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ED WOOD (dir: Tim Burton, R) - Thom says, "Whether you will watch anything with cross-dressing or are just trying to remember why Tim Burton matters (after the terrible PLANET OF THE APES remake, an all-right BIG FISH that felt like it could have been made by any director, and a mediocre-in-hindsight SWEENEY TODD), ED WOOD is the movie for you. Easily my favorite Tim Burton film, ED WOOD is shot in gorgeous black & white and Martin Landau won an f'ing Oscar for his supporting role as Bela Lugosi (of the una-browed Dracula fame). This film features the only performance by Sarah Jessica Parker that doesn't make me want to spit in her stupid, slutty mouth and Johnny Depp puts in a fantastic performance as the ridiculously upbeat and dog-gone go-getter Edward D. Wood, Jr., frequently called the worst director of all time. Man, I want to hate Johnny Depp. But he's always so good. If you find a movie that he blows in, please tell me about it. Seriously."
CRUMB (dir: Terry Zwigoff, R) - Thom says, "Whether you search vehemently for anything R. Crumbs put his sweaty hands on or you only remember him from that Paul Giamatti movie about some other comic book dude, watch this documentary about one of the most intriguing artists of the last fifty years. Crumbs family talks in the bluntly honest way that you wish all families would talk unfortunately, theyre swallowing string while sitting on a mat of nails or glistening in their own juices in the upstairs of their moms house talking about how they want to kill each other with axes and such. You remember that Christmas, right? Jokes aside, this is a poignant and indelible film that delves into the mind and history of an amazing artist and might, in the process, shed some light on your own fetish for piggy-backing fat chicks."
TO LIVE (dir: Yimou Zhang, Not Rated) - Bart says, "For a while I considered Zhang Yimou one of the all-time great directors, with a flawless streak of gorgeous character dramas in the early nineties: JU DOU, RAISE THE RED LANTERN, THE STORY OF QUI JU, this movie, and SHANGHAI TRIAD. I considered TO LIVE my favorite (by a slim margin) because its heartbreaking story of a family torn apart by Mao's Cultural Revolution manages to be sweepingly epic and intimately personal at the same time. But it turns out that Gong Li, the star of all five films, was a true muse for Zhang, because none of his eight-plus features since parting ways with her have been as masterful or emotionally affecting. With his recent batch of period action films (HERO, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWERS), he's proven he can still make visually stunning, popular movies, but I'm rooting for a CGI-free reunion with Gong Li to see if he can still make timeless masterpieces."
BARCELONA (dir: Whit Stillman, Not Rated) - Bart says, "Poor Whit Stillman: one of the funniest and smartest and most distinctive independent filmmakers of the 90s and he hasn't made a film in a decade. Maybe it's because he filled the first two-thirds of each movie with great characters, interesting conflicts, and some of the wittiest dialogue in all filmdom, but always fell flat in the last third when forced to wrap things up. His first film, METROPOLITAN, got the most critical attention, but I think this, his second, about the odd combination of love and hate greeted Americans in Europe, is his best all around."
CHUNGKING EXPRESS (dir: Kar Wai Wong, Not Rated)
EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN (dir: Ang Lee, Not Rated)
HEAVENLY CREATURES (dir: Peter Jackson, Not Rated)
MURIEL'S WEDDING (dir: P.J. Hogan, Not Rated)
ONCE WERE WARRIORS (dir: Lee Tamahori, Not Rated)
PULP FICTION (dir: Quentin Tarantino, Not Rated)
QUIZ SHOW (dir: Robert Redford, Not Rated)
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