What You Should/n’t See at the Film Festival: Monday, 30 March

March 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm 3 comments

Dioses

Dioses Peruvian filmmaker Josue Mendez’s follow-up to his faintly promising Days of Santiago is a crass burlesque, in which the rich are so evil the son of a tyrannical bastard lusts after his hottie sister while the bastard’s new trophy wife is a social climber twenty years his junior. Yes, it appears all’s not well for the wealthy. WERE YOU EVEN AWARE OF IT?, as John Hodgman would say. Simply too easy. C 12:15pm, Ritz East.

The Other One See review here. C+ 2:15pm, The Bridge.

Salt of the Sea See review here. B- 4pm, Prince Music Theater.

Kisses See review here. C 4:45pm, Ritz East.

The Way We Get By See review here. B 5pm, Ritz East.

Kabuli Kid See review here. B 7:15pm, Ritz East.

Goodbye Solo Exceedingly talented neo-neo-realist (or is that neo-neo-neo-neo-realist?) filmmaker Ramin Bahrani makes a slight, though far from fatal, misstep with his third film, in which a Senegalese cabbie (Souléymane Sy Savané) begins a begrudging and mostly one-sided friendship with a grizzled old man (Red West, formerly of Elvis’ Memphis Mafia) planning to kill himself. After the tough, organic social realist wonders of Man Push Cart and especially last year’s Chop Shop, even a little sentimentality feels like a betrayal, though Bahrani and his two leads do their best to keep the emotions internal. If anything their a winning team: Savané unfailingly chipper and West unfailingly unamused. But the sudden journalistic blitzkrieg over Bahrani is one film too late. B- 7pm, Ritz East.


The Chaser Indebted, and vastly inferior, to fellow countryfilm Memories of Murder, Na Hong-jin’s debut takes a similarly bemused but horrified look at the incompetence of the police force. Once again there’s a serial killer on the loose, but in an amusing twist he’s captured and confesses before the first act is up. Alas, the police are too disorganized and corrupt to hold up his case, meaning the killer’s out on his feet after 24 hours, possibly to carry on with his work. Na’s set pieces have a disarming calmness, particularly one towards the end, but he’s consistently in the shadow of Murder’s far more insanely talented Bong Joon-ho. B- 9:15pm, Ritz East.

Landscape #2 See review here. B9:30pm, Ritz 5.

Unseen (so far) but of interest:

  • The Brothers Bloom, Rian Johnson’s star-studded follow-up to his excellent Brick, hasn’t attracted a lot of love (and was already bumped from a Christmas release). But look, Brick was awesome and everyone agrees that Rachel Weisz — co-starring with Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody and Babel’s Rinko Kikuchi as con artists — is about as awesome, too. 2:15, Ritz 5.
  • The Danger After Dark player Left Bank, about a Belgian woman unlocking horrible mysteries and whatnot, was called Polanski-esque by Phawker’s Dan Buskirk. Fine. I’ll be there. 6:15pm, Prince Music Theater.
  • Though no one seems to be going agog over it as they did Half Nelson, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s sophomore effort, Sugar at least joins the shortlist of Bull Durham in focusing on minor league baseball. And with a poor Dominican teenager as its hero, no less. Fleck and Boden will be present. 7pm, Ritz 5.
  • If you care to see a studio picture shot in Philly, as well as see the very talented Jeff Daniels in person receiving the “Artistic Achievement Award,” go see The Answer Man tonight. Unless, of course, you’re icked out by the premise of a man who writes god books falling in love with Lorelai Gilmore. 8:30pm, Prince Music Theater.
  • One last chance to catch the allegedly solid (and lengthy) manga-to-movie adaptation 20th Century Boys. Its follow-up, Chapter Two plays again Thursday. 9pm, The Bridge.
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