Mitchell Lichtenstein

Mitchell Lichtenstein

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Teeth Review


Weak
There are three bitten-off penises in plain sight in Mitchell Lichtenstein's Teeth, all three accompanied by shots of the gaping, below-the-equator wound. One of them, in the film's most grotesque sight gag, plops onto the carpeted floor like a freshly-pinched turd. 2007 gave us Quentin Tarantino's melting junk in Planet Terror. Welcome to 2008.

Decked out with odes to the 1950s bargain-basement sci-fi films that Lichtenstein grew up on, Teeth tells the delightful yarn of a teenaged girl named Dawn (Jess Weixler) and her shark-tooth-lined vagina. (The press kit, and one seriously unlucky gynecologist, is quick to point out that the Latin term is actually vagina dentate.) Bopping back and forth from churches and schools, Dawn spends her time as an abstinence-is-rockin' faith promoter. After a speech, she meets Tobey (Hale Appleman), and the purity sparks fly. Their idea of a fun date includes a wild night of popcorn and the latest animated feature at the multiplex.

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The Wedding Banquet Review


Excellent
Love is never easy, especially when you're a closeted homosexual and your parents travel 8,000 miles to attend your sham wedding while your lover nervously assumes the role of bogus best man. That may sound like a setup for a screwball farce, but The Wedding Banquet turns out to be a thoughtful and ultimately deeply moving story about family ties, tradition, and acceptance. As the film that put writer/director Ang Lee on the map, it's a must-see for anyone who's enjoyed his subsequent work, especially Eat Drink Man Woman and The Ice Storm, both equally powerful meditations on damaged families with serious communication issues.

Though much of the dialogue in The Wedding Banquet is in Chinese, the action takes place in New York. Taiwanese expatriate Wai-Tung (Winston Chao) is living a fast-paced Manhattan life as a budding real estate wheeler-dealer. He lives in a lovely Greenwich Village townhouse with his affable doctor boyfriend Simon (Mitchell Lichtenstein). Wai-Tung's biggest problem: The constant long-distance phone calls from his parents (Ah Lei Gua and Sihung Lung) wondering when their beloved only son is finally going to get married.

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Mitchell Lichtenstein

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