Cheer Up Charlies
"...Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Andrea Martin and Joey Fatone. How can you not love a film that revolves around a dingy Greek restaurant called “Dancing Zorba's?” Impossible, I know, but that's only one tiny delicious flake on the baklava of demented familial cheer that is My Big Fat Greek Wedding..."
"...This pointless sequel to 2002’s blockbuster indie comedy dutifully recycles with desperate comic purpose the original’s Windex gags, etymological jokes, and obsession with everything Greek: You laughed at this once before, why not again? Fast forward almost a decade-and-a-half after My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and the boisterous Portokalos clan hasn’t changed one iota. Five minutes in their company and you’ll need a shot or two of ouzo to cope with the exhausting cultural stereotypes on constant display..."
"...For many people in the queer community, Greek life on college campuses can seem rather frightening. Fraternities and sororities, by tradition, have been built on heteronormative structures and strict gender binary codes...."
"...Mention the phrase "Greek cinema" to most people, and you're likely to hear more about films that used the olive-drenched countryside and the Aegean Sea as a location backdrop than were actually shot by Greek filmmakers, à la Gabriele Salvatores' achingly sexy Mediterraneo or that other Anthony Quinn film, the much discussed and quickly dismissed Jacqueline Kennedy/Aristotle Onassis biopic The Greek Tycoon. (Counting Mihalis Kakogiannis' high-stepping Zorba the Greek is just too easy.)..."
"...Starring: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Sean Combs, Elisabeth Moss, Rose Byrne and Colm Meaney. Director Stoller and producer Judd Apatow of the 2008 Jason Segel-penned comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall have taken that film’s breakout character Aldous Snow, a debauched rock & roll travesty, and spun him into the star of his own movie, Get Him to the Greek..."
"...Tino's Greek Cafe..."
"...Christina was elegant and quite knowledgeable, and since Greek wines are still relatively unknown, it was a great experience to taste through some of her best. We tried five wines (they make dozens) and enjoyed how well they tasted with the cuisine at El Naranjo..."
"...Out this month from SoHo Press Books, Alcestis rethinks Greek mythology’s most martyred wife. Publishers Weekly says Beutner “renders her multilayered heroine with beauty and delicacy, and concerns herself with no less than the intricacies of the soul.”..."
"...Since every word must be literally true, it is dismaying to find that fundamentalists read (gasp!) translations of God's word. How dare they alter the word of God! How dare they claim to have read the Bible if they cannot read Hebrew and Greek?..."
"...If you're casting about, looking to remake one of Ray Harryhausen's beloved stop-motion masterpieces but unsure of where to begin, it makes a slanted sort of sense to kick things off with everyone's least favorite of the 24-frames-per-second craftsman's 15-plus forays into "the land beyond beyond." And that, of course, would be 1981's fondly recalled but final – and frankly stodgy – Clash of the Titans. Directed, ploddingly, by Desmond Davis and featuring a raft of international thespians essaying the roles of the major Greek deities – Laurence Olivier as Zeus, Maggie Smith as Thetis, Ursula Andress as Aphrodite – the film remains most (in)famous for the presence of L.A..."
"...If last summer’s Mamma Mia! left you with a hunger to see more Grecian scenery onscreen, then My Life in Ruins offers a snack to keep your juices flowing until you make it to the Parthenon some day in the future. The snack, however, won’t be especially nutritious nor will it look as spectacular as the sun-dappled water and cliffs did in Mamma Mia!’s Greek isle..."
"...The delicate tremolo of Captain Corelli's Mandolin lulls you so completely that it when it comes time for the movie to wrench your heart, you can't possibly respond to it in that way. Set on the postcard-perfect Greek island of Cephalonia during its Italian occupation during World War II, the film succeeds more as an enticement for a vacation on the Ionian Sea than anything else -- those crystalline waters and majestic mountains are so alluring that they're downright distracting..."
"...Which, I suppose, made Singh a no-brainer – at least on paper – to take on an actual Greek myth, or at least a cobbled-together one, in Immortals. But in putting Singh's ancients-recalling aesthetic into something like its correct context, the thumpingness of his vision has turned rather tinny...."
