Mark Jenkins http://tspr.org en 'I Origins': There's More Than One 'I' In 'Ridiculous' http://tspr.org/post/i-origins-theres-more-one-i-ridiculous Viewers of earnest sci-fi dramas like <em>I Origins</em> are required to suspend disbelief, but the scripters of such movies have responsibilities, too. They can't introduce ideas so ridiculous, or suddenly twist their premises so illogically, that audiences are fatally distracted.<p>Take, for example, <em>Snowpiercer</em>, set on a frozen future Earth. While a home nestled in the warm bedrock would be the logical place to wait out an ice age, let's accept that the few surviving humans are instead circling the globe on a "high-speed" train. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Mark Jenkins 56760 at http://tspr.org 'I Origins': There's More Than One 'I' In 'Ridiculous' A 'Closed Curtain' Conceals A Director's Real Confinement http://tspr.org/post/closed-curtain-conceals-directors-real-confinement Banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi could hardly have found a more engaging surrogate than the four-legged co-star of <em>Closed Curtain</em>, the second movie Panahi has directed since he was officially forbidden from doing so. Making his entrance by hopping from the duffel bag that's hidden him, the dog called Boy embodies Iranian outcasts at their friskiest.<p>Bushy-tailed Boy, it seems, is the reason the principal human character, played by co-director Kamboziya Partovi, has traveled to this resort home on the Caspian Sea. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Mark Jenkins 56369 at http://tspr.org A 'Closed Curtain' Conceals A Director's Real Confinement The Devil's In The Derails: 'Deliver Us,' Indeed http://tspr.org/post/devils-derails-deliver-us-indeed For decades, cop dramas have depicted the South Bronx as the devil's playground. <em>Deliver Us From Evil</em> takes that idea all too literally. But then this slow-witted occult thriller takes everything literally, from the Catholic rite of exorcism to Jim Morrison's shamanic posturing.<p>The movie is derived from a book of the same name by former NYPD Sgt. Ralph Sarchie, who reportedly came to believe that some of the criminals he faced were literally possessed. Thu, 03 Jul 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Mark Jenkins 55982 at http://tspr.org The Devil's In The Derails: 'Deliver Us,' Indeed 'Begin Again,' A Music Fantasy Both Sticky And Sweet http://tspr.org/post/begin-again-music-fantasy-both-sticky-and-sweet You can be the scrappy newcomer only, well, once. That's a problem for <em>Once</em> writer-director John Carney, who has refashioned his low-budget 2006 hit as the slicker, cornier <em>Begin Again</em>. The new film excels as a pop-music fairy tale, but its real-world notes are seriously off-key.<p>The movie originally traveled the film-fest circuit under an unfortunate title, <em>Can A Song Save Your Life?</em> As in Carney's earlier effort, the life to be saved is that of a struggling man, and the rescuer is a young woman. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:10:00 +0000 Mark Jenkins 55602 at http://tspr.org 'Begin Again,' A Music Fantasy Both Sticky And Sweet You're A Little Flat, 'Boys' http://tspr.org/post/youre-little-flat-boys For the final credits of <em>Jersey Boys</em>, director Clint Eastwood sends the whole cast into a backlot street to dance to the Four Seasons' most recent chart-topper, 1976's "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)." <em>Hmmm</em>, the confused viewer might wonder, <em>perhaps this is supposed to be a musical</em>....<p>The movie is, of course, derived from the long-running Broadway hit, and includes numerous Four Seasons songs. But this adaptation, as reworked by original writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, adds dialogue and subtracts music. Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Mark Jenkins 55175 at http://tspr.org You're A Little Flat, 'Boys'