Culture » Film



The Eclipse (R)

Magnolia Home Entertainment

Is The Eclipse a horror movie? A romance? A drama about loss? It can't seem to make up its mind, but because it's such a moving, subtle, low-key affair, the indecisiveness works. Ciaran Hinds is a lonely, widowed single father who's seeing his father-in-law — who's still alive, but confined to a nursing home — walking through his house. These sightings coincide with the arrival of a literary festival where he meets Iben Hjejle, a writer of ghost stories. He's hungry for her insight on his visions, but she's distracted by Aidan Quinn, in a hilariously over-the-top performance as a womanizing, pretentious and usually drunk bestselling American writer. The scares are few and far between, but they will make you jump. Ambiguous ending aside, The Eclipse is a worthwhile entertainment investment, one of the year's more mature releases. — Louis Fowler


The Greatest (R)

NationalEntertainment Media

A teenage boy is killed in a terrible accident, just as he's about to graduate high school and start living his own life. And in the wake of his death comes a girlfriend his family didn't know existed ... and she's pregnant. First-time writer-director Shana Feste has made a wise, insightful movie about family, grief and how awful and how wonderful it is to discover that life goes on after someone you love dies. An Education's Carey Mulligan as pregnant Rose absolutely steals the film, with her sweet-faced, cerebral presence, and that's quite something: Her co-stars are Susan Sarandon, as Grace, the mother of her dead lover, Bennett (Kick-Ass' Aaron Johnson, in flashbacks), and the grandmother of her child; and Pierce Brosnan as Grace's husband, Allen. Hopeful and heartbreaking, this lovely film offers a rush of genuine cinematic emotion that is rare ... and most welcome. — MaryAnn Johanson


The Warlords (R) (Blu-ray)

Magnolia HomeEntertainment

Hot on the heels of the epic Red Cliff, here's another stellar period-actioner from China. In the 1860s, a subdued Jet Li is the lone survivor of a brutal massacre at the hands of the Ho army. He makes his way to an encampment where he becomes blood brothers with the camp's leaders. Over the years, the trio lead their army into endless battles, becoming completely embroiled in political backstabbing and personal arguments. There's lots of great, bloody action scenes, but even those take a backseat to the real conceit of the movie: This is a total bromance flick. It's a manly exploration of the interpersonal bonds that warriors can form, a study of how far brotherly love can go, and the limits of loyalty. There's a reason why it won "Best Film" in the Chinese equivalent of the Oscars. My only complaint? This is the edited "international version." Would've loved to have seen it uncut! — Louis Fowler

Don't You Forget About Me (R)

Phase 4 Films

I know this will probably get my cinephile card revoked, but, with the exception of Weird Science, I've never really liked John Hughes movies. As a matter of fact, I'm of the school that thinks Hughes kinda ruined '80s teen films by replacing gratuitous T&A with sullen proto-emo pathos. I really wanted Don't You Forget About Me to prove me wrong, but, once again, the documentarians intrude and make the movie about themselves. While insights from Hughes cast members and influenced filmmakers are welcome, three-fourths of the movie is dedicated to following around the imbecilic, drooling filmmakers who take every opportunity to talk about their feelings, like a 10th-rate Breakfast Club. These guys are so embarrassing, they make Twilight fans look well-adjusted. If there's anything I won't forget, it's that I'm still right in my original assessment of Hughes. — Louis Fowler

The Crazies (R) (Blu-Ray)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

A slick remake of the 1973 George Romero Night of the Living Dead-retread, The Crazies, improves upon the original by leaps and bounds, much in the way the Dawn of the Dead remake did a few years back. (In fact, both open with a song from Johnny Cash.) Likable Timothy Olyphant is a small-town sheriff who's starting to notice that the town's residents are acting weird. How weird? They're wandering onto Little League fields with shotguns, or setting their wives and kids on fire. Turns out a biological weapon has gotten into the water supply, making the townsfolk into violent nutcases, and the Army moves in with an ultimate containment plan. Plenty of small-screen scares abound, as well as a genuinely creepy sequence in a car wash. The Crazies is a lot of fun but, in this era of well-deserved government distrust, will probably prove to be prophetic. — Louis Fowler

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