Lighthearted caper concerns two career criminals who assemble a hand-picked team to rob an unscrupulous millionaire. They hire immigrants they believe will be underestimated with the required skills but no criminal experience. The struggling actor, the chauffer, the television repairman, etc. It’s an eclectic group. Bright, colorful production coupled with a sincere and unaffected desire to entertain. Make no mistake, this is fairly typical stuff. It kind of plays out like a Spanish language version of an American heist movie with actors from telenovelas. It’s almost impossible to describe without comparing it to Ocean’s 11. True, it gets a bit routine at times, but it’s also extremely entertaining and in no way boring. That Hollywood series ultimately came come off as somewhat smug, particularly by Oceans 13. What makes this Mexican film with English subtitles unique is in its utter lack of pretension. The story’s structure is decidedly old-fashioned. The script is definitely funny, but it never feels like it’s trying hard to be hip and that sincerity is refreshing. The title, from a Latin-American proverb that translates “the thief who robs a thief earns 100 years of forgiveness.”
Archive for 2007
Satirical horror tale in the style of a comic book, interweaves four tales concerning Halloween night. Ensemble film is somewhat disjointed, however the script is surprisingly intelligent and has some very amusing scenes (as well as scares). Film’s lush, superior production values contradict its direct-to-video roots. Why was this release delayed for two years? A real Halloween gem.
Absorbing fantasy about a young man in search of a fallen star he promises to bring back to win the heart of his true love. Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn’s script is breathtaking in its ability to masterfully weave multiple storylines in creating an otherworldly universe that will delight, amuse and enchant.
Documentary about a choir group from Northampton, Massachusetts, average age 80, that sing rock & roll tunes. Overly precious, even condescending, narration, mars the film. At times, feels a little like one of those “old people are cute” segments that often end nighttime newscasts. However it’s hard not to like this film, these people are wonderful and their heart shines through.
60s period detail is lovingly created in this woefully unappreciated “gem” of a movie about a jewel heist. Michael Caine is great as expected, but so is Demi Moore, who gives a mature, sophisticated performance.
It’s difficult to like a Christmas movie where the Santa is such a feeble pushover. Add an irritating efficiency expert played by Kevin Spacey and you have the cinematic equivalent of a stale Christmas fruitcake no one wants. Shamefully wasted cast boasts three Oscar winners and two nominees!
Police detective drama about a veteran father who goes looking for his son who has gone AWOL upon his return from the Iraq war. Film’s exploration on the toll war has on the soldiers that return home, is anchored by Tommy Lee Jones heartfelt and honest performance.
Powerful drama about a man who must weigh his desire for self preservation and his guilt at aiding Nazi forces. Dramas involving the Holocaust are always difficult to endure and this is no exception, but the moral dilemmas it raises are thought provoking and the performances are first rate. 2007 Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language Film.
Eerie snowbound locations, superior production design, and a truly frightening Danny Huston as Marlow, the lead vampire, are all reasons to recommend this entertaining, albeit derivative, vampire flick.
Australian horror film about a killer crocodile is essentially the umpteenth retelling of Jaws. But wait a minute! This suspenseful well-paced version of “When Animals Attack” isn’t half bad. Superior cinematography and music give this horror film the feel of quality.