[Christina] Ricciâ€™s performance is so fearless, specific, and blazingly committed it carries the second half of the picture over the slight underwriting of [Samuel] L. Jacksonâ€™s character and his clear limitations as an actor. Sheâ€™s the white-hot focal point of [director Craig] Brewerâ€™s loud, brash, encompassing vision of the soulâ€™s dark night survived, peering into the dawn. Thatâ€™s right, haters, I said â€œvision.â€ And one so honest and healthy and against the grain of indie solipsism and Hollywood cynicism that itâ€™s just about visionary.
Over at the Japan Times, Mark Schilling reviews "Soredemo Boku wa Yattenai" ("Even So, I Didn’t Do It"), the new film from Masayuki Suo of "Shall We Dance?", starring Ryo Kase, Shimizu in "Letters from Iwo Jima": "If a film can change Japan’s legal system, this is the one — but don’t hold your breath."
At the Hollywood Reporter, Scott Roxborough writes about how the German critics have reacted to Dani Levy‘s Hitler comedy with more boredom than shock. Worse, actor Helge Schneider, who plays Hitler, has been speaking up against the film in interviews:
"Making fun of Hitler isn’t breaking any taboos," Schneider said in an interview with Die Welt. "Saying what you really think of a movie you were involved in probably is."
"Miss Potter" attracted a fair share of repressed derision from the British press, but they’ve nothing on Harriet Lane at the Sydney Morning Herald, who, while being kept waiting by tardy interviewee Ewan McGregor, begins a downward mental spiral:
I didn’t exactly thrill to Miss Potter at the advance screening, but after several hours trapped in an overheated hotel suite awaiting an audience with one of its stars, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s one of the worst movies ever made. The questions that bothered me in the cinema have returned, newly invigorated, and are chasing each other around my head like small, bright-eyed rodents in mobcaps and starched aprons. The first is: what on earth is Ewan McGregor doing in this drippy little movie about Beatrix Potter? I really must ask him, if he ever shows up.
Gina Piccalo at the LA Times looks into "Alpha Dog" and the crimes and case of Jesse James Hollywood, the man who inspired the film. She shares some fascinating details on how the researcher Michael Mehas was given access to files, footage and photos by prosecutor Ronald J. Zonen, only to ultimately get him kicked off the case by informing Hollywood’s attorney of the fact.
+ BLACK SNAKE MOAN (Film Comment)
+ Portrait of a dodgy legal system (Japan Times)
+ No one saluting German comedy ‘Fuehrer’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Bunny in the middle (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ No Hollywood ending (LA Times)
+ Janus Collection is an Art-House Dream (SF Chronicle)
+ Welcome… (In The Company Of Glenn)