Mark Jenkins http://kccu.org en 'A Most Wanted Man': A Parable Grounded In The Real World http://kccu.org/post/most-wanted-man-parable-grounded-real-world Fittingly, one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's final performances is in a movie about role-playing. The masterly actor mutters and growls his way through <em>A Most Wanted Man</em> as a spy who's simultaneously fighting two losing wars: against the West's enemies as well as his own putative allies.<p>Further deepening the movie's ambiguity, the American actor plays a German in a story whose payoff is pungently anti-American.<p>Although set in Hamburg rather than London, this is familiar turf for John le Carre, whose 2008 novel is the movie's source. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:04:00 +0000 Mark Jenkins 60410 at http://kccu.org 'A Most Wanted Man': A Parable Grounded In The Real World 'I Origins': There's More Than One 'I' In 'Ridiculous' http://kccu.org/post/i-origins-theres-more-one-i-ridiculous Viewers of earnest sci-fi dramas like <em>I Origins</em> are required to suspend disbelief, but the scripters of such movies have responsibilities, too. They can't introduce ideas so ridiculous, or suddenly twist their premises so illogically, that audiences are fatally distracted.<p>Take, for example, <em>Snowpiercer</em>, set on a frozen future Earth. While a home nestled in the warm bedrock would be the logical place to wait out an ice age, let's accept that the few surviving humans are instead circling the globe on a "high-speed" train. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Mark Jenkins 60000 at http://kccu.org 'I Origins': There's More Than One 'I' In 'Ridiculous' A 'Closed Curtain' Conceals A Director's Real Confinement http://kccu.org/post/closed-curtain-conceals-directors-real-confinement Banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi could hardly have found a more engaging surrogate than the four-legged co-star of <em>Closed Curtain</em>, the second movie Panahi has directed since he was officially forbidden from doing so. Making his entrance by hopping from the duffel bag that's hidden him, the dog called Boy embodies Iranian outcasts at their friskiest.<p>Bushy-tailed Boy, it seems, is the reason the principal human character, played by co-director Kamboziya Partovi, has traveled to this resort home on the Caspian Sea. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Mark Jenkins 59563 at http://kccu.org A 'Closed Curtain' Conceals A Director's Real Confinement The Devil's In The Derails: 'Deliver Us,' Indeed http://kccu.org/post/devils-derails-deliver-us-indeed For decades, cop dramas have depicted the South Bronx as the devil's playground. <em>Deliver Us From Evil</em> takes that idea all too literally. But then this slow-witted occult thriller takes everything literally, from the Catholic rite of exorcism to Jim Morrison's shamanic posturing.<p>The movie is derived from a book of the same name by former NYPD Sgt. Ralph Sarchie, who reportedly came to believe that some of the criminals he faced were literally possessed. Thu, 03 Jul 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Mark Jenkins 59147 at http://kccu.org The Devil's In The Derails: 'Deliver Us,' Indeed 'Begin Again,' A Music Fantasy Both Sticky And Sweet http://kccu.org/post/begin-again-music-fantasy-both-sticky-and-sweet You can be the scrappy newcomer only, well, once. That's a problem for <em>Once</em> writer-director John Carney, who has refashioned his low-budget 2006 hit as the slicker, cornier <em>Begin Again</em>. The new film excels as a pop-music fairy tale, but its real-world notes are seriously off-key.<p>The movie originally traveled the film-fest circuit under an unfortunate title, <em>Can A Song Save Your Life?</em> As in Carney's earlier effort, the life to be saved is that of a struggling man, and the rescuer is a young woman. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:10:00 +0000 Mark Jenkins 58730 at http://kccu.org 'Begin Again,' A Music Fantasy Both Sticky And Sweet