Monday, June 04, 2007

siff hotties: boys of cashback

The fourth installment of SIFF Hotties! (Previously, Hommes de Paris, Juan José Ballesta, and Lee Young-hoon.) Look at these headshots.

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These three guys are from the British movie, Cashback, the feature-length version of the Oscar-nominated short of the same name by Sean Ellis. You might recognize the first, Sean Biggerstaff, from the first couple Harry Potter movies where he played Gryffindor quidditch captain Oliver Wood, and the second, Shaun Evans, was in Being Julia with Annette Bening. The third, Michael Dixon, I have personally seen nowhere else. Don't they have nice headshots?

I liked the following movies.

The Ten. Rating: 5. This comedy from the guys that made Wet Hot American Summer was just as funny as I thought it would be. Each of the ten vignettes take one of the Ten Commandments as their theme, and it goes from there. It was hilarious and sure to be referenced repeatedly. There's nothing quite like watching Winona Ryder making out with a ventriloquist dummy, or hot Justin Theroux playing a Mexican Jesus. I'll definitely go and see this again when it comes out in regular release (and not just for Paul Rudd, Adam Brody, Jason Sudeikis, and Bobby Cannavale).

Cashback. Rating: 4. A guy is dumped by his girlfriend and develops insomnia, so he decides to use the time in which he would usually be sleeping by working at a grocery store on the night shift. His insomnia may or may not also give him the ability to stop time. This was another formula movie that I liked. Because it was a formula movie, the film was laid out in such a way that after 20 or 30 minutes, the rest of the movie fell right into your expectations for what was going to happen. But it was fun to watch. One thing I would change though, would be less female nudity and more male nudity. I don't think I've spent as much time in my entire life looking at naked women than in the hour and a half that I spent watching this movie. The camera slowly sweeps up, down, across, and lingers all over various women's bodies, and yes, it bored me a little. But the rest of the movie wasn't as boring.

Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne). Rating: 4. Based on a novel by Harlan Coben, this thriller is about a guy who gets a mysterious email from his supposedly murdered wife after eight years, plunging him into a dangerous world of low level thugs and high level cover-ups! Was that description exciting enough? This was a really well done movie, directed by studly Guillaume Canet (the hot Frenchman who swam to The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio), with the right amount of tension, mystery, and a little bit of humor. The reveal at the end wasn't terribly surprising, but who says that it has to be?

Nanking. Rating: 4. This is an American-produced documentary about the Nanjing Massacre, where after taking the city of Nanjing during the Second World War, the soldiers in the Japanese army proceeded to pillage and raze the city, and rape and murder the civilian population, men, women, elderly and children alike, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Chinese over the course of several months. This is one of those war atrocities that a lot of people in the US seem not to know about for whatever reason, and I encourage everyone to go see this movie and learn something. And then pick up the book The Rape of Nanking by the late Iris Chang (she suffered a nervous breakdown and shot herself in 2004), and learn even more. It's extremely important that we acknowledge what happened (regardless what some Japanese nationalists might want us to believe), so that these sorts of things don't happen ever, ever again. The accounts by survivors were absolutely heartbreaking, as was the archival footage from hospitals of Chinese children mutilated and disfigured by Japanese soldiers. However, for the documentary, several actors were hired to read the writings of real-life figures who had experienced the Massacre as it was going on while they were in the city of Nanjing, and I have to say it was a little distracting, but it didn't lessen the impact of the movie. That was my only qualm. I hope to see this movie in the collections of school libraries in the coming years.

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