Hemmingway’s Garden of Eden

Hemingway’s Garden of Eden ** Without the name of the Noble Prize-winning writer in the title, this modest little effort might well have shown up on Cinemax around midnight. It’s soft core with an attractive cast, mostly excellent production values, and one really cool vintage Bugatti two-seater. The main settings are Paris and Cannes (actually … Read more Hemmingway’s Garden of Eden

Books by Mike Mayo

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

Jolene

Jolene ** This 2008 festival favorite comes with a curious pedigree. It’s based on an E.L. Doctorow New Yorker short story. In Doctorow’s elegant prose, it’s an emotionally detached tale that covers ten years in 29 pages. On screen, it’s female-empowerment that meanders into exploitation, and is never completely successful as either. Jessica Chastain is … Read more Jolene

Books by Mike Mayo

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

Mesrine: Killer Instinct

Mesrine: Killer Instinct ** To call this biopic a French Goodfellas is accurate enough, but it’s also comparable to a recent German import, The Baader Meinhof Complex. Like Scorsese’s film, it tells the story of a young guy who gets involved with organized crime in the ‘60s and rises through the ranks while his personal … Read more Mesrine: Killer Instinct

Books by Mike Mayo

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

The Next Three Days

The Next Three Days *** Here’s a solid sleeper. If you missed it in theaters, put it at the top of the list. Given the premise–Russell Crowe springs his wife Elizabeth Banks from prison—you might expect something wildly complicated and far-fetched, along the lines of Law Abiding Citizen from a couple of years back, but … Read more The Next Three Days

Books by Mike Mayo

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

Suture and The Deep End (a Double Feature Review)

Suture (1993) R *** The Deep End (2001) R ** ½ These two noirs complement each other in curious ways. Suture, shot in carefully detailed dreamlike black and white, works with archetypal noir themes of doppelgangers, amnesia, and betrayal, but filmmakers Scott McGehee and David Siegel are interested in heightened style that borders on the … Read more Suture and The Deep End (a Double Feature Review)

Books by Mike Mayo

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

The Tillman Story

The Tillman Story *** No matter what your politics, you will be angered by this documentary about the famous NFL star who quit the Arizona Cardinals after 9/11 and enlisted in the Army. You probably already know the basics. He became a Ranger, was sent to Iraq and then to Afghanistan. After he was killed … Read more The Tillman Story

Books by Mike Mayo

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

Wild Target

Wild Target **½ The English remake of a French comedy is a lightweight diversion notable mostly for the cast. Bill Nighy is an assassin who’s experiencing a minor midlife crisis. He’s the best at his job but has no friends. His only human contact is his mother (Eileen Atkins) who has recently moved into an … Read more Wild Target

Books by Mike Mayo

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider