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New Releases

January 13, 2004

FRESH FROM THE THEATERS

  • Madame Satã (2003). Inspired by the myths and legends surrounding a real-life countercultural icon of Brazil, Jo ão Francisco dos Santos. "A fascinating study of gay identity politics." (BBC) A "thrilling feature debut." (SF Chronicle) "A muscular, animalistic romp through the Rio de Janeiro underworld of the 1930s." (Offoffoff) [Rent]

  • Swimming Pool (2003). Two ravishing women, Ludivine Sagnier and Charlotte Rampling, confront each other in François Ozon's thriller of intrigue and sexual power. "The disparity [between the two women] may seem a little overdrawn - (Murder She Wrote meets Girls Gone Wild) - but as the story takes shape, Mr. Ozon, Ms. Rampling and Ms. Sagnier complicate it in subtle and fascinating ways," writes the New York Times. [Rent]

  • Buffalo Soldiers (2003). Miramax yanked this daring satire of the US military off its release schedule immediately after 9/11, then snuck it into a few theaters this year and pulled it right back out again. Finally, here's your chance to catch up with it. See our review and interviews with Joaquin Phoenix and director Gregor Jordan. [Rent]

  • Johnny English (2003). "Ok, so I was wrong about the Archbishop's bottom!" It's no Black Adder, but Rowan Atkinson finally has a film role he can sink his talents into. [Rent]

  • Tel Aviv Stories (2003). Two women direct three women's tales. [Rent]

  • Freddy Vs. Jason (2003). Ed Gonzalez writes in Slant: "More clever than your average Friday the 13th but certainly not as meta as any Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Vs. Jason basically comes down to just another teen horror movie." [Rent or not accordingly, then.]
  • FOREIGN

  • Lovers on the Bridge (1991). In Leo Carax's desperate and stunning love story, Denis Lavant and Juliette Binoche create fireworks over the Pont-Neuf. "An outrageously contrived paean to freedom, a crazy mixture of scabby naturalism and rock-video mescaline staged on a movie set worthy of Stroheim," writes J. Hoberman in the Voice. [Rent]

  • Ridicule (1996). This Palme d'Or winner at Cannes was nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film and remains Patrice Leconte's biggest hit in the US. [Rent]

  • Revenge of the Musketeers (1994). Bertrand Tavernier effortlessly recaptures the comic swashbuckling spirit and the sense of pathos inherent in Richard Lester's classic Musketeer films. [Rent]

  • Strawberry & Chocolate (1993). A gay neighbor, the Cuban revolution and an Oscar nomination. [Rent]

  • Takeshi Kitano's Sonatine (1993) "marks the point where Kitano broke free of narrative limitations and exploited his background and training as a comedian for serious ends," writes Jonathan Rosenbaum, "especially in his deadpan arrangements and cutting, where the violent juxtaposition of images and sound is both surprising and emotionally devastating." [Rent]

  • Close Your Eyes and Hold Me (1999). "This is a film that rather delicately captures the ambiguous nature of one man's obsessive desire for another person regardless of their actual anatomy," writes Anime Jump. (No, it's not an anime title; they just felt like reviewing it, that's all.) [Rent]

  • Luna Llena (2001). A dark thriller from Spain [Rent]

  • Eva Peron (1996). No music (which some among us are thankful for), just the story itself, from Argentina itself, and starring the luminous Esther Goris. [Rent]

  • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970). See Jonathan Marlow's "Eclection" comments. [Rent]

  • Clouds of War (1973). An action-packed Polish television series set in the second half of the 17th century. Ten episodes in all. Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent], 3 [Rent] and 4 [Rent].

