Multiplex - a comic strip about life at the movies

Posts Tagged ‘crime’


Trailer Watch: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo full trailer

The teaser trailer was pretty great, but this… this is amazing. My interest in this film has just shot up through the roof.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — the first in Columbia Pictures’ planned adaptation of the Stieg Larsson “Millennium Trilogy” — stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgärd, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen and Joely Richardson.

The film hits theaters nationwide on December 21. You can check out this trailer in high def over at Apple, too.

(via Coming Soon)

Review: Godzilla (1954) and Stray Dog


Directed by Ishiro Honda.
Starring Akira Takarada, Momoko Kochi, Akihiko Hirata, Takashi Shimura and Fuyuki Murakami.

Stray Dog

Directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Starring Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji and Eiko Miyoshi.

Although Godzilla creator and producer Tomoyuki Tanaka lifted monster-sized elements from King Kong (1933) and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), an early film featuring effects by Ray Harryhausen (Clash of the Titans), the immediate inspiration for Godzilla was a 1954 incident in which a fishing boat called the Lucky Dragon was scorched by an American H-bomb test, seriously burning several of the crew and causing the eventual death of its radio operator from radiation poisoning — clearly the reference point for the opening scene of the original 1954 Japanese Godzilla in which Godzilla’s attack on a small boat appears only as a flash of light.

Science fiction writer Shigeru Kayama, along with screenwriters Ishiro Honda (who also directed) and Takeo Murata, extended the metaphor a bit by paralleling many scenes of death and destruction in Godzilla’s wake with the aftermath of the H-bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, using images of a flattened, burning town and hospitals overflowing with people. These images vividly recall what little documentary footage I’ve seen of the Hiroshima aftermath (to be specifc, the stock footage used in the first 20 minutes of Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour), but pretending that the film’s deeper meaning is much more complicated than “H-bomb testing is bad” is giving the filmmakers a little more credit than they deserve.


Review: Four films by Seijun Suzuki

Underworld Beauty

Starring Michitaro Mizushima, Mari Shiraki, Yusuke Ashida, Toru Abe and Hideaki Nitani.

Tokyo Drifter

Starring Tetsuya Watari, Tamio Kawaji, Ryuji Kita, Chieko Matsubara and Hideaki Nitani.

Branded to Kill

Starring Koji Nanbara, Joe Shishido, Mariko Ogawa and Annu Mari.

Kanto Wanderer

Starring Chieko Matsubara, Hiroko Ito and Akira Kobayashi.

Seijun Suzuki worked as a director in the Japanese studio system from 1956 to 1967, until, after filming Branded to Kill, he was fired for making an “incomprehensible” film, and, after having seen four of his films, it’s pretty hard to argue that claim. Taking the unprecedented act of suing his former production company, Nikkatsu, he won, but soon found himself blacklisted and didn’t make another movie for 10 years. Seijun Suzuki’s films are shockingly innovative on a visual level, and his characteristic narrative tangles have been a huge influence on modern-day filmmakers from Wong Kar Wai to Quentin Tarantino.


Review: City of God

Directed by Kátia Lund and Fernando Meirelles.
Starring Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Phellipe Haagensen, and Douglas Silva.

Films like City of God are hard to recommend. In its company, I would include Amor es Perros and Requiem for a Dream: they are brutal, heart-wrenching movies to watch, let alone enjoy, though undeniably well-written, well-acted, and well-filmed.

City of God, a 2004 Academy Award nominee for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Cinematography, is the “based on a true story” tale of an aspiring photographer, Buscapé (Alexandre Rodrigues), centering largely on his relationship with Little Zé (the riveting Leandro Firmino da Hora), a demented childhood acquaintance who becomes a psychopathic crime lord of a slum outside of Rio de Janeiro.