Forest Whitaker makes an unlikely modern samurai with his laser-sighted pistols, shabby street clothes, and oddly graceful gait--but then Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is an unusual film. Quirky, contemplative and at times absurd, it is just the kind of offbeat vision we have come to expect from the fiercely independent Jim Jarmusch (Stranger than Paradise, Dead Man). Whitaker is Ghost Dog, a mysterious New York hit man who lives simply on a tenement rooftop and follows a code of behaviour outlined in : Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai (passages of this book are interspersed throughout the film). When the local mob marks him for death in a complicated code of Mafiosi-style honour, Ghost Dog sends a cryptic message to his foes. "That's poetry. The poetry of war", remarks mobster Henry Silva, with sudden respect upon reading the verse. He could be describing the ethereal beauty of Jarmusch's vision, full of wonderful imagery (a night drive across town seems to float in time) and off-centre humour. Though it briefly stalls in a series of assassinations (Jarmusch is no action director), it settles back into character-driven drama in a quietly epic showdown, equal parts samurai adventure, spaghetti western and existential crime movie. The film is likely too unconventional and offbeat for general audiences, but cult-movie buffs and Jarmusch fans will appreciate his idiosyncratic vision. He finds a strange sense of honour in the clash of Old World traditions, and salutes his heroes with a skewed but sincere respect. --Sean Axmaker
Sometimes looking inside is the only way out. After a near-fatal car accident in a stolen car 19 year-old Jonathan Breech (Cillian Murphy) is given two choices: prison or a psychiatric hospital. He begrudgingly accepts the latter although he makes it clear to his psychiatrist (Rea) that he doesn't believe in therapy. Jonathan then begins the long journey of understanding himself through other patients. His friend Toby (Jackson) a sensitive tormented young man who blames hims
Shane (Vincent Gallo) and his new wife June (Tricia Vessey) are newlyweds honeymooning in Paris. Although happy their relationship becomes strained when Shane secretly visits the medical clinic where he was once involved in experimental research on the human libido. Before long the effect of his research becomes terrifyingly obvious and Shane seeks self-exile in a desperate effort to find a cure. All the while Core (Beatrice Dalle) a Parisian woman preys upon the men she lures with the promise of sexual gratification. This extreme behaviour mirrors Shane's own base instincts and their mutual desire for carnal violence suggests a deep-seated bond which must be consolidated. Soon the two will enter a realm of experience far beyond anything they have known... Raw poetic and powerful Claire Denis' extraordinary film explores the dark side in a way that no other film before it ever dared!
Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Andie MacDowell, Goldie Hawn, Jenna Elfman and Garry Shandling star in this romantic comedy about life, love, friendship and the sometimes blistering nature of marital bliss.
A classic example of obscure art house European cinema, Trouble Every Day is a sordid, shocking and often indecipherable examination of sexual depravity and violence. This is a deliberately difficult film--it is a full 15 minutes before anyone utters a line of dialogue--and director Claire Denis has created a world that offers the viewer little in the way of respite throughout the 90-minute duration. Both Vincent Gallo and Beatrice Dalle turn in their standard cult movie performances (long silences, staring into the distance) but in truth there are few actors so well suited to a piece of work such as this. Trouble Every Day is not for the casual viewer, suited more to real aficionados of the genre who are prepared to be challenged, shaken and more than a little appalled by every twist in the gruesome plot. --Phil Udell
The Yards:'The Yards' is a tense thriller set in the vast New York City subway yards. After serving time in prison for taking the fall for a group of friends Leo Handler (Mark Wahlberg) just wants to get his life back on track. So he goes to the one place he thinks he'll be safe: home. There he takes a job with his highly connected and influential uncle Frank (James Caan) and is reunited with his long-time friend Willie Gutierez (Joaquin Phoenix) and Willie's girlfriend Erica (Charlize Theron). But in the yards where his uncle now pulls the strings safe is not how they do business. Unwittingly he's drawn into a world of sabotage high stakes payoffs and murder. And the secret he discovers will make him the target of the most ruthless family in the city: his own. Now in the name of justice he'll have to do everything in his power to bring them down. Brother:In Japan the sworn brotherhood of the Yakuza is described as being 'thicker than the blood of kindred brothers'. With his life under threat disgraced Yakuza hard man Yamamoto escapes to Los Angeles in search of his half-brother Ken a small-time drug dealer. Unable to speak the language and confused by his surrounding Yamamoto teams up with Ken and his friend and fellow gang-member Denny. Soon Yamamoto finds himself back in the old routine. His ruthless efficiency in terrorising and killing rival gang members shocks even the blood hardened Americans and before long Yamamoto's gang is strong enough to join forces with a rival Japanese crime lord called Shirase. Ghost Dog:Ghost Dog lives above the world alongside a flock of birds in a homemade shack on the roof of an abandoned building. Guided by the words of an ancient Samurai text Ghost Dog is a professional killer able to dissolve into the night and move throughout the city unnoticed. When Ghost Dog's code is dangerously betrayed by the dysfunctional mafia family that occasionally employs him he must find a way to defend himself without breaking the code of the samurai.
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