  • Cold Summer of 1953 (1988). A small town near the train tracks. Here comes a train loaded with gold. And here comes a gang to take over the town. The law's shot dead. But here come a few mysterious strangers... This film is another highly rated "Ostern" (western-like story set east of what was once the Iron Curtain). [Rent]

  • The Donkey's Hide (1982), a Russian fairy tale. [Rent]

  • Between Strangers (2002). Eduoardo Ponti directs his mother, Sophia Loren. They were the hit of Venice 2003. [Rent]

  • Two from Iran, Girl in the Sneakers (1999) [Rent] and The May Lady (1998) [Rent].
  • COMEDIES

  • Love at Large (1990). Another Alan Rudolph film, long MIA on DVD, arrives. While this is far from one of his landmark works, the Washington Post called this "drama about down-and-out detectives, vampy women and peculiar longings of the heart nevertheless thoroughly enjoyable." Read our interview with Rudolph. [Rent]

  • Love is All There Is (1996). Romeo and Juliet meets My Big Fat Moonstruck Big Night. Or something. With Angelina Jolie. [Rent]

  • Bring It On Again (2003). [Rent]

  • Kaiju Big Battel (2003). All kaiju eiga fans need to check this craziness out, featuring "live" bouts between giant city-crushing monsters, complete with WWF-style grudge matches. [Rent]

  • Hangin' with the Homeboys (1991). Fun to see a then-unknown John Leguizamo in this underrated urban comedy. [Rent]

  • Who's the Man? (1993). It's a hip hop Abbott & Costello! [Rent]

  • A Low Down Dirty Shame (1994). [Rent]

  • Stark Raving Mad (2002). DVD Talk: "Its about equal parts of Fight Club and James Bond with a little bit of After Hours thrown in, for good measure. The movie has a fast pace and the plot travels forward at a good clip but not so fast that it becomes hectic." [Rent]

  • Three Stooges: Stooges At Work (1938 - 1945). [Rent]
  • DRAMA

  • The Innocent (1995). With Anthony Hopkins, Isabella Rossellini and Campbell Scott. The New York Times: "You can trust Ian McEwan, who wrote the screenplay from his 1990 novel, to turn this fraught political situation into a dark, paranoid love story. And you can count on the director John Schlesinger to bring it to life with a commanding sense of its increasingly complex elements. What begins as a low-key tale of espionage, with allies spying on each other and everybody's motives in doubt, becomes a tense and suspenseful love story with Hitchcockian overtones." [Rent]

  • I've Heard The Mermaids Singing (1987). Writer-director Patricia Rozema "uses a seemingly simple style to make some quiet and deep observations," wrote Roger Ebert. [Rent]

  • A Huey P. Newton Story (2003). Spike Lee whips up a few bluescreen effects and doc footage to enhance this one-man stage performance, but the real complexity is in Roger Guenveur Smith's portrayal of the complex revolutionary. Writes Film Threat: "Confident in his intelligence and with a talent for poetry, he's prone to hyperbole and out and out BS, overusing and misusing terms like 'existentialism,' trying to impress, flatter or frighten his audience into loving him, then lapsing into strange, funny digressions on race, politics, philosophy, Shakespeare, mythology and - most of all - music." [Rent]

  • Daddy and Them (2001). Though it's the third to be released, this is Billy Bob Thornton's directorial debut. [Rent]

  • Sleep With Me (1994). Eric Stoltz in an ensemble indie sleeper? How unusual. This one features Tarantino's famous riff on the latent homosexuality in Top Gun. [Rent]

  • Stanley and Iris (1990). Martin Ritt directs Robert De Niro and Jane Fonda. [Rent]

  • Just Between Friends (1986). Mary Tyler Moore and Christine Lahti are the friends. [Rent]

  • Moondance (1995). Two brothers are happily going about their lives in the gorgeous Irish countryside when along comes a woman from Germany to steal both their hearts. [Rent]

  • Talk of Angels (1998). Spain in the 1930s. Republicans vs Fascists. Europe on the brink of war. Not an ideal time to fall in love. [Rent]

  • Torrents of Spring (1990). [Rent]
  • CLASSICS

  • It Should Happen To You (1954). This delightful George Cukor comedy pairs Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon (in his first feature film). "Like Holliday herself, the film is brassy but softhearted," writes Dave Kehr. [Rent]

  • Superfly (1972). In 1971, Gordon Parks electrified urban cinemas with Shaft. The very next year, his son, Gordon Parks, Jr picked up the formula and upped the cool factor. "A film like this makes you feel cool to be a human," enthuses Harry Knowles. [Rent]
  • Click on to see more January 13, 2004 New Releases: Horror, Comedy, TV, Anime, Bollywood and more...

    Back to the New Releases Archive.

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