• the-nice-guys-film-goruntusu

    Review: The Nice Guys

    Monday, May 23, 2016

    In his last two directorial efforts (Kiss Kiss,Bang Bang; Iron Man 3) veteran screenwriter Shane Black enjoyed having Robert Downey Jr. as his lead. Lucky him! This time it’s Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. They don’t merely reinforce the material here–they propel a breathtakingly-paced yet lax script into the smart-and-funny category. That is not to […]

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  • sevignybeckinsale-xlarge

    Review: Love and Friendship

    Monday, May 23, 2016

    Step aside, Blanchett. Make room, Winslet. There’s a new Kate in town. Actually, she’s not new at all. More like rejuvenated. Kate Beckinsale, who’s best work might have been her previous collaboration with director Whit Stillman (Last Days of Disco, 1998) reunites with Stillman in a spot-on, deliciously devilish Jane Austen adaptation. In Love and […]

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  • MW-ED211_Money__ZG_20160113101710

    Review: Money Monster

    Friday, May 13, 2016

    The villainous hedge fund in Money Monster is an outfit lamely called IBIS Clear Capital (presumably the moniker ISIS was already taken). Unfortunately the rest of the film is seriously marred from equally obvious manipulations. On the occasions when the film’s three screenwriters don’t resort to cheating and short-cutting the material, this Jody Foster-directed effort […]

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  • Pl9rAQy

    Review: Captain America – Civil War

    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Kudos: Nineteen year-old British actor Tom Holland takes a pretty decent Marvel movie to a higher level of fun. With the help of a spot-on Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Holland busts out a vexatious yet wholesome new version of the decidedly non-Marvel Spider Man. He’s an oasis in the take-itself seriously Marvel desert. […]

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  • IMG_3487.JPG

    Review: Papa: Hemingway In Cuba

    Friday, April 29, 2016

    Is there any doubt Ernest Hemingway would have deplored the gross sentimentality displayed in Papa: Hemingway in Cuba? Short of being merely misguided, this sloppily mounted biopic of the gifted writer in 1959 Havana commits the even greater sin of not seeming to care about its subject. The first film shot in Cuba since that […]

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  • Key-and-Peele-Movie-Keanu

    Interview: Jordan Peele–Keanu

    Friday, April 29, 2016

    Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key have been a comedy writing/ performing pair since their work together in the early 2000s. They honed their distinct brand of comedy  during their tenure at MADtv . In 2012, with the launch of their eponymous sketch show, Key and Peele’s names became permanently associated with writing and performing  brilliant […]

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  • Embrace-of-the-Serpent-2_0

    Review: Embrace the Serpent

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Forget Apocalypse Now. Toss aside Conrad’s venerated Heart of Darkness. When it comes to obtaining a vivid realization of the essence of Amazonian culture, check out Ciro Guerra’s amazing Embrace of the Serpent. The stunningly shot black-and-white Colombian Oscar nominee frames two separate interactions, 40 years apart, between a pair of white explorers and an […]

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  • EverybodyWantsSome

    Review: Everybody Wants Some!

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Everybody Wants Some!! is Richard Linklater’s most deceptive film. On its surface it is light as a feather but hang out with it for its 100-minute (and far too short!) length and its 11 unique characters leave an indelible impression. Linklater, the director of numerous classics (Before Midnight, Boyhood) is also adroit at the offbeat […]

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  • 1408134550000-Don-Cheadle-Miles-Ahead-Film-Miles-Osaka-Poster-6-30-14-1221-2

    Review: Miles Ahead

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Unfortunately Don Cheadle, despite displaying savvy acting chops in playing the ever irascible Miles Davis, does a disservice to one of the 20th century’s leading jazz musicians. In Miles Ahead, which Cheadle directed and co-wrote, unmoored diversions plague what amounts to more of a made-up buddy/heist picture than a serious look at a complex man. In […]

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  • demolition-jake-gyllenhaal-toronto-film-festival

    Review: Demolition

    Sunday, April 10, 2016

    It is all the harder to swallow the premise of this fanciful film when it starts out with its antihero (Jake Gyllenhaal) writing the first of a series of lengthy personal missives to the customer service department of a vending company that cheated him out of $1.25. This in the emergency room of a hospital […]

