Daily Archives: June 17, 2005

Land Of The Dead

After a 20-year hiatus, George A. Romero resumes his quasi-satiric horror series about the flesh-eating living dead. Land of the Dead, his fourth entry, turns out to be his most conventional as an action thrillerthough it’s every bit as gory as the others and more clearly class conscious. By now the subproletarian zombies have taken over everything except a gated city run by scheming villain Dennis Hopper (surprisingly cliched here); spurred on by a leader of sorts (Eugene Clark), a former filling-station attendant, they’re beginning to think a little as they attack. This being contemporary, the reprisals are military. With Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Asia Argento, and Robert Joy. R, 93 min. (JR)… Read more »

The Deal

For those who haven’t yet awoken to the possibility that our government and economy might be controlled by crooks, this political thriller about the oil industry, set in the near future, may provide a bracing wake-up call. But nobody will be surprised by its CEO, executive, and Russian Mafia types, its idealistic heroine (Selma Blair), its semi-idealistic hero (Christian Slater), or the mechanical crosscutting that eventually overtakes all the other cliches. If you don’t mind the telegraphed punches of Ruth Epstein’s script and Harvey Kahn’s direction, this should carry you along. With Robert Loggia, Colm Feore, John Heard, Angie Harmon, and Kevin Tighe. R, 107 min. (JR)… Read more »

Fear and Trembling

This fascinating oddity from Alain Corneau (Tous les matins du monde) adapts Amelie Nothomb’s autobiographical novel about the office life of a young Belgian (Sylvie Testud) working for a huge corporation in Tokyo. Though she’s spent her childhood in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese, a string of cultural blunders leads to one humiliating demotion after another. Testud took a two-month crash course in the language to play this part, and though the notations on cultural difference are far richer and subtler than anything in Lost in Translation, I can’t help but wonder what Japanese viewers might think of this film’s blistering critique of some of their hierarchies and protocol. The unconventional take on power and freedom, enriched by a deft use of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, remains that of an outsider. In Japanese and French with subtitles. 102 min. Music Box.… Read more »