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Harvey Keitel - 2015 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) - Celebrity Sightings at STORYS - Toronto, Canada - Sunday 13th September 2015

Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel - 68th Cannes Film Festival - amfAR's Cinema Against Aids Gala at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes at Cannes Film Festival - Cannes, France - Thursday 21st May 2015

Harvey Keitel
Roman Keitel, Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner

Harvey Keitel - A variety of stars were photographed at the 68th Annual Cannes Film Festival as they attended a photo call for 'Youth' in Cannes, France - Wednesday 20th May 2015

Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel - A variety of stars were photographed as they arrived at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival which was held at the State Supreme Courthouse in New York, United States - Tuesday 14th April 2015

Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner
Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel - Photographs from the New York premiere of biographical drama 'Big Eyes' which stars Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz and is directed by Tim Burton. The premiere was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 16th December 2014

Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner - New York premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel at the Alice Tully Hall - Outside Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 26th February 2014

Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner
Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner

Daphna Kastner and Harvey Keitel - Daphna Kastner and Harvey Keitel Monday 4th June 2012 2012 Made In NY Awards at Gracie Mansion

Harvey Keitel and Tribeca Film Festival Tuesday 17th April 2012 2012 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party at the State Supreme Courthouse

Harvey Keitel and Tribeca Film Festival

Harvey Keitel Monday 16th April 2012 Tribeca Ball 2012 at New York Academy of Art

Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel - Harvey Keitel and Dapha Kastner Wednesday 27th April 2011 at Tribeca Film Festival New York City, USA

Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel - Wednesday 27th April 2011 at Tribeca Film Festival New York City, USA

Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel Tuesday 1st February 2011 leaving a medical building with a friend in Beverly Hills Los Angeles, California, USA

Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel and Wall Street - Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastne New York City, USA - IFP's 20th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards - Cipriani's Wall Street - Outside Arrivals Monday 29th November 2010

Harvey Keitel and Wall Street
Harvey Keitel and Wall Street

Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner - Harvey Keitel, Daphna Kastner, and Roman Keitel Toronto, Canada - The 35th Toronto International Film Festival - 'A Beginner's Guide To Endings' Premiere at Roy Thomson Hall - Arrivals Friday 17th September 2010

Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel Thursday 16th September 2010 Harvey Keitel arrives at Toronto airport for the 35th Toronto International Film Festival - 'A Beginner's Guide To Endings' premiere Toronto, Canada

Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel

Meet The Parents Little Fockers Trailer


Our favourite dysfunctional family returns to the screens once again in Meet The Parents Little Fockers. It's 10 years on since Greg and Jack first met, and after finally marrying his daughter and raising two children with her, Jack seems to finally be accepting Greg for who he is; however it doesn't seem Jack's ever going to be 100% happy with his son-in-law, when he finds out Greg is short on money and working for a drug company Jack becomes dubious about Greg and if he'll ever be a strong enough man to lead his family.

Continue: Meet The Parents Little Fockers Trailer

Harvey Keitel and his wife Daphna Kastner - Harvey Keitel and his wife Daphna Kastner Wednesday 28th April 2010 at Tribeca Film Festival New York City, USA

Harvey Keitel and His Wife Daphna Kastner
Harvey Keitel and His Wife Daphna Kastner

Wanda De Jesus and Harvey Keitel - Wanda De Jesus and Harvey Keitel New York City, USA - The world premiere of the Ministers held at Lowes Lincoln Square Tuesday 13th October 2009

Wanda De Jesus and Harvey Keitel
Wanda De Jesus
Wanda De Jesus and Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel - Harvey Keitel and wife Daphna Kastner New York City, USA - The New York premiere of 'Precious' at the Alice Tully Hall Saturday 3rd October 2009

Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner - Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner New York City, USA - New York premiere of 'Bright Star' - Arrivals Monday 14th September 2009

Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner

Bad Lieutenant Review


Excellent
On radio station WFAN, a man named "Mad Dog" unwaveringly defends his beloved Mets, who are down three games against the Dodgers in the series, to a battalion of cynical and hopeless New Yorkers. Somewhere in Manhattan, a nun is raped by two young men and left soiled at the bottom of the altar. A cop who takes a bump of cocaine only seconds after he drops his boys off at high school is in charge of keeping the city safe and, at night, he spends the money he stole and violently cajoled from criminals on swigs of vodka, sessions of free-basing and lesbian shows at a seedy hotel. If the Lord is in New York City, he stepped out for a minute.

