My Big Fat Greek Wedding

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Three stars

A winter wind billows down Chicago’s back-alley’s and a man appears.  A teacher of Hamlet, long-haired, handsome; his best friend’s bald.  He courts Greek Cinderella and her large wacky family.  His parents are squares.  That dude from N’sync is in this.  The lyra wails.

D by: Joel Zwick; W by: Nia Vardalos; P by: Jeff Jur; E by: Mia Goldman; M by: Alexander Janko & Chris Wilson, w/Nia Vardalos, Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, John Corbett, Louis Mandylor, Gerry Mendocino, Joey Fatone, 95 min, USA, 2002

  

Instructions Not Included

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Two stars

I’m interested in mainstream foreign cinema.  What translates?  What reveals?  Here’s a transformative-power-of-Fatherhood flick.  It’s kinda Big Daddy-esque.  Acapulco playboy stuffed with sun.  Baby on the stoop.  He jumps from cliffs, he sneaks into the states.  He has a custody battle, he’s haunted by wolves.  There’s a Johnny Depp impersonator & some weirdly timed poop jokes.  The colors are candy bright.  The twist has some chutzpah but ultimately contributes to an overarching feeling of artifice that left me feeling deadened & (I think) the wrong kind of sad when I should have been moved.  But y’know, my favorite movie’s The Holy Mountain so my opinions are likely very different from yours.

D, W, & E by: Eugenio Derbez, More W: Guillermo Ríos & Leticia López Margalli, More E: Santiago Pérez & Rocha León, P by: Martín Boege & Andrés León Becker, M by: Carlo Siliotto w/Eugenio Derbez, Loreto Peralta, Daniel Raymont, Jessica Lindsey, Alessandra Rosaldo, Danny Lopez, Jesús Ochoa, Sammy Pérez, Ángela Moreno etc…, 122 min, Mexico, 2013

Nostalghia

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Three starsTwo stars

Smoke-made men, shadows in the steam, God’s orphaned bastards abandon child and country.  Besieged by earth.  Buried in water.  Engulfed in flames.  A father chases his little wonder towards apocalypse.  At the edge of the steps is the cliff and the valley and the far-off castle.  Did you do the candle magic?  Do emo kids read Pushkin?  The sounds are raindrops and footfalls.  Songbirds live in the cathedral, in the blouse, in the womb, of the Madonna.  There’s a white horse by a lake.  This is Tuscany.  This is Moscow.  Nobody beats Tarkovsky.

D & W by: Andrei Tarkovsky, More W: Tonino Guerra, P by: Giuseppe Lanci, E by: Erminia Marini & Amedeo Salfa, w/Oleg Yankovskiy, Domiziana Giordano, Erland Josephson, Patrizia Terreno, Laura De Marchi, Delia Boccardo, Milena Vukotic, Raffaele Di Mario, etc…, 125 min, Italy, 1983