"...Starring: Alex Dimitriades, Paul Capsis, Julian Garner, Elena Mandalis, Elena Mandalis, Eugenia Fragos, Damien Fotiou and Andrea Mandalis. As the woefully conflicted young Greek-Australian Ari, the feral, dynamic Dimitriades is less a teenage house o' fire than a self-made neutron bomb: He may kill himself, but he'll leave everyone around him standing..."
"...There are many reasons to check out this adaptation of novelist Rick Riordan's young-adult-oriented Percy Jackson series, but precious few of them are (presumably) intended as such. I haven't read Riordan's take on the Greek gods and their 20th century teen offspring vs..."
"...When the project was foundering for lack of a producer, Seawell -- also a longtime governor of the RSC -- committed the millions necessary to produce Tantalus at his theatre, in association with the RSC. Thus, the father-son directorial team of Sir Peter Hall and Edward Hall, a cast of English and American actors, and designers from around the globe convened in the Mile High City for six months to develop a new work of ancient Greek drama...."
"...Starring: Harvey Keitel, Maia Morgenstern and Giorgos Michalakopolous. Ulysses' Gaze is one of those films that appeals to what might be called art-movie machismo: Hey buddy, how long can you stare at images of silently drifting fog banks, pretending to be overwhelmed by the massive sense of weltschmerz they impart? I just clocked three solid hours with this baby! Okay -- so that's a cheap shot that misrepresents the value and meaning of Greek director Angelopoulos' ambitious 180-minute work..."
"...Starring: Iris Chatziantoniou, Isabelle Renauld, Achileas Skevis and Bruno Ganz. To enter the world of Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos is to gain a whole new set of reference points for the word “slow.” With an aesthetic seemingly ready-made for fans of Internet weather-cams, his solemn, dreamlike films unfold in an endless procession of glacial tracking shots, minimal action, and soulful, incantatory dialogue..."
"...The patriarchy gets another lashing from Yorgos Lanthimos in his latest film allegory The Killing of a Sacred Deer. The Greek filmmaker takes no prisoners in this story that is loosely connected to the Greek myth of Iphigenia, who was sacrificed to the gods by her father King Agamemnon..."
"...Diamond’s Some Like It Hot, a film regularly cited as the greatest comedy of all time. Writer-star Nia Vardalos gets points for ambition, but, as with her first film, the ridiculously popular My Big Fat Greek Wedding, her comic touch registers more tepid than hot..."
"...A few weeks ago, Chronicle Food Editor Virginia Wood asked me to help pick some wines for an Eat, Drink, Watch Movies dinner at the Alamo Drafthouse benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank. The movie was My Big Fat Greek Wedding with food by the Pyramids restaurant..."
"...Murray Abraham, Michael Rapaport, Peter Weller, Claire Bloom, Olympia Dukakis, David Ogden Stiers and Jack Warden. Mighty Aphrodite may take its thematic and structural cues from Greek tragedy, but it's second-rate Borscht Belt all the way..."
"...Additionally, the chemistry between brothers is real, often moving as three parts of the same whole: whether huddling together while chanting “body heat, body heat, body heat,” banging on drums, or running wild through the woods. One says, “it’s not our fault”; the other, “it’s always our fault” in a Greek chorus of survivor logic...."
"...This, uh, wonderfully directed and near-perfectly cast iconic heroine female empowerment story is so similar in tone and feel to Marvel Studios’ Captain America that I was waiting for Stan Lee to show up, possibly as a eunuch. But, no, this is a big girl’s game all the way, replete with Greek mythos, star-spangled corsetry, and an exhilarating performance from Israeli actor Gal Gadot as Diana, Princess of Themyscira (aka Wonder Woman, although no one says it aloud), the bullet-deflecting, Lasso of Truth-whipping, not-entirely-American – yet utterly feminist – heroine created by writer William Moulton Marston and illustrator Harry G..."
"...Find true love in 45 days, or you’ll be turned into a crustacean. It sounds like the setup for a Disney fairy tale, but in his English-language debut The Lobster, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos re-envisions this fantastical conceit as a metaphor for the pains and perils of being in or out of a relationship...."
