Film Reviews

One Little, Two Little, 40 Little Indies

Page 5 of 5

Noted: Sabido, the founder of the Nahuatl Theater Company, which has done much to restore pre-Columbian Mexican ceremony and art, is himself Mayan.

The Secret Life of Algernon
Canada, directed by Charles Jarrot (Not reviewed).
The Algernon in question is the grandson of a famous Egyptian explorer. He's eventually joined by a no-doubt beautiful Egyptologist who believes grandpa left a fabulous treasure somewhere on the premises.

Noted: Jarrot directed such films as Anne of a Thousand Days; Mary, Queen of Scots and The Other Side of Midnight.

The Setting Son
United States, directed by Lisa Satriano (Not reviewed).
The story of a potential Olympic star who is sucked into his dysfunctional family's problems.

Noted: Satriano has worked as assistant director on movies such as Speed II and Free Willy.

The Size of Watermelons
Canada, directed by Kari Skogland.
A perhaps too whimsical coming-of-age story. In search of a new identity, Alex the nerd moves to Venice Beach and meets eccentric characters, including one Gnome, who is planning to run for president. Somewhat forced hilarity.

Noted: Skogland is working on a film about the love life of William Faulkner.

A Stranger in the Kingdom
United States, directed by Jay Craven.
Into a small Vermont town of the early '50s comes a black minister (Ernie Hudson) and his son. Their fish-out-of-water presence, and that of a mysterious and beautiful French-Canadian woman, reopen old town wounds, including a murder mystery. This is nice to look at, pleasingly eccentric rather than over the top, and well acted.

Noted: Craven has his own film-development and production company in Vermont.

Sweeney Todd
United States, directed by John Schlesinger (Not reviewed).
Yes, this film, a nonmusical version of the story, will soon be shown on Showtime, but this will probably be your only chance to see Ben Kingsley play the bloody butcher on a big screen.

Noted: This will be one of the opening-night features.

Time Enough
United Kingdom, directed by Foster Marks (Not reviewed).
This tells a rather straightforward-sounding story. A drifter takes a room in the house of a woman farmer; they start an affair; he seems like the man of her dreams; she is deceived; he eventually has to make a choice.

Noted: No director information.

Too Much Sex
United States, directed by Jeff Howard (Not reviewed).
Beneath the too-catchy title, there appears to lurk a sensitive story of a brother and sister who have survived an abusive family -- one more healthily than the other. One sibling tries to help the other find healing.

The Well
Australia, directed by Samantha Lang.
This slow-moving (all right, tedious) tale of a very odd duck finding love, repression and horror when she's taken in by a lonely farm girl and her prickly father works too hard at being grim, and becomes ugly. I'd say 'Gothic' if it were American.

Noted: Lang has worked in Australian television.

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit
United States, directed by Stuart Gordon (Not reviewed).
One of the opening-night films, this one apparently tries on magical realism for size. A handful of L.A. vatos come upon a magical suit that will bring out the wearer's innermost desires and make his dreams come true.

Noted: Gordon made the cult classic Re-Animator, based on an H.P. Lovecraft story. On the other hand, he was co-creator of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

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David Theis
Contact: David Theis