Picks, Pans, All That – Day Twelve: Monday, April 14

April 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Lucky Miles

Sob sob. The last day of heavy screenings is upon us, with eight slots reserved for the so-called “Festival Favorites.” Let’s sort this out, shall we?

The Good

The comedy Lucky Miles (2:30pm, Ritz East), in which illegal immigrants scamper about lost in the Australian desert, was one of those finds: seen on purest whim and insanely enjoyable. My rave is here. Dust (2:30pm, Ritz East) is not, alas, a documentary cousin to What the Bleep Do We Know?, but rather an actual doc on dust; weirdly interesting and occasionally perversely dull. Tom Quinn’s terrific local indie The New Year Parade (4:45pm, Prince Music Theater), about divorce in South Philly among the String Band, plays for a last time. The Year of the Nail (5pm, The Bridge), the directorial debut of Jonás Cuarón, son of Children of Men’s Alfonso, is an acute and bittersweet tale of an impossible love told entirely, if somewhat pointlessly, in still photos à la La Jetée. See my rave for In a Dream (7pm, Ritz East), Jeremiah Zagar’s gorgeous on his father, local mosaiac muralist Isaiah that everyone and his mother is rightly talking about. And speaking of familial turmoil, Song Sung Blue (9:30pm, Ritz East), a doc following the roller-coaster life of a pair of musical impersoantors – he Neil Diamond, she Patsy Cline- pops up again.

The Not So Good
A rare exported film from Uruguay, The Pope’s Toilet (2:45pm, The Bridge) takes a satirical, anticlerical set-up – the impoverished trying to get rich off a visit from John Paul II – and only winds up proving that light and nearly declawed comedies know no borders. Where’s Luis Buñuel when you need him? Once a promising director, Sergei Bodrov (Prisoner of the Mountains) does Young Genghis Khan in Mongol (9:15pm, Ritz 5), concocting a film so flat, episodic and generically sweeping that star Tadanabu Asano – usually iconically laconic – looks just plain bored. John Woo produced the Chinese Blood Brothers (4:45pm, Ritz East), which pays back the favor by doing a so-so homage to classic Woo, if way short on both the bloodletting and especially the over-the-top melodrama.

And those I haven’t seen (yet) but which possess buzz and/or look promising
PW music critic Doug Wallen wanted me to tell you about the awesomeness of Kenny (7;15pm, The Bridge), an Australian comedy about a septic tank worker with an accent so thick it requires subtitles. And don’t you know? Tonight is the premiere of the doc Richie Ashburn: A Baseball Life (7pm, Prince Music Theater). Apparently if you don’t know who Richie Ashburn is, you’re not a real Philadelphian. Sorry, dad.

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Entry filed under: Picks.

What I Peeped: Day Eleven What I Peeped: Day Twelve

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