Bounty and Loss in the Streaming Era
Published 12/11/2013 at 11:57 a.m. 0 comments
It feels like I’m standing on the lip of a new era of film-nerd-dom, one defined by both dizzying bounty and by gradual, possibly irrevocable loss. The boom in streaming offers the tantalizing promise of watching anything we want anytime ...
A Pair of Mumblecore Vets Find New Possibilities in 'Frances Ha' and 'Computer Chess'
Published 11/27/2013 at 2:04 p.m. 0 comments
At this late date, a platonic romcom crossed with a coming-of-age tale shouldn’t have Frances Ha’s freshness, its sparkle, its gimlet-eyed shrewdness about character, its genuine emotional wallop.
Some Things Never Change: Yet More Badly Written Female Characters, Led by 'Lovelace'
Published 11/13/2013 at 12:14 p.m. 0 comments
Fellow writer and film nerd Violet LeVoit made a solid case recently that Deep Throat is of such cultural and historical significance that it should be added to U.S. National Film Registry alongside Citizen Kane and the Zapruder film. No ...
Sailing Into Uncharted Territory With 'A Hijacking' and 'Leviathan'
Published 10/30/2013 at 11:11 a.m. 0 comments
No one could blame you if you felt you’d had your fill of films featuring mensch-y cargo-ship crews versus Somali pirates. But if Captain Phillips didn’t totally top you off, consider making time for A Hijacking (Magnolia DVD, Blu-ray, and ...
'Room 237' Sheds Light on the Craziest Interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s 'The Shining'
Published 10/16/2013 at 11:26 a.m. 0 comments
“I’m gonna make a little bit of a leap here.” Yeah, no kidding. By the time you hear an unseen speaker say those words, you’re well down the rabbit hole that is Room 237 (MPI DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming), a ...
Olivier Assayas and Sofia Coppola Catch the Complicated Moods of Two Very Different Eras
Published 10/2/2013 at 11:21 a.m. 0 comments
A fun experiment that perhaps one could have conducted at some hypothetical groovy multiplex earlier this year: Switch the digital prints on audiences waiting to see Olivier Assayas’ Something in the Air (MPI DVD and streaming) and Sofia Coppola’s The ...
'Breaking Bad': The Most Overrated Show Ever
Published 9/25/2013 at 12:00 p.m. 8 comments
Over the past couple of months, I have watched every single episode of the series, seriously trying to understand what everyone else sees in the show. And I am here to tell you that I think show creator Vince Gilligan ...
Four Directors Focus on the Drama of Brutality, With Mixed Results
Published 9/18/2013 at 3:35 p.m. 0 comments
Canadian director Kim Nguyen’s War Witch begins at the kind of emotional pitch most films never reach—a self-orphaning—and it doesn’t let up, or let down, from there.
'Kon-Tiki' and 'Europa Report' Demonstrate the Perils of Old-School Adventure
Published 9/4/2013 at 10:52 a.m. 0 comments
Why do we go to the movies? Well, lots of reasons, but one of the easiest and most common answers involves living other lives, experiencing thrills and dangers unlike the routines of our ordinary lives. In a word: adventure. It ...
Lost in Paradise: Three New Foreign Films Explore the Line Between Fantasy and Reality
Published 8/21/2013 at 10:33 a.m. 0 comments
It’s somewhat comforting to think that the country that once gave us Fellini and Antonioni is as obsessed with tawdry reality TV as we are here in multiplex land.
'Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me': A Loving Tribute to one of the World’s Most Influential Yet Unsuccessful Bands
Published 8/7/2013 at 12:00 p.m. 0 comments
Big Star did change a lot of people’s heads. And if there’s any justice in the world, Nothing Can Hurt Me will only help that number grow.
Peter Farrelly’s 'Movie 43': The Return (or the End) of the Comedy Anthology?
Published 7/24/2013 at 11:40 a.m. 0 comments
What a weird time for the anthology film to be making a comeback.
Claude Lanzmann’s Restored 'Shoah' Gives Voice to the Survivors, Perpetrators, and Collaborators of the Polish Holocaust
Published 7/10/2013 at 10:34 a.m. 0 comments
This is a history told utterly in the now, on the spot, and related almost entirely by eyewitnesses.
Steven Soderbergh Directs a Surprise Ending in the Revelatory Thriller 'Side Effects'
Published 6/26/2013 at 11:35 a.m. 0 comments
You might be forgiven if you didn’t want to sit through 106 minutes of sad, wan Manhattanite Emily (Rooney Mara) struggling with depression. Not that director Steven Soderbergh doesn’t make her story compelling, but his latest film, Side Effects, definitely ...
'Scum' and 'Life Is Sweet' Serve Up Divergent Views of the British Working Class
Published 6/12/2013 at 11:56 a.m. 0 comments
Scum and Life Is Sweet, a pair of older British films out now in new video editions, offer two contrasting and indelible visions of that most endlessly gawkable aspect of British life—its working class.
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