockwatchers has an overall tone of despair and a faint hint of evil, much like that first film. It results in a surprising, bold, satisfying drama with a mildly depressing wave running through it.

But here, the downtrodden vibe has more complexity than Clockwatchers, as does the storyline. Co-written with sister Karen, Sprecher's screenplay follows a series of New York City tales that, aside from their underlying themes, are apparently unconnected... or are they?

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Johnny Mnemonic Review


Weak
In 2021, when the world is basically ruled by corporate Japan, humans with microchip brain implants are used to transport the most important of data files. Computer networks are unsafe, because people can "jack in" and neo-physically enter the complex world of cyberspace, where a computer virus won't just knock out your computer, it'll kill you outright.

This is the world of writer William Gibson, and it seems like a pretty interesting place to visit. It's unfortunate that Johnny Mnemonic does very little in this setting and comes off as little more than a remake of Tron, without the lightcycle sequence.

Continue reading: Johnny Mnemonic Review

Office Killer Review


Weak
Satire updates any number of cheesy horror flicks and throws in a little Psycho just for kicks. Carol Kane is perfectly cast as the demure office rat who slowly offs her co-workers one by one. Extra points for liberal use of chicken innards as wholesale gore. Minus points for not being funny enough.

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Zentropa Review


OK
Lars von Trier has never been known for making movies that are on the nose. In general, you're left to your own devices when it comes to figuring out what the hell is going on in The Kingdom or The Element of Crime. Zentropa is no exception, an inspired but devilishly confusing look at an American who takes a job on a German railroad -- in postwar 1945. Soon enough he's caught up in a mystery, a seeming pawn as a would-be terrorist, stuck between the Americans and the daughter of the railroad-owning magnate -- who winds up dead. Von Trier tries to emulate the work of Hitchcock like Notorious, but the suspense level never rises above a low simmer. Heavy on style (though budget constraints shine through from time to time) but a bit more than short on substance.

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Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Review


Weak

In the intricate ensemble think-piece "Thirteen Conversations About One Thing," karma-fueled philosophical allegories revolve around contentment, resentfulness, self-fulfillment and other cinematic soul-food themes.

An intelligent, earnest, intimate film that drops the ball only when it pauses for blunt exposition to make sure you're getting its metaphysical point, this second effort from the writing-directing sisters Karen and Jill Sprechter ("Clockwatchers") consists of a knotted string of stories that are not necessarily profound or even all that memorable. But it's a movie with such realistic characters and humbly consequential performances that it leaves a subconscious impression nevertheless.

The interwoven vignettes imagined by the Sprechters begin with a punctilious, moth-eaten academic (John Turturro) leaving his wife (Amy Irving) after a mugging that leads him to decide he's been living an unsatisfying life. But soon he's even more frustrated because he hasn't a clue how to find that missing satisfaction.

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The Third Miracle Review


OK

Ed Harris is an amazingly honest actor. Whether he's playing a megamaniacal military rogue (like in "The Rock"), an egomaniacal TV producer ("The Truman Show") or an everyday dad ("Stepmom"), he so fully understands his characters' foibles and drives that he taps right into the cores of their beings.

It's not so much that he's a chameleon who disappears into his parts, as it is that he visibly enjoys becoming the people he plays. There is a rapture in the way he performs that is just a joy to watch.

In the complex, compelling and intimate "The Third Miracle," Harris plays Father Frank Moore, a disillusioned Catholic priest who debunks miracle claims for the church -- a man whose psyche has become scarred with hesitancy and regret after years of shooting holes in people's beliefs.

Continue reading: The Third Miracle Review

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Barbara Sukowa Movies

13 Conversations About One Thing Movie Review

13 Conversations About One Thing Movie Review

With a title as curious as 13 Conversations About One Thing, most moviegoers probably want...

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Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Movie Review

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Movie Review

In the intricate ensemble think-piece "Thirteen Conversations About One Thing," karma-fueled philosophical allegories revolve around...

The Third Miracle Movie Review

The Third Miracle Movie Review

Ed Harris is an amazingly honest actor. Whether he's playing a megamaniacal military rogue (like...

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