If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want a glass of milk. And if you give a major movie star AIDS, he’ll probably want an Oscar. So it goes. The year 2013 is shaping up to be a year of Very Important Movies. Multiple Civil Rights stories are already gunning for prizes, […]Read More ‘Buyers’ Remorse: AIDS Returns To The Academy Awards
And then this happened. My last review was Twelve Years A Slave, a movie that could very well top my year-end “Best Of 2013” list, a movie that could very well win Best Picture at the Academy Awards next spring. But who knows? Success is hard to predict. I’m pretty sure what you’ll find at […]Read More ‘Tomorrow’ Bland: It’s A Small Film After All
Sometimes, you feel like a movie is just speaking directly to you. I saw Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave last night, and I could so identify with the protagonist Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) — because I, too, have been subject to the twisted whims and brutal hand of cruel fates and a merciless master. […]Read More Solomon Chained: McQueen Unleashes A Mighty ‘Slave’
In space, no one can hear you scream. Or gasp. Or cheer. Or breathe all heavy, because you’re having a panic attack. How do I know? Because I’ve been to space — or, at least, gotten as close as I’ll ever get, thanks to Alfonso Cuaron’s immersive Gravity.Read More Defiant ‘Gravity’: Cuaron Does It Again!
Ah, porn. The redheaded stepchild of cinema proper. Hollywood has a fascination with the stuff, even if not a whole lot of movies explore the industry in depth. The most famous is, of course, Boogie Nights, the gold standard to which all films about the adult entertainment industry will now be held up. The latest […]Read More In Too Deep: Girls Gone Wild In ‘Lovelace’ & ‘Spring Breakers’
General audiences tend to hear about the year’s best indies in fall or winter, if they hear of them at all. These films’ releases aren’t quite as calculated as the major Oscar contenders, which tend to open in November or December, sometimes a few weeks earlier. Indies can roll out in the less cluttered summer […]Read More ‘Short’ & Sweet: Two Talented Filmmakers On The Rise
Is The Canyons worth a review? Probably not. But here’s one anyway.Read More Not-So-Grand ‘Canyons’: Lindsay’s Latest Debacle
It’s a little glib to label the entire Woody Allen oeuvre “White People Problems,” but the man has often explored the neuroses of the reasonably well-to-do (and sometimes the very, very well-to-do). His films often feel cut off from the world as we know it; his characters exist in sealed-off realms that aren’t much affected […]Read More Deep ‘Blue’: Woody Allen Dives Into The Recession
Pedro Almodovar is one of those filmmakers whose films I’ll see no matter what. The melodrama, the bright colors, the frankness about sexuality — they tend to be a good time. Ever since 2002’s Talk To Her, I’ve caught each of them in theaters, and all have been worthwhile. I haven’t yet explored his pre-All […]Read More Easily ‘Excited’: Almodovar’s Mile-High Romp
United 93. The Social Network. Zero Dark Thirty. And now… The Bling Ring. Not many movies are made so directly after the true events in them took place, and often a “too soon” haze lingers over them — especially prior to their release. We weren’t sure we wanted a 9/11 docudrama recreating that fateful flight, […]Read More Faking & Entering: ‘The Bling Ring’ Is Like ‘TMZ: The Movie’
I have yet to see a single blockbuster this summer. No Iron Man, no Gatsby, no Fast & Furious, no Star Trek. It’s not that these movies are totally unappealing, just that there’s always been something more enticing playing on fewer screens. So Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing really shouldn’t feel like such a […]Read More ‘Nothing’ Really Matters: Is Joss Whedon Our Shakespeare?
The Before trilogy is maybe the most unlikely trilogy of them all — if you can even call it one. The word “trilogy” conjures an epic vibe, as if Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy should be running around in cape and cowl fighting crime in order to justify a three-part, decades-spanning story. Before Sunrise certainly […]Read More After The Sunset: Jesse & Celine Get Dark In ‘Before Midnight’