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 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
Roger Wilson and Harvey Keitel - Roger Wilson, Howard Himmelstein, Harvey Keitel and Frankie Muniz East Hampton, New York - Hampton International Film Festival 2007, screening of 'My Sexiest Year' at East Hampton United Artist - Arrivals Thursday 18th October 2007
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
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
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 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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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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