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Blogs GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) (****)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 3:10pm

How dare I even think of giving GONE WITH THE WIND anything less than four stars, you may ask. Well, I’ll tell you in just a bit.

First let’s get the plot description out of the way. Scarlett O’Hara (Vivian Leigh, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE) is the beauty of her town and the desire of many of the men. She is in love with Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard, PYGMALION), but he is engaged to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD). (I guess because that’s what Southerners do.) Scarlett is furious and that’s when the roguish Rhett Butler (Clark Gable, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT) walks into her life and they begin their love hate relationship. This story is set in front of the tragedy of the Civil War and reconstruction.

Blogs FIVE DEADLY VENOMS (1978) (***1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 2:46pm

This is a classic kung fu flick that engages, despite its cheesy acting. It's an iconic example of many of the elements that exemplify the best of kung fu flicks. You get signature moves, training sequences, bloody battles and some supernatural skills. But underneath all the conventions is a surprisingly compelling story, which the viewer quickly gets wrapped up in.

Yang Tieh (Sheng Chiang, KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM) is the last student of the Five Deadly Venom’s master. He is sent out to locate the master’s former students and recover a treasure, which they might steal. The kung fu masters never knew each other because they trained wearing masks. #1 – Centipede (Feng Lu, DAREDEVILS), #2 – Snake (Pai Wei, INVINCIBLE SHAOLIN), #3 - Scorpion (Chien Sun, DESTORYERS), #4 – Lizard (Philip Kwok, THE STORY OF RICKY) and #5 – Toad (Meng Lo, HARD-BOILED) are the students.

Blogs THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (2001) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 2:41pm

Set in Spain during the revolution, the story takes place at an orphanage in a desert area whether leftists bring their children to keep them save. However, some of the children have lost their parents yet do not know. Carlos (Fernando Tielve, THE SHANGHAI SPELL) is brought to orphanage and does not know that his father is dead.

The orphanage is run by the passive doctor Casares (Federico Luppi, MEN WITH GUNS) and the crippled teacher Carmen (Marisa Paredes, TALK TO HER). Carlos quickly learns the ropes of the place from the students, especially Jamie (Inigo Garces, MY FIRST NIGHT), who we know is involved in the death of Santi (Junio Valverde, HIDDEN HANDS), who is now a ghost who haunts the school. But more frightening than the ghost is Jacinto (Eduardo Noriega, OPEN YOUR EYES), a former student at the orphanage who has become the janitor. He is set to marry the beautiful maid Conchita (Irene Visedo, APRIL AND JULES), but sleeps with Carmen in an effort to steal the gold that is hidden in the school for the rebels.

Blogs DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) (****)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 2:22pm

Hands down the DEAD series is the best horror franchise in the history of cinema. You'd have to go back to the original FRANKENSTEIN to find any real competition. Director George A. Romero takes the genre establishing conventions of his classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and expands on it. While there is definitely gallons of gore to be found here, Romero uses it with purpose, creating a horrifying world where there is more ways than one to become a mindless zombie.

In the beginning, we meet TV producer Francine Parker (Gaylen Ross, CREEPSHOW) as she is dealing with an out-of-control studio in a panic over an epidemic sized invasion of zombies. Her boyfriend Stephen Andrews (David Emge, BASKET CASE 2), a helicopter pilot, advises her that they need to get out of the city as soon as possible. Then we meet cops Roger DeMarco (Scott H. Reiniger, 2004's DAWN OF THE DEAD) and Peter Washington (Ken Foree, THE DENTIST), who have been sent into the ghetto to deal with the zombie problem. The four characters flee together, finding refuge at an abandoned shopping mall.

Blogs DAGON (2002) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 1:34pm

Director Stuart Gordon is best known for the RE-ANIMATOR, a zombie like flick that played for laughs as much as for scares. This film, which is based on two H.P. Lovecraft short stories, follows Paul (Ezra Godden, TV’s BAND OF BROTHERS), his girlfriend Barbara (Raquel Meroño, THE MARK) and friends Vicki (Birgit Bofarull, SECOND NAME) and Howard (Brendan Price, THE NAMELESS) as they sail off the coast of Spain.

