Archive for the “2005” Category


July 10, 2009
Vietnamese / English
114 Minutes — February 24, 2006
Crime / Drama / Romance / Thriller
Rowan Woods

A former heroin user’s efforts to rebuild her life are hampered by her drug-dealing brother and boyfriend and her best friend, a onetime sporting hero turned addict.

Cate Blanchett is her usual fantastic self, this time as a 32-year-old recovering heroin addict, forced to continue to live with the mistakes she made five years prior. She lives at home with her mother and has worked for four years in a Little Saigon video store. She longs to own her own place but no bank will look past her previous financial trouble. Her ex-boyfriend, Dustin Nguyen (yup, 21 Jump St), comes back to town after his own drug issues and they try to avoid old habits. Sam Neill plays a crime boss who dabbles in young men and Hugo Weaving plays a former rugby great, now reduced to selling jerseys for drug money. Each of the characters is afraid of being ordinary, small, like the title says. Blanchett’s family has had their share of tragedy, but so have so many others in Sydney.

One very bright spot is the Vietnamese/Australian relations in this film. Drug dealers come from both camps, business leaders come from both camps, both sets of parents are demanding and caring, and no one utters a word which would cause you to think they even noticed the difference. Cate and Dustin were/are in love, Cate learns Vietnamese to better deal with customers, Dustin’s uncles reflect on their own immigration story. That phase of the film was incredibly well done.

It’s not quite as sad as it all sounds. It’s dreamy and out of focus. We don’t see any detox scenes which have become filmmaking cliches. But somehow, Blanchett shows us how hard it is to try to rebuild a life after being an addict.

7.7 Metacritic
6.4 IMDB


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August 6, 2008
Netflix DVD
Canada / India
117 Minutes – April 28, 2006
Drama / Romance
Deepa Mehta

In 1938 an 8-year-old girl is sent to live for the rest of her life in an ashram for widows when her elderly husband dies; there she witnesses the doomed love affair of a young widow who is forced into prostitution to earn money for the others.


Lisa Ray & John Abraham

ON: Foreign

*** Halliwell’s
7.7 Metacritic
7.7 IMDB


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Man Push Cart Photo

June 12, 2008
Netflix DVD
English / Urdu
87 Minutes
Ramin Bahrani

7.1 Metacritic
6.9 IMDB

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June 7, 2008
April 6, 2005
DVD (Thank You, Lilly)
147 Minutes
Action / Crime / Thriller
D: Frank Miller [300]
D: Robert Rodriguez [El Mariachi; Desperado; From Dusk Till Dawn; Grindhouse]

In corrupt Basin City, three men — an honest cop, a tough ex-convict and a man on the run — try to protect the women they love and suffer for it.

Sweet extras on the DVD. All greenscreen edition. Really a cool flick.

7.4 Metacritic
8.4 IMDB


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Written by Michael W. Cummins