Such are the totems of the godless world of Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant, a season in hell that doubles as a vehicle for Harvey Keitel's blistering tour-de-force as the nameless officer that gives the film its name. Full to bursting with unadulterated drug use, violent sex, and moral decay, it also serves as Ferrara's most unfettered and primal ode to a one-time soulless New York that now looks more like a planet of condos.

Continue reading: Bad Lieutenant Review

Harvey Keitel - Harvey Keitel and Guest Wednesday 22nd April 2009 at Tribeca Film Festival New York City, USA

Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel

Thelma & Louise Review


Essential
Thelma & Louise is a landmark film, one that defines the cinematic terrain for female empowerment and one that effortlessly blends powerful ideas about gender with an endlessly engaging story. The film weaves a story about women in distress, who come from depressed backgrounds and seedy locales, which is not entirely different from any prototypical Lifetime Movie of the Week. The genius of Ridley Scott's direction and Callie Khouri's groundbreaking screenplay is that they allow the film to flirt with standard archetypal conventions, all the while upending conventional notions of women -- particularly women in the sort of situation Thelma and Louise find themselves in.

The movie jumps headfirst into the action without any necessary build-up or labored background. We meet Louise, a headstrong waitress, and her younger, flighty friend Thelma (Geena Davis) as they finalize plans for their road trip. Nothing more or less complicated than that. Where they are going is fairly vague; why they are going is more telling: their explicit purpose in taking a trip is to escape from the men in their lives. Jimmy (Michael Madsen), Louise's longtime casual partner, is a gruff mechanic who loves Louise, but doesn't know how to show it. Darryl (Christopher McDonald), Thelma's husband, is a plain loser, a carpet salesman with a cheesy mustache, bouffant-fro, and a lack of respect for his wife.

Continue reading: Thelma & Louise Review

Reservoir Dogs Review


Extraordinary
Now here's a stellar directorial debut from some guy named Quentin Tarantino.

Before he became a household name, Tarantino stunned us all with this low-budget tale analyzing the before-and-after (and remarkably very little of the "during") of a diamond heist. Set largely within the confines of one warehouse, the movie is so chock full of witty and quotable dialogue ("Mr. Brown? That sounds too much like Mr. Shit. ") and eye-popping scenes (when, say, the suspected cop is doused in gasoline and has his ear cut off) that it has become an instant classic. Not incidentally, it also remade both the heist movie and the gangster flick, spawning countless imitations, just like later Tarantino works would do.

Continue reading: Reservoir Dogs Review

The Bridge Of San Luis Rey Review


Terrible
There's a sure-fire way to spot a lurching cinematic failure: look at the stars. Not in astronomic terms, but in who is in it and why is it not getting buzz. You heard about Clint Eastwood's Mystic River a long time before it came out because it had a big cast and they were all excellent in the film. Furthermore, the film itself was brilliant, one of the best of that year. So, one has to wonder why a film starring Robert De Niro, Gabriel Byrne, Harvey Keitel, Kathy Bates, and F. Murray Abraham (all talented actors) was released and forgotten within a week? It happens once in a blue moon but when it does, look out! You're about to witness a sinker like none the world has seen. Stand in awe of Mary McGuckian's The Bridge of the San Luis Rey, a true, honest-to-God blunder.

