Neither a chain of spice stores nor a Food Network program, The Seasoning House is a bleak-as-nuclear-winter thriller set during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. A deaf girl named Angel (Brit teen Rosie Day) is taken from her home by soldiers who shoot her mother dead.
Paul Schrader’s The Canyons opens and closes with a montage of abandoned movie theaters. For this film in particular, that choice strikes one as symbolic in several ways: not only as a comment on the state of the industry, but on the state of The Canyons itself. You’re unlikely to find many 2013 films this empty.
What's a director of classic musicals doing in science fiction? Making Saturn 3, one of the worst of the genre Hollywood made in the immediate post-Star Wars / Alien era. Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) takes to it about as well as you'd expect; he's in over his head.
Military marksman Col. Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines, Running Scared) is called into top-secret duty to neutralize a surveillance robot gone haywire in San Francisco. It won't be easy, because for one thing, the android is undetectable from a human. For another, it has a built-in nuclear bomb that will detonate upon imminent threat.
I plead guilty: My friends and I have goofed around with a camcorder before and made stupid movies, but we were smart enough to know that no one outside ourselves would think they were funny. If only the makers of Caesar and Otto's Deadly Xmas realized the same.
Earlier this week, a Congressional inquiry released a report on the 2008 financial crisis, calling it “avoidable” and pointing blame at several causes.
One could read its 576 pages in an attempt to understand it all, but director Charles Ferguson (“No End in Sight”) does the same thing — and certainly a better job of it — in 108 minutes, in the documentary “Inside Job.”
Nominated Tuesday for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, the film has returned to the metro for an exclusive run at Cinemark Tinseltown.
The doc begins with an ominous title card: “The global economic crisis of 2008 cost tens of millions of people their savings, their jobs, and their homes. This is how it happened.” And damned if Ferguson doesn’t lay it all out, top to bottom, in a manner both engrossing and easy to follow, as long as you’re paying attention. (To help with that, actor Matt Damon narrates.)
With impressively thorough research, Ferguson names names and pulls no punches, putting some of the conspirators on the hot seat. He interviews economists, lobbyists, CEOs, Congressmen, traders, financial advisers, professors and even Wall Street’s favorite prostitution ringleader.
As one interviewee puts it, “Banking became a pissing contest,” with its various Type A personalities putting their personal gain over the greater good of not just the country, but the globe. Hey, rich guys need their boats and hoes.
“Inside Job” will make your head spin, your fists clench, your blood boil. This is a film everyone should see, so that the crisis cannot happen again. Sad thing is, as the doc shows, those responsible know not accountability. —Rod Lott