Tag Archives: arts

Bartleby Abroad: Giant Pig takes a ‘Chaw’ out of Korea

26 Jan

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Chaw (NR) Running Time: 121 min. Directed by: Jeong-Won Shin Starring: Tae-Woong Eom, Yoon Jae-Moon, Yu-mi Jeong, Earl Wayne Ording  Cinematography: Barry Stone

3 marias

Before launching into Jeong-Won Shin’s B-movie bonanza Chaw, I believe a word of caution is in order. For those expecting a schlocky horror film like Razorback or possibly a suspenseful creature feature  like The Host, temper your expectations now. And for anyone who only observes star ratings, you might want to really read the review before deciding on this one.

Because, on the level, Chaw is an amazingly buffoonish piece of work. Continue reading

Top 25 Animated Movies of the Decade: Part 2

10 Dec

December 10th, 2009–

Ok, here we go. The top ten animated films of the last decade. There’s not much to say here that I didn’t mention in the first installment of this article. Honestly, this was such a great 10 years for animation in general, that even limiting the choices and ranking them has been a fool’s errand. But, I guess I’m that fool and the following represent what I think are the finest accomplishments of the form. Each and every one of these could be competing for number 1. Here goes… Continue reading

10 more top war films from Xiphos

9 Nov

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November 9th, 2009–

A month or so ago, I posted Xiphos’ list of his top ten modern American war films from the perspective of a military man and someone personally interested in the history of warfare. Now, Xiphos is back with a follow-up list highlighting war films that are both international and from previous eras. We don’t get any Spartans, but there’s plenty of great films in the list below, both ones you have seen and others you probably haven’t. If I was pressed to give an opinion, I’d say Lawrence should perhaps be higher and that all three of the Australian films mentioned (including Morant, which is more of a courtroom drama) are top-shelf and absolutely worth seeing. Great work, Xi! Thanks again.

Take it away… Continue reading

The Mobbies Draw to A Close! Last Chance to Vote for Cinematropolis!

8 Oct

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Oct 8th, 2009–

And so it draws to a close, the epic struggle. Ok, so maybe not so epic, and not so struggly-like. Either way, the Baltimore Sun’s contest for The Mobbies–Maryland’s Outstanding Blogs–ends tomorrow and it’s the last opportunity to vote for them.  A few weeks ago Cinematropolis was nominated in both the categories of Pop Culture and Misfits(a sort of miscellaneous category) and up for consideration of Overall Best Blog. Voters could cast their votes once a day in all three categories until the end of the contest. Continue reading

Cinema Bites #2: The Tell-Tale Heart

7 Oct

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Oct 7th, 2009–

Today is the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death  and what kind of Baltimorean would I be if I didn’t give the man credit? Well, I was hoping–prior to my illness here–to do something a bit more in-depth. I may yet. But for now, check out this short film that really does phenomenal job of bringing to life one of Poe’s finest short stories: The Tell Tale Heart.

All these years later, and this animation is still  haunting. The narration by the always great James Mason is perfect and can nearly drive you mad just by listening to it. This is easily one of my all time favorite short films and it’s based off of a classic story by one of the greatest authors to ever pick up the pen. Enjoy!

AMAD-Horror Edition: Dark Country

1 Oct

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October 1st,2009–

Wow. October’s already here! From this point forward I’m gonna set a genre for AMAD and stick to it for the entire month. This time, it will be horror films–surprise, surprise!–and every day from here to October 31st I’ll be highlighting a different one, preferably something I haven’t seen before. Below, I’ll throw up the lineup for the next five days so you can keep track. So, let’s get started today with the Thomas Jane directed thriller Dark Country that mixes 3/4 noir with 1/4 Twilight Zone and produces an interesting modern riff on the ‘killer on the deserted highway’ motif.

cinemagrade b-I have alot of respect for Thomas Jane as an actor. He’s consistently taking roles and projects that aren’t a ‘sure’ thing and even if they don’t always pan out (Mutant Chronicles) he gets the credit for mixing it up and taking risks. He’s also quite talented and more than capable of elevating a movie with his performance. He’s easily the best thing about The Punisher 2004 and hits all the right notes in The Mist. He also seems relatively grounded and in-touch with his work and his fanbase. Jane and David Arquette brought the entertaining and silly The Tripper to The Senator Theater’ in ’07 and had alot of fun screening it for the audience that showed.  You can see from the clip below that they really got into the event and were not concerned with  holding themselves at a distance from the audience. Top that all off with the fact he’s a native son of Baltimore. Continue reading

AMAD:The Silence of Lorna

28 Sep

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September 26th,2009–

cinemagrade A-I love the work of the Dardenne brothers. The Belgian siblings responsible for films like The Son, The Child and Rosetta specialize in quiet, close-quarters observations of human behavior. While their pictures can occasionally be  slow and methodical, they are full of rich characterization and a stark sense of reality that drive home the moral implications of the narrative. They are not often easy films to watch, as much for the pacing as for the less than savory choices made by the characters central to the story.  The Silence of Lorna  follows these same guidelines but ventures from the path by expanding beyond the claustrophobic camera work and micrcosmal drams to present a compelling portrait of a woman struggling with the consequences of her actions. Continue reading