A violent storm quickly kicks up and their boat crashes against the rocks. Vicki is injured and Paul and Barbara head into shore to get help. They quickly discover that the town in inhabited by fish-like mutants. In Paul’s attempts to escape, he meets Ezequiel (Francisco Rabal, SORCERER), the town drunk and only surviving human, and Uxía (Macarena Gómez, PLATILLOS VOLANTES), a young woman who Paul dreamt about as a mermaid.

Blogs CALL NORTHSIDE 777 (1948) (***1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 1:10pm

Miscarriage of justice stories are a dime a dozen. Director Henry Hathaway (KISS OF DEATH) was a stock noir director, but moved onto this "true life" docudrama when the sub-genre became popular in the 1940s following the release of Elia Kazan's BOOMERANG. This one, however, is one of the best in part due to a solid screenplay and its star Jimmy Stewart.

P.J. McNeal (James Stewart, VERTIGO) is a Chicago newspaperman assigned to look into an old cop killing. Frank Wiecek (Richard Conte, THE GODFATHER) was convicted of the crime mainly based on eye-witness testimony. His mother, Tillie (Kasia Orzazewski, QUEEN FOR A DAY), has been scrubbing floors for the past 11 years to save up reward money to find new information that can free her son. It was her notice of a $5,000 reward in the paper that initially piques the interest of McNeal's curious and cantankerous editor Brian Kelly (Lee J. Cobb, 12 ANGRY MEN).

Blogs BOXCAR BERTHA (1972) (***1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 12:52pm

In 1967, BONNIE & CLYDE changed cinema. Like mainstream Hollywood, the B-movie business also likes to copy hits. BOXCAR BERTHA’s similarities to BONNIE & CLYDE are obvious. Infamous B-movie master Roger Corman produced this film on a shoestring budget. But for film fans, Corman is best known for launching the careers of young actors and directors. This was Martin Scorsese’s (GOODFELLAS) second feature directing job.

Bertha Thompson (Barbara Hershey, LANTANA) is a poor farm girl, who finds herself without a father and without means to an income during the Great Depression. She falls for Union leader “Big” Bill Shelly (David Carradine, KILL BILL: VOL. 2), but they get separated and she ends up with two-bit gambler Rake Brown (Barry Primus, NEW YORK, NEW YORK). After a Union bust, Shelly ends up in prison with the Thompson family’s former black farm hand Von Morton (Bernie Casey, UNDER SIEGE). Through circumstance, Bertha, Bill, Rake and Von end up falling into a life of crime.

Blogs IN & OUT (1997) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 12:26pm

This is a funny movie. A little over-the-top (but what do you expect from a film about a guy who doesn't know he's gay) and on-the-nose at times, but pretty consistently chuckle inducing. It has a madcap charm that strains credibility at times, but it never reaches too far for its many laughs.

Howard Brackett (Kevin Kline, DE-LOVELY) is a well-liked high school English teacher who is about to marry fellow teacher Emily Montgomery (Joan Cusack, SCHOOL OF ROCK). They sit down to watch the Oscars because one of their former students Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon, THE OUTSIDERS) has been nominated for playing a gay soldier. During Drake’s acceptance speech, the actor thanks Brackett for inspiring his performance because the teacher is gay. This is a huge surprise to the small town, but more so to Howard, whose wedding and job are put in jeopardy. In response, Howard does everything in his power to dispel the notion that he is a homosexual.

Blogs THE APPLE (1980) (BOMB)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 12:22pm

Think ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW as a maudlin message film and you’ll get an idea of the joys of THE APPLE. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film so bad and loved every minute of it. This film pretty much fails on all levels.

The film starts with a big rock competition where Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart, THE LAST STARFIGHTER) and Alphie (George Gilmour, only film performance) win over the hostile audience with a cheesy love ballad until the evil record producer/government dictator Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal, RED DAWN) tells his crony Shake (Ray Shell, VELVET GOLDMINE) to disrupt the performance. After losing the competition, Bibi and Alphie are invited to Mr. Boogalow’s party of sex and drugs where he uses his stars Pandi (Grace Kennedy, only film performance) and Dandi (Alan Love, GREGORY’S GIRL) to seduce them into signing record contracts with his BIM records. Bibi signs, but Alphie is scared away when he has demonic visions.

