Archive for the 'Yahoo Movies' Category

Indie Roundup: ‘Bullhead’

If you see only one movie about the Belgian bovine hormone mafia this year, make it “Bullhead.”

The film, which was nominated for a best-foreign language Oscar, opens with a tough in a leather jacket intimidating a terrified citizen. Only instead of taking place in some blighted bodega, the shakedown happens in a rustic Flemish cattle farm. And instead of demanding protection money, the thug, Jacky Venamersenille (Matthias Schoenaerts), is bullying the farmer into juicing his cattle with illegal steroids. Jacky is a hulking beast of a man who not only pushes the stuff but also dopes himself up with a bewildering variety of growth hormones. The reason why becomes horrifically clear as the movie’s plot unfolds. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘Bullhead’’


Indie Roundup: ‘In Darkness’

As the events of World War II slide deeper into the past — its youngest veterans are now in their late 80s — filmmakers continue look to that impossibly vast historical canvas to either mythologize (“Inglourious Basterds”) or, more frequently, to remember (“Flags of Our Fathers,” “Defiance,” “City of Life and Death”). The most recent entry to this growing list is Agnieszka Holland’s latest movie, “In Darkness,” which was nominated for a best-foreign-language Oscar. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘In Darkness’’

Indie Roundup: ‘Kill List’

British director Ben Wheatley’s latest movie, “Kill List,” starts out as a claustrophobic domestic drama that at first blush seems something out of a Ken Loach movie. Jay (Neil Maskell) — the sort of guy you might see at the end of the bar at the local pub — has been out of work for 8 months and the money is starting to run out, something that his wife, Shel (MyAnna Buring), is not shy about pointing out. Jay proves to have a volcanic temper and little in the way of impulse control; in a botched trip to the grocery store, he buys 10 bottles of wine but fails to get the one item that was absolutely needed: toilet paper. This section of the film has a very loose, improvised feel to it, which grounds the movie in the mundane. Yet through editing and framing — the camera always feels just a little too close for comfort — Wheatley creates this eerie undercurrent. This subtle, deft layering of the quotidian and the creepy pays dividends later when the movie starts getting very, very strange. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘Kill List’’

Oscar Outrages: Best Picture

Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences trotted out its list of the nine best movies of the year. The selection ranges from the portentous — Terrence Malick’s theistic head trip “The Tree of Life” — to the cute but forgettable –“The Artist” — to the simply awful — “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” The majority of these movies are middle-brow white elephants that are as self-serious as they are safe. Here is a list of a few arguably great, overlooked movies that didn’t play it safe.

Continue reading ‘Oscar Outrages: Best Picture’

Indie Roundup: ‘Declaration of War’

Declaration of War” — France’s selection for an Academy Award this year — opens with a scruffily handsome young man who bares a passing resemblance to James Franco locking eyes with a pretty lass from across the room. He throws a peanut towards her and she catches it in her mouth. They meet, kiss, and realize with disbelief that they are named Romeo (Jeremie Elkaim) and Juliette (Valerie Donzelli). “Are we doomed to a terrible fate,” she muses. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘Declaration of War’’

Indie Roundup: ‘Miss Bala’

Hollywood spectaculars are popular the world over not just because of their slick production values, gorgeous movie stars, or cutting-edge special effects; they’re popular because they’re imbued with a distinctly American form of optimism: No matter what hurdles lie before the hero, be they killer robots, machine-gun-toting mobsters, or the resident high school mean girl, she will through smarts, cunning, and luck master her fate and end up triumphant. Movies like Gerardo Naranjo’s grim, virtuoso thriller “Miss Bala” is a sharp reminder of just how much this Hollywood convention is little more than a cruel joke on millions of the poor and the powerless.

Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘Miss Bala’’

‘Haywire’ Star Gina Carano Beats Up Some of Hollywood’s Leading Men

Steven Soderbergh’s latest movie, “Haywire,” opens with a bruised woman, Mallory (Gina Carano), casing a roadside truck stop from behind a snowbank. She enters the greasy spoon and takes a booth. Soon, Aaron (Channing Tatum) shows up. A few tense words are exchanged before he throws hot coffee in her face and starts a shockingly brutal beatdown. Once she regains her footing, however, she cleans his clock with ruthless efficiency. Of course, before he started acting, Tatum was a male stripper. Carano, however, was an American Gladiator and a mixed martial arts (MMA) champ. Not really a fair fight.
Continue reading ‘‘Haywire’ Star Gina Carano Beats Up Some of Hollywood’s Leading Men’

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