Terence Malick’s 40-Year-Old 'Badlands' Well Suited for the 21st Century
Published 3/27/2013 at 11:52 a.m. 0 comments
Terrence Malick’s trademark lyricism was in full bloom in Badlands, his very first film, and many of his auteurial touches well established. But the Criterion Collection’s new DVD/Blu-ray issue reintroduces a film that’s far flintier and more fraught than Malick’s ...
Getting Lost With 'The Loneliest Planet' and 'Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow'
Published 3/13/2013 at 11:07 a.m. 0 comments
As writer/director Julia Loktev’s elliptical style and carefully parsed feed of information telegraph, the journey at the center of The Loneliest Planet (MPI DVD, download, and streaming) isn’t merely geographical, and the perils aren’t confined to getting lost.
Leos Carax Returns With the Baffling and Enigmatic 'Holy Motors'
Published 2/27/2013 at 10:58 a.m. 0 comments
Carax takes what may very well have started off as a hodgepodge of ideas and weaves them together into a tantalizingly cohesive whole, despite the constant puckish wrong-footing and tangents.
'Dredd' and Takashi Miike offer bloody upgrades
Published 2/13/2013 at 10:48 a.m. 0 comments
Dredd (Lionsgate) probably shouldn’t be any fun. It is an avowed attempt to undo the damage done to the vintage sci-fi comic’s rep by Judge Dredd, the hacktacular 1995 Sylvester Stallone vehicle, and it does so by doubling down on ...
'Detropia' and 'Five Broken Cameras' Offer Intimate Portraits of Communities in Decline and Conflict
Published 1/30/2013 at 11:50 a.m. 0 comments
There are more than 100,000 homes standing vacant in the city of Detroit, many of them fallen into what can only be characterized as ruin. Combined with equally vast tracts of crumbling industrial infrastructure, these acres of shambles have come ...
'Compliance' and the Rediscovered 'Wake in Fright' Depict Life Under Extreme Conditions
Published 1/23/2013 at 10:48 a.m. 0 comments
Compliance (Magnolia) would be a 15-minute short without the not-uncommon quality that gives it its title. Based (alarmingly closely) on actual events, writer/director Craig Zobel’s new film aims to get at the get-along/go-along relationship we have with power, and the ...
'Looper' Seems Behind the Times, But 'Cosmopolis' Approaches Timelessness
Published 1/9/2013 at 10:49 a.m. 0 comments
Perhaps it’s a function of generation, but I remain fascinated by the short period during which Charlton Heston was Hollywood’s Man of the Future, its übermensch of dystopia. Maybe it was simply the success of The Planet of the Apes ...
The Best Home Video of 2012
Published 12/26/2012 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments
Our critic picks the best DVD, Blu-Ray, and streaming choices of the year.
Time-Travel Thriller 'Sound of My Voice' Hits the Wrong Notes
Published 12/12/2012 at 10:00 a.m. 0 comments
Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius) are skeptical. They’ve heard about the ethereal blonde woman drawing followers to a suburban California basement, but they can’t believe she’s anything but a sham, a cult leader sucking in the gullible, the ...
A New Criterion Edition Sparks Reconsideration of 'Heaven’s Gate'
Published 11/28/2012 at 11:46 a.m. 0 comments
For a generation of filmgoers, the very title is synonymous with “bloated debacle.”
It’s the Right Time for a New Edition of Godard’s Biting, Class-Conscious Comedy 'Weekend'
Published 11/14/2012 at 11:52 a.m. 0 comments
If there was ever a time for Weekend to reappear, it’s our recessionary, Occupied era.
Lives of the Artists: Two New Docs Offer Insight Into the Creative Life
Published 10/24/2012 at 11:12 a.m. 0 comments
In many ways, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (Music Box DVD) is a film about watching a woman sit nonreactive, silent, motionless in front of a parade of strangers for hours, for weeks, for months. But Matthew Akers’ new ...
The Criterion Collection Stretches the Boundaries of Classic Cinema
Published 10/10/2012 at 12:24 p.m. 0 comments
What makes a classic film a classic? Landing on some critic’s list? Currency among cinephiles over time? One possible definition is inclusion in the Criterion Collection, the movie-nerd benchmark for quality and erudition.
'Beyond the Black Rainbow' Is More Than Just a Stylish Tribute to ’80s Horror and Sci-Fi
Published 9/19/2012 at 11:06 a.m. 0 comments
The stark, chromatic décor and the pulsing synth score telegraph the days when future visions were transmitted via VHS cassette, or maybe expensive laserdisc. But then this isn’t quite like any 1983 that ever existed on film, much less anything ...
Two Different Approaches To Murder: 'The Snowtown Murders' and 'Kill List'
Published 9/5/2012 at 9:47 a.m. 0 comments
Poverty, broken windows, broken family structures, substance abuse—you know the story. As The Snowtown Murders unfolds, this based-on-actual-events tale takes an even more disturbing turn. Casual murder as a fact of life gets an altogether more facile rendering in Kill ...