• 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

truth_still
Nov
6

Review: Truth

Portraying Dan Rather, Robert Redford perfectly captures the former CBS anchorman’s Texan vocal nuances. Yet Truth, the new film by James Vanderbilt (screenwriter, Zodiac), places its emphasis on Rather’s producer, Mary Mapes, in telling the story of their mutual downfall after televising an investigative report questioning George W. Bush’s military service. Cate Blanchett, as Mapes, […]

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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 […]

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spl2review-1
Oct
29

PFF24 Review: SPL 2: A Time for Consequences

The sad thing about SPL 2: A Time For Consequences is that I can’t get excited about writing a review for it. One would think that a movie with a title that over-the-top and with a trailer that features a bunch of insane action snippets would be fun and engaging to watch. Unfortunately, the movie […]

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Oct
27

PFF24 Review: The Program

The narrative surrounding Lance Armstrong was just too good to offer much public resistance. His overcoming of testicular cancer diagnosed at age 21, his championing of promoting others to fight the disease, and not least, his seven consecutive Tour de France victories all clouded the many signals that something grim was awry. Stephen Frears’ The […]

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Oct
27

PFF24 Review: Ixcanul Volcano

Dirt-poor with no running water nor electricity, and unable to read or write, Maria (unprofessional actress Maria Mercedes Coroy) is set up by her strong-willed, well-meaning parents for an arranged marriage to the foreman of the coffee plantation they inhabit. What transpires is a revealing glimpse into the Mayan culture of the Guatemalan highlands. Maria’s […]

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Oct
27

PFF24 Review: Dheepan

If you haven’t seen Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet (2010), do whatever it takes to catch up. Also, don’t miss Auduard’s latest, Dheepan, winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Dheepan is the story of a “fake family” of refuges from war-torn Sri Lanka. Former Tamil Tiger Dheepan (Antonysaythan Jesuthasan, himself a former boy soldier), in […]

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600_miles_still
Oct
27

PFF24 Review: 600 Miles

The highly versatile Tim Roth stars as Hank Harris, a DEA agent who gets kidnapped by a small time Mexican gun runner in 600 Miles. Sicario it is not. The film’s early scenes depict twerpy south-of-the-border Arnulfo (Kristyan Ferrer) acquiring automatic weapons at Arizona gun shops and gun shows. His pesky gringo friend Carson (Harrison […]

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os-bridge-of-spies-trailer-tom-hanks-20150616123
Oct
19

Review: Bridge of Spies

Returning to the suspense realm he so strikingly presented in Munich (2005), Steven Spielberg tackles the Cold War era in Bridge of Spies with resounding success. Tom Hanks stars as an unwitting spy straight out of Frank Capra. Hanks plays James Donovan, an insurance lawyer with no apparent political leanings (although he had worked as […]

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Steve-Jobs-movie-full-trailer-image-001
Oct
16

Review: Steve Jobs

An impossible perfectionist, an utterly vainglorious egomaniac, an intently focused mover and shaker, Steve Jobs also sucks at life outside the workplace. Yet he’s somehow not a total asshole. Leave it up to his biographer and people who knew him to pass judgement on the accuracy of Michael Fassbender’s performance as Steve Jobs. On the […]

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99-homes
Oct
9

Review: 99 Homes

To steal a sports metaphor, when Michael Shannon is in one his his “zones” the result is pure magic. In 99 Homes, Shannon portrays Rick Carver, a calm-as-a-monk, slyly ruthless opportunist. His game? Real estate repossession manipulation and outright scams, and he’s a hall-of-fame level competitor. The plot device here is Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield), […]

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Philadelphia Film Festival 2015

spl2review-1
Oct
29

PFF24 Review: SPL 2: A Time for Consequences

The sad thing about SPL 2: A Time For Consequences is that I can’t get excited about writing a review for it. One would think that a movie with a title that over-the-top and with a trailer that features a bunch of insane action snippets would be fun and engaging to watch. Unfortunately, the movie […]

the-club_2
Oct
27

PFF24 Review: The Club

The Club, intelligently complex yet not in the least academic, has the dynamism of a thriller. Essentially a moral fable, the Chilean director Pablo Larrain follow-up to his Oscar-nominated Film No, is at once a bold tale rooted in the reality of the Catholic Church’s pedophilia scandal. Four exiled priests and a caretaker nun live […]