Movie Titles: J

jackass: the movie

jackass: the movie

jackass is a popular show on MTV in which amateur stuntman (and Donny Osmond lookalike) Johnny Knoxville and his lunatic friends come up with endless ways in which to maim, humiliate, or sicken themselves and each other. No plot, no story, just a series of pranks, one after the other. jackass: the movie is 87 minutes of same, featuring some… read more!

Jackie

Jackie

This semi-abstract portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy during the immediate aftermath of her husband's assassination is more a showcase for Natalie Portman than anything else. However, history buffs – specifically, Kennedy fetishists – will surely be drawn in. Chilean director Larraín likes taking risks with format: his breakthrough feature No, set in the late '80s, was shot on '80s-era video. This time he and his DP… read more!

Japanese Story

Japanese Story

Unexpectedly moving film that takes a tired premise and treats its characters with dignity and respect. An Australian geologist (Toni Collette, sporting her native Aussie accent for once) is enlisted to show a nerdy young Japanese businessman (Gotaro Tsunashima) around the Australian desert. The film's poster already clues you in to the fact that, despite their initial differences and annoyance… read more!

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

After breaking into the mainstream with their surprisingly effective low-key comedy Cyrus, "mumblecore" mainstays Jay and Mark Duplass are back with another, even more audience-friendly movie starring Jason Segal as the titular character, who literally does live in his mother's basement. (If your mother was played by Susan Sarandon, you might want to stay at home too.) Ed Helms, who… read more!

Jesus’ Son

Jesus’ Son

Amiably flaky mood piece about a young drug addict (Billy Crudup) wandering through America during the early 1970s, and the various lost souls he encounters along his journeys. Less a drama and more a string of sketches (the film is based on Denis Johnson's collection of short stories), Jesus' Son makes a good counterpart to Gus Van Sant's classic Drugstore… read more!

Jimmy Carter Man from Plains

Jimmy Carter Man from Plains

Soft-pedaled but still engaging documentary about the former US president's confrontation-plagued book tour in late 2006, when his latest work, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, was vilified by conservative Jews for what they deemed one-sidedness and inaccuracies in Carter's assertions that the recent four-story-high walls built in Palestinian territory - ostensibly to curb suicide bombers' entrance into Israel - was nothing… read more!

Josie and the Pussycats

Josie and the Pussycats

This played at the $3 theatre in my neighborhood, and, while walking to that theatre, I found two $1 bills on the sidewalk. Thus, the movie wound up only setting me back a dollar, which makes it officially worth it. Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, and Rosario Dawson star as the titular rock band that was made famous (sort of)… read more!

julien donkey-boy

julien donkey-boy

I'm one of the 10% who found Korine's first feature Gummo a masterpiece. The other 90% of those who watched it thought it was utter garbage. If you fall into the latter category, bypass this review. julien donkey-boy is Korine's riff on the strict Danish "Dogme 95" rules of filmmaking: handheld camera, only available lighting, no post production sound effects,… read more!

Juno

Juno

I did not have high expectations going into Juno, mainly because I sat through the trailer a million times and quickly grew tired of its self-consciously cutesy-clever dialogue, written by a debut screenwriter with the self-consciously cutesy-clever moniker of Diablo Cody (real name: Brook Busey-Hunt). The fact that stripper-blogger-screenwriter Cody has been force-fed to the filmgoing public as the new… read more!

Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending

People have been hate-watching Jupiter Ascending even before it was released. It's as if the real anticipation hasn't been over the film itself, but over what excoriating comments could be written about the film. Sometimes I hate the Internet. While I'm not a Wachowski apologist, the writers/directors earned a lot of goodwill with me with their previous film, the ambitious if polarizing Cloud Atlas, so I was willing to take… read more!