Fri, May 02, 2008 - Page 17 News List

Other Releases

Smother

Perhaps a little too reminiscent of her previous, terribly received feature Because I Said So, Diane Keaton’s latest effort has her moving in with her son (Dax Shepard) and daughter-in-law (Liv Tyler) and retying the apron strings as quickly as possible, with dire consequences for the son’s interest in family planning. This is opening in Taiwan before the US, which doesn’t bode well. Nor does the trailer, which comes across as a mediocre sitcom pilot. That leaves us with Keaton’s charisma, but here, once again, she is playing a meddling irritant. Get a new agent, Ms Keaton!

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Sweet Rain

If Death knocks on your door, be grateful if he looks like a smoldering Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武) with a friendly hound rather than some rotting husk with a raspy voice, a scythe and a dog from hell; be even more grateful if he decides to hang around for seven days before deciding whether you should perish. There are shades of Brad Pitt’s Grim Reaper character from Meet Joe Black in this adaptation of the book by Kotaro Isaka. A number of characters are marked for death in this romantically edged, other-worldly fantasy, but will they meet their maker? Also known as Accuracy of Death, the jarringly dissimilar alternate titles actually make up the full Japanese name of this movie.

Piano, Solo

This is a biopic of the troubled Italian jazz pianist Luca Flores, as played by award-winning actor-director Kim Rossi Stuart. As a boy Flores witnessed the death of his mother in a road accident in Africa, and for the rest of his life he was tormented by this incident. The music of his childhood shaped his career, leading him to the world of jazz, but despite success and recognition, his demons were never far behind and they eventually claimed him. Virtually unreleased except in Italy, for most viewers this film will be a complex introduction to one of Europe’s jazz greats — and a portrait of a man whose music was all too heavily grounded.

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Apartment

More Ringu recycling here, this time from South Korea. A woman moves into an apartment block opposite another where dead bodies make all too frequent appearances. Surprisingly well received by Variety and other reviewers as a workable, simple shocker. Released in 2006, this is also known as APT and 9:56, the latter being the time of night after which you’d better not turn off the lights, as the Taiwanese poster says.

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Love Now

Through a twist of fate, two gorgeous, professional couples whose marriages are in the doldrums swap partners without realizing it. From there it’s all downhill unless this unfaithful foursome can face their problems quickly and directly. Also known as Changing Partners, this is the latest in a DVD package from South Korea to screen at the Baixue theater in Ximending.

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