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Recent Articles

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Dec
4

Review: James White

The gut-wrenching, unflinching James White, the inaugural film by Josh Mond, brazenly pulls onto your jacket’s lapels with a sharp array of tight closeup shots and equally closeup feelings. In actor Christopher Abbott, Mond (producer of the excellent Martha Marcy May Marlene) has found a wonder of nature. They provide a character that utterly sticks […]

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Dec
3

Review: Trumbo

  Excluding a “where they are now” segment, Trumbo ends with Dalton Trumbo giving his 1970 WGA Laurel Award acceptance speech. In this speech, Trumbo speaks about the importance of remembering the blacklist, in order to heal. More than anything else, this seems to be the thesis of the movie. There were no heroes or […]

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Entertainment
Dec
2

Review: Entertainment

  “What’s the difference between Courtney Love and the American flag?” asks The Comedian in Rick Alverson’s latest film Entertainment, a study of isolation, mundanity and the qualifications of entertainers in modern culture.  I’ll spare the punch line of that joke due to explicit language; I only wanted to give you a sense of the […]

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Dec
1

Review: Creed

By now–39 years in–you’ve made up your mind on the Sylvester Stallone Rocky persona. Whether you see it as down-home, dogged, feel-good corn or self-aware bluster, his character needs little explanation. In Creed, playing a reluctant trainer, Stallone feels right at home uttering lines like “It’s you against you; he’s just in the ring,” and […]

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Nov
25

Review: The Night Before

Seth Rogen, clad in a Star of David sweater, is tripping on mushrooms while out gallivanting with his two buddies on Christmas Eve. Before he leaves home, his pregnant wife provides him with a small box full of drugs. So it’s only natural according to the logic of dumb comedies that, after wandering away from […]

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Brooklyn
Nov
25

Review: Brooklyn

The 1950s-era drama Brooklyn possesses the unique ability to break your heart while it simultaneously renews your faith in humanity. In what could have been a setup for sentimentality in lesser hands, director John Crowley fine tunes the heartstrings into a stellar chamber piece of emotionally intense filmmaking. When young Irish immigrant Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) […]

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Man up paint
Nov
23

Review: Man Up

Most romantic comedies have the same basic plot. Boy meets Girl, otherwise known as the Meet Cute. Boy and Girl start hanging out more, and grow closer: The Relationship. Either the Boy or the Girl leaves for some reason- it could be a misunderstanding, a previous commitment, etc.: The Exit. Boy and Girl spend time […]

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Spotlight_film_2015
Nov
16

Review: Spotlight

A resistant Boston archdiocese that covered up a massive scandal of pedophilia among its priesthood is confronted by a crack Boston Globe team of investigative reporters in the excellent Spotlight. Among the obstacles the journalists face is a 53 percent Catholic readership who, along with the courts, were for many years manipulated into looking the […]

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Nov
16

Review: The Assassin

Sometimes you just need to throw out the expectations provided by the conventionalities of film–plot, developed story arc, action itself. With the Assassin, Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s wuxia that was seven years in the making, a master of extreme craftsmanship throws the martial arts film on its head. The result is so beautiful to watch, you may […]

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Nov
6

Review: Spectre

Rampant plot shortcuts, large stretches of filler, and a Daniel Craig so laid back this time out he actually seems anesthetized–all add up to a dry-martini-sipping James Bond caught in a movie that’s mostly all wet. The Bond franchise made strides toward reclaiming the high standing of the Sean Connery era with the advent of […]

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Philadelphia Film Festival 2015

Man up paint
Nov
23

Review: Man Up

Most romantic comedies have the same basic plot. Boy meets Girl, otherwise known as the Meet Cute. Boy and Girl start hanging out more, and grow closer: The Relationship. Either the Boy or the Girl leaves for some reason- it could be a misunderstanding, a previous commitment, etc.: The Exit. Boy and Girl spend time […]

baskin
Nov
6

PFF24: Baskin

While the Turkish horror film Baskin is, throughout its run, a beautiful film with creative imagery, its inability to foster a tone of tension (mostly through the fault of its characters), leaves it with an empty feeling overall and to its violence. Baskin plays with a beautiful color palette from the beginning in its lighting […]