Blogs $ (DOLLARS) (1971) (***1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 12:15pm

This 1971 crime caper comedy was a real treat even though it unravels a bit at the end. Joe Collins (Warren Beatty, REDS) is a security expert for a German bank run by Mr. Kessel (Gert Frobe, GOLDFINGER). Collins is working an inside job with an ex-American showgirl, current German prostitute named Dawn Divine (Goldie Hawn, SUGARLAND EXPRESS). Dawn has clients who are working illegal jobs and have been putting money in the German bank where Collins works.

The film chronicles the set-up of the crime and shows how it plays out. Collins and Divine target criminals because they won’t go to the cops. However, when the criminals find out, Collins and Divine are on a race for their lives.

Blogs AILEEN WUORNOS: THE SELLING OF A SERIAL KILLER (1992) (***1/2)

Serial killers intrigue me very much. It's something about the dark side of human nature that seems unimaginable. This film was documentary director Nick Broomfield's first film on serial killer Aileen Wuornos (the second used footage from this film and was released in 2003 to coincide with the release of MONSTER). The title of the film is perfect. Sadly enough, it seems that a good deal of the people in Aileen's life tried to capitalize on her crimes.

This doc works as a sad postscript to the feature film MONSTER, which was one of the best films of 2003. Wuornos killed seven men, mainly truck drivers, in the early '80s. She was a woman who pretty much got the roughest deal since birth. She was pretty much bred to become a killer. In a very emotional speech, Wuornos chronicles the beating and rape she endured from the first man she killed. She's truly the only person in the film that I thought was honest.

Blogs THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) (****)

From director Robert Wise (WEST SIDE STORY, SOUND OF MUSIC) comes arguably the most influential sci-fi film of all time. This 1951 classic seems to hearken in the dawn of smart science fiction. The influences it had on future films is undeniable. The design of the 8-foot robot Gort (Lock Martin, INVADERS FROM MARS) is borrowed in films like THE IRON GIANT, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and the upcoming SKY CAPTAIN. The atmospheric black-and-white photography and moralistic tale must have been a huge influence on THE TWILIGHT ZONE. ARMY OF DARKNESS uses EARTH's secret phrase "Klaatu verata niktu" as the phrase Bruce Campbell can't remember.

The story begins with a flying saucer racing to Earth at 4,000 mph, finally landing in Washington D.C. A tension grips the planet waiting for something to happen. Then we meet Klaatu (Michael Rennie, THE ROBE) who has come to Earth to give all its nations' leaders a message. The film makes an intriguing comment about human nature and our inhumanity to each other. There's a great sequence where Klaatu pretending to be a human named Mr. Carpenter is interviewed by a reporter about the aliens and because his answer isn't the scared and dramatic response the reporter is looking for, Klaatu is quickly sidestepped.

Blogs HELLBOY (2004) (***1/2)

When it comes to the best of comicbook movies, they are always the ones that deal with the heroes like humans. We get to know what it's like to be them. Hellboy (Ron Perlman, ENEMY AT THE GATES) is half-demon half-human, who is bright red, has a tail and files down his giant horns. To say he doesn't fit into the world would be an understatement.

He works for the top-secret paranormal division of the FBI, under his adoptive father Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm (John Hurt, THE ELEPHANT MAN). His fellow "freak" partner is Abe Sapien (Doug Jones, ADAPTATION), a super-intelligent psychic who is half-man half-fish. The third member of the team has recently left to try and create a normal life for herself. Her name is Liz "Sparky" Sherman. She is pyrokenetic and when she loses control of her firestarter powers you better watch out. Unlike Hellboy and Abe, she looks normal. Added to the mix is rookie FBI agent John Myers (Rupert Evans, TV's PARADISE HEIGHTS). This sets up a love triangle between Hellboy, Liz and Myers.

Blogs THE EYE (2003) (***)

This horror film is like a Chinese/Singapore SIXTH SENSE. Not that there is some big twist, but because the main character Mun (Angelica Lee, SUNSHINE COPS), after having a corneal transplant, starts seeing dead people.

