Black's sadistic streak remains as uncomfortable as it ever was, and his direction is very much in the house style of producer Joel Silver. But both elements perfectly suit the material, which sneaks in a lot of sly stuff beneath the slick surface.
An extraordinary story uniquely suited to Herzog's abilities, it eventually becomes easy to accept Ahola as a nearly mute witness to the obsessives around him, most immediately Tim Roth in a striking performance as Ahola's employer.
Hush! takes an excessive, saga-like running time to reach its conclusion, but Hashiguchi frequently makes the trudge worthwhile, particularly when he finds the energy to match his three leads' charming performances.
As for the unfortunates who aren't already in love with The Ramones, End Of The Century should give them a better understanding of what they've been missing, and leave them wondering why they've missed out on it for so long.
Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer, who co-write, co-direct, and supply much of the voice talent, soft-pedal the proselytizing and explicitly Christian elements in favor of gags and gentle lessons, keeping the pace fast and the scenery colorful.
Occasionally resembling an episode of Seinfeld taken to the big screen, waydowntown shares that show's ability to mine mundane details for humor, and its Tomorrowland-gone-awry setting provides plenty of raw material.
The mostly wordless film simply presents Ground Zero, the dust-covered surrounding areas, and the city's immediate rescue efforts. As a document, it's invaluable, and as a viewing experience, it's somewhat shocking.
At times, Bani Etemad succeeds only too well at capturing the confusing rush of Adineh's family life--the film presents more subplots than it can follow thoroughly, until its final act snaps all that's come before into sharp focus.
Though sloppily structured and sometimes dangerously flimsy (not to mention truncated at a mere 78 minutes), Tadpole has an unforced charm that compensates for the absence of more traditional cinematic virtues.
The atmosphere makes a deeper impression than the drama, which might represent a failing on Nelson's part, but could it be avoided? His film portrays the pinholes of light in a place of otherwise unrelenting darkness.
Rendering in high drama the story of Moses one moment and then underscoring that drama with songs filled with banal "you-can-make-it-if-you-really-try" cliches moves from the sublime to the ridiculous so quickly, you could get the bends.