• Super Fly

    Super Fly

    ★★★

    The strangest thing about this movie is that it pretty much glorifies the life of a successful drug dealer (the car, the clothes, the women, the respect), and yet the main character, Priest (Ron O'Neal) wants very badly to get out. Several characters try to convince him to stay, giving their understandable reasons; he even muses about what he would do otherwise, and it doesn't sound like a lot of options are available (and yes, this is an illustration of…

  • The Hurt Locker

    The Hurt Locker

    ★★★★½

    Is it possible that though we've had numerous movies about the Iraq War, so few of them have been directly about the soldiers' experiences in the field? Most of them have had storylines involving people outside and around the war, or soldiers who come home and suffer post-traumatic stress; and almost all of them carried a political agenda. The Hurt Locker, straightforward in its approach about the adventures of a bomb defusing team in Iraq, is therefore weirdly refreshing. Thankfully,…

  • Public Enemies

    Public Enemies

    ★★½

    Public Enemies feels like experimental filmmaking and never seems to transcend that to something more profound or awe-inspiring. Michael Mann is still in digital video mode, combining it with handheld techniques to film a 1930's gangster pic. Though the images are never less than interesting, they also tended to annoy me most of the time. Simply put, the obviousness of the digital video (which mostly comes from odd lighting effects and moments of digital grain) are an automatic signifier to…

  • Invictus

    Invictus

    ★★★½

    Review at ReelTalk Movie Reviews (written 12/7/2009).

  • Eat a Bowl of Tea

    Eat a Bowl of Tea

    ★★★

    Fairly interesting story about Chinese-Americans in 1940's Chinatown, NY, as seen from the p.o.v. of two generations: the older fathers of grown children, still trying to uphold traditions even though they've been in America (and have had their wives remain in China) for decades, and those grown children, who end up bearing the weights of those traditions. In this case, one father, Wah Gay (Victor Wong), sends his son, Ben Loy (Russell Wong), to pick up a bride (Cora Miao)…

  • The Kids Are All Right

    The Kids Are All Right

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Review at ReelTalk Movie Reviews (written 12/10/2010).

  • World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts

    World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts

    A little less deep and sad but quite a bit more absurdly funny than the first one, this also has some boggling visuals. Don Hertzfeldt gets really good with his digital toolbox. Also, it might make you think twice the next time you're about to squish a bug.

  • Chan Is Missing

    Chan Is Missing

    ★★★★

    Not surprisingly, I relate pretty easily to this. The interesting thing about being a Chinese-American is that there isn't a lot of material out there about us and our experiences. There are plenty of movies about the Chinese in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, but not so much in America. Chan Is Missing is considered one of the earliest successful and critically lauded films from an Asian-American director, Wayne Wang, and he pretty much gets to the point right away…

  • Tangled

    Tangled

    ★★★½

    Review at ReelTalk Movie Reviews (written 12/7/2010).

  • World of Tomorrow

    World of Tomorrow

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    "This is your future, Emily Prime. It is sometimes a sad life, and it is a long life. You will feel a deep longing for something you cannot quite remember. It will be a beautiful visit, and then we shall share the same fate as the rest of the human race: dying horribly.

    "The advice I give you now is the advice I remember receiving from myself at your age in this moment, so I cannot be certain where it…

  • Back to the Future Part II

    Back to the Future Part II

    ★★★½

    Movie night with the kids.

    At somewhere in the middle of the movie (in the start of the second act), both kids are mad at all the stuff going wrong, and older kid says: "This movie sucks!"

    By the end of the movie, older kid says: "OK, this movie has redeemed itself."

    Also, the way Griff says, "Since when did you become the physical type?" will never not crack me up.

    Please read my previous entry where I explain why Part II's main character is actually Biff.

  • Once Upon a Time in China

    Once Upon a Time in China

    ★★★½

    2nd viewing. This film is popular, but I apparently have biases that prevent me from liking it more. It's a Chinese martial arts movie through and through, with exaggerated character types that appear in every one of these types of movies, from the stoic hero to his comedic sidekicks to the villains who are super-bullies if they're local to condescending assholes if they're foreign. As I had written in my first review, what makes this transcend those elements is Jet…