Mun hasn't seen since she was two, so at first she can't tell the difference between real people and dead people. As her eyesight gets increasingly better, her dread, and that of the audience, begins to increase. There's a scene in an elevator that is truly frightening. The only person Mun has on her side is her handsome young psychiatrist Dr. Wah (Lawrence Chou, HEROES IN LOVE). A great surprise midway through the film leads Mun and Dr. Wah to search out more information about the corneal donor.

Blogs DUMMY (2003) (***)

This indie romantic comedy stars Oscar winner Adrien Brody (THE PIANIST) as a slow, shy 28-year-old man named Steven, who has finally decided to quit his job and follow his dream of becoming a ventriloquist. He begins to take the dummy everywhere he goes. Will following his dream allow him to open up or make him hide behind something new?

Steven lives at home with his unsupportive parents (Jessica Walter, SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS and Ron Liebman, NORMA RAE) and his wedding planner sister Heidi (Illeana Douglas, GHOST WORLD), who is trying to get over her psychotic ex-fiancée Michael (Jared Harris, HAPPINESS), who keeps stalking her. Steven's best friend is the wanna-be punk rock singer Fangora (Milla Jovovich, FIFTH ELEMENT). When he goes to the unemployment office to find work as a ventriloquist, Steven develops a crush on single mother, Lorena (Vera Farmiga, the new MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE). There relationship is bumpy, because she doesn't like dating two men — Steven and his dummy.

Blogs BUS 174 (2003) (***)

More and more documentaries are getting theatrical distribution in the States. It's the area of cinema that is most concerned with important cultural events. And the recent success of FAHRENHEIT 9/11 shows that if the topic is right; people will pay money to go see docs on the big screen.

BUS 174 is a film from Brazil, which chronicles Rio's most famous hostage situation. Sandro do Nascimento was cornered robbing a bus and ended up taking the passengers hostage. The film goes into depth about Sandro's life and what led to this incident. Sandro's mother was murdered before him when he was very young. He ran away from his aunt's house soon after and lived on the streets, which pushed him into the slippery world of drugs and robbery. The film, which uses amazing news footage of the crisis, pretty much proves that Sandro had no intention of hurting anyone on the bus; he just wanted to get away. After you see the scenes of Brazilian prisons you'll truly understand why.

Blogs 13 GOING ON 30 (2004) (***)

When I first saw the trailers for this film I groaned with the idea that Hollywood was going to the well again with the "kid in an adult body" flick. However, I was surprised to find this film having as much in common with BIG's premise as it does with IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

Jenna Rink (as an adult, Jennifer Garner, TV's ALIAS) is a 13-year-old girl who wants to be popular. Her best friend is a chubby boy who likes photography named Matt Flamhaff (as an adult, Mark Ruffalo, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME). For her birthday party, Jenna invites the popular crowd, lead by Lucy "Tom Tom" Wyman (as an adult, Judy Greer, THE VILLAGE) who really just wants Jenna to do her homework for her. An awkward moment between Jenna, Matt and Lucy leads to Jenna making a wish to be 30, which comes true. She wakes up and her 13-year-old self has been propelled into her 30-year-old life where she is the editor of her favorite fashion magazine and dating a hunky hockey player named Alex Carlson (Samuel Ball, PUMPKIN). Confused, Jenna seeks out Matt and finds out that she has not spoken to him since the infamous birthday party.

Blogs JU-ON: THE GRUDGE (2004) (***)

This film was the first theatrical release in the popular Japanese horror series and now it has come to theaters in the States (but a good indie video store may have an import to rent). Having seen the two preceding direct-to-videos in this series, I'm very aware of how this haunted house story came to be. This film recaps the murder that started the curse then jumps into how it continues.

Rika (Megumi Okina, ST. JOHN'S WORT) is a volunteer social worker, who is sent to the haunted house to check on an old woman (Chikako Isomura), who seems to be petrified with fear. Having seen the first two films in the series, I know what Rika is in for, but the film does a great job of creating its own dread. Once Rika is infected with the house's curse – the curse moves from person to person. As the film goes along, we learn more about the old woman's family and what happened to them inside the house. As the bodies pile up and others go insane, detective Toyama (Yoji Tanaka, TABOO), who has connections to the murders that started the curse, is assigned to investigate.

