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The Secret Life of Words (2005)
Filmmaker(s): Isabel Coixet

A touching story of a deaf girl who is sent to an oil rig to take care of a man who has been blinded in a terrible accident. The girl has a special ability to communicate with the men on board and especially with her patient as they share intimate moments together that will change their lives forever.

Blind Spots, Clarity This is what Cassavedes thinks of as simple and direct theatre, a pipeline to emotions. The idea is to simplify, presumably to purify. We have a remote oil rig with two full characters and a handful of surrounding beings. Our man (played by Tim...

Published February 16, 2024
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Noriko’s Dinner Table (2005)
The family that eats together stays together.
Filmmaker(s): Sion Sono

A teenager named Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Toyokawa, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, She becomes involved with Kumiko's family circle, which grows darker after the mass suicide of 54 high school girls.

The Magical Inbetweens Magical spaces in Hispanically influenced films are easy to locate. We as viewers find it easy to place ourselves there it seems natural. Only Medem challenges. There are three similarly structured magical traditions in modern Japanese films, and I find them tantalising, sometimes difficult,...

Published February 10, 2024
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L’iceberg (2005)

Fiona is the manager of a fast-food restaurant. She lives comfortably with her family in the suburbs. In other words, Fiona is happy... until one day she accidentally gets locked into a walk-in fridge. She escapes the next morning, half frozen and barely alive, only to realize that her husband and two children didn't even notice she was missing. But when Fiona develops an obsession for everything cold and icy: snow, polar bears, fridges, icebergs--she drops everything, climbs into a frozen goods delivery truck and leaves home. For a real iceberg.

Purity I’ve seen one other project from this couple, ‘Rumba.‘ I liked it, but this one seems so much better, less cute and choreographed. All storytelling is about abstraction. Sometimes that can be done in ways that by agreement, we see as invisible. We think of the...

Published February 9, 2024
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Dirty Love (2005)
got dumped?
Filmmaker(s): John Asher

The klutzy yet stunning Rebecca Sommers walks in on her hunky boyfriend in bed with another woman. They break up and Rebecca starts to fall apart, but, with the help of her close girlfriends, she begins to date again. Unfortunately, the men she meets all happen to be crazy. John, her dorky guy friend, tries to express his secret love for Rebecca, but she's too busy to notice as she tries to come to terms with her breakup.

Ventriloquism for Dummies What an entertaining movie! I share the critical consensus, that it is poorly made and a failure in all its intended dimensions. But I watch movies a different way, and that allows me to get a lot out of it. In this case, it...

Published February 9, 2024
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Stealth (2005)
Fear The Sky
Filmmaker(s): Rob Cohen

Deeply ensconced in a top-secret military program, three pilots struggle to bring an artificial intelligence program under control ... before it initiates the next world war.

One of the Guys An interesting way to see this box office failure is to consider the role of the US Navy rather than that of Hollywood. The film industry makes these sort of stupid and expensive mistakes routinely. The military has less room for tolerance,...

Published February 9, 2024
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Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005)
Turn Off The Light And See What Happens.
Filmmaker(s): Mary Lambert

On a prom-night dare, a trio of high school friends chant an incantation, unleashing an evil spirit from the past with deadly consequences.

Locked in a Box These days the game in horror is a horrible business. Pity the poor filmmaker: she has to have enough formula to give the viewer something to rely on. After all, in a horror film, most of the work is done by the...

Published January 24, 2024
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Bloodrayne (2005)
Revenge never tasted so sweet.
Filmmaker(s): Uwe Boll

In 18th-century Romania, after spending much of her life in a traveling circus, human-vampire hybrid Rayne escapes and plots to take down her father, Kagan, the evil vampire king. When she's discovered by three vampire hunters, she manages to convince them to spare her life and join her cause. But slaying a vampire as powerful as Kagan will be no easy task.

The Vamp Within Yes, I know this stinks like a Belgian elevator. Bad movies are sometimes worth it. I came to this for three reasons. One was that I am on a circus kick and I heard this story begins at a circus. Its often the case...

Published January 22, 2024
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Bleak House (2005)

The generous John Jarndyce, struggling with his own past, and his two young wards Richard and Ada, are all caught up, like Lady Dedlock, in the infamous case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce, which will make one of them rich beyond imagination if it can ever be brought to a conclusion. As Tulkinghorn digs deeper into Lady Dedlock's past, he unearths a secret that will change their lives forever, and which is almost as astounding as the final outcome of the Jarndyce case.

Television as the Grinder Dickens is a marvel. You have to understand what he did to understand why this adaptation doesn't work. His writing was quite different than anything before. Others built worlds within which things happened. Characters were part of that machine. With Dickens, he...

Published January 20, 2024
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Into the West (2005)
Filmmaker(s): Omar Naim

The lives of two families, one white American, one native American, become mingled through the momentous events of American expansion, between 1825 and 1890.

Not Reinvented I’m constantly amazed. No matter how repetitive and unimaginative mainstream movies get, TeeVee always is worse, much worse. The western has been reinvented and “made honest” so many times there’s no way one can find its centre any more. So you have two choices, either...

Published January 19, 2024
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The New World (2005)
Once discovered, it was changed forever.
Filmmaker(s): Terrence Malick

A drama about explorer John Smith and the clash between Native Americans and English settlers in the 17th century.

Matoaka's Miranda (This comment was deleted by IMDb based on an abuse report filed by another user, because of some perceived religious slight.) Malick's method is to frame films as remembrances. Remembrances of romantic notions, whether freedom, peace, war or love (as his four films trace)....

Published August 6, 2023
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