Not his best but another solid film for Koreeda. A TOUCH OF SIN ** 1/2 out of **** Zhangke Jia is another major talent, one of the most important and bold figures in Chinese cinema. His masterpiece is Platform, but he’s also delivered unconventional films like The World and a distinctive documentary about Shanghai called I Wish I Knew that I loved but which has never really made it the US. After years as an underground filmmaker, Jia has made films through official channels though HOW they get approved and made must remain a mystery, one that deepens with his new and critical look at the effect of corruption, the sex trade and indifferent factories on the Chinese people. The film covers four separate storylines though blessedly they don’t artificially converge a la Babel. The first and strongest story revolves around Dahai (Wu Jiang). This hilariously pushy fellow is outraged over the corruption in his village, a stain that spreads from the powerful man who flies in on a jet down to a local accountant and village chief. Jiang was discovered by the great director Zhang Yimou for To Live (1994) and he commands the screen with ease. The entire cast is strong but his presence is so warm and boisterous and fresh I wish the entire movie had stayed with him. Dahai is mocked and humiliated at every turn and finally snaps in an orgy of violence that quickly becomes the movie’s signature. The people of China do not suffer silently in these films; they lash out at others and themselves again and again. The second story involves a mysterious young man; we don’t discover until the end of his tale exactly how he makes his living but it’s clearly a violent one on the edge of society.
From WSJ reporters around the world. Search Corporate Intelligence1 September 17, 2013, 1:18 PM 74 Million Movies that Werent Streamed in July Biography Redbox For those who spend their time glued to glowing screens on smartphones and laptops, its important to get an occasional reminder of how popular some offline businesses still are. And that is certainly the case when it comes to movie rentals. Plenty of people have long abandoned their Blockbuster membership and shifted from renting discs to streaming shows Netflix now has almost 30 million paying members but plenty havent. In households where the TV is still king (and not connected to a computer or the internet), DVD rental is still going strong. Take Redbox, which rents DVDs from its more than 43,000 vending machines located in grocery stores across the country. Stock in its parent company, Outerwall Inc., is down 12.5% today after it issued updated guidance last night, lowering estimates for revenues and earnings. A big reason for the downward revision was rentals at Redbox were not as high as expected. But even then, they were pretty high : Rentals for July and August grew year over year 13.4% and 15.7% respectively, with July representing Redboxs best rental month in its history, with approximately 74 million rentals. Redbox continues to expect both rentals and revenue per kiosk to increase compared to comparable periods in 2012. In addition, unique credit and debit cards used in July and August increased 11% year over year, while rental frequency improved in July and August compared to the same periods in 2012. 74 million rentals in July. Aside from working on an old-school TV setup, Redbox rentals can be a pretty cheap option compared to whats available online: $1.20 a night for one of their discs, compared to $2.99 upward for a streaming movie from places like Amazon or Apples iTunes store. Netflix subscriptions cost $8 per month, although that gets an all-you-can-eat streaming buffet.
Movies: Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal Anchor Tense ‘Prisoners’
ohmygod where are Joy and Anna? MORE, AFTER THE JUMP … The red whistle is not a red herring. Instead, that damn missing whistle acts as a perfect talisman for the movie itself. Prisoners begins emitting piercing psychic cries as the parents spin out of control and the mysteries thicken and the hours drag on. Statistically speaking, things dont look good for missing children after the first couple of days.Keller Dover (Jackman) is a survivalist who believes in being prepared but how do you prepare yourself or your family for the worst nightmares? When a local ace detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) can’t make a case stick against the man in the RV (Paul Dano, in greasy/creepy mode) Keller decides to take the law into his own hands, plunging both families and a third one (Dano and his aunt played by Melissa Leo) into an increasingly gruesome nightmare from which its uncertain that any of them will emerge with their souls intact. Prisoners will undoubtedly remind a lot of people of David Fincher’s Zodiac(2007), another film that invites you to lose your mind over Jake Gyllenhaal’s soulful handsomeness while Jake Gyllenhaal loses his mind over maddening puzzles, dropped like poisoned crumbs from serial killers. (Has any actor ever so expertly conveyed “needs a hug” “needs to be left alone” “needs to be cooperated with” or “needs to be kissed”as Jake at his finest. I mean… (not a still from Prisoners) come on. It’s those inescapably big pleading eyes you can get all but lost in. (But enough about my boyfriend.) These Zodiac comparisons are merely cosmetic. The film it most calls to mind deep in the marrow is actually Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River (2003), both for the starry miserable cast (beloved faces in pain everywhere you look!) and the moral rot of “is that my daughter in theeeerrrrrre?” parental grief and intimations of long ago child abuse. Prisoners also shares with Mystic River a barely noticeable thin sheen of flop sweat, as if every moment could tip over into the risibly pretentious, weighed down by the self-regard of High Art treatment of Low Brow genres. This filmmaking team isn’t kidding around: Villeneuve and his editors are giving us everything they’ve got with the pacing (despite a lengthy running time); famed cinematographer Roger Deakins (True Grit, Skyfall) is making sure every wet windshield and flashlight makes the visuals sing; and the actors all attack the material full throttle, though some chew scenery with more realistic delicacy than others.