Ben Affleck throws a ‘Baby’ in your face

October 26, 2007
There are two Afflecks in this movie, but don’t worry: only one of them is acting. In a shameless display of Hollywood nepotism, first-time director Ben Affleck has cast little brother Casey in the lead of “Gone Baby Gone.” The film focuses on the investigation of a little girl’s kidnapping — a highly timely story, »

“Killer of Sheep” steps into spotlight

October 19, 2007
A good film shot as a graduate school thesis usually earns an A and a pat on the back. An exceptional one can go on to win the Critics’ Award at the Berlin Film Festival, be listed as one of the National Society of Film Critics’ 100 Essential Films of all time, become one of »

Seeking another ‘Potter’? Look elsewhere

October 12, 2007
Instead of swirly-shaped magical signs, the Seeker should go looking for a better plot and adequate special effects. “The Seeker: The Dark is Rising” is Walden Media’s latest, and by far most feeble, stab at the “fantasy for kids” genre (after “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “A Bridge to Terabithia”). David Cunningham’s latest movie faithfully »

Full ‘Moon’ takes giant leap

October 5, 2007
“In the Shadow of the Moon” will not keep you in the dark for even a second. Constructed around surviving Apollo crew members’ recollections of the first moon landing and the expeditions that followed it, David Sington’s riveting documentary mixes interview bits with archival footage to shed light on one of the defining moments in »

Mafia film can’t keep ‘Promises’

September 28, 2007
“Eastern Promises” is Eastern all right, but the promising part is arguable. Crafting a Russian mafia thriller proves easier said than done for director David Cronenberg, the man behind “History of Violence” (also brutal, also with Viggo Mortensen and also not half as good as it could’ve been). The movie starts off strong with a »

Gone ‘Cuckoo’ in Kesey’s trippy land

April 27, 2007
If the last time you were up in the skies was on the plane to Yale, get adventurous and fly over the cuckoo’s nest this weekend. It’s worth the extra turbulence. In a riveting, thought-provoking production directed by Marshall Pailet ’09, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” — a theatrical adaptation of Ken Kesey’s classic »

D-port ‘Funny Thing’ can’t sing

April 20, 2007
All roads lead to Rome, but only one will take you to eunuch women, fake lepers and sneezing corpses. In a thoroughly entertaining production directed by Erin Cawley ’08, Stephen Sondheim’s musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” inspired by the farces of the Roman playwright Plautus, is pure entertainment from »

‘23’ ways to bore yourself to tears

March 2, 2007
There are at least 23 better things to do than watch “The Number 23.” For instance, you could make a list of all the important years in your life whose four digits add up to 23. Or you could just poke your eye repeatedly with a hockey stick. Maybe 23 times. Directed by Joel Schumacher, »

Make ‘Art’ out of your friends

February 23, 2007
Even when it literally depicts nothing, modern art can still succeed at being controversial. In an engaging production this weekend directed by Bix Bettwy ’08, Yasmine Reza’s Tony-award winning “Art” focuses on the rupturing ties between three long-time friends. Tensions among them begin to arise after Serge (Bobby Allen ’09), a self-proclaimed connoisseur of modern »

Deutschland spies, voyeurism

February 16, 2007
German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s debut film, “The Lives of Others,” will serve as a reminder for all those who forgot the plot of George Orwell’s “1984,” with one difference: While the latter is fiction, the former was real, and painfully so. Though it is his first, the movie has already earned von Donnersmarck »

Festival showcases many ethnic films

January 23, 2007
Arranged marriages, unlucky feet (not to be confused with their happy equivalent) and honest thieves will bring a cinematic perspective to both racial and universal themes this weekend. The fifth annual Asian American Film Festival, hosted by the Asian American Cultural Center, will offer a collection of internationally recognized shorts and features. Over the last »

Sexy realism is TMI in ‘La Ronde’

December 1, 2006
As soon as you walk into the Nick Chapel Theater and spot the queen-size bed on stage, you’ll realize why director Leah Franqui ’09 wishes she hadn’t told her grandparents about “La Ronde: A Play in Ten Dialogues.” After all, they’re the offspring of the generation that banned Arthur Schnitzler’s play in 1921 on account »