• 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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    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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    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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Oct
8

Review: The Walk

An unnerving, exhilarating, you-are-there capturing of the sensations an aerialist experiences is really all that matters in The Walk. Director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forest Gump, Cast Away) tells the story of Philippe Petit, who walked a high wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center not long before the […]

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Oct
5

Review: Mississippi Grind

A couple of apparent losers get acquainted during a poker game in some godforsaken Iowa town. One, Gerry (a terrific Ben Mendelsohn), is a fascinating degenerate gambler who probably couldn’t stop if someone told him the world would end tomorrow if he didn’t. The other player, Curtis (an equally good Ryan Reynolds), is like-able although […]

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Oct
2

Review: The Martian

There’s not a whole lot of real substance in The Martian, and even less surprise. What it does nicely maintain, though, is a frisky well-above-average entertainment level. Director Ridley Scott has been around so long he practically makes cinematic moves in his sleep, and most of them work. While it may all seem a bit […]

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Oct
2

Review: Sicario

Sicario (translation: Hitman) doesn’t fool around. With an uncanny intensity, it centers on a covert CIA mission to combat Mexican drug cartels–an exercise intended to “create chaos” and “dramatically overreact.” So says the group’s unlikely ringleader, Matt (Josh Brolin), who’s apparently so important he attends a high-level meeting with FBI officials clad in flip-flops and […]

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Sep
18

Review: Black Mass

In its best scenes, Black Mass flirts with the extraordinary. The rest of the film, by no means prosaic, is propelled by a stellar ensemble cast in support of two unforgettable lead performances. Johnny Depp, who by now you know sports a killer baldcap, exorbitant latex makeup and two contact-lens-fueled blue eyes, inhabits the persona […]

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Sep
7

The CEO of Firefox Wrote His Own Silicon Valley Script

Notable tech world icon Blake Ross can add talented screenwriter to his resume. Sure that resume already includes some experience working as the former Director of Product at Facebook and the current CEO and Founder of Firefox but that pales in comparison to the positive response Ross received after tweeting out his Spec script for a season 4 […]

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Aug
28

Review: We Are Your Friends

For what it’s worth, I was a part-time club DJ from 1981until 2000. Although I hung up my headphones just before the advent of the laptop-era it was with more than passing interest I penciled in We Are Your Friends as a film to be checked out. Here was a movie purporting to cover the […]

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Aug
28

Review: Mistress America

Highly observant yet often annoyingly mannered, American Mistress takes director Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha to the realm of farce. With casual dialogue as antic and fast-paced as a Marx Brothers movie, Baumbach, who again co-wrote with Greta Gerwig, explores another New York City fallen and frustrated, snarky character. Brooke (Gerwig) has a lot more audaciousness […]

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Aug
24

Review: Diary of a Teenage Girl

The Diary of a Teenage Girl, a pedophile drama gussied up with non-judgmental makeup, strikes one as more odd than innovative. Fifteen-year-old Minnie Goetze (a rather good Bel Powley) opens the film declaring, “I had sex today,” and you sure can tell it changed her. Set in the free-love 1970’s in San Francisco, Marielle Heller’s […]

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PHOENIX
Aug
24

Review: Phoenix

Christian Petzold’s Phoenix creates a bracing tension between rediscovery and denial, between traumatization and angst. Nina Hoss, one of the world’s finest film actresses, portrays Nelly Lenz, a concentration camp survivor who undergoes plastic surgery that essentially grants her a new face after her old one was shot up by Nazis. At the film’s outset […]

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Philadelphia Film Festival 2015

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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 […]