Thornton Wilder's famed novel has been filmed three times, including this one. The story is interesting and its ideas on religion and corruption are certainly timely. Brother Juniper (Gabriel Byrne, wasted as a pointless framing device) has recently collected data and put it into a book about five souls who lost their lives when the Bridge of San Luis Rey collapsed. The book implicates a bit of a conspiracy concerning the bridge's collapse, but the Archbishop of Peru (Robert De Niro) sustains that it was an act of the devil and that Brother Juniper, and his book, are calculating heathens. Most of the film is a flashback to the events leading up to the bridge's failure, mainly concerning the wealthy Marquesa (Kathy Bates), a young actress Dona Clara (Émilie Dequenne), and their relationship with the Viceroy of Peru (F. Murray Abraham). The Viceroy has impregnated Dona Clara and is a bold faced hypocrite for first shunning the Marquesa and then making Dona show her respect and humility. The only one who seems to really care about the poor actress is Uncle Pio (Harvey Keitel), the head of the acting troupe that Dona Clara is in. The film leads up to both the breaking of the bridge and the court's judgment of Brother Juniper. Neither goes well, as you might imagine.

Continue reading: The Bridge Of San Luis Rey Review

Bugsy Review


Excellent
After writing, directing and starring in one of the most politically intriguing films of the 1990s, Bulworth, Warren Beatty vanished. He only resurfaced in 2001 in the deplorable Town & Country, which had been finished since 1999. There was no loud announcement of quitting Hollywood, he just stopped acting and started complaining about the Governator.

A consummate leftist, Beatty was always into politics and into political filmmaking, or films that took on big topics at least. So, the question must be asked why he would decide to star as one of the most flamboyant, vain gangsters of all time, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. Not only did he act in the film, he was the reason it started. Beatty wrangled up James Toback to write the thing and then snagged Barry Levinson to direct the picture, and decided that the focus of the film should be the end of Siegel's career/life.

Continue reading: Bugsy Review

Shadows In The Sun Review


OK
It's one of the oldest tricks in the movies: If you've got a tired story, hide it under some gorgeous scenery by setting the film in an exotic locale. Tahiti, Paris, Niagara Falls. In this case, it's the most cliched of exotic locales: Tuscany. Why, entire films have been made about the joys of Tuscany (Under the Tuscan Sun, anyone?), with only the slightest of nods toward anything resembling a plot.

Shadows in the Sun isn't as bad as that monstrosity, though it's clear why this film merited a direct-to-DVD release. The whole thing's been done before, a lot: Slick, ambitious book editor (there's such a thing?) is tasked with luring a recluse into writing another manuscript. Naturally he falls in love with the daughter of the crusty writer. Joshua Jackson is the editor, Harvey Keitel is ingeniously cast as the writer, and Claire Forlani is the love interest. And there you have it. Of course our editor will learn a thing or two about life ("Take it easy, bro!") and the editor will exorcise his copious demons.

Continue reading: Shadows In The Sun Review

Bugsy Review


Excellent
After writing, directing and starring in one of the most politically intriguing films of the 1990s, Bulworth, Warren Beatty vanished. He only resurfaced in 2001 in the deplorable Town & Country, which had been finished since 1999. There was no loud announcement of quitting Hollywood, he just stopped acting and started complaining about the Governator.

A consummate leftist, Beatty was always into politics and into political filmmaking, or films that took on big topics at least. So, the question must be asked why he would decide to star as one of the most flamboyant, vain gangsters of all time, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. Not only did he act in the film, he was the reason it started. Beatty wrangled up James Toback to write the thing and then snagged Barry Levinson to direct the picture, and decided that the focus of the film should be the end of Siegel's career/life.

Continue reading: Bugsy Review

Clockers Review


Weak
After the first 2 minutes of Clockers, during which a parade of bloody crime scene photos are splashed on the screen, you'll be ready to put down your popcorn. After the first 15 minutes, you'll be bored enough to go buy some more.