"...Consider The Lobster, the latest salvo from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, and his first English-language feature. Much like his home-school nightmare Dogtooth, The Lobster presents a very controlled, mannered universe in which the set of rules are firmly in place..."
"...Theatre makers have spent ages justifying the means to Medea's ends, citing her agency and assertion of power in a male-dominated world or even the abstract of Medea as a tragic hero, victim to malevolent gods (her undying love for Jason the result of Eros' arrow). For me, infanticide strips a character of all humanity and sympathy, and I'd call out the Greek classic as the epitome of the "overreacting, oversensitive" female stereotype that plagues us still: the thoroughly rotten trope of women going bat-shit, stabby crazy because of a man, even if that man's vile actions are the impetus for her empowerment..."
"...Once the master of squeamish body horror and existential dread, his output as of late has veered from historical drama (A Dangerous Method) to dense literary adaptation (Cosmopolis) – the director following his delightfully perverse muse wherever it takes him. This latest film is ostensibly a salvo aimed at Hollywood, but, ultimately, it rests quite comfortably in the realm of Greek tragedy, dealing in incest, ghosts, and devastating family secrets..."
"...That would be Eva Green’s fearless and cunning Artemisia, the leader of the Persian fleet. Cloaked in warrior-noir leather couture, she’s hellbent on attacking the Greeks’ watery flanks even as “the 300” are going gloriously to their fabled deaths on the other side of the as-yet-unified country..."
"...However, even the worst of these usually had some fun action scenes, which is Harlin’s specialty. This origin story of the great hero Hercules (Lutz) of Greek mythology lacks even one semi-decent action piece..."
"...Sure to lift the benighted spirits of Greeks currently flailing in an economic Hades of their own making but a drag for anyone else, this iffy sequel to last year's Clash of the Titans is considerably less captivating than the Eurozone crisis. It doesn't help matters that the 3-D, which by now is all but unavoidable, remains uninspired – although, to be fair, it's not as muddily dark as its predecessor, Clash of the Titans...."
"...Henson, Wilmer Valderrama, Pam Grier, Rita Wilson and George Takei. Co-written by Tom Hanks and My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Nia Vardalos, Larry Crowne is a slight, facile, and ultimately yawn-worthy romantic comedy, and one of the most obvious if unexpected missteps in Hanks' career..."
"...At this point, Villeneuve interweaves episodes of Jeanne’s search with others of Nawal’s young-adult life in this country. Many surprises surface but not until Simon finally joins Jeanne abroad does the ultimate, abominable revelation become manifest, and Villeneuve manages to pull it off in a manner that’s at once artistically oblique and as piercing as a sudden bolt in an ancient Greek tragedy..."
"...Starring: Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia, Mary Tsoni, Hristos Passalis and Anna Kalaitzidou. Winner of the Un Certain Regard Award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, this strange Greek drama is a far cry from the Hellenic classics..."
"...Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire, Sam Shepard, Mare Winningham, Bailee Madison, Taylor Geare and Clifton Collins Jr.. Inferior in practically every way to Danish director Susanne Bier’s original Brødre – but now with more U2! – Brothers draws from two rampaging traditions, Greek tragedy and romantic melodrama, and renders both weirdly inert..."
"...Well, not that he’s no good but rather that he has terrible luck, that life can and will drop on his head at any moment, and that he’s developed a thousand and one post-Stella Adler affectations as a way of protecting himself from the inevitable crash. The list of Billy’s problems reads like an ancient Greek litany: He’s a drunk, he’s on the run from a violent drug dealer (an oddly cast Matthews, leader of the good-natured fusion/jam-rock band that bears his name), he’s recently had to move back in with his mother in small-town Virginia, his junkie girlfriend (de Matteo) uses their son as a drug mule, and he’s stuck emotionally in a single dark moment from his childhood, forced to relive its trauma over and over again in moody flashbacks..."
"...My Best Friend, the latest in French writer/director Leconte’s long and varied oeuvre, is just such a pair of cozy pajamas: What it lacks in style and controversy it compensates for in genial blandness, like a bologna sandwich or the most recent Coldplay albums. The film takes us inside the hermetic world of François Coste (Auteuil), an antiques dealer who, though deep into his sixth decade on the planet, is more comfortable in the company of fifth century Greek vases than that of his fellow Parisians..."
