Friday, February 29, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Dir. Justin Chadwicks
Director Justin Chadwick's opulent historical drama stars Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Scarlett Johansson as her sister, Mary -- beautiful, ambitious sisters vying for the heart of powerful but intemperate King Henry VIII (Eric Bana). Though both women are the monarch's mistresses, only one can become his queen consort -- but at what cost? The supporting cast includes Kristin Scott Thomas and Jim Sturgess.

The Opposite of Sex (1998)

Dir. Don Roos

At 16, Dee Dee Truitt (Christina Ricci) is a full-blown force of nature. When she moves in with her brother and his lover, she quickly seduces her way into a gender-bending love triangle. Lisa Kudrow plays against type as the straight-laced single woman with designs on Dee Dee's brother, but Ricci's bodacious performance steals the show, and her spunky narration keeps the film fresh and unpredictable.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Graduate (1967)

Dir. Mike Nichols

Dustin Hoffman (in his first major film role) turns in a landmark performance as a naïve young man recently graduated from college who is seduced by a middle-aged neighbor (Anne Bancroft). He, in turn, falls in love with her daughter (Katharine Ross). Mike Nichols won a Best Director Oscar, and Simon and Garfunkel achieved immortality with a score that includes "Mrs. Robinson."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ghostbusters (1984)

Dir. Ivan Reitman

After losing their academic posts, a team of parapsychologists (Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis) goes into business as "ghostbusters" -- exterminators of ghouls, hobgoblins and supernatural pests of all stripes. An ad campaign pays off when a knockout cellist (Sigourney Weaver) hires the squad to purge her digs of demons. Turns out the place has become an entryway for a legion of fiendish spirits bent on terrorizing the Big Apple.…

Monday, February 25, 2008

Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor) (2004)

Dir. Timur Bekmambetov

This first installment of the trilogy based on the best-selling science fiction novels by Russian writer Sergei Lukyanenko plays upon the tension between light and dark, pitting the superhuman Night Watch patrollers (known as the "Others") against the shadowed forces of the night. But the biggest fear of all stems from the lines of an ancient prophecy, which warns of a renegade Other whose betrayal could bring chaos to the land.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mallrats (1995)

Dir. Kevin Smith

Suburban auteur Kevin Smith forgoes the convenience-store environs of Clerks for the mall in this hilarious look at love and loss between the escalators. Brodie (Jason Lee) and T.S. (Jeremy London) lose their girlfriends on the same day, so they take to the mall in search of solace. Cameos by Stan Lee and Jay and Silent Bob are the icing on the cake in this offbeat treat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Juno (2007)

Dir. Jason Reitman
Facing an unplanned pregnancy, worldly teen Juno (Ellen Page) devises a plan to locate the proverbial perfect parents to adopt her baby. But the seemingly ideal couple Juno chooses appears to still have some growing up to do. Now, everyone in Juno's world must do a little soul-searching. Michael Cera co-stars while Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner play the pair of affluent yuppies anxious for a child in this offbeat coming-of-age comedy, which earned four Oscar nods.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Prom Night (1980)

Dir. Paul Lynch

Prom queen Kim Hammond (Jamie Lee Curtis) is one of four teenagers terrorized by a dark secret from the past in this classic slasher film. Six years prior to the prom, four kids antagonize another child, which results in her death. Flash forward to high school, and the same four begin receiving vengeful phone calls from a witness to the "accident." Come prom night, the four friends will meet their axe-wielding stalker. Leslie Nielsen co-stars.

For One Night (2006)

Dir. Ernest R. Dickerson

Raven-Symoné stars as a high school teen who causes quite a ruckus in her small town after making it her mission to integrate her prom, which had been racially divided for decades. While the entire community is up in arms, a reporter back home for a visit covers the story - and the two attempt to reverse a long-standing racist tradition and make history for at least one night! Based on a true story.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Awakening (1990) / Aftermath (1994) / Genesis (1998)

Dir. Nacho Cerdà, Ethan Jacobson, Francisco Stohr

Two morgue workers get their kicks by performing unspeakable acts on corpses in the disturbing horror tale Aftermath, one of two spine-tingling films from Spanish director Nacho Cerda starring Pep Tosar. The second feature, Genesis, centers on a sculptor who's unable to deal with the tragic death of his beautiful wife. As the artist sculpts a lifelike statue of his beloved, eerie things begin happening to both the statue and its creator.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Love Song (2000)

Dir. Julie Dash

Camille Livingston (Monica Arnold) is the daughter of wealthy African-American parents in New Orleans. She is perfectly happy with her boyfriend until she unexpectedly meets a poor white gas station attendant (Christian Kane). Camille must choose between the stable future that her current upper-middle class boyfriend offers, or the man with a dead-end career who inspires her.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Vertigo (1958)

Dir. Alfred Hitchcock
Don't look down! One of Alfred Hitchcock's darkest and most compelling films tells the story of police detective Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart), who has a crippling fear of heights. When an old friend asks him to tail his wife (Kim Novak), Scottie is drawn into a vortex of deceit, murder and obsession … and that's just the beginning! Two highlights: a mesmerizing Bernard Herrmann score and a haunting final shot.

Lady Vengeance (Chinjeolhan geumjassi) (2005)

Dir. Chan-wook Park

The final installment of director Chan Wook Park's revenge trilogy (preceded by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy) chronicles the efforts of Lee Geum-ja (Yeong-ae Lee) -- known to her cellmates as "the kind Ms. Geum-ja" -- to track down the man who betrayed her. Taking the rap for her accomplice and incarcerated for 13 long years, she plots an elaborate retribution with help from her fellow inmates.

The Honeymoon Killers (1970)

Dir. Leonard Kastle, Donald Volkman
In this film based on the real-life Lonely Hearts murders of the late 1940s, handsome lothario Ray Fernandez (Tony LoBianco) cons lonely women out of money by promising marriage. When he meets nurse Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler), the two fall in love. Posing as brother and sister, the duo cross the country swindling needy women -- and, when necessary, killing them. As their passions become more inflamed, their crime spree grows bloodier.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Kamikaze Girls (Shimotsuma monogatari) (2004)

Dir. Tetsuya Nakashima
Based on Novala Takemoto's best-selling Japanese novel Shimotsuma Story, this colorful live-action comedy from writer-director Tetsuya Nakashima tells a tale of unlikely friendship. When she meets rough-and-tumble biker chick Ichigo Shirayuri (Anna Tschiya), the refined Momoko Ryugasaki (Kyoko Fukada) is forever changed. But can a big-city girl who adores 18th century France, frilly dresses and parasols save her new friend from certain doom?