You can't imagine how sick and tired I was of hearing the hype surrounding Clockers, Spike Lee's latest film about (surprise!) African-Americans in Brooklyn who get into trouble with drugs, murder, and betrayal. Every other critic on the planet will probably say they love Clockers so as not to appear uncool. I'll give it to you straight.

Continue reading: Clockers Review

The Grey Zone Review


Essential
One of the most poignant moments in the grave Holocaust drama The Grey Zone comes as a group of Hungarian Jews known as the Sonderkommando try to save the life of a young girl who has come out of the death chamber alive. These Sonderkommando assisted the Nazis in the killing of fellow Jews in exchange for a four-month reprieve from their own death sentence. They received better food and more comfortable living quarters, but they knew all along that their time would eventually reach a similar, tragic end. "It makes no difference, we're dead anyway," one of the men coils. But for this one fleeting moment, their thoughts of death elude them as they rescue this seemingly inconsequential girl.

Many scenes, like the above, though thoroughly bleak and depressing, exemplify why The Grey Zone is such a beautiful film. Based on true events as told in the book Auschwitz: a Doctor's Eyewitness Account, the film chronicles the struggles faced by these Sonderkommando as they plan and eventually execute a fatal uprising that destroys two crematoriums inside the Auschwitz II-Birkenau death camp.

Continue reading: The Grey Zone Review

Rising Sun Review


OK
Wildly improbable (read: typical Crichton) tale about a murder in a Japanese office building. It's action heroes Connery and Snipes on the case, so look out! Plenty of Japanese subculture to be examined and often mocked, which led to charges of racism against the book and the movie.

Red Dragon Review


Very Good
Red Dragon has just about everything going against it.

It's the third movie in a series that won an insane number of Oscars (The Silence of the Lambs) and was promptly followed by one of the worst films in recent memory (Hannibal). It's a prequel... and its big star (Anthony Hopkins) is about 20 years too old. And it's a remake of a minor cult classic (Manhunter), a fantastic film which will invariably stomp the crap out of Red Dragon in the history books.

Continue reading: Red Dragon Review

Fail Safe (2000) Review


Very Good
CBS -- of all places -- remade the original, masterful Fail-Safe, a cautionary tale about nuclear war, jammed full of big name movie stars (check out that cast!), and shot in black and white from Walter Bernstein's original screenplay. It's a very faithful remake, even though the production values (it's shot on video) are atrocious. It's a fabulous original film and a worthwhile redo -- but it comes about 20 years too late. Why waste time remaking a tale about nuclear war with the Soviet Union -- a country that no longer existed -- in this millennium? Still, it's worth a look if you're a fan of the original.

Cop Land Review


Weak
Cop Land was supposed to do for Sylvester Stallone what Pulp Fiction did for John Travolta. Alas, the movie was (rightly) ignored by audiences and shrugged off by critics, thanks to an almost complete lack of anything so much as resembling a compelling story.

The plot is so simple as to defy description: A lot of New York cops live across the water in Jersey, and it turns out they are all beholden to the mob. It's up to fat, half-deaf Sheriff Freddy (Sly) to expose this atrocity!!! Would that there were more to say, Cop Land builds its "mystery" by simply not telling you what's going on. Only after an hour or so do you piece together the whole mob angle, and then the audience realizes, "Hey, there's nothing happening here!" Note to Mangold: Watch L.A. Confidential a few times if you want to see how clever plot structure goes, not to mention throwing in a little wit here and there.

Continue reading: Cop Land Review

National Treasure Review


Good
If there's one thing every good paranoiac knows, it's that the Freemasons founded America. But what nobody seems to know for sure is the reason they went to all that trouble. At last, director Jon Turteltaub brings to the screen a story bold enough to tell the whole story -- or, at least, one version of it.