"...Gross so accurately put it: “That’s not funny – that’s sick.”) Fans of the creakily amusing but more often than not cringe-worthy Scary Movie franchise will find that, obviously, more than two writers are necessary to generate a modicum of yuks; any less, and all you end up with are yucks, and, it should go without saying, enough fart jokes to stifle even Eddie Murphy’s fetishistic output. Ostensibly a parody of touchy-feely-quasi-comedies like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Meet the Parents, Date Movie plays even beyond the balconies to the streets outside, where it’s cold, wet, and desperately in need of a good diarrhea gag..."
"...Movie cuts out a lot of the farce (no dry-cleaner hijinks or trip to Kenya) and fills in blanks with Motown needle-drops to provide time-released "go-girl" sensation. Trio of supporting characters reduced to Greek chorus of love advice..."
"...What follows is a history lesson set to animé – as she recounts her various roles over the years, Chiyoko is seen century by century, from the 15th through the Shogunate and up to the 20th. She’s shown as the characters in her films, while Genyo and Kyoji pop up from time to time as a sort of Greek chorus, commenting on Chiyoko’s actions and reactions..."
"...Starring: Luke Kirby, Ginette Reno, Paul Sorvino, Claudia Ferri, Peter Miller, Mary Walsh and Tara Nicodemo. The marketers of Mambo Italiano would like us to believe that this gay romantic comedy will be the next My Big Fat Greek Wedding..."
"...Starring: Franky G, Leo Minaya, Manuel Cabral, Julissa Lopez, Jessica Morales, Héctor González and Panchito Gómez. If you shy away from that sick feeling in the pit of the stomach that comes when watching good people make bad decisions, then best to steer clear of Manito, a low-budget indie that reaches near-Greek proportions of tragedy brought on by lousy decision-making..."
"...No one here may be taken at face value: That is, everyone appears to be a monster, but, against all odds, shreds of humanity manage to claw their way through the tough hide. The simplest way to break down Igby Goes Down is to call it a black comedy, but Greek tragedy would be more on the nose..."
"...WH: It's fascinating because something very crude, something very raw is emerging. A very raw, primitive form of new drama is being born, as primitive and crude as it must have been in the earlier Greek times before Sophocles and before Euripides, when something like this emerged for the public eye..."
"...house sorority. The logic of it all will be Greek to anyone not predisposed to the movie's rude and crude humor..."
"...For the rest, it's just an orgy of yuck. Based on the peripheral characters Jay and Silent Bob (Mewes and Smith), who were utilized as a sort of stoner Greek chorus in Smith's previous films Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy, this final outing places the inept, scatological-humor-inclined pair at the forefront of the plot and then surrounds them with a dozen or more characters who have also previously appeared in Smith's films..."
"...Macy, he of the hangdog looks and the slowly imploding temperament. But as a man going through an unusual mid-life crisis in this superlative little film, Macy keeps his emotions on an edgy simmer until all hell finally breaks loose with the fury of a classic Greek tragedy..."
"...The melting-pot restaurant is presided over by the waitress/transplantee's grandfather, who is played with colorful gusto by Carroll O'Connor. He and his card-playing buddies form a sweetly comical Greek chorus of old-timers who observe and comment on the young lovers..."
"...Once mutated, Godzilla (accidentally renamed from the correct Japanese Gojira) makes his way toward New York City to -- surprise -- lay eggs in the subway system. Broderick, as Greek “worm guy” Dr..."
"...Alyssa's friends are shocked and dismayed to find one of their own “going over to the other side,” while Banky -- Holden's best friend since time immemorial -- is frustrated by the possibility of losing Holden to someone else, especially a “scheming dyke.” It's not all hearts and flowers, though; Chasing Amy sizzles with Smith's hilarious dialogue, much of which comes in the form of rants from Hooper (Ewell), a gay African-American comic book artist and pal of Holden's who pretends to be a militant straight man for the benefit of the public. And then there's the Smith's old standbys, the trench-coated Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith, not so silent here), a sort of Greek chorus on weed..."