Currently browsing the "Barry Pepper" tag.

Review: The Painted Bird

Based on Jerzy Kosiński’s novel, The Painted Bird is a brutal tale of a young nameless boy’s fight to survive on his own during World War II in the wilds of Eastern Europe. He’s beaten and abused wherever he turns, and all he wants to do is find home, though he doesn’t really know where that is. And as he makes his way towards that imagined home, he grows more and more hardened and more like the people he meets, scared and mistrustful of the world at large. Though it takes place during the war, the conflict is distant even if the effects are all around The Boy. While it’s beautifully shot in black and white, it’s also 169 minutes long and essentially a litany of horrors. It’s not a film for the masses.

Broken City

Broken City is a broken movie. Sorry, it had to be said. But even an all-star cast can’t fix this noirish clunker. I always wonder about movies released in January. If they were any good, the studio would release them in December in time for award nominations. January is a dumping ground for the studios’ leftover junk, and that’s why Broken City is out now.

Princess Kaiulani

What?? You’ve never even heard of the Hawaiian princess Victoria Kaʻiulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawekiu i Lunalilo Cleghorn? Well, frankly, neither had I. But she does have an interesting life story that is told – and acted- fairly well in this arty indie flick, though it takes a half-hour or so to really get into it. It’s a rather strange hybrid of a movie – part biopic, part epic romance, and part docudrama with some scenes that are reminiscent of those cheesy historical reenactments found in documentaries we all watched in grade school (or at the museum). It also features some gorgeous cinematography showcasing the natural beauty of Hawaii.