You see, the Masons weren't always a massive fraternity of elderly men who carried out ancient rituals behind the closed doors of their lodges. Once upon a time, they were knights. The Knights Templar, to be precise. And the Templar discovered the greatest treasure in human history buried deep beneath the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. To keep their treasure safe from the greedy kings of Europe and England, they carried it across the Atlantic to the New World, where they eventually founded a country and built an elaborate system to protect their treasure forever. So begins the story of National Treasure.

Continue reading: National Treasure Review

Holy Smoke Review


Essential
It's so comforting to see a talented actor recover from the precarious heights of mass-market success. After Titanic, I was perfectly prepared to condemn Kate Winslet to the same pit of has-been obscurity Leonardo DiCaprio belongs in. Fortunately, Winslet didn't sink with the ship.

Holy Smoke is the entrancing story of two zealots on a collision course with fate. Ruth, played by Winslet, is a young Australian who finds what she believes to be the path to enlightenment through the influence of a Guru while on holiday in India. When Mum (Julie Hamilton) gets word, she cooks up a plot to lure Ruth home and hires top cult deprogrammer PJ Waters (Harvey Keitel) to bring her daughter to reason.

Continue reading: Holy Smoke Review

Bad Timing Review


Good
Nicolas Roeg's Bad Timing is often remembered by fans as a forgotten masterpiece and an unfairly censored classic, but has 25 years muddled their perception of a film that's really an experimental curiosity at best? Check out the new Criterion DVD and judge for yourself.

Bad Timing tells an extremely simplistic story: In Vienna, psychologist Alex Linden (Art Garfunkel) meets a mysterious blonde named Milena (Theresa Russell) at a party, and soon they strike up an affair. Eventually she turns up in the E.R. What happened? A detective (Harvey Keitel, attired and styled as the obvious model for Pulp Fiction's Vincent Vega) is sent in to investigate.

Continue reading: Bad Timing Review

The Duellists Review


Good
In every director's past there are some strange departures. Ridley Scott's directorial debut, The Duellists, is no exception: It's a competent but slow-paced outing that offers no hint that Scott would soon be making exciting thrillers like Alien and Blade Runner.

To be fair, The Duellists (based on Conrad's The Duel) is a type of movie made often in the 1970s -- a low-tech but visually authentic historical drama. As with '70s westerns, the point was to make a new kind of period drama emphasizing cinematic realism at the expense of entertainment values (instead of the other way around). The film is based on a Joseph Conrad story about a quarrel between two soldiers in Napoleon's army which turns into an obsessive folie a deux. Kind of a Gallic High Noon, but not as entertaining as High Noon.

Continue reading: The Duellists Review

Blue Collar Review


Very Good
Funny and depressing look at infighting and conspiracy in a fictional American auto union. A cult classic from the writer of Taxi Driver.

Shadrach Review


Good
Bizarre southern morality fable, about a poor man who encounters a homeless ex-slave on the verge of his death. Poor southern man must then come to grips with burying this guy. Uh, okay. 80 minutes of breezy cinematic fluff.

The Two Jakes Review


OK
Never willing to leave a classic alone, Hollywood finally dug up Chinatown and sequelized it with The Two Jakes, and they even let Jack Nicholson take the director's chair.

Continue reading: The Two Jakes Review

The Bridge Of San Luis Rey Review


Terrible
There's a sure-fire way to spot a lurching cinematic failure: look at the stars. Not in astronomic terms, but in who is in it and why is it not getting buzz. You heard about Clint Eastwood's Mystic River a long time before it came out because it had a big cast and they were all excellent in the film. Furthermore, the film itself was brilliant, one of the best of that year. So, one has to wonder why a film starring Robert Deniro, Gabriel Byrne, Harvey Keitel, Kathy Bates, and F. Murray Abraham (all talented actors) was released and forgotten within a week? It happens once in a blue moon but when it does, look out! You're about to witness a sinker like none the world has seen. Stand in awe of Mary McGuckian's The Bridge of the San Luis Rey, a true, honest-to-God blunder.