Blogs HERO (2004) (***1/2)

This film was released in 2002 in China and was nominated for the 2003 Academy award for best foreign film. It has since sat on the shelves at Miramax waiting for a theatrical release. If you like CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON or KILL BILL than you should love this film. If you love beautifully shot films that jump off the screen with vibrant color than you will fall in lust with this film.

Director Yimou Zhang is best known for his film RAISE THE RED LANTERN, which also had a wonderful use of color. HERO begins with a nameless warrior (Jet Li, THE ONE) traveling to meet the King of Qin (Daoming Chen, INFERNAL AFFAIRS III) after he has killed the top assassins Long Sky (Donnie Yen, BLADE II), Broken Sword (Tony Leung Chiu Wai, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE) and Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung, POLICE STORY). Aiding Broken Sword is his dutiful pupil Moon (Ziyi Zhang, SHANGHAI KNIGHTS).

Blogs DE-LOVELY (2004) (***)

This musical biography of Cole Porter is the first film that really deals with his bisexuality, which is good and bad at the same time. It's good because it is interesting to see a real life person from the '30s and '40s who was not ashamed about his sexuality. However, the film ends up dwelling on the struggle between Porter's homosexual urges and his love for his wife Linda (Ashley Judd, HEAT). Nonetheless, Kevin Kline (IN & OUT) leads a solid cast, which is lifted up past its problems on the wings of Porter wondrous songs.

The film has an ingenious structure having a dying Porter watching an otherworldly stage production of his life's story. Likewise, the film uses tons of Porter music as dramatic montages of the events in Porter's life. As the screenwriter Jay Cocks (THE AGE OF INNOCENCE) said at the screening I went to, "Porter said it better than I could." In many cases the Porter songs take on more complex meaning knowing they were probably not written solely about a woman. Porter was a worldly man who lived life for all its vices without an ounce of shame. This often made him come off as insensitive, though he never seems to have cruelty in his heart, or apologies on his lips. Cole and Linda had an arrangement, but it seems to be very one sided with Cole able to write emotional lyrics, but not understand them fully. In some way it seems he is in a desperate search of the ultimate love that he can only find in his songs.

Biopics are sometimes tough to make. Sometimes, they're just a highlight reel of the person's life. This film suffers from the opposite problem and seems stuck in first gear about Cole and Linda's relationship. This would be okay if the underlying themes were stronger like in the Iris Murdoch biopic, IRIS. Therefore, DE-LOVELY keeps an audience, which may not know much about Porter, in the dark about what made him so special in context to his place in history. One thing the film implies was that writing hit songs was no more difficult for him than signing his name.

The film is still enjoyable on a surface level. Kline and Judd are quite convincing in their roles and make you care about the characters. Then you get the music, which is the main reason to see this film. Big musical stars like Alanis Morissette, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole and Sheryl Crow all perform some of Porter's greatest tunes. I especially liked Morissette's rendition of "Let's Do It, Let's Fall In Love." In the end the film works as a tribute to Porter as a songwriter and an unashamed lover of life in general.


Blogs THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957) (****)

I love this film! This Swedish classic from Ingmar Bergman is a captivating journey into the time of the Black Plague. Most people will know this film from its human-looking version of Death (Bengt Ekerot, THE MAGICIAN), with his pale, hairless face and black hooded robes. He makes appearances in films like BILL & TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY and LAST ACTION HERO.

In this film, Death engages in a chess match with a soldier named Antonius Block (Max von Sydow, THE EXORCIST). Going into the film, I was expecting something very artsy and metaphorical. It is those things, but not at all in a pretentious way. The most surprising thing about the film is that it's often funny. Block and his squire Jons (Gunnar Bjornstrand, AUTUMN SONATA) are journeying back home after being involved in the Crusades for the past 10 years. Block is questioning his faith and Jons is convinced there is no God. They meet up with various people along their way — most notably an acting troupe led by Jof (Nils Poppe, THE ACTOR) along with his wife Mia (Bibi Andersson, PERSONA) and infant child Michael.

