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Bottle Shock (2008)
Based on a true story of love, victory, and fermentation
Filmmaker(s): Randall Miller

Paris-based wine expert Steven Spurrier heads to California in search of cheap wine that he can use for a blind taste test in the French capital. Stumbling upon the Napa Valley, the stuck-up Englishman is shocked to discover a winery turning out top-notch chardonnay. Determined to make a name for himself, he sets about getting the booze back to Paris.

Jostled Beware of these sorts of things. Something happens that when it happens around you, it seems pretty interesting. When someone thinks “they should make a movie out of this” usually they are wrong. The supposedly interesting thing here is that a California wine won a French...

Published April 2, 2024
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Boarding Gate (2007)
She's losing control again.
Filmmaker(s): Olivier Assayas

A sordid and complex series of events unfolds when an ex-prostitute becomes involved with a couple in Hong Kong.

Asia’s Tectonics Two things are interesting about the film. The first and most discussed is the actress, Asia Argento. She and Beatrice Dalle are similar I think. They both have the quality of fearless commitment - like Emily Watson in "Breaking the Waves" and never afterward. They...

Published February 1, 2024
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2012 (2009)
We Were Warned.
Filmmaker(s): Roland Emmerich

Dr. Adrian Helmsley, part of a worldwide geophysical team investigating the effect on the earth of radiation from unprecedented solar storms, learns that the earth's core is heating up. He warns U.S. President Thomas Wilson that the crust of the earth is becoming unstable and that without proper preparations for saving a fraction of the world's population, the entire race is doomed. Meanwhile, writer Jackson Curtis stumbles on the same information. While the world's leaders race to build "arks" to escape the impending cataclysm, Curtis struggles to find a way to save his family. Meanwhile, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes of unprecedented strength wreak havoc around the world.

Foreground - Background When you make a film that is nothing but flavoured special effects, when you make the matter of those effects into a character, you have two decisions to make. The first is whether you are dealing with object or environment. This is a fairly...

Published January 22, 2024
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Blindness (2008)
Your vision of the world will change forever.
Filmmaker(s): Fernando Meirelles

When a sudden plague of blindness devastates a city, a small group of the afflicted band together to triumphantly overcome the horrific conditions of their imposed quarantine.

Tosca Sometimes I wonder. At times, it seems that we all have some shared cinematic values — that some art can reach us all. Sure, we usually sacrifice depth in the process, but that's a small enough occasional price for the joy of laughing with a...

Published January 20, 2024
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JCVD (2008)
The Biggest Fight of His Life!
Filmmaker(s): Mabrouk El Mechri

Between his tax problems and his legal battle with his wife for the custody of his daughter, these are hard times for the action movie star who finds that even Steven Seagal has pinched a role from him! This fictionalized version of Jean-Claude Van Damme returns to the country of his birth to seek the peace and tranquility he can no longer enjoy in the United States, but inadvertently gets involved in a bank robbery with hostages.

Hostages Divided Some friends recommended this because of the enfolded reality and story. Jean Claude, an actor in the film, plays himself as an actor between films who gets entangled in a “Dog Day Afternoon” movie-like robbery. If there was charm in this construction, it would have...

Published January 19, 2024
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Private Gold 93: The Sexual Adventures of Little Red (2007 Video)
Filmmaker(s): Moire Candy

This is pure Hollywood! A sizzling and cum-filled urban remake of the classic fairy tale. Silvia Saint leads the cast of eight other girls into a red hot anal sex marathon. With a lesbian foursome, two trios (b/b/g), two duos and a foursome that will have you saying "Oh Red what a big mouth you've got to swallow down my big, swollen cock!"

Ladies Fair Orient, Rosy Blooms Appear A couple years ago, I criticised this team. Today I applaud them. I am studying "folding," various techniques for putting the viewer into the narrative. We have good science that indicates mirror neurons work intensely with porn and food movies. That...

Published October 3, 2023
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Aladdin (1992)
Imagine if you had three wishes, three hopes, three dreams and they all could come true.
Filmmaker(s): Ron Clements, John Musker

Princess Jasmine grows tired of being forced to remain in the palace, so she sneaks out into the marketplace, in disguise, where she meets street urchin Aladdin. The couple falls in love, although Jasmine may only marry a prince. After being thrown in jail, Aladdin becomes embroiled in a plot to find a mysterious lamp, with which the evil Jafar hopes to rule the land.

Sweet Arabian Skins This, to my mind, is a terrific concoction. It has no story to speak of. Oh, there's some motion and noise but they are only there to give us something to look at while the three main notions unfurl, all of which are...

Published May 21, 2023
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Ballerina (2006)
An intimate portrait of five ballerinas from the Kirov.
Filmmaker(s): Bertrand Normand

Ballerina is a 2006 documentary film that follows the training sessions, rehearsals, and everyday lives of five Russian ballerinas at different stages in their career.

Control There are no films like dance films. Dance is one of the few things that is inherently cinematic, especially when the camera moves, perhaps with energy. Ballet on the other hand is not friendly to film, at least the classical Russian model. The choreography is designed...

Published May 16, 2023
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Ayurveda – Art of Being (2001)
Filmmaker(s): Pan Nalin

Ayurveda is a science of life and a healing art, where body, mind and spirit are given equal importance. This voyage of thousands of miles across India and abroad takes you on a unique poetic journey, where we encounter remarkable men of medicine or simply a villager who lives in harmony with nature. "Hope is nature's way of enabling us to survive so that we can discover nature itself."

Cinematic Cosmologies I suppose there are an infinite number of coherent structures that pockets of people have invented to explain the world to themselves. All of these will be of deep sophistication. All will be constrained by the hard wiring in the human mind and what...

Published May 16, 2023
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Avatar (2009)
Enter the world of Pandora.
Filmmaker(s): James Cameron

In the 22nd century, a paraplegic Marine is dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission, but becomes torn between following orders and protecting an alien civilization.

Pocahontas of the Southern Hemisphere This comment is on the IMAX 3d version. There aren’t many stories, are there? There are not many good storytellers either. Nor, it turns out, many filmmakers who can make even moderately big movies with a single governing imagination. That is the...

Published May 16, 2023
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