Thornton Wilder's famed novel has been filmed three times, including this one. The story is interesting and its ideas on religion and corruption are certainly timely. Brother Juniper (Gabriel Byrne, wasted as a pointless framing device) has recently collected data and put it into a book about five souls who lost their lives when the Bridge of San Luis Rey collapsed. The book implicates a bit of a conspiracy concerning the bridge's collapse, but the Archbishop of Peru (Robert De Niro) sustains that it was an act of the devil and that Brother Juniper, and his book, are calculating heathens. Most of the film is a flashback to the events leading up to the bridge's failure, mainly concerning the wealthy Marquesa (Kathy Bates), a young actress Dona Clara (Émilie Dequenne), and their relationship with the Viceroy of Peru (F. Murray Abraham). The Viceroy has impregnated Dona Clara and is a bold faced hypocrite for first shunning the Marquesa and then making Dona show her respect and humility. The only one who seems to really care about the poor actress is Uncle Pio (Harvey Keitel), the head of the acting troupe that Dona Clara is in. The film leads up to both the breaking of the bridge and the court's judgment of Brother Juniper. Neither goes well, as you might imagine.

Continue reading: The Bridge Of San Luis Rey Review

Three Seasons Review


Weak
The worst thing about Asian cinema is when the characters inevitably start singing to themselves. Three Seasons has a lot of singing, compounded by a lot of talking about flowers, which is the only thing imaginably worse than the singing. To be sure, this intertwining tale (the first Vietnamese production since forever) has moments of haunting beauty, most notably the final image -- which also serves as the poster and video box -- but those are few and far between. Most of the time we're stuck in dreary Ho Chi Minh city in the rain and mud. And that movie, I've already seen.

Taxi Driver Review


Essential
A masterpiece of Cold War-era cinema, with De Niro in the role that would define his career and spawn a catchphrase that still endures, but never with the same power. Probably did for cab drivers what Psycho did for showers.

The Piano Review


Essential
"We can't leave the piano!" Anna Paquin's precociousness and grating voice may have turned a lot of people away from The Piano, but her Oscar a few months later redeemed her somewhat. Paquin has since grown up, but her debut film is unforgettable: The haunting tragedy-with-happy-ending of an 1800s-era mute woman essentially exiled to New Zealand with her emotionally dead husband. Jane Campion does her best directing ever, working a miracle out of the bizarre Harvey Keitel, with whom Holly Hunter's Ada falls in love. Forbidden romance on a deserted, cold, and rainy island? Sign me up.

Blue In The Face Review


Good
It took all of five days after wrapping the shoot of Smoke to create Blue in the Face, an (allegedly) all-improvised follow-up to Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's feature centered on a tiny smoke shop in Brooklyn. It's a weird experiment in filmmaking, studded with cameos by Lou Reed, Madonna, Michael J. Fox, Roseanne, Lily Tomlin, and more. Unfortunately, you've probably seen all the funniest bits in the movie's trailer.

Separated into segments with titles like "Brooklyn Attitude," Blue in the Face explores the Brooklyn mystique and the Brooklyn experience with video interviews and impromptu sketches. Everything "Brooklyn" is praised, from Ebbets Field and Jackie Robinson to Belgian Waffles and the sanctity of the local cigar store.

Continue reading: Blue In The Face Review

Pulp Fiction Review


Essential
Royale with cheese, baby, royale with cheese. The film of that single-handedly changed the face of American -- and world -- cinema in 1994, Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is a rare masterpiece that is unlikely to be repeated by him, or his imitators. And believe me, many have tried, with varying levels of success.

