Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact

Cowboys and Aliens

For once, a movie title says about all you need to know. Jon Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens gives you a lot of advance information, or warning, in three words. The movie’s plot centers on a predatory invasion from outer space of 1873 New Mexico Territory cattle country. And the aliens aren’t after cattle.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

There were more than a few times, while watching the potpourri of plots and characters that is Crazy, Stupid, Love, that I found myself wondering: Is this all going anywhere?

God's Land

Prior to the popularity of Hong Kong action films and J-horror, Asian cinema was best known for contemplative dramas that favored an open, direct gaze over camera movement and editing. That tradition is the inspiration behind this independent feature, which has a substantial layer of humor as well. It is based on a true story about a religious cult of Taiwanese men and women who gathered in Texas to await the arrival of God. Their leader, Teacher Chen, has prophesized that this is where God will return to earth, to take away the faithful in a space ship that holds 100,000 people. At least, we’re told that these are the words of the teacher, but he never speaks—we learn of the cult’s beliefs from his aide. Mr. Liu, who could be making it all up himself. He holds a series of increasingly bizarre press conferences to explain what will happen on earth prior to the arrival of God, who will then broadcast to the world from a local public access station.

The Names of Love

American audiences may experience a little culture disorientation during Michel Leclerc’s free-style and wickedly pointed new comic film The Names of Love, but this shouldn’t be much of an impediment to their enjoyment of it. Leclerc and his co-writer, Baya Kasmi, have spun their superficially daffy romantic comedy as a political spoof, and the results have something of a Gallic flavor, but their amusing jabs at the French body politic are going to be accessible enough to Americans with no more than a bare modicum of understanding of politics and human behavior, which surely transcends national borders.

Back to issue index