Blogs THE SIXTH SENSE (1999) (****)

M. Night Shyamalan became a name director with this film and hasn't looked back since. The film starts with psychiatrist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis, DIE HARD) and his wife Anna Crowe (Olivia Williams, PETER PAN) as they celebrate Malcolm winning an award for his work, which has consumed his life. Then comes a tragic event that puts a bigger wedge between the couple. Malcolm seeks redemption in helping troubled child Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment, SECONDHAND LIONS), who claims to see dead people.

The core theme of the film is people learning to communicate with each other — Malcolm with Anna and Cole with his mother Lynn (Toni Collette, JAPANESE STORY). If you know anything about Shyamalan's films there is always a big "twist" revelation at the end. Knowing the twist and watching the film a second time, I was surprised at how engaging the film still was. It's because the twist is based in the characters not the plot. It's a revelation to the characters as much as it is to the audience.

Blogs RUNNING ON EMPTY (1988) (***1/2)

Sidney Lumet has made some of my favorite films, including NETWORK and DOG DAY AFTERNOON. This film has a wonderful premise, but a distracting focus. The story follows a family who are on the run from the FBI because in the 1970s the parents Annie (Christine Lahti, TV's CHICAGO HOPE) and Arthur Pope (Judd Hirsch, TV's TAXI) blew up a napalm factory, which unintentionally blinded and crippled a janitor who wasn't supposed to be there.

Annie and Arthur have two sons Danny (River Phoenix, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE) and Harry (Jonas Abry, SLAVES OF NEW YORK). The family is constantly moving as the feds get wind of where they may be. Danny is becoming bitter about his life because he's about to graduate high school and won't be able to go to college to study music. The family moves to a new town and Danny starts to date his music teacher's daughter Lorna (Martha Plimpton, GOONIES). Danny is a piano phenomenon and the film focuses a lot on his struggles with his family's secrets and the loss of his freedom. As Danny's feelings become clear to Annie and Arthur, they must deal with the decision to let Danny leave or keep the family together.

Blogs SECRET WINDOW (2004) (***)

This psychological thriller from Stephen King presents a common protagonist for the writer — an author whose mental state is challenged. Based on a short story from King's collection FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT, writer/director David Koepp crafts his best directorial effort after writing scripts for such films as JURASSIC PARK, CARLITO'S WAY, SPIDER-MAN and PANIC ROOM.

Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp, ED WOOD) is a successful writer, who finds himself confronted by a man named John Shooter (John Turturro DO THE RIGHT THING), who claims that Mort stole his story. If this isn't enough to deal with, Mort is going through a divorce from his wife Amy (Monica Bello, THE COOLER), who he caught having an affair with Ted Milner (Timothy Hutton, ORDINARY PEOPLE). Mort is depressed and sleeps a lot. He talks to his dog and himself and begins to drink and smoke again. All of this is exaggerated by the increasingly creepier behavior of John Shooter. Eventually, Mort hires P.I. Ken Karsch (Charles S. Dutton, GOTHIKA) to find out more info on Shooter. All of this just makes Mort more and more paranoid.

Blogs THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS (2003) (****)

This film won the Oscar for best foreign language film last year. This is actually a sequel to director Denys Arcand's 1986 film THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, which I have not seen. However, one doesn't have to have seen the first film to enjoy the second. This film only catches up with the characters when they are older.

Remy (Remy Girard, LES BOYS) is dying. The former playboy was working as a university professor before he got sick. His ex-wife Louise (Dorothee Berryman, THE RED VIOLIN) calls their son Sebastien (Stephane Rousseau, LES DANGEREUX) to come to be with his father. He leaves his high-paying oil trading job in London to come to Quebec with his fiancée Gaelle (Marina Hands, FIDELITY). He's angry with his father for being who he is – a womanizer and a liberal. Sebastien has become a good capitalist, which is probably the exact opposite of his father. But isn't that how it always is. Louise encourages Sebastien to round up Remy's old friends so they can be with him in his last days.

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