This set of interlocking tales involving gangsters, boxers, druggies, and plain old joes is alternately exciting and funny -- and often both at the same time. Whether it's John Travolta's Vincent Vega doing the twist with his gangster boss's wife and later miraculously pulling her out of a drug overdose, Samuel L. Jackson reciting the Bible or picking splattered brain out of his enormous afro, Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer robbing a diner, Bruce Willis throwing a boxing match and later ending up facing a couple of oversexed hillbilly degenerates, or Ving Rhames overseeing the whole proceedings, the movie is utterly brilliant, hilarious, and thrilling. Even the little things are perfect: Tarantino has never since quite managed to recapture his masterful use of the close-up and fantastically interesting lighting choices. It's one of only a handful of films that gets better every time you watch it.

Continue reading: Pulp Fiction Review

Reservoir Dogs Review


Extraordinary
Now here's a stellar directorial debut from some guy named Quentin Tarantino.

Before he became a household name, Tarantino stunned us all with this low-budget tale analyzing the before-and-after (and remarkably very little of the "during") of a diamond heist. Set largely within the confines of one warehouse, the movie is so chock full of witty and quotable dialogue ("Mr. Brown? That sounds too much like Mr. Shit. ") and eye-popping scenes (When, say, the suspected cop is doused in gasoline and has his ear cut off) that it has become an instant classic.

Continue reading: Reservoir Dogs Review

Lulu On The Bridge Review


OK
Paul Auster (writer of Wayne Wang's Smoke and Blue in the Face) is no stranger to oddball productions. Lulu on the Bridge is another step down the path to David Lynch, with Harvey Keitel as a sax player who gets shot and -- after a miracle recovery that leaves him with one lung -- embarks on an adventure involving Mira Sorvino and a magic rock that glows in the dark. Oh-kayyyyy. It all becomes all-too-apparent what's been going on by the end of this, so after plenty of mood lighting and jazz music, you're released back into the world to completely forget everything you saw. Whatever.

Smoke Review


Good
When you sit in the theater, staring up at the big screen, during the first few minutes of Smoke, you know you're watching an "Art Movie." Smoke obviously has no misgivings about its place in the film chain, being perhaps the best example of a pure character-driven drama to come along in ages.

The sketchy plotline defies explanation. Basically, Smoke is the lazy, drawn-out story of a smoke shop owner, Auggie (Harvey Keitel), his estranged lover (Stockard Channing), a favorite patron/novelist, Paul (William Hurt), and the young man who saves his life (newcomer Harold Perrineau). As $5,000 is kicked around among these characters, their lives interact in unpredictable ways. Sometimes this is interesting, often it's just tiresome.

Continue reading: Smoke Review

From Dusk Till Dawn Review


Good
If you have the faintest idea what this movie is all about, I'd appreciate a call. As best I can tell, the lowdown is this: guns, hostages, a Winnebago, Mexico, breasts, booze, vampires, and gore...lots and lots of gore.

"Not for all tastes" is an extreme understatement, as From Dusk Till Dawn is the most obscenely violent and distasteful film to come along in years. Basically an Evil Dead set in Mexico, this Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez collaboration tells the sketchy story of the Gecko brothers (Tarantino and George Clooney, taking a rest from ER to cut up people in another medium), a couple of fugitives on the run to the border. On the way, they pick up a family as hostages: lapsed preacher Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel), daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis), and son Scott (Ernest Liu). In the Fuller's RV, they make it to a Mexican strip bar, only to discover it's run by vampires. (Thankfully, it makes a great place for an old-fashioned bloodletting.) Plot is clearly incidental to the film.

Continue reading: From Dusk Till Dawn Review

Holy Smoke Review


OK

A dingy, daffy, Australian-flavored comedy about conviction, faith and self-awareness, "Holy Smoke" stars Kate Winslet as a young woman seduced by Eastern religion while traveling in India and Harvey Keitel as the American deprogrammer retained by her panicked, sheltered, suburbanite parents to snap her out of a perceived fog of cult influence.

Directed by Jane Campion ("The Piano," "Portrait of a Lady") with a cheeky bent of absurdist humor, the first act tracks the heroine's fragile, twittering mum (Julie Hamilton) on a trip to India to retrieve her Guru-gripped daughter on the false pretense that her father has had a stroke.

