Browsing: Reviews

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 9.55.22 AM

There is a title card that flickers on the screen toward the end of Boogie Nights that reads, “Long Way Down.” It’s so appropriate since it outright states the overwhelming feeling of the audience – after a heavenly rise, we witnessed a descent into hell. It also stands as a slogan for any similarly themed film audacious enough to chart the path from …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 7.57.37 PM

Directorial debuts, being the first windows into the minds of aspiring filmmakers, are terribly important to get right. If a debut is too self indulgent, the director may be regarded as narcissistic. If it’s got a messy script, they’ll be considered incompetent. However, if it’s something that correctly and effectively harnesses potential, they’ll be attributed to all of …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 7.27.39 PM

Ricki and the Flash is like Diablo Cody’s version of a stream-of-consciousness narrative. Or maybe it’s just Jonathan Demme’s version of a Diablo Cody screenplay. A little of both may be true, but whatever description one chooses to apply, this latest effort from both Oscar winners is intriguing specifically because it is willing to tackle several issues at …

Home Entertainment Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 5.24.18 PM

The Front Page (Kino Classics) is the first of three film versions of the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play that became a standard setter for many screwball comedies to follow. Hilda Johnson (Pat O’Brien) is an investigative reporter about to get married and looking for a more lucrative profession. When an accused murderer (George E. Stone) escapes from ….

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 1.09.52 PM

Leave it to Aardman Animation, the studio responsible for all the Wallace and Gromit shorts and their feature, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run and Pirates! Band of Misfits to produce a late Chaplin/Tati style silent film (that is, dialogue free but with sound effects and music) for children in 2015. Shaun the Sheep Movie is a long form version of …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 10.33.17 AM

Can we all just finally admit that the Fantastic Four is a dumb property? The book was never that good and was cancelled this year, partly due to poor sales and partly because Fox refused to give the movie rights back to Marvel/Disney so in a form of pettiness they cancelled the book so there would be no promotional tie-ins with the film ….

NP Approved Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 12.14.15 AM

It takes courage to follow you dreams, especially when it means leaving your three children and husband behind to pursue them. Men are praised when doing so, but women are cursed if they even think about doing such a thing. Acceptable societal norm or crippling double standard? Ricki, as played by Meryl Streep in Jonathan Demme’s …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 7.01.55 PM

There’s something vaguely disconcerting about attempting to review Fantastic Four, the latest reboot of Marvel Comics’ classic comic book characters, because it barely feels like a movie. It’s a feature-length PowerPoint for 20th Century Fox’s investors to rub their artless hands over and consider the millions they will make from this abysmal …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 6.40.20 PM

Two things are readily apparent on the evidence of The Gift: the first is that first-time feature director Joel Edgerton possesses an undeniably warped storytelling perspective, and the second is that said perspective ultimately sabotages his film. No one will fault Edgerton for having ideas and attempting to subvert conventions, but I will certainly fault …

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