On Jan. 17, Instituto Cervantes at the National Hispanic Cultural Center kicks of a brand-new, multiweek film series. “Cinema Policíaco” shines a spotlight on the low-budget gangster thrillers studios in Madrid and Barcelona were pumping out in the ’50s. The series starts with a bang this Thursday thanks to ultraprolific director Ignacio F. Iquino’s Brigada Criminal. This 1950 film spins the story of a fresh-faced graduate from Madrid’s Police School who becomes involved in a robbery at a bank where his uncle works as a teller.
Employing weddings to make women cry (Four Weddings and a Funeral, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Wedding Planner, The Wedding Singer, The Wedding Date, The Runaway Bride) is a cheap and easy tactic. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s simply ... unsporting (to say nothing of uninspired) of filmmakers.
Much-praised director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) ditches his popular ensemble-cast comedy/drama style for a dark, visually sparse single-character study. Borrowing some of its plot and most of its characters from an obscure Upton Sinclair novel (titled Oil!), Anderson’s There Will Be Blood sweet-talks Irish actor Daniel Day-Lewis out of yet another self-imposed “retirement” to play the single most vicious, mesmerizing, unforgettable character of the year.
“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” isn’t the best sci-fi action series ever made. But given today’s Writers Guild strike-mandated slate of reality shows and reruns, it’s enough to rate as a desperately welcome addition to the midseason TV schedule.