Browsing: Reviews

Reviews Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 7.13.57 PM

If there’s a titanic battle more seismic than the one staged in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s the battle among critics debating the film’s quality level. There are a variety of notorious critical red flags at play here – the fact that Man of Steel was a total dud (if you need a refresher, refer to my 2013 review), a general loathing for Zack Snyder’s oeuvre, the already-infamous audacity to reboot the Batman …

Film Festival in a valley of violence

As a filmmaker deeply associated with horror, the idea of a Ti West revenge western set in the 1890s may cause some to do a double take. However, by the time the film’s wonderful animated opening credit sequence concludes it’s crystal clear that In a Valley of Violence is a Ti West film through and through. West’s signature is all over the film, from his dialogue-driven interactions and blood-soaked gore to his trademark humor and visual style. That’s not even to mention the film’s magnificent score, top-notch performances, and layered emotional undercurrents. In A Valley of Violence isn’t just a strong candidate for West’s best work. It’s one of the best westerns the genre has seen in years.

Reviews The Wind Will Carry Us

Most of Abbas Kiarostami’s films are structured around canny narrative omissions. His movies work to intrigue, pull viewers in with the promise of a resolution, and then do something entirely different. He makes his narratives a mystery as a way to get us to notice other things, as a way to coerce us into paying attention to…

Home Entertainment Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2

After three years and four major motion pictures, the Hunger Games series concludes with Mockingjay, Part 2 (Lionsgate) the final confrontation between the rebels, led by Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), and the Capitol, represented by the unctuous President Snow (Donald Sutherland). A series that should have ended on a spectacular note takes its final bow in an overlong, talky production surprisingly stingy with action.

NP Approved 10 Cloverfield Lane

Enthusiasts of 2008’s wholly fascinating Cloverfield have spent years desperately waiting for news of a follow-up to surface. Back in January, their wishes were granted when a teaser for 10 Cloverfield Lane hit both the Internet and screens showing Michael Bay’s 13 Hours. Fans (like myself) instantly recognized this parallel to the…

Home Entertainment Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 1.15.45 PM

Donovan’s Brain (Kino Lorber) is the story of Dr. Patrick Cory (Lew Ayres, All Quiet on the Western Front) and a scientific experiment gone terribly wrong. We first see Dr. Cory experimenting with a monkey’s brain. His wife, Janice (Nancy Davis, later Nancy Reagan) wonders whether they could not surgically remove the brain and keep it alive in a container filled with saline solution and electricity.

Reviews Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 8.52.00 AM

We can blame the Harry Potter series, at least in part, for the pernicious trend of splitting the last book in a YA series into two, generally bloated halves, each one a cynical, unwarranted, unnecessary cash grab. Where Harry Potter went, other YA adaptations followed, from the Twilight Series to The …

Reviews 1d611de9c12888578e3d7aaeee455bc8

Simultaneously juggling filming in the busy Tehran streets with in-depth dialogue concerning the state of Iranian gender politics, Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten is more ambitious than its setting would suggest. Simply titled, Ten is a movie that is indeed about the journey rather than the destination, with this …

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