Browsing: Mystery

Reviews crimsonpeak_1-1

There are a few constants in Guillermo del Toro films: beautiful set and costume designs, stunning cinematography and colorful characters. There is no denying that the set and costume design in Crimson Peak is breath-taking but unfortunately those are the high points that come from this film. Good news for those that love a good costume drama, bad…

Film Festival plansenexal_1-1

It’s easy to spend a great deal of the running time of Six-Year Plan imagining how fine a horror film its director Santiago Candejas might make before realising that he has. Cannily crafted with minimum resources and maximum effect, this is as attention-grabbing a debut as any filmmaker could hope to make, stunningly singling out its multi-hyphenate helmer—he…

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 11.47.22 PM

Tomorrowland is one of those movies that clings so tightly to the thin line between “good” and “meh” that it’s difficult to review, because each opinion is hedged with another. There is plenty of good and nothing explicitly “bad,” but none of it goes anywhere, so the audience just sits and waits for 130 minutes. And how am I supposed to review the act of sitting and waiting? As Roger Ebert once wrote …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 8.48.34 AM

There’s a not inaccurate line of thinking that “true-crime” stories belong on network television or basic cable rather than on cinema screens. Some exceptions exist (e.g., Zodiac, Goodfellas, Monster, Memories of Murder, In Cold Blood), of course, this line of thinking goes, but only in the hands of truly gifted filmmakers (“filmmakers” includes not just directors, but screenwriters too), not in the hands of unimaginative, if to be fair, competent filmmaker like Rupert …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 6.28.49 PM

Ryan Gosling’s debut feature Lost River shows promise, ambition, and a set of keen ideas which the potential is not fully realized on screen. Though the film has been critically dismissed as a failed attempt at art-house cinema, there is much to be admired in Lost River, particularly Gosling’s adept stylistic impulses. The atmosphere in which he captures sadness, loneliness and emptiness is both fascinating and haunting, sure to leave you hypnotized long after the film’s …

Reviews man from reno 1

When a film opens on a dark, windy, foggy road with a car accident that leaves a small-town sheriff befuddled and another man lying, bloodied, bruised, but not quite dead on that same road, it’s usually a tipoff that we, as savvy moviegoers, have firmly entered into neo-noir territory. That…

BUFF 2015 buff capsules

The World of Kanako is a cinematic experience unlike any I’ve ever had before. For long periods I wanted to run out. Director Tetsuya Nakashima has committed to film a twisted, ugly, and mean-spirited world. It is populated by the worst people imaginable, yet shown…

BUFF 2015 the editor 1

For years I have been struggling to understand this grindhouse resurgence. The generation of dirty theaters with even dirtier movies was before mine, so I don’t share this reverence for the absurd. Scratched up prints, missing reels, laughably awful acting, and buckets of fake blood seemed like a gimmick, an…

Trailers the gunman

Now that the Taken series has effectively run its course, by taking an interesting premise and forcing it down our throats until we absolutely cannot take anymore, it only seems fitting to…

Reviews o-BLACKHAT-facebook

Michael Mann just might be one of the few working auteur filmmakers who can claim – often with ample evidence going back several decades – of never making a dull, inert, unengaging film regardless of the subject matter or the budget. Flawed films, surely, but never a dull, inert, unengaging film. With the release of Blackhat, Mann’s …

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