Category Archives: Chess Cinemas
Road to Perdition (2002) is one of those rare films this century which actually lives up to the inevitable hype created by its all-star cast. At the same time, it is interesting that this film is actually one of the more under-watched films, considering the mega stars it features.
The superb soundtrack, cinematography, and attention to historical detail all add to the greatness of the acting and writing.
Watch it, or re-watch it.
Hit man Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks), known in his 1930s Chicago world as The Angel of Death, is on the run after his wife (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and son (Liam Aiken) are murdered. With his surviving son (Tyler Hoechlin) in tow, Michael sets out to exact brutal vengeance. Complicating matters in this crime actioner are a reporter (Jude Law), Al Capone’s enforcer (Stanley Tucci) and other shady characters.
You might not want to watch it with mom tomorrow, but White Heat (1949) is James Cagney at his best, playing a tough gangster by any generation’s standards.
A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn
A Prophet (2009) ["Un prophète" (original title)] is a terrific thriller about a young Arab man sent to a Corsican prison, where he must deal with the ruling mafia. Compared to the popcorn, campy thrillers largely released by Hollywood these days, this film is able to attain a certain depth to the characters and plot which makes it all the more gripping and entertaining.
You’re all in for a treat tonight, so grab some popcorn and be prepared to hang out at Chess Cinemas for the next few hours.
The Professional (1994) [also called Léon: The Professional] is a terrific film starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Danny Aiello, and a young Natalie Portman. Writer/Director Luc Besson does a great job of creating a storyline with compelling characters, which goes well above and beyond your standard action thriller. Jean Reno plays a professional assassin who takes in Portman as a teenage girl when her parents are killed in a police raid.
Reno’s character and the film at-large also typifies the no-nonsense 1990′s attitude, while Oldman’s character is a memorable, spazzy mess.
And courtesy of Vimeo, the entire film is available for you to watch below!
I can check off two things with tonight’s pick: A tribute to both the city of Boston after a rough week, and a decidedly un-cheesy romantic comedy. For anyone living in the Boston area, this should lighten the mood without making you gag.
Unlike many big Hollywood releases starring female leads who are essentially caricatures and condescending to the audience, Next Stop Wonderland (1998) stars Hope Davis as the quintessential smart, confident, cool girl and great catch.
The Boston setting comes through in literally every scene, with local flavor popping off the screen.
Kudos to Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert Klein for appearing in this film which only cost $1 million to make.
If you missed or dismissed Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) out of hand, then you are doing yourself a disservice. This is the talented writer/director Todd Solondz’s breakout film.
I would argue that the trailer below features funnier dialogue than most of the feature length material coming out of Hollywood nowadays which passes itself off as “comedy.”
Not all girls want to play with dolls. Todd Solondz became the most talked-about new director in recent years with this acclaimed comedy about the suburban condition. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Welcome to the Dollhouse follows 11-year-old Dawn “Wienerdog” Wiener (Heather Matarazzo), a junior high geek who just wants to be popular. Teased by her classmates, tormented by the school bully, Dawn develops an improbable plan to seduce the star of a high-school garage band. Bitterly funny and true to life,