COMING SOON - JULY 4 HIGHLIGHTS
The Libertine (2004).
"The interestingly degenerate real-life reprobate John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester (1647-80), gallant soldier, poet, satirist and wit, the most notorious of Restoration rakes, is the subject of John Malkovich's intriguing The Libertine," wrote the Observer's Philip French late last year, noting that the film "features a performance of considerable power by Johnny Depp, who's in virtually every scene.... Malkovich himself, sporting a false nose, is impressively sardonic as King Charles, Samantha Morton is touching as Lizzie Barry, the actress whom Rochester coaches into a new authenticity, and Tom Hollander is suitably suave as the playwright George Etherege."
The Matador (2005).
Speaking of libertines. "Playing a near-sociopathic deadeye dick in Richard Shepard's new dependie, The Matador, Pierce Brosnan is a creepy wonderÑthe Bondian sangfroid is visible in mid-curdle, the gears of his Don Juan-istic bravado are rusting to a dead stop," writes Michael Atkinson in the Village Voice. "Shepard gets all of his laughs if not the ironic heart-tugs, and his cast is perfectly in tune. ([Hope] Davis in comedic-observant mode is funnier than most American actresses in fifth gear.)" Features, too, of course, Greg Kinnear.
"You don't have to have been alive or conscious in the summer of 1969 to care about Brian Jones," writes Andrew O'Hehir in Salon. Jones was, he adds, "the first and in many ways the purest of rock gods [and] pretty much the guy who invented rock-star flamboyance and decadence, as well as rock's first true guitar hero."
As for Stoned, Stephen Woolley's biopic, O'Hehir's fellow Salon reviewer Stephanie Zacharek writes: "The movie's vision of rock-star glamour may be cartoony, but it's the kind of cartoon we can't resist."
Kyo Kara Maoh! God (?) Save Our King! Volume 8 (2006).
"I admit it, I absolutely loved this anime," writes Battie of one of the most highly rated series around here. "It really stomped along the line between shounen-ai and regular anime, and was so slashy, I giggled myself silly through half of it.... I spent a large portion of this anime with, 'Oh my lord,' coming out of my mouth, followed by wild snickering. I'd definitely recommend it to fangirls."
AND ON THROUGH THE SUMMER...