Nic and Jules (Bening and Moore) have been a couple for more than 20 years, and life is pretty matter-of-fact for them and their two kids, 18-year-old Joni (Wasikowska) and 15-year-old Laser (Hutcherson). Since Joni is now of age, Laser talks her into contacting their mothers' sperm bank so they can meet their biological father. He turns out to be restaurant owner Paul (Ruffalo), a cool guy who shakes their life up in ways none of them could expect. The big question is whether they can ever be the same again.
Continue reading: The Kids Are All Right Review
President Mobuto himself provided the venue for the three-day music festival, although Don King concentrated on the Ali-Foreman main event. A Liberian investment group funded both the festival and the documentary, which goes some way in explaining why it took 35 years to edit together footage that covers everything from the Zaire-bound plane flights to the amazing performances. The best moments are when the participants land in Africa, seeing the home of their ancestors for the first time and interacting with the community around them.
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Of course, the press wasn't Polanski's biggest problem at the time. The documentary indicts the legal system itself, and especially the presiding judge, Laurence Rittenband, whose reputation is dragged through the mud here. It would be fascinating to hear his response were he still alive. In his place, we get detailed recollections from police investigators, attorneys from both sides, and the victim herself. (Polanski, however, did not participate.)
Continue reading: Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired Review
Clearly drawing heavily on films like John Carpenter's The Thing as inspiration, Fessenden builds his characters from the ground up before hurling them to the wolves. He's helped by a cast that's sharp as a tack, particularly the roaring and bear-like Ron Perlman as Ed Pollack, an oil company operative gung-ho on getting machinery up to their station as quick as possible, by any means necessary, and screw the environment. Facing him are a couple of "green flags" -- one of whom is the gloomy notebook scribbler, scientist James Hoffman, played close to the vest by the always reliable James LeGros -- environmental do-gooders hired by the company as sort of eco-fig leaves whom they want to pressure to sign off on impact statements so the drilling can begin. In between are Abby Sellers (Connie Britton), a tough-as-nails type caught in a love triangle, the dazed and confused mechanic Motor (Kevin Corrigan, nailing it), and their Native American cook Dawn Russell (singer Joanne Shenandoah).
Continue reading: The Last Winter Review
This intimate drama (by director Lisa Cholodenko) deals with the effect a liberal living standard might have on a young, impressionable, Harvard graduate with a conservative nature and great looks. She's Alex (Kate Beckinsale), the fiancé of Sam Bentley (Christian Bale), who needs to come to Los Angeles to complete his residency at the renowned Hausman Neuropsychiatric Institute. The move to a quiet hillside home will enable Alex to complete her dissertation on Drosophila Genomics, the world of chromosomes and centimorgans applied to the reproductive aspects of the fruit fly. No dummy, this lady.
Continue reading: Laurel Canyon Review
Those are the first words spoken in Mysterious Skin, and they come from Brian Lackey (Brady Corbet), a distressed 18 year-old, born and raised in a small Kansas community. The last thing he remembers about that night is rainfall interrupting his softball game, and then waking up at home with a nosebleed, five hours later. Plagued by unexplainable nightmares, blackouts, and more nosebleeds, Brain is convinced aliens abducted him during those mysterious five hours of his youth...
Continue reading: Mysterious Skin Review