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Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Movie & DVD Reviews from Combustible Celluloid
Is it just me, or is James Franco beginning to resemble Freddie Prinze Jr. and/or Paul Walker? He was supposed to be this richly talented guy of great promise, and he just keeps turning up with this serious look on his face in every movie; even in the enjoyable Spider-Man films he seems miscast as the sourpuss bad guy. His latest is Annapolis, a total dud of a movie. Do boring actors ever go away or do they just go straight to video?

Fortunately, we have a few other good movies opening today. Steven Soderbergh's Bubble is debuting on video this week at the same time as it opens in theaters, but if you're going to see it at all, I recommend the big screen experience. I think it's his best film since The Limey.

Michael Haneke's amazing Cache (a.k.a. Hidden) is a critically acclaimed puzzler of a movie that may upset those looking for closure and resolution. It won the San Francisco Film Critics Circle prize for Best Foreign Language Film just last month.

And Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee is surprising many people. After a series of terrible trailers filled with CGI babies and animals, it actually turns out to be a charmer. It's not terribly original, but it's fun.

Finally, The Real Dirt on Farmer John is one of those acclaimed documentaries that's supposed to be good for you, and it's meant to look like a lot of fun, but it's really a serious downer.

I only had time for one DVD this week, but it's a good one: Hou Hsiao-hsien's Cafe Lumiere, a masterpiece that never received distribution here in the Bay Area. It's Hou's tribute to Yasujiro Ozu, shot in Japan with lots of clotheslines and trains. Like all Hou films, it's slow and somewhat plotless but endlessly, deliriously poetic.
:: posted by Jeffrey M. Anderson, 1/26/2006 Comments (0)
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