After much conflict (on Kate's part) and consternation (mom's reaction to pretty much everything around her), she returns home, still swathed in a sari and "om"-ing to her heart's content -- only to discover she's been duped. Ruth (Winslet) is escorted to a remote outback cabin where P.J. Waters (Keitel), a cocksure "exit counselor" in snake skin boots and starched jeans, waits to poke holes in her metaphysical hot air balloon.

Continue reading: Holy Smoke Review

U-571 Review


OK

Waiting for the "U-571" screening to begin the other night, I got into a conversation with a couple other reviewers, wondering aloud if there's any such thing as a bad submarine movie.

Somebody brought up "Down Periscope," a near-laughless 1996 military comedy with Kelsey Grammar, so we narrowed our discussion to submarine dramas.

"Gray Lady Down," someone else suggested, referring to a 1977 Charleton Heston sinking-survival yawner.

Continue reading: U-571 Review

Red Dragon Review


Weak

The bone-chilling psycho intellect of Hannibal Lecter may loom effectively over several scenes in "Red Dragon," a new adaptation of the Thomas Harris book that came before "Silence of the Lambs," but anyone half as smart as the erudite cannibal could easily pick apart this otherwise pedestrian serial-killer thriller.

Heavily Hollywoodized by uncreative director Brett Ratner (the "Rush Hour" movies), the film follows the "Lambs" template of an FBI agent (in this case a top-notch ex-profiler played by Edward Norton) consulting the imprisoned Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins in fine form) for help finding another truly deranged maniac (Ralph Fiennes).

But unlike "Silence," or the "Red Dragon" novel, or its superior first adaptation -- Michael Mann's "Manhunter" (1986) -- this picture is dumbed down with connect-the-dots narrative shorthand and a tacked-on, grossly unoriginal, killer's-not-really-dead-yet climax.

Continue reading: Red Dragon Review

Three Seasons Review


Good

For a California-raised auteur barely out of film schoolwho hadn't set foot in his birth nation of Vietnam since age 2, writer-directorTonyBui has a remarkable, native sense of the difficult,day-to-day existence of Saigon's lower caste.

His Sundance-sweeping feature debut "Three Seasons"-- which took home the Grand Jury, cinematography and audience awards fromPark City this year -- juggles a trio of deeply affecting stories, ladenwith powerful symbols of this nation's asymmetrical modernization and isrefreshingly devoid of war references and Western perspective.

Bui uses the region's three weather cycles -- dry, wetand growth -- as backdrops for his stories, each of which represent a partof part of contemporary Vietnam's soul.

Continue reading: Three Seasons Review

National Treasure Review


Bad

Let's skip right over the fact that "National Treasure" may well have the most asinine plot in the history of cinema. But for the record, it's an action-adventure yarn from "dumb it down and blow things up" producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and it's about an invisible map on the back of the Declaration of Independence leading to a vast, multi-billion-dollar treasure buried by the Founding Fathers. So I think the "you've got to be kidding" factor pretty much speaks for itself.

Instead let's marvel at how a trio of hack writers (collectively responsible for "Snow Dogs," "The 6th Day" and "I-Spy"), coupled with a director whose best work is mediocre and pedestrian (Jon Turteltaub of "Phenomenon" and "Instinct"), can take this dumb idea and make it even worse in every conceivable way.

First they contrived to have a series of barely coherent clues to the treasure's location appear in laughably cryptic little poems and in the design of the $1 and $100 bills. Then they concocted an eccentric, nerdy-cool, disgraced-historian lead character named Benjamin Franklin Gates, who arbitrarily solves each esoteric riddle within three minutes of discovering it. These lead him closer and closer to digging up the treasure -- even though he says all he wants to do is protect it. (If it's been safely hidden for centuries, why not leave well enough alone?)

Continue reading: National Treasure Review

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