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Kino Korner November 13, 2004
Kino Korner
By Alex Shifrin Browse author Email
Page 2 of 2
The Lowdown: Thunderbirds meets South Park: The Movie.

Best Bit: Hans Blix comes to Pyongyang to inspect for WMDs, and Kim Jong Il (who calls him "Hans Brix") is very unhappy.

Starring: The voices of Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

Rating:: 5/5

Playing: Garbushka.

Team America: World Police


What They Say: Stranded overnight in a small regional Russian town called Mars (Marks [Marx] in Russian, with the letter "k" having dropped off the sign some time ago -- get it?), Kutsenko must weed through the town's lonely female population, before the next train to Moscow departs.

What We Say: Paint by numbers symbolism cleverly disguised as high-brow French influenced cinema. Brutish male boxer falls for intellectual female librarian, and a host of quirky, contrast laden events ensue. This is the type of film that would have reviewers clamoring to use words like "delightful" and "joyous," as well as "European." The Moscow Times flaccid reviewer was unable to say, with any conviction, whether he did or did not like the film. It was one of those reviews that strove to sound intelligent, yet remained non-committal. Perhaps inadvertently, the quintessential devushka heart of this movie was expressed by lead actress/librarian Kiknadze, who never walked, but seemed to float, fly, be carried or driven. The one time she had to cross a bridge on foot, her ordeal was highlighted by having her count each step.

The Lowdown: Fellini meets Jerry Lewis.

Best Bit: The little racist joke towards the end, in which a very black African man is the punch-line to a joke building up throughout the movie, ensuring that this film will never receive a screening at Cannes, Venice or anywhere in the politically correct world.

Starring: Gosha Kutsenko, Artur Smolyaninov, Nana Kiknadze, Nadia Kamenkovich.

Rating:: 2/5

Playing: Russian cinemas.

Ladder 49

What They Say: John Travolta, Joaquin Phoenix, and a cast of others whose names resemble a prank telephone call (Balthazar Ghetty, Morris Chestnut), team up to depict the Christian family side of firefighters. With Phoenix trapped in a towering inferno, we're left to watch 90 minutes of Phoenix's coming of age flashback under the mentorship of Travolta, all the while asking ourselves, will he be rescued in time?

What We Say: We're surprised it took three years for someone to make a post 9/11 firefighter film. In what appeared to be an effort to draw parallels between the Christian American and Muslim Middle Eastern nature of the 2001 attacks, the producers went out of their way to stress Catholicism as an encompassing way of life for US firefighters. The relentless, non-stop Irish Catholic themes would make a retarded slug stand up and scream "Yes, we get it!" We had no idea that all firefighters sport Ron Jeremy porno moustaches.

The Lowdown: Backdraft meets The Waltons.

Best Bit: Phoenix tears through a brick wall.

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, Jacinda Barrett, Robert Patrick, Balthazar Ghetty, Morris Chestnut.

Rating:: 3/5

Playing: American House of Cinema

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
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Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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