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Archive for July, 2012

DVD Report – July 31st

For his latest film, Le Havre, legendary director Aki Kaurismäki abandons his native Finland for the coast of France, resulting in a comic drama about a noble shoe-shiner and an illegal immigrant kid hiding from the law. Kaurismäki plans this as the first in a trilogy of “port” movies, with the others to be set in Spain and Germany. Le Havre sets the bar high — Criticker users gave it great marks, and it also picked up the FIPRESCI award at last year’s Cannes festival. It’s the pick of the week, in an otherwise disappointing lineup of new DVDs.

Le HavreAverage Tier 6.45

“Le Havre” tells the story of a shoeshiner who tries to save an immigrant child.
Le Havre @ Amazon

4.3.2.1Average Tier 4.40

While Jo (Roberts) is chained down in a dead end supermarket job, her friends are all out on their own separate adventures: Cassandra (Egerton) is jetting off to New York to meet her Internet boyfriend; Kerrys (Warren-Markland) is on a one woman crusade fighting for female liberation and Shannon (Lovibond) is on a one way trip to meet her maker. But a chance encounter with some diamond thieves sends their separate worlds on a collision course with not only each other, but fate itself.
4.3.2.1 @ Amazon

ATMAverage Tier 2.73

On a late night visit to an ATM, three co-workers end up in a desperate fight for their lives when they become trapped by an unknown man. (imdb)
ATM @ Amazon

As a new year at school begins, Lola’s heart is broken by her boyfriend, though soon she’s surprised by her best friend, promising musician Kyle, who reveals his feelings for her.
LOL @ Amazon

DVD Report – July 24th

This week sees a number of excellent films released to DVD, led by Rachel Weisz in The Deep Blue Sea. But the pick of the week is a documentary out of Japan. Jiro Dreams of Sushi chronicles an 85-year-old chef’s lifelong quest to create the perfect piece of sushi, and the transfer of his famous restaurant into the hands of his son.

The Deep Blue SeaAverage Tier 6.08

Master chronicler of post-War England Terence Davies directs Rachel Weisz as a woman whose overpowering, obsessive love alienates the men around her and destroys her well-being. Based on Terence Rattigan’s play, made famous by countless actresses. (tiff.net)
The Deep Blue Sea @ Amazon

Criticker Pick!
Jiro Dreams of SushiAverage Tier 7.57

In the basement of a Tokyo office building, 85 year old sushi master Jiro Ono works tirelessly in his world renowned restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro. As his son Yoshikazu faces the pressures of stepping into his father’s shoes and taking over the legendary restaurant, Jiro relentlessly pursues his lifelong quest to create the perfect piece of sushi.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi @ Amazon

Silent HouseAverage Tier 3.48

Trapped inside her family’s lakeside retreat, a young woman descends into madness.
Silent House @ Amazon

FootnoteAverage Tier 6.09

The story of a great rivalry between a father and son, both eccentric professors in the Talmud department of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The son has an addictive dependency on the embrace and accolades that the establishment provides, while his father is a stubborn purist with a fear and profound revulsion for what the establishment stands for, yet beneath his contempt lies a desperate thirst for some kind of recognition.
Footnote @ Amazon

Meeting EvilAverage Tier 3.33

Follows disillusioned young family man John as a mysterious stranger, Richie takes him on a murder-fueled ride that transforms the weak-willed John into a desperate hero willing to go to any length to protect his family.
Meeting Evil @ Amazon

DVD Report – July 17th

The strongest new release to DVD of the week is Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friends with Kids, which she wrote, directed and stars in alongside her partner Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig. It didn’t get stellar marks from Criticker users, but enough to best the action sci-fi flick Lockout and the Farrley Brothers’ take on The Three Stooges.

LockoutAverage Tier 4.01

A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.
Lockout @ Amazon

Friends with KidsAverage Tier 5.19

Friends with Kids revolves around a pair of best friends in their 30s who observe the effect of having kids has taken on the couples they know. To avoid that toll, the best friends resolve to have a child and then date other people.
Friends with Kids @ Amazon

Salmon Fishing in the YemenAverage Tier 5.05

A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik’s vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen @ Amazon

The Three StoogesAverage Tier 4.09

While trying to save their childhood orphanage, Moe, Larry, and Curly inadvertently stumble into a murder plot and wind up starring in a reality TV show.
The Three Stooges @ Amazon

Casa de mi PadreAverage Tier 4.57

Scheming on a way to save their father’s ranch, the Alvarez brothers find themselves in a war with Mexico’s most feared drug lord.
Casa de mi Padre @ Amazon

DVD Report – July 10th

For whatever reason, Norwegian films generally do pretty well at Criticker, but the only movie new to DVD this week which doesn’t at least cross the 5.0 “better than average” tier threshold is Norway’s Fatso. And this is a week that includes another American Pie sequel! American Reunion is better than expected, but the pick of the week is Ken Lonergan’s Margaret, starring Anna Paquin. Originally slated for release in 2007, this movie had a very troubled production, with producers who wanted to cut its running length battling the stubborn director. This week’s release is the director’s extended cut, which Criticker users agree is the superior version.

American ReunionAverage Tier 5.05

Jim, Michelle, Stifler, and their friends reunite in East Great Falls, Michigan for their high school reunion.
American Reunion @ Amazon

Criticker Pick!
MargaretAverage Tier 7.83

A young woman witnesses a bus accident, and is caught up in the aftermath, where the question of whether or not it was intentional affects many people’s lives.
Margaret @ Amazon

The Flowers of WarAverage Tier 6.27

A Westerner finds refuge with a group of women in a church during Japan’s raid of Nanking in 1937. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.
The Flowers of War @ Amazon

FatsoAverage Tier 3.62

Rino Hanssen is 30 years old, obsessed with porn, and has never been with a woman. He lives in an apartment owned by his father, and he has only one friend: the asthmatic, misanthropic Filip. Suddenly his father rents out one of the rooms in the apartment to a young girl called Malin, an emancipated and seemingly unconcerned individual who seeks affirmation through sex, friends and a wild life…
Fatso @ Amazon

A behind-the-scenes look at the fans who gather by the thousands each year in San Diego, California to attend Comic-Con, the world’s largest comic book convention.
Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope @ Amazon

DVD Report – July 3rd

Here, we present the weakest slate of new DVD releases since we started doing these reports. Unless you feel like following Kirk Cameron on his quest to explain why America is the very bestest country ever, which God loves the most (yay America!), or watching a Wes Anderson knock-off by the oh-so-shocking name of Jesus Henry Christ, your options are limited. Luckily, the third option is supposed to be quite good. With a cast that includes Frances O’Connor, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill, The Hunter has won praise from the Criticker users who’ve seen it.

The HunterAverage Tier 5.81

Martin, a mercenary, is sent from Europe by an anonymous biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger.
The Hunter @ Amazon

Jesus Henry ChristAverage Tier 4.50

At the age of ten, Henry James Hermin, a boy who was conceived in a petri-dish and raised by his feminist mother, follows a string of Post-It notes in hopes of finding his biological father.
Jesus Henry Christ @ Amazon

How did the U.S. become the freest, most prosperous country in the world? Kirk Cameron challenges you to discover America’s true "national treasures"—the people, places, and principles that have empowered this nation. Beginning in England and moving forward, you’ll learn about the founders’ motivations, designs, and goals and how to apply the same truths today. (cbd.com)
Monumental : In Search of America’s National Treasure @ Amazon